Slavery and The Civil War

The following curriculum aids were submitted by Roots of a Nation’s participating teachers and TAH program leaders to provide classroom educators with additional resources to make this subject matter come to life for their students.

Lesson Plans

Primary Documents and Images

Resources for Teachers

During the Civil War, the Chesapeake Bay’s network of tidal tributaries played a central role in ferrying troops to battlefields, supplying armies with food, and serving as strategic locations to place blockades to control the flow of supplies to rival armies. Simultaneously, the waterways served as pathways to freedom for slaves seeking new lives and opportunities on the Underground Railroad. Roots of a Nation courses focusing on slavery and the Civil War include:

  • Picturing the Past – C.V. Starr Center for the American Experience at Washington College – Based in Washington, D.C., this two-day workshop uses art as a vehicle for gaining insight into pivotal events in American history. Teachers visit the National Museum of Art and several Civil War monuments dedicated to African American soldiers to analyze how the war was viewed from a wide variety of perspectives.
  • Hometown History – C.V. Starr Center for the American Experience at Washington College – Based out of the Custom House in Chestertown, Maryland (circa 1756), this one-day workshop introduces teachers to local resources that help students connect directly to broader historical themes in American history. Teachers examine a wide variety of primary documents including land deeds, runaway slave ads, period newspaper articles, and artwork.
  • Heartland of the Civil War – C.V. Starr Center for the American Experience at Washington College – This week-long seminar features an in-depth study of the Civil War. Participants visit some of the pivotal battlefields in this conflict including Harper’s Ferry and Antietam, as well as sites off the beaten path including slave cabins, plantations, the home of Frederick Douglass, and many others.