Abolition of Slavery Movement

Frederick Douglass, 1865-1880. Source: Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/brh2003002435/PP/

How effectively did Frederick Douglass’ 1845 autobiography respond to the claims from the 1830s that slavery was a “positive good?”

Download Primary Source Set: Abolition of Slavery Movement 

With the assistance of targeted literacy support strategies, students will read and analyze excerpts from Calhoun’s speech and Douglass’ autobiography. They will determine the claims each historic figure made and the evidence they used to support their claims. They will rate the persuasiveness of the claims based on the reasonableness and availability of the evidence. They will decide for themselves the effectiveness of Douglass’ response to Calhoun’s claim that slavery was “a positive good.”