Resistance to Slavery: Abolition, Dred Scott, and the Underground Railroad
Focus Workshop

January 27, 2007
  Website: Description:


The African-American Mosaic:  A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History & Culture


This site has materials demonstrating public support for and against abolition.  You’ll find digitized primary sources, including songs, pamphlets, and illustrations that describe the controversy in the 1830s-1850s


Abolition, Anti-Slavery Movements, and the Rise of the Sectional Controversy


Also on the Library of Congress website, this page focuses on black and white abolitionists in the first part of the 19th century.  Handbills, songs, and portraits of fugitive slaves.


Famous American Trials:  Amistad Trials 1839-1840


This site contains a variety of resources that will help teachers who use the Amistad case to illustrate the resistance to slavery.  You’ll find a chronology, newspaper accounts, biographies of trial participants, and the trial record.


Famous American Trials:  John Brown 1859



Another link from the site above; this one providing information on the trial of John Brown in 1859.  Again there is a chronology and maps related to the case, but also selected photos, Brown’s “Provisional Constitution,” Brown’s prison letters, and more.


Cornell University Library:  “I Will Be Heard!”  Abolition in America


This great online exhibit includes details about the origins of abolitionism, slave narratives, and information about prominent abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Sojourner Truth.


PBS:  Africans in America



PBS:  The Underground Railroad

The first site is a summary of the Dred Scott background and court case.  He first went to trial to sue for his freedom in 1847, and the Supreme Court decision was read in March of 1857.  (He died 9 months later.)  Many believe that the North’s outrage over this decision led to Abraham Lincoln’s nomination.


The next one gives a background of the Underground Railroad and the risks slaves took when running away.

The History Place: The Dred Scott Decision

Another summary of the Dred Scott case. This is linked to an Abraham Lincoln timeline where they highlight the importance of the Dred Scott case in Lincoln's rise to the Presidency.

Dred Scott v. John F.A. Sandford

This site contains the transcript of the Dred Scott case.

American Abolitionism (Indiana University)

A great site for those studying the abolitionist movement. Click on "abolition" for some background information as well as links to biographies and abolitionist society information. It also includes digitized primary sources via the "documents" link.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition: The Amistad Page

The Gilder Lehrman page ( has wonderful information for anyone teaching American History. This page includes online resources related to the Amistad affair, including document-based lesson plans and links to other sites that have important primary documents related to the case.

National Geographic - the Underground Railroad

Wonderful site for students. As they move through the website in the character of a slave on the Underground Railroad, they get the chance to make choices - do they follow Harriet Tubman?

Aboard the Underground Railroad: A National Register Travel Itinerary

This site promises to introduce travelers, researchers, and historians to the people and places of the Underground Railroad. You will find descriptions and photos of historic places listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places. Students can look at a map of the US to find "stations" on the Underground Railroad, or examine the locations by state.