That’s Not Fair!! Human Rights Violations during the 1800s


Kay Korty



July 24, 2001


Hall Elementary


Monrovia, IN

*Teacher Background Materials

Teacher Resource List:

*      Coffin, Levi. Reminiscences of Levi Coffin: The    Reputed President of the Underground Railroad. New York: Augustus M. Kelley Publishers, 1968.*

*      Crenshaw, Gwendolyn J. Bury Me in a Free Land: The Abolitionist Movement in Indiana 1816-1865.    Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1993.*


Student Reading List:

*      Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman. New York: Holiday House, 1992.

*      Belcher-Hamilton, Lisa. “The Underground: The beginning of Douglass’s Journey.” Meeting Challenges. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1993.

*      Bial, Raymond. The Underground Railroad. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1995. Photographs of sites, eastern US map with routes, anecdotes, timeline. *

*      Ferris, Jeri. Walking the Road to Freedom: A Story about Sojourner Truth. Minneapolis: Carolhoda Books Inc., 1988.

*      Fradin, Dennis Brindell. My Family Shall Be Free! The Life of Peter Still. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2001. *

*      Herbert, Janis. The Civil War for Kids. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1999. Timeline, quilt activity. *

*      Hopkinson, Deborah. “Levi Coffin, President of the Underground Railroad.” Meeting Challenges. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1993.

*      Rappaport, Doreen. Freedom River. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2000.  Conductor John Parker rescues family by crossing Ohio River (non-fiction). *

*      Ringgold, Faith. Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky. New York: Crown Publishing, 1992. Quilts…

*      Winter, Jeannette. Follow the Drinking Gourd. New York: Knopf, 1992.  Song with music and lyrics.


 Internet Sites:

*      http://www.cr.nps.gov National registry of UGRR sites. 26 July 2001 *
AME Church in Indianapolis.
Eleutherian College classroom and chapel building near Madison.

*      http://www.ai.org/ism/sites/levicoffin/ Levi Coffin House in Fountain City. 26 July 2001*

* http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/99/railroad/  National Geographic UGRR site. Interactive site requiring participants to make choices and decisions regarding the journey out of slavery. July 26, 2001*

*      http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/undergroundrr/ Concise discussion of components of UGRR. 26 July 2001 *


Extension Activities Resources:

*      http://web.realcities.com/content/rc/news/slavery/miami/1955535743.htm Slave labor picking cocoa beans in West Africa. 26 July 2001 *

*      http://www.iabolish.com/today/background/mauritania.htm 800 year old slavery system in Mauritania. 26 July 2001 *

*      http://www.iabolish.com/today/background/us.htm The U.S. is not yet free from slavery. 26 July 2001 *

*      Ross, Eileen. “Cesar Chavez: Walk a Mile in My Shoes.” Meeting Challenges. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1993.

*      Shaffer, Ann. “Rosa Parks.” Meeting Challenges. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1993.



*      A Free Life. Golden Dome Productions, 1997. *

Available from: Northern Indiana Historical Society

                            Northern Indiana Center for History

                            808 W. Washington Street

                            South Bend, IN 46601



*These are resource materials introduced at the GENI UGRR Institute.

*Purpose of Materials

Background information, research data, continuing to learn the history of Indiana, promotion of higher order thinking skills, skills development with mapping, time lines, and Venn diagrams.


Preparation: Check out resources available at your school and/or local library. 

Print out multiple copies of articles from Internet sites.

Copy outline maps of Indiana.

Make a teacher copy of UGRR routes through Indiana.


Session 1-2: (Information gathering) Explore the migration of African Americans into the Hoosier area.

A.    Read and/or discuss with the students or divide students into groups to research and report on:

1.      Freedmen settlements.

2.      Slaves in Indiana despite laws to the contrary.

3.      Underground Railroad in Indiana.

B.      Use an outline map of Indiana to draw the routes traveled on the Underground Railroad (UGRR).

C.    If time permits (or as an assignment), develop list and have students locate on the map some of the known stops on the UGRR.

D.     Make a transparency of the routes and overlay the transparency with the map showing Indiana counties and Native American territories at the time of statehood.

Session 3: Develop (or continue and extend) a timeline showing migration patterns in Indiana.

A.    From resources used the first day, assist students in finding and listing dates pertinent to Indiana during the 1800s.

B.      Edit dates to those pertinent to statehood, African American migration, and the Civil War era.

C.    Using the edited list develop/assign a timeline for students to complete using an established format. (Previously taught.)

Session 4: Explore reasons for African Americans to settle and/or travel through Indiana. (Individually, then in groups of 2-3 students or as class discussion, citing specific examples from text and articles.)

A.    What were the reasons freedmen came to Indiana?

B.      What were the reasons for slaves being brought to Indiana?

C.    What were the reasons for escaped slaves coming to or through Indiana?

D.    List human rights violations for African Americans (both freedmen and slaves), and for European settlers.

Session 5: Compare and contrast Native American and African American human rights violations.

(Sessions may be combined if time allows!)



*Teaching Strategies


The teacher will introduce:

A.    the Indiana laws

B.      the history of the original African Americans in Indiana

C.    the work of the Underground Railroad

Research, Analysis

The instructor will provide:

A.    materials for student research

B.      outline maps of Indiana

C.    materials for time lines

Students will be expected to:

A.    Take notes.

B.      Make a map of UGRR routes.

C.    Make a time line.

D.     (Extension) Access information from websites

Small Group Activities

Compare and Contrast – Venn diagram or trifold (Dinah Zike workshop)

Internet Search – if time allows

*Assessments (key questions to simulate critical thinking)

What were the effects of new ethnic groups being introduced into Indiana’s culture?

How have those effects changed throughout Indiana’s history?

What might be different about Indiana today if any of these migrations had NOT taken place?

Where do we still have/see/feel the effects of human rights violations?


Assessments may be:

Oral discussion displaying a knowledge of historical presentation and synthesis of human rights ideas.

Venn diagram (or trifold from Dinah Zike materials).

Essay test.


Adaptations and/or Extensions


*      Compare and contrast human rights violations in pre-20th century to 20th and 21st centuries.

*      Using a highway map of Indiana, cut pictures from printed materials that show UGRR sites in Indiana. Attach the pictures to the appropriate cities/areas on the map.  This will help reinforce the routes.

*      Show the video “A Free Life”

*      Visit state UGRR sites.

*      Explore Hoosiers who were: 

A. Influential in developing the laws at this time

      B. Religious, social groups that were helping                     

          Escaped slaves

      C. Individuals active in the pro and anti-slavery          

          Debate such as Levi Coffin, Harriet Tubman,       


*      Physical Education- have the students travel 12 miles (the average distance between UGRR stops).

*      Science – use your senses other than sight to identify your environment (most slaves traveled at night on foot).

*      Music – learn songs from this era such as the