Prior to the Civil War, over 300 enslaved people sued for their freedom in St. Louis courts. The most well-known of these “freedom suits” was that of Dred and Harriet Scott. In this DBQuest, students will explore the only known account of a freedom suit written by a former enslaved woman, Lucy Delaney. Using her autobiography, students will consider how enslaved people resisted slavery through both legal and extra-legal means.
The Big Question: What decisions did families make in their fight to resist slavery?
Students will be able to...
- Describe what an autobiography is and what it can tell us
- Use evidence from primary sources to support analysis and answer questions
- Discuss how one family resisted the institution of slavery
- Explain how Freedom Suits were used to resist the institution of slavery