COVID-19 SERIES- SAFETY & FREEDOM SEEKING

covid-19 poster
COVID-19 Poster



NOW:

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) tells us that one way we can protect ourselves and others during the pandemic is to WEAR A MASK! Their tips:
  • Everyone should wear a mask in public settings when around people who don't live with you.
  • Continue to stay 6 feet apart from others whenever possible. The mask is not a substitute for staying 6 feet apart.
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you don’t feel sick. The mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.



THEN:

Wearing a mask can make us think of many different things. What if we thought of mask-wearing as a way to leave home? Or a way to escape from the dangers of illness? Or a way to conceal our identity? Or mask-wearing as a way to blend in? On this virtual trip, we are going to learn about people who were escaping from danger, working to conceal their identities, blending in with a group, risking going outside of their home environment and ultimately seeking freedom from destructive forces in the form of people and systems.

Studying the stories of indentured and enslaved persons from Hampton Plantation and the story of an enslaved man’s journey into the fighting force at Fort McHenry, we will explore the choices, dangers, and possibilities of freedom seeking and what tools people used for protection along the way.
 
Rebecca Posey newspaper article
August 26 1852

Suggested curriculum BEFORE your in-class visit:

  1. Visit the farm of Hampton on a virtual tour —students and teachers are encouraged to explore, but especially to check out the screen labelled Freedom Seeking.
  2. Student Activity: Have your students complete the Freedom Seeking Graphic Organizer activity, which introduces the concept of freedom seeking for both indentured servants and enslaved persons from Hampton Plantation.
  3. Watch the video Rebecca’s Walk to learn more about one of the freedom seekers featured in the Graphic Organizer activity.
  4. Read William Williams/Frederick Hall biography here.
  5. Check out the Fort McHenry virtual tour or the video of the bombardment of the Fort to understand what Williams would have seen, heard, and felt.
  6. For a deeper dive on slavery in Baltimore, visit Slave Streets Free Streets here. Baltimore City had the largest free black population in the country from the American Revolution through to the Civil War, but slavery was still a real horror in almost every neighborhood. We often think of the enforced labor of slavery as picking crops or working in iron furnaces—indeed, Williams/Hall, coming from the Eastern Shore, likely was forced to do that sort of labor. However, Rebecca’s story reminds us that many enslaved persons in the Baltimore area did what we would describe as domestic work—in fact the largest slaveholder in Baltimore City was the owner of the Indian Queen Hotel where enslaved persons served as butlers, waiters, cooks, and housekeepers.
  7. For a deeper dive on freedom seeking, explore Marylands Underground Railroad Network to Freedom
 
William Williams in uniform
William Williams

SAFETY Guiding Questions

  1. Freedom seekers who travelled in large groups were usually caught, while freedom seekers who travelled alone or in pairs had a better chance of success. Why do you think this was?
  2. At Hampton, sometimes a white indentured servant and a black enslaved person would seek freedom together. How do you think they would use their partnership to their advantage?
  3. One of the first things a freedom seeker would do, if they could, would be to change clothing. Based on what you have learned so far, why do you think they would do this?
  4. What do you think were some of the biggest fears and concerns that freedom seekers had once they arrived at their destinations?
  5. How do you think freedom seekers tried to fit in when they arrived at their destinations?

SAFETY Brainstorming (Develop Questions for Your In-Class Visitor)

What are your reactions to these stories?
What did you notice or wonder about?
What do you need help in understanding?
What do you want to learn more about?
Which site do you want to send our visitor to?
What do you want to see at that site? (Buildings, rooms artifacts-tools, clothing, furniture, documents, landscape-gardens, fields, harbor.)


Please submit AT LEAST three questions to us so we can prepare for your virtual visit. Depending on the number of questions, we may not have time to answer all of them in the session. There are 2 solutions to this exciting problem:
  1. You have the option to schedule another visit.
  2. The visitor/guide can email you with further responses, pictures, and links to help answer any questions we didn’t get to in class.

Link to In-Class Virtual Visit Form

To learn more about Fort McHenry, Hampton, and any of the topics developed in this virtual field trip, please consult the Educational Resources for Digital Learning page.


Last updated: February 27, 2021

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2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230

Phone:

(410) 962-4290 x250

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