Students will be able to describe how slaves and abolishionists began to cooperate to resist slavery and gain eventual freedom.

Students will be able to describe the escape attempt onboard the Pearl in 1838. 


[Applicable DCPS content and skills standards as well as Common Core standards should be listed by number and include the actual text of the standard.]


[Here, you should include a list of primary and secondary sources as well as other materials you will be using in the class. Attach all handouts and readings you will use for this lesson to the curricular unit.]

The Cazenovia Anti-Fugitive Slave Act Convention, August 22, 1850 (accessed on www.flickriver.com on July 23, 2013)

Creator: DC Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board
Source: Historical Society of Washington DC
Date: 2003

Excerpt from Tavern Pamphlet published by Martin's Tavern (date unknown)

Excerpt from Tavern Pamphlet (cont)

A Tale of Taverns, located in Tavern file in the Peabody Collection at the Georgetown Public Library

Warm Up

Students will be asked to recound any stories they may have about breaking a rule when they think its the right thing to do.  The word meanings around "right" and "law" and "rule" will be explored during the conversation.

New Material

The story of Emily and Mary Edmondson and how they attempted escape on the Pearl will be shared with the students.  A map of the escape route, various pictures of Emily and Mary, and a passage from "A tale of Taverns" will be shared with the students.


Student will be asked to envision that they were living the lives of Mary and Emily and will be asked to re-enact, in pairs, the early conversations they must have had when the idea to escape originally surfaced.


Students will break in to small groups of 3 to discuss the attempted escape.  

Discussion Prompts: Do you think it is right to break the law in order to escape an unjust situation?  (contextualization, mutiple perspectives)

 Why do you think Mr. Martin focused more on the inconveniences slaveholding Georgetown residents had when not having their breakfasts made for them than the slaves who attempted escape. (contextualization, multiple perspectives)

Closure and Reflection

Students will share out the most important things they learned from this lesson on resistance.