Primary Source Material

Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman were an integral part of the 19th-century abolitionist movement to end slavery and free enslaved people in the United States.


The life and times of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass are marked by stories of courage, resilience, and strength. As two of the most well-known conductors of the Underground Railroad, they helped to change the course of American history by dedicating their lives to the fight for freedom and equality for African Americans.

While much has been written and documented about these two great American heroes, a deeper understanding of who they were and how they lived can be gained through analyzing artifacts from their lives.

Module Objectives

  • Analyze primary sources through a process of reflection, inquiry, self-awareness, and empathy.
  • Generate questions about people, events, and artifacts for further investigation and insight.
  • Draw conclusions based on insights and evidence gained through primary source analysis.


In this activity, you will discover details about the lives and times of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass by analyzing primary sources. As you examine their lives, you will make personal connections with the past that will spark curiosity and inspiration.