On September 17th, 1849, Harriet Tubman ran away with her two brothers. A runaway ad was soon listed in the newspaper calling for their capture. This module describes the impact of increased governmental restrictions and harsh penalties on Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers. Students will analyze primary source material from the Library of Congress and New York Public Library Digital Collections, and consider discussion prompts for more dialogue and deeper reflection.
How do oppressed people empower themselves to achieve freedom?
- What kind of information about enslavement can be gleaned from runaway ads?
- Reflect on how the runaway ads may have created a narrative that dehumanized enslaved people so that they were not
seen as human beings.
- What methods did enslavers use to keep enslaved people from freeing themselves?
- Why does Harriet Tubman run away again so soon after a failed attempt to escape?
do increased restrictions and harsher punishments impact Harriet Tubman
and other freedom seekers in their quest for freedom?