High School Unit I

Activity 3: Anthony Burns—Slave-Catchers Come to Boston for the Last Time

Have students read the Mass Moment on Anthony Burns and examine Documents HS I-18, HS I-19, and HS I-20.

Discuss as a class or in a writing assignment:

  1. How had the situation changed since slave catchers came to Boston to find the Crafts in 1850 and to arrest Shadrach Minkins in 1851?
  2. What might account for these changes?
  3. Based on what students have learned so far in this lesson, list the ways abolitionists spread their message. Compare this list with how information is spread today.
  4. Refer back to the question posed early in the lesson that asked students how they thought people might respond to the 1850 Act. How well did students anticipate what actually happened?
  5. What are some examples from the recent past of people engaging in acts of civil disobedience?