K-12 Resources

Primary sources and documents from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History:

Founded in 1994 by philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the nation’s leading American history organization dedicated to K–12 education. The Institute’s mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational
programs and resources.

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. Drawing on the 65,000 documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and an extensive network of eminent historians, the Institute provides teachers, students, and the general public with direct access to unique primary source materials. The Institute has made available online a number of primary source documents from its own collection by and about Frederick Douglass.


Teaching American History.org

Founded in 1983, the Ashbrook Center is an independent center at Ashland University, devoted to teaching what
it means to be an American by providing educational programs for teachers, students and citizens focused on
primary source documents. The Center’s TeachingAmericanHistory.org project’s Library makes available online
letters, speeches, documents, web sites, books, and articles on significant people and events in American political
thought and history. Rather than being a comprehensive list of available resources, it is meant to be a list of the
best resources available on the given subject. Here you will find some of Douglass’s most notable editorials,
private letters, such as to Harriet Beecher Stowe, and speeches.


A Frederick Douglass Timeline:



Another FD timeline:



Tonya Bolden, Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty (2013)



Timeline of Frederick Douglass’s Life, University of Massachusetts History Club

1872: The Equal Rights Party headed by Victoria Woodhull nominated Douglass for Vice-President, he declined. Frederick Douglass’ house in Rochester was burnt to the ground. Twelve volumes of his newspaper from 1848-1860 were lost. They were going to be sent to Harvard University Library. After the fire he moved his family to Washington DC. Became president for six months of the troubled Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, known as Freeman’s Bank. He lost $12,000 of his own investment.

Fourth Grade Lesson Plan by MAAP: Mapping the African American Past, a project of Teachers College, Columbia University and partners

Frederick Douglass: If There Is No Struggle, There is No Progress – 4 th Grade Adaptation Aim: Is Frederick Douglass’s method of resistance still relevant in today’s society? At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to: Explore the natural, political, and moral grounds for resistance to evil. Read excerpts of a speech by Frederick Douglass highlighting elements of the speech that define Frederick Douglass’s philosophy of resistance.


Grades 9 -10 Lesson Plan: Heroes in Art, The Art Institute of Chicago

In this lesson plan, students explore the life and portraits of Frederick Douglass in order to gain an understanding of the history of slavery in the United States. While further examining an antislavery speech written by Douglas and a modern sculpture by Richard Hunt, students will begin to understand the concept of heroism and develop speech-writing and speaking skills.