For Educators

Historic Edenton, North Carolina's second oldest town and former colonial capital, is best known for its colonial history and its contributions to the political, cultural, and economic development of our state and nation in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a vibrant port town, Edenton not only contributed to the commercial growth of North Carolina, but also served as a vital escape route for enslaved people seeking freedom in the North via the Maritime Underground Railroad. The story of Harriet Jacobs, an enslaved woman who escaped in 1842 and became an abolitionist and relief worker during the Civil War, is told at Historic Edenton.

This education program, designed for 8th grade students, is one in a series that provides comprehensive, site-based learning experiences concerning the state's Civil War history. The program is a stand-alone unit, but its value is multiplied when combined with one or more additional units. Each program contains at least one supplemental lesson plan. These plans work best in support of the on-site activities, but can also be used if a site visit is not possible.

Program Goals

The story of Harriet Jacobs of Edenton is a component for meeting the following NCSCS Goals for Social Studies:

  • 4.03 Assess North Carolina's role in the Civil War and analyze the social and economic impact of the war on the state.
  • 4.04 Evaluate the importance of the roles played by individuals at the state and national levels during the Civil War and Reconstruction Period.

The story of Harriet Jacobs of Edenton is a component for meeting the following National Standard for the Social Sciences:

  • Standard 2 - The course and character of the Civil War and its effects on the American people.
    • 2B: The student understands the social experience of the war on the battlefield and homefront.

Program Objectives

  1. Students will have a better understanding of the hardships faced by enslaved people and freedmen during and immediately after the Civil War.
  2. Students will have an in-depth understanding of the particular hardships faced by Harriet Jacobs through her life story while enslaved, as a fugitive slave, and as an abolitionist activist and author.
  3. Students will gain experience in researching and using online primary sources.

Associated Files