anecdote - a usually short narrative or story of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident.

conscription – compulsory enrollment in the military; draft.

Dred Scott v. Sanford – Supreme Court case in 1857 that protected southerners' rights to own slaves and denied citizenship rights to slaves. Dred Scott was a slave that sued for his freedom based on the fact that his owner had moved him and his family into free territories where slavery was prohibited.

drovers stand – a place where those who drive (on foot) cattle, swine or sheep (any livestock) can stop to rest, eat, and purchase goods for the next segment of the drive.

exemptions – the right to be free of duty or excused from some liability or requirement that is required of others.

Harper's Ferry – location of a raid led by abolitionist John Brown on October 16, 1859 in an effort to seize weapons from the arsenal and arm slaves for an uprising throughout the South.

impressment – the act of seizing for public use or forcing into public service.

Kansas-Nebraska Act – passed in 1854, this act created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, and allowed the settlers in each area to determine if they would allow slavery to exist in their territory.

oratory – the art of effective and eloquent public speaking often using stock phrases and appealing to the emotions of the audience.

partisan – characterized by a firm adherence to a belief, cause, party, faction, or person often exhibiting a blind, unreasoning allegiance.

primary source – a source of information that is direct or firsthand knowledge; can be a document or object that was written or created at the time that is being studied.

redeemer – a person who saves or rescues others from some disastrous fate.

solicitor – the chief law officer of a municipality, county, or government department.

staunch – steadfast in loyalty or principle.

turnpike - a road on which users are charged a fee or a toll.

Whig Party – was formed in opposition to Pres. Andrew Jackson in 1833 and promoted internal improvements, a national bank, and a tariff on foreign goods. The party eventually died when it split over the issue of the expansion of slavery into new territories.

writ of habeas corpus – any of several common-law formal documents issued to bring a party before a court or judge; the right of a citizen to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as a protection against illegal imprisonment.