by Abraham Lincoln
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
The Emancipation Proclamation
- President Abraham Lincoln
President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation during the height of the Civil War. It was directed at the eleven states still in rebellion and decreed that all slaves in these rebelling states were freed.Have students read the text of the document that made abolishing slavery an explicit goal of the Civil War, and ask them to draw parallels between Lincoln’s ideologies in his speech on slavery and on the actual law put into place with the Emancipation Proclamation. How did the ideas in this speech inform Lincoln’s eventual policies?
Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage
- Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797), known by people as Gustavus Vassa, was a freed slave turned prominent African man in London. Equiano became an abolitionist and began to record his life story after being freed. This text is an excerpt from Equiano’s autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, in which Equiano tells the tale of his brutal voyage across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.Pair Lincoln’s speech on slavery with Equiano’s account and ask students to compare the two perspectives. How does Lincoln reason against slavery? How does Equiano make his case? Which is more powerful, and why?
The Missouri Compromise
This informational text discusses the controversial decision to admit Missouri to the U.S. as a slave state, as well as the compromise enacted to keep the balance of free and slave states in Congress equal in the future.Pair “The Missouri Compromise” with “Speech on Slavery” and ask students to discuss the morality and fairness of the Missouri Compromise in relation to Lincoln’s thoughts on slavery.
The Election of 1860
This information text describes the lead-up to and outcomes of the 1860 presidential election of Abraham Lincoln, which sparked the Civil War.Pair “The Election of 1860” with “Speech on Slavery” and ask students to discuss the appeal of the newly founded Republican Party and why Lincoln threatened northern and southern Democrats.
President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address
- President Abraham Lincoln
In “President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address,” President Lincoln discusses the causes of the American Civil War and what will be required to repair the nation.Pair “Speech on Slavery” with “President Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” and ask students to discuss President Lincoln’s views on slavery. Did his views on slavery change in the time between these two speeches?
Causes of the American Civil War
- Mike Kubic
In “Causes of the American Civil War,” the informational text explores the causes of the American Civil War and the growing hostility between the Northern abolitionists and Southern slaveholders.Pair “Speech on Slavery” with “Causes of the American Civil War” and ask students to discuss the historical figure of Lincoln. How does each text frame Lincoln’s disposition towards slavery? Do these two depictions contradict each other?
The Revolutionary Rise of Abolitionists
The informational text “The Revolutionary Rise of Abolitionists” discusses the various degrees of support the anti-slavery movement received between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.Pair “Speech on Slavery” with “The Revolutionary Rise of Abolitionists” and ask students to compare the themes of the two texts. How do Abraham Lincoln’s views on slavery compare to the opinions of Abolitionists depicted in the text?
Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation
- Mike Kubic
In “Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation,” Mike Kubic discusses what motivated President Lincoln’s to pass the Emancipation Proclamation and the change that it brought about.Pair “Speech on Slavery” with “Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation” to allow students to further explore President Lincoln’s position on slavery. How do President Lincoln’s views on slavery in “Speech on Slavery” compare to the views expressed in “Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation”?
To Those Who Keep Slaves, and Approve the Practice
- Richard Allen
In this essay, prominent African-American scholar and minister Richard Allen meditates on the inhumanity of slavery.Pair “To Those Who Keep Slaves, and Approve the Practice” with “Speech on Slavery” and ask students to discuss how the argument against slavery develops between Allen’s speech written in 1794, and Lincoln’s speech in 1854. What has changed for the plight of slaves? What has changed in America? What are the central arguments for abolition in the two separate texts? Which one appeals more to students and why?
Petition from the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery
- Benjamin Franklin
In this historical document from 1790, Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, argues that slavery must be abolished in the United States.Pair “Petition from the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery” with “Speech on Slavery” and ask students to compare the arguments against the continuation of slavery presented in each text. Do they emphasize similar concepts? How does the language in each differ? What impact does language have on the tone of each text? Which argument is more effective? Why? Do they seem to be directed at different audiences? Are the ideas in these texts are in line with what you know about Lincoln and Franklin?