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Slavery in the Colonial North Summer Teacher Institute

Participants explore how slavery was interwoven throughout colonial development and discuss how to teach this important but difficult subject in today’s classroom.
Often compartmentalized in a discussion of the antebellum South and the causes of the Civil War, slavery is rarely explored as a national experience that gave shape to America from its very beginning.

The Slavery in the Colonial North Summer Teacher Institute challenges this notion by presenting slavery as fundamental to colonial development. The institute explores both the institutional and personal sides of enslavement: how slavery emerged under Dutch law and expanded and became codified under British rule, and how we can read between the lines of historical documents to learn more about the lives and experiences of enslaved individuals.

The institute draws heavily from its location at Philipsburg Manor, an 18th-century provisioning plantation which, for 20 years, has interpreted the story of slavery in the colonial North through the stories of individuals who lived there. A day trip into Manhattan completes the experience.

In addition to an in-depth exploration of historic content knowledge, the institute also helps teachers prepare to bring this content into their schools and classrooms. Teachers will gain not only a wealth of historical information but also the skills necessary to help students engage with this subject.
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