Historical Topic Possibilities!
If none of these individuals/topics are of interest to you, look at the topics listed on Wooster's syllabus! You can select some topics from there as well!
- John Brown- radical abolitionist, martyr for the American Northern abolitionists- very "committed" to his beliefs
- Susie King Taylor- She served as the first Black Army nurse during the Civil War and was the only African-American woman to publish a memoir of her wartime experiences.
- Richard Fields- half- Cherokee leader that planned a rebellion against the Mexican government , lost his land grants awarded by Spain as a result of Mexican independence from Spain (1820s)
- Dred Scott- enslaved man who had been taken by his owners to free states and territories, and attempted to sue for his freedom; a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court Dred Scott vs. Sandford
- Robert Smalls- an enslaved African American who, during and after the American Civil War, gained freedom and became a ship's pilot, sea captain, and politician. He freed himself, his crew and their families from slavery by commandeering a Confederate transport ship, CSS Planter, in Charleston harbor, and sailing it from Confederate-controlled waters to the U.S. blockade. His example and persuasion helped convince President Lincoln to accept African-American soldiers into the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy.
- Frederick Douglass- abolitionist, social reformer, writer, feminist, early civil rights leader
- Susan B. Anthony- social reformer, feminist, suffragist
- Contrabands (Civil War)- a term commonly used in the United States military during the American Civil War to describe a new status for certain escaped slaves or those who affiliated with Union forces. The Army (and the United States Congress) determined that the US would not return escaped slaves who went to Union lines and classified them as contraband. Many freed men joined the Union army in 1863.
- Crispus Attucks- first casualty of the American Revolution, freed man of color part of the Patriot cause
- Benjamin Banneker- free African American almanac author, surveyor, naturalist and farmer, surveyed the borders of the original District of Columbia, the federal capital district of the United States
- Phyllis Wheatley- the first published African-American female poet
- Patrick Henry- famous orator that influenced American colonists move for independence
- Mercy Otis Warren- a political writer and propagandist of the American Revolution. One of the few women who were educated to write on the topics of war and politics- topics on which men were only thought to be capable of writing. Warren published poems and plays that attacked royal authority in Massachusetts and urged colonists to resist British infringements on colonial rights and liberties.
- Sojourner Truth-abolitionist, women's rights advocate, prolific public speaker
- George Washington- general of the Continental Army, 1st president of the US.
- William Lloyd Garrison- abolitionist, journalist, suffragist
- Sacajawea- Northern Shoshone woman who helped the Lewis and Clark Expedition achieve each of its chartered mission objectives exploring the Louisiana Purchase. She traveled thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean, established cultural contacts with Native American populations, and researched natural history.
- Ona Judge- slave woman that skillfully escaped George Washington's Mount Vernon
- Horace Mann- social reformer, public education
- Juan Seguín- political and military figure of the Texas Revolution that helped to establish the independence of Texas
- Tecumseh- Native American leader who resisted colonization
- Loreta Janeta Velázquez- a Cuban-born woman who masqueraded as a male Confederate soldier during the American Civil War
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton- suffragist, women's rights advocate, feminist
- Catherine Beecher - women's rights, education advocate
- Harriet Beecher Stowe- abolitionist writer
- Black Loyalists- their critical role during the American Revolution
- African American soldiers service during the Civil War
- Lucretia Mott- American Anti-Slavery Society leader
- Harriet Tubman- an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War
- Deborah Sampson- fought in the Continental Army disguised as a man
- Angelina and Sarah Grimke- Southern activists that opposed slavery
- Oladuah Equiano- first African writer to publish a detailed account of his experiences during the Middle Passage
- Sarah Bagley- social reformer, women's rights advocate, spoke out against women's mistreatment in the workforce
- Clara Barton- pioneer nurse, founder of the Red Cross
- Abigail Adams- as the closest advisor and wife of John Adams, as well as the mother of John Quincy Adams. She is sometimes considered to have been a Founder of the United States, one of the most documented first ladies
If you are interested in one of these historical figures, you will need to conduct some research to track down a primary source document for them. This should not be too hard; most are available online.