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How the Founders Sowed the Seeds of the Civil War

Primary Source

George Washington as a Farmer at Mount Vernon
George Washington as a Farmer at Mount Vernon
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

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“Where the disease [of slavery] is most deeply seated, there it will be slowest in eradication. In the Northern States it was merely superficial and easily corrected. In the Southern, it is incorporated with the whole system and requires time, patience, and perseverance in the curative process. That it may finally be effected and its progress hastened, will be [my] last and fondest prayer. ”

—Thomas Jefferson to David Barrow,
May 1, 1815.
Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.

Gift to the Nation
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Teaching Strategy

Small Edits, Big Consequences

In this lesson, students read the original draft of the Declaration of Independence and compare it to the final version of the document. They will identify the changes between the two versions and hypothesize why those changes may have been made. They then forecast the effects these changes had on the future United States.

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Harsh World, This World EFT
Harsh World, This World
February 13, 2014

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Slavery in Colonial AmericaSLAVERY IN COLONIAL AMERICA
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Poster and Lessons

This high-quality reproduction of the Stone Declaration is suitable for classroom display or framing. Each 28 x 36 inch poster comes with historical background information and suggested lesson activities. Grades 4–8. $9.95. To order, call 1-800-761-8331 or email

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