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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
A Nation Divided
(1840-1861)

Abolitionists and the Underground Railroad



Abolitionists and the Underground Railroad
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.68

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    housing, fines, span, slavery, founding, personally, runaway, public, death, plight, lecture, dying, freedom, beginning, neither, difference
     content words:    United States, Abolitionist Society, Underground Railroad, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman


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Abolitionists and the Underground Railroad
By Mary L. Bushong
  

1     When the founding fathers of the United States wrote the constitution, slavery was common. Things slowly changed in the Northern states until almost no one kept slaves. At the same time, slavery was also dying out in the Southern states at the beginning of the 1800's.
 
2     It cost money to feed and clothe many slaves. Sometimes the money made from the crops was not enough. All that changed when the cotton gin was invented. Suddenly, it was cheap and simple to grow cotton that could be sold for a big profit.
 
3     Land owners saw a chance to become very rich. They bought more land and slaves to grow more cotton. Many plantation owners did not take good care of their slaves though. Slaves were often starved, lived in poor housing, or were worked to death. As more Northerners became aware of their plight, two groups were formed; the Abolitionist Society and the Underground Railroad.

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