Lesson 2: Southern Colonies

Day 2

Reading and Questions
Materials: We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History by Phillip Hoose
Read the following sections in We Were There, Too: Young People in U.S. History by Phillip Hoose — "Eliza Lucas: Indigo Planter" (starting on page 36) and "Olaudah Equiano: Kidnapped into Slavery" (starting on page 39) — and then answer these questions.
  1. Eliza Lucas was only sixteen when her father left her in charge of three rice plantations, the house, twenty slaves, and the care of her mother and younger sister. How do you think you would respond to that kind of responsibility?
    Answers will vary.
  2. Why did Eliza Lucas start growing indigo?
    A Spanish blockade prevented rice from South Carolina from reaching its markets, and the colony needed new crops to sell, so she experimented with several ("indigo, ginger, cotton, lucerne, and cassava," p. 37) and settled on indigo as a crop that she might profitably sell.
  3. How did Olaudah Equiano come to America?
    He was kidnapped and put on a ship to come to America as a slave.
  4. How did Equiano become free?
    He bought his freedom at age 21 and wrote his life story, which was widely read in Europe and America.

Activity 3: Timeline of U.S. History

Materials: scissors, tape or glue, timeline and timeline cards
Beginning with this lesson, you will start building a timeline of U.S. history. A blank timeline and timeline cards have been provided. In each timeline activity throughout this unit, you'll add specific cards to your timeline, using tape or glue stick to attach the cards to the appropriate places on your timeline. At the end of the year, you will have a complete timeline.

For today's activity, please attach cards #1-10 to your timeline. These cards relate to the southern colonies and some of the middle colonies.
Starting with this activity, your child will create a year-long timeline of U.S. history. In each timeline activity, she should attach the appropriate cards to her timeline, using the dates as a guide to help her place them appropriately.

Activity 4: Coming to America

Today you read about Olaudah Equiano's voyage to America. In this activity, you'll compare his experience to that of the children aboard the Mayflower. First, read page 26 in We Were There, Too!, focusing on life aboard the Mayflower during the journey across the Atlantic. Compare this to Equiano's voyage and complete the "Coming to America" activity page.
In this activity, your child will compare passage from England to America on the Mayflower with the Middle Passage endured by Olaudah Equiano. Your child may note some similarities — staying below deck, seasickness, a lack of food, the smell of vomit — but should recognize important differences like the fact that the people aboard the Mayflower had chosen to take the risks of crossing the Atlantic while enslaved people were forced against their will to do so. On the Mayflower, adults had 7' x 2' areas to stretch out and were free to move about while slaves were chained in much smaller spaces aboard a slave ship. Equiano was beaten if he did not eat, and many more Africans died on board than there were people who died on English colonial vessels.