Teach PA History
150 Years of Abolition in Pennsylvania
What to Know
Teaching Time
Two or Three Class Periods
Grade Level
High School
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Civics and Government
  • History
Historical Period
  • Colonization and Settlement - 1601-1760
  • New Nation - 1761-1800
  • Expansion and Reform - 1801-1855
In 1688 Pennsylvania Quakers were credited with making the first formal protest against slavery. However, support for abolition in Pennsylvania was not universally strong over the next 150 years. In this lesson, students will trace the struggle for abolition from the original Quaker request to the burning of Pennsylvania Hall.


1. Analyze perspectives of abolition from 1688 to 1838 by examining primary source documents. 2. Synthesize information on abolition in Pennsylvania by composing a comparison chart with members from other groups. 3. Use their understanding of sentiments towards blacks to construct an understanding of two images of blacks in Pennsylvania by John Lewis Krimmel.

Standards Alignment

  • Arts and Humanities

    9.2.12. H. Identify, explain, and analyze the work of Pennsylvania Artists in visual arts.

  • Civics and Government

    5.2.12. C. Interpret the causes of conflict in society and analyze techniques to resolve those conflicts.

  • History

    8.1.12. A. Evaluate chronological thinking.
    8.1.12. B. Synthesize and evaluate historical sources.
    8.1.12. C. Evaluate historical interpretation of events.
    8.1.12. D. Synthesize historical research.
    8.2.12. A. Evaluate the political and cultural contributions of individuals and groups to Pennsylvania history from 1890 to Present.
    8.2.12. B. Identify and evaluate primary documents, material artifacts, and historic sites important in Pennsylvania history from 1890 to Present.
    8.2.12. C. Identify and evaluate how continuity and change have influenced Pennsylvania history.
    8.2.12. D. Identify and evaluate conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations in Pennsylvania history.

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