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The Underground Railroad Vocabulary Guide

  • Grades: 3–5

Supplement a lesson on the Underground Railroad with this list of words and terms, and their meanings, that appear frequently in related reading material.

 

Abolish: to do away with something

Abolitionist: people who wanted to end slavery in the United States

Border States: slave states that did not secede from the United States

Citizen: a native or naturalized person who owes loyalty or allegiance to a government and is entitled to its protections

Crops: a plant (such as cotton or tobacco) that is grown and can be harvested for profit

Discrimination: to make a difference in treatment or favor based on something other than individual merit

Economy: the system by which goods and services are produced, bought, and sold in a region

Fine: a penalty (usually money) imposed on someone as a punishment

Freedom: the power to do what you want to and not be controlled by another

Fugitive: a person running away to avoid being captured

Plantation: a large area of land where crops are grown and usually with a large, elaborate house on it where the plantation owners and their families live

Prohibit: to forbid something

Property: something that is owned by a person such as land or personal belongings

Slave: a person without freedom who is owned by another and is made to work for free

Slave trade: buying and selling of African AMerican people for profit
 

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