Nellie Arnold Plummer and  Robert Plummer, twin siblings. Photo courtesy of Rev. Jerome Fowler.
Nellie and Robert Plummer

Anacostia Community Museum


The terms as they are defined here reflect their usage in the context of the reading.

apprentice n to send a slave to either work for someone other than his master or to learn a trade from someone other than his owner.

artisan n a skilled craftsman, ex. carpenter, ironworker, boat builder.

asset n something beneficial. Property that is of value.

codify v to turn current practices or principles into law.

Colonial Era n (1600 – 1776) a period in American history starting with the first colonies and ending with the American Revolution.

emancipation n the act of freeing slaves.

Emancipation Proclamation n (1863) a declaration by President Abraham Lincoln intended to free slaves in the Confederate states.

facilitate v to help to accomplish a task.

first person voice adj describing a style of commentary written by an individual(s) who was a participant in the events/circumstances being detailed.

fluctuation n the act of increasing and decreasing in a random manner.

Freedmen’s Bureau n post-Civil War agency established by the government to assist newly freed slaves adjust to life after emancipation.

The Friends’ Association in Aid of Freedmen n a Quaker organization established to help freed slaves with basic necessities.

importation n the act of bringing something from another country.

indentured servant n a person who works for a contracted period of time in order to pay off a debt, and who is freed at the end of the contract.

Liberia n a West African country established by black Americans with the assistance of the federal government.

manumit v to free a slave. Usually done as part of a provision in a will or by deed.

Maryland Colonization Society n a state agency established to send blacks to Liberia.

Maryland Union Commission n a Reconstruction era organization that focused on transporting freedmen to the south.

mulatto n a person of mixed raced, usually African and European.

Orphan’s Court n a Maryland government agency established to train slave children and put them to work with slave owners and merchants.

plantation n a large farm which used slave labor to cultivate various crops.

ratify v to approve a law.

Reconstruction n (1865 – 1877) a period in American history starting at the end of the Civil War. The goals of Reconstruction were to rebuild the south and to help newly freed slaves adjust to life after emancipation.

repatriate v to send a person back to his place of origin.

slavery n a system of forced labor where blacks were the property of slave owners.

Thirteenth Amendment n (1865) a law to end slavery that was added to the United States’ constitution.

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