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Frederick Douglass as a younger man

The year is 1845 and slavery has grown to be an intractable and divisive issue in America.  An escaped slave from Maryland named Frederick Douglass has just published an autobiography that is causing a sensation.  Abolitionists are publicly calling for the dissolution of the United States, and anti-abolitionist riots have broken out.  Slavery is popular, President Polk supports it, and the U.S. Constitution protects it by requiring the return of fugitive slaves to their owners. But are Americans accountable to the Constitution or to a higher law?  Can abolitionists be suppressed before they destroy the Union?  

Can you persuade America’s leading figures to embrace the rights and liberties on which our country was founded?  

Faculty, staff, students, and community members will come together at Frostburg State University for a 2-day workshop introducing the Reacting to the Past pedagogical role playing game Frederick Douglass, Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Constitution: 1845, led by Dr. Mark Higbee, Professor of History at Eastern Michigan University. 

The workshop will be held at Frostburg State University on Saturday February 16, and Sunday February 17, 2013.   (In case of extreme weather the workshop will be held on March 2 and 3.)  

All participants receive a historical role to play and game materials including primary texts to help them prepare to play their role.  

Registration is free, and includes all meals and game materials.  Space is limited and advance registration is required.  Applications submitted by December 21, 2012 will be assured full consideration.  (Please use the link to the left.)

For more infomation contact Shoshana Brassfield at or Nicholas Clulee at

This workshop is presented in partnership with Reacting to the Past and the FSU Department of Philosophy and History, African American Studies Program, Women’s Studies Program, International Studies Program, Center for Teaching Excellence Advisory Group, President's Advisory Council for Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Black Student Alliance and National Council of Negro Women.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this workshop do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Maryland Humanities Council.

Additional financial Support is provided by the FSU President’s Experiential Learning Fund, the Office of the Provost, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the FSU Faculty Development and Sabbatical Subcommittee.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

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