The Slave Next Door
Hanging Captain Gordon

The Slave Next Door

  1. In what ways is today’s slavery different from that of pre-Civil War days?

  2. What types of slavery can be found in America today?

  3. What is the difference between human trafficking and slavery?

  4. Who are the victims? Where do they come from, and why do they come here?

  5. Are U.S. citizens safe from slavery? Discuss.

  6. Where is slavery practiced in the United States?

  7. In what ways has the federal government been unwittingly complicit in human trafficking?

  8. Why is slavery today so difficult to identify?

  9. Why are slavers and traffickers so hard to convict?

  10. Is race an issue in modern-day slavery? What do we mean by “equal opportunity” slavery?

  11. What is meant by a “bundle” of crimes accompanying modern-day slavery? Name some of these other offenses and discuss their significance.

  12. What should you do if you think you’ve uncovered a trafficking or slavery situation?

  13. What can you do as a citizen to join the fight against slavery in America?

Hanging Captain Gordon

  1. What was the nature and extent of America's participation in the African Slave Trade?

  2. The North had abolished slavery, state by state, years earlier; why was there not more of an outcry against Northern slavers?

  3. What aspects of New York City made it the ideal center for the slave trade? In what ways are those aspects in place for the slave trade of today?

  4. Do you consider the North as culpable as the South in regard to slavery?

  5. Discuss the South's motives in wishing to see an end to the slave trade.

  6. Why do you think the government failed to support and enforce the slave trade laws?

  7. Why was there not a greater sense of outrage on the part of Americans in general over the horrors of the slave trade?

  8. Discuss the moral distinction made during the 19th century between slavery and the slave trade.

  9. Was America justified in her fear of British interference with her ships at sea?

  10. Should Gordon have been spared?

  11. What would you have done in Lincoln's position?

  12. What are your sympathies for Gordon's wife? Discuss based on the premise that she had/ had not been aware of her husband's career.

  13. How effective in curbing the slave trade was the execution of only one man? Was it all that had been hoped for?

  14. E. Delafield Smith professed his intention to punish one man from each of the branches of the slave trade: one who owned and outfitted the ship, one who falsely bonded the ship, and one who sailed the ship. How effective do you think this plan was, and what could he have done to have made it more effective?

  15. Did Smith fail in his duty in the trials following Gordon's death? What about Nelson and Shipman?

  16. Smith wrote that a pardon for Blumenberg and Horn would make a pointless mockery of Gordon's death, yet Lincoln pardoned them both. Do you agree with his decision?

  17. What are the similarities between the African Slave Trade and the practice of human trafficking today? The differences?

  18. Why is modern-day slave trafficking so much harder to combat than in Gordon's time?

  19. What more can the government do to impact the slave trade of today?

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