A teachers guide to Just as Free as I am
This section contains background information, Lexile measures and quiz answers for the booklet Just as Free as I am: Primary Sources from Tennessee
. Questions about the booklet, including how to purchase it, are answered here
This booklet consists entirely or primary sources.
The authors vary wildly in background, situation, time period and audience. It is safe to say that they were not trying to write things at a particular "grade level," which is why some of these chapters have high Lexile measures.
Regarding the quizzes
, we tried to come up with thoughtful questions, and some of them have multiple right answers. When, in our opinion, answers may vary, we have written the acronym AMV.
Chapter One: Death or victory was the only way
1. Collins says that he didn't turn back because he "could not swallow the appellation" of coward--in other words, he didn't want people to think he was a coward.
2. Guns fired from the bottom of the mountain, pointed upward, appear to have hit their targets. Guns fired from the top of the mountain, pointed downward, appear to have missed their targets.
3. Colllins says that "whether I affected anything or not is unknown to me." So he never knew whether he killed or injured anyone at Kings Mountain.
Chapter Two: A great many fish left on the banks
Lexile measure: 1590 (wow!)
1. AMV. Many students will say that the length of the sentences make this passage difficult to read.
2. Bryan compared the sound of the earthquake to thunder. She compared the waves on the river to mountains. She said that the ground "vomited forth" sand and rocks.
4. The "Indian country" she refers to is now known as West Tennessee.
Chapter Three: Without shirt or hide
1. AMV. Based on this passage, Crockett appears to hunt, swim and tell stories well.
2. AMV. Based on this passage, Crockett does not appear to be adept at rafting or planning business ventures.
3. He would have had to explain to all the men he left behind why he didn't have the money he owed them. He would have also had to explain this to his wife.
4. AMV. Crockett certainly paints a picture of Tennessee as a wild and wide open place, full of bears and large trees and massive, fast-flowing rivers.
Chapter Four: A luxury to groan and weep
1. This is a question that we actually do not know the answer to. It may be that some soldiers were rude to the missionaries, since they might have been seen as hostile to the U.S. Army. (The U.S. government was certainly hostile to Samuel Worcester, as you can see in the virtual tour of New Echota). However, individual soldiers may have also been respectful of the missionaries. According to Butrick, soldiers allowed him to hold a meeting, for instance.
2. Rebecca Neugin was a little girl when she took part in the Trail of Tears, but recounted it many years later, when she was elderly. If you read the passage and think about it, this might seem obvious, because her memory of the event seems very general in nature, rather than being specific.
3. The Nashville Whig article is very empathetic to the cause of the Cherokee, describing their condition as pitiable and asking people to donate clothing and other items to help them in their journey.
4. The Cherokee are referred to as a "warlike race" and as "our red brethren." Articles published today are very unlikely to use such terms today.
Chapter Five: The jolliest settlement ever I travelled through
Lexile measure: 840 (go figure)
1. AMV. Many students will no doubt say that the hardest part of this segment was the way the narrator talked and some of the words he used.
2. Instead of passing different houses, the raft was traveling in circles, passing the same house over and over again.
3. AMV. Astute students may point out that the men were drinking, and it probably wasn't water.
Chapter Six: A sample of insults
Lexile measure: 1250
2. AMV. Historians don't know what Brownlow means by these words; maybe your students can figure them out.
3. AMV. Some people (Andrew Johnson, for instance), later made amends with Brownlow. Some people hated Brownlow and never forgave him. Some attacked him violently. At least one person -- Congressman John Crozier -- withdrew from public life, in part because of Brownlow's attacks.
4. AMV. It is almost hard to come up with a person Brownlow didn't criticize or attack.
Chapter Seven: I would die fighting
NOTE: The man pictured on page 18 is not the person whose interview is transcribed in chapter 6. There are no photographs of Robert Falls available on the Library of Congress web site, which means there may not be a photo of Robert Falls in existence.
Lexile measure: 710
1. AMV. Many students will say that it was hard to read because of the choppy manner in which Falls jumps from one train of thought to another (not unusual at all when elderly people are interviewed).
2. Robert Falls is apparently implying that "Master" Goforth could not take care of himself.
3. If it is true that "Master" Goforth was incapable of taking care of himself, then one might wonder how free he was.
Chapter Eight: The tender mercies of the advancing foe
Lexile measure: 820
1. AMV. He apparently learned that the Yankee spies looked like two young boys rather than the villians he'd imagined.
2. In this (and many other parts of his memoirs), Watkins lets us know that rations weren't enough to keep the Confederate soldiers alive. They ate everything they could find, catch, or kill during the course of the war.
3. "Roastingears" would appear to be a common term in the 19th century; perhaps this term was used because people typically roasted corn.
4. Tom Webb was no doubt buried in an unmarked grave. The point of this question is to make students recognize the fact that Civil War soldiers were buried in unmarked graves all over the South. They could be buried under highways, buildings, etc. for all we know.
Chapter Nine: Floating on the driftwood
Lexile measure: 1140
1. He means that the bully surrendered, quit, and/or ran away.
2. AMV. Schools in post-Civil War Memphis were no doubt more strict than public schools today, and teachers were obviously allowed to whip students then, which they aren't allowed to do now. However, there were fights on the playground then, and fights now.
3. One would hope not! Even a good swimmer could easily drown in the Mississippi.
Chapter Ten: Not going to put the children anywere
Lexile measure: 1160
1. One might describe Ida Wells as confident, stubborn, resourceful, determined, and many other things.
2. Had Ida lost her temper, the men might have concluded that she wasn't grown up enough to take care of her brothers and sisters.
3. The rear coach appears to have been preferable because it was less noisy and less smoky than the front coach.
NOTE: This is an interesting point, because a century later, Rosa Parks was arrested for trying to sit in the FRONT of the bus.
Chapter 11: Marmaduke Morton and the job interview
Lexile measure: 940
1. AMV. Among the things that are different about the office described in this story: the presence of a roll-top desk in a workplace, a tolerance for smoking in the office, the use of a common drinking cup and the presence of a "telegraph" editor.
2. Apparently, people in turn-of-the-century Nashville didn't think twice about drinking from the same cup.
3. The great news is that he got the job.
4. He learned later about how Marmaduke Morton smoked all the time, for instance. He learned later that Morton played poker. He learned later that Morton was from Russellville, Kentucky. Brownlow also later learned the names of the people who were in the room, something he wouldn't have picked up until later.
Chapter 12: The one you came to see
Lexile measure: 1000
1. AMV. The homes Wharton visited were largely one-room cabins with no running water, heated only by a fireplace. Practically no students in 21st century Tennessee will have households such as that.
2. By "final relief," Wharton means death.
Chapter 13: Suffrage amendment adopted by House
Lexile measure: 1250 (Make note of the fact that a SIMPLE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE from 1920 has a Lexile measure so high!)
1. Hopefully some students have enough math acumen to recognize that 36 is not 3/4 of 50. Thirty-six is, however, 3/4 of 48. In 1920, there were only 48 states.
2. The most common answer to this question is that Harry Burn is the only person who reportedly changed his vote. However, a more thoughtful answer might be that the reporter who wrote the story simply chose to focus on Harry Burn, instead of any of the other 49 House members who voted yes.
3. suffrage, sustained, despondent, enfranchised, tardy, and others
Chapter 14: The seeing eye
Lexile measure: 1020
1. He let the dog lead him completely, even though he knew that a mistake by the dog would cost him his life.
2. The phrase "white way" was used frequently in the early days of electricity. It refers to streets that had plenty of streetlights and neon signs.
3. Based on his autobiography, Morris Frank did not appear to be the kind of person who reacted angrily to things.
Chapter 15: Never charged for a coffin
1. AMV. Students who have hiked before should be surprised at the notion that someone could walk 60 miles in a day, at least.
2. Stewart describes a time and place in which he had to work hard to survive; where people made it through the winter by eating things such as chestnuts and possum; where he had to walk 60 miles in a day because there was no other way to get from Knoxville to Hancock County; where he made log rafts by hand in temperatures well below freezing; and where the infant mortality rate was so high that he had made many coffins for young children. It should also be pointed out that at no time in Stewart's life did he ever receive government assistance of any kind; no social security, welfare, subsidized housing, etc. It seems appropriate to generalize and say that people were simply "tougher" than we are today across the board.
3. Among the words that Stewart uses are young'uns, feller, 'tater and purty.
Chapter 16: The person defines the place
Lexile measure: 810
Because of space constraints, this chapter did not contain a quiz.
This chapter could, however, be a springboard for a discussion on the Civil Rights Movement. Many students might be surprised to learn how Lafayette and other activists reacted to things that they were told to do by jailers.