“No man who knows aught, can be so stupid to deny that all men naturally were born free.”

John Milton, Tenure of Kings and Magistrates

“I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others.  Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

Abraham Lincoln

“The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.”

Thomas Jefferson, Summary View of the Rights of British America

Do you need something to teach?  Right now?

Have your students paraphrase the above quotes.

See below for a list of short stories that explore the idea of freedom.


Course: The American Civil War

Word Count: 722 words

Reading Level: secondary

Genre: historical fiction

Summary: The country has been torn apart by Civil War. This the story of an officer and a surgeon and their struggle to reconcile the price paid in suffering with the cost of freedom.

Proper Value

Course: Locked Up

Word Count: 765 words

Reading Level: secondary

Genre: fiction

Summary: What would you be willing to do in order to earn your freedom?  How much do you value your freedom?  For some people, freedom doesn’t mean as much to them as their pride.  And one young man is willing to pay a steep price for pride.

September 1792

Course: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

Word Count: 588 words

Reading Level: secondary

Genre: historical fiction

Summary: One man faces judge, jury, and executioner during the French Revolution. Will the truth set him free?