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High School
HS Unit I: Free But Far From Equal: The African American Experience in Massachusetts, 1780–1863
Unit Vocabulary List
abettor: supporter, helper
abject: miserable
accursed: despised, hated
actuated: motivated
adjourn: to continue at a later date
affidavit: written statement sworn to be true
Africs clime: Africa
agency: action, power
agreeable to : according to
alienation: transferring of property
Ango Saxon: white
animated: energetic
apathy: lack of caring
apologist: defender
apprehend: believe
assemblage: crowd
assenting: agreeing
astir: awake
atrocious: terrible, dreadful
barbarous: inhuman
base: evil, contemptible
berthan: burden; that is, needing financial support from the town
brace: a pair
camp meeting: religious gathering held in the open air
castigate: severely criticize, punish
chivalry: nobility, gallantry, courtesy
cipher: (also spelled cypher) something of no value
civility: politeness
claimant: person claiming his/her slave has run away
colonization: relocation of African Americans to Africa
common cause: independence
common school: public school
complexion: skin
concert: plan
concert: plan
confederates: allies
consternation: anxiety
contagion: fear
contempt: disgust, scorn
contend: argue
conveyances: means of transportation
counsel: lawyer
countenanced: permitted
countenanced: accepted
custody: under arrest
cypher: (also spelled cipher) something of no value
dastardly: cowardly
defiance: open disobedience
degeneracy: evil; involved in degrading someone
degradation: being made to feel unworthy, humiliated
degraded: humiliated
denounce: condemn
desecrate: treat with disrespect, violate
despotic: dictatorial, tyrannical, oppressive
detraction: attempt to make something less important
dilapidated: falling apart
discourse: discussion
disenthralled: free
dishearten: discourage
dispassionately: without emotion
disseminating: spreading
dissension: conflict, protest
distinction: separation
distinction of color: racial segregation
doctrine: principle
edicts: formal pronouncements
elevated sphere: high standing
eloquence: powerful expression
enactment: law
endowed: equipped
enfranchisement: freeing, emancipation
equivocate: use vague statements to mislead
estate: inherited property
exact: expect
execute: carry out
expound: exlplain
extension of her wantonness: [in this context] to prolong or spread slavery
extract: heritage, ancestry
extricate: liberate
forbearance: self-control
forfeit: give up
founding: establishing
fugitives from service or labor: runaway slaves
Ham: Second son of Noah, considered to be the ancestor of the Egyptians and of all African peoples south of Egypt.
harbor: hide
hard usage: very difficult
harlot: prostitute
Helots of Sparta: serfs of ancient Greek city
imminent: about to happen
improprieties: indecencies, inappropriate behavior
indignant: offended, outraged
infer: conclude
inference: reasoning from evidence
iniquitous: terribly unjust
inmates: residents
innate: inborn
instrument: guiding document
intemperance: drunkenness
intercedes: makes a request
interposition: intervention, help
interrogatories for discovery: type of legal documents
Jim Crow: segregated by race
liable: responsible
maw: open jaws
menial hirelings: domestic servants
mistress: woman involved with and supported by a married man
mockery: insulting joke
moderation: calm, middle course
molestation: interference with
negro pew: separate seating for black people, usually in a balcony
organ: [in this context] newspaper or magazine supported by an organization
paler hue: lighter skin, i.e. white skin
palpable: tangible, something that can be felt
peculiar: [older use] particular, special
pernicious: destructive, evil
perpetual: permanent, lasting for ever
perpetual: permanent
perpetual servitude: enslavement
persecuting: hostile, bad
person held to service or labor: a runaway or fugitive slave
preferred: directed
presumption: inappropriate boldness
prevailed: been widespread or current
privilage of freemen: right to vote
profuse: generous
proscription: prohibitions
proscriptive act: restrictive law
prosperity: future good
provisions: food and drink
pursuers: people chasing her
quell: subdue, quiet
rabid: unreasonable, extreme
ravaging maw: great hunger or need
ravisher: rapist
Rebel Chieftain: Confederate officer
recantation: withdrawal of statement or belief
recover damages: to sue for monetary settlement
redemption: rescue
redress: relief
refin'd: made pure
reformatory: intended to improve
relished: enjoyed
remedy: solution
repugnant: disgusting, offensive
retain: keep
rod: 5 yards
ruffian: lawless person, bully
sacked: vandalized, trashed
saguinary: bloody
scholars: students
scourge: whip
severity: harshness
sitting: assembling
slander: malicious false statement
sloop: single-masted sailing vessel
Society of Friends: Quakers
solicitation: request
soliloquise: speak to herself
spoilations: acts of violence
standard: flag, banner
statutes: laws
summary: performed speedily
supremacy: having the most power or authority
susceptible: open to
symmetry: beauty
tendered: offered
tort: wrongful act
unequivocal: clear, absolute
unfurled: to be opened up
unpaid toil: unpaid work, i.e. slavery
unreflectingly: without thinking
wardrobe: [in this context] possessions or baggage
was to be effected: needed to happen
wretchedness: misery