Thursday, October 1, 2009


Choose FIVE (5) vocabulary words from the readings from the class so far. Give us the sentence and page number they come from. Then state their meaning in the context of the sentence and what they tell us about it. Don't just post the dictionairy definition.


  1. Indignation- strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base; righteous anger.
    They felt righteous anger towards this destruction of freedom.

    Page 2065; “ fortunate for the multitudes in various parts of our republic whose minds he has enlightened on the subject of slavery….roused to virtuous indignation by his stirring eloquence against the enslavers of men”

    Obdurate- unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding. Stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent
    He was a man perfect for the job, due to his lack of kindness or compassion.
    Page 2081; “Mr. Gore had served in the capacity of overseer…Mr. Gore was proud, ambitious, and persevering. He was artful, cruel and obdurate. He was just the man for such a place, and it was just the place for such a man.”

    Sagacity- acuteness of mental discernment and soundness of judgment.
    They had the intelligence in even in their ignorance to see the kindness of one man among the cruel many.
    2096; “We slaves loved Mr.Cookman. We believed him to be a good man….He could not come among us with betraying his sympathy for us, and, stupid as we were, we had sagacity to see it.
    Dissipation- mental distraction; amusement; diversion
    Know their ignorance, the slave holders give them one thing in their right hand which was a false liberty and with their other gained a greater control over their slaves.
    2105; “ thus when the slave asks for vitreous freedom, the cunning slaveholder, knowing his ignorance, cheats him with a dose of vicious dissipation, with artfully labeled with the name of liberty.
    Undersigned- the person or persons signing a letter or document.
    The person signing the letter gave his slave to travel with his permission.
    2110; “ This is to certify that I, the undersigned, have given the bearer, my servant, full liberty to go to Baltimore, and spend the Easter holidays, written by mine own hand”

  2. Hi everybody. This is Paola. I hope you are well.
    My first two words are from [Our Life among the Avavares and Arbadaos], by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca.
    *Solace - "My only solace in these labors was to think of the sufferings of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and the blood He shed for me" (44).
    Solace means comfort, consolation. In this case, he is saying that living in the same conditions the natives did was extremely hard, yet thinking of their savior gave him some relief. In that time, everyone had to be a strong believer in Catholicism. Also, suffering was considered to make someone a "better" Christian.
    *Filched - "Had we put it to roast, the first native who came along would have filched it" (45)
    Filch means to steal. Thus I can infer that: first, meat was extremely scarce - so if you got some, you were lucky. And second, food in general was hard to get, therefore one had to do anything in order to survive, even stealing. Maybe also, he is trying to show how unmannered and rude native people were supposedly.
    My third and fourth words are from [Customs of that Region] by the same author.
    *Famish - Weaklings - "We asked why they thus prolonged their nursing period, and they said that the poverty of the land frequently meant-as we witnessed-going two or three days without eating, sometimes four; if children were not allowed to suckle in seasons of scarcity, those who did not famish would be weaklings" (45).
    Famish means to starve to death, and weaklings means a person who is weak, either physically or morally. Again, this refers to the fact that food was really hard to get. The poor land did not produce enough food, so natives sometimes had to endure hunger for days. This is why children's nursing period lasted so long. When there was not enough food, children were at least allowed to suckle, because otherwise they would either die from hunger or become weak, sickly, useless beings. They just wanted to subsist!
    My last word is from Of Plymouth Plantation.
    *Mutinous - "I shall a little return back and begin with a combination made by them before they came ashore, being the first foundation of their government in this place, occasioned partly by the discontented and mutinous speeches that some of the strangers amongst them had let fall from them in the ship..." (120-121).
    Mutinous means something rebellious. It usually involves revolting against authority. The strangers were voyagers who did not belong to Bradford's church, thus they were seen as outsiders and strangers. The so-called "strangers" were not completeley satisfied with the political decisions made by Bradford's church, so they tried to speak up. They probably had some small rebellious speeches, but they were soon silenced by the Governor.

  3. I am having trouble with some of the vocabulary words from Bradford- sundry, cleave, clave

  4. Hi Lisa - Why don't you post one or two passages with those words in context and see if folks can help you work them through?

  5. sundry- (plymouth plantation pg. 107-
    "After they had lived in this city about some elven or twelve years (which is the more observable being the whole time of that famous truce between that state and the spaniards) and sundry of them were taken away by death, and many others began to be well stricken in years, ..."
    Sundry means miscellaneous or various.
    In this text, the word sundry is used to say some people, not all but a randomly selected bit of people were taken away be death.
    Pg. 106- " These people became two distinct bodies or churches, and in regard of distance of place did congregate severeally; for they were of sundry towns and villages, some in Nottinghamshire, some of Lincolnshire, and some of Yorkshire, where they border nearest together.
    In this passage, sundry means that these people were from all different and various towns and villages.

    Frederick Douglass- page 2077. barbarity
    "He seemed to take pleasure in manifesting his fiendish barbarity."
    barbarity means savage brutality or cruelty in actions or conduct.
    the word barbarity is key in the narrative of the life because to fully understand why african slavery was such a big deal, a person would have to understand the brutal and cruel way the slaveholders acted and treated the Blacks with. The word barbarity describes the act against human rights that was performed in the slavery period.

    Frederick Douglass page 2081- " His mangled body sank out of sigh, and blood and brains marked the water where he had stood".
    Mangled means mutilated or disfigured, injured, torn or lacerated.
    In this sentence, mangled is used to describe the body of a slave after he was whipped and then shot and killed. In this reading, there were many blacks who ended up mangled due to the harshness of the slaveholders.

    page 2087. "These words sank deep into my heart, stirred up sentiments within that lay slumbering, and called into existence an entirely new train of thought."
    SENTIMENTS means an attitude, thought or judgement prompted by feelings.
    the sentiments, or new thoughts that were stirred up in Douglass's mind was the turning point in his life. It was because of these sentiments that Douglass became in a brand new mind state and realized how slavery was not the way he should have been treated because he was black. In this sentence, he is explaining how Mr Auld's interpretation on why blacks shouldnt be taught anything will make them just as strong as the whites. When he listened to what Mr Auld said he began to have new views and opinions (sentiments) on his whole situation.

    pg. 2091
    "we were all ranked together at the valuation"
    valuation is the process of determining the value of an asset. This word is used in the text to describe what the slaves were worth. Valuation is a word someone would use when they are selling an item now and it was used at the time of slavery to figure out how much a human being was worth.