Unit 2 Revolutionary Era Project

As a major part of Unit 2, we are reading Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar, which tells the story of Ona Judge, a woman enslaved from birth by George and Martha Washington who escaped to freedom in New Hampshire.

The goal of this project is to respond to your reading of the book and our in-class conversations. You will have two options from which to choose how to address the following question:

  • What did independence mean to Ona Judge and the Washingtons in the context of the American Revolution?

Option A: Essay

If you select this option, you should write an essay of 800-1,200 words (not including citations) in which you answer the question. Your essay should make use of Never Caught as well as at least four primary sources from the unit.

Option B: Unessay

For this option, you may complete a creative project to answer the question. It could be a piece of art in a medium of your choice, a poem, lyrics to a song, a brief video, etc. You may submit your project in your choice of medium. Be creative—this list is meant as a start for you to think about how to engage. You are encouraged to meet with me to discuss any options you’d like to pursue.

A successful unessay will reflect the same level of engagement and critical thought about Never Caught and other sources from this unit. If you select this option, you should include a brief response of about 200-300 words that explains how you used your reading of Never Caught and primary sources from the unit to produce your creative output. You should also include in the document a list of sources you used for the project.


Whichever option you choose, your project will be assessed on how clearly it addresses the question for the assignment and how deeply it engages with course themes and materials.


  • You should submit your project via Blackboard by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10.
  • You must consult with me before you use any resources from outside of the course.
  • If you’d like, you may form a group of up to three students from within your section to complete the unessay. If you do that, each of you must write a separate response explaining their contribution to the project.
  • The project should represent your own work. You are welcome (encouraged!) to talk to me and/or to seek assistance through CASA, but you should not work with classmates on the assignment except for those in the same group.