broke in – subdued completely; crushed the spirit, resistance or strength of an animal or a person; trained to be obedient; tamed.
convalescent – a state of recovering health and strength gradually after injury or sickness.
contrabands – enslaved people who escaped to or were brought to Union lines during the war. Contrabands were later called freedmen.
crawl space - a shallow unfinished space beneath the first floor or under the roof of a building; literally, a space only large enough to crawl through.
credence – mental acceptance as true or real; credibility.
degradation – a decline to a low, demoralized, or impoverished state.
emancipate - to free from restraint, control, or the power of another; to free from bondage; manumission.
Fugitive Slave Law (1850) – part of the Compromise of 1850, which required authorities in free states to return runaway slaves to their masters.
sexual harassment – uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature, especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate.