History of Slavery in America

Includes: Slave Narratives ; Online Publications ; Studies ; Online Exhibits
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African American Resources at the University of Virginia
Electronic texts related to slavery used as part of the Rare Book School 1995, Introduction to Electronic Texts class
David Seaman

Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1719-1920
Prof. Hall "uncovered the background of 100,000 slaves who were brought to Louisiana in the 18th and 19th centuries making fortunes for their owners. Pouring through documents from all over Louisiana, as well as archives in France, Spain and Texas, Dr. Hall designed and created a database into which she recorded and calculated the information she obtained from these documents about African slave names, genders, ages, occupations, illnesses, family relationships, ethnicity, places of origin, prices paid by slave owners, and slaves' testimony and emancipations."
By Dr. Gwendolyn Hall, Professor Emerita, History Dept. Rutgers University

American Slave Narratives
An Online Anthology
"...provides an opportunity to read a sample of these narratives, and to see some of the photographs taken at the time of the interviews."

Beyond Face Value: Depictions of Slavery in Confederate Currency
"This electronic exhibit focuses on the depictions of slaves in Confederate currency. It is important to remember that these images were created by those who institutionalized and worked to preserve slavery, and they do not necessarily portray the slaves as they viewed themselves and their condition...Images of slavery, however, were not the only illustrations on such documents: Vignettes featuring modes of transportation, mythical characters, historical figures of the American Revolution, and romantic portrayals of white women and children also decorated paper money issued in the Confederacy. These scenes offer a new perspective on the Civil War era South."
A Project of the United States Civil War Center, Louisiana State University

Booker T. Washington Papers Online
"...is a completely free and searchable web site designed to provide researchers worldwide with full access to the thousands of pages comprising this 14-volume printed work, originally published by the University of Illinois Press.
The History Cooperative

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938
"...contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. This online collection is a joint presentation of the Manuscript and Prints and Photographs Divisions of the Library of Congress and includes more than 200 photographs from the Prints and Photographs Division that are now made available to the public for the first time."
American Memory, Library of Congress

The Dred Scott Case
"Arguments about slavery in the print and in public debate had a direct impact on the Scotts and the people who surrounded them. The records contained in this exhibit document the Scotts' early struggle to gain their freedom through litigation and are the only extant record of this significant case as it was heard in the St. Louis Circuit Court ... The 85 documents in the Dred Scott collection are presented here as arranged by the Missouri State Archives..."
Washington University Libraries, St. Louis

The Fredrick Douglas Papers at the Library of Congress
"...presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The first release of the Douglass Papers, from the Library of Congress's Manuscript Division, contains approximately 2,000 items (16,000 images) relating to Douglass's life as an escaped slave, abolitionist, editor, orator, and public servant."
- American Memory, Library of Congress

Harriet Ann Jacobs

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Opening: Summer 2004, Cincinnati, OH
"The Underground Railroad is the core experience, but the exhibits will also include history galleries on pre-slavery African Kingdoms as well as post-slavery freedom movements in America, Poland, South Africa, India, etc."

Slavery Era Insurance Registry
"[I]nsurance policies from the slavery era have been discovered in the archives of several insurance companies, documenting insurance coverage for slaveholders for damage to or death of their slaves, issued by a predecessor insurance firm. These documents provide the first evidence of ill-gotten profits from slavery, which profits in part capitalized insurers whose successors remain in existence today." SB2199 Sec. 1(a).
Gov. Davis signed the bill into law in September 2000.
"...links to the Departmentís report to the California Legislature describing the information received from insurers in response to this statute, including the database of slave and slaveholder names and identifying information."
- California Dept. of Insurance

Slave Movement During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
"This site provides access to the raw data and documentation which contains information on the following slave trade topics from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: records of slave ship movement between Africa and the Americas, slave ships of eighteenth century France, slave trade to Rio de Janeiro, Virginia slave trade in the eighteenth century, English slave trade (House of Lords Survey), Angola slave trade in the eighteenth century, internal slave trade to Rio de Janeiro, slave trade to Havana, Cuba, Nantes slave trade in the eighteenth century, and slave trade to Jamaica."
Data and Program Library Service (DPLS), University of Wisconsin

Slave Relic Museum
Walterboro, South Carolina
"...is dedicated to documenting, preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the history and culture of peoples of African descent. Though victimized, exploited and oppressed, enslaved Africans in the Americas were active, creative agents in the making of their own history, culture, and political future. The Slave Relic Museum exhibits actual artifacts that were made and used by enslaved Africans from 1750 to the mid 1800's."

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1740
"...contains just over a hundred pamphlets and books (published between 1772 and 1889) concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States. The documents, most from the Law Library and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, comprise an assortment of trials and cases, reports, arguments, accounts, examinations of cases and decisions, proceedings, journals, a letter, and other works of historical importance."
- American Memory, Library of Congress

Tangled Roots
A Project Exploring the Histories of Americans of Irish Heritage and Americans of African Heritage.
"Tangled Roots is a research project about the shared history of African Americans and Irish Americans... seeks to investigate the history of American slaves and immigrants from Ireland and to consider the links between them. A collection of primary documents from the 17th century to the present provides portraits of people and events from the history of African and Irish Americans."

Third Person, First Person
Slave Voices From the Duke University Special Collections Library
"...based on the catalog of an exhibit mounted at Perkins Library, Duke University, in November and December, 1995. Some of the items described here were too large or fragile to be scanned, so images of them were not included in the on-line version even though descriptions of the items are."

Uncle Tom's Cabin & American Culture
A Multi-Media Archive
Use this site in three different "modes" :
Browse Mode "provides access to all the primary material in the archive -- texts, images, songs, 3-D objects, film clips, &c. -- one at a time."
Search Mode "allows you to search all the primary material at once. You can either use or cut across the site's organizational categories."
Interpret Mode "includes an interactive timeline, virtual exhibits designed to suggest ways of exploring and understanding the primary material, as well as lesson plans for teachers and student projects."
Directed by Stephen Railton, Dept. of English, University of Virginia

Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site (Ontario Canada)
"...commemorates the life of Reverend Josiah Henson and his contributions to the famous Underground Railroad. It was Henson's life experiences that inspired Ms. Stowe's creation of the character Uncle Tom in her 1852 outcry against slavery."

Underground Railroad: Special Resource Study
"This study includes a general overview of the Underground Railroad, with a brief discussion of slavery and abolitionism, escape routes used by slaves, and alternatives for commemoration and interpretation of the significance of the phenomenon."
National Parks Service

Virginia Runaways Project
"The Virginia Runaways Project is a digital database of runaway and captured slave advertisements from 18th-century Virginia newspapers. When a slave ran away, slaveowners often placed remarkably detailed advertisements for their return. Sheriffs and other county officials also often advertised the capture of runaways or suspected runaways. This project offers full transcripts and images of all runaway and captured ads placed in Virginia newspapers from 1736 to 1790."
By Thomas Costa, History Department, University of Virginia's College at Wise

WPA Life Histories
Works Progress Administration - Virginia Life Histories
"...consists of approximately 1,350 life histories, social-ethnic studies, and youth studies; more than 50 interviews with former slaves, and a small number of folklore studies, all of which were created by the staff of the Virginia Writers' Project."
- The Library of Virginia

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