- Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)
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In the early days of the Gold Rush, miners practiced “placer mining” along rivers and streams. Miners washed gravel and other sediments in pans and sluice boxes; though tedious, this type of mining did not require expensive equipment and [...]
Unlike earlier generations of Americans, many of the ‘49ers could read and write. Not surprisingly, thousands recorded their observations and experiences in letters and journals. Miners often reflected on changes in mining that made it [...]
In the early days of the Gold Rush, a miner could earn a typical year’s wages in a few days. With so much cash on hand, stores and boarding houses charged unheard-of prices for food, shelter and supplies. Increased competition, due to a [...]
Professor Greg Downs dispels the common misunderstandings about social tension between "house slaves" and "field slaves" and discusses the fluidity between different roles and jobs for enslaved people on large plantations.
Historian Greg Downs describes how slave communities built associations to resist and survive the conditions of enslavement. His examples including slaves helping runaways, staking out space in outlying woods or other secluded areas, and building [...]
Professor Greg Downs describes the pressures on family formation under slavery and the strategies that enslaved people employed to form and preserve families. He looks at what happened to families that broke up because of sale, westward migration, [...]
In this "Lesson in Looking" from the website Picturing U.S. History, historian Sarah L. Burns explains how to unpack antebellum depictions of slavery and enslaved people, including Eyre Crowe's 1862 painting The Slave Auction.