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Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)
  • Theme > Slavery and Abolition (x)

We found 59 items that match your search

A Maryland Slave Runs Toward Freedom

Runaway slave advertisements offer a wealth of information about the movements and motivations of escaped slaves. This advertisement offers a reward for the capture and return of Sam MacKall, a Maryland slave who ran away from his master in Prince [...]

Item Type: Advertisement
Runaway Slave Advertisement from Antebellum Virginia

In this handbill from 1854, a Virginia slaveowner advertises a large reward for the return of a 33 year-old enslaved man. Historians have noted the use of woodprint images, such as the one seen here, as evidence of the frequency of runaway [...]

Item Type: Advertisement
Background Essay on the Historiography of Slavery

This essay explains the shift in slavery historiography and how this continuing shift influenced the development of the Doing as They Can documentary.

Item Type: Article/Essay
Background Information on Slavery in the U.S.

These tables and statistics give basic facts about the growth and spread of slavery in the United States and some tables of statistics about slave populations.

Item Type: Article/Essay
A Southern Professor Defends the Fugitive Slave Law

Albert Taylor Bledsoe, a professor at the University of Virginia, wrote this proslavery tract, Liberty and Slavery, in 1856. Bledsoe defended the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, justified slavery as compatible with the Bible, [...]

Exploring Slave Life Through Found Poetry

In this lesson students look at primary source images and read short secondary texts to understand slave life.  In the activity, the teacher models and students practice differentiating between different types of text (primary, secondary, etc.) [...]

A Former Slave Recalls Slave Quarters and Moments of Leisure

Masters and slaves viewed slave quarters very differently. While masters sought to create an ordered world where their control was complete, slaves attempted to create homes, grow food and raise families. Former slaves describe growing flowers, [...]

Item Type: Photograph
"Five Generations on Smith's Planation, Beaufort, South Carolina"

This African-American family was photographed in 1862 after Union forces captured the Sea Island coastal area of South Carolina. One of four photographs taken by Timothy O’Sullivan of the J. J. Smith plantation, this picture was subsequently [...]

Item Type: Photograph
Selling Sweet Potatoes in Charleston

Slaves commonly sold produce like sweet potatoes or peanuts and other goods on the streets of Charleston. Slave owners coordinated this “slave-hiring system” to help raise additional income for the plantation. Mary Reynolds, a former [...]

Item Type: Poster/Print
Table of Naming Practices among the Bennehan-Cameron Plantation Slaves, Orange County, North Carolina, 1778–1842

This table records the names of enslaved children and their parents on a North Carolina plantation over 65 years. Enslaved Africans and African-American slaves on this plantation purposefully established naming practices to link slave families and [...]