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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, [...]

Diners Describe the First Chinese Restaurants in America

The first Chinese eateries in America sprang up in 1850s California and catered to Cantonese miners and railroad laborers. Known as "chow chows" (Chinese slang for anything edible), they were identified by yellow triangle signs. By the 1880s San [...]

W.E.B. DuBois Critiques Racial Accommodation

The most influential public critique of Booker T. Washington’s policy of racial accommodation and gradualism came in 1903 when black leader and intellectual W.E.B. DuBois published an essay in his collection The Souls of Black Folk with the [...]

The Union Redistributes Abandoned Plantations

This excerpt from Freedom's Unfinished Revolution describes the Union Army's decision to distributed abandoned plantation lands to former slaves during the Civil War. The excerpt also explains the problems freedpeople encountered after President [...]

A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture

White Californians complained that the new American government, which took over California after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in May 1848, was not doing enough to control and regulate Indian labor. In the chaos of the Mexican War, many Indian [...]

A White Californian Argues for Indian Indenture (with text supports)

White Californians complained that the new American government, which took over California after the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in May 1848, was not doing enough to control and regulate Indian labor. In the chaos of the Mexican War, many Indian [...]

Excerpt from Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation (with text supports)

In this book excerpt, historians John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger explain the difficulties faced by runaway slaves who attempted to escape to northern states or Canada. Franklin and Schweninger studied many primary source documents to reach [...]

Item Type: Book (excerpt)
Black Chicagoans Describe Their Great Migration Experiences

In the summer of 1919, violence broke out between whites and African Americans in Chicago. The five-day riot left thirty-eight people dead and more than five hundred people injured. The city formed a Commission on Race Relations to study what [...]

Item Type: Book (excerpt)
Colonial New York Slave Codes: Pedro's Walk (with text supports)

By 1740, almost twenty percent of New York's population was African American and roughly half of white households owned at least one slave. While slaves were forced to live and work alongside whites, they sought out the company of other African [...]

Item Type: Book (excerpt)
Diners Describe the first Chinese Restaurants in America (with text supports)

The first Chinese restaurants in America sprang up in 1850s California and catered to Cantonese miners and railroad laborers. Known as "chow chows" (Chinese slang for anything edible), they were identified by yellow triangle signs. By the 1880s San [...]