The History of American Slavery
The History of American Slavery

Information Wanted

The desperate, hopeful, and occasionally biting ads freed people published in search of their lost loved ones after the Civil War.

Dec. 16 2016 5:31 PMEmancipation Happened Because the Enslaved Made It HappenBlogging DuBois’ Black Reconstruction, Chapters 4 and 5: The General Strike and The Coming of the Lord.
Dec. 1 2016 2:48 PMBlogging DuBois’ Black Reconstruction“The Black Worker” and “The White Worker.”
Oct. 14 2015 4:16 PMLess Guilt, More ActionWhat I learned from making Slate’s History of American Slavery series.
Oct. 13 2015 2:59 PMThe Largest, Most Successful Slave Revolt in History?What historians get wrong about the actions of enslaved people during the Civil War.
Sept. 29 2015 2:37 PMSlavery Myths DebunkedThe Irish were slaves too; slaves had it better than Northern factory workers; black people fought for the Confederacy; and other lies, half-truths, and irrelevancies. 
Sept. 22 2015 5:21 PMRunaway RailroadHistory of American Slavery, Episode 8: Our sometimes mythical memory of the Underground Railroad, and why the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 propelled the country toward war.
Sept. 22 2015 5:17 PM“Nothing to Stay Here For”How enslaved people helped to put slavery to death in New Orleans.
Sept. 3 2015 10:59 AMTo Do No Harm?History of American Slavery, Episode 7: What modern medicine gained from slavery, and how slaveholders sought to legitimize their ideology through science.
Aug. 24 2015 10:50 AM“Good Breeders”During the antebellum period, enslaved women wielded their reproductive capital and fought off white encroachment on their sexual health.
Aug. 6 2015 9:45 AMThe Bittersweet Victory at Saint-DomingueThe 1791 Haitian Revolution secured black independence in the former French colony and sounded the death knell for the European slave trade. It also ensured the expansion of U.S. slavery.
Aug. 6 2015 9:23 AMWhat Happened When Slaves RebelledHistory of American Slavery, Episode 5: How the frontier was really settled, and the volatile conditions that ripened it for rebellion.
July 24 2015 12:31 PMWho Should Tell the Story of Slavery?Read a transcript of Henry Louis Gates’ appearance on the History of American Slavery, a Slate Academy.
July 9 2015 1:00 PMThe Unsung HemingsesHistorians have long objectified Sally Hemings, but the Hemings family’s experiences at Monticello offer a unique glimpse into the lives of “privileged” slaves.
July 9 2015 12:20 PMThe Family Life of Enslaved PeopleHistory of American Slavery, Episode 4: What happened when Thomas Jefferson and other slaveholders tore apart the families they owned.
June 24 2015 11:30 AMWhat Was “Gradual Emancipation”?Even in the Northern states, slavery’s abolition arrived slowly after America’s Revolution.
Dec. 7 2016 3:27 PMThe Psychological Effect of Slavery on the Slave OwnerBlogging DuBois’s Black Reconstruction, chapter 3: “The Planter.”
Oct. 28 2015 3:23 PMThe Aftermath of FreedomRead a transcript of the History of American Slavery, Episode 9. 
Oct. 13 2015 3:34 PMHow Did American Slavery End?History of American Slavery, Episode 9: The long process of emancipation.
Oct. 8 2015 7:25 AMHow to Talk Honestly About SlaveryJamelle Bouie talks with LeVar Burton about remaking Roots and understanding American history.
Sept. 23 2015 3:01 PMOn the RunRead a transcript of the History of American Slavery, Episode 8.
Sept. 22 2015 5:19 PMStrength in “Ober-litionionism”The epic, community-led rescue of former slave John Price demonstrated the city of Oberlin’s undying commitment to freedom on the eve of the Civil War.
Sept. 3 2015 11:17 AMWhy They FledUnderground Railroad operator Sydney Howard Gay’s meticulous guestbook reveals how and why enslaved men and women risked everything to escape north.
Aug. 24 2015 11:24 AMPicking Cotton Under the Pushing SystemBy the 19th century, systematic violence had become an economic necessity on America’s cotton frontier.
Aug. 24 2015 10:12 AMWhen Cotton Became KingHistory of American Slavery, Episode 6: The rise of the 19th-century cotton economy brings about a powerful and frightening turn for the worse.
Aug. 6 2015 9:25 AMA “Fus’ Rate Bargain”Accounts of slave appraisals in mid–19th-century Georgia demonstrate how enslaved people sought to keep their families intact as they navigated the auction block.
July 28 2015 11:10 AMFor More Than 100 Years, Historians Doubted the Autobiographies of SlavesHenry Louis Gates joins the Academy to discuss slave narratives—what they’ve taught us and why scholars used to ignore them.
July 14 2015 1:50 PMThe Family Life of the Enslaved: Episode 4 TranscriptRead a transcript of The History of American Slavery, Episode 4.
July 9 2015 12:27 PMThe Slave BubbleReckless cotton speculation in 1830s Mississippi revealed the cracks in the slave economy.
June 25 2015 1:35 PMThe Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes315 years. 20,528 voyages. Millions of lives.
June 18 2015 5:48 PMSlavery During America’s RevolutionRead a transcript of the History of American Slavery, Episode 3.