The desperate, hopeful, and occasionally biting ads freed people published in search of their lost loved ones after the Civil War.
Emancipation Happened Because the Enslaved Made It HappenBlogging DuBois’ Black Reconstruction, Chapters 4 and 5: The General Strike and The Coming of the Lord.
The Largest, Most Successful Slave Revolt in History?What historians get wrong about the actions of enslaved people during the Civil War.
Slavery 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.
Runaway 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.
To 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.
“Good Breeders”During the antebellum period, enslaved women wielded their reproductive capital and fought off white encroachment on their sexual health.
The 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.
What Happened When Slaves RebelledHistory of American Slavery, Episode 5: How the frontier was really settled, and the volatile conditions that ripened it for rebellion.
Who Should Tell the Story of Slavery?Read a transcript of Henry Louis Gates’ appearance on the History of American Slavery, a Slate Academy.
The 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.
The Family Life of Enslaved PeopleHistory of American Slavery, Episode 4: What happened when Thomas Jefferson and other slaveholders tore apart the families they owned.
The Psychological Effect of Slavery on the Slave OwnerBlogging DuBois’s Black Reconstruction, chapter 3: “The Planter.”
How Did American Slavery End?History of American Slavery, Episode 9: The long process of emancipation.
How to Talk Honestly About SlaveryJamelle Bouie talks with LeVar Burton about remaking Roots and understanding American history.
Strength 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.
Why They FledUnderground Railroad operator Sydney Howard Gay’s meticulous guestbook reveals how and why enslaved men and women risked everything to escape north.
Picking Cotton Under the Pushing SystemBy the 19th century, systematic violence had become an economic necessity on America’s cotton frontier.
When 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.
A “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.
For 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.
The Family Life of the Enslaved: Episode 4 TranscriptRead a transcript of The History of American Slavery, Episode 4.
The Slave BubbleReckless cotton speculation in 1830s Mississippi revealed the cracks in the slave economy.