It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Slavery in the United States: Home
An extension of a First Year Research class about slavery in the antebellum south before the Civil War.
Search articles from historical African American Newspapers.
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1938 - Library of CongressThis collection contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) of the Works Progress Administration, later renamed Work Projects Administration (WPA). At the conclusion of the Slave Narrative project, a set of edited transcripts was assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves.
In 2000-2001, with major support from the Citigroup Foundation, the Library of Congress digitized the narratives from the microfilm edition and scanned from the original 500 photographs, including more than 200 that had never been microfilmed or made publicly available. This online collection is a joint presentation of the Manuscript and Prints and Photographs divisions of the Library of Congress.
Civil War Governors of KentuckyPrimary source material covering the history of Kentucky around the time of the Civil War. Includes documents covering slavery, tavern ownership, governance, and others. Created and maintained by the Kentucky Historical Society.
Kentucky Digital Library - KDLThis database covers primary historic materials from libraries all over the state of Kentucky. Find old documents, photos, newspapers, letters, diaries, and more. It also includes some of the collections from Transylvania like Coleman photos and the Rambler student newspaper.
Check out these books in print and/or online for further reading on your topic once you've gotten started.
Slavery in the South by Clayton E. Jewett; John O. AllenSlavery in the United States is once again a topic of contention as politicians and interest groups argue about and explore the possibility of reparations. The subject is clearly not exhausted, and a state-by-state approach fills a critical reference niche. This book is the first comparative summary of the southern slave states from Colonial times to Reconstruction. The history of slavery in each state is a story based on the unique events in that jurisdiction, and is a chronicle of the relationships and interactions between its blacks and whites. Each state chapter explores the genesis, growth and economics of slavery, the life of free and enslaved blacks, the legal codes that defined the institution and affected both whites and blacks, the black experience during the Civil War, and the freedmen's struggle during Emancipation and Reconstruction. The commonalities and differences can be seen from state to state, and students and other interested readers will find fascinating accounts from ex-slaves that flesh out the fuller picture of slavery state- and country-wide. Included are timelines per state, photos, numerous tables for comparison, and appendixes on the numbers of slaveholders by state in 1860; dates of admission, secession, and readmission; and economic statistics. A bibliography and index complete the volume.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2004-02-28
The Fiery Trial by Eric FonerIn this landmark work of deep scholarship and insight, Eric Foner gives us the definitive history of Lincoln and the end of slavery in America. Foner begins with Lincoln's youth in Indiana and Illinois and follows the trajectory of his career across an increasingly tense and shifting political terrain from Illinois to Washington, D.C. Although "naturally anti-slavery" for as long as he can remember, Lincoln scrupulously holds to the position that the Constitution protects the institution in the original slave states. But the political landscape is transformed in 1854 when the Kansas-Nebraska Act makes the expansion of slavery a national issue.A man of considered words and deliberate actions, Lincoln navigates the dynamic politics deftly, taking measured steps, often along a path forged by abolitionists and radicals in his party. Lincoln rises to leadership in the new Republican Party by calibrating his politics to the broadest possible antislavery coalition. As president of a divided nation and commander in chief at war, displaying a similar compound of pragmatism and principle, Lincoln finally embraces what he calls the Civil War's "fundamental and astounding" result: the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery and recognition of blacks as American citizens.Foner's Lincoln emerges as a leader, one whose greatness lies in his capacity for moral and political growth through real engagement with allies and critics alike. This powerful work will transform our understanding of the nation's greatest president and the issue that mattered most.
Call Number: Gen: E457.2 .F66 2010
Publication Date: 2010-10-04
Slavery and the University by Leslie M. Harris (Editor)Slavery and the University is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of this subject on North American campuses and in their Atlantic contexts. Gathering together contributions from scholars, activists, and administrators, the volume combines two broad bodies of work: (1) historically based interdisciplinary research on the presence of slavery at higher education institutions in terms of the development of proslavery and antislavery thought and the use of slave labor; and (2) analysis on the ways in which the legacies of slavery in institutions of higher education continued in the post-Civil War era to the present day. The collection features broadly themed essays on issues of religion, economy, and the regional slave trade of the Caribbean. It also includes case studies of slavery's influence on specific institutions, such as Princeton University, Harvard University, Oberlin College, Emory University, and the University of Alabama. Though the roots of Slavery and the University stem from a 2011 conference at Emory University, the collection extends outward to incorporate recent findings. As such, it offers a roadmap to one of the most exciting developments in the field of U.S. slavery studies and to ways of thinking about racial diversity in the history and current practices of higher education.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2019-02-01
Slavery in Kentucky, 1792-1865 by McDougle, Ivan E.Transylvania Library Notes:
"Reprinted from the Journal of negro history, vol. III, no. 3, July, 1918." Includes bibliographical references (p. 119-125). Donor: J. Winston Coleman, Jr.
Inscribed by the author.
Call Number: online - Thesis/Disseration
Publication Date: 1918
Celia, a Slave by Melton A. McLaurinIlluminating the moral dilemmas that lie at the heart of a slaveholding society, this book tells the story of a young slave who was sexually exploited by her master and ultimately executed for his murder. Celia was only fourteen years old when she was acquired by John Newsom, an aging widower and one of the most prosperous and respected citizens of Callaway County, Missouri. The pattern of sexual abuse that would mark their entire relationship began almost immediately. After purchasing Celia in a neighboring county, Newsom raped her on the journey back to his farm. He then established her in a small cabin near his house and visited her regularly (most likely with the knowledge of the son and two daughters who lived with him). Over the next five years, Celia bore Newsom two children; meanwhile, she became involved with a slave named George and resolved at his insistence to end the relationship with her master. When Newsom refused, Celia one night struck him fatally with a club and disposed of his body in her fireplace. Her act quickly discovered, Celia was brought to trial. She received a surprisingly vigorous defense from her court-appointed attorneys, who built their case on a state law allowing women the use of deadly force to defend their honor. Nevertheless, the court upheld the tenets of a white social order that wielded almost total control over the lives of slaves. Celia was found guilty and hanged. Melton A. McLaurin uses Celia's story to reveal the tensions that strained the fabric of antebellum southern society. Celia's case demonstrates how one master's abuse of power over a single slave forced whites to make moral decisions about the nature of slavery. McLaurin focuses sharply on the role of gender, exploring the degree to which female slaves were sexually exploited, the conditions that often prevented white women from stopping such abuse, and the inability of male slaves to defend slave women. Setting the case in the context of the 1850s slavery debates, he also probes the manner in which the legal system was used to justify slavery. By granting slaves certain statutory rights (which were usually rendered meaningless by the customary prerogatives of masters), southerners could argue that they observed moral restraint in the operations of their peculiar institution. An important addition to our understanding of the pre-Civil War era, Celia, A Slave is also an intensely compelling narrative of one woman pushed beyond the limits of her endurance by a system that denied her humanity at the most basic level.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 1991-11-01
Slavery by William E. ChanningRenowned Unitarian preacher, thinker, and theologian William E. Channing takes an in-depth look at the issue of slavery in this compelling volume. Written at a time when the United States was still profiting mightily from the fruits of slave labor, Channing presents a multi-faceted moral argument against the practice, as well as a practical model for moving away from a reliance on enslaved workers.