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Slavery in New York (New York Historical Society)
Focusing on the "collective and personal experiences of Africans and African-Americans" in New York City, this collection presents nine galleries that explore various themes and time periods in New York City's history of slavery, the Atlantic slave trade and New York City, slavery in Dutch New York, the growth of slavery in British Colonial New York, freedom for blacks in Revolutionary-War New York, the Gradual Emancipation Act of 1799, free blacks in the public life of post-revolutionary New York; black life in New York 1815-1827, Emancipation Day July 4 1827, and the history of scholarship on slavery in New York City. Each gallery has three panels: a gallery overview, a main thematic presentation, and one focusing on people, places, and documents. Of special interest are two interactive maps with timelines in the Dutch New York gallery and the Revolutionary War gallery; a small, but interesting, picture gallery on the portrayal of blacks in New York City's public life; and profiles of nine African Americans who lived in New York City during the early republic. There is a thirty-four-page teacher's guide (available for download or printing in pdf format) with seven lesson plans, a guide to classroom materials, a brief history of slavery in New York City, and a select bibliography.
Slavery and the Making of America (PBS)
This extensive companion to the PBS documentary of the same name provides interpretive and primary material on the history of African-Americans during slavery and Reconstruction, including essays, personal narratives, original documents, historical readings, and lesson plans. The "Time and Place" chronology of slavery and Reconstruction places the main events of U.S. history relating to African Americans between 1619 and 1881 in their historical context. "Slave Memories" allows visitors to hear the voices of African Americans recorded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) on their experiences in slavery and Reconstruction. "Resources" includes 17 print resources, 23 books for children, and 30 websites related to slavery. "Slave Experience" allows users to explore slave life through the themes of legal rights and government; family; men, women, and gender; living conditions; education, arts, and culture; religion; responses to enslavement; and freedom and emancipation. Each features essays, historical overviews, original documents, and personal narratives. A K-12 learning section features historical readings of narratives, slave stories and letters, student plays, links to 19 sites with primary sources, and six lesson plans for middle and high school. This website is a valuable resource for teachers as well as an excellent introduction and overview for those with an interest in the history of slavery and slave life in America.
Godey's Ladies Book (Hope Greenberg, Academic Computing, University of Vermont)
This site offers material from and about "this most famous 19th-century women's magazine," which was a monthly that provided middle- and upper-class American women with fiction, fashion, illustrations, and editorials from 1830 through its demise in 1898. It includes three full-text issues from 1855 and a partial issue from 1852. Each page is available in medium and high resolution formats. In addition, the site contains three complete short stories; 10 synopses (200 words each) of other stories published in the magazine; 26 full-page color illustrations of scenes of domestic life; nine partial-page illustrations; 104 fashion-oriented illustrations; six examples of sheet music that appeared on a regular basis in the magazine; three architectural drawings; and three sample editorials by Sarah J. Hale, a long-time editor. Material about the magazine includes a 900-word publication history; a 1,600-word essay on publisher Louis A. Godey's column; 500-800-word biographical essays on Godey and Hale; and links to three other sites. Of interest to those studying mid-19th-century middle-class American life, women's history, print culture, fashion, domestic life, and popular literature.
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 (American Memory, Library of Congress)
This new American Memory site is a gold mine of information on the history of slavery from those who lived as slaves. A collaborative effort of the Library of Congress Manuscripts and Prints and Photographs Divisions, this site has more than 2,300 first person accounts of slavery and 500 black and white photographs of former slaves, 200 of which have never before been available to the public. These narratives and photographs were collected as part of the 1930s Federal Writers' Project of the Works Project Administration, and they were assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the 17-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Each digitized transcript of a slave narrative is accompanied by notes including the name of the narrator, place and date of the interview, interviewer's name, length of transcript, and cataloging information. Each photograph has similar notes regarding the name of the subject, place and date of photograph, name of photographer, and cataloging information. Visitors can browse photographs and narratives by keyword, subject, and narrator. The site also includes a 3000-word introductory essay on the significance of slave narratives by Norman Yetman, Professor of American Studies and Sociology at the University of Kansas. "Voices and Faces," includes a selection of excerpts from 8 narratives along with photographs of the former slaves. This is a rich resource for students and teachers exploring the institution of slavery.
Wet with Blood: The Investigation of Mary Todd Lincoln's Cloak (Chicago Historical Society and Academic Technologies at Northwester University)
Visitors to this site are invited to learn about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln primarily through artifacts and relics in the collection of the Chicago Historical Society. More than 100 images of artifacts, documents, photographs, and lithographs, in addition to more than 50 quotes from contemporary testimonies, illustrate how examination of a variety of types of evidence can help to illuminate events from the past. In addition, the site presents the story of Charles Gunther, a Chicago confectioner who purchased a Richmond prisoner-of-war camp and reconstructed it in Chicago in order to display his growing collection of Americana, which the Society acquired upon his death. The site also includes two videos on techniques of examining material evidence; audio recordings of tunes from the period and a musical tribute to Lincoln that was performed at his Chicago funeral; a registry of 29 Lincoln relics in the Society's collection; a glossary of 11 technical and historical terms; a bibliography of more than 130 published sources; listings for 28 related sites; and a virtual tour of the Society's Conservation Laboratory. Of interest to students of the Lincoln assassination, the history of museums and Americana collectors, and to those intrigued by the use of material culture to help answer questions about the past.
Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War (Edward L. Ayers, Anne S. Rubin, William G. Thomas, University of Virginia)
Conceived by Edward Ayers, Hugh P. Kelley Professor of History at the University of Virginia, this site is a massive, searchable archive relating to two Shenandoah Valley counties during the Civil War periodÃ"��Augusta County, Virginia and Franklin County, PennsylvaniaÃ"��divided by 200 miles and the institution of slavery. Thousands of pages of maps, images, letters, diaries, and newspapers, in addition to church, agricultural, military, and public recordsÃ"��census, tax, Freedmen's Bureau, and veteransÃ"��-provide data, experiences, and perspectives from the eve of the war until its aftermath. Offers both a narrative "walking tour" and direct access to the archive. Also presents bibliographies, a "fact book," student essays and projects, and other materials intended to foster primary-source research. "Students can explore every dimension of the conflict and write their own histories, reconstructing the life stories of women, African Americans, farmers, politicians, soldiers, and families." Includes a section titled "Memory of the War" that presents postwar writings on battles, soldier and camp life, reunions, obituaries and tributes, and politics. Also includes material omitted from Ayers's recent book about the communities, In the Presence of Mine Enemies, along with digitized texts of cited materials. This is an important and innovative site, particularly valuable to historians of 19th-century American life.
Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection (Cornell University Library)
This site features one of the richest collections of anti-slavery and Civil War materials in the world. Reverend Samuel J. May was an American abolitionist and he donated his collection of anti-slavery materials to the Cornell Library in 1870. Following May's lead, other abolitionists in the U.S. and Great Britain contributed their collections to the University. The collection now consists of more than 10,000 pamphlets, leaflets, broadsides, newsletters of local and regional anti-slavery societies, sermons, essays, and arguments for and against slavery. Materials date from the 18th to the 20th centuries and cover slavery in the United States and the West Indies, the slave trade, and emancipation. The site features the 1833 pamphlet "On Negro emancipation and American colonization" and another 1805 pamphlet entitled "The horrors of Negro slavery existing in our West Indian Islands." More than 300,000 pages are available for full-text searching. Accompanying the electronic documents are 8 links to other anti-slavery collections and a visual record of the conservation process.