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American Slavery in History and Memory

Information or research assistance regarding American Slavery is frequently requested from the Smithsonian Institution. The following information has been prepared to assist those interested in this topic.


Ball, Edward. Slaves in the Family. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998.

Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998.

_____. Slaves without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South. New York: Pantheon Books, 1974.

_____, Marc Favreau, and Steven F. Miller, eds. Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk about Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Freedom. Includes audiocassettes of the radio series produced by Jacquie Gales Webb. New York: New Press, 1998.

Clemens, Samuel Langhorne. Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1960.

Genovese, Eugene D. Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made. New York: Pantheon Books, 1974.

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth. Black Rebellion: Five Slave Revolts. New York: Da Capo Press, 1998.

Hill, Walter B., Jr. "Living with the Hydra-Headed Monster: The Documentation of Slavery in Federal Records," in Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. (forthcoming, Winter 2000).

Horton, James Oliver, and Lois E. Horton. In Hope of Liberty: Culture, Community, and Protest among Northern Free Blacks, 1700-1860. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Johnson, Charles Richard, Patricia Smith, and WGBH series research team. Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1998. Videocassettes:

Johnson, Walter. Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.

Joyner, Charles W. Down by the Riverside: A South Carolina Slave Community. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1984.

Kolchin, Peter. American Slavery, 1619-1877. New York: Hill and Wang, 1993.

Litwack, Leon F. Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery. New York: Knopf, 1979.

Lowance, Mason, ed. Against Slavery: An Abolitionist Reader. New York: Penguin Books, 2000.

Mayer, Henry. All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition Of Slavery. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.

Mellon, James, ed. Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988.

Raboteau, Albert J. Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Redford, Dorothy Spruill. Somerset Homecoming. Recovering a Lost Heritage. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

Robertson, David. Denmark Vesey: The Buried History of America's Largest Slave Revolt. New York: Knopf, 1999.

Taylor, Yuval. I Was Born a Slave: An Anthology of Classic Slave Narratives. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1999.

Tobin, Jacqueline, and Raymond G. Dobard. Hidden in Plain View: The Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad. New York: Doubleday, 1999.

Vlach, John Michael. Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.

Woodward, C. Vann, ed. Mary Chesnut's Civil War. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981.


African American Civil War Memorial

Information about the sculpture Spirit of Freedom and the Wall of Honor, which lists the names of over 200,000 Americans who served in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War.

African American Odyssey

A virtual exhibition on the history of African Americans, drawing on the resources of the Library of Congress. Includes an extensive section on American slavery.


Colonial Williamsburg

Information about the African American community in Colonial Williamsburg; includes biographical sketches of slaves. Background information for potential visitors.


Getting Word is a virtual exhibition that traces the family histories of Monticello slaves and descendants. The website also explores - through scholarship, oral tradition, and genetic evidence - Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings.

The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War


This University of Virginia project is a hypermedia archive of thousands of sources for the period before, during, and after the Civil War for Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania.


Orlando Bagwell

Africans in America: America's journey through Slavery

Frederick Douglass: When the Lion Wrote History

Roots of Resistance: A Story of the Underground Railroad

Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Wonders of the African World

Haile Gerima

Mypheduh Films; 1-800-524-3895

Ali Mazrui




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