- Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)
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In the early days of the Gold Rush, a miner could earn a typical year’s wages in a few days. With so much cash on hand, stores and boarding houses charged unheard-of prices for food, shelter and supplies. Increased competition, due to a [...]
Professor Greg Downs dispels the common misunderstandings about social tension between "house slaves" and "field slaves" and discusses the fluidity between different roles and jobs for enslaved people on large plantations.
Historian Greg Downs describes how slave communities built associations to resist and survive the conditions of enslavement. His examples including slaves helping runaways, staking out space in outlying woods or other secluded areas, and building [...]
Professor Greg Downs describes the pressures on family formation under slavery and the strategies that enslaved people employed to form and preserve families. He looks at what happened to families that broke up because of sale, westward migration, [...]
In this "Lesson in Looking" from the website Picturing U.S. History, historian Sarah L. Burns explains how to unpack antebellum depictions of slavery and enslaved people, including Eyre Crowe's 1862 painting The Slave Auction.
Every southern state passed laws, sometimes called slave codes, to restrict the activities of African Americans and to prevent slave rebellions. White lawmakers in slave-holding border states, such as Maryland and Kentucky, were particularly [...]
John Parker was born in Virginia in 1827, and was the son of a wealthy white man and an enslaved woman. He spent the first 18 years of his life as a slave and earned a reputation as a troublemaker for regularly trying to escape. In 1845, he [...]