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slavery



  • California’s forgotten slave history

    by Sarah Barringer Gordon and Kevin Waite

    San Bernardino’s early success rested on a pair of seemingly incongruous forces: Mormonism and slavery.



  • A Matter of Facts

    by Sean Wilentz

    The New York Times’ 1619 Project launched with the best of intentions, but has been undermined by some of its claims.



  • How One Man's Story Offers a New Way to Understand Slave Insurrection

    by Vincent Brown

    Wager, also known by his African name, Apongo, was a leader of the largest slave rebellion in the 18th century British Empire. But long before taking his part in the great Jamaican insurrection of 1760– 1761, commonly called Tacky’s Revolt, he had been on a remarkable odyssey.



  • 1619?

    by Sasha Turner

    What to the historian is 1619?



  • The Fight Over the 1619 Project Is Not About the Facts

    by Adam Serwer

    A dispute between a small group of scholars and the authors of The New York Times Magazine’s issue on slavery represents a fundamental disagreement over the trajectory of American society.



  • The Slaves Dread New Year's Day the Worst': The Grim History of January 1

    In the African-American community, New Year’s Day used to be widely known as “Hiring Day” — or “Heartbreak Day,” as the African-American abolitionist journalist William Cooper Nell described it — because enslaved people spent New Year’s Eve waiting, wondering if their owners were going to rent them out to someone else, thus potentially splitting up their families. 



  • Faith made Harriet Tubman fearless as she rescued slaves

    by Robert Gudmestad

    Harriet Tubman worked as a slave, spy and eventually as an abolitionist. What I find most fascinating, as a historian of American slavery, is how belief in God helped Tubman remain fearless, even when she came face to face with many challenges.



  • American Slavery and ‘the Relentless Unforeseen’

    by Sean Wilentz

    The neglect of historical understanding of the antislavery impulse, especially in its early decades, alters how we view not just our nation’s history but the nation itself.


  • Robert E. Lee Wasn't a Hero, He Was a Traitor

    by Michael McLean

    Lee was no hero. He was neither noble nor wise. Lee was a traitor who killed United States soldiers, fought for human enslavement, vastly increased the bloodshed of the Civil War, and made embarrassing tactical mistakes. 



  • A Slave Rebellion Rises Again

    Some 500 enslaved people revolted in Louisiana but were largely ignored by history. Two centuries later, an ambitious re-enactment brings their uprising back to life.


  • Slavery and Your Upcoming Christmas Tour

    by Robert E. May

    Despite their public claims that slaves were content with their situations, white southerners knew better. So should those going to southern historic mansions and plantations for Christmas.