A beautiful, worn banjo is purchased by a Chicago resident at an auction a few years ago.
A tattered note inside says the banjo dates to the mid-1800s and was bought from a former slave in Bethel, Ohio, by an abolitionist family some time after Emancipation.
According to the note, the slave who owned the banjo and the boy who ultimately purchased the banjo had once shared a classroom. Could this be the only slave banjo known to exist?
History Detectives is off to Ohio and Maryland to trace the roots of two American families divided by racial lines during the Civil War and to track the surprising lineage of an instrument that has contributed to more than 200 years of American music.
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi 1856 Mormon Tale Is this tattered book a true account of female slavery in the old West?
- Related Investigation Liberia Letter Does this letter help to trace one freed man’s dream to return to Africa?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Atocha Spanish Silver What are these markings on a silver bar discovered in the wreck of a Spanish ship?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Internment Artwork What is the story behind these watercolor paintings of a prison camp?
- Related Investigation Snowshoe's Mailbag Was this the satchel Snowshoe Thompson used to deliver his mail?
- Also in Season 3 Broadway Ballet Shoes Did this dancer's great-great-grandfather teach Salvatore Capezio to make ballet shoes?
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