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.
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- Also with Wes Cowan Pretty Boy Floyd's Gun Did this vintage Colt handgun belong to the outlaw Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd?
- Also in Season 3 Texas POW Camp Was this small town in Texas the home of a WWII POW camp?
- Related Investigation Liberty Bell Pin Was one of America’s most iconic symbols melted down into a mere memento?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Car Tape Deck Is this an example of the first ever commercially produced car tape player?
- Related Investigation Face Jug What does this ceramic face reveal about the Middle Passage and a captive people’s search for identity?
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