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 Wes Cowan Jigsaw Puzzle Does this puzzle depict a real event - women playing contact sports in the late 19th century?
- Also with Wes Cowan Lewis & Clark's Cane Was this family heirloom a gift from the famous explorers Lewis and Clark?
- Also with Wes Cowan Ernie Pyle's Typewriter Did America’s most beloved battlefront correspondent bang out his dispatches on this Corona 3?
- Related Investigation Copperhead Cane How did this cane inspire a fiery political movement that threatened Lincoln's presidency?
- Also in Season 3 Car Tape Deck Is this an example of the first ever commercially produced car tape player?
- Related Investigation Clara Barton Letter What does this letter reveal about America's early efforts to honor its war dead?
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