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 Car Tape Deck Is this an example of the first ever commercially produced car tape player?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Florida Map How did this faded map help unlock the riches of the New World?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Booth Letter Did the father of John Wilkes Booth threaten to assassinate the President?
- Related Investigation Galvez Papers What stories do these faded legal pages reveal about a revolutionary war hero’s role in an unexpected love affair?
- Related Investigation Mystery Crystal Cross Where did this mysterious religious relic discovered in an old Spanish mission originally come from?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Dutch Colonial Home What role did these menacing forts play in the settling of this part of the West?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.