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.
- Related Investigation John Hunt Morgan Saddle Could this be a saddle from one of the most audacious attacks launched by the South during the Civil War?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Newport U-Boat Did these propellers come from a WWII German submarine?
- Related Investigation Bill Of Sale Who was this girl sold into slavery?
- Also with Wes Cowan George Washington Miniature Did the artist paint this portrait from life, and what is its surprising connection to the abolitionist White Matlack?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Internment Artwork What is the story behind these watercolor paintings of a prison camp?
- Also in Season 3 Szyk Picture Could these be early drawings of America's most influential political cartoonist?
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