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 in Season 3 WWI Chemical Warfare Map Could this map be an authentic relic from a critical WWI battle?
- Related Investigation Little Bighorn Bayonet Could this bayonet have been used at one of the largest massacres of U.S. soldiers by American Indians?
- 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 Wes Cowan Bonnie & Clyde's Bullets Are these the bullets that ended one of the most infamous crime-sprees in American history?
- Also with Wes Cowan Long Expedition Is this the site of the one of the most significant expeditions in the United States?
- Related Investigation Civil War Deringers Are these pistols union or rebel?
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.