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 Lindbergh-Sikorsky Fabric How do the signatures on this patch of fabric connect Charles Lindbergh to another first in flight?
- Related Investigation Wartime Baseball Is this baseball evidence of an unusual ballgame that took place during segregation?
- Related Investigation Lost Musical Treasure Are these fragments of a lost moment in American musical history?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Civil War Letters What can these letters reveal about a racially-charged massacre on a Civil War battlefield?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Amos n' Andy Record Is this aluminum record an early recording of the old-time radio series?
- Also in Season 3 Revolutionary War Cannon Is this the cannon that ignited the first battle of the Revolutionary War?
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