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.
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- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Civil War Sabotage? The steamship Sultana exploded one night in 1865, killing more than 1,800 people. Was the disaster a result of Civil War sabotage?
- Also in Season 3 Thomas Edison's House Was this New Jersey home built by inventor Thomas Edison?
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