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 Wes Cowan Red Cloud's Peace Pipe Was this pipe given to an Indian agent by the famous Lakota warrior Chief Red Cloud?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi 32' Ford Roadster Was this car among the popular hot rods that raced out at the dry lakes in the 1930s?
- Related Investigation Face Jug What does this ceramic face reveal about the Middle Passage and a captive people’s search for identity?
- Related Investigation Civil War Submarine Is this submarine an example of new technology developed by the Confederates during the Civil War?
- Also with Wes Cowan Marion Carpenter Camera What might this battered camera reveal about a photographer who changed the image of a U.S president?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Civil War POW Photos Were these pictures made in a Civil War prison with a home-made camera?
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