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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 Yakima Canutt's Saddle What leading role did this saddle play in the birth of the Hollywood cowboy?
- Related Investigation 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 Prison Plaque Were convicted felons responsible for bringing peace to Western Europe during World War I?
- Related Investigation Civil War Submarine Is this submarine an example of new technology developed by the Confederates during the Civil War?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Dutch Colonial Home What role did these menacing forts play in the settling of this part of the West?
- Also with Wes Cowan WWII Patch What is the story behind these patches?
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- Latest CommentIt turns out that this collage was sold last fall: http://www.worthpoint.com/wort... I wonder if it would be possible to contact the buyer by way of the auction house about getting a print made. (6 months ago)
- Twitterremember this investigation with @TukufuZuberi @elyseluray Tonight they reunite! Let us know your thoughts! @PBS http://t.co/4KMnc27K (1 year ago)
- FacebookCongrats on your exhibit, TZ! Here's a Washington Post article about the exhibit, everyone, and the great story TZ and Elyse did on his "Our Colored Heroes" story. http://tinyurl.com/mzpuyo8 http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/investigation/our-colored-heroes/ (6 months ago)