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 Modoc Basket What tales does this basket weave of the heroism of an American-Indian woman?
- Related Investigation Lincoln Letter Does this cryptic letter reveal Abraham Lincoln's secret strategy for winning political power?
- Related Investigation Preston Brook's Riding Crop Was this riding crop a gift from Jefferson Davis as a reward for attacking a political opponent?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Independence Trumpet Is a Pennsylvania man's trumpet somehow tied to the Revolutionary War?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Fillmore Pardon Did President Fillmore pardon a Native American convicted of murder?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Texas Servant Girl Murders Years before Jack the Ripper, did a serial killer walk the streets of Austin, TX?
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