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 Birth Control Box Could this unusual wooden box be an early contraceptive device?
- Related Investigation Body In The Basement Are these the remains of an executed prisoner of war from an English Civil War battle?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi The Disappearance of Glenn Miller In 1944, bandleader Glenn Miller boarded a plane for Paris and was never seen again. What happened?
- Also with Wes Cowan McKinley Casket Flag Did this flag once drape the casket of President William McKinley?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Chief Black Kettle Are these war spoils of a Cheyenne chief?
- Related Investigation Drug Smuggling Doll What does this doll reveal about disease, death and daring during the Civil War?
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