Films: 1800 - 1900

Browse the entire American Experience series featuring over 250 films. Watch full films online, download teacher’s guides, go behind the scenes, and learn more about your favorite films.

The Greely Expedition

The Greely Expedition : 1 hr

A daunting story of shipwreck, starvation, mutiny and cannibalism amongst a group left abandoned in the high Arctic.

Hawaii's Last Queen

The story of Liliu'okalani, the last queen and ruler of the independent Kingdom of Hawaii.

American Experience

Hearts and Hands : 1 hr

Quilting and the intimate clues it yields about the lives of 19th century women.

henry ford

Henry Ford : 2 hrs

The story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century.

American Experience

Ida B. Wells - A Passion for Justice : 1 hr

An African American civil rights leader, Ida B. Wells was born into slavery before becoming a journalist in Memphis.

American Experience

In the White Man's Image : 1 hr

Schools taught Native Americans to imitate white men in a liberal "civilizing" mission in 1875.

American Experience

Insanity on Trial : 1 hr

The trial of Charles Julius Guiteau, who assassinated President James A. Garfield, turned into a public battle over the meaning of insanity.

Into the Deep

Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World : 2 hrs

The 300-year saga of the American whaling industry.

The Iron Road

Begun during the Civil War, the transcontinental railroad employed 20,000 men, mostly immigrants, who built the iron road with their bare hands.

Jesse James

Jesse James : 1 hr

America's Robin Hood who robbed not only the rich but the poor and defenseless as well, always saving the treasure for himself. Part of the Wild West collection.

John Brown's Holy War

Murderer, martyr, hero - John Brown's violent crusade against slavery would divide the nation and spark the Civil War.

American Experience

The Johnstown Flood : 1 hr

When an earthen dam broke without warning, a small city in Pennsylvania was swept away in a wall of water over 30 feet high.

American Experience

Journey to America : 1 hr

Between 1890 and 1920, 12 million people emigrated from Europe arriving in New York Harbor and Ellis Island.

Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory

In the decade after the Civil War, former slaves sing their way into a nation's heart with spirituals, the religious anthems of slavery.

Kit Carson

Kit Carson : 90 mins

The ultimate frontiersman, Carson inspired popular novels before being associated with the "Long Walk" of the Navajo people.

Las Vegas: An Unconventional History

Originally settled as a mail stop, Las Vegas changed from an Old West vacation town, to a mafia haven, to the "Atomic City" and "Sin City."

American Experience

The Last Stand At Little Big Horn : 1 hr

The quick battle with no white survivors that pitted Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse against General George Custer, told from both sides.

Lost in the Grand Canyon

John Wesley Powell's epic journey into the unknown Grand Canyon was filled with adventure as his team mapped the Colorado River for the first time.


General Douglas MacArthur led American troops in World Wars I and II before being fired by President Harry Truman during the Korean War.

American Experience

The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry : 1 hr

The first officially formed regiment of northern black soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

 The Mormons

The Mormons : 2 hrs

From Joseph Smith's discovery of gold tablets to persecution, migration, and settlement in Utah, the film explores the history of the most American of religions.

Murder at Harvard

Accused by a janitor, a respected Harvard professor was hanged for the murder of Dr. George Parkman, one of Boston's richest citizens, in 1849.

murder of a president

Murder of a President : 2 hrs

The story of James Garfield, one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president, and his assassination by a deluded madman.

 new orleans

New Orleans

From Reconstruction to the 1960s, this film offers a portrait of New Orleans that reflects the best and the worst in America.

New York Underground

Engineered by William Barclay Parsons, the 21-mile, four-track route of the New York City Subway was the largest public works project in history.

New York: A Documentary Film

The history of New York City and the people and forces that have shaped it over the past 400 years is told in a seven-part 14.5-hour series.

The Orphan Trains

Between 1854 and 1929 more than 100,000 abused or orphaned children were sent by train to the Midwest to begin new lives in foster families.

Panama Canal

Panama Canal : 90 mins

The most daring and innovative accomplishment at the turn of the 20th century.

The Race Underground

The Race Underground : 1 hr

The dramatic story of the nation's first subway

Reconstruction - The Second Civil War

The stories of ordinary people in the tumultuous years after the Civil War, when America struggled to rebuild the Union.

Producer Picks

Triangle Fire

Triangle Fire : 1 hr

Triangle Fire is one of three AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentaries to be honored with a win at the 71st Annual Peabody Awards.


JFK : 4 hrs

The latest addition to our Peabody Award-winning Presidents collection, JFK is a four-hour biopic of our 35th president.

Relevant Now

freedom summer

Freedom Summer : 2 hrs

2014 is the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer


JFK : 4 hrs

The Fall of 2013 will mark the 50th Anniversary of JFK's assassination. No president since Kennedy has earned higher approval ratings.