Primary Source Documents
bullet AARDOC - African American Religion:  A Documentary History Project 
bullet Aboard a Slave Ship, 1829
bullet Aboard the Underground Railroad
bullet "Abolition" (LOC)
bullet African-American Sheet Music:  1850-1920 (LOC)
bullet Afro-American Slave Narrative Index
bullet African-American Christianity to the Civil War
bullet The African American Odyssey (Library of Congress)
bullet African American Mosaic--Abolitionism
bullet African American Perspectives  - Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection (1818-1907)
bullet African American World Timeline (PBS)
bullet African Slave Narratives
bullet Africans in America - America's Journey through Slavery (PBS)
bullet Alabama Supreme Court on Slaves
bullet American Slave Narratives (Online Anthology)
bullet American Slavery:  1619-1865 -- comprehensive research links
bullet The Antislavery Literature Project
bullet Anti-Slavery and Civil War Ephemera
bullet The Biography of America:  Slavery (1819-1854) - Annenberg/CPB
bullet Black Resistance:  Slavery in the United States
bullet Blackface Minstrelsy:  1830-1852
bullet Born in Slavery:  Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project (1936-1938) - LOC
bullet Center for the Study of Southern Culture (Univ. of Mississippi)
bullet Chronology on the History of Slavery and Racism:  1830-end
bullet The Church in the Southern Black Community:  1780-1925 (LOC)
bullet "The Convenient Sin" - lecture by Prof. Terry Matthews (Wake Forest Univ.)
bullet Documenting the American South (Univ. of NC, Chapel Hill)
bullet Doing As They Can - Slave Life in the American South
bullet Escape from Slavery, 1838 - Frederick DouglasS (Eyewitness to History)

Eli Whitney and the History of the Cotton Gin

bullet The Face of Slavery and Other African American Photographs
bullet First Person Narratives of the American South
bullet Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
bullet Frederick Douglass
bullet "Free Blacks in the Antebellum Period" (LOC)
bullet From Slavery to Freedom:  The African-American Pamphlet Collection (1824-1909) - LOC
bullet The Geography of Slavery in Virginia (University of Virginia)
bullet George Fitzhugh, 1806-1881
bullet The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition
bullet A Graphical Overview of New Orleans Indentures: 1809-1843
bullet Gullah Tales
bullet The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center:  House and Library
bullet Historical Census Browser:   1800        1810        1820        1830        1840        1850        1860
bullet Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia (Ferris State Univ., MI)
bullet "John Bull and Uncle Sam:  Four Centuries of British-American Relations" (From Abolition to Equal Rights)
bullet Kentucky's Underground Railroad
bullet The Liberator by William Lloyd Garrison
bullet The Many Lives of Martin Delaney:  1812-1885
bullet Map-->"Underground Railroad Routes" (Interactive)
bullet Mark Twain in His Times
bullet Mark Twain's Mississippi
bullet The Mississippi- River of Song (PBS)
bullet The Nineteenth Century in Print- Periodicals
bullet North American Slave Narratives
bullet Photo Essay on Slavery
bullet Philadelphia Anti-Slave Riot of 1838
bullet Probating the Past: VA and MD Probate Inventories, 1740-1810 (VA Foundation for the Humanities)
bullet Pre-Civil War African-American Slavery (Documents-LOC: The Learning Page)
bullet Rebellion: John Horse and the Black Seminoles, the first black rebels to beat American slavery
bullet "The Religion of the Lost Cause" - lecture by Prof. Terry Matthews (Wake Forest Univ.)
bullet "The Religion of the Slave" - lecture by Prof. Terry Matthews (Wake Forest Univ.)
bullet Samuel J. May - Antislavery Collection (multiple docs. - Cornell Univ.)
bullet "The Search for a Compromise over Slavery (1837-1860)" - detailed lecture notes
bullet Slave Communities and Resistance (American Social History Project) - many docs.
bullet The Slave Narrative
bullet Slave Voices (Special Collections Library, Duke University)
bullet Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 (LOC)
bullet Slavery & Freedom in American History (Yale)
bullet Slavery in America (New York Life)
bullet Slavery in the United States (Spartacus)
bullet Southern Culture Links (
bullet Stephen Foster (The American Experience PBS series)
bullet Stratford Hall Plantation: The Birthplace of Robert E. Lee
bullet Third Person, First Person: Slave Voices From The Special Collections Library - Duke University
bullet The Timeline of Southern History (
bullet True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students at the University of NC
bullet - Mark Twain Quotations, Newspaper Collections, & Related Resources
bullet Uncle Tom's Cabin & American Culture
bullet The Underground Railroad
bullet The Underground Railroad (The History Channel)
bullet The Underground Railroad (National Geographic)
bullet Understanding Slavery (DiscoverySchool)
bullet Virtual Tour of Slave Quarters - McCloud Plantation, James Island, SC
bullet Yale Slavery and Abolition Portal

                                           Web Links
How to read a primary source document
                                   Why Study History Through Primary Sources
bullet 1797:  White Slaveowners Fear that the Haitian Revolution Has Arrived in Charleston, SC
bullet 1800:  "Pictorial illustration of abolitionism. Its rise, progress and end. Vol. II . - Pictorial history of the cause of the great rebellion .. Liberty, equality and fraternity" - broadside
bullet 1808:  Washington's Black Code
bullet 1812:  Washington's Black Code
bullet 1815:  Request of a Free Black Person to Remain in Virginia
bullet 1817:  Meeting of Free People of Color of Richmond, Virginia
bullet 1822:  Denmark Vesey brought before the Court
bullet 1822:  Exposition on Slavery - Richard Furman
bullet 1822:  "Reflections, Occasioned by the late Disturbances in Charleston " (11/4)
bullet 1823-52:  Slave Sale Broadsides
bullet 1824:  Memoirs of the Life and Gospel Labours of Stephen Grellet, Quaker - observations and remarks on slavery
bullet 1826:  Biographical Sketches and Interesting Anecdotes of Persons of Colour to Which is Added, A Selection of Pieces of Poetry - A. Mott
bullet 1826:  Description of Levi Coffin's Underground Railroad station
bullet 1827:  The First African American Newspaper Appears - from Freedom's Journal, (3/16)
bullet 1828:  "Life in Philadelphia" - political cartoon by Edward Williams Clay
bullet 1828:  Jim Crow caricature
bullet 1829:  Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World - David Walker
bullet 1830:  Essay on Temperance by Edward Hitchcock
bullet 1831:  “Elevate Us to a Free and Independent Position” - William J. Brown Looks for Work
bullet 1831:  Nat Turner's "Confession"
bullet 1831:  Nat Turner's Rebellion - assorted documents
bullet 1831:  The Richmond Enquirer on Nat Turner's Rebellion (8/30/1831)
bullet 1832:  "The American Colonization Society" - The New-England Magazine / Volume 2, Issue 4, April
bullet 1832:  "I Am a True Born American" - Excerpt from a lecture delivered by Maria Stewart at the Franklin Hall, Boston (9/21)
bullet 1834:  Burning of a Charleston Ursuline Convent - Boston Evening Transcript (8/12/1834)
bullet 1834:  "Kidnapping a free Negro to be sold into slavery" - woodcut
bullet 1835:  "The Negro's Complaint" - poem by Mariah Stewart
bullet 1835:  Sojourn in the City of Amalgamation - Oliver Bolokitten, Esq." (pseudonym)
bullet 1836:  "Appeal to the Christian Women of the South" - Angelina Grimké
bullet 1836:  Narrative of the Late Riotous Proceedings Against the Liberty of the Press - The Ohio Anti-Slavery Society, Cincinnati
bullet 1837:  "The Blessings of Slavery" - Anonymous Editorial in the New York newspaper Plaindealer  (2/25/1837)
bullet 1837:  “The Happiest Laboring Class in the World” - Two Virginia Slaveholders Debate Methods of Slave Management
bullet 1837:  Letter by E. W. Taylor, a pro-slave New Yorker
bullet 1837:  Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman - Sarah Grimke
bullet 1837:  "Outrage. Fellow Citizens, An abolitionist, of the most revolting character is among you, exciting the feelings of the North against the South. A seditious lecture is to be delivered this evening, at 7 o'clock, at the Presbyterian church in Cannon-street ... The Union forever! Feb. 27, 1837" - broadside
bullet 1837:  Moses Roper is punished for attempting to run away
bullet 1837:  "Slavery Is a Positive Good" - John C. Calhoun
bullet 1837:  “Time Did Not Reconcile Me To My Chains” - Charles Ball’s Journey to SC
bullet 1837-38:  Hannah Valentine and Lethe Jackson Slave Letters (collections of several docs.)
bullet 1838:  Angelina Grimké Weld's speech at Pennsylvania Hall
bullet 1838:  The Break-Up of a Slave Family, GA
bullet 1838:  "Cotton. Its Connection with Manufactures in the United States" - The United States Democratic Review / Volume 2, Issue 5, April 1838
bullet 1838:  "European's Views of American Democracy - No. II.." - The United States Democratic Review / Volume 2, Issue 8, July 1838
bullet 1838:  Letter by Senator Franklin Pierce on Slavery
bullet 1838:  Letter by John C. Calhoun on Slavery
bullet 1838:  Letter by William Henry Harrison on "The Federal Consensus" on Slavery
bullet 1839:  American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of A Thousand Witnesses
bullet 1839:  "Personal Narratives" - Theodore Weld's American Slavery As It Is
bullet 1839:  Mississippi Married Women's Property Act
bullet1839:  Slave Trade Book
bullet 1839:  "Three Hundred Dollars Reward" - broadside issued by William K. Ish and Joseph L. Hawling to recover three slaves
bullet 1840?:  "Slavery abolished by the laws of nature!!! Negroes not of the same species with white men!!!   The mulatto race will soon cease to exist!! [Regarding courses of lectures in aid of the abolition of slavery in the United States to be given by Robert Grabt] [Phila. 184-?]" - broadside
bullet 1841:  Arguments of John Q. Adams Before the Supreme Court
bullet 1841:  “It Was a Mournful Scene Indeed” - Solomon Northrup Remembers the New Orleans Slave Market
bullet 1841:  John Quincy Adams' Argument Concerning the Amistad case
bullet 1841:  New Orleans Slave Auction
bullet 1841:  Some of the Duties of an Abolitionist - Gerrit Smith
bullet 1841:  A Treatise on Domestic Economy (Chapter I) - Catherine Beecher
bullet 1842:  "Negroes for sale. Will be sold at public auction, at Spring Hill, in the County of Hempstead, credit of twelve months, on Friday the 28th day this present month . Spring Hill, [Ark.] Jan. 6th" - broadside
bullet 1842:  The Religious Instruction of the Negroes - Rev. Charles Colcock Jones
bullet 1843:  An Address to the Slaves of the United States - Henry Garnet - "A Call to Rebellion"
bullet 1843:  Anti-Slavery and Anti-Abolitionist Images
bullet 1843:  "Old Color'd Gentleman" - song lyrics and tune by Dan Emmett
bullet 1843:  Slavery's Pleasant Homes - Lydia Maria Child (abolitionist fiction)
bullet 1844:  “I Subscribe Myself a Friend to the Oppressed” - Henry Bibb Writes to his Former Master
bullet 1844?:  Slavery and Liberty--'E. Pluribus Unum!' - broadside
bullet 1845:  Letter by John Quincy Adams on Political Antislavery
bullet 1845:  Twelve Years a Slave - Solomon Northup - excerpt
bullet 1845:  The Unconstitutionality of Slavery - Lysander Spooner
bullet 1846:  Ja Norcom Letter to Mary Matilda Norcom - Edenton, NC
bullet 1846:  Lewis Clarke, a slave, describes the implements his mistress used to beat him
bullet 1846:  "Slaves and Slavery" - The United States Democratic Review / Volume 19, Issue 100, Oct 1846
bullet 1847:  Daguerreotypes of Pierce Butler, GA plantation owner (1847-1850s)
bullet 1847:  "Memoirs of a Monticello Slave, as Dictated to Charles Campbell by Isaac"
bullet 1848:  The Anti-Slavery Harp: A Collection of Songs for Anti-Slavery Meetings, Compiled by William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1848)
bullet 1848:  Slave Codes of the State of Georgia
bullet 1849:  "Nelly Was a Lady" - song lyrics and tune by Stephen Foster
bullet 1849:  "The Southern Address" - John C. Calhoun
bullet 1850:  "Following the Drinking Gourd" - song lyrics of the Underground Railroad (1850s?)
bullet 1850:  "Higher Law" speech - William Henry Seward
bullet 1850:  The Impending Crisis - excerpt by Hinton Helper
bullet 1850:  Narrative of the life and adventures of Henry Bibb, an American slave, written by himself.  With an introd. by Lucius C. Matlack.
bullet 1850:  The Narrative of Sojourner Truth - written by Olive Gilbert (full text)
bullet 1850:  Slave-owning Population, 1850 - chart
bullet 1850:  "Southern Views of Emancipation and of the Slave Trade" - The American Whig Review / Volume 11, Issue 28, Apr 1850
bullet 1850s:  "The Negro Woman's Appeal to Her White Sisters" Richard Barrett, ca. 1850s Broadside
bullet 1851:  "Ain't I A Woman?" - Sojourner Truth
bullet 1851:  "The Fugitive Slave Law" - The American Whig Review / Volume 13, Issue 77, May 1851
bullet 1851:  "Uses and Abuses of Lynch Law" - The American Whig Review / Volume 13, Issue 75, Mar 1851
bullet 1852:  "An American Slave Market" - oil painting
bullet 1852:  “My Master Has Sold Albert to a Trader” - Maria Perkins Writes to Her Husband
bullet 1852:  Thomas R. Dew Defends Slavery
bullet 1852:  Uncle's Tom Cabin caricatures
bullet 1852:  Uncle Tom's Cabin excerpt - Harriet Beecher Stowe
bullet 1852:  Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe (full text)
bullet 1852:  "Wayland on conscience as distinct faculty; Channing, Barnes and abolitionists generally on the same," Studies on Slavery, in Easy Lessons - John Fletcher
bullet 1853:  "Letter from a Teacher at the South" - Dwight's Journal of Music (2/2)
bullet 1853:  The Slave Trade, Domestic and Foreign - Henry Carey
bullet 1853:  "Slavery and the Slave Power in the United States" - The United States Democratic Review / Volume 32, Issue 4, Apr 1853
bullet 1853:  Sojourner Truth- "What Time of Night It Is"
bullet 1853:  Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853
bullet 1854:  "A Pious Slave" - Frederick Law Olmstead
bullet 1854:  Appeal of the Independent Democrats
bullet 1854:  "Life on a Southern Plantation" - Frederick Law Olmstead
bullet 1854:  "The Slave Mother" - poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
bullet 1854:  Sociology for the South - George Fitzhugh
bullet 1854:  "The Two Philosophies" Chapter IV. Sociology for the South, or the Failure of Free Society - George Fitzhugh
bullet 1855:  The Christian Slave- A Drama - Harriet Beecher Stowe
bullet 1855:  Excerpt from William Grayson's, "The Hireling and the Slave"
bullet 1855:  Narratives of Escaped Slaves - Benjamin Drew
bullet 1855:  "The Public Hiring of Free Negroes" - broadside
bullet 1855:  Slave Purchases and Breeding: Unruly Slave - letter by G. B. Wallace
bullet 1856:  "The Hireling and a Slave" - poem by William J. Grayson
bullet 1856:  "A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States" - Frederick Law Olmstead (1856, 1860)
bullet 1856:  "Songs of the Blacks" - Dwight's Journal of Music (11/15)
bullet 1857:  Autobiography of a Female Slave - Martha Griffith Browne
bullet 1857:  "The Blessings of Slavery" - George Fitzhugh
bullet 1857:  Cannibals All! - George Fitzhugh
bullet 1857:  "The Life of Plantation Field Hands" from James Sterling's Letters from the Slave States
bullet 1857:  Vilet Lester letter (former slave) to Miss Patsey Patterson (her former slave mistress)
bullet 1858:  Fify Years in Chains; Or, the Life of an American Slave - Charles Ball
bullet 1858:  James Henry Hammond On the Admission of Kansas, Under the Lecompton Constitution  "Cotton is King") - Speech before the U. S. Senate (3/4)  
bullet 1859:  Our Nig:  Sketches from the Life of a Free Black - Harriet Wilson (full text)
bullet 1860:  Cotton is King! - E. N. Elliott
bullet 1860:  Distribution of Slaveholders by Size of Holdings - 1860
bullet 1860:  "Expulsion of Negroes and Abolitionists from Tremont Temple" - Harper's Weekly (12/3)
bullet 1860:  "A Plea for Free Speech in Boston" - Frederick Douglass (12/4)
bullet 1860:  Ratio of Slaveholders to Families, 1850 - statistical chart 
bullet 1860:  South Carolina Secession Declaration Debate (12/24/1860)
bullet 1860:  Southern White Population, 1860 - chart
bullet 1878:  Narrative of Sojourner Truth; a bondswoman of olden time, emancipated by the New York Legislature in the early part of the present century; with a history of her labors and correspondence drawn from her "Book of life."
bullet 1881:  "My Escape from Slavery" - Frederick Douglass
bullet 1885:  George P. Parker, Conductor, on the Underground Railroad (as recollected in 1885)
bullet 1889:  The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Compiled from Her Letters and Journals by Her Son
bullet 1931:  The Secession Movement 1860‑1861 by Dwight Lowell Dumond
bullet 2004:  Slavery and Religion in Antebellum America by Jascha Walter

Ten Commandments of Good Historical Writing