America's Library is especially designed for elementary
and middle school students. This site contains a wide variety
of information related to civil rights.
Jump Back in Time
Rebellion, September 9, 1739
C. Calhoun Was Born, March 18, 1782
Parish Lovejoy Was Killed By a Pro-slavery Mob, November
Tom's Cabin Appeared in Serial Form, June 5, 1851
Largest Slave Auction, March 3, 1859
Brown Took Harpers Ferry Hostage, October 16, 1859
in the District of Columbia, April 16, 1862
Meet Amazing Americans
American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship
This exhibition showcases the incomparable African American
collections of the Library of Congress. It displays more
than 240 items, including books, government documents,
manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings.
It includes a section on slavery.
African-American Mosaic: African-American Culture and History
This exhibit marks the publication of The African-American
Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study
of Black History and Culture. Covering the nearly
500 years of the black experience in the Western hemisphere,
the Mosaic surveys the full range size, and variety of
the Library's collections, including books, periodicals,
prints, photographs, music, film, and recorded sound.
Treasures of the Library of Congress - Abolition & Suffrage
View the multi-media Abolition and Suffrage exhibit from
the Reason gallery, American Treasures of The Library
Treasures of the Library of Congress - Emancipation Proclamation
View the First
draft of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Final
version of the Emancipation Proclamation from the
Top Treasures gallery, American Treasures of the Library
Jefferson - Life and Labor at Monticello
This section of the exhibition highlights Jefferson's
life at Monticello, which includes his lifelong adherence
to the plantation-slave system of agriculture.
History and Culture (from Library of Congress Manuscripts:
An Illustrated Guide)
Explore treasures from the Manuscript Division’s
Words and Deeds Collection. The Library's holdings include
information about slavery and the slave trade as well
as other aspects of plantation life. Papers of slaveholders
provide one view of slavery and slave narratives another.
of African-American Slavery and Freedom
Illustrations from the holdings of the Library of Congress
on the subject of African-American slavery and freedom.
and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)
The catalog contains catalog records and digital images
representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held
by the Prints & Photographs Division and other units
of the Library. The Library of Congress offers broad public
access to these materials as a contribution to education
and scholarship. Find images of slavery,
slave trade, slave
slaves, the abolition
movement, and the underground
Topics in Chronicling America
Chronicling America provides free access to millions of historic American newspaper pages. The Serial & Government Publications Division has created topic guides to newspapers in Chronicling America. Included on the topics page are guides for the Emancipation Proclamation, Fugitive Slave Ads, Pullman Porters, and the Raid on Harper's Ferry.
Features and Activities
A comprehensive look at America's history through primary
sources. Explore documents relating to slavery during the National Expansion and Reform Era.
Slavery to Civil Rights: A Timeline of African-American
This interactive activity introduces African-American
history through primary sources.
This feature presentation introduces teachers and students
to the topic of Immigration. African
immigration is included in the presentation.
Words of Wisdom
Discover the wisdom shared by women from many walks
of life through the years of America's past.
Slavery in the United States: Primary Sources and the Historical Record
This lesson introduces students to primary sources -- what they are, their great variety, and how they can be analyzed.
Web Guides produced by the
Digital Reference Section of the Library of Congress
American Sites in the Digital Collections
This guide highlights contributions by African Americans
to the arts, education, industry, literature, politics
and much more as represented in the vast online collections
of the Library.
Documents in American History
This Web site provides links to materials in American
history digitized from the collections of the Library
of Congress that supplement and enhance the study of crucial
documents. The site contains the following pages with
resources related to the history of slavery.
In an effort to preserve the balance of power in Congress
between slave and free states, The Missouri
Compromise was passed in 1820 admitting Missouri
as a slave state and Maine as a free state.
of 1850 (1850)
The Compromise of 1850 consists of five laws passed
in September of 1850 that dealt with the issue of slavery.
In 1849 California requested permission to enter the
Union as a free state, potentially upsetting the balance
between the free and slave states in the U.S. Senate.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise,
allowing slavery in the territory north of the 36°
30´ latitude. Introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas
of Illinois, the Kansas-Nebraska Act stipulated that
the issue of slavery would be decided by the esidents
of each territory, a concept known as popular sovereignty.
Scott v. Sandford (1857)
The Supreme Court decision Dred
Scott v. Sandford was issued on March 6, 1857. Delivered
by Chief Justice Roger Taney, this opinion declared
that slaves were not citizens of the United States and
could not sue in Federal courts. In addition, this decision
declared that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional
and that ongress did not have the authority to prohibit
slavery in the territories.
Issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation
Proclamation declared "all persons held as
slaves within any State or designated part of a State,
the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against
the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and
forever free." Although the Emancipation Proclamation
did not end slavery, it did change the basic character
of the Civil War.
Amendment to the Constitution (1865)
13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...shall
exist within the United States." Formally abolishing
slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was
passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified
by the states on December 6, 1865.
Amendment to the Constitution (1868)
14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified
on July 28, 1868, and granted citizenship to “all
persons born or naturalized in the United States,”
which included former slaves recently freed. In addition,
it forbids states from denying any person "life,
liberty or property, without due process of law"
or to "deny to any person within its jurisdiction
the equal protection of its laws."
Amendment to the Constitution (1870)
15th Amendment to the Constitution granted African
American men the right to vote by declaring that the
"right of citizens of the United States to vote
shall not be denied or abridged by the United States
or by any state on account of race, color, or previous
condition of servitude." Although ratified on February
3, 1870, the promise of the 15th Amendment would not
be fully realized for almost a century.
Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation
Historian Henry Wiencek discussed his book, which focuses
on the life of Washington and explores early slavery in
Neighbour: Speak Right On
Award-winning writer Mary E. Neighbour discussed Speak
Right On, her novel about Dred Scott, the former
slave at the heart of the 1857 decision, in a program
sponsored by the Center for the Book.
to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin
Historian John Hope Franklin discussed his new autobiography,
Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope
Franklin. Franklin, who helped redirect the social
and political course of the United States throughout the
twentieth century, is the author and editor of seventeen
books, including the best-selling From Slavery to
Freedom: A History of African Americans.
Juanita Millender-McDonald Delivers Keynote Address for
African American History Month
Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald delivered the 2007 African
American History Month keynote address at the Library
of Congress. The program also featured remarks by John
Fleming, national president of the Association for the
Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). ASALH's
2007 theme, "From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in
the Americas," honors the work of black historian
John Hope Franklin, who recently won the Library's Kluge
Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity.