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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Presentations and Activities > Slavery to Civil Rights
Civil War
Progressive Era
World War I
Between the Wars
World War II
Civil Rights
From Slavery to Civil Rights: A Timeline of African-American History
picture - The large, bold woodcut image of a supplicant male slave in chains appears on the 1837 broadside publication of John Greenleaf Whittier's antislavery poem, 'Our Countrymen in Chains.' A sketch of the laws relating to slavery
1827 book

The Africans of the slave bark "Wildfire"
1861 drawing of slave ship

Gang Of 25 Sea Island Cotton And Rice Negroes

1852 advertisement for slaves

Bill of sale for Peter
1797 slave bill of sale

The (bark) Great West
Pictorial envelope with slave ship

Argument of John Quincy Adams, before the Supreme Court of the United States
1841 court argument in the Amistad case

Ex-slave stories (Texas) – William Byrd (b. 1940) of Madisonville, Texas

Slave narrativeTop

picture - Sculpture of Abraham Lincoln standing above crouched slave wearing manacles

Pictorial illustration of abolitionism
1800 broadside

Uncle Tom's Cabin: The Possible Amelioration of Slavery
1853 periodical article from North American Review

Anthony Burns
1855 wood engraving of fugitive slave, Anthony Burns

Slavery is a hard foe to battle
1855 sheet music

Anti-slavery fair!
1857 broadside

A Lecture on John Brown
1860 lecture by Frederick Douglass

John Brown
Song sheet

Map showing the distribution of the slave population in the southern states
1861 mapTop

picture - A sheet music cover illustrated with a portrait of prominent black abolitionist Frederick Douglass as a runaway slave. Philadelphia, 26 October, 1789
1789 broadside featuring a plan for improving the condition of free blacks

North Star, June 2, 1848
1848 newspaper edited by Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany

The resurrection of Henry Box Brown at Philadelphia
1850 lithograph portraying the final episode in the flight of slave, Henry Brown

The Fugitive slave law
1850 broadside with text of the law

$100 Reward! Ranaway from the undersigned
1860 broadside

Narrative of Sojourner Truth
1878 book written by emancipated slave Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth, three-quarter-length portrait
1864 carte de visite photograph

The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters
1879 book by William StillTop

Civil War
picture - Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865. Secession, 1860-1861
1860s map

Wyld's military map of the United States
1861 map showing the Northern and Southern states

Cumberland Landing, Va. Group of "contrabands" at Foller's house
1862 photograph

A. Lincoln showing Sojourner Truth the Bible presented by colored people of Baltimore
1893 photograph of a painting

Bermuda Hundred, Va. African-American teamsters near the signal tower
1864 photograph

"Auction & Negro Sales," Whitehall Street
1864 photograph

Arlington, Va. Band of 107th U.S. Colored Infantry at Fort Corcoran
1865 photograph

The first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the cabinet
1866 engraved reproduction of painting

Emancipation day : song and chorus
1876 sheet music

Song sheet: Battle hymn of the Republic
Song sheet – Julia Ward Howe rewrites John Brown’s Body lyricsTop

picture - The first vote, drawn by A.R. Waud Emancipation by Thomas Nast
1865 engraving

Mustered Out
1866 Harper’s Weekly drawing by Alfred Waud

Lavinia Heyward's story of slavery and Reconstruction
(n.d.)Slave Narrative

Sea Island School, no. 1 - St. Helena Island. Established April, 1862
1866-70 print showing freedmen’s school in South Carolina

Glimpses at the Freedmen
1866 drawing of the Freedmen’s Union Industrial School in Richmond, Va.

Ho for Kansas!
1878 broadside calling on African Americans to leave for Kansas

Heroes of the Colored Race
1881 color lithographTop

Progressive Era
picture - Booker T. Washington, half-length portrait, seated at desk, facing right Afro-American Monument
1897 lithograph showing 13 scenes pertaining to Afro-American history

Colored troops disembarking
1898 Edison film during Spanish American War

The progress of colored women
1898 speech by Mary Church Terrell before the NAWSA

Open letter to President McKinley by colored people of Massachusetts
1899 letter

Laboratory at Tuskegee Institute
1902 photograph

Booker T. Washington by R. V. Randolph. Seattle, 1913
1913 broadside

Help for the Hard Times by George Washington Carver
1916 pamphletTop

World War I
picture - African American soldiers fighting German soldiers in World War I, and head-and-shoulders portrait of Abraham Lincoln above. Good bye Alexander, good bye honey boy
1918 sheet music

When the good Lord makes a record of a hero's deed he draws no color line
1918 sheet music

Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War
1919 pamphlet

You Should Have It
1919 advertisement for Scott's American Negro in the Great World War

803rd Pioneer Infantry Band, No. 16
1919 photograph

311,000 Negroes Called to Colors by U.S. to Fight for Democracy

1918 newspaper article

This is 'Our War, Too
1918 newspaper articleTop

Between the Wars
picture - Manpower. Negro shipyard workers. Skills which contributed to America's success in World War I are vital to our efforts in World War II. This Negro riveter is a veteran employee in a large Eastern shipyard. Another Negro broke the world record for riveting in World War I. Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Corporation. Kearny, New Jersey. Walter White to Jesse Owens, December 4, 1935
1935 unsent typed letter

Negro musicians playing accordion and washboard in front of store
1938 photograph taken near New Iberia, La.

Scottsboro Limited
1931 lithograph by Prentiss Taylor and dedicated to Langston Hughes

The Whites Invade Harlem
1938 folk study written by WPA interviewer

Birmingham, Alabama, Block Statistics. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940
1940 map showing black/white housing statistics

Negro and white man sitting on curb talking, Muskogee, Oklahoma
1939 photograph

Man drinking at a water cooler in the streetcar terminal

1939 photograph taken in Oklahoma City, Okla.

At the bus station
1940 photograph taken in Durham, N.C.Top

World War II
picture - Seven pilots on airplane, Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama Above and beyond the call of duty
1943 poster of Dorie Miller who received the Navy Cross at Pearl Harbor

Tuskegee Institute, Alabama
1942 photograph of Dr. George Washington Carver talking to reserve officers

Launching of the SS Booker T. Washington
1942 photograph featuring Marian Anderson and Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune

Man receiving a piece of paper, a military award, Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama
1940s photograph

Pearl Harbor Reactions
1942 interview with Texas woman about her brother’s treatment in the Army

Negro Marines in Harlem
1943 photograph

Office of War Information news bureau
1943 photograph of Ted Poston, editor of the OWI’s Negro desk in Washington

U.S. anti-aircraft gun crew
1940’s photograph taken in the South Pacific

Books are weapons
1940’s posterTop
Civil Rights
picture - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressing a crowd on a street in Lakeview, N.Y., May 12th.

Rosa Parks, seated on bus, looking out window, her face in profile
1956 photograph

Little Rock Nine and Daisy Bates posed in living room
1950’s photograph

Daisy Bates to Roy Wilkins, December 17, 1957
1957 letter on the treatment of the Little Rock Nine

Ronald Martin, Robert Patterson, and Mark Martin stage sit-down strike
1960 photograph of Greensboro sit-in

March on Washington
1963 photograph

The Rev. Martin Luther King delivers his address at the Lincoln Memorial
1964 photograph

John Howard Griffin : Black like me
1960s brochure

Peaceful Village
1996 winning quilt with picture of Malcolm X – Can you spot him?Top

picture - Old classroom Civil Rights
Themed Resources

The African-American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920, Selections from the Ohio Historical Society
American Memory Collection

African American Odyssey
American Memory Collection

African-American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection 1818-1907
American Memory Collection

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938
American Memory Collection

Baseball and Jackie Robinson: Jackie Robinson & Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s
American Memory Collection

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress
American Memory Collection

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909
American Memory Collection

Slaves and the Courts
American Memory Collection

The African American Mosaic
Library of Congress online exhibit

Images of African-American Slavery and Freedom
Links to images in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Images of Twentieth Century African American Activists

Links to images in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Photographs of Signs Enforcing Racial Discrimination
Links to images in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Unchained Memories
HBO/Library of Congress documentary

Teacher Resources from Time ClassroomTop