As a college librarian, I often hear stressed-out students searching for primary sources say, "I'll take anything." Don't settle for just anything. There is a treasury of primary source material available electronically. Peruse my selection of 200-plus primary source sites by conducting a keyword search, exploring the tag cloud at left, or browsing by historical era. You can also visit my Delicious and Diigo sites to review my bookmarks. Here's hoping you find what you're looking for.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Piecing together the stories of Afro-Louisisan slaves, 1718-1820

CNN this morning featured an article on the African slave trade by David Eltis and David Richardson. The two are co-authors of the "Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade" and their article highlights a number of finding and features of the Atlas. For example:

• From 1492 to 1820, four enslaved Africans for every European left the Old World

• The authors contend little was known of the largest forced oceanic migration in world history

• Their research draws on five decades of record keeping and describes a number of slaves' stories

• Their research did not reveal any moral outrage. It did reveal that half of the ships set out from the Americas

This piece jogged my memory and reminded me of a fascinating site I had stumbled across and filed away, waiting for a chance to add it to my bookmarks related to the African slave trade. The Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy: 1718-1820 provides users with a look at the background of more than 100,000 slaves who were brought to Louisiana during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The site is the work of Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, a New Orleans writer and historian who used historic data to create a database containing information about African slave names, genders, ages, occupations, illnesses, family relationships, ethnicity, places of origin, prices paid by slave owners and emancipation.

Users can search the database by slave name, master’s name, gender, time period brought to the United States, racial designation and plantation location.

The photo at left and depicts a cluster of slave quarters near Bunkie, Louisiana. The one at right shows a slave collar. Both come from the Louisiana State Museum.

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