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African American life in the 1800's

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African American life in the 1800's

African American life in the 1800's

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Studio portrait of two African American boys, John Heywood photographer, New Berne, N.C., 1865. | Early Pictures

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Slaves,on plantation c. 1862

1s.jpg“I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time being ashamed.” - Ralph Ellison -

Slavery teen

Unknown - speculate that this was a young mistress and her slightly older slave-servant.

UIC Study of the United States Institute - Research

Domestic 1859

1855, Slave nanny/white child image came from an estate sale somewhere in the flat lands delta area of Arkansas. Likely from one of the following Arkansas towns: Helena, West Memphis, Forest City, Elaine, Brinkley, Cotton Plant, Clarendon, Pine Bluff.

[African American woman holding a white child]

Black Slaves | Women of the American Civil War Era

Women of the American Civil War Era

+~+~ Antique Photograph ~+~+ African American Woman and her white charge.

Search Results - black woman holding child

+~+~ Antique Photograph ~+~+ Young African American woman with her charge. New York City.

:::::::::::: Antique Photograph :::::::::::: African American girl with her two younger brothers.

Two unidentified African American Union Army soldiers, full-length portrait, wearing uniforms, seated with arms around each other's shoulders, c. 1864

Many Native Americans welcomed African Americans into their villages. Even as slaves many African Americans became part of a family group, and many intermarried with Native Americans - thus many later became classified as Black Indians.


WOW. A little piece of history. It is really hard to believe this is what used to be. So sad!

A group of Contrabands at Haxall's Mill, Richmond, Virginia, on June 9, 1865.

The Civil War, Part 3: The Stereographs

A group of "contrabands" (a term used to describe freed or escaped slaves) in front of a building in Cumberland Landing, Virginia, on May 14, 1862.

The Civil War, Part 2: The People

Even before blacks were officially recognized as federal soldiers, many slaves like Nick Biddle escaped and joined Union lines. In 1861, he wore a uniform, traveled with his employee’s company to Baltimore to help protect Washington, D.C., after the surrender of Fort Sumter. Once there, he was set upon by a pro-Confederate mob, attacked with slurs and a brick that hit him in the head so severely it exposed his skull. Some consider him the first man wounded in the Civil War.

Carte-de-Visite photograph of a Federal Soldier and his young servant.

Isaac and Rosa 1863. Rosa is mixed race ancestry. Both were former slaves. Historic photos of "white" slaves

Community Post: Historic Photographs Of "White" Slaves

A very rare picture of a beautiful young girl on the chair, who is being looked after by a nursemaid who only appears to be about 10years old herself. This picture compells you to wonder about both their lives. How they lived, and what they did together.

A Young Girl and her Nursemaid

Slavery in the United States - Children who were born to slaves began working as soon as they were able.

Many Native Americans welcomed African Americans into their villages. Even as slaves many African Americans became part of a family group, and many intermarried with Native Americans - thus many later became classified as Black Indians

A controversial homemade doll known as a“topsy-turvy doll,” The topsy-turvies existed because the slave masters actually didn’t want the slave children to have dolls that looked like themselves, which would give them a sense of empowerment. “When the slave master was gone, the kids would have the black side, but when the slave master was around, they would have the white side."

  • Gwendolyn Harlan
    Gwendolyn Harlan


  • Gwendolyn Harlan
    Gwendolyn Harlan

    Born and raised in south. Never heard that. Not sure that is true. Had one of these myself Just liked it

  • Estelle Barada
    Estelle Barada

    How did you come to have such a rare doll? Do you still have her?

  • Lisa Ann Deeter
    Lisa Ann Deeter

    I have also heard them called Plantation dolls. I saw one in a museum, wish I could remember where exactly, perhaps The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. My family did Living History with a Confederate Maryland group and I had made a reproduction one of these for our youngest daughter. There was a diary account of a girl who had one that comforted her when her nanny was not around. I have to wonder if the nanny gave it to her? The real ones are quite a treasure to have for sure!

  • Estelle Barada
    Estelle Barada

    Thank you Lisa Ann for that account. I would love to have one of these dolls. What an interesting article to have as a Civil War reenactor.