All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3.

The Slavery Experience

Anthony Cohen talks as an audience volunteer tries on a slave collar

Anthony Cohen talks as an audience volunteer tries on a slave collar

Alexandria, Virginia
Friday, March 26, 2010

Historian Anthony Cohen, a fourth-generation descendant of a runaway slave, talked about his work exploring the American slavery experience, from his 1996 retracing of the Underground Railroad by foot to being shipped inside a wooden crate like Virginia fugitive Henry "Box" Brown. He also talked about the work of The Menare Foundation which he founded, including the Button Farm Living History Center. He used a PowerPoint presentation, including images from a 1998 mock slave auction held at the former Franklin and Armfield slave trading office in Alexandria. Mr. Cohen also demonstrated a replica of a type of slave collar and responded to questions from members of the audience.

"Unshackling History: Recreating Experiences from American Slavery" was a program of the Alexandria Historical Society held May 26, 2010, at the Lyceum Theatre in Alexandria, Virginia. This annual meeting of the society began with society business and the election of officers.

Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 8:31am (ET)

Related Events

American Artifacts: Mount Vernon’s Slave Quarters
Thursday, November 24, 2011     

We visited George Washington’s Mount Vernon, where visitors find newly re-interpreted slave quarters and a more historically accurate and nuanced depiction of slave life in 18th century Virginia. We hear from Dennis Pogue, Vice President of Preservation, and curator Susan Schoelwer, who tell us what archaeological research reveals about the enslaved people who worked Washington’s plantation.

19th Century Slave Trade
Saturday, June 23, 2012     

Albany Law School professor Paul Finkelman talks about the practice of kidnapping freemen from the North and sending them South during the 19th century. He also discusses the wide-spread practice of renting slaves and how this tied non-slave owners to the slave system. Paul Finkelman has taught classes and written about the slave trade for many years. This interview took place at the Organization of American Historians meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
 

Honoring Slaves Who Built the U.S. Capitol
Sunday, July 25, 2010     

Congressional leaders unveiled two plaques honoring African-American slaves who helped build the U.S. Capitol. Historians say those slaves worked 12 hours days, six days a week. The Federal government rented those slaves from local slave owners at a rate of $5 per person per month.

American Artifacts: James Madison's Slaves
Sunday, March 11, 2012     

James Madison, the fourth President of the United States & often referred to as the "Father of the Constitution," owned about a hundred slaves at Montpelier, his 4600- acre estate in Orange County, Virginia.  American History TV traveled 90 miles south of the nation's capital to learn about an archaeological project investigating the enslaved communities of James Madison's Montpelier.

Stories of Fugitive Slaves
Saturday, July 14, 2012     

Vanderbilt University history professor Richard Blackett tells the stories of fugitive slaves, examining how they used the U.S. Mail to communicate with other slaves and how they planned and executed escapes to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. This event was hosted by Penn State University's Richards Civil War Era Center.

Slavery at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Saturday, July 21, 2012     

Lucia Stanton, senior historian at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, has been studying and writing about Thomas Jefferson and his enslaved community for more than 30 years. In this program, she argues that the President sometimes treated his slaves as human beings and at other times as property. Using thousands of records kept by the third president, Stanton attempts to imagine what life was like from the point of view of the slaves. She is joined by historian Dianne Swann-Wright to discuss their ongoing oral history project that has collected the stories of over 170 descendants of Monticello’s slaves.

Recorded History of the U.S. Congress
Today     

This year marks the 225th anniversary of the first meeting of the U.S. Congress at Federal Hall in New York City. As part of the annual meeting of the Society for History in the Federal Government, past and present House and Senate historians came together to discuss the state of congressional history. They explored current projects to retrieve old records from individual members of Congress as well as the many differences between the first Congress and Congress today. 

American Artifacts: Making & Breaking Secret Codes - Part 1
Today     

American History TV visits the National Cryptologic Museum - located on the campus of the National Security Agency, just north of Washington, DC - to learn about the making and breaking of secret codes, and their role in U.S. history. This first of a two-part program includes a look at the breaking of the German “Enigma” code in World War II.

Theodore Roosevelt and the Great War
Today     

Historian J. Lee Thompson discusses Theodore Roosevelt’s views on World War I and his reaction to President Woodrow Wilson’s neutrality policy. Roosevelt’s four sons served in the military during the war – his youngest, a pilot named Quentin, was shot down and killed over France in 1918. Roosevelt never recovered from his son’s death and died six months later in January 1919. Thompson is a Lamar University professor and author of Never Call Retreat: Theodore Roosevelt and the Great War.

Reel America: "Suicide: The Unheard Cry" 1968
Today     

This dramatized training film portrays five different types of suicidal personalities so that warning signs can be spotted and help offered before it is too late. Following the 44 minute film, a 10 minute portion of a 2012 C-SPAN Washington Journal regarding the continuing problem of military suicide is shown.

Share This Event Via Social Media
C-SPAN on Twitter (late 2012)
Questions? Comments? Email us at AmericanHistoryTV@c-span.org