K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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LEARN NC is no longer supported by the UNC School of Education and has been permanently archived. On February 1st, 2018, you will only be able to access these resources through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. We recommend that you print or download resources you may need before February 1st, 2018, after which, you will have to follow these instructions in order to access those resources.

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Resources tagged with slave narratives are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

Antebellum North Carolina
Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the antebellum period (1830–1860). Topics include slavery, daily life, agriculture, industry, technology, and the arts, as well as the events leading to secession and civil war.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History
Best practices, process guides, worksheets, and other resources for teaching with LEARN NC's digital textbook of North Carolina history.
Format: (multiple pages)
Excerpt from Fannie Dorum slave narrative
Fannie Dorum was born into slavery in Franlin, North Carolina. In this brief excerpt, she describes the work she did as a slave.
Format: book
Excerpt from Lunsford Lane slave narrative
Lunsford Lane was born into slavery in Raleigh in 1803. He began earning money when he was very young -- selling fruit, tobacco, and pipes, and cutting wood -- and eventually made enough money to arrange for his freedom and a new life in the North. In this excerpt from his memoir, Lane describes his early money-making ventures.
Format: book
Excerpt from Moses Grandy slave narrative
Moses Grandy was born a slave in Camden County, North Carolina around 1786. He became the property of his master's son, James, when both Moses and James were eight years old. Moses was hired out yearly until James was 21. This excerpt from his memoir describes Moses' experiences during those years.
Format: book
Excerpt from Thomas Johnson slave narrative
Thomas Johnson was born as a slave in Virginia. After slavery was ended in 1865, he became a minister and traveled to Africa and England to convert others to Christianity. In this excerpt he describes the risk that slaves had to take to meet in prayer groups and sing hymns and spirituals. Johnson mentions the Jubilee Singers, a group of black musicians who performed spirituals in concerts around America and Europe after the Civil War.
Format: book
Excerpt from Uncle Tom Jones slave narrative
Thomas H. Jones was born into slavery near Wilmington, North Carolina. He lived on a plantation until about 1815, when he was sold to a Wilmington storekeeper. Later, as a free man, he moved to the North and played a vocal role in the antislavery movement in the 1850s and 1860s. In this excerpt from his memoir, Jones describes some of his experiences as a slave.
Format: book
Excerpt from William H. Robinson slave narrative
William H. Robinson was born into slavery in Wilmington, North Carolina, one of 12 siblings. After slavery ended in 1865, he worked for many years as a traveling singer and banjo player, then attended Central Tennessee College and became a minister. In this excerpt, he writes about the secret meanings of many spirituals.
Format: book
Excerpt from William Henry Singleton slave narrative
William Henry Singleton was born into slavery in eastern North Carolina. This excerpt from his memoir describes his experience of being sold to a "slave farm" in Atlanta -- a place where young slaves were bought for a low price and then raised until they could be sold for a higher price.
Format: book
Excerpts from James Curry slave narrative
James Curry was born into slavery around 1815 in Person County, North Carolina. In these excerpts from his memoir, he descrbies his mother's experiences as a slave and reflects on the differences between slave labor and paid labor.
Format: book
"Fear of Insurrection"
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 9.3
Excerpt from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs, in which the author recalls the hysteria in Edenton, North Carolina, after Nat Turner's Rebellion. Includes historical commentary.
Format: book/primary source
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 3.10
Excerpt from the book by Harriet Jacobs, describing her master's attempts to exploit her sexually and her mistress' response to the situation. Includes historical commentary.
Format: book/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Interview with Charlie Barbour
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 3.2
Federal Writers Project interview with former slave Charlie Barbour. Includes historical commentary. Note: This source contains explicit language or content that requires mature discussion.
Format: interview/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Interview with Cornelia Andrews
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 3.8
Federal Writers Project interview with former slave Cornelia Andrews. Includes historical commentary. Note: This source contains explicit language or content that requires mature discussion.
Format: interview/primary source
Interview with Fountain Hughes
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 3.9
Interview with former slave Fountain Hughes, performed in 1949. Includes an audio recording and historical commentary.
Format: interview/primary source
Interview with Josephine Smith
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 3.6
WPA interview with former slave Josephine Smith, in which she describes the experience of being sold away from her father and the treatment of slaves by speculators and traders.
Format: interview/primary source
Interview with Lila Nichols
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 3.4
Federal Writers Project interview with former slave Lila Nichols. Includes historical commentary.
Format: interview/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Interview with W. L. Bost
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 3.7
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 5.1
Federal Writers Project interview with former slave W. L. Bost. Includes historical commentary. Note: This source contains explicit language or content that requires mature discussion.
Format: interview/primary source
Interview with Willis Cozart
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 3.5
Federal Writers' Project interview with former slave Willis Cozart. Includes historical commentary. Note: This source contains explicit language or content that requires mature discussion.
Format: interview/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
James Curry escapes from slavery
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 3.12
Excerpt from the memoir of James Curry, former slave in North Carolina, describing his escape to the North and plans to move to Canada. Includes historical commentary. Note: This source contains explicit language or content that requires mature discussion.
Format: essay/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.