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

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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An account of the slave trade on the coast of Africa
In Colonial North Carolina, page 4.6
Excerpt from a book by a former surgeon on a slave ship, describing the horrors of the Middle Passage from Africa to America. Historical commentary is included. Warning: This document may not be suitable for all ages. Please use discretion.
Format: book/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by Shane Freeman.
Advertisements from the Boston News-Letter, 1713
Advertisements from the Boston News-Letter, 1713
Advertisements: Ran-away last week from his Master Capt. John Corney of Boston, A Servant man Named Benjamin Wallis, aged about twenty years, well fed, full fac'd, beetle brow'd, pock freetn, brown hair curles at the end; had on a gray cloth Suite...
Format: image/newspaper
Advertising for slaves
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 1.10
Advertisements for sales of slaves and for runaways in the Carolina Watchman (Salisbury, North Carolina), January 7, 1837. Includes historical commentary.
Format: newspaper/primary source
African American spirituals
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 6.2
Excerpt from Frederick Douglass' autobiography in which he describes the purpose and effect of spirituals for enslaved people. Includes historical commentary.
Format: book/primary source
African and African American storytelling
In Colonial North Carolina, page 4.7
The advent of slavery led to changes in the tradition of African storytelling. Tales in Africa had once featured the lion, elephant, and hyena; African tales in America began to star the rabbit, fox, and bear. To the African in slavery, the Brer Rabbit tales became a source of identity.
Format: article
By Madafo Lloyd Wilson.
Africans before captivity
In Colonial North Carolina, page 4.1
Most Africans who came to North America were from West Africa and West Central Africa. This article describes some of the cultures and history of those regions prior to the beginning of the slave trade.
Format: article
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)
Antislavery feeling in the mountains
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 1.12
In this excerpt from his book (1860), Frederick Law Olmsted describes his interactions with residents of the Appalachian region and their opinions on slavery. Includes historical commentary. Note: This source contains explicit language or content that requires mature discussion.
Format: book/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by David Walbert.
Bennehan House, Stagville Plantation
Bennehan House, Stagville Plantation
Exterior view of the Bennehan house at Stagville Plantation. This was the main plantation house on the property. The original 1.5-story structure is located at the right in these photos, and was built in 1787. The two-story addition at left was added in 1799....
Format: image/photograph
A Bill to Prevent All Persons from Teaching Slaves to Read or Write, the Use of Figures Excepted (1830)
In North Carolina in the New Nation, page 5.9
Law enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly, 1830. Includes historical commentary.
Format: legislation/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Black codes
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 1.9
Excerpts from the North Carolina Revised Code of 1855 with respect to free and enslaved African Americans, known as the "black codes." Includes historical commentary.
Format: legislation/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood and David Walbert.
Carolina Watchman ads: January 7, 1837 (Page 1 of 2)
Carolina Watchman ads: January 7, 1837 (Page 1 of 2)
Scanned page of classified advertisements in the January 7, 1837 issue of the Carolina Watchman.
Format: image/newspaper
Carolina Watchman ads: January 7, 1837 (Page 2 of 2)
Carolina Watchman ads: January 7, 1837 (Page 2 of 2)
Scanned page of classified advertisements in the January 7, 1837 issue of the Carolina Watchman.
Format: image/newspaper
Catherine Edmondston and Reconstruction
In North Carolina in the Civil War and Reconstruction, page 9.7
Excerpts from the diary of Catherine Edmonston of Halifax County, North Carolina, 1865–66, in which she describes her frustration with emancipation and her family's attempts to control its former slaves. Includes historical commentary. Note: This source contains explicit language or content that requires mature discussion.
Format: diary/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Colonial North Carolina
Colonial North Carolina from the establishment of the Carolina in 1663 to the eve of the American Revolution in 1763. Compares the original vision for the colony with the way it actually developed. Covers the people who settled North Carolina; the growth of institutions, trade, and slavery; the impact of colonization on American Indians; and significant events such as Culpeper's Rebellion, the Tuscarora War, and the French and Indian Wars.
Format: book (multiple pages)
The Columbian Exchange
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 5.1
When Christopher Columbus and his crew arrived in the New World, two biologically distinct worlds were brought into contact. The animal, plant, and bacterial life of these two worlds began to mix in a process called the Columbian Exchange. The results of this exchange recast the biology of both regions and altered the history of the world.
Format: article
By J.R. McNeill.
The Compromise of 1850
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 7.4
The Compromise of 1850, passed by Congress after the Mexican War, temporarily appeased both northerners and southerners who debated the expansion of slavery.
Format: article
The Confessions of Nat Turner
The book by Thomas R. Gray, allegedly containing the prison "confession" of Nat Turner, an enslaved man who led an 1831 insurrection in Southampton, Virginia.
Format: book/primary source
Death of an Old Carriage Horse
In Antebellum North Carolina, page 6.11
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 9.4
Poem by George Moses Horton. Includes historical and literary commentary.
Format: poetry/primary source
By George Moses Horton.
The dining room of the Bennehan House in Stagville, NC
The dining room of the Bennehan House in Stagville, NC
This is what the dining room of the Bennehan House would have looked like during the 1800s. Bennehan House is one of several remnants of the Stagville Plantation, which thrived until the Civil War.
Format: image/photograph