The Origins of Slavery

The essays in this section have been written by leading scholars of American history. They provide additional depth on events and ideas referred to in the introductory essay and, in some cases, different interpretations by historians looking at the same events. These essays are particularly useful as informational texts to introduce your students to one of the most exciting aspects of studying history—understanding the past from a variety of perspectives.

The Works of John Woolman (Philadelphia: Crukshank, 1774) (GLC06191p253)

Anti-Slavery before the Revolutionary War

Author: Sylvia R. Frey Curriculum Subjects: Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
 “Taboas geraes de toda a navegação” by João Teixeira Albernaz, 1630. (LOC Maps)

Iberian Roots of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, 1440–1640

Author: David Wheat Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Indian Slavery in the Americas

Author: Alan Gallay Curriculum Subjects: Economics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Essays from Other Sub-Eras

“A View of the Town of Boston,” by Paul Revere, 1770, detail. (GLC02873)

History Times: The Colonial Era

Author: the Gilder Lehrman Institute Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Geography, Government and Civics, Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels: 2, 3, 4, 5

The Discovery of the Americas and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Author: Ira Berlin Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Slave leg chain, ca. 1840-1850. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

The Material Culture of Slave Resistance

Author: Douglas R. Egerton Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+