History Stories
How U.S. Westward Expansion Breathed New Life into Slavery
March 13, 2018

From farmable land to timber and gold, the 19th-century American West has long been described as a land of opportunity. But for many, it was little more than another place of bondage. Read More

How Slavery Became the Economic Engine of the South
March 6, 2018

Slavery was so profitable, it sprouted more millionaires per capita in the Mississippi River valley than anywhere in the nation. Read More

Frederick Douglass’s Emotional Meeting With His Former Slave Master
February 13, 2018

They cried. They reminisced. The master told Douglass he would have run away, too. Read More

Frederick Douglass at 200: Still Bringing the Thunder
February 10, 2018

Keeping America focused on hard truths, he believed, is necessary to a strong democracy. Read More

Is This the Wreck of the Last U.S. Slave Ship?
January 25, 2018

The last ship to bring slaves to the U.S. was torched to hide the crime. Its remains may have just been found. Read More

When Popes Become Penitents: The History of Papal Apologies
January 18, 2018

In recent years, the papal apology has shifted its focus from historical wrongs to current events. Read More

The Untold Story of How an Escaped Slave Helped Sir Francis Drake Circumnavigate the Globe
November 2, 2017

After coordinating Drake's hugely profitable raid on Spanish loot in Panama, 'Diego' became the explorer's right-hand man. Read More

Could Compromise Have Prevented the Civil War?
October 31, 2017

It’s not as if Congress didn’t try. Read More

Did George Washington Really Free Mount Vernon’s Slaves?
October 11, 2017

The president’s forward-thinking decision is still celebrated, but the reality was more complicated than it appears. Read More

The ‘Father of Modern Gynecology’ Performed Shocking Experiments on Slaves
August 29, 2017

He was a medical trailblazer, but at what cost? Read More