True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students at the University of North Carolina, UNC Library

This site provides access to 121 edited documents written by students at the University of North Carolina between 1795 and 1868. Documents include letters, speeches, diary excerpts, compositions, and poems. The collection can be explored through 15 essays divided into six chapters, each covering a different period with links to the associated primary documents.

The Time of the Lincolns, PBS Online, WGBH, American Experience

Organized into five topical sections—Partisan Politics; Slavery & Freedom; A Rising Nation; Americans at War; and A Woman’s World—the site offers more than 30 textual documents, including book excerpts, newspaper articles, poems, lectures, letters, and diaries. Visitors will also find more than 50 photographs, maps, and political cartoons. This website is valuable as an introduction for students to important social, political, and cultural aspects of life in antebellum America and during the Civil War.

19th-Century American Children and What They Read, Pat Pflieger

This site offers letters, adoption advertisements, contemporary articles for and about children, 30 books about childhood in the 19th century, scrapbooks, penmanship books, articles from the children’s magazine Museum, 34 articles on children and reading, and the full text of 23 books, including the American Spelling Book and grammar primers. The site also includes seven analytical essays written by modern scholars. A “puzzle drawer” includes word games played by 19th-century children that 21st-century users may find amusing and educational.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture, Stephen Rail, University of Virginia

This well-designed site explores Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin “as an American cultural phenomenon.” It provides dozens of texts, songs, and images from the various genres Stowe drew upon, Stowe’s preface, multiple versions of the text, playable songs from the novel, Stowe’s defense against criticism, 12 reviews, more than 100 articles and notes, 20 responses from African Americans, dozens of pro-slavery responses, children’s books, songs, games, and theatrical versions. Three interpretive exhibits challenge students to explore how slavery and race were defined and redefined.

Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection, Cornell University Library

This site features one of the richest collections of anti-slavery and Civil War materials in the world. The collection consists of more than 10,000 pamphlets, leaflets, broadsides, newsletters from local and regional anti-slavery societies, sermons, essays, and arguments for and against slavery. Materials date from the 18th to the 19th centuries and cover slavery in the United States and the West Indies, the slave trade, and emancipation.