The curriculum A Forgotten History: The Slave Trade and Slavery in New England explores the effects of the trade in slaves and of slavery itself on the new Americans of the time. The unit helps students to understand how history, and the telling of history, affects us today.

Videos for Readings: The videos below follow the outline of the printed curriculum unit. The headings correspond to the headings in the student readings.

Videos for Lessons accompany lessons in the teacher's guide of the printed curriculum unit.

Scholars Online: Videos for Readings

A Forgotten History: The Slave Trade and Slavery in New England


James Campbell
James Campbell
Brown University

Kieth Stokes
Keith Stokes
Newport County Chamber of Commerce

Joanne Pope Melish
Joanne Pope Melish
University of Kentucky

Gordon Wood
Gordon Wood
Brown University

Kieth Stokes
Michael Vorenberg
Brown University

Introduction: Slavery in the North

What was the triangle trade? [James Campbell - 1:16]

What countries were involved in the triangle trade? [James Campbell - 1:38]

Part I: New England and the African Slave Trade

Bringing Slaves to the New World

What was unique about the African slave trade in the Americas? [James Campbell - 1:40]

How were New Englanders involved in the slave trade? [James Campbell - 1:50]

How was Newport, Rhode Island involved in the triangle trade? [Keith Stokes - 0:58]

How did slave traders acquire captives? [James Campbell - 2:04]

How many Africans were transported across the Atlantic during the slave trade? [James Campbell - 1:38]

What was the journey from Africa to the Americas like for captives? [James Campbell - 2:40]

What was the mortality rate on slave ships? [James Campbell - 2:06]

Why was slavery accepted for so long? [James Campbell - 1:47]

Where did enslaved people come from in Africa? [Keith Stokes - 0:27]

How did the slave trade affect communities in Africa? [James Campbell - 1:06]

Why did Africans participate in the slave trade? [James Campbell - 1:40]

Did African slave traders enslave their own people? [James Campbell - 1:16]

The Browns and the Sally

How did the slave ship Sally acquire slaves? [James Campbell-3:23]

How do scholars get information about slave trading voyages? [James Campbell - 2:01]

Part II: Slavery and Abolitionism in New England

Enslaved Africans in New England

What was “family slavery”? [Joanne Pope Melish - 2:04]

Where did African slavery originate in the United States? [Keith Stokes - 1:21]

How was slavery in New England different from slavery in the South? [Keith Stokes - 1:29]

What percentage of Newport's population was African? [Keith Stokes - 0:43]

What was unique about enslaved people's lives in New England? [Keith Stokes - 1:50]

What is a "day name"? [Keith Stokes - 1:33]

How did religion influence early Africans in New England? [Keith Stokes - 1:53]

How do scholars get information about early Africans in Rhode Island? [Keith Stokes - 0:51]

How can historians use gravestones as primary sources? [Keith Stokes - 1:46]

Quakers and Abolitionism

How did religion influence abolitionists in New England? [Keith Stokes - 3:05]

What role did Quakers play in the abolitionist movement? [Joanne Pope Melish - 2:07]

What were the arguments for and against abolition? [Joanne Pope Melish - 2:36]

What was gradual emancipation? [Joanne Pope Melish - 2:11]

Slavery and the Revolution

How did the War of Independence affect people’s views of slavery? [Gordon Wood - 2:22]

Epilogue: "Freedom" in the North

The End of Slave Trade

"Freedom" in the North

What was life like for free blacks in New England? [Joanne Pope Melish - 2:21]

How did white Northerners view free people of color? [Joanne Pope Melish - 1:39]

What was the American Colonization Society? [Joanne Pope Melish - 2:40]

How did segregation develop in New England? [Joanne Pope Melish - 1:28 ]

How was Northern slavery forgotten? [Joanne Pope Melish - 0:57]

How did this forgotten history contribute to whites' views and treatment of blacks? [Joanne Pope Melish - 1:54]

Why did the Constitution have to be amended to abolish slavery? [Michael Vorenberg - 1:55]