Blog Post 4

We started off showing how both the south and the north would report on the same thing but very differently. For example, with the massacre in northwest Montana, the north said that it was a tragedy but that they trusted the federal government to handle things whereas the south said it was a tragedy but used it to say the federal government couldn’t handle these things. We spoke briefly about a lot of posters going up trying to rekindle with families that were separated, and we spoke about a bell that slaves would have to wear if they were caught trying to run away. This is sort of our introduction to getting into the more emotional tolls all of this was taking. We discussed Schermerhorn chapter five and how this was focusing on the financing and economic side of slavery and the larger national implications. We spoke about how there were different currencies for different states and banks and that the conversion rates for these were totally negotiable and not set in stone. Slaves were treated like objects, often they were even mortgaged. It really becomes hard to comprehend when you start to see how far all of this money travelled, banks were making money, international bankers were making money, so many unknown people and organizations all across the world had their pockets invested in the slave trade. One fact really doesn’t sit right with me and that is that prisons were used to hold slaves before they were sold and that they would charge the slaveowner for this. The fact that our government resources were such a vital part of this happening never fails to surprise me. In the next chapter of Schermerhorn it really focused on the emotions and life of the enslaved. The comparison of the life of an enslaved child verse that of a white child is heartbreaking. I do think it is very interesting how if you visit a concentration camp you really feel how terrible the situation was but if you visit a plantation there isn’t a large enough emphasis on how terrible it was. This probably has to do with how we teach history to young ones as well. I looked at two articles, “The Geography of Slavery in Virginia (UVA)” and “Freedom On the Move”. I think “The Geography of Slavery in Virginia” does a really good job of keeping their website simple and easy to access. I think its aesthetic is a bit boring because there really aren’t many photos to look at but there are a good amount of descriptions and link. I think “Freedom On the Move” is much harder to navigate to find the resources but once you know where to look and what you want to find, this website has far more options, they have tens of thousands of runaway ads for people to look at and learn about and they have a huge team you can reach out to as well.

One thought on “Blog Post 4

  1. Thank you for these thoughts and observations about the two different websites as well as the content from the class sessions. Your post was very informative and I enjoyed reading your discussion of the economic side of the history of slavery. In your comparison of the two websites, I completely agree that navigation and accessibility are top priorities for an educational website to have a strong impact.

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