Boone Hall cabins

Boone Hall slave quarters. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The cash crop economy of South Carolina relied on the slavery of African-Americans.

Overview of Slavery in America

  • Slavery DISCUS 
    Learn more about the practice of slavery in America and around the world.
  • Slavery Timeline
    See key events in the history of slavery in America.
  • A Year in the Life
    Read the entries from a plantation account book to learn more about the life on a plantation.
  • Slavery and the Making of America
    Find out how the slaves labored to create America. Hear voices of slavery, explore slave life, and read personal narratives of former slaves.
  • Sarah Grimke
    Sarah Grimke and her sister Angelina became ardent supporters of the Abolitionist movement.

Slavery in South Carolina

  • Slaves in South Carolina: 1525-1865
    Read more about the selling of slaves, the life of a slave, and black revolts in South Carolina.
  • African Passages
    See images, maps, and artifacts and hear music of the slave life in Charleston and along the Ashley River.
  • The Colonial Black Experience
    Listen to Dr. Walter Edgar describe how slaves were used to grow South Carolina's wealth.
  • The Middle Passage 
    The Middle Passage was the boat trip from Africa and the Americans that enslaved Africans were forced to take.
  • Priscilla’s Homecoming
    Read about an African-American woman from Charleston who can trace her ancestry to Priscilla, a 10 year old girl brought to South Carolina from Sierra Leone in 1756.

Slavery in the Colonies

Gullah Culture


Sale notice for slaves, Charleston Mercury, 1864.

  • Slave Subsistence
    What did slaves eat on the slave cargo ships and when they arrived in America?
  • Slave Work Songs
    Slave work gangs sang call-and-response songs to regulate their movements, talk about their feelings, and make comments about their masters and overseers.
  • Slave Quarters
    See pictures of slave quarters on the McLeod Plantation on James Island. These buildings were 20 feet by 12 feet wooden structures.
  • Slaves of General Thomas F. Drayton 
    This photograph of a large group of slaves in Hilton Head shows the dress and living quarters of the slaves.

Images & Artifacts