Lost Friends: Searching for Loved Ones after Slavery

One of the many horrors inflicted on slaves during that era of American history was the tearing apart of families; mothers, fathers, and children sold away from one another never to be heard of again. Near the end of the Civil War “Information Wanted” advertisements began appearing in newspapers all over the United States, written by former slaves requesting information about their lost loved ones. Though many are just a few lines, sparsely written, the urgency with which they are written is heartbreaking. Many include the names of family members and relationships, plantations where they were last together, and the names of slave owners, making them an invaluable resource for those tracing their family history. Please explore the links below to learn more about the efforts being made to digitize these advertisements.



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