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"Family record. Before the War and Since the War," 1880

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A chart exhibiting two farms, contrasting slavery with freedom in connection with a family record.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, "Family record. Before the war and since the war," 1880


Printed by the Krebs Lithographing Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, this 1880 family tree is designed specifically for former slaves. Titled, "Family Record. Before the War and Since the War," it includes a central image of a well-off, joyful African-American family. Below are contrasting depictions of farm life before the war under the institution of slavery and farm life after the war where farm ground, equipment and a home is owned by freedmen. 

Transcript of the "Family Record" Chart

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Use evidence from the source to identify the publisher’s targeted audience. Why would the publisher be targeting this group of people in 1880?
  • Explain the differences between a life of slavery and freedom using the contrasting images at the bottom of the source.
  • What connection is there between freedom and the ability to document a family record?

Citation Information 

"Family record. Before the war and since the war," 1880. Courtesy of Library of Congress