Maryland State Archives

Study of the Legacy of Slavery Exhibits Online


The goal of the Legacy of Slavery Exhibits Online is to inform, promote and display the varied people, places and events that have created African American history in Maryland since it's inception in 1634. Some of the exhibits displayed on this site are initially presented in the Maryland State Archives search room in Annapolis, Maryland. Every month a different presentation is conceptualized, researched and designed by the Archives' Legacy of Slavery Research Department with layout, format assistance and installation by the Archives' Artistic Properties Department.

Study of the Legacy of Slavery Exhibits Online

  • MARCH-

    The contributions of African American women to Maryland's history are immeasurable. Names like Harriet Tubman, Juanita Jackson Mitchell, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Billie Holliday are all well known for their accomplishments to the public at large. But the exhibit for the month of March has chosen to shine a light on everyday African American women. The exhibit is a slideshow that displays photographs of African American women from the turn of the twentieth century to the late 1950's from the Maryland State Archives' collections.

  • ROBERT M. BELL, Robert M. Bell - HONORED ON FEBRUARY 17, 2005

    Judge Robert Mack Bell serves in the highest judicial seat in the state of Maryland as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. His judicial career began thirty years ago when he received his first position in the Maryland District Court; at the time he was the youngest to hold such a seat. This exhibit features articles that were written about Chief Judge Bell during the numerous stages of his career, and a link to his biographical page.

  • DONALD GAINES MURRAY, Donald Gaines Murray - JANUARY 15, 1936 MURRAY vs. MARYLAND

    With the council of NAACP attorney and fellow Baltimore City native, Thurgood Marshall, Donald Gaines Murray sued the University of Maryland School of Law in 1935 when he was denied entrance to the institution because he was an African American. After months of litigation on the local and state levels, The Maryland Court of Appeals officially filed its decision to desegregate the University of Maryland's School of Law on January 15, 1936. The January exhibit contains a letter written by Donald Gaines Murray requesting admission into the School of Law, a picture from his 1934 Amherst yearbook, a copy of the Court of Appeals' Opinion and a picture of a statue of Donald Gaines Murray found at Lawyers Mall in front of the Maryland State House in Annapolis.

    JUANITA JACKSON MITCHELL, Juanita Mitchell Jackson - BORN JANUARY 2, 1913

    Juanita Jackson Mitchell dedicated her life to civil rights and equality in Baltimore City, the state of Maryland, and throughout the nation. She spent much of her early life working through the NAACP with a special interest in the youth of Baltimore City. At the age of thirty-seven she graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law and became the first African American woman to practice law in Maryland. Her career as a lawyer and activist furthered her involvement in the civil rights movement from the legal arena, and made her one of the most notable figures in Maryland law and civil rights. The exhibit includes photos from a tribute to Juanita Jackson Mitchell and a link to her biographical page.

  • THE NORTH STAR Frederick Douglass - DECEMBER 3, 1847

    The North Star's creator and editor was abolitionist, and native Marylander, Frederick Douglass. The newspaper became one of the most prominent abolitionist publications in the north during the Antebellum Era. The exhibit features a description of the reception Douglass' paper received from his contemporaries, along with reproductions of a portrait of Douglass and the front page of the first edition of the North Star.

    REGINALD F. LEWIS, Birth Certificate - BORN DECEMBER 7, 1942

    Through savvy business acquisitions and sound leadership, Reginald F. Lewis established himself as one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs. In addition to his lucrative business endeavors, Lewis established his own foundation, designed to give back to a range of philanthropic interests. Displayed in the exhibit is a biography of Lewis, his birth certificate and a watercolor of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American Art and Culture in Baltimore City.


    The first of November, marks the anniversary of the passing of the 1864 Maryland Constitution. Article 24 of the Maryland Constitution abolished slavery in the state of Maryland. The link above contains a reproduction of Article 24 from the 1864 Maryland Constitution and assorted newspaper clippings reacting to this momentous occasion in Maryland's History.

Quote of the Week
Do you know who said this quote?

The answer is within the biography pages of the exhibits.

"Keep going, no matter what."

Take a break!
Educational Games

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This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.

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