Slave Quarters

Historical content: 
Civil War and Reconstruction
Historical skills: 



Examine the photograph and answer the questions that follow.


The following photograph was taken in Georgia in 1903.

"Cabins where slaves were raised for market-- The famous Hermitage, Savannah, Georgia," Underwood & Underwood Publishers, 1903.

Question 1: How might the photograph be useful as evidence of the living conditions of slaves?

Question 2: What about this source might make it less useful as evidence of the living conditions of slaves?

About the Assessment

This assessment reveals students' ability to source a document.  Historical documents do not provide perfect windows into the past.  Rather, each source has relative strengths and weaknesses as evidence about the past.  This HAT gauges whether students can see not only how a document provides evidence about the past but also its limitations.  

Students with a sophisticated understanding of historical evidence will be able to explain how a photograph of former slave quarters provides some evidence of the living conditions of slaves. They will also observe how the fact that the photograph was taken decades after the abolition of slavery limits its usefulness as evidence of antebellum living conditions. This student adeptly explains the limitations of the photo.