Journal of James Carr of Maine (documenting his travels from Maine to Charleston as part of his shipping business--includes lyrics to slave songs), July 1815 - May 1816

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James Carr, the owner of a shipping business in Bangor, Maine, sailed from Maine to Charleston, and then on to Liverpool, England, from July 21, 1815, through May 4, 1816. On his trip, Carr kept a journal, outlining the people he met and places he visited, for his wife back in Maine.

In this excerpt, Carr relates his experiences in Charleston. Carr talks about the terrain around Charleston, along with the climate and crops. He also discusses slaves and plantations, and how this system differs from northern farms. Perhaps the most interesting portions include lyrics of some of the slave songs he heard on the docks (pages 3-5) and a description of street vendors (pages 12-13).


Carr, James.  Journal.  21 July 1815 - 4 May 1816.  James Carr Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard 3-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the events that led to the Civil War, the course of the War and Reconstruction, and South Carolina’s role in these events.

Indicator 3-4.1 Compare the conditions of daily life for various classes of people in South Carolina, including the elite, the middle class, the lower class, the independent farmers, and the free and the enslaved African Americans. (H, E)

Indicator 3-4.2 Summarize the institution of slavery prior to the Civil War, including reference to conditions in South Carolina, the invention of the cotton gin, subsequent expansion of slavery, and economic dependence on slavery. (H, E, P)

Standard 4-6: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the Civil War and its impact on America.

Indicator 4-6.1 Compare the industrial North and the agricultural South prior to the Civil War, including the specific nature of the economy of each region, the geographic characteristics and boundaries of each region, and the basic way of life in each region. (G , E, H)

Standard 8-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Civil War—its causes and effects and the major events that occurred during that time.

Indicator 8-3.1 Explain the importance of agriculture in antebellum South Carolina, including plantation life, slavery, and the impact of the cotton gin. (H, G, E)

Standard USHC-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the causes and the course of the Civil War and Reconstruction in America.

Indicator USHC-4.1 Compare the social and cultural characteristics of the North, the South, and the West during the antebellum period, including the lives of African Americans and social reform movements such as abolition and women’s rights. (H, P, G)


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