Cutouts of Ulysses S. Grant and Julia Dent Grant in front of slave quarters.

Unraveling Ulysses S. Grant's Complex Relationship With Slavery

The Union general directly benefited from the brutal institution before and during the Civil War.
Five generations of a family pose at the plantation where they were enslaved, soon after Union forces arrived in Beaufort, South Carolina, 1863.

More Than 100 U.S. Political Elites Have Family Links to Slavery

Among America's political elite, 5 living presidents, 2 Supreme Court justices, 11 governors, and 100 legislators have ancestors who enslaved Black people.
Pierce Butler

The Irish Signatory to the US Constitution Who was Also a Slave-Owner

Other emigrants such as Wolfe Tone did not compromise their principles in unfamiliar environments.
Two boys looking at the “General George Washington Resigning His Commission" painting in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.

Art at Capitol Honors 141 Enslavers and 13 Confederates. Who Are They?

A Washington Post investigation of more than 400 artworks in the U.S. Capitol building found that one-third honor enslavers or Confederates.
Collage of members of Coles family through history.

Their Wealth Was Built On Slavery. Now a New Fortune Lies Underground.

In Virginia, the land still owned by the Coles family could yield billions in uranium. Does any of that wealth belong to the descendants of the enslaved?
A page of the census documenting the enslaved people of John Hopkins, 1850.

Owner? Yes. Enslaver? Certainly.

Another chance to examine the terms we use and why they matter.
Kris Manjapra standing outside by a wall. He examines the history of when slavery ended, emancipation laws kept the enslaved in bondage—and rewarded the enslavers.

How Slavery Ended Slowly, and Emancipation Laws Often Kept the Enslaved in Bondage

Tufts Professor Kris Manjapra examines the history of the injustice of abolition in the U.S. and abroad and the need for reparations in his new book.
INTERIM ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES A map of slavery laws in the United States, from 1775 to 1865.

A Reckoning With How Slavery Ended

A new book examines the ways white slaveholders were compensated, while formerly enslaved people were not.

More Than 1,700 Congressmen Once Enslaved Black People. This is Who They Were.

The Washington Post has compiled the first database of slaveholding members of Congress by examining thousands of census records and historical documents.
Portrait of Robert Carter III

Like Washington and Jefferson, He Championed Liberty. Unlike the Founders, He Freed his Slaves

The little-known story of Robert Carter III.
Artistic photo of John Marshall

America’s ‘Great Chief Justice’ Was an Unrepentant Slaveholder

John Marshall not only owned people; he owned many of them, and aggressively bought them when he could.

Her Sentimental Properties

White women have trafficked in Black women’s milk.
Portrait of George Washington bathed in light while his enslaved personal servant, William Lee, is behind him in the shadows.

George and Martha Washington Enslaved 300 People. Let’s Start With Their Names

The man who supposedly never told a lie figured out how to stretch the truth when it came to human bondage.

Tremendous in His Wrath

A review of the most detailed examination yet published of slavery at Mount Vernon.

Slavery in the President's Neighborhood

Many people think of the White House as a symbol of democracy, but it also embodies America’s complicated past.

The Mistress's Tools

White women and the economy of slavery.

Equal-Opportunity Evil

A new book shows that for female slaveholders, the business of human exploitation was just as profitable as it was for men.

The Myth of Robert E. Lee And The "Good" Slave Owner

According to Lost Cause mythology, Lee was a benevolent slave owner who fought for states’ rights. His slaves said otherwise.
Microphone hovers over a portrait of George Washington.

What Trump — And His Critics — Get Wrong About George Washington and Robert E. Lee

The two men owned slaves — but at vastly different moments in American history.

Slave Consumption in the Old South: A Double-Edged Sword

Buying goods in the Old South revealed the fragile politics at the heart of master-slave relation.