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This teaching resource includes digitized selections from the Cameron Family Papers extracted from the Southern Historical Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill. The resource is designed for non-commercial use by educators and students interested in themes associated with antebellum plantation life. The original Cameron Family Papers (1757-1978) include some 35,000 undigitized items available for public perusal in the university's Wilson Library. This web resource presents only a small fraction of the total available documents, as identified and digitized by the site designers to best represent themes associated with traditionally underrepresented persons on antebellum plantations, namely slaves, women, and children. The Camerons regularly communicated by post with their family, friends, and business associates (overseers, tradespersons, and merchants). The level of detail provided in their personal communication provides a rich context for the study of antebellum plantation life in the southern United States.

Site users may either search for letters related to a particular theme, or browse available letters using the index of letters page. All letters have been tagged by subject/theme. Letters are available in Macromedia Flashpaper format (.swf). Users may choose to view the original source letter, a typed transcription of the original text (easier to read), or both. The transcription is recommended to teachers and students with limited time, given the difficulty in deciphering original text.

Site users are encouraged to visit the "community" page where they may access a Ning social networking site to discuss the primary source documents in this collection. Teachers are encouraged to visit the "teaching" page for lessons tied to the primary source letters in this collection. Lessons are also stored on the Ning social networking site and emphasize student use of contemporary technology tools to analyze and interpret the letters.

NOTE: This resource is under construction with new information added by semester. Last update--November 2009.