How Many Members of Congress Enslaved People?

How many members of Congress enslaved people?

Thanks to a recently released two-year study by The Washington Post, we know the answer to the question is 1,700 Congresspeople, and that they held office and enacted legislation in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Check out the database of members of Congress who enslaved people. (Note, the database is behind a paywall, but you can register for free for two weeks.) Let us know if you use this resource in your classrooms.

The research continues and your students can help. The Post offers a list of names of Congresspeople that still need to be researched. They are in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and more states. See the names and a research guide, which are not behind a paywall.

In addition, one of the lead researchers, Post reporter Julie Zauzmer Weil, is offering to visit classrooms to talk with students about the report. Fill out this form if you would like to have Weil dialogue with your students.

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