Addy's World: Explore Stories of Daily Life During the Civil War

Portrait of Addy

Portrait of Addy

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Featured Online Resources

Addy Walker, an American Girl, is a nine-year old born into slavery who escapes to freedom with her mother during the Civil War. You can discover what life was like for Addy and other young African American girls during this difficult time in American history by reading Addy's stories. Explore her story at the National Museum of American History and through these featured web resources:

  • Addy’s story starts when she is a slave on Master Stevens’ plantation. Read an exciting book based on the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd” and enjoy activities based on slave life and the Underground Railroad.
  • Read the real-life story of Robert Smalls, a slave who used his skills as a steamboat pilot to escape with his family. After reading the book, enjoy family activities in the OurStory theme "Full Steam to Freedom."
  • Curious about Sam’s time in the army? Watch a short video about Spotswood Rice, an African American who fought with the Union army.
  • The Walker Family and many other African Americans didn’t choose to be slaves. Find out more about slavery in America in this online exhibition.
  • Want to learn more about African American seamstresses like Momma? Explore the story of Elisabeth Keckley, seamstress to First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln in this online exhibition.
  • Play the Who Am I? Civil War history mystery game to learn more about the different types of people involved in the Civil War.

Looking for the Addy Self-Guide?

If you are headed to the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., explore Addy's story with a special downloadable self-guide. Experience what life was like for Addy and other young African American girls during the Civil War as you follow the guide to discover objects and stories throughout the Museum. When you’ve completed and stamped your guide, bring it to the Museum store and receive a free American Girl gift to take home.

About the Partnership with American Girl

To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, the National Museum of American History is partnering with American Girl to bring the stories of the Civil War to life for students and families. For the past 25 years, American Girl authors have shared stories of young people who faced difficult challenges throughout history. Through a special partnership with the Museum, these stories will now come to life through the real objects and people who lived during the war.

Civil War Army Regiment Flag

Flag of the 8th Regiment, an African American part of the army during the Civil War

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

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Smithsonian's History Explorer