They were one step closer to freedom, though they were far from free. Eventually, schools were set up in Slabtown and Grand Contraband Camp, and these early schools led to the founding of Hampton University. Told in a spare, poetic voice, this story is filled with bravery, luck, and timing.
If the initial three men had escaped any earlier, the Union officer would have been bound by the Fugitive Slave Act, but with the secession of Virginia, he argued that the law no longer applied. Slavery is a challenging topic to introduce to young readers, but they have to start somewhere.
On a night in , three slaves escape from a Confederate Army camp and slip across the water to a Union-held fort. This decision brings a flood of other escaped slaves hoping for something better. This simple but unforgettable title would be useful for fleshing out Civil War studies and prompting further discussion of slavery and emancipation.
This powerful picture book would likely appeal to readers of Charles R. Smith Jr. Read An Excerpt. Ebook 2 —.
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Under the Freedom Tree
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As word spread, thousands of runaway slaves poured into the fort, seeking their freedom. These "contrabands" made a home for themselves, building the first African American community in the country.
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In , they bore witness to one of the first readings of the Emancipation Proclamation in the South—beneath the sheltering branches of the tree now known as Emancipation Oak. New Zealand Film Commission.
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