Slavery

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Wouldn't it be cool if even a few of the old stories were true? Legends say that giants walked the Earth, Atlantis vanished under the sea, and Greece and Troy fought a devastating war over a beautiful woman. Amazing, but true: all these stories are based on facts.

Archaeologists digging in China discovered the fossils of Gigantopithecus, a giant ape standing 9 or 10 feet tall. These huge but probably gentle apes died off 500,000 years ago. Traditionally, villagers collected their bones and made them into medicines. They called their finds dragon bones. Some have wondered whether pockets of the animals may have survived into later centuries, giving rise to the legend of Big Foot.

On the Road to Lake Anna

Lake Anna State Park is a favorite local destination for campers, boaters, and families who just want to spend a summer day at the lakeside beach. For most of us, the way to the lake runs down Lawyers Road. These days, there’s not much to take in with the view from this one-lane road, which passes through as quiet a stretch of Spotsylvania countryside as remains in the 21st century. But in centuries past, the western part of the county was the scene for tribal wars, slave labor, religious awakenings, whiskey barrel politics, gold mining, and Civil War armies on the march.

The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba

By Margarita Engle

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Draws on little-known Cuban history to tell a stirring story in poetry. Based on the diaries and letters of Swedish suffragist Fredrika Bremer, who spent three months in Cuba in 1851, the story focuses on oppressed women, the privileged as well as the enslaved, in three alternating free-verse narratives.

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Accommodating Revolutions: Virginia’s Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810

By Albert H. Tillson, Jr.

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The Northern Neck runs from Falmouth in Stafford County all the way down to Windmill Point in Lancaster County, bounded by the Rappahannock River to the south and the Potomac River to the north.  Now it’s a sleepy section of Virginia but it was once called the Athens of the New World.

What a foreign world it seems to us today—the antebellum Northern Neck--where wealthy white plantation owners bought and sold slaves with ease along with the services of bound whites for years at a time. How could such a system that relied on keeping people in their places and maintaining the established order bring forth some of the greatest leaders of the Revolutionary period? History is complicated, and Accommodating Revolutions digs into court documents and newspaper accounts to flesh out what was going on with those who served the gentry as the winds of political and religious upheaval shook Virginia.
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Freeing Charles: The Struggle to Free a Slave on the Eve of the Civil War

By Scott Christianson

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Down the old plank road from Fredericksburg towards Culpeper--today's Route 3 West, you'll find the still-standing and ruined remains of many a grand Virginia plantation. One of these was home to Charles Nalle, who escaped from slavery in hopes of reuniting with his already-freed wife and children. In 1860, the streets of Troy, New York, became the scene of a struggle between the Harriet Tubman's Underground Railroad supporters and the slave hunters who had been sent to retrieve him.

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Moses : when Harriet Tubman led her people to freedom

By Carole Boston Weatherford ; illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

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Describes Tubman's spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman would make nineteen subsequent trips back south, never being caught, but none as profound as this first one.
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Henry's freedom box

By Ellen Levine ; illustrated by Kadir Nelson

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A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry "Box" Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.
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Freeing Charles: The Struggle to Free a Slave on the Eve of the Civil War by Scott Christianson

Down the old plank road from Fredericksburg towards Culpeper--today's Route 3 West, you'll find the still-standing and ruined remains of many a grand Virginia plantation. One of these was home to Charles Nalle, who escaped from slavery in hopes of reuniting with his already-freed wife and children. In 1860, the streets of Troy, New York, became the scene of a struggle between the  Harriet Tubman's Underground Railroad supporters and the slave hunters who had been sent to retrieve him.

A Williamsburg Household

By Joan Anderson

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Focuses on events in the household of a white family and its black slaves in Colonial Williamsburg in the eighteenth century.
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Addy's Cookbook: A Peek at Dining in the Past with Meals You Can Cook Today

By Rebecca Sample Bernstein

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Young cooks can learn about cooking in the Civil War era. Through words and pictures, with recipes and instructions, they will learn to make chicken shortcake, collard greens, cornbread, potato salad, lemonade, peach cobbler, pound cake, buttermilk biscuits with gravy, fried apples, and more.

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