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Uncertain Road: Slavery and Emancipation in the Rappahannock Region

This webliography accompanied the lecture "Uncertain Road: Slavery and Emancipation in the Rappahannock," presented by John Hennessy, Chief Historian/Chief of Interpretation, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, on February 12, 2004.

From the Central Rappahannock Regional Library:

Coal, Iron, and Slaves: Industrial Slavery in Maryland and Virginia, 1715-1865 by Ronald L. Lewis.
A scholarly treatment of the important part played by enslaved African Americans in the development of the region's early industries. Part of the Contributions in Labor Studies series.

A Different Story: A Black History of Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Spotsylvania, Virginia by Ruth Coder Fitzgerald.
Our only local, in-depth source for black history has information on the people, places, and events that are significant in this region, from the colonial period through the Civil Rights Era. Includes photographs.

God Made Man, Man Made the Slave: The Autobiography of George Teamoh edited by F.N. Boney, Richard L. Hume, and Raifia Zafar.
"Teamoh (1818-83?) was a slave in Virginia, escaped to Germany, lived in New York City, then returned to Virginia after the Civil War and took part in the state government. His autobiography has not been published until now."

In Bondage and Freedom: Antebellum Black Life in Richmond, Virginia by Marie Tyler-McGraw and Gregg D. Kimball.
Examines the differences in lifestyles for free and enslaved blacks in Virginia's capital city in the years before the War.

Life in Black and White: Family and Community in the Slave South by Brenda E. Stevenson.
Diaries, letters, journals, and other firsthand accounts give an understanding of the lives of slaveholders, slaves, free blacks, and poor whites in Loudon County, Virginia, during the period between the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory; The Story of a Virginia Lady, Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford, 1802-1896, Who Taught Her Sons to Hate Slavery and to Love the Union by Launcelot Minor Blackford.
The Minors were a prominent Virginia family who lived in Fredericksburg for a time. Mary Berkely Minor Blackford apparently attempted to organize a branch of the American Colonization Society while in the city. The Blackford Family Papers are housed at the University of North Carolina's Southern Historical Collection.

Slave Laws in Virginia by Philip J. Schwarz.
Contents: "Lawlessness" -- Thomas Jefferson and the Law of Slavery -- Slaves and Capital Punishment in Virginia -- The Transportation of slaves from Virginia, 1800-1865 -- "The Full and Perfect Enforcement of Our Rights": Fugitive Slaves and the Laws of Virginia.

Weevils in the Wheat: Interviews with Virginia Ex-slaves edited by Charles L. Perdue, Jr., Thomas E. Barden, and Robert K. Phillips.
Dr. Perdue shares gems from the W.P.A. oral history reports to bring into modern times the lost voices of slavery.

From Mary Washington College

Emancipation in Virginia's Tobacco Belt: 1850-1870 by Lynda J. Morgan.
The hiring out of slaves was a common practice in Antebellum Virginia, and it gave those slaves a window of experience to the outside world which would stand them in good stead when freedom came. This book also discusses how corruption in the Freedman's Bureau coerced many former slaves into continuing to work in agriculture long after the War. Based on letters, family papers, and public documents.

Freedom's Promise: Ex-slave Families and Citizenship in the Age of Emancipation by Elizabeth Ann Regosin.
"Emancipation and the citizenship that followed conferred upon former slaves the right to create family relationships that were sanctioned, recognized, and regulated by the laws that governed the families of all American citizens. Elizabeth Regosin explores what the acquisition of this legal familial status meant to former slaves, personally, socially, and politically."

Managing White Supremacy: Race, Politics, and Citizenship in Jim Crow Virginia by J. Douglas Smith.
"Exploring the everyday power struggles that accompanied the erosion of white authority in the political, economic, and educational arenas, Smith uncovers the seeds of white Virginians' resistance to civil rights activism in the second half of the twentieth century."

The War Was You and Me: Civilians in the American Civil War by Joan E. Cashin.
"Though civilians constituted the majority of the nation's population and were intimately involved with almost every aspect of the war, we know little about the civilian experience of the Civil War. That experience was inherently dramatic. Southerners lived through the breakup of basic social and economic institutions, including, of course, slavery. Northerners witnessed the reorganization of society to fight the war. And citizens of the border regions grappled with elemental questions of loyalty that reached into the family itself."

On the Web

The Emancipation Proclamation
The full text of the famous proclamation may be read online.

Fredericksburg United Methodist Church
Not everyone in the city believed in slavery, and serious tensions caused a split in a local white congregation years before the Civil War.

Shiloh Baptist Church (New Site)
A brief history of the city's black congregations, their associations with white churches and their migrations to other cities both before and after the Civil War.

Slavery and Freedom
From Bradford Ripley Alden Scott: Memoirs of the Civil War. The Scott family owned plantations in Spotsylvania and Stafford. The family's young son set down these personal memories of slavery and emancipation many years ago.