1865: “We Claim Freedom”

Nashville, January 9th, 1865

We the undersigned petitioners, American citizens of African descent, natives and residents of Tennessee, and devoted friends of the great National cause, do most respectfully ask a patient hearing of your honorable body in regard to matters deeply affecting the future condition of our unfortunate and long suffering race.

First of all, however, we would say that words are too weak to tell how profoundly grateful we are to the Federal Government for the good work of freedom which it is gradually carrying forward; and for the Emancipation Proclamation which has set free all the slaves in some of the rebellious States, as well as many of the slaves in Tennessee.

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Women Who Volunteered: Teaching Freedmen

Even before the Civil War ended and well into the Reconstruction Era, women helped “contraband” adjust to freedom and gain a good education. Later, the Freedman’s Bureau offered a more formalized opportunity for women to teach in the South.

This blog post takes a closer look at this important role and at the lives and work of some of the women who decided to start to assist at these schools.

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Reconstructing A Dilemma: General Orders No. 40

Since I missed a post for Reconstruction Era last Friday, I owe you an extra one today! How do I wrap-up this month of studies and questions?

I think I’ll leave you with a primary source, a few facts, and some questions. I’ve shared earlier that you’re on the journey with me, studying the Reconstruction Era and it’s been a wild ride looking for the facts and encountering questions and dilemmas that still haunt us in the modern era. Continue reading