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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Historical Eras > Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877) (x)
  • Tag > Emancipation (x)

We found 23 items that match your search

Freedpeople Describe the Meanings of Freedom

At the end of the Civil War, Northern officials were not yet sure what exactly freedom would entail for the millions of freedpeople in the South. The following first-person accounts by former slaves and free blacks describe their expectations, [...]

Lincoln in Richmond

This ink-and-wash drawing depicts Lincoln's dramatic entry into Richmond, Virginia on April 4, 1865, only a day after it had fallen to Union troops in the last major battle of the Civil War. The President and his son Tad made the short journey from [...]

A Union Army Captain Testifies Before the Freedman's Commission

In May, 1861, Union General Benjamin Butler offered military protection to runaway slaves in Virginia, declaring them wartime "contraband." In every region touched by the war, African-American men, women, and children flocked to the protection [...]

The Emancipation Proclamation (Excerpt)

In addition to abolishing slavery in the rebellious Confederate states on January 1, 1863, Lincoln's Proclamation announced that the Union Army and Navy would accept black men in their ranks. Nearly 200,000 African Americans joined Union forces by [...]

A Ride for Liberty

In 1862, American painter Eastman Johnson (1824-1906) made trips to Union encampments to witness and sketch the war's events. Throughout the war, African-American men, women, and children escaped slavery by fleeing to Union encampments.  Union [...]

A Freedman Seeks to Reunite His Family

After emancipation, many former slaves immediately searched for family members who had been sold away during slavery. They used whatever scant information they had and frequently placed advertisements like this in southern newspapers.

Background Essay on Eastman Johnson and A Ride for Liberty

This essay describes the circumsances surrounding one of Eastman Johnson's most famous paintings, A Ride for Liberty–The Fugitive Slaves.

Summary of the Emancipation Proclamation

Despite his personal opposition to slavery, when President Abraham Lincoln took office in 1861 he insisted that his constitutional duty was to keep the nation together, not to abolish slavery. He conducted the first year of the war with the goal of [...]

On to Liberty

Painter Theodor Kaufmann was a German immigrant and abolitionist who served in the Union army during the Civil War. Throughout the war, African-American men, women, and children escaped slavery by fleeing to Union encampments. Union commanders [...]

Another View of the "Statue of Emancipation"

Even as the dramatic events of the Civil War were unfolding, artists and sculptors struggled to depict emancipation. After the war, as local communities and the nation attempted to memorialize the conflict and the transformation of four million [...]