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, [...]
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.
This letter was written by a group of freedmen to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Land (known as the Freedmen’s Bureau). The freedmen were from Edisto Island, South Carolina, an area that came under Union [...]