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NYT: How Slavery Really Ended in America

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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:35 PM
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NYT: How Slavery Really Ended in America
On May 23, 1861, little more than a month into the Civil War, three young black men rowed across the James River in Virginia and claimed asylum in a Union-held citadel. Fort Monroe, Va., a fishhook-shaped spit of land near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, had been a military post since the time of the first Jamestown settlers. This spot where the slaves took refuge was also, by remarkable coincidence, the spot where slavery first took root, one summer day in 1619, when a Dutch ship landed with some 20 African captives for the fledgling Virginia Colony.

Two and half centuries later, in the first spring of the Civil War, Fort Monroe was a lonely Union redoubt in the heart of newly Confederate territory. Its defenders stood on constant guard. Frigates and armed steamers crowded the nearby waters known as Hampton Roads, one of the worlds great natural harbors. Perspiring squads of soldiers hauled giant columbiad cannons from the forts wharf up to its stone parapets. Yet history would come to Fort Monroe not amid the thunder of guns and the clash of fleets, but stealthily, under cover of darkness, in a stolen boat.

Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory and James Townsend were field hands who like hundreds of other local slaves had been pressed into service by the Confederates, compelled to build an artillery emplacement amid the dunes across the harbor. They labored beneath the banner of the 115th Virginia Militia, a blue flag bearing a motto in golden letters: Give me liberty or give me death.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/03/magazine/mag-03CivilW...
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Mister Ed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:55 PM
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1. Rec'd. An interesting read. Thank you for posting. n/t
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TxVietVet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:01 PM
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2. Very good.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:26 PM
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3. thanks for the link, good history lesson nt
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:41 PM
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4. fascinating how little politics has changed
Lincoln tries to duck the matter

"Blair, suggests they were driven by a motive as common in Washington then as it is now: a desire to escape responsibility for acting at all at this time.

Yet the connections between people force events forward. The inhuman machine of government propelled toward the right action only by the blood, sweat and tears of human beings.
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