Pre-Civil War Sesquicentennial Reflections

April 2011 will mark 150 years since the surrender of Fort Sumter and the start of the Civil War.  We will undoubtedly hear much about Civil War battles, secession, party conflicts, and the like over the next four years.  There is a great debate about why this war was fought and why soldiers fought and when President Lincoln began to eye the end of slavery as his objective.

Ultimately, the events which led up to the war and the war itself brought about a result many had not anticipated.  While everyone scrambles to share personal perspectives which intrigue the masses, About Our Freedom will focus on the prize which enslaved ancestors yearned to achieve, freedom.

Emancipation statue at Lincoln Park, by dbking, August 27, 2004.

To us, it is all About Our Freedom.  Our perspectives will also be an integrated part of the dialog over the next four years.   We will take a fresh look at original resources and oral history which has survived so that we can identify the principles and characteristics which embodied African Americans who came forth from the chains of bondage.

We will measure the extent of our freedom against the aspirations of our forebears to determine where we stand today.

Having read through many of the speeches, sermons, and dissertations, I am excited and confident that we will be successful in this attempt.

As we venture forth, we will come to better understand history and it's many interpretations, find our voice in history, and connect with ancestors or their contemporaries.  Probably the most common running theme in many slave and former slave narratives is the fact that African Americans related to the stories of Biblical captives such as the Israelites.  I believe many found the secret to feeling peace in the midst of great trial.

Hopefully everyone will be able to take something from our reflections and observations here, and hopefully you will be able to use the resources to connect to an ancestor who lived during this time period.  Find Your Ancestor will be the place where I will walk through the process of linking to my Civil War and Reconstruction Era ancestors.  I hope the things I share there over the next four years will help you find success.

Sections of this site will continue to be developed.  Emancipation, Interactive Timeline, and Reading Room are the furthest along.

While few looked up upon slaves as anything more than brutes, they came forth from slavery equipped with the gifts that were bestowed upon them having endured great trials.  Even though our ancestors began freedom having been reduced to meting out a meager existence, we will learn that even in chains, they understood true prosperity.

Genesis 39 (KJV)

 1And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
 2And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
 3And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.



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