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Name Contrabands/Freedpeople

Associated Records

Image of 1962.9.1 - Album of Hampton people and sites, c.1892

1962.9.1 - Album of Hampton people and sites, c.1892

Post-bound photograph album. Many of the photographs document former "Contraband" slaves and their homes and surroundings. Most photographs are cyanotypes, and four are black and white prints. The pages are brittle and all have detached from the album. Text inside front cover reads: "Photographs taken by Mr. Charles Hewins Hampton, Va. (About 1892) Scenes around Hampton From Caroline W. Andrus 805 Park Place Hampton, Va. through Mariners Museum". The photographs in the album may have been taken for the Hampton [Institute] Camera Club, of which Hewins was a member. (Note: gift documentation that accompanied the album recorded the photographer as Mrs. Charles Hewins.)

Image of 1966.1.1 - Freedmen's Village

1966.1.1 - Freedmen's Village

Colorized illustration taken from Harper's Weekly, September 30, 1865, of the Freedmen's Village in Hampton.

Image of 1984.116.1 - General Orders, No. 15

1984.116.1 - General Orders, No. 15

Order issued from Camp Hamilton, Va., Headquarters 3d Division, 18th Coprs d'Armee, by Captain Solon A. Carter on behalf of Brig. Gen. E. W. Hinks, announcing equal pay for African-American federal troops as passed by the Congress. Order embossed in upper left corner: "International Mills Congress".

Image of 1986.9.26 - History of Fort Monroe

1986.9.26 - History of Fort Monroe

Booklet with typed history of Fort Monroe, describing early fortification of Point Comfort; construction of stone fort; presence of Edgar Allen Poe, Robert E. Lee, Black Hawk, and Andrew Jackson at Fort Monroe and Fort Calhoun; Civil War and the "Contraband" decision; imprisonment of Jefferson Davis and John Mitchel; Battle of the Ironclads; Coast Artillery; and local landmarks, including the Chamberlin Hotel, Hampton Institute, Langley Field, and Soldiers' Home.

Image of 2000.10.3 - Letter describing Contrabands

2000.10.3 - Letter describing Contrabands

Letter from Nathaniel Morton, 3rd Mass. Volunteers, from Fort Monroe, May 29, 1861, to "Friend", describing "events of no ordinary character" that have taken place since writing his last letter; arrival of Gen. Butler and that "now energy is the order of the day"; "desertion" of town of Hampton; fortification of and troop arrivals to the mouth of the James River, Hampton, and Fort Monroe; inaccuracy of newspaper reports on military movements in the area; arrival of slaves "hourly" and presence of more than 100 refugees; opinion of Butler's Contraband doctrine as "the logical way to dispose of these Sons of Africa"; and hopes support for the war will not wane in the north. Letter signed "Your

Image of 2006.17.1 - Letter describing Contraband and refugee slaves and Battle of Ironclads

2006.17.1 - Letter describing Contraband and refugee slaves and Battle of Ironclads

Letter written by Captain William B. Alexander, 23rd Massachusetts Regiment, Company E on May 28, 1862, from Fort Monroe, to "Father & Sisters", thanking them for correspondence and package and describing use of clothing and requesting a pair of boots; beauty of Fort Monroe and improved health while there; arrival of troops at Fort Monroe and troop movements on James and York rivers; camp of New York Zouaves "on the Hampton shore"; regularity of mail and skepticism of information published in newspapers; area slaves "running away by the hundreds" and arrival of men, women, and children at Fort Monroe seeking asylum, including a man employed as a waiter "who swam from Hampton creek to the Fort

Image of 2008.52.2 - A Freedmen's Village

2008.52.2 - A Freedmen's Village

Illustration from Harper's Weekly (September 30, 1865) depicting the Freedmen's Village that was built at the site of the village of Hampton after it was destroyed in 1861. The image is based on an 1864 photograph, probably taken from a rooftop somewhere in the vicinity of present-day Carousel Park, looking northwest.

Image of 2010.29.8 - Letter Sent from Fort Monroe

2010.29.8 - Letter Sent from Fort Monroe

Letter dated October 16, 1861 sent by James W. Bedford, a Union soldier stationed at Fort Monroe during the Civil War, to his wife and children in Dorrville, Rhode Island. The letter describes the evacuation, burning, and ruins of Hampton, local slaves and slaveholders, and troop movements, weapons, and maneuvers in the area at the time.

Image of 2015.11.104 - Iron

2015.11.104 - Iron

5 iron nail fragments.

Image of 2015.11.105 - Iron nail

2015.11.105 - Iron nail

26 iron nail fragments.

Image of 2015.11.106 - Brick

2015.11.106 - Brick

13 brick fragments.

Image of 2015.11.139 - Lead

2015.11.139 - Lead

Lead hardware top.

Image of 2015.11.140 - Brick

2015.11.140 - Brick

2 brick fragments.

Image of 2015.11.107 - Glass

2015.11.107 - Glass

Glass bottle fragment.

Image of 2015.11.108 - Brick

2015.11.108 - Brick

Burned brick fragment.

Image of 2011.22.680 - Downey Farm and Gumwood properties

2011.22.680 - Downey Farm and Gumwood properties

Plats, surveys, and notes for Downey Farm/Tract, Gumwood Tract, and Willock Tract, including mention of adjacent Butler Farm. The area covered is mostly north of present-day Mercury Boulevard and west Back River Road (present-day Armistead Ave.) Early items relate to property ownership before and after the Civil War and may show land use and occupation by freedpeople or Contrabands. Many items appear to be related to a c.1920 breaking up and auction of the Downey Farm property. Others relate to 20th century subdivision development near Riverdale and the Sinclair Circle.

Image of 2011.22.711 - Sinclair property

2011.22.711 - Sinclair property

Sketch, labeled "From Wm Ivy Map, Portion J.B. Sinclair's Land." Area includes Back River Road, Lincoln Street, and Union Street. Dated May 20, 1870. Plat and photocopy of plat, labeled "J. Lansburg's Sinclair Land." Part of Sinclair's land between Union Street and Lincoln Street. Dated November 1889. Sketch, unlabeled. Area includes Phillips Street and Lincoln Street. Undated. Sketch, on yellow lined paper, unlabeled. Area includes Condor Street (?) and Union Street. Undated. Sketch, on thin paper, unlabeled. Area includes Condor Street, Phillips Street, and Lincoln Street. Undated. Sketch, unlabeled. Area includes lots between Lincoln Street and Union Street. Undated. 1870

Image of 2015.11.171 - Coal

2015.11.171 - Coal

2 coal fragments.

Image of 2015.11.172 - Spoon

2015.11.172 - Spoon

Copper spoon.

Image of 2012.63.2 - Morning Mustering of the "Contraband" at Fortress Monroe on their Way to their Day's Work, under the Pay and Direction of the U.S.

2012.63.2 - Morning Mustering of the "Contraband" at Fortress Monroe on their Way to their Day's Work, under the Pay and Direction of the U.S.

Colorized print, "Morning Mustering of the 'Contraband' at Fortress Monroe on their Way to their Day's Work, under the Pay and Direction of the U. S. - From a Sketch by our Artist at Fortress Monroe", from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Nov. 2, 1861 (page 373). The reverse side features a portion of a literary offering ("My Golden Skeleton") and images of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Federal Fortifications at Bird's Point, Missouri (opposite Cairo, Ill.).