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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Slaves at the Museum

Display at the Chancellorsville Museum, National Park Service

     Last week, while in Virginia doing some research and making headway on my upcoming book, I finally had the opportunity to visit the Park Service's  recently updated contact station at Chancellorsville. I was interested in seeing several of their exhibits, including this one. Please click on the images in my blog for enlarged viewing.
     This particular exhibit speaks to the exodus of slaves from the Spotsylvania region while Union troops were nearby. Among those enslaved people who escaped to freedom were a number from Greenfield plantation in western Spotsylvania. Their flight to freedom in 1862 was documented by my great great grandmother, Nancy Estes Row, in this list of runaways written in her own hand:

List of runaway slaves from Greenfield

     My great great grandmother had the foresight to include the last names of those "servants," which made it possible to discover the fates of three of these people, whose story appears here. The story of another Greenfield slave, Ellen Upshur, who had been given as a present to a relative in 1857, can be read here.

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