<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Contraband Historical Society-Hampton Roads, VA

Contraband Historical Society - Hampton, Virginia 501 c (3) Non-Profit Organization


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SOL Educational Module

Wreath Laying Ceremony
Honoring USCT Nelson Ballard



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the Contraband Historical Society
Presidrent Lincoln's Emancipation of the slaves
1861, Before the Emancipation Proclamation issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 during the American Civil War escaped slaves were protected as "contraband" of war.

The proclamation did not free slaves of the border states (Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia), or any southern state (or part of a state) already under Union control. It directly affected only those slaves who had already escaped to the Union side. Hearing of the Proclamation, more slaves quickly escaped to Union lines as the Army units moved South. As the Union armies conquered the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day until nearly all (approximately 4 million, according to the 1860 census) were freed by July 1865.


Shedding a light on

Hampton Roads boasts a rich historical past filled with the retched practice of human bondage and the prosperity and enlightenment of freedom. Contraband slaves made numerous contributions to the wealth of Hampton Roads.

Colored Union Soldier
Contraband Slaves

put an indelible mark on Hampton and the United States.

Contraband Slave History

Shepherd Mallory, Frank Baker, and James Townsend are Contraband of WarIt was in "Fortress Monroe," as it was called then, in 1861, that three escaped slaves Shepard Mallory, Frank Baker, and James Townsend appealed for protection and were judged to be "contraband of war."

Some 10,000 slaves soon took refuge behind Union lines and thousands more in other parts of the South, creating the momentum, historians say, that led to emancipation


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