Born at the Battlefield of Gettysburg: An Afro-American Family Saga

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Rinaldi, a former teacher and intelligence officer, chronicles the lives of Victor Chambers, who was born on the battlefield at Gettysburg to a runaway slave, and his mother, drawing on letters that Chambers wrote to the author's great-grandfather, a Civil War veteran, in 1931. Rinaldi traces the path of Victor's mother from her birth to free blacks in Philadelphia, to her kidnapping and enslavement in Virginia, and her escape back to Philadelphia, and provides background information on the tactics of slave ...
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Overview

Rinaldi, a former teacher and intelligence officer, chronicles the lives of Victor Chambers, who was born on the battlefield at Gettysburg to a runaway slave, and his mother, drawing on letters that Chambers wrote to the author's great-grandfather, a Civil War veteran, in 1931. Rinaldi traces the path of Victor's mother from her birth to free blacks in Philadelphia, to her kidnapping and enslavement in Virginia, and her escape back to Philadelphia, and provides background information on the tactics of slave catchers and the operation of the Underground Railroad. Historical illustrations and photos are included. There is no subject index. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558763319
  • Publisher: Wiener, Markus Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 158
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: "We are people to whom the past is forever speaking" vii
Facsimiles of Letters From Victor Chambers to Michael Carroll
May 14, 1931 xviii
June 8, 1931 xxx
Acknowledgments xxxv
Chronology of Events xxxviii
Chapter 1 "The dream and the hope of the slave" 1
Chapter 2 "Thou art a little slave, my child" 11
Chapter 3 "I tremble for my country" 25
Chapter 4 "There is an inferior race to do the menial service" 31
Chapter 5 "Man is slave only to himself" 41
Chapter 6 "She is rising" 53
Chapter 7 "Cheer on the weary traveler" 63
Chapter 8 "We can never forget what they did here" 75
Chapter 9 "My mother could not get away from the field" 85
Chapter 10 "This nation shall have a new birth of freedom" 93
Chapter 11 "No more weary travelin" 101
Chapter 12 "At the closed gate of justice" 111
Chapter 13 "If it were not for men like you, I would be in slavery" 119
Epilogue: "Let the kin of the dead come and hold him by the head." 133
Notes 137
Bibliography 149
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2005

    Born at the Battlefield of Gettysburg

    The lives of Victor Chambers-who was born on the battlefield at Gettysburg to a runaway slave and later became an artist in Providence-and his mother are chronicled in this book based on letters that Victor Chambers wrote to Rinaldi¿s great-grandfather, a Civil War veteran, in 1931. The story Rinaldi relates is emblematic of the fate of countless others whose lives were shaped by the scourge of slavery. Chambers¿ mother, a daughter of free blacks in Philadelphia, was kidnapped from her parents by slave catchers, who most likely included the notorious Lucretia (Patty) Cannon. After the kidnapping, Chambers¿ mother was enslaved on a Virginia tobacco plantation for 37 years before she made her escape to Gettysburg on the night before the historic Civil War battle erupted. She was nine months pregnant with Chambers-and determined that her child would not be born a slave. Gettysburg was a key stop on the Underground Railroad. This riveting chronicle provides valuable insights into the tactics and routes used by slave catchers in abducting free blacks, especially children, the atmosphere in slave markets; the role of religion as a means of control by owners, as well as a means of self-expression by slaves; the treatment of slave children; physical and psychological measures used by masters and overseers to control slaves; sexual abuse by masters; and the Underground Railroad as a clandestine operation.

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