First Fruits of Freedom: The Migration of Former Slaves and Their Search for Equality in Worcester, Massachusetts, 1862-1900

First Fruits of Freedom: The Migration of Former Slaves and Their Search for Equality in Worcester, Massachusetts, 1862-1900

by Janette Thomas Greenwood
     
 

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A moving narrative that offers a rare glimpse into the lives of African American men, women, and children on the cusp of freedom, First Fruits of Freedom chronicles one of the first collective migrations of blacks from the South to the North during and after the Civil War.

Janette Thomas Greenwood relates the history of a network forged between…  See more details below

Overview

A moving narrative that offers a rare glimpse into the lives of African American men, women, and children on the cusp of freedom, First Fruits of Freedom chronicles one of the first collective migrations of blacks from the South to the North during and after the Civil War.

Janette Thomas Greenwood relates the history of a network forged between Worcester County, Massachusetts, and eastern North Carolina as a result of Worcester regiments taking control of northeastern North Carolina during the war. White soldiers from Worcester, a hotbed of abolitionism, protected refugee slaves, set up schools for them, and led them north at war's end. White patrons and a supportive black community helped many migrants fulfill their aspirations for complete emancipation and facilitated the arrival of additional family members and friends. Migrants established a small black community in Worcester with a distinctive southern flavor.

But even in the North, white sympathy did not continue after the Civil War. Despite their many efforts, black Worcesterites were generally disappointed in their hopes for full-fledged citizenship, reflecting the larger national trajectory of Reconstruction and its aftermath.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A magisterial narrative that tells an incredibly moving and often tragic story about Reconstruction.--Projo.com

A significant contribution. . . . A remarkable work of historical scholarship that tells an incredibly moving and often tragic human story. Greenwood's methodology--uncovering the ties between Civil War units from Worcester County and Northern migration movements through the diligent mining of census records, military records, and city data--provides future historians with a model for uncovering additional migration networks throughout New England.--New England Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807895788
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
03/01/2010
Series:
John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
This is a wonderfully human and humanized story. Not only does Greenwood achieve a holistic interweaving of usually separated stories, but she also brings characters to life in each segment and keeps them in focus over the course of decades. In North Carolina and then in Worcester, in war and then in peace, Greenwood peoples her story with those who embodied the freedom struggles of the second half of the nineteenth century. Her literary skill and human empathy bring us to know and care about her subjects.--Sydney Nathans, Emeritus, Duke University

Meet the Author

Janette Thomas Greenwood is professor of history at Clark University. She is author of Bittersweet Legacy: The Black and White "Better Classes" in Charlotte, 1850-1910, and The Gilded Age: A History in Documents.

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