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Free African Americans in Augusta County,
Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
- Creative writing
- Write a series of letters between a free African American in Augusta
and a free African American in Franklin. It might be interesting to have the
authors be actual people listed in the census manuscripts or
Virginia free black registries. These letters could refer to
the following: 1. the particular information you have learned
about your two subjects, 2. information on free blacks in
general, such as economic status, relationship with county
and city government, educational opportunities.
- Traditional essay
- Compare the lives of free blacks in Augusta and in Franklin
County OR compare the lives of free blacks and whites in
Augusta County only. Your essay could consider the
following: residential patterns, occupations, depiction in
newspapers, place of birth, wealth.
- Use the population census (in Part I: The Eve of the War, Public Records)
o both communities to uncover matters such as black or mulatto
property ownership, family size, and place of birth for free
blacks. For example, look for all blacks with value of real
estate greater than $1.
- Read the transcribed articles on race relations in the
- Examine the
Augusta and Staunton Free Black Registries. From what you can tell,
what percentage of the free blacks had been emancipated, and how many had
been born free? How did they prove that they were not slaves? What other
clues do the Registries give us about life for free African Americans in
and antebellum South?