“Visualizing Emancipation organizes documentary evidence about when,
where, and how slavery fell apart during the American Civil War.
by a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the
Humanities, it shows how emancipation occurred unevenly across the
South, beginning before the first major battles and ending after the end
of the Confederacy. It shows the complex interactions between federal
policies, armies in the field, and the actions of enslaved men and women
on countless farms and city blocks.
Visualizing Emancipation maps a messy story, in which patterns
partially visible today remained hidden to many involved. It presents a
history of emancipation where brutality is sometimes easier to see than
generosity and where the costs of war and freedom fell
disproportionately on the most vulnerable in the South. The war that
brought freedom to millions brought unmatched destruction and
disruption. If emancipation was a process, it must have seemed a
chaotic, directionless one to many caught up in it. Visualizing
Emancipation shows a war in which alliances between enslaved people and
union soldiers were uneasy and often tested, but which yielded, somehow,
the end of slavery.
We have gathered in this map only a small slice of the
available evidence documenting the end of slavery. We invite the public
to help give shape to our understanding of emancipation by sharing
events documented in archives across the country and online.”
Explore here: Visualizing Emancipation | URDSL