Document Bank of Virginia

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  • Tags: African American History

After nearly two decades of legal challenges against racial segregation in public schools and higher education, on May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled in court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that school segregation was…

After nearly two decades of legal challenges against racial segregation in public schools and higher education, on May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled in court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that school segregation was…

During the Revolutionary War in 1781, an enslaved African American man named Billy, owned by John Tayloe, was indicted for "feloniously and traitorously" joining the British. He was captured and tried for treason, yet pled not guilty and testified…

In 1790 the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society, led by Benjamin Franklin, submitted a plea to Congress to end slavery. Congress considered the pettion and formed a committee for further examination. They debated what was and was not within their…

This broadside is a criticism of actions of the Democratic Party in the 1830s. The author lists off pro-black policies and actions, including a Democratic Vice President having a spouse of partial African ancestry, in an attempt to discredit the…

Enslaved Virginians were often hired out by their owners during the course of their servitude. Industries such as the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond and the many iron and woolen mills throughout the state owned very few slaves, preferring instead to…

This document is a map of Africa that was published by Gerhard Mercator in 1607. Mercator was a cartographer of great renown and he was very well known for his world map Typus Orbis Terrarum. While quite detailed and relatively correct in shape, it…

This broadside is an 1836 publication by the American Anti-Slavery Society. The broadside highlights the group’s opposition to slavery through quotes from the Bible and some of America’s Founding Documents. In the 1830s, moves were made to…

This act from 1705 dictates that if a slave resists their master and then the master kills them in the act of punishing or correcting them, then the master shall not be held accountable for the slave’s death. Also, it states that even free…

Free and enslaved African Americans served on both sides of the American Revolutionary War. Patriot leaders, including George Washington, were largely lukewarm to the thought of recruiting slaves for the war, whereas the British side fully embraced…
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