Document Bank of Virginia
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  • Collection: Civil War and Reconstruction

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With the end of the Civil War came the end of slavery in the American South, but racial hostilities toward the formerly enslaved African Americans continued throughout the Reconstruction era. Shortly before his death, Lincoln had recommended that…

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The Southern Illustrated News was printed in Richmond from 1862 to 1865. The cartoon lampoons Lincoln’s revolving door of generals that had faced—and lost to—Southern armies in Virginia. After General Winfield Scott retired at the beginning of the…

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On February 3, 1865, Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens and two other commissioners met with Abraham Lincoln on the steamer River Queen near Fort Monroe in Hampton in a futile effort to end the Civil War and ensure Southern independence.…

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Before the Civil War, Virginia did not have a comprehensive public school system. Lawmakers passed various measures to fund public schools, but these were directed primarily toward schools for a small segment of the population, the children of…

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Cohabitation registers are among the most important genealogical resources for African Americans attempting to connect their family lines back through the oftentimes unrecorded past to their enslaved ancestors. The registers date from 1866 and…

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Enslaved Virginians were often hired out by their owners during the course of their lives. Industries such as the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond and the many iron and woolen mills throughout the state employed skilled and unskilled slaves to augment…

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The importance of slavery in the secession crisis and as a cause of the Civil War was well understood in 1861. Voters in the counties where the enslaved population was greatest elected more supporters of secession to the Virginia Convention than did…
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