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Shifting LoyaltiesThe Union Occupation of Eastern North Carolina$
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Judkin Browning

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834688

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877722_browning

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The African American Experience under Occupation

The African American Experience under Occupation

(p.81) Chapter 4 The African American Experience under Occupation
Shifting Loyalties

Judkin Browning

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the time when Beaufort was still drying out from a recent storm and getting colder by the hour. The weather had not been the only turbulent event that week. Captain William B. Fowle, Jr., Beaufort's provost marshal, sat down that morning to write a letter to his department commander relating an event that had occurred just a few days earlier when an African American woman enraged two prominent Unionists, Joel Henry Davis and Henry Rieger. This story illustrates one of the ways in which African Americans asserted their independence—and the violent reactions such assertions could cause—in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation. Many slaves felt emboldened by the Proclamation, which was a direct acknowledgment of their right to freedom and, as a consequence, of their right to assert themselves.

Keywords:   Beaufort, William B. Fowle, African American woman, Unionists, Joel Henry Davis, Henry Rieger

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