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Family BondsFree Blacks and Re-enslavement Law in Antebellum Virginia$
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Ted Maris-Wolf

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469620077

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469620077.001.0001

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Family Bonds and Civil War

Family Bonds and Civil War

(p.156) Chapter Six Family Bonds and Civil War
Family Bonds

Ted Maris-Wolf

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the impact of the Civil War in emancipation and re-enslavement decisions, because for free people of color, not only were the circumstances of their emancipation important factors in shaping the contours of their lives as free people, but the timing of their emancipation proved critical as well. This decisionmaking is illustrated in the stories of three particular women—Jane Payne, Mary Fletcher, and Annah Gleaves Poters—who were freed at the onset of the Civil War. By accepting their freedom but refusing to leave Rectortown and Virginia, they faced the possibility of indictment and conviction for unlawfully remaining in the commonwealth, under the terms of the expulsion law of 1806. If they chose to leave Virginia, however, they could not legally return, forsaking long-standing bonds with family and community.

Keywords:   Virginia, Civil War, emancipation, expulsion law, Jane Payne, Mary Fletcher, Annah Gleaves Poters

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