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African American History in Hampton Roads, VA

Significant Events
  • 1607: First permanent English colony in North America was established in Jamestowne.
  • 1661: Virginia's House of Burgesses established the lifelong servitude of Africans.
  • 1790: Virginia's slave population was over 292,000. Free Blacks numbered about 11,000.
  • 1863-70: Emancipation Proclamation (1863), 13th Amendment abolished slavery (1865), 14th Amendment granted citizenship (1868), 15th Amendment granted the franchise (1870).
  • 1896: Plessy v. Ferguson established the "separate but equal" doctrine.
  • Old Point Comfort at Fort Monroe--"freedom fortress" where slaves were granted refuge in 1861.
  • Historic Jamestowne--first permanent English settlement and arrival site of first Africans in 1619.
  • Colonial Williamsburg--VA capital and world's largest living history; half black in 18th century.
  • Yorktown--site of climactic battle of the American Revolution.
  • The Great Dismal Swamp--refuge for runaway slaves (Maroons) in 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Emancipation Oak--first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation located at Hampton University.


WHRO, African American History Comes Alive in Hampton Roads (2010).