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“There’s a man here in Williamsburg, Colonel Lafayette Jones, who wrote a book about his family’s history at what is now known as Freedom Park. He is a descendant of two of the children who went to the Bray School. It’s oral tradition down through his family that the reading and writing skills those kids learned here, they took back into the free black community and instructed their peers and other people. He says that in the 19th century, some 80 or so years after the Bray School, they actually used those skills to forge passes for enslaved people who were moving north to look for freedom. They forged the passes and put them on the steamboat at Jamestown and took them up to Baltimore. If that’s true, it means that there is a connection between the Bray School and the skills that were taught here and freedom for enslaved blacks in the 19th century.”

—Terry Meyers