Rebellion January 1, 1863     
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Emancipation of the Slaves
Emancipation of the slaves by Abraham Lincoln. Print attributed to J. Waeshle, nd. Library of Congress.
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Parallels between the contrabands and the Black Seminoles continue even in the realm of historiography. Just as nineteenth-century historians overlooked the Black Seminoles' successful fight for freedom in Florida, so too did they ignore the effectiveness of black freedom fighters in the Civil War. In the years after the Civil War, the emancipation of the southern slaves was depicted as a supreme act of white benevolence. This version of events robbed African Americans of a rightful perception of agency in their own history. And it resulted in text books that to this day do not celebrate those very real African American figures—the Black Seminoles and the contrabands—who followed in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers by successfully taking up arms against tyranny. While historians marginalized both groups, their actions were in fact solidly within the mainstream of U.S. history, helping realize the full potential of the American Revolution.

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Sources: ©
Part 4, Freedom: Outline  l Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 - Freedom: 1850-1882
+ Cost of Freedom
+ Liberty Foretold
spacer spacer Renown in Exile
The War Power
Lincoln's Choice
Black Militants
+ Liberty Found
 + Legacy & Conclusion