The Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony - Documents

UNC Press



At various times freedmen wrote letters complaining about conditions in the Roanoke Island freedmenís colony. The first letter presented below, written in the spring of 1865 by two Roanoke Island freedmen who were serving in the Union army near Richmond, was typical of those protest letters.

After the war, some of the freedmen who were still living on Roanoke Island wrote letters asking that they not be forced to leave the island and move to the mainland of North Carolina. The second letter presented below was written from the island in December 1866 by freedmen wishing to stay on the island. The third letter was written from the island in December 1867, again from freedmen who wished to stay on the island.

Sergt Richard Etheridge and Wm Benson to Genl Howard, [May or June 1865]

Old Resident Freedmen of Roanoke Island, N.C. to the Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, December 4, 1866

Colored Citizens of Roanoke Island, North Carolina to Col. Charles Benzoni, Commanding Officer, Post of Plymouth, North Carolina [December 1867]

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