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  • Tags: family

Enslaved Richmond residents Lucy Goode Brooks and her husband Albert Royal Brooks were permitted to live together as a family. Beginning late in the 1850s, Albert Brooks paid the owner of Lucy Brooks in installments to purchase the freedom of his…

In 1867 a former enslaved man named Peter Wiggins petitioned the Westmoreland County Court to gain custody of the two sons and two daughters he and Malinda Thompson had before the Civil War; but because Wiggins had been married to a woman named Ann…

About six weeks after Virginia's General Assembly passed legislation authorizing county clerks to issue marriage licenses to African Americans, Samuel Gravely and Delia Martin married in Henry County.

After the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation in 1866 to legalize marriages of formerly enslaved men and women and to legitimate their children. In addition to registering couples, Freedmen's Bureau agents also compiled separate registers of…

After the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation in 1866 to legalize marriages of formerly enslaved men and women, freed couples registered their unions with the Freedmen's Bureau in large numbers. Agents documented their names, ages, names of…

Virginia's General Assembly passed legislation in 1866 to legalize the "Marriages of Colored Persons now cohabiting as Husband and Wife." Freedmen's Bureau agents were authorized to compile registers of cohabiting couples who considered themselves…

For decades after the Civil War African Americans searched for family members who had been separated by the domestic slave trade. In 1882, Jennie Brown, of Corinth, Mississippi, wrote to the sheriff of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, to ask about…

For decades after the Civil War African Americans searched for family members who had been separated by the domestic slave trade. In 1865 Stephen Flemming, who had been sold from Bowling Green, Virginia, to Louisiana about 1849, wrote Governor…

In this detail of his lithograph celebrating the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, James Carter Beard illustrated the ability of African Americans ability to marry legally, a right they had been forbidden under slavery.

In this detail of his lithograph celebrating the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, James Carter Beard illustrated the ability of African Americans families to live together without facing the threat of separation as had been the case under…
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