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Contraband Commemoration Virtual Campfire Chat

May 22, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


As we think about the impact of a decision on a life, a community, a people, and the world, explore the lasting legacy and modern-day relevance of the risk and perseverance exhibited by freedom seekers in discussion with Dr. Eric Claville, Norfolk State University Director of African American Public Policy and Mr. Joseph McGill, Founder and living history artist of The Slave Dwelling Project. We welcome Mr. McGill to the largest masonry fortification ever constructed in the United States, the location of the 1861 “Contraband Decision” made by US Major General Benjamin F. Butler, a lawyer and politician. Butler interpreted the forced labor and legal status of enslaved Africans used in rebellion of the US as subject to confiscation under the rules of war as “Contraband.” Explore this effective, yet problematic argument that perpetuated a status of property yet influences US President Abraham Lincoln and to issue the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, the establishment of the United States Colored Troops, and ultimately the passage of the 1865 13th Amendment to the US Constitution bringing an end to slavery in the United States. The spirit of place and the changing landscape found in telling untold histories expands the narratives available for all when visiting “Freedom’s Fortress.”

REGISTRATION AND WATCH OPTIONS: Tickets are free and open to the public BUT there are two ways to watch.

Option 1 Private Stream: Individual registration is required for the private stream with the live chat and Q&A options. Register here by clicking the “TICKETS” button. Leading up to the event you will receive a follow up e-mail with the direct link to the private stream.

Option 2 Public Stream: Registration is not required for the public stream, however chat features will not be available in the public stream.


May 22, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Fort Monroe Authority
View Organizer Website

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