Today my Civil War classes are examining sources that will aid them in better understanding the complex set of factors that led to the Second Confiscation Act and Abraham Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in the summer of 1862. I began the class today with this photograph of fugitive slaves fording the Rappahannock River in August 1862 and asked students to think about how it helps us understand this process. It was another wonderful discussion in what is fast becoming my most enjoyable year of teaching thus far.
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