New Exhibition Highlights the African American Experience in City Point

Posted Date: 5/19/2011
New Exhibition Highlights the African American Experience in City Point during the Civil War
May 22nd

Come discover some of the most fascinating stories of a critical time in American history. Seeking Freedom Where the Rivers Meet: Contrabands, Colored Troops and City Point will open at the City Point Early History Museum on May 22. The opening event, from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, is open to the public.

The purpose of this exhibition is to explain, through words and images, the African American experience of moving from slavery to freedom during the Civil War.

This exhibition tells the story of those individuals who took the step to become contrabands and then supporters of the Union cause by working for the Union army either as paid employees or as soldiers.

It focuses on the story of the contrabands who worked for the Union army at City Point and on the personal story of Richard Slaughter. Richard Slaughter, born a slave in City Point, became in turn a contraband, a free man and a soldier.

"We are so excited to be giving our community and our visitors the opportunity to learn about these special stories," says Shirley Belkowitz, Director of Museums for the Historic Hopewell Foundation, Inc. "The photographs, prints and documents we have on display are amazing. And they are great ways to understand the important events and the everyday lives of that time period."

This exhibition, presented by the Historic Hopewell Foundation, is part of the commemorative events and activities of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War being promoted by the Hopewell Sesquicentennial Committee. Funding for the exhibition has been generously provided by the City of Hopewell.

The City Point Early History Museum is housed in the St. Dennis Chapel (1887) in the National Historic District of Hopewell. This district contains a number of historic structures, including Appomattox Manor, the headquarters of General Grant during the Civil War.

The museum is located at 609 Brown Avenue, Hopewell, VA 23286. Hours are Thursday through Saturday 10-4:30 and Sunday 1-4:30. The exhibition will be on display through May 2012. Admission is free. For more information please call 458-4682 or see our website at