Give Me Liberty: Fugitive Slaves and the Long Revolution Against Slavery
This exhibit explores the lives of more than 30 fugitive slaves from Hampton who made journeys to freedom or took up arms against their enslavers during periods of war. This exhibit shines an inspirational light on their experiences in the context of slave resistance between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Of particular focus are the Black Loyalists (American Revolution) and Refugees (War of 1812) in Hampton who achieved liberty by joining forces with the British Army and Navy. Between these wartime events, enslaved people in Hampton continuously resisted by taking flight. Through their revolutionary actions, fugitives not only freed themselves but fought against enslavement, ultimately helping to end slavery permanently. The exhibition concludes with Hampton’s Contrabands, who escaped to Union-held Fort Monroe during the Civil War, and the role they and other fugitives played in slavery’s abolition.