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    Friday, April 25, 2014

    Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s Through the Civil War

    While Thomas Jefferson lived with the contradiction of slave ownership and the ideals of liberty, his cousin Richard Randolph could not reconcile the two. When Randolph died in 1796, he freed 90 slaves, granting them land to build a settlement among whites. Near the Appomattox River, they built a community called Israel Hill, defying the skepticism about whether blacks and whites could live in harmony as equals. Princeton-trained historian Ely presents a portrait of life during the 1790s in this little-known Virginia settlement, where whites and black former slaves lived together, working as farmers and tradesmen, even founding a Baptist congregation together. Revealed through the personal and public stories of the residents of Israel Hill, Ely reveals this extraordinary settlement where racial cooperation reigned but was not untarnished by the raging conflicts of slavery and impending war. This is a well-researched and absorbing look at the history of freedmen and race relations from an angle that defies the conventional wisdom of blacks and whites at the time 0679447385

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    Item Reviewed: Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s Through the Civil War Rating: 5 Reviewed By: asar tehuti
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