Date of Award
Associate of Arts
Dr. Robert Kenzer
Dr. Carol Summers
On June 22, 1877, William Charity explained his neighborhood’s Civil War loyalties to special commissioner Isaac Baldwin of the Southern Claims Commission (SCC): “The colored people were mostly all for the union.” Charity, a free black Virginian, recognized that “mostly” did not mean all. He went on to suggest: “some of them were blind.” As a self-identified Unionist, Charity had difficulty envisioning a black man who was not loyal to the Union cause and emancipation during the Civil War. Current debates, however, have seized on those black Virginians Charity called “blind,” taking the “mostly” Unionist majority for granted. Like Charity, these black Virginians were loyal to the Union and emancipation, actively resisting the Confederacy and supporting the Union cause.
Kleintop, Amanda, "Networks of resistance : black Virginians remember Civil War loyalties" (2011). Honors Theses. 130.