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Self-Emancipated Blacks Behind Union Lines
Original Author: James F. Gibson
Created: May 14, 1862
Medium: Wet collodion glass-plate negative; one half of stereograph
Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

Self-Emancipated Blacks Behind Union Lines

A group of formerly enslaved men, women, and children gather outside a building at the Foller Plantation in Cumberland Landing on May 14, 1862. During the Peninsula Campaign, photographer James F. Gibson made a series of images of Union troops encamped at Cumberland Landing on the Pamunkey River. Among those glass-plate negatives is this portrait of so-called contrabands, or enslaved African Americans who had emancipated themselves by fleeing behind Union lines.

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