Slavery in the Shenandoah Valley

Runaway slave ad from Isaac Hite.
“Henry, a likely negro man, 25 years of age, about 5 feet 9 inches high; who obtained a certificate of freedom, with the seal annexed of some county in Maryland, in the name of Bannister, which no doubt he will assume.  He took with him a variety of good clothes, & was seen on Friday last....

Telegraphe and Daily Advertiser of Baltimore, January 11, 1806

Enslavment in the Shenandoah Valley

Belle Grove is doing in depth research on the enslaved community at Belle Grove. Visit their website to learn more.

This image is from an advertisement in the Telegraphe and Daily Advertiser in Baltimore, date January 11, 1806. It reads:

100 Dollars Reward. Eloped from the subscriber, lvining in Frederick County, Virginia, Henry, a likely negro man, 25 years of age, about 5 feet 9 inches high; who obtained a certificate of freedom, with the seal annexed of some county in Maryland, in the name of Bannister, which no doubt he will assume. He took with him a variety of good clothes, & was seen on Friday last in Martinsburg, well dressed in a dark blue coat.
Also, eloped at ???, two years ago, DANIEL, 30 years of age, and about the height of Henry, with a remarkable white spot on of his cheeks. He was since seen about Winchester in Maryland, and there passed by the name of John.
I will give 50 dollars for either of the fellows, or 100 for both, if delivered at Belle-Grove, my place of residence, or to Jacob Baker, sign of the Black Horse, Market Street, Baltimore.
Isaac Hite,
January 11.”

Enslaved woman from Luray, VA
Image of Bethany Veney, enslaved woman from Luray, VA. Purchased and freed by northern businessmen, she moved to Worcester, MA. Her narrative tells a compelling tale of those living under oppression.

Public Domain

National Park Service Resources on African American History

The National Park Service celebrates African American Heritage throughout the year. Visit a multitude of park sites dedicated to African American history and culture. View Museum exhibits, go on a travel itinerary, or read in-depth histories and interviews of famous African Americans and how they shaped the United States. Check out these resources below to learn more about the African American Experience.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

NPS Studies & Reports

Broomall JJ. 2020. 'The Stars Fought from Heaven': Race and Slavery in the Shenandoah Valley from Early Settlement to Jim Crow. National Park Service (PDF file)

Shenandoah Valley Black History Resources:

  • Adams, John Quincy, Narrative of the Life of John Quincy Adams, When in Slavery, and Now as a Freeman. 1872, from
  • Dew, Charles B., Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge. W. W. Norton & Company; Revised edition,1995.
  • Noyalas, Jonathan A., et al. Slavery and Freedom in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War Era. University Press of Florida, 2021.
  • Simmons, J. Susanne And Nancy T. Sorrells. Slave Hire and the Development of Slavery in Augusta County, Virginia,. In Koons, Kenneth E., Hofstra, Warren R (Ed.), After the Backcountry: Rural Life in the Great Valley of Virginia, 1800–1900. University of Tennessee Press, 2000.
  • Veney, B. Bethany Veney The Narrative of Bethany Veney: A Slave Woman. Summary of the narrative

More resources:

Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park

Richmond National Battlefield Park

Petersburg National Battlefield Park:

From Natchez National Historical Park:

From Colonial National Historical Park:

From Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial:

Hampton National Historic Site:

From Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park:

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park:

Andersonville National Historic Site

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

  • Park blog called Mysteries and Conundrums ( Look in the categories of "Slavery and
  • Slave Places," "Contrabands," and "USCT's" for African American History.

Frederick Douglass House National Historic Site

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park

The Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument

To learn more about the sites and resources listed below, go to

  • Booker T. Washington National Monument
  • Boston African American National Historic Site
  • Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
  • Cane River Creole National Historical Park
  • Colonial National Historical Park
  • Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
  • Fort Davis National Historic Site
  • Fort Scott National Historic Site
  • Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  • George Washington Carver National Monument
  • Hampton National Historic Site
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Little Rock Central High School
  • Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site
  • Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
  • New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
  • Nicodemus National Historic Site
  • Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial
  • Petersburg National Battlefield
  • Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
  • Richmond National Battlefield Park
  • Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail
  • Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
  • Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
  • Virgin Islands National Park

Related Links:

  • African-American History of War of 1812 Sites
  • A History Remembered: Why were Buffalo Soldiers in Yosemite?
  • Aboard the Underground Railroad: A National Register Travel Itinerary
  • African American Archeology & History
  • African American History and Culture
  • African American History Lesson Plans
  • African American History Month
  • African American Sailors in the Civil War Union Navy
  • American Slave Narratives
  • American Visionaries: Frederick Douglass
  • Bibliographic Essay on the African American West
  • Booker T. Washington Papers
  • Buffalo Soldiers in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  • Chattel Slavery at Hampton/Northampton, Baltimore County
  • Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System/Colored Troops
  • Clues to African American Life at Manassas National Battlefield Park
  • Connections: African-American History and CRM
  • Encountering the Cultural Diversity of the Lower Mississippi Delta Region
  • Frankly, Scarlett, We Do give a Damn: The Making of a New National Park (pdf)
  • Fugitive Slave Traffic and the Maritime World of New Bedford (pdf)
  • Interpreting Slavery and Civil Rights at Fort Sumter National Monuement (pdf)
  • In Those Days: Africian American Life Near the Savannah River
  • North American Slave Narratives at the University of North Carolina
  • Racial Desegregation in Public Education in the U.S.
  • Slavery and Resistance
  • Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King
  • Teacher's Guide: Dr. Martin Luther King
  • The Legacy of the Port Chicago Disaster (pdf)
  • The Network to Freedom
    • Newsletters
  • The Preservation Effort, 1990-2003: Brown v. Board of Education Historic Site
  • Our Shared History
  • Scholarship on Southern Farms and Plantations
  • Legends of Tuskegee
  • Teaching With Historic Places: Africian American History Lesson Plan
  • We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement

Online Books:

  • Africans and African Americans on Jamestown Island 1619-1803 (pdf)
  • American Slave Narratives (WPA)
  • Of Mules and Men
  • The Souls of Black Folk
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Up From Slavery


Last updated: April 24, 2022

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