The Road to Freedom

Grave of Charles Sprout in National Cemetery with American flag and two luminaries flanking stone
Grave of Charles Sprout, formerly a slave at Chatham Manor, who served with the United States Colored Troops and was later buried in the Fredericksburg National Cemetery

Rebekah Oakes

Explore the stories below to learn about how Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania's history reveals the long and winding struggle for freedom.

View overlooking the Rappahannock River with ice on it and town of Fredericksburg in the background
View of Fredericksburg from Chatham, overlooking the icy Rappahannock River

NPS Photo

Chatham Slave Revolt

January 1805

A slave revolt early in Chatham's history reveals the tumultuousness and fragility of the system of slavery in the American South
Portrait of Hannah Coalter from shoulders up, wearing dark dress and bonnet
Hannah Coalter, Owner of Chatham

NPS Image

Coalter Manumission Case


Attempted manumission of ninety-two slaves and the ensuing legal battle on the eve of the Civil War
This page is still under construction as we continue to add more stories. Thank you for your patience!

Last updated: August 4, 2017

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120 Chatham Ln
Fredericksburg , VA 22405


540 693-3200

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