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Inquiry Question

Historical Context




Table of

Locating the Site

Map 1: Delaware.

[Graphic] Map 1 with link to higher quality map.

Although it is only 334 feet high, Iron Hill is the highest hill in Delaware. Composed of beds of iron ore, which produce rich soil and lush vegetation, this rural area was well-suited to both farming and mining. It was the children of mining and farming families, largely African Americans, who attended the schools in the area. By the late 1870s a school for African Americans had been built at Iron Hill, but records show that attendance was low despite a fairly large African-American population. In 1904, a modest new school was constructed, but was falling into disrepair by the 1920s. In 1923, du Pont funding was used to build a new school for the Iron Hill community.

1) Delaware was referred to as a border state during the Civil War. What does this mean? How do you think being a border state may have affected the state's practices and attitudes toward African Americans after the Civil War?

2) Locate the Iron Hill School. Why might attendance have been low prior to 1923?

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