"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
Next event
Featured Promotion

Learn more about items related to commencement exercises in the VHS collections.

Van de Vyver Institute Diploma
Stories at the Museum, Saturday, 9/20/14. Free & open to all ages. Please use the new Learning Center entrance off Kensington. #rvakids #rva

Fighting for Freedom: African Americans and the War of 1812

Presenter: 
Gene Allen Smith
Duration: 
(01:03:43)

On Wednesday September, 4, Gene Allen Smith, delivered a banner lecture entitled "Fighting for Freedom: African Americans and the War of 1812." Images of American slavery conjure up cotton plantations and African Americans locked in bondage until the Civil War. Yet early in the nineteenth century the state of slavery was very different, and the political vicissitudes of the young nation offered diverse possibilities to slaves. Though surprising numbers of slaves did assist the Americans in the War of 1812, the conflict created opportunities for slaves to find freedom among the British. The Slaves' Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812 by Gene Smith offers a fascinating and original narrative history of an extraordinary yet little-known chapter in the dark saga of American history.