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Facing Freedom

Facing Freedom: Anderson County’s Path Toward Reconstruction.

This exhibit makes use of a wealth of first hand evidence to illuminate the experience of Anderson County’s black population between 1850 and 1868.

This time frame encompasses the immense changes that occurred from the antebellum period of American slavery, through the Civil War, and into the crucial first years of the Reconstruction Era. How did African Americans in our area adjust to life as free people? What did interactions between black and white citizens look like before and after Emancipation? What role did the US government and the Freedmen’s Bureau play in assisting Anderson’s freed people? Facing Freedom investigates answers to these and other topics that helped to define the African American experience for decades that followed.

Browse Articles from the Exhibit

Anderson County’s Path Toward Reconstruction

When Anderson County was first carved out of the Upstate in 1826, slavery had long been present in the area.

Civil War and Violent Outrages

By 1860, the political temperature had risen such that all it needed was a spark to erupt; a spark that came with the election of Abraham Lincoln.

The Freedmen’s Bureau

Domestic disputes between whites and the formerly enslaved, and also those within households were investigated by the Freedman’s Bureau.