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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Wagon fording the Rappahannock River

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05111.01.0926 Author/Creator: Place Written: [s.l.] Type: Photograph Date: Pagination: 1 photograph 10.8 x 9.8 cm

Summary of Content: A wagon, loaded with people and pulled by oxen, is emerging from fording the Rappahannock River, while what appears to be a colored regiment stands guard. Inscription on verso: "Fugitive Negroes fording Rappahannock River." Numeric notation on verso: "83."


Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Civil WarMilitary HistoryUnion ForcesRefugeesSlaveryAfrican American HistoryAfrican American TroopsFugitive Slave ActContrabands

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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