Books: Non-Fiction

Seeking Freedom: The Untold Story of Fortress Monroe and the Ending of Slavery in America

Book — Non-fiction. By Selene Castrovilla. Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. 2022. 40 pages.
A Civil War story about a man who seizes his freedom from slavery and teams up with a Union general to save a Union fort from the Confederates.

Time Periods: 1850
Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity

In this dramatic Civil War story, a courageous enslaved fugitive teams with a cunning Union general to save a Union fort from the Confederates — and triggers the end of slavery in the United States.

On the night Virginia secedes from the Union, three enslaved men approach Fortress Monroe. Knowing that Virginia’s secession meant they would be separated from their families and sent farther south to work for the Confederacy, the men decided to plead for sanctuary. And they were in luck.

The fort’s commander, Benjamin Butler, retained them — and many more that followed — by calling them “contraband of war.” Butler depended on the contrabands to provide information about the Confederates. He found the perfect partner in George Scott, one of the contrabands, whose heroism saved the fort from enemy hands. And, it was the plight of the contrabands that convinced President Lincoln that slavery must be abolished and inspired him to write his Emancipation Proclamation, ending slavery in the rebellious states. [Publisher’s description]

ISBN: 9781635925821 | Calkins Creek

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