Description: [ Photographs ] (African-Americans) Moore Henry P. Contrabands aboard the U. S. S.Vermont, Port Royal, South Carolina. Albumen print, 5x 8 inches, with a letterpress caption label with the tide and Moore's "Concord, New Hampshire" credit on mount recto; framed. Circa 1862 E4,000-5,000 A scarce and early image of " contrabands" at the beginning of the Civil War. " Contrabands of war" was a term coined by the Massachusetts general Benjamin Butler, in 1861, to refer to ex- slaves, who, because emancipation had not been declared, could not yet be called free men. Beginning in the fall of 1861, large numbers of contrabands began fleeing to a group of sea islands off Port Royal, South Carolina, an area which had been freed by Union forces and held some of the richest plantations of the South. Not long after, military discipline was established on the islands, and members of Freedman' Aid Societies in New England began to send members to the area. The first group sailed from New York, in March 1862, with sixty persons, described in the 1893 book First Days Amongst The Contrabands as a "missionary expedition to propagate industry, religion, and education among the contrabands at Hilton Head. .
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