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This Juneteenth, we recognize Henry, who was enslaved by @uvalaw professor John B. Minor (1845-1895) and who emancipated himself with the arrival of Union troops in Charlottesville in March 1865.
In a diary entry dated March 6, 1865, Minor wrote:
“The enemy got upwards of 100 horses between Meechum’s river and [the University of Virginia], and multitudes of servants went off with them, poor misguided creatures! Amongst them my boy Henry, hired in Staunton. I lament it more on his account than my own.”
Minor’s eldest daughter, Mary Lancelot Minor, penned a letter to an aunt a couple days later. She wrote that after escaping to freedom, Henry camped on Carr’s Hill with Union officers.
Minor’s personal papers and teaching materials are a testament to his belief that slavery was both necessary and a “positive good.” His diary provides glimpses of daily life at the University during the Civil War. We do not have an account from Henry or any of the persons Minor enslaved.
To learn more about UVA Law’s institutional connections to slavery, visit slavery.law.virginia.edu. (Link in profile)
Image 1: Pencil sketch of Union General Sheridan’s army following Confederate General Early through the Shenandoah Valley. Courtesy @librarycongress.
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