“The Spirit of Freedom”: Preserving Emancipation’s Legacy in the Shenandoah Valley
In January 2020 Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute (MCWI) was name an affiliate member of the Council for Independent College’s Legacies of Slavery Project. As an affiliate, MCWI, under the leadership of director Jonathan Noyalas, with support from students at Shenandoah University, and additional assistance from students and faculty at Bridgewater College, Mary Baldwin College, and Winchester City Public Schools developed a digital collection of primary documents that reveal how the Shenandoah Valley’s African Americans maintained the Civil War’s emancipationist memory and the ways in which African Americans challenged the mythology of the Lost Cause in the Shenandoah Valley. The site contains more than 100 documents (with plans to include additional documents as they are discovered), brief histories of people and organizations associated with the preservation of emancipationist memory in the Shenandoah Valley (with more slated to be added), a timeline, classroom activities aligned with Virginia’s Standards of Learning, and a suggested reading list. This project was funded with support from the Council for Independent College’s Legacies of Slavery Project and the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley’s Boxley-Fox Endowment Fund. The site can be accessed HERE.
McCormick Civil War Institute Archival Collections
Shenandoah University’s McCormick Civil War Institute is the steward of a growing number of documents, artifacts, and ephemera related to the Civil War era. Many of these items relate to the varied experiences of soldiers and civilians in the Shenandoah Valley during the period.
Inventory Sheets of Items in our Collections
- Al MacLeod 9th NYHA Collection
- Baker Collection Inventory
- Brumback Family Collection
- Holdeman Papers
- Layton Collection
- Miscellaneous Civil War Letters Collection
- Robert Bradbury Collection
- Robert B. & Nancy R. Johnson Collection (Scrapbooks of Pvt. John A. Hindman, 122nd PVI)