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Black HuntingtonAn Appalachian Story$
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Cicero M., III Fain

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042591

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042591.001.0001

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The “Grapevine Telegraph”

The “Grapevine Telegraph”

Post-Emancipation Black Community and Early Black Migrant Influx, 1865–1871

(p.22) Chapter 2 The “Grapevine Telegraph”
Black Huntington

Cicero M. Fain III

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines black agency during the immediate post-Civil War period of 1865-1871, a time in which African American movement and migration transforms the region. In the attempt to achieve a fuller measure of their freedom, black migrants leave Virginia and travel over the Appalachian Mountains into the newly formed state of West Virginia. Though free in the ostensibly anti-slavery state, racism impedes black aspiration. The chapter foregrounds the varied methods blacks utilize to ameliorate these barriers and constraints to build lives anew. It concludes that the primary purpose of black migration into the state and Huntington was not political or social gain but the acquisition of gainful employment affiliated with the establishment of the upstart Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

Keywords:   Black migrants, Grapevine Telegraph, White Sulphur Springs, Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, Collis P. Huntington

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