Freedom! A Promise Disrupted: North Carolina, 1862-1901

  • Dates: January 21, 2019 - July 14, 2019
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Venue: North Carolina Museum of History
  • Location: Downtown Raleigh
  • Address: 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh, NC 27601


The Civil War is often considered the “second American Revolution” and viewed as a rebirth of freedom. This second revolution included emancipation from an institution that had kept 4 million black people, over a quarter-million in North Carolina, in bondage.

Those emancipated set out to claim freedoms: to be families, to better themselves, to make a living, and to experience the rights of equal citizenship and the dignity accorded existence as people rather than property.

These attempts to remake lives—and, in the process, remake a nation—are known as the time of “Reconstruction.” In North Carolina, however, the expansion of freedoms was limited and cut short by a backlash of racism and terrorism.