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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hilton Head Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Dawn of Freedom: Mitchelville

 
 
The Dawn of Freedom: Mitchelville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, June 12, 2017
1. The Dawn of Freedom: Mitchelville Marker
Inscription. During the civil War, Union forces defeated the Confederates on Hilton Head Island at the Battle of Port Royal on November 7, 1861. Cannon fire from that battle heralded a dawn of freedom for millions of African slaves throughout the South. Thirty-two thousand were enslaved in and around Hilton Head Island. Many of these men, women and children escaped their plantations and headed to the Union lines on the island and in nearby Beaufort. The government labeled these people "contrabands:” not legally free but not forced to return to their masters. While legal emancipation did not come until 1863, the freedom seekers of Hilton Head Island worked to create their own community of political, social, religious, and economic freedom.

In 1862, Gen. Ormsby M. Mitchell planned a town for former African Slaves on Hilton Head Island. General Mitchel died shortly after. The town, named in his honor, was built by men and women seeking freedom. Mitchelville had named streets and homes on ¼ acre lots. Residents participated in their local government, voting for representatives who enacted South Carolina's first mandatory school attendance law. The residents of Mitchelville contributed to the War's effort. After the War, many who left the town went on to positions in state and local government. Others passed on their commitment to education
Mitchelville Freedom Park Pavilion image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, June 12, 2017
2. Mitchelville Freedom Park Pavilion
and civic participation to generations of African Americans of Gullah descent.

(captions)
(bottom left) Map of Mitchelville, 1863 with modern roads shown.

(top right) A foot print of old Mitchelville, this park commemorates the heritage of freedom in America and the rich culture of the people who endured.

Plan for Mitchelville Freedom Park

For more information about the story of historic Mitchelville please visit www.MitchelvillePreservationProject.org.

(bottom center) Gen. Ornsby M. Mitchel Image courtesy of the Library of Congress
 
Location. 32° 14.199′ N, 80° 41.216′ W. Marker is in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, in Beaufort County. Marker can be reached from Beach City Road 0.4 miles north of Dillon Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker located inside Fish Haul Creek Park within walking distance of the park's entrance. Marker is at or near this postal address: 226 Beach City Rd, Hilton Head Island SC 29926, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Battle of Port Royal/William Fitzhugh and Black Sailors in the Union Navy (here, next to this marker); Black Troops on Hilton Head (here, next to this marker); Mitchelville Building Sites
Sign located at entrance to the park image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, June 12, 2017
3. Sign located at entrance to the park
(within shouting distance of this marker); Mitchelville and Abolitionists (within shouting distance of this marker); Religion in Mitchelville/School in Mitchelville (within shouting distance of this marker); Working for Wages/Freedmen’s Bureau (within shouting distance of this marker); Reconnecting with Family (within shouting distance of this marker); Cherry Hill School (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hilton Head Island.
 
Regarding The Dawn of Freedom: Mitchelville. During the early years of the Civil War, and prior to the Emancipation Proclamation, the Town of Mitchelville was established for escaped slaves. Mitchelville is recognized as the first example of self government by former slaves.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. They are related to the Mitchelville Freedom Park Preservation Project.
 
Also see . . .  Mitchelville Preservation Project. (Submitted on July 7, 2017.)
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
View of Mitchelville Freedom Park Historical Markers image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, June 12, 2017
4. View of Mitchelville Freedom Park Historical Markers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 6, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 80 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 6, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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