Near Manteo in Dare County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
bitter with hard bondage
For the millions of immigrants to this land, America has not been so much a destination as a promise: a promise of equality, a promise of self-determination and a promise of a better life for self and children. Not so for the slave.
With their arrival at the Jamestown colony in August of 1619, twenty captive Africans began a legacy of chattel bondage that by 1860 would include 15 states, 4 territories and the District of Columbia, with 3,952,760 enslaved.
Although mindless labor, physical abuse, and family destruction were typical of slave life, there was yet a greater tragedy. It was the slaves’ agony to witness the promise of America enjoyed by others, to help build that promise and be denied its fruits. This indeed may have been the greatest horror of slavery.
You are loosed from your moorings, and are free; I am fast to my chains and am a slave! You move merrily before the gentle gale, and I sadly before the bloody whip! You are freedom’s swift winged angels, that fly around the world;
The dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute.
Erected by Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 35° 55.67′ N, 75° 43.418′ W. Marker is near Manteo, North Carolina, in Dare County. Marker is on Freedman's Colony Road near U.S. 64/264, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located at a pull-off on the right just before the William B. Umstead Memorial Bridge on the northern end of Roanoke Island. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Manteo NC 27954, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Deliverance (here, next to this marker); The Promised Land (here, next to this marker); Naval Battle of Roanoke Island (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Huger (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Blanchard (approx. 0.2 miles away); First English Colonies (approx. ¼ mile away); R. A. Fessenden (approx. 0.3 miles away); First Light of Freedom (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manteo.
More about this marker. The first of the two pictures in the upper right of the marker is by McPherson & Oliver Photographers and titled, “The Second Back”. It was published in Harpers Weekly on July 4, 1863.
The second of the two pictures is of, "Wilson Chinn, a branded slave from Louisiana, exhibiting instruments of torture used to punish slaves."
The main picture is a closeup of the feet of Wilson Chinn, showing a ball and chain similar to what many slaves were forced to wear.
Categories. Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Notable Events •
More. Search the internet for Bondage.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 29, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,929 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 29, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.