Near Manteo in Dare County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Promised Land
with thine eyes,
but thou shalt not go over thither.
The Proclamation of Emancipation gave the military authority to enlist “Such persons of suitable condition…into the armed service of the United States” and the Bureau of Colored Troops was established. Many African-Americans served with distinction.
Despite the promise and participation, African-Americans, in many instances, would continue to be denied their rightful place. Reconstruction fostered a racist attitude, creating the “Jim Crow” laws designed to cheat them of their birthright. With the 1960s and the civil rights movement, African-Americans gained greater standing in American society and on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave us a vision of what the future could bring.
When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last; free at last: thank God almighty, we are free at last.”
Once let the black man put upon his person the brass letters ‘US,’ let him get an eagle on his button and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket and there is no power on earth that can deny that he earned the right to citizenship in the United States.
A large number of males from the freedmen’s colonies served with distinction during the conflict. By the war’s end 178,985 would wear the “Union Blue” and 37,300 would make the ultimate sacrifice. The US Colored Troops included 21 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor – our country’s highest award.
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. Touch for map. 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. Marker is in this post office area: Manteo NC 27954, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Deliverance ( here, next to this marker); Bondage ( 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 main image on this marker was drawn by Thomas Nast for Harper's Weekly in 1865. It's official title is Franchise. And Not This Man? In this case, "franchise" refers to: a statutory right or privilege granted to a person or group by a government (especially the right to vote).
On this marker, the picture also carries the caption, "Liberty pleads for a veteran's just reward."
Additional keywords. USCT Colored Troops
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • War, US Civil •
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 1,343 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 29, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.