Part of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Arlington Estate in Virginia was transformed into Freedmen’s Village, initially housing over 100 formerly enslaved people from the Washington D.C. area. Officially dedicated with a ceremony in December 1863 and attended by members of Congress, Freedman’s Village had housing, schools, a hospital, and vocational facilities.
The residents thrived but had issues and challenges based on the rules established by the government. Freedman’s Village was closed by the government in 1900 after compensating residents $75,000, the appraised value of their houses on the land.
- “Freedman’s Village.” National Park Services. 2020.
- Reidy, P. Joseph. 1987. “Coming from the Shadow of the Past: The Transition from Slavery to Freedom at Freedmen’s Village, 1863-1869,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 95, No. 4, 405-406.
- Panoramic view of Freedman’s village, Arlington, Virginia. 1864. Library of Congress.