Friday, August 03, 2012

Hotel DeAfrique

It is not widely known that 880 troops of the Union Army, Navy, and Coast Guard attacked and defeated Confederate forces at Fort Clark and Fort Hatteras August 28 & 29, 1861, securing for Federal forces their first victory of the American Civil War. 

Immediately afterwards a number of slaves made their way to Hatteras for protection. They quickly erected housing which was dubbed "Hotel DeAfrique." Eventually a much larger "Freedman's Colony" was established on Roanoke Island. (I know very little about the Freedman's Colony...another item to add to my list of topics for research!)

Following is a sketch and paragraph about Hotel DeAfrique, from the February 15, 1862 issue of Harper's Weekly:

Hotel DeAfrique

"[This photo] depicts the Hotel d'Afrique, a building erected near Fort Hatteras for the reception of contrabands [during the American Civil War "contraband" referred to a black slave who escaped to or was brought within the Union lines.]. There are upward of forty there now. The darkey with the pipe is 'boss' of the establishment, and obligingly sat to be sketched by our correspondent."

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Hurricane House and the Hurricane Boards. You can read it here:

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