Lauren H. Roedner '13, Gettysburg College
Student Research Paper
Date of Creation
Civil War Era Studies
A white Quaker abolitionist woman from Rochester, New York was not a likely sight in occupied Alexandria, Virginia during the Civil War where violence, suffering, death and racial inequality were rampant just south of the nation’s capital. Julia Wilbur was used to a comfortable home, her loving family, an enjoyable profession as a teacher, and the familiar comfort of many, often like-minded, friends. However instead of continuing that “easy” life, Julia embarked on a great adventure as a missionary to work with “contrabands-of-war”. More commonly known as fugitive slaves, these refugees needed shelter, medicine, food, clothes, and many other necessities of life as they continued toward true freedom. Julia became an ally who dedicated her life to providing donated necessities, advocacy, schooling and hope for a brighter future. Through personal, intimate diaries and correspondence with close friends and fellow volunteers spanning over fifty years, the story of Julia Wilbur; her faith, family, fortitude, and overall feistiness in the face of danger, moral inequality and established institutions, is woven together in a unique, inspiring, unpublished story.
This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Roedner, Lauren H. First Step Toward Freedom: Women in Contraband Camps In and Around the District of Columbia During the Civil War. NCUR Proceedings 2012 (March 2012), printed online.
Required Publisher's Statement
Original version is available from the publisher at: http://www.ncurproceedings.org/ojs/index.php/NCUR2012
Additional FilesFirst Step Toward Freedom Women in Contraband Camps In and Around the District of Columbia During the Civil War.pptx (8577 kB)
First Step Toward Freedom_NCUR_Presentation