Black History Month: Hotel D'Afrique - WRBL

Black History Month: Hotel D'Afrique

Posted: Updated:
CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. - The Outer Banks is a huge tourist spot and also home to some of North Carolina's most beautiful beaches.
    
The area is also known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. And below the surface of the blue waters are the stories many have never heard.
    
As we kick off our Black History series, 9 On Your Side starts off remembering the place where slaves went looking for their freedom, at the site of the Union's first victory of the Civil War.

A stone marker is all that represents the huge role Hatteras Island played in our nation's history when it comes to slavery.
    
It was in August 1861 that Union forces captured Hatteras Island. That's when word of the victory spread to mainland plantations and to the slaves, ready to escape from their masters.

Fifteen miles across the sound and up Roanoke Island, hundreds of slaves would make their way to Fort Hatteras and Clark, a group of small shacks and barracks. 

Hotel D'Afrique was located on what is now the southwest and south side of the Graveyard of the Atlantic's parking lot.
    
The colony was officially established as a safe haven for fugitive slaves, who were considered contraband of the war by October 1861. It was a declaration that many slave owners didn't like.

From 1861 to 1865, the now freed slaves became a part of the union, in exchange for food and housing. They worked alongside troops, armed, and raiding confederate positions. Others worked as longshoremen, carpenters and blacksmiths.
    
The women cooked and cleaned.
    
Hotel D'Afrique was the first of its kind and short lived. The location was prime target for repeated storms and hurricanes. Eventually, they wiped the fort away and erased its physical presence.
    
The Union army, already working to establish more colonies for now emancipated slaves, provided more opportunities for advancement.

Soon, the war ended and order had to be restored. All that land that was confiscated by the Union army had to be returned to the original owners, which in the end, didn't fare well for the island's black residents.
    
When that transition happened at the end of the war, those thousands of African Americans who lived in those safe havens failed to receive any of their rights and privileges promised by the government when they established the colonies.
    
Blacks left the area. And by 1867, the freedman's colony was officially decommissioned, all of the structures now gone.
    
As of August last year, the Hotel D'Afrique is now officially recognized as part of the Underground Railroad.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Traffic stop leads to drug arrest in Pitt Co.

    Traffic stop leads to drug arrest in Pitt Co.

    Saturday, April 19 2014 1:39 PM EDT2014-04-19 17:39:20 GMT
    A traffic stop landed a man behind bars in Pitt County.
    A traffic stop landed a man behind bars in Pitt County.
  • Student assaulted, robbed on ECU campus

    Student assaulted, robbed on ECU campus

    Saturday, April 19 2014 1:30 PM EDT2014-04-19 17:30:28 GMT
    A female East Carolina University student was assaulted and robbed Friday night walking through campus.
    A female East Carolina University student was assaulted and robbed Friday night walking through campus.
  • Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:20 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:20:23 GMT
    YORK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to prom during a question and answer session at school.Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday because he asked Nina Davuluri to prom.The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.School officials heard about Farves' plan in...
    YORK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to prom during a question and answer session at school.Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday because he asked Nina Davuluri to prom.The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.School officials heard about Farves' plan in...
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Knoxville woman finds body under deck during Easter egg hunt

    Knoxville woman finds body under deck during Easter egg hunt

    April 18, 2014 07:19 AM 2014-04-18 12:19:00 GMT
    A mother was shocked to discover the odor she'd smelled was a dead body underneath the deck of her Knoxville home.
    A mother was shocked to discover the odor she'd smelled was a dead body underneath the deck of her Knoxville home.
  • Boater charged in death of young woman who hit head on low bridge

    Boater charged in death of young woman who hit head on low bridge

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:53 PM EDT2014-04-18 00:53:40 GMT
    Investigators say a man was intoxicated and behind the wheel of a boat, causing the death of Savannah woman last Summer. Joseph Webb was arrested by Georgia Department of Natural Resources and booked
    Investigators say a man was intoxicated and behind the wheel of a boat, causing the death of Savannah woman last Summer. Joseph Webb was arrested by Georgia Department of Natural Resources and booked
  • Storm Team 9 Forecast

    Storm Team 9 Forecast

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:21 AM EDT2014-04-19 11:21:04 GMT
    A good chance of rain looks to impact Easter weekend.
    A good chance of rain looks to impact Easter weekend.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.