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    Caretaker of two

    Historical Treasures:


    Circa 1850 SLAVE QUARTERS
    and the




    The James City Historical Society was founded in 1991 to honor the first community of formerly enslaved people in North Carolina. During the Civil War, more than 10,000 refugees from slavery came to Union-occupied New Bern seeking freedom. By 1865, there were nearly 3,000 formerly enslaved people living in the Trent River Settlement opposite New Bern in Craven County. The community was renamed James City, after Rev. Horace James, Superintendent of Negro Affairs for the North Carolina District. In the decades to come, James City residents created a proud history of fighting for self-determination. Today the JCHS is the caretaker of two historical treasures: the Far Cemetery and the Circa 1850 Slave Quarters.


    Cross the threshold into a time when people were treated as property, their very humanity taken from them. As you enter the place they called home, notice the faces that stare back at you. How did they endure under such conditions? Imagine they are speaking to you now. What would they say?


    Honor the graves of the unknown dead, whose tombstones were bulldozed away. What memories were erased? How can we restore those memories today?