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Emancipation Oak W-98 | Marker History

Emancipation Oak Marker, W-98

To the west, on the grounds of Hampton University, stands the Emancipation Oak. Under its sheltering limbs, protected and encouraged by the occupying Union army and prominent local church leaders, Mary Smith Kelsey Peake (1823-22 Feb. 1862) taught her fellow African Americans to read and write as the Civil War began. She founded the first black school in Hampton at Brown Cottage in September 1861; it was a forerunner of Hampton University. In 1863, following the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, Hampton residents gathered beneath the oak to hear the text read aloud.

Marker Information:
Additional Information: Original Marker Replaced under Replacement Marker Program using Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) Funds. A Federal program enacted into law in 1998.
Date Approved by DHR: 03/18/10
Year On Marker: 1997
Region: Tidewater Region
Geographic Location: Hampton
Physical Description of Location: Hampton, VA 23669. Located on Settlers Landing Road (Hwy 60), less than 1/5 of a mile west of the intersection of Settlers Landing Road (Hwy 60) and I-64. Marker is on the left when traveling west on Settlers Landing Road (Hwy 60).
GPS Location: 37.023721,-76.330869
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