Emancipation Oak Tee


The Emancipation Oak, on the campus of Hampton University, Hampton, VA. Under this tree in 1863, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was read to the enslaved. Design on the front & back of tee.


On the back of the tee: “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 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.”

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