Although the documents and resources found at this site are specifically
linked to one of eight Essential Understandings, other resources will
be generally helpful in preparing a unit about African American history.
- The Thomas Balch Library
Since we are able to include only a small portion of the documents and
other resources available at the Balch about African American history,
we invite you to visit the Balch Library or its website, www.leesburgva.org
(key word: Thomas Balch Library).
- A Chronology of African American History
in Loudoun County
As you choose from the documents included at this site, you will find
it extremely helpful to use a chronology of African American history
in Loudoun County by local historian, Eugene Scheel. Mr. Scheel presented
the chronology to the Balch Library in 1999. He recently updated and
edited it, and has graciously given us permission to make it available
to you on line. Any history teacher in Loudoun County who is teaching
African American history should visit this chronology. Further, we believe
it will provide an important context for using the resources at this
- The National Underground Railroad Network
to Freedom: Loudoun Members
A National Park Service program, the National Underground Railroad Network
to Freedom “provides technical assistance to organizations that
are attempting to identify, document, preserve and interpret sites,
. . .routes, and landscapes relating to the Underground Railroad.”
The Balch Library, Oatlands Plantation, and the Loudoun County Courthouse
are all members osf this network. Click on any of these locations to
learn why each of the three was so designated.
- African American Communities in Loudoun County
A project of the Friends of the Balch Black History Committee, this
history (Coming soon)
of African American Communities in Loudoun County, written by Deborah
Lee, provides a rich resource for teachers. Click here for the accompanying
As your students use the documents at this site, they may find
certain vocabulary words and terms unfamiliar. For your convenience,
a vocabulary list is included here. Although it is not comprehensive,
it will provide a basis for building a more complete bank of words with
The following links will be important to you as you use the documents
included at this site:
Sections of the U.S. Constitution
U.S. Constitution: Article I: Section 2
The “Civil War” Amendments
(Ratified December 1865)
(Ratified July 1868)
(Ratified February 1870)
(Ratified 1964): No poll tax in federal elections.
- Relevant Documents including Presidential
Orders, Supreme Court Decisions and Legislation:
The Compromise of 1850
This legislation tightened the Fugitive Slave Law, making it much
more difficult for slaves in the South to escape.
Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 1862
The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863
The freeing of slaves in areas still rebelling against the union.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954
The landmark case overturning the “separate but equal”
language of Plessy v. Ferguson
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
A law desegregating public facilities.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
Protection of a citizen’s right to vote.
- Bibliography (Coming soon)