The Effects of the Proclamation - Fred Negroes Coming Into Our Lines at Newbern, North Carolina

February 21, 1863, page 116

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Though the President's proclamation of freedom has been so often compared to the Pope's Bull against the comet, it seems to be producing some substantial fruits. We publish on page 116 an illustration of Contrabands Coming Into New Bern, North Carolina, from a sketch sent us by an amateur, who writes as follows:

Newbern, North Carolina , January 26, 1863. 

I inclose a sketch of a very interesting procession which came to Newbern from "up country" a few days ago. It is the first-fruits of the glorious emancipation proclamation in this vicinity, and as such you may deem it worthy of engraving in your illustrated Weekly.

On our late expedition into Greene and Onslow Counties our company (Company C, Fifty-first Massachusetts Regiment) was out on picket duty the night before our return to Newbern, when an old slave came in to us in a drenching rain; and on being informed that he and his friends could come to Newbern with us, he left, and soon the contrabands began to come in, with mule teams, oxen, and in every imaginable style. When morning came we had 120 slaves ready to start with their little all, happy in the thought that their days of bondage were over. They said that it was known far and wide that the President has declared the slaves free.

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