Soldiers Slaves And Freedom Seekers

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Every school child has probably heard of George Washington and Paul Revere, but African-American hero Ned Hector hasn’t made it into most history books.

Now visitors to the Valley Forge area will hear about Hector and other black heroes of the American Revolution and Civil War, through special events and tours.

African-Americans’ proud history of service in our Armed Forces began with the American Revo-lution, when more than 5,000 soldiers of African descent fought in the Continental Army. Many shared the hardships of the winter encampment at Valley Forge, when the Continental army was forged into a fighting force that went on to win the American Revolution.

Some won their own freedom as well; others found themselves and their descendants relegated to slavery.

At special events throughout the year, visitors will meet Ned Hector, who was a hero of the Battle of Brandywine and also fought at the Battle of Germantown.

At Valley Forge, every Saturday through the summer months, they’ll meet Hannah Till, George Washington’s cook, who was born into slavery and worked hard to buy her freedom.

The compelling stories of soldiers, slaves, and abolitionists from the Revolution through the Civil War are told at special events throughout the Valley Forge area, and on guided tours of the region. Visitors to Valley Forge National Historical Park, Brandywine Bat-tlefield, Johnson House Under-ground Railroad site and other sites will hear stories of ordinary people with extraordinary determination who changed the nation’s history.

The Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau has developed tours to cater to visitors’ preferences. Self-guided African-Amer-ican Heritage Discovery Tours let visitors travel at their own pace, stopping to shop or visit the region’s many gardens, museums and attractions.

African-American Freedom Trail Group Tours are ideal for family reunions, conferences, conventions, and religious and military reunions.

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