African American history in Jefferson County, West Virginia, cannot be separated from American history. From slavery on the massive farms throughout the county, to the blow against slavery in Harpers Ferry, to the Niagara Movement against economic discrimination to end Jim Crow – it all took place in Jefferson County, and it all greatly influenced change in the social structure in America.
As you travel through this historical path, you will note colored (also coloured), Negro, black, and African American are used interchangeably, illustrating the vernacular used during a specific era.
Visit Jefferson County and learn more about historical figures such as Frederick Douglass, Martin Delany and W.E.B. Du Bois and their connections with Jefferson County. Travel the roads, view the scenery, tread the streets, touch the doorknobs, enter the same buildings that past generations of African Americans crafted.
We hope you enjoy your journey through African American history, Civil War history, and Civil Rights activism in Jefferson County. Don’t forget to share what you learn with others! The GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates of each site are included. The following website can be used to convert latitudes and longitudes to decimals: http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/bickel/DDDMMSS-decimal.html.