Philadelphia Freedom Paper
A Bronx, New York man with a longtime interest in African-American history recently purchased an intriguing document at a flea market that he believes to be a “freedom paper” for an African-American man named John Jubilee Jackson.
The paper was issued in Philadelphia in 1821, and indicates that Jackson was from Virginia, a state where, by 1780, nearly half of all slaves resided.
History Detectives heads to Philadelphia, Mystic, CT and New York City to investigate the document and the life of John Jubilee Jackson, uncovering the remarkable and contradictory reality of free blacks struggling to get by in a racist society.
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