Hatteras Site Receives National Underground Railroad Designation
Visitors to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum might notice a black stone monument near the entrance commemorating the site of the Hotel D'Afrique. In August 1861, Union forces captured Hatteras Inlet. As word of the victory spread to the mainland, hundreds of former slaves descended upon the area which provided a safe haven. These former slaves would often help unload supply vessels, and, in exchange, would receive food and housing. That's where the Hotel D'Afrique came into play. The Hotel D'Afrique operated from 1861 to 1865.
The site was recently identified as making a significant contribution to the understanding of the Underground Railroad and will now be officially included in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
A commemoration and monument dedication will take place on July 31 at 11 a.m. The dance troupe Echoes of Heritage and historians Drew Pullen and Hari Jones will give a presentation at the Museum beginning at 11:30 a.m.