The African American Civil War Museum will host a presentation by Baltimore research author Dr. Kerri Moseley-Hobbs about her book “More Than a Fraction: African American Heritage & Culture” on Sunday, May 26, 2019 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The African American Civil War Museum is located at 1925 Vermont Avenue NW, in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Moseley-Hobbs will talk about the research into her heritage and cultureresulting from the documented story of her ancestors, the Fractions, and indirectly African Americans from Virginia and the original colonies. Her research tells the story of a family transported on the ship, True Blue to America for a life of enslavement at the Smithfield and Solitude plantations in Blacksburg, Virginia. By the third generation, the Civil War began giving the Fractions and other enslaved a chance for freedom.
Dr. Moseley-Hobbs’ research documents how brothers Thomas and Othello Fraction ran away from their lives in slavery to join the Union Army and served in the Civil War for a chance to win their freedom. Dr. Moseley-Hobbs also discovered documentation, which is not included in the timeline of her book, that also tells the story of their struggles to be free after the Civil War was won, how they became land owners, how one brother became a respected train worker and how their names came to be engraved on the Wall of the War Memorial Plaza in Washington, D.C.
Today, Dr. Hobbs is a member of the Smithfield-Preston Foundation’s Board of Trustees, which oversees the historic estate where the Smithfield plantation was located and continues to work with Virginia Tech University, which now holds title to the Solitude and the majority of land of the Preston family plantations. The Preston Family was the original owner of the plantations and they were considered the wealthiest family in Virginia at the time. The last heir to the Smithfield estate was William Ballard Preston, a former Virginia State Senator and as U.S. Secretary of the Navy; and the last heir to the Solitude estate was Williams’ brother Robert Preston.
Dr. Hobbs is a direct descendant of Thomas Fraction, brother of Othello. Thomas was noted by a local newspaper as being a “well known colored man” when he passed away. “More Than a Fraction: African American Heritage & Culture” includes a very powerful PowerPoint presentation in which Dr. Moseley-Hobbs connects the African cultures of her ancestors to the cultural norms of African-Americans in the U.S. today.
To learn more about the African American Civil War Museum, visit: www.AfroAmCivilWar.org.