"The Spirit of Freedom" is a project aimed at preserving the  documentary history of the Civil War's emancipationist legacy in the Shenandoah Valley. 

This project was directed by Prof. Jonathan A. Noyalas, Director McCormick Civil War Institute, Shenandoah University.

Shenandoah University is an affiliate member of the Council of Independent Colleges, Legacies of American Slavery projectThe Legacies project is conducted in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, with financial support from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. The Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, Boxley-Fox Endowment Fund, provided additional financial support for this project.


This project would not have been possible without our wonderful team of researchers: Alana Gill (student, Mary Baldwin College); Caitlyn Graulau (student, Shenandoah University); Jamie Hunstad (student, Shenandoah University); Brennan Komelasky (student, Shenandoah University); Stephen Longenecker, Ph.D (professor emeritus Bridgewater College); Emily Mullen (student, Shenandoah University); Chris Nelson (independent researcher); Brandy N. Noyalas (social studies teacher, Winchester City Public Schools), and Steven Stabler (student, Shenandoah University).

Technical assistance in the development of this site was provided by Shenandoah University students Douglas Jackson and Callista Mayberry under the direction of Anne Marchant, PhD, Division of Applied Technology, Shenandoah University. Technical support was also provided by the Omeka.net team.

Finally, the project team wishes to express its appreciation to Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D, president of Shenandoah University; Adrienne Bloss, Ph.D., former provost at Shenandoah University; Cameron McCoy, Ph.D., provost at Shenandoah University; and Jeff Coker, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Shenandoah University. Each has offered tremendous support and encouragement for this project.