A site on Hatteras Island, which served as a safe haven for hundreds of runaway slaves during the Civil War, has been added to the National Park Services’ Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
Hotel De Afrique housed freed slaves from North and South Carolina during the period of 1861 and 1865 after the Union forces defeated the Confederate forces at Hatteras Inlet and at Forts Clark and Hatteras. The freed slaves helped Union forces build ships and fortify forts in exchange for housing and food. The original site of Hotel De Afrique has disappeared due to erosion and flooding.
A monument commemorating Hotel De Afrique and Hatteras’ participation in the National Underground Railroad was dedicated in late July during a ceremony held at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras. The monument is located at the entrance to the museum.
Remember to include a visit to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum while you are here. The museum offers a unique view of Hatteras’ maritime and Civil war history. For information on the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, click here or call 252-986-2995.