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On April 9, 1862, 37-year-old Laura Matilda Towne to Port Royal Island, newly captured by the Union forces in the American Civil War. She spent the next 38 years of her life educating and ministering to freed slaves. She maintained the utmost belief in the humanity and possibilities for African-Americans. With her friend, Ellen Murray, she established the Penn Center school on St. Helena Island, the first school for emancipated slaves in the United States. Laura Towne is an vital figure in black history in America. Now a National Historic Landmark, the Penn Center was used during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s to train movement workers in non-violent civil disobedience. Here are Laura Towne's own letters to her beloved family and excerpts from her diary. The documents contain a fascinating look at African-American emancipation, hunger to learn and work, events of the war, and especially a look at the Reconstruction South. This edition is abridged and annotated. For the first time, this long-out-of-print book is available as an affordable, well-formatted book for e-readers and smartphones. Be sure to LOOK INSIDE or download a sample.