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After the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the formerly enslaved set out to find their lost relatives and friends. Between 1863 and 1902, they placed ads in newspapers across the country in an attempt to be reconnected with their loved ones. This small volume contains only those ads placed by mothers searching for lost children. They give voice to women who had formerly had none and who were now able to tell the stories of families torn apart. They also remind us that forced separations of this kind have a long history in America that continue to this day. 


To learn more about the program working to transcribe these ads, please visit

Taken From Her

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