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“Hinsonville's Heroes: Black Civil War Soldiers of Chester County, PA”
Dr. Cheryl Renée Gooch, author of Hinsonville’s Heroes: Black Civil War Soldiers of Chester County, Pennsylvania (The History Press, February 2018) will discuss her newest book which traces and interprets the lives of 18 men from this free black community who served in the war to end slavery, and their families’ efforts to ensure that they are remembered for their role in re-unifying this country.
Named for Emory Hinson, a black man who purchased acres straddling Lower and Upper Oxford townships in Chester County, PA, the former 19th century village of Hinsonville attracted both free and determined to be free people who championed religious freedom, higher education, land ownership and equal rights. Residents organized a black Protestant church, supported the founding of Ashmun Institute (later Lincoln University), vigilantly opposed slavery and, in some cases, emigrated to Liberia as a part of the colonization movement. The community’s tradition of self-determination compelled 18 of its men to enlist to advance the freedom cause, 11 of whom trained at the former Camp William near Philadelphia.
Since its release, Hinsonville’s Heroes has maintained active interest among Civil War Round Table, general and academic audiences, and was featured on Pennsylvania Cable Network-TV’s PA Books.
Dr. Cheryl Renée Gooch is an academic leader, published scholar and active historical researcher. She served as historian and primary writer for the Delaware History Museum’s permanent exhibition, “Journey to Freedom” which chronicles the Black Delawarean experience from 1629 to the present.
An active member of the Toni Morrison Society Bench by the Road Project, Dr. Gooch led the effort to place the memorial bench at Hosanna Church which honors Hinsonville’s Civil War veterans, the church’s role in founding Lincoln University, and its members participation in Liberian colonization and the abolition of slavery.
A Life member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), she serves on the Executive Council, and is a member of the organization’s National Heritage Sites Committee which works with the National Park Service to expand inclusive interpretations of our country’s parks and sites.