The Fredericksburg Area Museum (FAM), in partnership with Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields National Military Park and Discover Stafford, is pleased to announce a new trolley tour Sparking Freedom: Enslaved Resistance in Fredericksburg and Stafford, Virginia. Led by Dr. Gaila Sims, Curator of African American History and Special Projects.


Sparking Freedom will incorporate stops at multiple National Park Service sites, as well as several other local historic locations and the Fredericksburg Area Museum. Combining historical documentation and archival research, this program will feature accounts of enslaved resistance including an uprising of enslaved men at Chatham plantation in winter 1805, the story of Anthony Burns, an enslaved man who escaped to Boston in 1853 but was later apprehended under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, and enslaved individuals like Bethany Veney who resisted sales and auctions.


Sparking Freedom will take place on April 13th and 27th between 1pm – 3pm. This program is free and open to the public. Participants will board the trolley at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center (1013 Lafayette Blvd). Due to limited spots, participants must RSVP. Visit ( to reserve your spots.


Two additional trolley tour dates will be available in the fall. A self-guided tour brochure with video and map will also be available after the spring tour dates.


Sparking Freedom: Enslaved Resistance in Fredericksburg and Stafford, Virginia is supported by the National Park Foundation’s ParkVentures Grant.


For more information please either contact, or visit us at The FAM collects, researches, interprets, teaches, and preserves the history, heritage, and culture of the Fredericksburg region. We serve a diverse community through a commitment to inclusion, integrity, credibility, and relevance. We will facilitate an understanding and appreciation of how the acts of those who preceded us have shaped this community and the nation at large—providing both lessons and inspiration as we work together to forge a greater community.