Los Angeles Times+ Your Authors @latimes Bringing L.A. to the world and the world to L.A. Subscribe now: checkout2.latimes.com/ Sep. 28, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

In Hampton, where colonial and Civil War markers abound, a mighty oak tree is perhaps one of the best known, if sometimes taken for granted, reminders of history.  https://lat.ms/2ntq0cF 

Born of a single seed, its trunk is now 16 feet around and at its height, soars 50 feet. A small studio apartment would easily fit under its shade.  https://lat.ms/2ntq0cF 

It’s where abolitionists secretly taught blacks from the Tidewater region to read and write. On a winter day in 1863, enslaved people flocked to it to hear the first Southern reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.  https://lat.ms/2ntq0cF 

This year, the Hampton Roads region is observing the 400th anniversary of 1619, a year that marked the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the English colonies just miles from the grand old oak.  https://lat.ms/2ntq0cF 

The tree has largely lived a quiet, uninterrupted life over the years. And now, it’s attracting greater attention and a growing number of visitors. More from @jaweedkaleem:  https://lat.ms/2ntq0cF 


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