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Colonial Williamsburg restoring school for Black children

The 18th-century building will be moved from the campus of William & Mary to the living history museum several blocks away.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — A schoolhouse in Virginia where enslaved and free Black children were taught before the Revolutionary War will once again become part of Colonial Williamsburg. 

The 18th-century building will be moved from the campus of William & Mary to the living history museum several blocks away.

Both institutions announced Friday that the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is buying the building that once housed the Bray School, where Ben Franklin and other benefactors supported the education of Black children from 1760 to 1774. 

Its mission was to impart Christian education to Black children, and to encourage the students to accept enslavement as divinely ordained.

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