Last heard from in 1884, Henry Adams serves as an example – by no means unique – of an intelligent though unschooled freedman who experienced slavery, military life, and the first wave of political activity among his fellows during Reconstruction. His view of Southern society was particular to rural, working-class Black people who had endured slavery. Like many of his peers, he looked to a new frontier to solve problems of politics and survival, and Adam’s favorite solution, that of migration from the South, was a popular one. Sadly, it exceeded the material reach of the vast majority of Black working people. For many others with some money, like Adams himself, the solution of migration was attractive, yet, for one reason or another, they never migrated.
- P.105, Exodusters – Nell Irvin Painter, ISBN 0-393-00951-3