"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
Featured Promotion

Learn about how the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia helped women gain the right to vote.

Equal Suffrage League of Virginia
Jeff Boedeker, Justin Reid, & Marshall Rea: Virginia Voices public meeting @MotonMuseum Farmville today, noon 4/19/14 t.co/PQYWsg3x3h

Unidentified - Virginia

Unidentified author, "Journal of Tens Days Travel on Board [the] Steamer Frances," 1875. 120 pp. Mss5:1Un3:15.
Concerns a voyage from Bridgeport, Conn., to Virginia and up the James River made by an unidentified Union army veteran. The journal entries comment on stops at Fort Monroe, Norfolk, Petersburg, and Richmond, and the local African American populations found there.

Unidentified author, letter, 1765. 1 p. Mss2Un3a17.
Written in New York City to Paul Miller of Pensacola and Mobile concerning a bill of lading and arrangements for sale of the slave Sarah.

Unidentified author, letter, 1775. 2 pp. Mss2Ad1836a1. Photocopy.
Written 9 June 1775 from Fredericksburg to John Adams in Philadelphia concerning the issuance of paper money and the freeing of slaves. (Original in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society.)

Unidentified author, letter, 1850. [6] pp. Mss2Un3a44.
Written on 26 March 1850 to Daniel Webster, this letter refers to a speech made by the senator on the slavery question and tries to provide a scriptural basis for the holding of slaves. It is signed "Several 'Conscientious' Virginians."

Unidentified author, letter, 1862. 3 pp. Mss2R3913a1. Photocopy.
Written 8 September 1862 from Bossier Parish, La., to Horace Addison Richards, Mangohick, King William County, concerning the death of Pollie (Richard) Skinner and the distribution of slaves belonging to her estate.

Unidentified author, poem, "The Old Slave's Lament," undated. 3 pp. Mss2Un3a29. Typescript.
Written in dialect, ostensively from the perspective of a former slave who had been the nurse for her master's children.

Unidentified author, William Ransom Johnson. 2 pp. Mss7:1J6397:1. Photocopy of a typescript.
Consists of notes concerning William Ransom Johnson ([1782–1849] of Oakland, Chesterfield County). Includes information concerning numbers of slaves owned by Johnson and his breeding and racing of horses.

Unidentified compiler, account book, 1769–1772. [6] pp. Mss5:3Un3:48.
The scattered surviving pages of this financial volume concern mercantile operations in Dinwiddie and King and Queen counties and in Williamsburg, and include records of general supplies and dry-goods purchases, along with the sale of slaves.

Unidentified compiler, account book, 1837–1866. 120 pp. Mss5:3Un3:41.
Records medical fees charged to patients in Charles City, Henrico, and New Kent counties and includes lists of slaves.

Unidentified compiler, extracts from various Virginia and Maryland newspapers, 1785–1800. 159 pp. Mss7:3Z691Un3:1.
Contain articles and extracts from various Virginia and Maryland newspapers concerning, in part, the formation of societies to aid indentured servants and slaves in Richmond, Va., and Baltimore, Md.

Unidentified compiler, genealogical notes. [3] pp. Mss6:1M3233:1. Photocopies.
Notes concerning the Dunlap, Marable, Moyer, and Oliver families, including a list of slaves belonging to Benjamin Marable.

Unidentified compiler, inventory, 1860. 1 p. Mss2Un3a24.
An inventory of the dower slaves of the estate of Dabney Minor (1774–1824), presumably in Albemarle County, compiled in October 1860 following the death that year of Minor’s widow, Martha Jefferson (Terrell) Minor of Mechunk Plantation. The inventory indicates to whom slaves are currently hired out, as well as providing assessments of the character and skills of each.

Unidentified compiler, leaf from an unidentified account book, 1847–1849. 1 p. Mss2Un3a41.
Includes accounts for the hiring of Sam, Washington, and Robin, slaves.

Unidentified compiler, list, undated. 1 p. Mss2G7606a1. Copy.
Concerns slaves belonging to the estate of James Graham of Greenbrier County (now W.Va.).

United Order of True Reformers, Grand Fountain of Virginia, charter, 1904. 1 p. Mss4Un3035a1.
The United Order of True Reformers, founded in Richmond by William Washington Browne (1849–1897), was initially an African American temperance society. The organization grew to include ownership of a bank, insurance company, and a hotel in Richmond. The charter is dated 25 August 1904, issued to Red House Fountain No. 2239, Red House, Charlotte County, of the United Order of True Reformers.

United States Army, 2nd Colored Cavalry Regiment, records, 1864. 37 items. Mss12: 1864:2.
Records of the 2nd U.S. Colored Cavalry Regiment, including reports and requisitions for clothing, camp and garrison equipment.

United States Army, 38th Colored Infantry Regiment, muster roll, 1865. [2] pp. Mss12: 1865 Feb 28:1.
Muster roll, 28 February-30 April 1865, of Company G of the 38th Colored Infantry Regiment, United States Army in Virginia.

United States Army, Dept. of Virginia, general order no. 77, 1865. 1 p. Mss12:1865 June 23:1.
Issued by order of General Edgar M. Gregory and bearing the stamped endorsement of General Oliver Otis Howard, this printed order grants "People of color . . . the same personal liberty that other citizens and inhabitants enjoy."

United States Army, Pay Department, voucher, 1857. 1 p. Mss12: 1857 Feb20:1. Photocopy.
Voucher, dated 20 February 1857, issued by the U.S. Army Paymaster to George Washington Custis Lee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the service of Lee and an African American servant.

United States Treasury Department, Customs Bureau, Virginia. Bermuda Hundred and City Point accounts, 1791–1793. 29 items. Mss4UN3763c.
Kept by William Heth, agent. Include a receipt, 1792, of Christopher Roane for the hire of two African American boatmen.

United States Treasury Department, Customs Bureau, Virginia. Bermuda Hundred and City Point accounts, 1791–1793. 43 items. Mss4UN3763d.
Kept by William Heth, agent. Include a receipt, 30 June 1792, of Christopher Roane for hire and maintenance of boatmen.

United States Work Projects Administration, Virginia papers, 1937. 3 items. Mss4Un384b.
Include a memorandum concerning the new method of keeping statistics of full-time and part-time employees and recording the two sets of statistics by race.

Upper Goose Creek Baptist Church, Fauquier County, records, 1801–1859. 42 items. Mss4Up653b.
A mixed congregation throughout most of the early years covered by this collection, Goose Creek Church was headed by the Reverend John Ogilvie as pastor. A portion of this collection includes authorizations issued to Ogilvie by masters to permit particular slaves to be baptized and to join the church. Also, includes an 1829 letter of Nimrod Farrow to several church trustees concerning his gift of land to the church for a union meeting house for black and white congregations (bears sketch of the proposed building and grounds).

Upper Appomattox Company records, 1796–1935. 22 items. Mss3UP65a. Microfilm reel B64 (incomplete) and C578–581.
Incorporated in Petersburg to provide for improvements and maintenance of the Appomattox River in Virginia. An account book, 1796–1820 (item a5), includes information concerning the purchase of slaves (pages 14, 21–22, 35, 47), purchase of meals for laborers (page 14 and following), clothes for slaves (pages 14–17, 68, 86, 93, 113, 126, 141, 118), medical services (sometimes disease is specified; pages 17, 49, 75–76, 93–94, 102–3, 141, 150, 155, 157, 176, 181), hiring accounts (pages 21–24, 39, 46, 191), prison fees (page 49), and constable's fees for administering discipline to slaves (pages 157–68, 176). This list of subjects is not exhaustive; the book contains many more references to slaves and African American laborers.

A minute book, 1842–1872, provides information concerning laborers to be hired for specific repairs and general maintenance (pages 41–42, 58–59, 61). An item in the collection's last folder contains an 1809 list of approximately thirty male slaves belonging to the company.

Van Lew, Elizabeth Louisa (1818–1900), album, 1845–1897. 74 pp. Mss5:5V3257:1. Microfilm reel C309.
Contains correspondence and other records of this Union spy in Civil War Richmond and city postmistress. Includes a bond, 1852, with Richard H. Lorton for the hire of Caroline; a receipt, 1863, issued by Edwin A. Smith for the purchase of Louisa; and a printed pass, 1864, issued to Bob and Oliver by the Confederate War Department to visit Chaffin's Farm, Henrico County.

Vaughan, Archibald, account book, 1835–1866. 164 pp. Mss5:3V4654:1
Includes accounts, 1850–1866, of Henry Carrington of Ingleside, Charlotte County, concerning a mill and the hire of slaves.

Venable, George Henry (1828–1869), papers, 1862–1868. 7 items. Mss2V5516b.
Included in this collection of papers of a teacher and newspaper editor of Petersburg, Va., are letters written to Mrs. Elizabeth Venable of Oxford, N.C., by Sallie, a slave in Henrico County, Va., concerning members of the Landis and Venable families.

Via, Vera V., essay, "He Hated Slavery," 1950. 1 p. Mss9:1C6795:1.
Concerns Edward Coles of Enniscorthy, Albemarle County, and the emancipation of his slaves. Printed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Virginia Central Railroad Company, bond, 1853. 1 p. Mss4V81925a1.
Bond, 1853, with Dr. William Hackett for the hire of two slaves, Jack and Joe.

Virginia Collector of Customs, Upper James River District, account book, 1731–1743. 102 pp. Mss4V819a5. Microfilm reels A16–17.
This volume records ships, captains, fees, customs duties and cargo for the Upper James River District. Much of the cargo listed is agricultural produce, tobacco and alcohol; occasional entries indicate importation of slaves.

Virginia Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers. Scrapbook, 1927–1965 (bulk 1951–1961). 125 pp. Mss5:7V8192:1.
Scrapbook kept by the president, Thelma S. Pegram (1905–1988), of Covington chiefly consisting of group photographs, newspaper clippings, and programs from conferences, conventions, and workshops. Also, contains information about the organization, such as by-laws, certificates, newsletters, roster, and statistics. The newspaper clippings mostly highlight the meetings and activities of the congress, but also provide an overview of education during the years before and after desegregation.

Items of particular interest include a newspaper article, 1951, concerning the appointment of Deborah (Cannon) Partridge Wolfe as the first African American faculty member of Queens College, Flushing, N.Y. (p. 89); newspaper article, 1951, about black community leaders asking Virginia Governor John S. Battle to appoint more African Americans to state commissions and boards (p. 85); newspaper article, 1951, about a five-member delegation from the congress meeting with Governor Battle to discuss improvements in education and health standards (p. 29); newspaper article, 1955, expressing the thoughts of African American teachers at the prospect of a change in status after integration (p. 48); newspaper articles, ca. 1960, discussing the closure of Prince Edward County schools in response to integration and the disappointment of African American parents and children regarding lack of access to education (pp. 20, 25, 30, 57); newspaper articles, 1960, announcing the Virginia branch's split with the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers over lack of support for desegregation (in loose items, pp. 3–4, 27); and newspaper article, 1961, announcing the intention of the Virginia Federation of Parents and Teachers to hold future conferences only in racially integrated hotels (in loose items).

The Virginia branch of the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (later renamed the Virginia Federation of Parents and Teachers) was founded by John Manuel Gandy (1870–1947) and Clara L. K. Bailey (d. 1953) in 1927, one year after the formation of the national body. The goal was to unite parents and teachers in states with legal segregation, creating an African American counterpart to the all-white National Congress of Parents and Teachers. The organization hoped to bridge the gap between home and school life in a planned effort to improve the welfare of students. The National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers combined with the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in 1970.

Note: For preservation purposes the contents of this volume have been removed, rehoused, and retained in folders designated by page number of the original scrapbook.

Virginia Council, commission, 1771. 1 p. Mss4V8193a5.
Issued 11 May 1771 to the justices of the peace of Louisa County to form a court of oyer and terminer to try slaves, free blacks, and Native Americans accused of felonies.

Virginia General Assembly, resolution, 1865. 1 p. Mss4V8a30.
This draft resolution, ca. 14 February 1865, concerns the employment of slaves in all work other than as soldiers to release Confederate army troops for active military service.

Virginia governor (Alexander Spotswood), commission, 1720. 1 p. Mss4V819a8 (oversize).
Commission, 9 February 1720, issued to the justices of the peace for Norfolk County to try Luke, a slave of Mrs. Thruston, for breaking and entering the storehouse of Samuel Smith.

Virginia governor (Hugh Drysdale), proclamation, 1724. 1 p. Mss13:1724 January 18:1.
Issued to the sheriff of Northampton County concerning repeal of the act of assembly of 7 June 1722 concerning servants and slaves and the better government of imported convicts.

Virginia governor (Hugh Drysdale), proclamation, 1724. 1 p. Mss13:1724 October 27:1.
Announces the repeal of an act of assembly of 20 June 1724 for laying a duty on liquor and slaves. Bears an endorsement of the sheriff of Northampton County.

Virginia governor (Sir William Gooch), commission, 1748. 1 p. Mss4V819a7.
Issued to the justices of the peace of Norfolk County to try Mingo (belonging to the estate of Henry Miller) for breaking and entering the house of Thomas Cooper.

Virginia governor (Francis Fauquier), commission, 1764. 1 p. Mss4C4265a1.
Printed form with handwritten completions, 26 March 1764, authorizing a number of Chesterfield County justices of the peace to try the slave Cheshire, property of John Hylton, for burglary.

Virginia governor (Francis Fauquier), commission, 1765. 1 p. Mss1D2856b7.
Printed form issued to the justices of Northampton County to try Peter Hill, slave of William Christian, for a felony.

Virginia governor (Francis Fauquier), commission, 1765. 1 p. Mss4N7674a2.
Issued to the justices of the peace for Norfolk County to try the slave Pomp (belonging to Richard Silvester) for stealing from Rothery & Routh of Norfolk.

Virginia governor (Benjamin Harrison), commission, 1784. 1 p. Mss4N1584a1.
Issued to the justices of the peace in Nansemond County for the trial of slaves.

Virginia governor (Benjamin Harrison), pardon, 1783. 1 p. Mss2J5901a1.
Issued to Joe, a slave in Frederick County owned by William Hickman, releasing him from a death sentence.

Virginia governor (William Smith), letter, 1847. 1 p. Mss4V8a38.
Letter issued by the Virginia executive department and signed by Governor Smith on 10 March 1847 is addressed to the governor of Florida (William Dunn Moseley). It concerns resolutions of the Virginia General Assembly adopted 7 March 1847 regarding the extension of slavery into any territory acquired through war or treaty negotiations with the nation of Mexico. A printed copy of the resolutions is enclosed.

Virginia House of Burgesses, petition, 1772. 1 p. Mss4V81934a4 (oversize).
This petition is directed to King George III of England and requests a ban on the further importation of slaves from Africa for humanitarian, economic, and safety reasons. Signed by Peyton Randolph as president and bears an endorsement noting is was vetoed by the Privy Council. Printed in the Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1770–1772, edited by H. R. McIlwaine, pp. 283–284.

Virginia House of Burgesses, resolution, 1775. 1 p. Mss4V81934a3.
Resolution, 12 August 1775, concerning the importation of slaves from South Carolina.

Virginia House of Burgesses, Committee of Propositions and Grievances, papers, 1711–1730. 157 items. Mss3V8b.
Much of the text of these documents has been printed in William Waller Hening's The Statutes at Large of Virginia (Richmond, 1814), vol. 4, and in The Laws of Virginia, . . . 1700–1750 (Richmond, 1971), compiled by Waverly K. Winfree.

The documents in this collection are chiefly legislative; several are judicial in nature, pertaining to specific cases before the courts. Among the legislative documents are petitions, such as the 1718 memorial of John Brodnax in section 5 that concerns the hiring out of African Americans kept in the public jail for the purpose of discharging their debts for maintenance and release. It also concerns the use of an iron collar stamped "P.G." (public gaol) on slaves and runaways of unknown ownership. Bills and amendments in section 10 concern the procedures, 1723, for trials of African Americans accused of felonies, the 1726 text of the act concerning slaves kept in the public jail (see also John Brodnax's petition above), the 1728 act for duties on slave importation, and the 1730 act concerning the administrators and executors of estates and the sale of slaves, goods, and chattels taken in execution.

Several items in sections 8, 10, and 14 pertain to the assemblage of slaves suspected of planning an insurrection. In section 10, a 1723 bill presented to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances concerns Dick and several other slaves suspected of planning violence in Middlesex County and their transportation to Jamaica or some other island in the West Indies. An appraisal for the same slaves can be found in section 8 (item b57 [see also the entry for Bland family papers, 1713–1825, for related material]). In section 14, an order, 1723, of the Virginia General Court concerns the evidence against the slaves. Section 14 also contains a 1722 judgment in the case of King v. Sam, Will, and Sam, slaves, and the three-year prison sentence for planning violence against the king's subjects. Lists of tithables (section 15) contain only county totals; they are not broken down into categories by white and African American.

Virginia House of Delegates, resolution, [1852]. 1 p. Mss13:1852 June 1:1.
Draft by a member of the Committee on Courts of Justice concerning a pardon for the slave Jordan Hatcher.

Virginia Land Office, patent, 1730. 1 p. Mss11:1R5445:1.
Land grant dated 28 September 1730 and signed by Sir William Gooch as lieutenant governor of Virginia that was issued to Thomas Roberts for 400 acres in Prince George County. The verso bears a record of births of members of the Thomas Branch Wilson family and births, 1752–1788, of slaves.

Virginia Life Insurance Company, policies, 1864. 3 items. Mss4V81945b.
Policies, dated 19 January 1864, issued on the lives of slaves Alfred, Charles, and Stephen. These slaves were employed in the Beaver and Racoon pits of the Clover Hill Coal Company in Chesterfield County.

Virginia Life Insurance Company, policy, 1865. 1 p. Mss4V81945a1.
Policy, dated 27 February 1865, issued to John W. Ferguson on the life of Jerry, a slave employed as a laborer at the Confederate Navy Yard in Richmond.

Virginia Militia, 6th Infantry Regiment, Thomas Reekes's Company, order book, 1813–1814. 144 pp. Mss12:1813 Sept. 23:1.
Kept while the unit was stationed at Norfolk; volume subsequently used by Reekes to record lists of slaves and horses and farming accounts from 1814 to 1864 at Corn Hill, Mecklenburg County.

Virginia Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, constitution, 1790. 1 p. Mss9:4V8198:1.
As published in William Prentis's Virginia Gazette and Petersburg Intelligencer, no. 201 (8 July 1790). Full title of the society proclaimed to be "The Virginia Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of Free Negroes or Others Unlawfully Held in Bondage, and Other Humane Purposes." The newspaper also contains an article relating an incident in Nottoway County, providing information on suspicious claims of ownership of a slave, and an advertisement of a sale of estate slaves from Dinwiddie County.

Updated December 1, 2006