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June 26, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Jesse Moseley

Sycamore Island. Buckingham County, Virginia.

On January 24, 1895, the “Well Water Notes,” printed in the Appomattox and Buckingham Times, included a description of the sad death of Jesse Moseley, a “highly respected colored man.”  Moseley was one of the “nine men of color” who received land from Alexander Moseley in 1869 at what became known as “Alexander Hill.” According to the newspaper:

… at Manteo Station on the C. & O. R.R. on Friday the twelfth, instant. Jesse Moseley a highly respected colored man, who carries the mail from Manteo P.O. in Buckingham county across the river to the Station, with two section hands overtook to cross the river in the skiff. The river was very high, the current too strong for them. They were carried against the wire rope of the ferry which caught the boat and upset it, and the three men were thrown in the river. Moseley managed to catch hold of the wire rope and held onto it for over an hour, when he let go from exhaustion and being unable to swim he was drowned. The other two men swam to Sycamore Island and climbed a tree where they sat until a messenger could go to Wingina for a boat and help, when they were rescued from their fearful situation almost frozen. While Jesse Moseley was holding the rope Mr. Geo. W. Patterson, a Merchant at Manteo, offered $100 to any one who would rescue him, several attempts were made but each one failed the current being too strong.

                During the great freshet of 1870 Jesse Moseley rescued the young lady a Mrs. Wright, from the same tree the two men climbed. She was in a house that floated down until it struck the island and dashed to pieces, when the young lady escaped drowning by climbing the tree.

Note on the map above:

Fish Pond Road: Fish Pond, in Nelson County, was home to Alexander Moseley.

Sycamore Island.

Ryan Creek, Buckingham County, ran through Alexander Moseley’s farm known as “Sycamore Island.”

Manteo Road.

Click here for more about Alexander Hill Baptist Church, now on a Virginia Historic Landmark.

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