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September 18, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Edmund Hall

Ruins of Tredegar Iron Works. Courtesy National Archives.

In the early twentieth century, there was occasionally news of former slaves who distinguished themselves following Emancipation. Among them was Edmund Hall of Buckingham County. In 1904, the Appomattox and Buckingham Times reported the following:

Edmund Hall, a former slave belonging to Mrs. A. B. Hall, of this county, has recently visited his home, having been away about 40 years, having been in the employ of the “Tredegar [Iron] Works” in Richmond 39 years. He showed his attachment for his old mistress and young masters by coming back to see them once more, and said he wanted to carry home something to remember them by, if only a stock [?] or a switch from the place where he was raised. Uncle Edmund stands well in a business way in his city, and having raised a family there who has followed his good example and deserve honorable mention. His devotion to his old mistress and young masters is an unusual thing now-a-days.

In 1900, the widow, Mrs. A. B. Hall, was living with her son Alexander S. Hall (a lawyer) and her son Robert A. Hall (a schoolteacher) in the James River District of Buckingham County.

Looking back to 1870, Edmund Hall was already living in Richmond with what appears to be a large extended family. The census page is very faint, and there may be errors in this transcription. They were living in the Monroe Ward and enumerated as follows:

Samuel Dowpson [Dawson ?], 45, head of household, laborer

Lucy Dowpson, 25, housekeeper

William Dowpson, 1, at home

Betsy Dowpson, 77, at home

Susy Hall, 45, at home

Daniel Hall, 50, laborer

Wallace Hall, 20, porter

Edmund Hal, 28, laborer

George Hall, 23, tailor [?]

James Hall, 2, at home

Eliza Hamilton, 14, at home

If a Slate River Ramblings reader recognizes the Hall family, please comment below.


Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / Sep 18 2017 9:33 am

    Linda, Many thanks for your comment. I hope we learn more about Edmund Hall and his extended family. Joanne

  2. Linda Loftin / Sep 18 2017 8:20 am

    It isn’t surprising that devotion to a mistress and master were rare! What is surprising is that Edmund Hall come back to visit without revenge on his mind. He must have been a very forginging man.

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