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November 27, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Reconstruction in Buckingham County, Part VI

1860 Slave Census, Buckingham County, Virginia. Click to enlarge.


To catch up, follow this link: Reconstruction in Buckingham County, Part I

The next white man named on Lieut. Col. Jordan’s list of potential public servants was John R. Gilliam

A John R. Gilliam, age fifty-three, appears on the 1860 census, enumerated in Buckingham County’s District 1. Gilliam’s post office was Buckingham Court House and he lived with Margarete A. Mathews and what are probably her children, although the census does not indicate the relationship of the individuals living in the household. Gilliam may be a widower and Margarete may be his widowed daughter. He was a prosperous farmer, owning $11,600 in real estate, consisting of over 1,000 acres, and $24,755 in personal property, including thirty-three slaves living in six dwellings. These details make Gilliam another incongruous candidate for post-war government, at least on paper. . . . Did he really resist the “Rebel Cause”?

As yet, I have not found him on the 1870 Federal census nor any reference of him in Buckingham County politics or government.

Slate River Ramblings reader, L. D. Phaup commented:

John R. Gilliam lived at Osceola, where I was raised. The house is located on State Route 609, in the Francisco District of Buckingham County, and still stands. It is one of the oldest homes in the county going back to the 1740’s and was a stage coach stop on the road from Richmond to Lynchburg. The remains of the road can be seen today. I believe John R. Gilliam is buried in the family cemetery located close to the home.

Coming Next: Reconstruction in Buckingham County, Part VII

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