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October 1, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County’s Poor, 1805-1820: Part II

“A Typical Mammy,” 1897. Social Life in Old Virginia before the War, by Thomas Nelson Page.

Illustrated by Genevieve Cowles and Maude Cowles.

This series highlights Roger G. Ward’s abstracted images from the Buckingham County Virginia Loose Papers housed at the beautiful Huntington Library in San Marino, California.  The last post will include a link to a PDF of his complete document.

Click here to catch up: Buckingham County’s Poor, 1805-1820: Part I


During the nineteenth century, numerous free black families lived in Buckingham County. Many were able-bodied and supported themselves. Others, due to age or infirmity, sought charity. In this sampling of entries from the “Poorhouse Accounts,” several African Americans are named. Unfortunately, most do not include surnames:

Aaron Fuqua clothed an unnamed negro woman, presumably a free black.

Mercury, “a black man,” and Dick, “a black man,” received charity, as did Markham, “an old Negro.”

B. Taylor received money for “gambling with a Negro.” (I have no clue what this means. Can a Slate River Ramblings reader help?)

John Toney was paid for removing “a mulatto boy” from Buckingham to Powhatan County.

William Moseley cared for “a poor mulatto woman” named Sarah Anderson. James Ayers also provided her with supplies. A woman named Sally Anderson furnished sundries to Sarah Anderson, again described as “a mulatto woman.” (I sense a complex story here. Does anyone recognize Sarah Anderson?)

John P. Morriss was paid for keeping seven Negroes.

The chancery case “Horsley vs Perkins” involved the care of three Negroes: Big Julius, Little Julius, and Matt.

To learn more about the history of Buckingham County’s poorhouses, see my essay “Stewards of the Poor: Buckingham County’s Poorhouses” in “At a Place Called Buckingham” Volume Two.

Coming next: Buckingham County’s Poor, 1805-1820: Part III

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