CVHR Meeting (June 2): Discoveries in the Chancery Cases Preservation Project

May 23rd, 2016

Sam Towler will reveal what he is finding in his volunteer project at the Albemarle County clerk’s office.  Chancery cases since 1900 are still there (the oldest chancery cases were transferred to the Library of Virginia in the 1970s).  While Sam has been unfolding the case files and putting them in acid-free folders, he has been taking notes and photographs.  With these and additional research, Sam has been able to bring to light some fascinating material illuminating the lives of African Americans in the county.

Time and Location: Thursday, June 2, 4-6 PM, Jefferson School African American Heritage Center (JSAAHC), 233 Fourth St. NW, Charlottesville, VA.  There is plenty of parking.  The JSAAHC is on the second floor at the south end of the building.

CVHR Meeting (May 5): Looking at the Trees, to Understand the Forest

April 28th, 2016

Robin Patton and Elaine Taylor of the Louisa County Historical Society demonstrated an exciting new project for putting historical information into a spatial context.  With a focus on the Green Springs area of Louisa County, they are using ArcGIS as a container for both individual and scholarly research about slavery to better understand antebellum communities. This project has great potential to be of benefit to other historical societies and non-profit organizations.  See what they are doing and explore the results at http://lch.maps.arcgis.com/home/.

 

 

CVHR Meeting (April 7): Updates

March 19th, 2016

This was a quadruple header.  Alice Cannon reported on new discoveries about the Terrell connections of the Woodfolk family that reached as far as the mining communities of Iowa.  Gayle Jessup White told us of making new family connections in the Robinson family through DNA testing, which shed light on her ancestor Eva Robinson Taylor.  Anne Chesnut displayed her design for the web version of the Starr Hill-Union Ridge brochure-map; the completion of the website is now in the hands of UVA’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH).  And Andi Cumbo-Floyd showed her brand-new website Our Folks’ Tales, dedicated to telling the stories of enslaved people, free people of color, and their descendants: www.ourfolkstales.com.

 

 

CVHR Meeting (March 3): The Rushes of Chestnut Grove: One Family’s Journey from Slavery to Freedom

March 19th, 2016

Starting with fragments of information she heard from family members, Regina Rush set off on a quest to trace her ancestors and found a rich source of information at the Small Special Collections Library at UVA, where she is Reference Specialist. She told us about what she has learned about Nicey and Isham Rush, enslaved at the Rives plantation Oak Ridge in Nelson County (including Nicey’s runaway attempt), and the path of their descendants to landownership in southern Albemarle County. Since some mysteries remain, CVHR members were eager to suggest further avenues to follow. For more information, see Regina’s blog post from 2014 (http://smallnotes.library.virginia.edu/2014/03/26/albemarle-county-rushes/). Also, her story was featured in last month’s UVA Today (https://news.virginia.edu/content/librarian-finds-clues-her-familys-past-hidden-special-collections).

CVHR Meeting (Feb. 4): More Rivers and River Men

February 4th, 2016

Philip Cobbs drew us into the world of watermen, with a presentation that looked at different perspectives on the men—mostly African American—who “ran” the rivers in batteaux in the 19th century.  These views ranged from the romantic (accounts by writers like George Bagby and David Hunter Strother) to the choleric (Thomas Jefferson enraged when his trunk of Indian vocabularies was stolen by a waterman) to the realistic (evidence about actual conditions of upstream and downstream travel).  Philip ended his talk with an evocative photographic journey on the Rivanna River.

CVHR Meeting (Jan. 7): Rivers, Rivercraft, and River Men

January 7th, 2016

Brian Coffield of the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society gave a presentation on the history of river and canal navigation—from dug-out canoes to batteaux to river boats to railroads.  His presentation covered the flexibility of these various modes of transport and also touched on the way that enslaved people were employed both on the boats and in the construction of these means of transport.

CVHR Meeting (Dec. 4): CVHR Celebrates 2014!

December 7th, 2014

Conversation and refreshments instead of speakers and agenda.  We’ll get together and  review the year and look ahead to 2015.

** The African American Heritage Center is located in the Jefferson School City Center in Charlottesville, 233 Fourth St. NW.  There is plenty of parking.  It is on the second floor at the south end of the building. We meet at 4pm.

CVHR Meeting (Nov 6): An Enslaved Woman and her Dressmaker Daughter

December 7th, 2014

Noted author and textile scholar Kathleen Curtis Wilson* will share with us new and important information about cloth and clothing production by an African American woman.  Nineteenth-century textiles with an African American provenance are rare nationwide and unheard of in Appalachia.

Thus the discovery of two quilts and other items made in Bath County, Virginia, by the daughter of an enslaved woman was “extraordinary,” Wilson says.  She will tell the story of Elizabeth Morris Bolden (1872-1948), a highly-skilled seamstress who lived in Warm Springs all her life and was married to Charles Bolden (1856-1919) of Charlottesville.

Lizzie Bolden’s great-granddaughter, Perlista Henry, who preserved the textiles and family stories and photographs, will join us for this exciting presentation.

*Wilson’s books include Irish People, Irish Linen and Uplifting the South, the biography of Mary Mildred Sullivan, who among other things was active in the Southern Industrial Education Association.

 

** The African American Heritage Center is located in the Jefferson School City Center in Charlottesville, 233 Fourth St. NW.  There is plenty of parking.  It is on the second floor at the south end of the building. We meet at 4pm.

CVHR Meeting (Oct 2): Share your Research

December 7th, 2014

Come tell us what you did on your summer vacation, i.e. your latest research discoveries and questions.  Help decide what’s most important to say in the African American Heritage Trail brochure—draft texts are nearly complete and we’ll share some of them with you.

 

** The African American Heritage Center is located in the Jefferson School City Center in Charlottesville, 233 Fourth St. NW.  There is plenty of parking.  It is on the second floor at the south end of the building. We meet at 4pm.

CVHR Meeting (Sept 11): Looking Fowards and Backwards

December 7th, 2014

Philip Cobbs and Sam Towler will take us northeast to Barboursville and west to Afton Mountain.  Philip will give us a look at the Cobbs family of Barboursville, which he calls a journey from Echo Valley to entitlement. Sam will present his research on the now-vanished community called New York at the foot of Afton Mountain in Albemarle County.  Founded by Sam’s ancestor, James Hays, in 1799, it existed as a town until about 1856.  He will also cover neighboring farms around New York and provide information on the African Americans at the Brooksville, Crobarger, and the Cedars farms in Greenwood.

** The African American Heritage Center is located in the Jefferson School City Center in Charlottesville, 233 Fourth St. NW.  There is plenty of parking.  It is on the second floor at the south end of the building. We meet at 4pm.