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Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Master and Slaves

 
 
Master and Slaves Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. Master and Slaves Marker
Inscription. Unlike their ancestors who worked in tobacco fields, Warwick County slaves provided labor for raising staple crops. Slaves also cared for livestock and draft animals, worked in fields, repaired fences, washed clothes, cut wood and performed a variety of chores. In addition, male slaves were often used as skilled craftsmen (carpenters, blacksmiths and coopers) on the plantation.

Richard Lee inherited 7 male slaves in 1844. As he prospered, he purchased or rented more slaves. By 1860, Lee owned 38 slaves and held a man and woman in guardianship for his stepsons. They ranged in age from 65 years old to 2 months old. The 1860 census records 8 slave houses on the property. By the outbreak of the Civil War, Lee was one of the largest slaveholders in the county.

Sidebar: The Confederate Army needed laborers on the Peninsula between 1861-1862. In the summer and fall of 1861, Richard Lee rented 8 males (John, Bob, Moses, Jerry, Jim, Peyton, Henry, James and Jack) for earthwork construction on Mulberry Island. Lee also rented three male slaves to Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder before abandoning his home in March 1862. During their exile in Richmond and Danville, the Lee family may have retained some of their slaves until the end of the war. In September 1865, Richard Lee returned to Lee Hall and found several freedmen living on
Marker at Lee Hall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Marker at Lee Hall
his property. The Federal government had confiscated his property in February 1864 and tried unsuccessfully to establish a colony for former slaves. Lee regained his property from the Freedmenís Bureau on November 24, 1865.
 
Location. 37° 12.017′ N, 76° 34.535′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Yorktown Road (Virginia Route 238), on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located on the grounds of Lee Hall Mansion. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23603, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Homestead by the Main Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Largest and Most Valuable Estate in the County (within shouting distance of this marker); A Large Brick Kitchen (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); An Earthwork in Front (about 300 feet away); Lee Hall (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Lee Hall (about 600 feet away); Lee Hall Village (approx. half a mile away); C&O "Peninsula Extension" (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. The sidebar on the left of the marker features a photograph of “Contrabands at Cumberland Landing, New Kent County.” Photo
Lee Hall Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. Lee Hall Mansion
courtesy of the Library of Congress.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers located at Lee Hall.
 
Also see . . .
1. Lee Hall Mansion. (Submitted on March 1, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. The Peninsula Campaign. (Submitted on March 1, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. African AmericansAntebellum South, USWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,145 times since then and 81 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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