Near Montpelier Station in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
This sign is located at the edge of the 16-acre Gilmore Farm. The Gilmore property ran from this sign to present-day Route 20. The acquisition of land brought African Americans independence and self-sufficiency, confirming their status as new citizens of the American nation.
Harper's Weekly illustration "Emancipation of the Negroes" January 1863
Soon after the Civil War, the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution were ratified abolishing slavery, defining citizenship to encompass emancipated slaves, and extending voting rights to emancipated slaves. The promise of citizenship, however, was curtailed with the end of Reconstruction, and would not be realized for well over a century.
Interior of freedman's home, Richmond, Virginia
Emancipation brought little improvement to the material lives of African Americans. Many left slavery owning nothing more than the furniture brought from their slave
The great majority of freedmen in Orange County were farm laborers. A comparison of the occupations of African Americans and whites, based on the 1880s census, shows a majority of blacks making their living as laborers while most whites were farmers. Farmers owned land, determined their own production and were able to grow much of the food needed for their families. By contrast, laborers worked as farmhands and were dependent on the farm economy for jobs and income.
Allan Jackson, Orange County freedman
Most newly emancipated slaves stayed in their locality, and worked to create new lives for themselves by establishing homes, earning wages, and reuniting their families. One such freedman was Allan Jackson, pictured above, who settled to the west of Montpelier. By the 1880s, his home had become the center of a thriving community known as Jacksontown, which consisted of as many as 15 households, a store, a school, and a cemetery.
Late 19th-century photograph of African-American farmstead, Richmond, Virginia
Location. 38° 13.626′ N, 78° 10.911′ W. Marker is near Montpelier Station, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Constitution Highway (State Highway 20), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located on a the Civil War Encampment walking trail on the Montpelier Estate. Marker is in this post office area: Orange VA 22960, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gilmore Farm (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gilmore Family Cemetery (about 400 feet away); Dolley Madison (about 500 feet away); Confederate Encampment (about 500 feet away); Civil War Encampment (approx. ¼ mile away); Montpelier Train Station (approx. 0.3 miles away); Montpelier Flag Stop (approx. 0.3 miles away); Civil War & Gilmore Farm Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montpelier Station.
Also see . . . The Gilmore Family (Submitted on November 6, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
— Submitted May 13, 2017, by Pete Payette of Orange, Virginia.
Categories. • African Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on May 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 6, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 742 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on November 6, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on May 13, 2017, by Pete Payette of Orange, Virginia. 3. submitted on November 6, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4. submitted on May 13, 2017, by Pete Payette of Orange, Virginia.