Spotsylvania in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Social and Economic Richness in the Livingston District
Mining reached its “peak by the 1880s and was severely diminished when it became known that territory in the west had opened and gold was found in California. The last commercial gold mine in Virginia closed in 1947 and the ruins of the Goodwin Mine are now located within nearby Lake Anna State Park.
There appears to have been an intimate pocket of free African American men and women around the Mitchell Mine area. We know of three such families who were free before the Civil War: those of Molly Pierce, Sally Ham and John King.
Molly Pierce (aka Polly), born to unknown parentage, was free as early as 1830 when we ﬁnd her listed in the U.S. Census along with a free Negro female aged 10-24. We have no indication
Another free Negro woman in the area was Sally Ham, born -1810. She purchased 50 acres next to the Mitchell Mine for $125 from William and Mary Andrews on October 19, 1838. The Andrews couple were proprietors of Andrews Tavern and Post Office, Sally Ham began using the surname “Coleman” in honor of her companion, Lindsey Coleman. She birthed 11 known children, and died — 1890 still owning her 50 acres. Seven of her heirs survived and divided the family property between themselves.
Our ﬁnal example is John King, an accomplished carpenter. Born ~1784
(left side) Left to right: Gold, tool used to pour ore, hematite
(right side) Right: sketch of Andrews Tavern is courtesy James Roger Mansﬁeld (1977), A History of Early Spotsylvania, Orange, VA: Green Publishers, Inc., page 147. (The book is owned by TL Miller)
Andrews Tavern was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Its architectural style is federal and its period of significance was from 1800-1849. It is now a private dwelling located in the Glenora section of the Livingston District in Spotsylvania County.
The African American Heritage Trail is supported in part by a Preserve America grant administered by the National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. This product is based upon work assisted by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Erected 2015 by Spotsylvania African American Heritage Trail.
Location. 38° 11.642′ N, 77° 47.126′ W. Marker is in Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker can be reached from Post Oak Road (County Route 606) 0.6 miles west of Pamunkey Road (County Route 612), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Located in the parking lot of Chewning Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13013 Post Oak Rd, Spotsylvania VA 22551, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Spotsylvania’s First African American Church (approx. 3.6 miles away); Gaspar Tochman (approx. 5.8 miles away); Spotsylvania's War Effort (approx. 6.4 miles away); A.P. Hill Escapes Capture (approx. 7.2 miles away); Key Terrain (approx. 7.2 miles away); Fredericksville Furnace (approx. 7.3 miles away); Wilderness Campaign (approx. 7.3 miles away); Crisis in the Wilderness (approx. 7.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania.
Also see . . . Spotsylvania African American Heritage Trail. (Submitted on June 22, 2015.)
Categories. • African Americans • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 22, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 143 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 22, 2015, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.