- Associated Press - Saturday, January 2, 2016

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - A Library of Virginia exhibit exploring the slave trade in Virginia before the Civil War is making its way to Lynchburg.

“To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade” will be on display at the Lynchburg Museum in downtown Lynchburg from Jan. 12 to March 6.

In addition to that exhibit, the Lynchburg Museum will display items from its collection, items from Poplar Forest recovered from Jefferson’s slave quarters and items from Lynchburg including slave registers from the Library of Virginia.

Lynchburg Museum Director Doug Harvey said the museum has slave sale receipts and an image of a Lynchburg slave from the Library of Congress. The museum will display deeds of manumission, deeding slaves free from Quakers who settled Lynchburg. The copies include deeds from John Lynch, who founded the city and freed his slaves about 80 years before the Civil War.

Those records were housed in the Campbell County Clerk’s Office because Lynchburg was part of Campbell County at the time.

“Slavery is an extremely complex topic … very painful topic to a lot of people,” Harvey said. “We’re hoping this will provide a basis to what we know of, what was going on in the world around us 150 years ago.”

Sweet Briar College is lending the exhibit an original letter from Martha Penn Taylor, a slave, asking Elijah Fletcher to buy her so she would not be separated from her family. Slaveholder Elijah Fletcher was the father of Indiana Fletcher Williams, the founder of the all-women’s college.

Central to the library’s exhibit are two paintings by British artist Eyre Crowe who witnessed the slave trade in Richmond and Charleston in 1853. “Slaves Waiting for Sale” presents the enslaved in the moments just before they are sold, and “After the Sale: Slaves Going South” documents the chaotic scene as the enslaved are herded onto railroad cars or marched away in lines in groups that sometimes numbered in the hundreds, according to a news release.

The museum is partnering with the Legacy Museum which will host a black genealogy workshop and lecture as part of the exhibit. Library of Virginia staff will come to Lynchburg to host the workshop at 2 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Legacy Museum.

The exhibit is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Information from: The News & Advance, https://www.newsadvance.com/


Information from: The News & Advance, https://www.newsadvance.com/

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