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The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands was created in 1865 “to assist in the reconstruction of the South and to aid formerly enslaved individuals transition to freedom and citizenship.” The Freedmen’s Bureau records provide local documentation and insights not readily available from other sources. For West Point, VA, a portion of these records address the disposition of property deemed “abandoned.”
Stay tuned as we highlight each of these properties in the series individually and provide additional research!
Report of Abandoned Property, July 1865
|Assistant Superintendent’s Office||“Taken up as abandoned property July 24th as no one was in possession and no agent properly accredited.” In the King William Land Book 1863, A.G. Baylor is listed as owner of lot 431.|
|James Dungee||“This property is a two storied house very much out of repair no windows no doors would recommend its sale.” Later documents identify James W. Shackleford as the owner, town lots 90 and 91, corner of 2nd and Main.|
|Unoccupied||Taken possession of for the purpose of locating Freedmen’s families thereon. Later documents discuss 9 families of Freedmen living on the property prior to restoration|
|Ed. T. Powell||
|W.J. Pillsberry||“This property was taken up as abandoned as there was no agent accredited prior to January 1865 . In very good repair yet unfinished.”|
|Ed. Anderson||“Taken up as abandoned July 29th in good repair.” Later documents and other evidence suggest this is lot 217, corner of 4th and Main|
The This Old House Series, West Point, VA Edition is designed to highlight answers to a few questions, provide a preview of the extensive hours of research completed, and encourage further dialog. If you are interested in receiving additional information for a particular property, locality, family history, or court case, contact Theresa Sirles with REACH Consulting for a custom quote: (804) 843-3495, via e-mail at email@example.com or by text at (804) 310-0516.
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