Bleak House Plantation: African American population

In 1860 the Bleak House plantation had 41 slaves and 9 slave dwellings. The inventory of Rogers’s estate (1864) includes 36 slaves (fiduciary accounts note 14 others advanced to Rogers’s children and a grandson between 1845 and 1863). His son William G. Rogers was executor of the estate, which was involved in lawsuits and legal complications into the twentieth century.  An estate sale in late 1863 did not include any slaves. 

In 1870, Bleak House became the property of S. V. Southall, who sold several parcels of land to freedmen in the area nearest to Earlysville and Michie’s Old Tavern (relocated in the 1920s near Monticello). In the 1870 census, several African‑American families appear near each other in what seems to be a community of former Michie and Rogers slaves. This community continued until the mid‑twentieth century.

 

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Home of Link Evans, formerly enslaved on the Bleak House Plantation. Earlysville, Virginia.