Additional Resources

For more information regarding African American history at or affiliated with Hampden-Sydney College, check out these sources:


1. Dabney Cosby papers. Library of Virginia. Richmond, Virginia.

2. Eggleston, Joseph Dupuy. Letter to Robert Elton Berry. February 14, 1942. Archive and Manuscript Collection. Virginia Historical Society. Richmond, Virginia.

3. Eggleston, Joseph Dupuy. Letter to Virginius Dabney. May 6, 1942. Archive and Manuscript Collection. Virginia Historical Society. Richmond, Virginia.

4. Fitzgerald, J.P. Tax Map. April 24, 1871.

5. Keckley, Elizabeth. Behind the Scenes in the Lincoln White House: Memoirs of an African American Seamstress. (New York: G. W. Carleton & Co., 1868).

6. Prince Edward County Courthouse. “Register of Births: 1853-1896 .” Farmville, Virginia.

7. Prince Edward County Courthouse. “Register of Deaths: 1853-1868 Prince Edward County.” Farmville, Virginia.

8. “Richard Morton Venable Family Tree.” Accessed February 14, 2013.

9. Venable, Nathaniel. Will. Prince Edward County Courthouse. Farmville, Virginia.


1. Bradshaw, Herbert C. History of Hampden-Sydney College, Volume 1. (Durham, NC: Fisher-Harrison Corporation, 1976).

2. Brinkley, John Luster. On This Hill: A Narrative History of Hampden-Sydney College 1774-1994. (Hampden-Sydney, VA: 1994).

3. Eggleston, Joseph Dupuy. “The Attitude of Virginia Leaders Toward Slavery and Secession.” The Virginia Teacher. Vol. XIII. September-October 1932. No. 6-7.

4.  Ely, Melvin Patrick. Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s Through the Civil War. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004).

5.  Gaskins, Ray. “Stokes and Bettie Brown (of Hampden-Sydney).” The Farmville Herald. September 4, 2009.

6.  Thompson, William E. Her Walls Before Thee Stand: The 235-Year History of the Presbyterian Congregation at Hampden-Sydney, Virginia. (Farmville, VA: Zebrabooks Publications, 2010).


*Census, birth, and death records, wills, and maps can all provide information not readily available in published sources. These require a bit more searching and analysis, but because sources on early African American history are few and far between, these records tend to yield the most valuable information.


  • Carolyn DeWolfe says:

    Glad to see this. I remember a student doing a research project on the graves near the observatory, and we did a walking tour of the lane to the observatory with a man who grew up on campus and returned there after retirement. If you are still working on this and want more info, please email me.

  • James E. Stokes says:

    I am Africian Americian and my Grandfather was a cook at HSC maybe as early as the 40’s 50’s (John Anderson )I am also sure we may be in some way related to Stokes Brown and will be interested in infomation of graves with Stokes headstone.My Father also worked at the college and me as well as my Brothers.

  • ebaker says:

    Hi James! Thanks for visiting! Visit this page: to read more about your grandfather!

  • Maria Davis says:

    James Stokes Iam a descendent of Stokes Brown my mother’s relatives her maiden name is Brown and she is from Farmville, Va. This would mean that we are related

  • Maria Davis says:

    James E. Stokes

    I am a descendent of Stokes Brown by my mother’s family.

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