“Prejudice so prevalent in the present generation”: Slavery at the College of William & Mary Exhibit

“Prejudice so prevalent in the present generation”: Slavery at the College of William & Mary Exhibit
Colleges In Virginia
Image by Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library
Shown here are images from the exhibit "Prejudice so prevalent in the present generation": Slavery at the College of William & Mary, on display just inside the Special Collections Research Center in Swem Library at the College of William and Mary. The exhibit will be on display from March 1-September 2011.

The following is taken from the label text presented in this case:

In 1718, William & Mary bought over 2,000 acres of land, known as Nottoway Quarter, and 17 slaves to work on it. The sale of tobacco grown on this land was a main source of income for the College until it was sold in 1777.

In 1742, slaves working at the College’s plantation at Nottoway Quarter complained about their treatment; in response, the Faculty Assembly sent two professors to investigate their situation. In 1763, the Faculty Assembly appointed a new housekeeper and detailed her role, including her interactions with the College’s slaves.

25 January 1742 and 9 February 1763, Faculty Assembly Records, UA 133

In 1718, the British government granted the College of William & Mary over 20,000 acres of land, which the College rented to local farmers.

Account of Lands belonging to William and Mary College, College Papers Collection, UA 14

Thomas C. Millington Print of the College of William & Mary, John Millington Papers, Mss. 65 M59

In addition to the slaves owned by the College that worked on the plantation at Nottoway Quarter, in 1769 the Faculty Assembly appointed one slave that could go into Williamsburg on errands for the students, but only between 8 and 12 in the morning.

List of Slaves owned by the College of William & Mary, circa 1780, UA 339

28 August 1769, Faculty Assembly Records, UA 133

In the early 19th century William & Mary gave its slaves as a Christmas present.

Account of receipts and expenditures of William & Mary College for the year 1806, College Papers Collection, UA 14

Laws and Regulations of the College of William & Mary in Virginia, 1849, College Papers Collections, UA 14

From the Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary. See swem.wm.edu/scrc/ for further information and assistance.