Loudoun County, Va. (February 4, 2015) – Loudoun County’s Clerk of the Circuit Court and the Loudoun County Public Library will hold a variety of events in observance of Black History Month in February.
Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary M. Clemens will hold two presentations. Each program will feature speakers, as well as a small exhibition of documents related to black history in Loudoun County selected from the Circuit Court’s historic records collection. After each presentation, guests are welcome to view historic documents, and take a tour of the Clerk of the Circuit Court departments.
The Circuit Court’s historic records include thousands of documents on slaves and free blacks in Loudoun County from 1757 to 1865. Many of these documents have only been recently discovered and indexed and are one of the largest and best preserved collections in Virginia.
The presentations will take place at the Clerk’s Office at the courthouse complex, 18 E. Market Street:
- Friday February 6, 2015, 5:30 p.m. – The Enslaved Community of President James Monroe with a Focus on Loudoun County: President James Monroe owned land and slaves in several locations in Virginia, including Loudoun County. The 1830 census for Loudoun listed 66 people enslaved by Monroe, making him the largest slave owner in the county. Lori Kimball and Wynne Saffer have spent several years researching and analyzing Monroe’s slave ownership in Virginia and documenting the enslaved by name. Their work led to the creation of a database of names and references that is available on the Thomas Balch Library web site.
- Saturday February 21, 2015, 2:00 p.m. – Historic Court Records and African American Research: This will be a presentation for anyone involved in African American research or who are interested in learning more about using circuit court records or the wealth of resources available at the Library of Virginia. The Commonwealth of Virginia has 120 circuit courts and elected clerks of the circuit court who are tasked with the retention of valuable records, some dating back to the origins of their respective counties. This presentation will show the process the Clerk’s Historic Records department is taking steps to preserve, index, and scan their collection. Cara Griggs, Archivist, for the Library of Virginia will offer information on the types of collections available at the Library and how to search for records through its various resources. Spotlighted will be African American research in Virginia from the Colonial era to approximately 1870 through a description of available records and case studies.
For more information about the Clerk’s presentations, contact: Gary M. Clemens, 703-737-8775. More information about the Clerk’s historic records is online at www.loudoun.gov/clerk-archives.
The Loudoun County Public Library has also planned events for Black History Month. Authors, historians, and storytelling will highlight Black History Month at the Loudoun County Public Library throughout the month of February. For more Black History Month events at the libraries, visit library.loudoun.gov/bhm.