Jeremiah Virginia

Listed in Newbury, Orange County with seven other free persons in the 1791 Vermont census.

Listed in 1800 in Newbury, Orange County with ten other free persons.

He is listed in the 1810 census for Sheldon, Franklin County with eight other free persons.  Also listed in that town in 1810 are Cato ---- with three other free persons; Joseph Gropon[?] with three other free persons, and Worster Virginia with four other free persons.  I’m wondering if Worster Virginia might be the same person as Worcester McDuffee/McDurfee [see listing above].

He is living in Fletcher, Franklin County, VT in 1820 with two males under 14, two males 14-26, one male 45 and upwards, one female under 14, two females 14-26, one female 45 and upwards, all free colored persons.  I think George and Wyman are probably older sons.  George has one male under 14, one male 26-45, two females under 14, one female 26-45.  Wyman has one male 14-26 and one female 14-26.  There is also a David Ainsworth listed with them; he has one male under 14, one male 26-45, two females under 14 and one female 26-45.

I have not located Jeremiah Virginia in the 1830 census, but Calvin and Wyman are living in Burlington, Chittenden County, VT; William is living in Essex, Chittenden County, VT; George is living in Jay, Essex County, NY, and Stephen is living in Malone, Franklin County, NY.

In 1840 Jeremiah Virginia is living in St. Albans, Franklin County, VT with one male 100 and upwards[sic], one female 10-24, one female 36-55.  In the column that gives the names of pensioners, Jeremiah is listed as being age 83.  This is the last census where he is found.

He served in the Revolution from VT and obtained a pension.  In his application for the pension, dated 1 Aug. 1832, he tells about his various owners and how he ran away to VT and kept enlisting so his owner couldn’t get him back.  One of the documents states he was born in March in 1764 in Pomfret, CT.  There is a letter the government sent in reply to a query; in that letter it says that Jeremiah Virginia, a colored man, was born October 16, 1759, in Pomfret, Connecticut.  He was born a slave.  He stated that he was owned by Colonel Godfrey Marlbone, who sold him at auction to one Jeremiah Scarborough, of said Pomfret, who sold him to Joseph Williams; he was next sold to Seth Grosvener and then to Thomas Lee, from whom he ran away and went to Pomfret, Vermont. 

The book, Soldiers, Sailors and Patriots of the Revolutionary War, Vermont shows the following information:  Virginia, Jeremiah, colored, VT; b. Pomfret, CT 1759; r. Pomfret [VT]; Capt. Seelye’s Co. 1781; r. Pomfret, CT; Boston, MA; Pomfret; Newbury; Sheldon, Swanton, Fairfax, Fletcher; Fairfield; Stockholm, NY; Chesterfield, NY; St. Albans 1840; buried St. Albans (grave not located).  The pension itself shows that he enlisted from Pomfret, VT; after the war, he resided in Pomfret, VT, then Pomfret, CT, then Boston, MA, then back to Pomfret, VT, then Newbury, VT, where he resided for 18-19 years, then to Sheldon, Franklin Co., VT, then Swanton, Fairfax, Fletcher and Fairfield [all in VT].  Then to Stockholm, Chesterfield and Jay, NY, and then to St. Albans, VT.

He was warned out of Swanton, Franklin County, VT 29 April 1813:  Jeremiah Virginia and Judith, Sylvia, Stephen, Luther and Calvin.  I believe there were several more children, but none of them were recorded in Vermont.

Jeremiah Virginia enlisted in the War of 1812 from Fairfax, VT, served at Plattsburgh and was wounded there 11 Sept. 1814; also later granted remuneration by the Vermont Legislature for loss of services on account of wound, with the following notation:  This man was a negro.  Vermont Roster War of 1812-1814, which credits the information as coming from Hemenway’s Vermont Gazetteer, Vol. 2, page 403.  In checking the Vermont Historical Gazetteer, it appears that Hampton Lovegrove of Fairfax, employer of Jeremiah Virginia, applied for $75, “it being a remuneration for the loss of labor.”

The Rutland Weekly Herald for 1 Feb. 1820 has the following news item:  St. Albans, execution 14 inst. [14 Jan.] of Luther Virginia, convicted of murdering Rufus W. Jackson of Highgate; 6,000 to 8,000 people present for hanging.

Luther was a son of Jeremiah Virginia.  The event was reported in many newspapers.  Luther had previously been in the state prison for stealing from his employer, a Mr. Herrick, an innkeeper.