State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Kent and its First African-American Office Holder

The Virginia General Assembly is now in session and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Memorial Commission of said body has created an interesting page on African American Legislatorsin Virginia. If you scroll halfway down the page you come to William Henry Brisby. Brisby, part African-American and part Pamunkey Indian was the first non-white elected to office in New Kent. As first a member of the House of Delegates and later the county Board of Supervisors, Brisby spent several decades attending to the public business of the county. During the war while serving as blacksmith to Holcombe's Legion he had in fact been a spy for the Van Lew spy ring in Richmond.
I have much more to say on Brisby and Reconstruction in New Kent, but I thought he deserved mention today in reference to the General Assembly session and website.

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