Author: Joshua Shaffer


Armistead Green (d. 1892)

Armistead Green represented Petersburg in the House of Delegates for two terms (1881–1884). Born enslaved and most likely gaining freedom at the end of the American Civil War (1861–1865), Green rose from tobacco-factory worker to grocery store owner and co-owner of a mortuary. In later years he invested in a short-lived brick-manufacturing facility. In 1881 he won the first of two terms in the House of Delegates as a member of the Readjuster Party. Green generated nationwide newspaper coverage when he criticized fellow party member and member of Congress John S. Wise for saying he would only meet African American members of the General Assembly in the backyard rather than in the parlor. Green served a briefly as interim treasurer for the board of visitors of the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (later Virginia State University). Few records exist after Green declined to seek reelection in 1885, but he appears to have continued his successful business ventures until his death of Bright’s disease in 1892.