Author: William S. Hitchcock


James D. Barrett (1833–1903)

James D. Barrett represented Fluvanna County at the Convention of 1867–1868. Barrett, most likely enslaved before Emancipation, became involved with politics after the American Civil War (1861–1865). He and the county’s African American voters showed an independent streak during elections for delegates to the convention that created a new state constitution. A public meeting nominated Abraham Shepherd, a white conservative and the county’s court clerk, instead of Barrett. He ran anyway and won by a clear majority of Fluvanna’s black voters. Outside of politics, he worked as a pastor and helped organize Thessalonia Baptist Church in 1868. Barrett married twice and died in 1903.