Credit: Encyclopedia Virginia
Original Author: Peter Hedlund
Created: December 2021
Medium: Virtual tour

Virtual Tour of a Dwelling for the Enslaved at Sharswood Plantation, Pittsylvania County

This is a virtual tour of one of twelve structures that once housed the enslaved population at Sharswood, a former 2,000-acre tobacco plantation in Pittsylvania County. The 1860 census lists fifty-eight people who were held on the plantation in bondage, twenty-three of whom were children under the age of twelve. (Those above twelve were considered adults.) This sixteen-by-thirty-two-foot building was built before 1800 and was probably used as the original main house. After 1820, however, the house was divided into a duplex and used as a living space for some of the enslaved workers. At different times the building could have served other purposes as well, such as a kitchen and/or laundry space to service the white owners.

Frederick Miller, who purchased Sharswood in 2020, discovered through genealogical research that he and his family were descended from enslaved workers on the plantation.