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"Legitimate Fruits of Freedom":

The African American Struggle for Equal Opportunity in 19th Century Albemarle County

Panel Discussion


Presented by the U.Va. IDEA Fund, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, and the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

Date:        January 29, 2013

Time:        6:00 PM

Location:  Jefferson School African American Heritage Center Auditorium, 233 4th Street NW, 2nd Floor

This panel will consider how African Americans in the nineteenth century gained access to freedom, education, property and prosperity in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area despite slavery, restrictive laws, and racial prejudice. The panelists will focus on the stories of individuals related to Monticello, the University of Virginia, and the Jefferson School whose struggles and successes impacted this community--from Peter Fossett (right), a literate enslaved man who used his education to free himself and others, to Isabella Gibbons (below), a woman enslaved at UVA who became the first African American teacher at the Jefferson School.


  • Andrea Douglas (moderator), Director, Jefferson School African American Heritage Center
  • Lauranett Lee, Curator of African American History, Virginia Historical Society
  • Gayle Schulman, independent researcher
  • Cinder Stanton, Shannon Senior Historian Emeritus, Monticello
  • Kirt von Daacke, Associate Professor, University of Virginia Corcoran Department of History

This event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Jefferson School City Center garage off of 4th Street. The panel discussion will be followed by a light reception.