Exhibit 11

Lott Cary birthplace – native son and Liberian founding father

Born a slave

Lott Cary Birthplace markerCharles City County is the birthplace of Rev. Lott Cary, at one time among the best-known figures in African American history. Cary was a man of singular accomplishments. Photo courtesy Judy Ledbetter.


Lott Cary portrayed by Dr. Rex Ellis Born a slave in 1783, Cary purchased his own freedom, became a minister and sailed to Africa where he established a church and helped to found the nation of Liberia. Dr. Rex Ellis portraying Lott Cary, photo courtesy Leonard Starr.


Lott Cary birthplaceCharles City County’s African American community has long recognized this house as Lott Cary’s birthplace. The site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register based upon that oral tradition. Photo courtesy John Bragg.


Lott Cary birthplace Strong documentary evidence indicates, however, that Cary was owned by a man named Gideon Christian, who resided on a plantation located several miles to the north of this site. Some fact not in the record – such as Cary’s mother having been hired out at the time of his birth – may account for the discrepancy between the “blue ribbon” oral tradition and the documentary evidence. Photo of the Lott Cary house taken during a 1924 visit by a group of Richmond ministers. Members of the Jones family who owned the house are also pictured. C.C. Boone, Liberia as I Know It (1920), opposite title page courtesy Charles City county Richard M. Bowman Center for Local History.


cary estate document In this inventory of Gideon Christian’s slaves made in 1797 “Lot” is listed as a “ditto” meaning the same as an earlier listing of “1 negro boy” and valued at 50 pounds. Lott was about 15 years old at this time. Listed just after him is another boy named “Cary.” Records of Charles City Baptist Church establish that the woman named Judy, listed below the two boys, was Judy Cary, mother of Berkeley, Cooper and Mike. Her relationship to Lott is unknown. The woman named Fanny (Frances) is believed to have been Lott’s mother, as he had a sister named Francis and gave that name to his eldest daughter. Charles City County Will Book 1789-1808 courtesy Library of Virginia.


cary estate documentInterestingly, Lott Cary’s father was a free man named Robert Cary who owned a 150-acre farm. Lott’s siblings appear to have been free persons, including his brother David who was emancipated by his father just before the father’s death. Cary may have purchased the freedom of all his children except Lott who appears to have been the youngest. The notation reads “[p]aid Christian’s Lott a Legatee pr will 10 pounds.” Thus, Lott inherited from his father an amount of money equal to 20% of his value as a slave. Charles City County Will Book 1789-1808 courtesy Library of Virginia.


Richmond tobacco warehouse illustrationIn his twenties, Cary was hired out to work in a Richmond tobacco warehouse. While so employed he was able to earn money for himself by selling scrap tobacco and by earning bonuses due to his extraordinary ability to recall where individually marked hogsheads of tobacco were stored in a large warehouse. In this way he was able to save money to purchase his freedom and to acquire real estate. Harper’s Weekly, vol. 9 (1865) p. 709 in Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, www.slaveryimages.org.


next: A minister and a colonist