Exhibit 3

Ruthville – historic free town

An influential family

Ruthville markerDriving east on The Glebe Lane from Route 5 it is possible to pass through the community of Ruthville almost without knowing you have been there. A church, a post office, and a discontinued school are the only buildings that remain to mark this once vibrant community. Photo courtesy Judy Ledbetter.


Abraham Brown will In the 1740s three young boys -- Abraham Brown and his brothers William and John, sons of a mulatto woman named Elizabeth Brown -- were bound out. Despite these humble beginnings, one of the boys, Abraham, died a comparatively wealthy man. By the time of his death in 1791 Brown had acquired 273 acres of land as well as four slaves, five horses and 21 cattle which he passed under his will to his wife and children. Charles City County Will Book 1789-1808, pgs. 16-17.


Crawford and Ellen Bailey BrownA town grew up in the vicinity of Brown’s land which was populated by free persons of color. Later the town came to be known as Ruthville. Community residents – including a legion of Brown’s descendants – have played vital roles in the religious, educational, economic and political life of the county and the state. Crawford Brown, a great-grandson of the first Abraham, is pictured here with his wife Ellen Bailey Brown. Photo courtesy Charles City County Richard M. Bowman Center for Local History.


next: A center of religious life