LaNelle’s Story

At it’s most successful, Liberia was home to around 90 slaves. Research has been done into the lineages of some of those slaves, and at least one has been traced down to the present day.  On the day I toured the house we heard a presentation by LaNelle Naylor, a direct descendent of the Nelly whose name apprears in the lower right corner of the chart in this image.

Nelly was the wife of Samuel Naylor, a bricklayer who helped build Liberia for his master, William J. Weir.  Sometime in the 1850’s Samuel was able to buy his freedom, and later freedom for Nelly and their children.  He also bought a piece of the plantation land from his former master and started his own farm.  When the Weir family fled to Richmond to escape advancing Union troops in 1862, Samuel and Nelly remained as caretakers of the property.  This story, along with some other ancedotal evidence, suggests that the Weir family treated their slaves well, more like employees than property.

See the other Liberia images here.

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