Corotoman Slave Histories

Corotoman was the Virginia estate owned by the Carter family from 1653 till 1862, with Christ Church built upon it in the 1730s. The Corotoman Slave Histories are a detailed analysis and searchable database of over 4,000 references to enslaved people who lived and worked at Corotoman during its long history. Patrick Heffernan, PhD, an Historic Christ Church & Museum volunteer researcher, extracted the references from original documents spanning two centuries. These rare, preserved references occurred so often, so evenly, and for so long that they made it possible to identify over 1,200 Corotoman slaves as individuals.

For most of these enslaved persons we have gained a good idea of their lifespans. For many we have learned of family relationships or events in their lives. Set against the complete silence surrounding the lives of most slaves, these findings are remarkable. Special attention is given to the division of the Corotoman slaves between two owners in 1813, to the flight of sixty-nine Corotoman slaves to the British in the War of 1812, and to the later appearance of those refugees as free persons living in British territories.

Not only did the Corotoman slaves labor and reside on the same plantation as Christ Church, but some also participated in its very construction. It is fitting that their lives be remembered here.

Go to the Corotoman Slave Histories website now.