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A Statement from Historic Hopewell Foundation

It is the endeavor of the Historic Hopewell Foundation (HHF) to interpret Hopewell history and preserve its historic properties. In our effort to tell a more complete history, we recognize the need to broaden our focus at Weston Manor to include the stories of its enslaved community.

We have begun the process of researching this history and updating our interpretive narrative and educational programming to incorporate the lives and contributions of the enslaved African and African-Americans. Through their skilled labor and artistry, these individuals and families were essential to the success of Weston and Colonial America.

HHF seeks to be relevant in our service to the greater Hopewell Community by undertaking this important mission and welcome documentation and accounts of oral history from descendants of Weston’s enslaved. This will help us to interpret their lives with more respect, accuracy and honesty, through the context of our small historic property. We look forward to a promising future for HHF, by partnering with the community in this process.

Historic Hopewell Foundation
Board of Trustees

Seeking Freedom Where the Rivers Meet:
Contrabands, Colored Troops and City Point
PAST EXHIBIT AT St. Denis Chapel

St. Denis Chapel, one of the two properties owned and maintained by the Historic Hopewell Foundation, was the site of an important exhibit about a little told story of the civil war. “Contrabands” was the term used to describe slaves who escaped and sought freedom behind Union lines. The word, and the policy that created it, was first used by General Benjamin Butler, the Union commander at Fort Monroe, Virginia, in May of 1861 when 3 men came requesting sanctuary. These men, Shepard Mallory, Frank Baker and James Townsend, indicated their master was taking them to join the Confederate army in North Carolina. Their owner, Colonel Charles Mallory, insisted that they be returned to him under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Butler refused. He called the slaves “contrabands of war,” property of the enemy that could be confiscated by the Union army. Historic Hopewell Foundation’s former exhibit at St. Denis Chapel told the story of those African American individuals who came to City Point to become contrabands then supporters of the Union cause by working for the Union army either as paid employees or as soldiers.

During the course of the war over 200,000 contrabands and freedmen – men, women and children – worked for the Union army as laborers, teamsters, grooms, cooks, carpenters, nurses and laundresses. They also provided their services as scouts, spies and river pilots. Certainly all of these jobs were undertaken at City Point. Sometimes they were paid wages but often they worked for living quarters and food. The conditions were often difficult and they continued to face racial prejudice. However, the opportunity to escape slavery and to begin to create new lives for themselves and their families made these hardships worthwhile for most individuals.

“I am proud of the efforts of the HHF to tell this story,” said HHF former vice president Steve Benham. “The story of Hopewell covers many generations and involves people of every race and color. We want current and future generations of Hopewell citizens to look to HHF as the guardian of historic accuracy and the grand stage for revealing all that Hopewell was and is to be.”


Drama 50 75
Ginny 35 200
Nancy 30 350
Greesy 25 300
Sally (Jas Wife) 22 200
Sally of Drama 18 250
Caroline of Drama 20 300
Polly of Drama 26 225
Maria 16 225
Mary 25 225
Amy of Giney 14 225
Jiolah of Drama 30 300
Eliza in Town 25 250
Sally at Whitehill 18 250


Cate of Ginny 12 225
Fanny of Nancy 10 200
Amy of Mary 10 200
Ginney of Ginny 7 175
Violah of Ginny 6 175
Mary Ann of Mary 4 125
Caroline of Crieg 2 100
Nosey of Jas & Sally 2 100
Susan of Jane 1 75


Dick in Town 40 250
Bradley 35 400
Stenoah 35 300
Elliok 25 450
James 23 400
Jack of Ginny 16 400
Robert at Weston 12 300
Robert in Towns 16 300


Andrew of Sally 8 220
Simon of Doly 10 225
Rich a of Mary 5 175
Gipe of Jas & Sally 4 125
Carteroy of Polly 3 110
Hannison of Ginny 2 100
Bradley of W 2 100
William of Sally 3 100
Jack of Nancy 2 100
Sam of Sally 5 175
Billy of Farmer 5 175
Andrew 4 125
Frankey of James 150


Weston Manor

400 Weston Lane
Weston Lane & 21st Avenue
Hopewell VA 23860

Mon-Sat: 10:00AM - 4:30PM
Sun: 1:00PM to 4:30PM


Adults - $8.00
Active Military - $6.00
Children under 12 Free with adult
Groups of 10+ - $6 per person

City Point History Museum

Currently Closed for Renovations

609 Brown Avenue
Hopewell VA 23860