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Family BondsFree Blacks and Re-enslavement Law in Antebellum Virginia$
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Ted Maris-Wolf

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469620077

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469620077.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 24 January 2020

The Barber of Boydton

The Barber of Boydton

(p.192) Chapter Seven The Barber of Boydton
Family Bonds

Ted Maris-Wolf

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter tells the story of Watkins (Watt) Leigh Love, an influential man who had gotten his start as the barber of Boydton and then amassed a small fortune as a self-enslaved entrepreneur. Like many black leaders who rose to prominence in the state during Reconstruction, Watt Love was wealthy, literate, light-complexioned, professionally successful, and had been a free man before the war. Throughout the Reconstruction period and into the 1880s, Watt Love worked tirelessly to help create a black political machine known as “the Court House clique,” a powerful grassroots organization that bridged racial lines in electing Ross Hamilton to the Virginia House of Delegates and keeping him there. Hamilton would later become the longest-serving African American representative in the Virginia legislature in the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   Watkins Leigh Love, Watt Love, Ross Hamilton, Virginia, Reconstruction, self-enslavement, Boydton, black leaders

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