Author: RyanSmith

  • Slavery, Shockoe Hill, and MCV

    In December 2022, historian Peter J. Wosh completed his study of the historical ties between the Medical College of Virginia and slavery. Wosh’s report was commissioned by VCU administrators in accordance with Virginia House Bill 1980, and it is well worth a read. Wosh made use of a great deal of archival evidence, despite the […]

  • Where Evergreen/East End are heading

    The pressure continues to build for the city to clean up the mess left behind by the Enrichmond Foundation at Evergreen Cemetery and East End Cemetery, which together make up 76 acres of African American graves along the city/county line. On February 13, 2023, city council members Cynthia Newbille and Anne-Frances Lambert introduced a resolution […]

  • $16 million from Mellon

    On December 20, 2022, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced that the city had received an $11 million grant from the Mellon Foundation via its Monuments Project for the Shockoe heritage campus interpretive center. This award was part of a larger $16 million package from the Foundation’s Monuments Project aimed at Richmond’s revised monumental landscape. The […]

  • RIP Representative McEachin

    I was saddened to hear of the death of Congressman A. Donald McEachin on November 28. In my own most recent experience with Rep. McEachin, he was talking with the local African American descendant community about his co-sponsored African American Burial Grounds Preservation Program bill. Around that same time, he had issued a letter to […]

  • Battlefield Park Road Cemetery

    Today new signage was unveiled at the Battlefield Park Road Cemetery in eastern Henrico County. This is not the nearby Fort Harrison National Cemetery, but a private family cemetery, listed in the “Henrico County Cemeteries” study as the Harris-Lawrence-Jackson Cemetery. It is located at 7921 Battlefield Park Road in Varina for those looking to visit. […]

  • VCU’s Apology

    On September 16, 2022, Virginia Commonwealth University’s board of visitors approved a resolution apologizing for the 1968 heart transplant episode in which Bruce Tucker’s live heart was taken without his and his family’s consent at the Medical College of Virginia’s hospital. The resolution also acknowledges and regrets the earlier practice of targeting Black graves to […]

  • The Long Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe

    In 1922, the admirers of Edgar Allan Poe in the Poe Foundation adopted the “Old Stone House” on Richmond’s  Main Street to serve as a library and museum in tribute to the city’s famous son. The Poe Museum has since grown to be a beloved fixture and notable home to Poe memorabilia and events. This […]

  • No More Confederate Flags at Hollywood

    Rex Springston just published a useful investigative report on the Hollywood Cemetery Company’s changing display policies regarding Confederate flags, available here at the Virginia Mercury. It follows up on his earlier piece from 2020 written in the midst of the protests against Confederate monuments, where he reported that Hollywood had “temporarily” removed the once-ubiquitous rebel […]

  • Enrichmond’s collapse

    In early 2016, Richmond’s Evergreen Cemetery was owned by a private entity that for a long time could not manage the site’s overgrown, distressed sixty acres. Adjoining it was East End Cemetery, likewise suffering in its own way in legal limbo without funding or management beyond a core of families and volunteers. Since then, the […]

  • The Crest of Shockoe Hill

    What a profound week for the Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground. It began on Sunday, June 12, with the unveiling of the state historical highway marker at the corner of Fifth and Hospital Streets. The marker was sponsored by the Department of Historic Resources, and it may possibly be the first official signage that the […]