‘Journeys to Freedom’ program slated Aug. 18

The Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society (NNVHS) on August 18 will observe its 10th annual Commemoration of Robert Carter III’s 1791 Deed of Manumission. The event will begin at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 3585 Courthouse Road, Heathsville.

The theme will be “Journeys to Freedom: Commemoration of Robert Carter III’s 1791 Deed of Emancipation and Northern Neck and Virginia Emancipations,” reported NNVHS executive director Kathy G. Schuder.

The event will include the screening of the 23-minute documentary film, “The Hail-Storm: John Dabney Story in Virginia,” produced by Field Studio. The film highlights Dabney’s integrity and successes, and reveals Dabney’s story of slavery and freedom in 19th-century Virginia.

Immediately following the film screening, Thomas A. Duckenfield III, Esq. chief executive officer of TDB Government Services and a Menokin Foundation trustee, will lead a discussion on the various pathways to freedom for African Americans, including birth right, indentured service completion, private manumission, government emancipation, military service, heroic service, self-purchase, individual escape, underground railroad passage, rebellion, spiritual escape and afterlife.

LaTonya Lawson-Jones, founder and chief executive director of the Nomini Hall Slave Legacy (NHSL), will join her cousin Duckenfield to describe how NHSL provides an online platform which chronicles the 1791 Manumission and seeks to identify and connect the descendants of those manumitted. The two are descendants of the Thompson and Newman families manumitted by Robert Carter III, as well as descendants of the Newton and Liverpool families manumitted in 1801 by Dr. Moses Fauntleroy of Richmond County.

Ed Reed, chief of staff, Office of Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, also will speak. Reed is a native of Montross. Lt. Gov. Fairfax is descended from Simon Fairfax, a former slave manumitted by Thomas Fairfax on June 5, 1798, in Fairfax County.

Immediately following the program, First Baptist Church will host a luncheon. The fee is $12 per plate and the menu will be a choice of chicken, ribs, or fish, potato salad, green vegetable, roll, drink and dessert. For luncheon reservations, call 580-8327.