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Historian’s talk a “tantalizing” story of race relations in antebellum Virginia

The Historic Preservation Division of Prince William County’s Department of Public Works will honor Black History Month with a lecture on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.  Historian Emmanuel Dabney will share his talk titled, “Diamonds, Education, Emancipation, and Race: The Family of Silas Omohundro.”

Dabney’s talk will dive into a “tantalizing and thought provoking story of race relations” in antebellum Virginia, according to a news release.  Silas Omohundro was a white slave trader in antebellum and Civil War Richmond. His wife, Corinna and the children she had with Silas were legally his human property, but they were recognized by the community as his family. Their acceptance into society is a rare glimpse into the antebellum south.  Information about the Omohundros’ family and material life will be juxtaposed against the lives of enslaved people.  Dabney will share the findings of his recent research into the lives of the Omohundro family.
A Park Ranger at Petersburg National Battlefield Park, Dabney holds degrees in Historic Preservation and Public History from the University of Mary Washington and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

All lectures are held at the Old Manassas Courthouse at 9248 Lee Avenue in Manassas beginning at 7 p.m.  Programs are free to the public with donations accepted to support historic preservation in Prince William County. In case of inclement weather, the County will follow the Prince William County School’s decision to cancel events.  You can see if school events are cancelled at  For .more information on these programs or the 2012 lecture series, contact the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division office at 703-792-4754.

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