New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | June 27, 2022

Historical marker dedicated to enslaved person at Charles City’s Berkeley Plantation

By Community Member | June 7, 2022 8:21 am

Descendants of Emanuel Quivers Victoria Wassmer (third from left) and Denee' Reed (far right) are joined by other family members from across the country as part of the dedication presentation that took place June 4 at Berkeley Plantation in Charles City.

The Virginia Highway Marker program dedicated a historical marker to the descendants of an enslaved person on June 4 at Berkeley Plantation in Charles City.

The marker provides a description of the life of Emanuel Quivers, who was born at the plantation in 1814. Quivers became a Tredegar Iron Works supervisor and purchased freedom for himself and his family, journeying to California. In California, he campaigned against testimony laws that prevented persons of color from testifying against whites and was in favor of equal educational opportunities for Black children. Quivers was known for his Mark Twain-like wit.

Among those at the dedication program included presentations by Charles City natives Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy Tribe, Dr. Edna Greene Medford, Dr. Daryn Dance, and music by the Sensational Groupenaires. Descendants of Emanuel’s brother Coy and sister Polly Kemp joined the celebration, along with members of the Quivers family.

Activities included Raising Voices Charles City, student-archeologists led by Lee and Chris McBee, began a new dig site at Berkeley Plantation, allowing two young descendants of Quivers who live in the community to participate.