The Enslaved Workers of Pavilion X
    by Ian Iverson

As with many of the early structures at UVA, the exact composition of the workcrew that built Pavilion X remains unknown. Records do suggest that some of the workers who assisted in the construction of Paviliion V & VII and Hotels, A, D, and F may also have worked on the site of Pavillion X including Davey, William, and the father and son team of Old and Young Sam. [1]

The first occupant of Pavilion X, Professor of Medicine Robley Dunglison, at first rented enslaved laborers including two men: John and Wyatt, and one woman: Maria. Taking advantage of Thomas Jefferson's estate sale, he went on to purchase several inhabitants of Monticello including Fanny Gillete Hern, who had served as Jefferson's White House Chef during his presidency, and her youngest child Bonnycastle. He later purchased her husband David at a second Monticello estate sale in 1829. By the time of the 1830 Census, Dunglison owned eleven enslaved people, three adults over the age of twenty-four and eight children and young adults. The fate of these families following Dunglison's resignation in 1832 remains uncertain. [2]

Unfortunatley, less information survives on enslaved indvididuals who served the second and third occupants of Pavilion X. Both John A.G. Davis and Henry St. George Tucker maintained separate dwellings off grounds to accomodate their large households (that of John A.G. Davis can still be found at 1201 Jefferson Street in Charlottesville), so the exact divsion of labore between each space remains hazy. However, we do know that in 1840 Davis owned seventeen people, eight adults over the age of twenty-four and nine children, adolescents, and young adults. That same year, shortly before his move to Charlottesville, Tucker owned an astounding forty-six indviduals, including eighteen adults, and twenty-eight children, adolescents, and young adults under the age of twenty-four. [3]

The four occupant of Pavillion X, John B. Minor, remained on grounds long beyond the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, serving as a Professor of Law until his death in 1895. But Minor enslaved dozens of individuals before the end of the Civil War. One of them, James, also known as Jim, apparently resisted his ensalvement to the point where Minor concluded that he had "behaved so very badly as to make it necessary to dispose of him" and attempted to sell him. Whether Minor could not find a buyer or had a change of heart remains unknown, but James remained in his records in the coming years. At other moments, Minor strived for the paternalistic ideal championed by slavery's apologists. In 1856, Minor lamented that his enslaved woman named Matilda might die spiritually unprepared after developing a sudden illness. Despite his role as a Sunday school teacher for enslaved people Minor agonized "I have no assurance, I can have but little hope, that she is prepared to die, and my conscience puts me on trial as to whether I may not have come short of my duty in instruction, exhortation, or example." Despite this trial of Minor's conscience, it remains unknown whether Matilda survived her illness. Minor periodically hired-out enslaved people, at least one of whom, Ellen, returned to Pavillion X after suffering a fierce beating from the man who had rented her. Finally, according to an account left by Minor's daughter Mary, at least one enslaved man, Henry, fled to the Union army late in the Civil War.

Other enslaved people of the Minor household whose names survive include: 

-Daniel            -Scott          

-Phil                -Davy Hite

-Livy               -John (Born < 1849)        

 -Richard         -Charles (Born 1824)         

-Simon             -Sallie 

-Rachel            -John (Born 1854)          

 -Albert            -Charles (Born 1855)

-Elizabeth        -Susan        

-Kitty               -Burr

-Mary              -John (Born 1861)

-Nancy           -Elsy

-Julia Ann      -Adelaide

-Edward         -Isaiah

-Patsy [4]



[1] Louis P. Nelson and James Zehmer, "Slavery and Construction," in Educated in Tyranny: Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's University, ed. Maurie D. McInnis and Louis P. Nelson (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019), 30-31.

[2] Arthur S. Brockenbrough, University of Virginia Proctor Day Book, March 7, 1826; Arthur S. Brockenbrough, University of Virginia Proctor Day Book, July 7, 1826; Robley Dunglison to Thomas J. Randolph, Randolph Family Papers,  Box 2, Folder 10, University of Virginia Special Collections Dept. Alderman Library. U.S. Census Schedule of the Whole Number of Persons of the Eastern District of Virginia, 1830, p. 244; An Account of the Estate of the late Thomas Jefferson, January 1, 1829, 

[3] The Farm: John A. G. Davis House, 1201 Jefferson Street, Charlottesville, Independent City, VALibrary of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA; Phillip A. Bruce, History of the University of Virginia, 1819-1919 : The Lengthened Shadow of One Man (New York: Macmillan, 1922), 66; U.S. Census Schedule of the Whole Number of Persons of the Eastern District of Virginia, 1840, p. 103; U.S. Census Schedule of the Whole Number of Persons of the Eastern District of Virginia, 1840, p. 293.

[4] John H. Bell to John B. Minor, February 14, 1845, Minor Family Papers, University of Virginia Special Collections Dept. Alderman Library; John B. Minor to John D. Minor, August 22, 1846John B. Minor to Martha M. Minor, May 10, 1849; John B. Minor to Benjamin Wood, July 3, 1853; John B. Minor to Mary L. Minor, December 5, 1856; 1863 Tax List; Mary L. Minor to Aunt, March, 8, 1865; Mary L. Minor to Aunt, April 7, 1865.