by J Munro

William Spinner, adult male. William Spinner was a free colored person who was the first to hold the position of Janitor at the University of Virginia, beginning in 1825 through to mid-1826. His appointment as Janitor is mentioned in the Faculty Minutes for the first academic session: "William Spinner, having been represented to the Faculty as a person of good character and in other respects fitted for the office of Janitor, be appointed to that office, from this time until the end of the Session, provided he conduct himself to the satisfaction of the Faculty" (April 27, 1825). An entry in the Proctor's Daybook proves his satisfactory conduct, noting he was paid "for his salary as Janitor" at year's end (December 27, 1825) - unfortunately, the amount of money paid is not recorded). 
The janitor’s position soon evolved to include student surveillance and, for a time, overseer duties; consequently, by early to mid-1826, the janitor position was then and thereafter held by a white man. 
1. References to the Individual in the JUEL Digitized Transcripts
(Links below are to JUEL's full-text digital transcripts of primary sources that refer to the individual. If no links display, this indicates that either the JUEL digitized texts have not yet been tagged with the individual's ID/Key, or, that no reference is made to the individual in any JUEL digitized texts, or, that the primary source has not yet been digitized).  
Faculty Minutes, April 27, 1825. Session 1
2. Library Call Numbers/Bibliographic Records
Minutes of the General Faculty, April 27, 1825. University of Virginia Library. Call Number: RG-19/1/1.461
Proctor's Daybook [Manuscript], 1821-1828. Special Collections, University of Virginia Library. RG-5/3/2.102
Related Information
- Delilah Spinner, Free Negro Register (19F), Albemarle County, 1829 
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