----, SEBRA
    by Julia Munro


Sebra (last name unknown), adult male. Sebra was a stonecutter who was involved in the initial construction of the Academical Village and later in the establishment of the University Cemetery (PL8510). He was owned by Joel Shiflett (P47776) (and after 1834, by Joel's widow Sarah) and lived on their Albemarle county plantation (PL9302) (until at least 1845). 

Proctor A.S.B. Brockenbrough's (P43627) Receipt Book records that in late November of 1825, Joel Shiflett received $18.50 for stonework performed by Sebra “on the Anat. Hall.” Sebra worked under Andrew and Samuel Campbell. Records also show Joel Shiflett was paid for Sebra’s labor on the grave yard wall between August of 1829 and March of 1830. Sebra was a skilled stonecutter, given that he not only built but also oversaw the construction of the Cemetery walls himself, working with another slave, Harry (P47121). Harry was a waggoner, owned by David Watts Jr. (P47122), Albemarle county resident. 

The Shiflett family is a significant historical one in Albemarle county, with land ties to Thomas Jefferson and, as plantation owners, work relationships with University of Virginia. A relatively large number of primary records exist that provide insight into slave ownership and the historical context of University of Virginia. Likely the Shiflett Plantation was the plot of land that Shiflett had bought (deed signed August 1802) that was part of the "Rennett Henderson" estate, which was near the Rivanna River and Milton, VA (now Milton Road area, to the east of Charlottesville), Albemarle County (source Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia).


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).   




2. Library Call Numbers/Bibliographic Records

Arthur S. Brockenbrough, Receipt Book, 1824, 1825-1827. RG-5/3/2.101. Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Virginia.  


Journals of Business Transactions of Central College, 1817-1819, and its Successor, the University of Virginia [Proctors Journals], 1829. RG-5/3/1.111


Papers of the Proctor of the University of Virginia [Proctors Papers], Bills and Accounts, July – December 1829, RG-5/3/1.111







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