SHARE:
Civil War  |  Historic Site

James F. Lipscomb

Virginia

Rte. 45 (N of Rte. 701)
Farmville, VA 23901
United States

This heritage site is a part of the American Battlefield Trust's Road to Freedom Tour Guide app, which showcases sites integral to the Black experience during the Civil War era. Download the FREE app now.

This photograph of James F. Lipscomb was published in Luther Porter Jackson's Negro Office-Holders in Virginia, 1865–1895 (1945). Lipscomb served as a member of the House of Delegates representing Cumberland County from 1869 to 1877.
This photograph of James F. Lipscomb was published in Luther Porter Jackson's Negro Office-Holders in Virginia, 1865–1895 (1945). Lipscomb served as a member of the House of Delegates representing Cumberland County from 1869 to 1877. University of Virginia Special Collections

James F. Lipscomb was born a free black on 4 December 1830 in Cumberland County. He worked first as a farm laborer, then as a carriage driver in Richmond. In 1867 he returned to Cumberland County, where he accumulated more than 500 acres of land. Lipscomb served in the House of Delegates between 1869 and 1877, one of 87 African-Americans elected to the General Assembly in the late 19th century. In 1871 he opened a general store in his home, part of which stands nearby, and operated it until his death on 10 August 1893. His grandson and granddaughter-in-law, John and Romaine Lipscomb, moved it into a new building on this site in 1921. The Lipscomb store, a community institution and social center, was closed in 1971 and demolished in 1987.