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Historical Society posts list of first African American voters

The Mathews County Historical Society has published online the list of the county’s first registered African American voters. According to a release from the society, the list was posted in order to expand public awareness of the breadth and depth of the county’s archival records.

To access the list, visit the society’s homepage at

Congress passed the 14th Amendment during the summer of 1866 that guaranteed freed men the legal right to vote. The Oct. 22, 1867, election was the first in which African Americans could cast a ballot.

Over 300 Mathews County names appear on the list that is housed in the Virginia Untold: The African American Narrative Digital Collections, Library of Virginia, Richmond. LVA has published digital images of these original documents online.

Historical society members Martha W. McCartney transcribed the material and Becky Foster Barnhardt formatted the data suitable for online posting.

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