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Local author examines history of slavery in Lancaster

Author and local historian Lois Crane Williams recently announced the release of her new book, “Two Centuries of Slavery in Lancaster County, Virginia.”

Williams published the work independently in December 2021 and has selected the Lancaster Virginia Historical Society, where she is a board member and volunteer, as exclusive seller of the book. All proceeds will benefit the organization’s mission to preserve, understand, and share the history of Lancaster and its families.

The book compiles a variety of primary records and secondary research about enslaved labor in Lancaster County from the mid-1600s to mid-1800s and presents statistics and patterns drawn from the study of these sources. Her previous research on Lancaster’s tobacco economy led to the Slave Schedules of the 1860 Census, which helped inspire her new work.

“Slavery is a difficult subject to confront, but it’s so important, and here were these documents that I wanted to know more about and wanted to tell other p...

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