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Spotsylvania County Courthouse Jail

One of the many events from the Spotsylvania County Courthouse and Jail is the story of George Boxley and his involvement in the struggle to end slavery in the early 1800s. George Boxley was a white storekeeper and mill owner. While living in Berkeley Parrish, Spotsylvania County, Virginia, he allegedly tried to coordinate a local slave rebellion in 1815, based on "heaven-sent" orders to free the enslaved. His plan was for slaves from Spotsylvania, and surrounding counties to meet at his home with horses, guns, swords and cubs. His plan involved capturing Richmond's magazine or arsenal, and from there he planned to help the participating enslaved reach freedom. An enslaved girl, Lucy, informed her owner, Ptolemy Powell, who then informed the magistrate. The plot was foiled. At least six enslaved people were executed and many others were arrested. Boxley was able to escape from the Spotsylvania County Jail when his wife, brought him a file, which he used to cut his chains and escape to freedom. A thousand dollars reward was offered for Boxley, but he was never caught. Boxley fled to Indiana, where he continued to help runaways and teach the principles of abolitionism on the railway to freedom.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 9012 Courthouse Rd, Spotsylvania, Spotsylvania, 22553

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Russell Seymour

Location Type: Site

People/Organizations Associated with the site: Ptolemy Powell (Owner)

UGRR Operatives: George Boxley