July 7, 2022
Dr. Bill Hardin will discuss Robert Pleasants of Curles (Henrico County) who was a Virginia abolitionist during the Revolutionary period. Pleasants was the plaintiff in the case of Pleasants v. Pleasants (1799), a decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia that recognized a legal right to freedom for hundreds of enslaved persons retained in bondage by members of the Pleasants family. Robert Pleasants also founded a short-lived abolition society as well as corresponding with contemporary notable Virgininians such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Bill will offer some theories on how Pleasants came to abolition and what his example might mean to us today.