Carter G. Woodson Birthplace
Backstory and Context
Carter G. Woodson, known by many as the “Father of Black History,” was born in New Canton, Buckingham County, Virginia in 1875 to former slaves. His father, James Henry Woodson was enslaved on the Toney Plantation near Richmond. When the Civil War broke out, James fled his master and came across a Union cavalry unit, which unit took him back to his master to only, according to Woodson family oral history, tied up Master Toney and whipped him. After this event, James Woodson would stay with this same unit of cavalry and act as a scout. One such mission concluded with the destruction of Confederate supplies. After marrying Anne Eliza Riddle, they moved to Buckingham County, VA (western Virginia) when land in the area became available for freed slaves. James and Anne would raise a large family and generate a decent, but not highly profitable, farm life Carter Woodson was the eldest son of the family with 8 other siblings. He was sickly through most of his youth and was oft times considered his mother's favorite child. Woodson and his siblings were only able to attend school four months out of the year at a one-room school house because their help was needed on the family farm. In 1892 he left Buckingham County for West Virginia to seek employment in the coal mines of Fayette County as well as furthering his education since that was not possible at the time where he lived. Woodson moved to Huntington, West Virginia in 1895.