Several women operated taverns in colonial Virginia, some of them continuing a business after their tavern-keeping husbands had died. Campbell, however, began her own business and conducted it with success for more than thirty years. She owned as many as a dozen enslaved laborers who probably worked in the tavern. She allowed them to attend a local school for African Americans and assisted them in being baptized at Bruton Parish Church. Campbell finally closed her tavern in 1787, after the state's capital had moved to Richmond and all of the government offices had left Williamsburg. She retired to live with her daughter in Fredericksburg. Her Waller Street tavern burned about 1859, but in 1956 the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation opened a reconstructed Christiana Campbell's Tavern as a working restaurant and thus preserved her name and reputation.
Reprinted with permission of the Library of Virginia.