xt7rn872z816 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7rn872z816/data/mets.xml Dinwiddie County, Virginia Virginia Historical Records Survey 1939 Prepared by Historical Records Survey, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Work Projects Administration; Other contributors include: United States Work Projects Administration Division of Professional and Service Projects; v, 207 leaves, 28 cm; Mimeographed; Includes bibliographical references and index; UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries; Call number FW 4.14:V 819/no.27 books English Richmond, Virginia: The Survey This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Virginia Works Progress Administration Publications Inventory of the County Archives of Virginia, Number 27 Dinwiddie County (Dinwiddie Court House) text Inventory of the County Archives of Virginia, Number 27 Dinwiddie County (Dinwiddie Court House) 1939 1939 2015 true xt7rn872z816 section xt7rn872z816   ¤ i V rUNN$RA¤,\TY`OFrrKENTUCk§       ` \ . V
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  No. 27. DINVJIDDIE coumv (DI1~:·aJIDDI.¤J c0URI· Roms.;)
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_'¥ Richmond, Virginia
_»E The Historical Records Survey
A F July 1939

The Historical Records Survey Q
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Luther H. Evans, National Director , ¥;:
1 Elizabeth B. Parker, State Director CO
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Division of Professional and Service Projects g?}
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Florence Kerr, assistant Commissioner ,{
Ella G. Agnew, State Director lbj th,
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F. C. Harrington, Commissioner
william A. Smith, State Administrator

The Qnyggtggy gf Qgugty Archives gf yirginia is one of a number of
bibliographies of historical materials prepared throughout the United States by
workers on the Historical Records Survey of the Work Projects Administration.
The publication herewith presented, an inventory of the archives of Dinwiddie _
County, is number 27 of the Virginia series.
The Historical Records Survey was undertaken in the winter of 1935-36 for
the purpose of providing useful employment to needy unemployed historians,
lawyers, teachers, and research and clerical workers. In carrying out this
objective, the project was organized to compile inventories of historical ma-
terials, particularly the unpublished government documents and records which
are basic in the administration of local government, and which provide invalu-
able data for students of political, economic, and social history. The archival
guide herewith presented is intended to meet the requirements of day-to-day
administration by the officials of the county, and also the needs of lawyers,
business men and other citizens who require facts from the public records for
the proper conduct of their affairs. The volume is so designed that it can be
used by the historian in his research in unprinted sources in the same way he
uses the library card catalog for printed sources.
The inventories produced by The Historical Records Survey attempt to do more
l than give merely a list of records - they attempt further to sketch in the
historical background of the county or other unit of government, and to describe
precisely and in detail the organization and functions of the government agencies
J whose records they list. The county, town, and other local inventories for the
t entire country will, when completed, constitute an encyclopedia of local govern-
~ ment as well as a bibliography of local archives. ·
t The successful conclusion of the work of The Historical Records Survey,
· even in a single county, would not be poesills without the supjort of public
officials, historical and legal specialists, and many other groups in the
( community. Their cooperation is gratefully acknowledged.
< The Survey was organized and has been directed by Luther H. Evans, and
operates as a nation-wide project in the Division of Professional and Service
Projects, of which Mrs. Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner, is in charge.

The Historical Records Survey, a project of the Division of Professional
and Service Projects of the Work Projects Administration, was organized
nationally in January l936 under the supervision of Dr. Luther H. Evans,
National Director. In March, work was begun in Virginia as part of the Federal
Writers' Project with Dr. H. J. Eckenrode as State Director and Dr. Lester J.
Gappon of the University of Virginia as part-time Assistant State Supervisor
in charge of the Survey.
In November 1936, when the Survey became independent of the Federal
Writers' Project, Dr. Cappon became part-time State Director and Elizabeth B.
Parker, a former supervisor, Assistant State Director. Following Dr. Cappon's
resignation in June l937, Miss Parker was appointed State Director.
The principal objective of the Survey in Virginia has been to discover,
· preserve, and make accessible the basic materials for research. Complete
inventories of the records of the State, counties, cities, towns, and other
local public archives are being made and will be prepared for publication and
deposited with the appropriate agency of the Federal Government. In addition,
a complete list of manuscript depositories in the State is being prepared and
an inventory of important manuscript collections will be made. A considerable
amouwt of work has been done in listing early American imprints and approxi-
mately one-third of the church records in the State have been inventoried. The
Survey has also been responsible for assisting State and county officials in
sorting, arranging, and in some cases labeling and indexing loose papers and
unbound materials. Furthermore, as a result of our efforts, many county
_ officials have provided more adequate space for storing their records. In-
formation in the entries in this volume is given as to the dates of all extant
records, the quantity, the contents of series, the arrangement, indexing, and
location. Records are arranged in this volume according to the functional des-
tination of the recent In the subject index the material is arranged alpha-
betically; in the chronological index it is arranged by decades. Preceding
the entries for each office is a brief account of the history, functions, and
records of that office.
The Ingentqgy gf gpg Qppnty Arphivgg gf Virginig will, when completed, con-
sist of a separate number for each county. The numbering will be according to
the respective position of the county in an alphabetical list of counties. Thus
Dinwiddie County is number 27. The inventory of the State archives and munici-
pal and other records will be issued separately.
The original inventory was begun in Dinwiddie County in April l936 by Lhry H.
hyatt, under the supervision of Elizabeth B. Parker, and completed in September.
A final recheck of all the records was begun in March 1939 by Virginia M. Clarke,
under the supervision of Harold A. Lovenstein, and completed in June.
The inventory was edited in the Richmond office through the combined
efforts of the editorial staff headed by Celia L. Meyer. To Ellis Miller, Jr.,
Hamilton Hnslow, andiinckney H. Walker goes most of the credit for the legal
research. Dr. Qvans and his editors in the Washington office examined and
criticized the manuscript before it was printed, but responsibility for its
. completeness and accuracy lies with the Virginia staff. The Survey is in-

debted to the officials of the Virginia State Law Library for their assistance
and to the officials of Dinwiddie County for their splendid cooperation. A
W lindted number of copies of this inventory will be distributed free of charge
to state and local public officials and to public libraries and government
agencies outside of the State. Further inquiries regarding this publication
_ should be addressed to Elizabeth B. Parker, Historical Records Survey, American
__ Building, hichmond, Virginia.
` State Director
Richmond, Virginia The Historical Records Survey
" July l, 1939

A. Dinwiddie County and its Records System
_ A l. Historical Sketch ...... ............ .. .............................. 3
2. Governmental Organization and Records System.. ...................... l3
Chart of County Government............. ........ .... ............... 4O
3. Housing, Care, and Accessibility of the Records ..................... 42 I
4. Abbreviations, Symbols, and Explanatory Notes... ..... . ......... . .... 45
B. County Offices and their Records .
A I. Board of Supervis0rs.......... ......... . ...... .. ............. . ..... . 48
" Proceedings. Financial: budgets; claims; warrants; reports and
Deeds. Liens: real property; personal property. Judgment Liens.
Taxation: real property; personal property; inheritance;
licenses. Conservation. Vital Statistics. births; deaths;
marriages. Registers. Military. Corporations. Elections:
voters; candidates. Maps. Correspondence.
III. Circuit Court ..... .... .. ........... . ......... . .................... . 71
Chancery: case papers; dockets and proceedings. Comnon Law:
case papers; dockets and proceedings. Judgments. Executions.
Jurors. `witnesses. Probate: wills and intestacy; fiduciary. __
Naturalization. Oaths. Bonds: official; fiduciary; injunction;
liquor license. Lunacy. Delinquent Land Sales. Financial:
banks; claims and accounts; fees,·fines, and costs; collections
and disbursements; reports. Miscellaneous.
IR!}.     il•I|¤D•¤|¤||¤|9¤i||¤|I|t•Q¢lO•||••¤0l¤¤I•¤Ill|0|Illl|O  
Case Papers. Dockets and Proceedings. Judgments. Bonds. Roads.
V. Commonwealth Attorney . .................. ..... ...... . .... · ........... IO4
` VI. Trial Justice Court ............. .............. . .................... lO5
Dockets and Proceedings: civil; criminal; juvenile and domestic
relations. Financial.
VII. Justice of the Peace ....... .................................. . ..... lO8
X. Coroner ... ..... ....... ...... . ........... .. ......................... ll6
XI. Commissioner of the Revenue .................... .... . ....... . ...... . ll9
Tax Assessments: real property; personal property and income;
capitation. Licenses. Correspondence.
XIII. Local Board of Equalization ......... ........ .. ...... . .............. 129

 n ° _ ' 2 ' I
_Table of Contents
Q Page
Financial: receipts; cash books and ledgers; warrants and
checks; audits; reports. Taxation: real property; personal
property; capitations. Licenses. Reports. Correspondence.
XV. County Finance Board ........................ .......... . ......... I45
' ' XVI. :County Electoral Board ..... ..................................... 146
Proceedings. Registration. Poll. Elections.
XVII. School Trustee Electoral Board .... ...... . ..... . ........... ...... 149
Proceedings. Financial: collections and disbursements;
warrants; bills and vouchers; contracts and requisitions.
" ` Indigent Children.
XIX. Division Superintendent of Schools .............................. `156
Financial. Reports: enrollment; truck; general. Teachers.
Examinations. Individual School. Census.
XX. Local Board of Public Welfare (Overseers of the Loor) ........... 165
' Proceedings. Financial. Federal Relief. Correspondence.
XXI. Superintendent of the Poor .. .......... .... ......... . .......... .. 169
          I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I  
XXVI       I I I I • I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I  
. XXVI. County Surveyor ...... ..... . ......... ... ...... . ..... . ........... . l77
        gv I I I | I I I I I 1 I I I I I | I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I U   `
` Contracts: tobacco; peanut; cotton. Allotments. Reports.
I Correspondence.
XXIX. Home Demonstration Agent ................ .... .. ............ . .... . 183
_ Chronological Index . .... . ..... .... .... . .... . ...... . ..... .. ...... 195

 - 3 - `
(First entry, p. 52)
Dinwiddie County, one of the smallest counties of the state, was formed
in 1752 from Prince George Countyl which had been cut off in 1703 from Charles
City County,2 one of the original shires of 1634.3 Its establishment as a
distinct political unit occurred after the "upper inhabitants" petitioned for
a division because of the "many inconveniences . . . by reason of their great
distance from the courthouse."4. The new county was named in honor of Robert
Dinwiddie, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 1751 to 1758.5
0n the north, Dinwiddie County is bounded by Amelia and Chesterfield
Counties from which it is separated by Namozine Creek and by the Appomattox
River, respectively; on the east it is bounded by Prince George County; on
the west by Nottoway; and on the south by Sussex County, and by Greensville
and Brunswick Counties from which the Nottoway River separates it.6
T.e area of Dinwiddie County comprises approximately 517 siuare miles,7
and, except for a comparatively small section around Petersburg, lies in the
eastern portion of the Piedmont.8 Generally speaking, the soil is sandy loam
and was formed from granite and gnciss rock, a base which usually produces
fertile soil. The land is more undulating than hilly. Dinwiddie County lies
in a favorable rain belt with precipitation from 32 to 44 inches per ycar.9
The only incorporated city is Petersburg which has a population of ap-
proximately 30,000 and which, being an independent city, is not subject to
county administration. Scattered throughout the county there are several
villages; Dinwiddie, with a population of 100, is the centrally located county
seat.lO Exclusive of Petersburg, the population of the county as given in
the last census (1930) was 18,492 of which number 7,300 were white. Most of
the population is native born. The average density of population, exclusive l_
of Petersburg, is approximately 35 persons per sduare mile.ll
Dinwiddie County, divided into four districts - Namozine, Sapony,
Darvills, and Rowanty — operates under the board of supervisors plan of
1. William Waller Hening, compiler, The Statutes at Large . . . (1619-1792),
lst ed., Richmond, etc., 1809-23 [for complete citation, see Bibliography;
hereinafter cited as Hening, Spatppes], VI, p. 255; Charlotte Allen,
compiler and editor, Vipginia, Richmond, 1937, p. 151.
2. Hening, Statutgs, III, p. 223.
3. Ibid., I, p. 224.
4. Ibid., VI, p. 254.
5. Morgan Poitiaux Robinson, Virginia Counties, Virginia State Library
§g11gtig, IX, nos, 1-3, Richmond, 1916, p. 178.
6. Qgpd McNally Qgmmercial Atlas and Marketinv Guide, Chicago, Ill., 1939
[hereinafter cited as Commercial Atlas], p. 407.
7. Allen, gp. pip., p. 153.
8. Ibid., pp. 13, 75.
9. ibid., p. 73; Jedediah Hotchkiss, compiler and editor, Virginia: A
Qgggrgphigal gpg Pglitipal Summary .“;_., Richmond, 1876, pp. 8, 13, 57.
l0· Qmemaal   pp- 407-413-
ll. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930, Pgpglation, Reports by Stgtgs
;_;_L, III, pt. 2, Washington, 1932, pp. 1152, 1170, 1199; soe footnote 7.

 Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 52)
county government.l2 The county is in the fourth congressional districtl3 and,
together with Petersburg, constitutes a State senatorial district.l4
More than a hundred years before Dinwiddie County was formed, the
presence of the white man was evident. According to Rev. John Jones Spooner,
,A. M., the Indians had no "considerable seats" in the county at the time of
{the first English settlement, although the land was part of the extensive and
formidable empire of King Powhatan.l5 By 1639 land had been patented at the
falls of the Appomattox River.l6 The earliest exploratory expedition through
the county of which an account remains started in 1650 from Fort Henry, the
site of modern Potersburg;17 it was under the command of Abraham Woodlg and
Edward Bland whose purpose it was to open communication with the Tuscarora
tribesmen in Carolina. The expedition is said to have followed an old Indian
trail extending southwestwardly from Petersburg across the Nottoway, Meherrin,
iand Roanoke Rivers which led them into the country of the Catawbas and
“Cherokees. This is thought to be the frontier trail that was later reported
by the Fry and Jefferson map.l9
* Because of the loss of records in the county archives during the War
Between the States (except for the Order Book l789—l799Y?,it is impossible
y to give an account of the activities of the first court or of the buildings
I erected for county purposes. However, from a Virginia almanac som; informa-
tion can be gleaned; here it is stated that in 1754 the Burgess from Dinwiddie -
County was John Jones.2l Robert Bolling was a Burgess from Dinwiddie County
at various times between 1756 and 1774.22 Leonard Claiborrxe, Jr., was Burgess
" ln 1758 and again in 1765.23 According to one source, the following persons
served as justices of the peace in 1769: John Jones, Bolling Stark, Robert
Welker, Nilliam jithors, William Natkins4 Abraham Smith, David Walker, James
Walker, Edward Wyatt, and Thomas Scott.< Another name preserved is that of
*4 * I2. égts gQ_thg General Assembly gf the Stgte gf Virginia, 1809--, Richmond,
1810-- {hereinafter cited as Actsig 1938, p. 1067; Board of Supervisors,
pp. 48-51.
13. fhg Xiggggig Qgdg gf 1936, Charlottesville, Va., 1936 [hereinafter cited
as Qggg l936_h sec. 70.
14. Qgdg 1936, sec. 79.
` 15. Rev, John Jones Spooner, "Topographical Description of the County of
A Prince George, in Virginia, in l793" in Ty1er‘s Qgagtggly Qigtggggal ggd
` Qgggalogiggl yggazine, V, no. 1, p. 4t _
16. Patents, no. 1, II, (1623-43), p. 689[_ms. vol. in State Land Office).
17. Louis Dow Scisco, "Exploration of 1650 in Southern Virginia" in Tyler's
V Qgg;terly_. . ., VII, no. 3, p. 164.
· 18. Hening, gtgtgtgs, I, pp. 326, 377.
,19. Scisco, gp. git., p. 164.
I 20. Virginig gaeezigg pf History gpg Bipgra h , XXII, no. 1 (Jan. 1914)
` ’ ' Lhereinafter cited as Virginia Magazine , p. 85. ’
21. Ibid., VIII, no. 3 (Jan. 1901), p. 255.
t 22. Ibid., XXII, no. 1 (Jan. 1914), p. 105.
` 23. Ibid., I, (no number given), p. 319.
w' ` 24. William P. Palmer, et E15., editors and compilers, Qglggggg gf Ygggiggg
State Eapers gpg Other Manuscri.ts (1652-1869), Richmond, 1875-93
Y I hereinafter cited as Qalenda£_, I, p. 261.

Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 52)
Samuel Davies who was justice in 1782 and 1784. Among the justices for 1789
were Joseph Jones, Phillip Jones, Edward Pegram, Jr., Joseph Whitehead, Jordon
Rase,25 Joseph Turner, Wood Tucker, George Pegram,26 and Major Buller Claiborne,
who later served as sheriff.27
' " Due to the topography, the nature of the soil, and the favorable rainfall,
‘ Dinwiddie County lends itself almost entirely to agricultural pursuits.
By 1800 most of the area was patented.28 By the middle of the nineteenth
century, there were 102,517 acres of improved land, somewhat less acreage than
in unimproved 1and.29 Between 1900 and 1920, the amount of improved land
steadily decreased, being 102,016 acres in the former year and 71,860 acres
in the latter.3O Today, under the leadership of the county agricultural depart-
ment and with aid from the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, there is a
marked tendency to cultivate intensively a part of the land and to plant the
remainder in legumes with the intention of building up the worn-out land. In
the last five years particularly, the farmers have realized the need of a long-
term program of land rehabilitation. Calls upon the services of the county
agricultural agent for advice in matters pertaining to improved farming methods
have greatly increased in the last few years; there were approximately 6,000
calls in 1938.31
_ There is no statistical information relative to crops of the early
settlers, but the notes of Rev. J. J. Spooner in 1793 indicate that a variety
of products had been grown, and that tobacco had been one of the principal
crops.32 Tobacco remained an important crop in the middle of the nineteenth
century, although in respect to the amount raised it was superseded by corn
and wheat.33 There is a marked tendency today to produce more tobacco on
fewer acres than was the case in the decade between 1920 and 1930. Particularly
· — is this true since October 1934 when the Agricultural Adjustment Administration
went into effect. The yield per acre has increased from 635 pounds in 1932 to
° approximately 800 pounds in 1938. Prices also have risen; in 1932 a pound of
tobacco sold for 8 cents and in 1935 for 29 cents, approximately the price on
.25. Ibid., IV, pp. 430-431, 580.
26. Virginig Magazine, XXII, no. l (Jan. 1914), p. 86.
27. Ibgd., I, [no number given], p. 322.
· 28. (Index to Land Grants in Dinwiddie County), no. ll, in the State land
p Office, Richmond, passim.
* 29. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, Eh; Seventh Census gf thg
‘ Qnited Stateg: 1850 L_;_L Embracing a Statistical Vigw gf Each gf php
. I §t;tgg gpg Tgggitorieg, Agganged py gpgntigg, Qgwpg . . ., Washington,
· j . 1853, p. 273.
* ‘·‘ 30. Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920, Agggcultuggz Virginia
‘· §§g§i§§ggg fg; php State gpd_Itg Counties, Washington, p. 14.
_ 31. Conversation with Mr. W. A. Bedwoll, county agricultural agent of
p ’V‘ Dinwiddie County, May 1939.
T · `-_' A 32. Spooner, gp. git., pp. 7-8.
. · ‘ 33. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850, Thg Sgyonth Census gf tgp
~ ·‘r United States, pp. 275, 277.

 is ...5..
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 52)
· ~- the 1938 market.34
, While tobacco remains the chief crop, peanuts and cotton are new important
commercial crops. There were 5,278 acres planted in peanuts in 1935 and ap-
proximately 6,000 in 1938. Between 1935 and 1938, cotton acreage increased
about as much as did tobacco acreage, while the price of cotton deubled.35
In respect to owner-operation of farms, Dinwiddie County has changed a
· great dea1.` Up to the close of the War Between the States, most of the land
- was in great estates.36 By 1910, 33.1 percent of the farm operators were
tenants; there was a slight decrease in percentage by 1925 (31.7%).37 For the
years between 1930 and 1935 figures show a tendency toward an increase in
tenantrygg while the situation today (1939) shows a slight tendency in the
' other direction.39 The number of colored operators has increased during 1930
to 1935 from 933 to 1,068.40 In 1935, the number of colored full owners was
573 and the number of white full owners, 734.41
· Change has also occurred in respect to farm values. In 1782 when the
state was divided into four districts on the basis of ability to raise
» revenue, Dinwiddie was grouped in the first class.42 Value of farm land per
acre had fluctuated from $1.57 in 1800 to $3.80 in 1850, with a peak price of
· 2 $7.15 in 1820. The price per acre in 1850 ranked Dinwiddie among the lowest
fourth of the counties of the state.43 Farm values advanced approximately
· 100 percent between 1910 and 1920.44 The rise is attributable in part to the
economic trends set in force by the World War and to the improvement in farm
property. The growing practice of diversification of crops and crop rotation
pwhich has been manifested since 1920 has also added to farm values.45 In
-1935 the value of farm lands por acre was approximately $21, a situation which
· gave Dinwiddie a sub-average rank among the counties of the state.46
34. See footnote 31.
35. See footnote 31.
36. Avery 0. Cfeven, Sbll Eyhaustion gg g_Factor lb bbg Agribblbbbgl bistory
» bf ylbginia gbg Maryland, 1806-QQ, University of Illinois bbbdlbg lb bbb
V , §bglgl bbiences, XIII, no. 1, University of Illinois, 1925, p. 114.
37. United States Census of Agriculture, 1925, Virginia, Statistics by
Qbbbblbb Elggl Figures, Washington, 1927, p. 11.
, · 38. United States Census of Agriculture, Special Qbbbbb bl lgblbblbbgg_l_L_;,
~ ljbb, 1, Washington, 1936, p. 400.
I 39. See footnote 31.
40. See footnote 38.
. 41. See footnote 38.
42. Hening, Statutes, XI, pp. 140-142.
43. Qbcuments Contalblgg bbgtistics bi Virginia Ordered bb bg bblbbgg by bbg
gbgbg Convention ._;_b, 1850-bl, Richmond, 1851, {pages unnumbered; 9th
· 44. United States Census of Agriculture, bpbblgl ggbgbg bl lgblpulture . . .,
,, 1925, washington, 1927, p. 23.
" .· 45. See footnote 31.
.. 46. United States Census of Agriculture, 1935, ylbglnlg bbgtistics by
» . Counties, Washington, 1936, pp. 6, 8.

 t — 7 —
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 52)
While tobacco and a small part of the other agricultural products were
exported, most of the crops of the early settlers found their way into local
manufacturing. During the eighteenth century there were grist and saw mills
scattered over the county. Ironworking, weaving, and tailoring were con-
ducted on the plantations or in the villages,47 under the apprenticeship
system.48 In 1813 there was a cotton mill at Petersburg but it did not long
survive. The successful founding of the cotton-milling industry occurred with
the incorporation of the Petersburg Manufacturing Company in 1828. It is of
interest to note that a committee of the 1838 Convention, when it met to dis-
cuss economic recovery after the panic of 1837, observed that Petersburg's
manufactures were chiefly cotton goods. During this period Petersburg increased
in population and enterprise and by 1834 boasted eight mills of 4,000 spindles
each.49 Credit for Petersburg‘s supremacy in cotton manufacture was given to
Dr. John Y. Stockdell, the projector and director of the most valuable of
Petersburg's cotton mills. This man's genius inspired his fellow citizens to
enter with him upon cotton manufacture, and his contemporaries called him not
only a benefactor to Petersburg and Virginia but to the whole south.5O One
‘ historian says, in speaking of the years around 1850, that Petersburg produced
improved plows, wheat fans or threshing machines;5l and the Statistical
Gazetteer states that there were in the city in 1852 "ono woolen factory, two
. ropewalks, one iron furnace, six forges, and numerous mills."52
It appears that the total number of factories in 1860, including
Petersburg, was 78; this situation gave Dinwiddie fourth rank among the 25
counties of the Middle Section. It was first in value of raw materials used
($2,091,187), in the number of employees, the size of the payroll ($626,168),
and the value of the manufactured products ($3,570,855). These products con-
sisted of cordage, which Dinwiddie alone, among the counties, manufactured;
saddles and tobacco, in the production of which it held first place; ferti-
lizer, leather making and pottery in all of which it ranked high; and several
other products including books, carriages, marble, stone, tinware, copperware,
. and sheet—iron—ware.53
Today, exclusive of Petersburg, there are four manufacturing establish-
ments. Three of these produce lumber and one manufactures buttons.54
Few records remain concerning the earliest roads which connected planta-
tions with mills and markets. In 1752, by legislative enactment, a bridge on
, . 47. Oliver Perry Chitwood, g glgpppy pf Colonial America, New York, 1931,
. pp. 452-466.
48. Ibid., pp. 413-416.
. 49. Kathleen Bruce, Virginia IEEE Manufacture gn phg Slave Egg, New York,
1931, pp. 125-127.
50. "Water Power of Richmond“ in Pgpersburg Farmers Register, IV (1836-37),
no. 6, p. 368.
51. Kathleen Bruce, gp. git., p. 305.
52. Richard Edwards, editor, Statistical Gazetteg; gf ghg State gf Virginia
_ gpg North Qggglgng, Richmond, 1856 (hereinafter cited as Statistical
.Qe.aei.ts>.@1» p- 341- ""°~—"`
53. Hotchkiss, gp. pgp., pp. 98, 100-101.
54. Personal Property Book (1938), pp. 20, 55, 88, 90, see entry 53.

,   - 8 -
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 52)
a road leading over the Appomattox River was built to be "not less than
twelve feet in breadth . . . at least ten feet above high water."55 In the
(one extant order book of the Colonial era, there are entries naming a score
or more persons as surveyors of roads.56 By 1816 there was a “great leading
(Road from Port Republic, passing Staunton, Lexington, Petersburg to the Big
Lick [Roanoke] and from thence to the gap in the Blue Ridge leading towards
C Franklin."57 [According to contemporary maps, Petersburg, in the above quote,
should probably be read Pattonsburg.]
In a letter written April 26, 1851 by Dr. James P. Boisseau, a prominent
citizen of the county, a brief account of a road is given: "The survey for the
Plank Road has been completed through the county. The Court House Road . . .
to Petersburg has been condemned for that purpose. The only alteration that
will be made is from Capt. Jones' shop to cousin Robert Boisseau‘s blacksmith
` shop . . . . The road will be perfectly straight from one shop to the other
.... Mr. Pratt of New York has contracted for the whole road at $1900.00
per mile, he has brought on steam saw mills .... The Road is expected to
be finished in is m¤mhe.··58
By 1879 all roads had to be at least 30 feet wide.5g One of the best
roads of the pre-automobile period was that of the abandoned tracks of the
Atlantic Coast Line, deeded by that corporation in 1901 to the county with
_ the stipulation that it was to be used for a road.6O AS late as 1902 there
were a few toll gates erected by private individuals who collected the tolls
with the permission of the board of supervisors.6l Today there are approxi-
mately 150 miles of primary and 400 miles of secondary roads. United States
Highway number one, the main highway from New York to Florida, runs through
the county. The other primary highways are United States Highway number 460,
the chief east—west highway through the state, and State Highway number 40.62
The total expenditure for maintenance and improvements in the primary system
from the beginning of the road system in 1932 to June 30, 1938, was $1,224,673;
that for the secondary system, $369,325.63 A glance at the county road map
shows Dinwiddie exceedingly well supplied with roads, for many sand-clay roads
connect with the primary and secondary systems.64
` In addition to the roads, the rivers and streams of the county were used
55. Hening, Statutes, VI, p. 293.
· 56. Order Book, (1789-91), pp. 46-260, passim, see entry 176.
57. Qglgndgg, X, p. 455.
58. James P. Boisseau, (excerpt from letter) in The Viggiggg Mggggggg,
‘ I XXXVI, no. l, p. 94. '
·- · 59. Order Book, (1873-81), July 21, 1879, p. 473, see entry 176.
60. Ibig., (1889-1902), Jan. 10, 1901, p. 533; ibid., (1889-1902), June 5,
1901, p. 563, see entry 176.
to 61. Ibid., (1902-4), Nov. 17, 1902, p. 77, see entry 176.
62. Commonwealth of Virginia, County Maps gf the Pgimggy gpg Secondary High-
ygy Systegg, 1936, State Department of Highways, Richmond, 1936, p. 27;
’ Road Map of tue United States, 1938, in Office of State Department of
-r Motor Vehicles, Richmond.
J -<’ 63. State Highway Commission, Report pf June 30, 1938, Richmond, 1938, pp.
in 66, 68.
‘ 64. See footnote 62.

 i -9 ·
'Historical Sketch (First entry, P, 52)
las highways. The Appomattox River was improved as a means of transportation
after a canal around the falls was authorized in 1787;65 In 1783, Rev. J. J.
Spooner stated that the Appomattox was navigable for square—rigged vessels
,for~a distance of 7 miles and that the remaining distance to Petersburg was
navigable for vessels of less than 60 tons.66
About 1850, larger vessels docked at Waltham's landing 6 m