- Chronicles of 'Black' Israelites in America
Beginning in the early 1800’s there was a community established in Prince Edward County, Virginia that consisted of freed slaves who called themselves "Israelites".
Richard Randolph, a former slave owner who was also a cousin of Thomas Jefferson, documented in his will before his death in 1796 that he desired that his 90 slaves be granted their freedom and 400 acres of his land. In 1810 his widow honored his wishes; freeing the slaves and granting them 350 acres of land. The former slaves are responsible for giving the name “Israel Hill’ to the community they established on the land, and the residents of the community called themselves “Israelites”.