James Solomon Russell was born enslaved on 20 Dec. 1857 on the nearby Hendrick Plantation. After emancipation, he attended Hampton Institute and St. Stephen’s Normal and Theological School and was ordained in 1882. As a religious missionary, Russell established nearly 30 churches. He also founded the St. Paul Normal and Industrial Institute (Saint Paul’s College) in Lawrenceville in 1882 and was its principal until 1929. In 1892, Russell became Archdeacon for Colored Work in the Diocese of Southern Virginia. Inspired by Booker T. Washington, he started an annual farmers’ conference in 1904. Russell urged African Americans to stay out of debt, vote, and become land owners.
Original Sponsor: James Solomon Russell Memorial Committee
Geographic Location: Mecklenburg County
Physical Description of Location: Proposed Location: Intersection of US Route 1 and Palmer Springs Road (State Road 712)
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