Born in Waynesboro to former slaves, William H. Sheppard became a Presbyterian missionary to the Belgian colony of Congo Free State in 1890. He and others opposed King Leopold II of Belgium, who encouraged such atrocities as the amputation of children's hands to intimidate Congolese rubber workers. On 21 Aug. 1904, while visiting his mother here, Sheppard spoke out at Warm Springs Presbyterian Church; reportedly, the Belgian ambassador attended. Later, in Africa, Sheppard published his charges, and the Belgian rubber monopoly sued for libel. After a judge dismissed the suit in Sept. 1909, an investigation verified Sheppard's claims and compelled improvements. Sheppard returned permanently to America in 1910.
Geographic Location: Bath County
Physical Description of Location: 24019. Located on Sam Snead Hwy (Hwy 220), less than 1/5 of a mile south of the intersection of Sam Snead Hwy (Hwy 220) and Route 39. Marker is on the right when traveling south on Sam Snead Hwy (Hwy 220).
Display on Google Maps
Display on Google Earth