Elizabeth Somerville House

VRA Core

Title

Elizabeth Somerville House

Date

1801 1850

Description

Elizabeth Somerville, a free woman of color, purchased this lot in 1836 and built this two-room wooden house soon thereafter. Like most Caribbean towns, Falmouth had a very large free black community; as many as 50% of Falmouth’s residents were enslaved blacks, 40% were free people of color and only 10% were whites. Elizabeth Somerville is one of the first women to buy property in town after Emancipation in 1834, suggesting that she might have been a recently freed slave. The house Somerville built for herself is typical of small board houses erected by free people of color throughout Falmouth. Many similar houses can be seen in this particular district of the town.

Location

Residential Core

Identifier

B021-S008

Usage

Citation

“Elizabeth Somerville House ,” The Falmouth Project, accessed November 26, 2022, http://falmouth.lib.virginia.edu/items/show/969.