Samuel P. Bolling was born a slave on January 10, 1819 on a plantation
not far from the present location of
Sam Bolling bought his own freedom before the Civil War and later bought the freedom of his wife, Ellen Gantt.† In a transaction carried out by an agreement drawn in 1857, and for which he provided the money, he arranged for the sale of his aged mother to his former master, one of the terms of the agreement being that her new master would claim no right to her services, thereby permitting his mother to spend her last years dividing her time between her two sons.
Although Sam Bolling had known the harshness of slavery, he was capable of showing charity and humanity to his fellow man regardless of race.† During the Civil War, he cared for "old man Venable" until his death, and after the war provided sustenance for some members of his white Bolling family who had fallen upon hard times.
Sam Bolling was a farmer, an expert bricklayer, and a brick manufacturer who marketed his product throughout the entire state.† During peak business periods he employed over 200 workers.† He owned property in Farmville, and his farm outside of Farmville covered over 1100 acres, half of which is still owned by his descendants today.
Sam Bolling represented
Sam Bolling and his wife Ellen had six children,
Olive Rebecca, Philip, Lewis Robert, Mary, Eliza, and Martha Ellen.† He died on February 8, 1900 and is buried in
Sam Bollingís name appears on the deed, dated August
25, 1879, that documents the acquisition of the land for
The descendants of Samuel P. Bolling would like to
take this opportunity to thank you for joining us in commemorating the 100th
anniversary of his death.† His life is an
inspiring one, for although he was born a slave, through his thrift and
industry and the grace of God he rose to become one of the wealthiest and most
influential Negroes in 19th century
© 2014, Edna Bolling Jacques