Aggy of Turkey Island – LIVE Performance
January 12, 2021
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
This performance of Aggy of Turkey Island is at the outdoor theatre Carlton Stage, located behind R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse. You can attend with your day pass, annual pass, or Good Neighbor Pass. Don’t miss it! Here is more about the show…
Aggy of Turkey Island – she and her enslaver were thought to have had a family but still she fought for her freedom…
Ryland Randolph, second cousin to Thomas Jefferson lived not far from Williamsburg on his large estate in Turkey Island in Henrico County VA. When Randolph died in 1784 he did something extraordinary for the times in his will: he left explicit instructions to free Aggy and her two children. This action has lead to the belief that three-year-old Sylvia Anderson and one-year-old Alexander Phillip were Ryland and Aggy’s children.
Aggy would have spent most her time within the halls of the Turkey Island estate and it is thought that she must have struggled to belong. She would have been treated as an enslaved woman if she had traveled with Ryland to the Peyton Randolph House in Williamsburg. Yet the relationship between her and Ryland may have given her an elevated position within the household. And yet, this position may have also separated her from her fellow enslaved community and her family.
Ryland’s brother Richard tried to have Ryland’s wish stopped. But Aggy persevered, and sued the family. Six years after Rylands death on August 7, 1790, Aggy gained freedom for herself and her children. That was all she sought, freedom. Aggy did not attempt to claim her inheritance.
For more on the performance visit here