Few things are more quintessentially “Lynchburg” than batteaux and packet boats. These vessels traveled up and down the James River, and later James River & Kanawha Canal, connecting Lynchburg to the wider world. African Americans played key roles in operating these boats, which drove Lynchburg’s economy until the advent of the railroad.
August 18, 1920, marked the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. In Virginia the Nineteenth Amendment was not ratified until 1952. However, the delayed passage did not inhibit women from voting in the 1920 presidential election between Republican candidate Warren Harding and Democratic candidate James Cox. Twelve women in Lynchburg paid poll taxes and registered to vote on the first day of eligibility.
Thomas Jefferson Anderson was born to slave parents in Amherst County. He moved to Lynchburg and lived on Taylor Street. In 1885, he was elected from the Third Ward to Lynchburg City Council, where he served two terms on the Alms House, Cemetery, and Sanitary Affairs committees.