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Bremo Plantation, Fluvanna County, Virginia

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Fluvanna, Virginia, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Cocke Black_Heritage Slavery
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Index of Plantations

This page is dedicated to the enslaved who lived, worked and died on this plantation.


Bremo is a plantation estate covering over 1,500 acres (610 ha) on the west side of Bremo Bluff in Fluvanna County, Virginia. The plantation includes three separate estates, all created in the 19th century by the planter, soldier, and reformer John Hartwell Cocke on his family's 1725 land grant. Bremo was established around 1808 when John Hartwell Cocke II moved to Fluvanna County, Virginia and divided the family property into three plantations--Upper Bremo, Lower Bremo, the former hunting lodge built in 1725, and Bremo Recess, situated on higher ground farther back from the James River where Cocke completed a larger home for himself and his wife Anne Blaws Barraud around 1812. (During his time at Lower Bremo and Bremo Recess, Cocke began working on the design of a grand plantation mansion to be built at the Upper Bremo area. Cocke spared no expense during the construction, utilizing hand-molded brick. It was completed in 1819. [1]

John Hartwell Cocke II also owned two cotton plantations in Greene County, Alabama known as Hopewell and New Hope. The Bremo properties were inherited from his father, John Hartwell Cocke I.

The first record of enslaved people on Bremo plantation was in 1781 and over many generations approximately 246 slaves played an important role in the life and history of Bremo Plantation. Some of the enslaved at Bremo are listed below and others in the cemetery at Upper Bremo.

  1. Aggy
  2. Bibbianna
  3. Cato
  4. Charles
  5. Dilcy
  6. Dinah
  7. Emily
  8. Fanney
  9. Henry
  10. Jenny
  11. Louisa
  12. Peter
  13. Polly were also enslaved by John Hartwell Cocke in Virginia. [2]

Upper Bremo Plantation

The Cemetery and the Enslaved - nearly 100 enslaved people are buried here.

The graveyard sits in a copse of trees surrounded by a deteriorating stone wall. Most who know these farms well know it's there.[3]

  1. Primus Randall, the foreman (abt. 1773 - 1849)
  2. Frank Randall, his son and his wife Jinny Randall
  3. Ben Creasy, the carpenter
  4. Jesse Nicholas, the stonemason and father to George and Peyton
  5. Lucy Skipwith, mother to George and Peyton
  6. George Skipwith, overseer at Upper Bremo and eventually sent to Hopewell
  7. Peyton Skipwith, with his wife and children, emancipated by Cocke and emigrated to Liberia through the American Colonization Society.

(Will still be adding names throughout 2023)

John Hartwell Cocke II served as a vice president of the American Colonization Society between 1819 and 1866, and also founded a Fluvanna Colonization Society in 1825. Hopewell Plantation in Alabama was his experimental plantation which intended to prepare his slaves for life in Liberia. See also the free space page of the enslaved held by his father, John Hartwell Cocke I: Slaves of John Hartwell Cocke I


  1. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bremo_Historic_District
  2. Source: John Hartwell Cocke Papers at the University of Virginia's Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
  3. The Slaves Have Names - Ancestors of My Home", by Andi Cumbo-Floyd, copyright 2013
  • 1850 Census: "United States Census, 1850"
    Citing family , NARA microfilm publication (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
    FamilySearch (accessed 20 December 2021)
    FamilySearch Image Image number 00011
    John H Cocke, Fluvanna, Virginia, United States

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Aggy, Bibbianna, Cato, Charles, Dilcy, Dinah, Emily, Fanney, Henry, Jenny, Louisa, Peter, and Polly were also enslaved by John Hartwell Cocke in Virginia. Source: John Hartwell Cocke Papers at the University of Virginia's Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.
posted by R (Seidel) Calhoun
Thank you, R. Do you have access to those records at the source you cited? I would need more information to make profiles for them. A document date, any possible family relationships, ages, etc.
posted by Gina (Pocock) Jarvi
I have a question to those building these type profiles. Yes I understand that you are placing the surname for the enslaved as a place holder, but if people see it without some sort of a disclosure on the front maybe at the biography to say its a placeholder, individuals will automatically assume the enslave took on the slave holders surname when they did not. Please consider putting the notice on the bio section or a water mark, etc. Fabulous photos of the property buildings built by the enslaved on LOC site. Also, this plantation is sectioned off as Upper and Lower Bremo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bremo_Historic_District
posted by Shelley Murphy
Thank you for contacting us! We do have a disclaimer on each profile as to why the last name is written as such, however the slave owner last name does not have to be placed with the names of the enslaved on the plantation page (which I did not know when I created this page). Although some persons did take the last name of the slave owner, but as you suggest many did not. We have a disclaimer on each profile stating when we do not know the last name at birth:

"This enslaved person's profile has a preliminary Last Name At Birth (LNAB) until a surname can be determined. Please see the US Black Heritage Naming Conventions for Slaves before merging or changing the LNAB." It is in a large orange box.

Thanks, I only saw the disclaimer on the "enslaved individual profiles" not on the enslaver/owner. I will take a look again.
posted by Shelley Murphy
this plantation category has been updated to "Category: Bremo Plantation, Fluvanna County, Virginia"
The slave and slave owner plantation categories have been added to this page. thanks!