Meadow Farm Museum (Gabriel's Rebellion)

Historical Significance

Meadow Farm is a plantation associated with the slave insurrection planned for August 30, 1800 by an enslaved blacksmith named Gabriel. On that day, Tom and Pharaoh, two enslaved men on the Meadow Farm, entered the office of their master, Mosby Sheppard, and told him of Gabriel's planned revolt. Gabriel believed he was ordained to lead his people out of bondage. His plan was to create a slave army to take Richmond, kill all whites, except the French, Quakers, and Methodists, and be crowned king of Virginia. Sheppard warned Governor James Monroe, who ordered guards around Richmond. Many of the blacks who knew of Gabriel's plan and aided him were captured and executed less than two weeks later. Gabriel was captured in Norfolk and executed on October 7, 1800. Tom and Pharaoh were purchased by the state of Virginia and given their freedom.

After the failed plot, blacks, both free and enslaved, came under increased scrutiny and were subjected to even harsher laws designed to keep them under strict control. The brutal reaction to Gabriel's revolt prompted northerners to sympathize with the plight of the enslaved, giving momentum to the Abolitionist movement.

Donated to Henrico County in 1975 by Elizabeth Adam Crump in memory of her husband, Meadow Farm had remained in the same family since 1713. Through the head right system, William Sheppard acquired the original tract, comprised of 400 acres. During the Civil War, Dr. John Sheppard lived at Meadow Farm with his wife, 10 children and 17 enslaved individuals, 13 of whom are identified in farm records. 

Physical Description

Meadow Farm Museum is located on the grounds of General Sheppard Crump Memorial Park, a150-acre recreation area owned and operated by Henrico Recreation & Parks. The white frame farmhouse was constructed in sections. The Museum interprets the farm as of 1860; the interior furnishings reflect that period. The outbuildings include a barn, doctor's office, and smokehouse, all of which date to the 1860's.

Geographical and Contact Information

3400 Mountain Road
Richmond, Virginia
23273
Phone: 804-501-5520
Fax: 804-501-5284

Images

Meadow Farm

Meadow Farm

Source: Courtesy Virginia Dept. Historic Resources View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Meadow Farm Museum (Gabriel's Rebellion),” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed April 29, 2017, http://aahistoricsitesva.org/items/show/273.

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