#ArchivesBlackEducation: Benjamin Franklin Yancey

We’re so excited to join the #ArchivesHashtagParty! Organized by the U.S. National Archives, the #ArchivesHashtagParty is a way for all types of archives to share their collections on social media around a fun topic. They provide a new hashtag theme each month; we bring our own collections. This month we’re celebrating #ArchivesBlackEducation, except we’re already bending the rules: we’ll post stories from our collections about Black educators and students each Friday through February for Black History Month. Here on the blog, we’ll share longer versions of those stories with more context from our collections. 

Photo of portrait of BF Yancey, courtesy of Dave Johnson

Born in Howardsville, Virginia to parents Spencer and Fannie Brown Yancey on October 15, 1870, Benjamin Franklin Yancey, (1870-1915) was an African American educator and community leader who founded the Esmont Colored School in 1915.

Yancey graduated from what is now Hampton University and returned to Albemarle County to teach school. Yancey eventually obtained a teaching position in Esmont, Virginia, a small village approximately 10 miles from his birthplace.

Benjamin F. Yancey’s daily register for 1906-1907.

Benjamin F. Yancey’s daily register for 1906-1907. The register includes students’ names, ages, and attendance along with some expense information.

Unflagging in his desire to improve the learning conditions of his “scholars,” Yancey spearheaded a group of community members to create the “Educational Board of Esmont” in 1907. The board’s mission was “to foster the cause of education and establish a better school.” Over the next eight years, Yancey and the board worked tirelessly to bring this dream to fruition. Eight years later the dream was realized, and the Esmont Colored School opened.

Benjamin Yancey died July 19, 1915.

 

 

 

Benjamin F. Yancey’s 1914 Virginia Teaching Certificate

Benjamin F. Yancey’s 1914 Virginia Teaching Certificate

Benjamin Yancey died July 19, 1915.

Benjamin F. Yancey's 1911 contract with Albemarle County for teaching

Benjamin F. Yancey’s 1911 contract with Albemarle County for teaching “five school months” at county school “No. 27” for a salary of $25 per school month; 3 holidays are noted: Christmas Day, Lee’s birthday, Arbor Day.

The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library holds the Papers of the Yancey Family (MSS 11599,-a)

 

 

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