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Did You Learn about Eppa Barnes? He Purchased the Home and Land of His Family's Former Enslavers?

Photo of a restored historical home.
The Barnes House, located across from Montclair Library in Prince William County

In the heart of Prince William County, Virginia, stands a historic landmark that serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of Eppa Barnes. The Barnes House, originally located in the Independent Hill area of the county - nestled amidst lush greenery and steeped in history, holds a special significance - not only for its architectural charm but also for its association with a man whose impact reverberates through generations.

Originally built in 1797, the Barnes House and surrounding property was purchased in 1834, by Moses and Nancy Copen. Records show the Copens owned seven enslaved Virginians in 1860, including a family of four: Jane Barnes and her three children. After the Civil War, Eppa Barnes, one of Jane's sons, returned to the area and married Amanda Lambert. In 1899, they managed to purchase the Copen Farm - the very land where Eppa and his family were once held as slaves.

This monumental move of purchasing the land where the Barnes family was once held captive, holds immense symbolic power, representing their triumph over a past marked by the peculiar institution of slavery.

In recognition of its historical significance, efforts have been made to preserve and protect the Barnes House for future generations, including relocating the home to Montclair, Virginia. It has been designated as a historic landmark, ensuring that its legacy will endure for years to come. Through educational programs, community events, and ongoing preservation efforts, the Barnes House continues to serve as a beacon of hope, a symbol of resistance and resilience, and inspiration for all who visit.


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