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The Union Church Preservation Project

Original 1868 Union Church Deed

Excerpt from Union Church and Cemetery - National Register of Historic Places - Registration Form (2008). Author: Norman Schools

The Falmouth community apparently thought much of their church and was willing to rebuild the interior and make the necessary repairs after the devastation of war. Reclaiming the structure was done in the difficult time of Reconstruction. The current church bell bears a date of 1867 and probably replaced the original bell as a casualty of the war. In 1868 Falmouth town trustees legally recorded in the Stafford courts a deed passing ownership of the church with specified adjoining land to church trustees. There is some indication that an unidentified group undesirable to the community may have intended to use the structure which prompted the community to reclaim the church. The church trustees were also charged with the use of the church as “not construed to include any colored or black congregation”, an unfortunate example of southern social history in which the court recorded a legal document denying black citizens their civil rights.

Disclaimer: This is a historic document and should be viewed as such. While the current trustees strive to uphold the deed's stipulations regarding the physical stewardship of the land and church structure, they do not agree with, abide by, or condone other stipulations within the 1868 deed that are now outdated, inapplicable, illegal, or discriminatory.

The following is a PDF copy of the original deed. Click on the image below to see the full document.

Transcription of 1868 Deed

UNION CHURCH DEED

Falmouth, Virginia

Transcribed from Deed Book Vol. 26-A, page 509 at Stafford County Court House:

This deed made this 19th day of May 1868 between the Trustees of the Town of Falmouth in the State of Virginia of the first part and J. B. Ficklin, H. M. D. Martin, James Armstrong, C. S. Heflin, and Duff Green and their successors duly appointed as herein after set forth, Trustees for the use and purposes herein after mentioned parties of the second part, witnesseth that the said parties of the first part do grant with Special Warranty unto the said Trustees all that tract of land in the County of Stafford and State of Virginia on which the brick Church in the Town of Falmouth now stands together with the land belonging to the said Town of Falmouth adjoining the same and extending the distance of thirty feet on three sides from the walls of said Church and in front of said building the distance of twenty four feet from the walls, leaving twenty feet for a street on the north corner and inclusive of said Church.

In Trust for the following uses and purposes, that the said Trustees shall permit the religious denominations now organized and known in Virginia as the Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Baptist denominations which were accustomed to worship in said Church prior to the late Civil War do continue to use the said Church equally for purposes of worship under such rules and regulations as said Trustees may prescribe—And it is further understood and agreed between the parties aforesaid that the consideration for this conveyance is that the said Trustees shall repair said Church so that it may be used for the purposes aforesaid, And it is further covenanted and agreed between the aforesaid, that the said Trustees shall [have] power and authority to fill all vacancies arising in their body from death or otherwise and that the congregations above mentioned as entitled to the use of said Church shall be the white congregation of the respective denominations above named and shall not [be] construed to include any colored or black congregation—Witness the following signatures and seals.

Monroe Kelly Pres (seal)
Charles W Robinson Trustee (seal)
H. M. D. Martin Trustee (seal)
Jno [John] H. Daniel Trustee (seal)
Robert E. Limerick Trustee (seal)
Duff Green Trustee (seal)

 

 

   


©2012 The Union Church Preservation Project
Falmouth, Virginia