Sully Historical Site

Dublin Core


Sully Historical Site


A large number of enslaved individuals resided at Sully that was built ca. 1794. Archaeology revealed the presence of three small buildings, which were interpreted as quarters to house enslaved individuals. On the basis of the archaeological evidence and architectural evidence from standing examples elsewhere in Virginia, a “representative slave quarter” was constructed.

The main house was built for Richard Bland Lee and subsequently occupied before it was acquired by the Park Authority.


Searching for Sully's Enslaved: Sully Historic House--Fairfax County, Virginia. Beth Sansbury, 2020. Fairfax County Library

Sully: The Biography of a House. Robert Gamble,1973. Fairfax County Public Library

African American History Month at Sully. Tammy Higgs, 2013. Fairfax County Park Authority, Our Stories and Perspectives 

Interpretive materials for the forgotten road tours of the outbuildings, grounds and slave quarter: Sully historic site. Fairfax County Park Authority, 2000. Virginia Room, Fairfax County Library

The Sully Slave Quarter [videorecording]: From the Ground Up. Fairfax. County Park Authority, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Sully Foundation, Ltd. Virginia Room, Fairfax County Public Library

A Guide to the Haight-Barlow Family Collection, 1791-1987. Library of Virginia, Virginia Heritage

Guide to the Alexander Haight family collection, 1764-1977. George Mason University Libraries

Site Location Item Type Metadata


3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly, VA 20151



Additional Notes

Twenty-nine people were enslaved by Richard Bland Lee.

John (of Henry), Charles, Sam (Blacksmith), Pat and Sam (of Pat), Arthur, George (of Nell), Simon, Tom Sorrel, Lett and Hannah (of Lett) and Anne (of Lett), Prue and James (of Prue) and Nancy (of Prue) and Henry (of Prue), Hannah (of Hannah) and Old Hannah, Nancy (of Franky* and Will (of Franky*), Maskrell, Old Eve, Nelly (of Milly), Cain, Old Dewey, and Tarpley.

Additional enslaved at Sully
Madam Juba. Laundress was mentioned in a 1787 letter from Thomas Shippen.
Dick, Winney, Elliott, Billy, and Betty. Five enslaved people at Sully.
Issac. Four year old boy sold to Sully overseer George Shively.

Elliot, son of Patty. Five-year-old boy Richard Bland Lee offered to his brother-in-law Zaccheus Collins
Henrietta and Barbara/Barbary. Respectively 42 and 18 years old
Ludwell. Ran away in 1804 with a set of tools
Rachel and her child. Richard Bland Lee purchased from Charles Little for $200 in 1806.
Godfrey. Ran away in 1807, 30 years old.

List of 29 enslaved people Richard Bland Lee placed in trust for Elizabeth Collins Lee in 1809
John and Alice and their children Patty, Betty, Henry, Charles, Johnny, Margaret, Milly and
Frank; Ludwell and his wife Nancy and their children Caroline, Harriet, Frederick, Ludwell and Barbara; Henry and his child Eleanor; Rachel and her child Rachel; siblings Kitty, Letty, Alexander and Alfred; George, Blacksmith; Thornton, cook; Samuel, smith; John, ploughboy.
Milley/Milly, daughter of John and Alice. Sold in 1809 to John P. Van Ness of Washington, D.C. Van Ness sold her to Benjamin Lewis of Maury County, Tennessee in 1827 to serve his sister, Mrs. Hardin.
Elinor Berry.
Samuel and Barbara Lee. Petitioned for their freedom from Elizabeth Collins Lee in the US Supreme Court in 1834. They lost their case.
Frank Madison and Caroline.
Henrietta Rains. Resident of Van Buren City, Arkansas who died in 1876 and was described as being enslaved by Richard Bland Lee. Henrietta recalled seeing George Washington while the family was living in Philadelphia when Lee was in Congress. She also recalled living in DC when it was burned by the British during the war of 1812.
Old John. John’s life is described in “’Old John’ In Search of His Story,” Jeanne Niccolls in Fairfax Historical Society Yearbook, Vol 27, 1999- 2000. Virginia Room, Fairfax County Library
Cleo. Was hired or owned by the Haights prior to the war and sent to Ohio around 1862 A photograph of Cleo is included in the Alexander Haight Collection.
There is an 1818 runaway advertisement placed by James Furguson, near Centreville, seeking the return of two women, Frankie, age about 40, and Charlotte, about 25 and heavily pregnant. Genuis of Liberty, May 12, 1818. Friends of Thomas Balch Library Genius Of Liberty Runaway Slave Advertisements

The Haight-Barlow Family Collection, 1791-1987. The Haight-Barlow Collection spans the years 1791-1987 but consists primarily of correspondence, financial and business records, deeds, newspapers, family histories, and photographs from the Haight and Barlow families, residents of Sully Plantation in Chantilly, Virginia from 1842-1873. Of note is a letter from Frederick Douglass, the famous abolitionist, to “Miss Barnes,” likely Jacob H. Barlow’s wife,’ Nettie W. Barnes.

Record Group Number MS 07-27. Virginia Room, Fairfax County Library.

Alexander Haight Family Collection. Of note is a photograph of Cleo, an enslaved woman who resided with the Haights until 1862.

Collection Number C0159. Special Collections Research Center. George Mason University.



“Sully Historical Site,” Fairfax County African American History Inventory, accessed May 19, 2024,