Fearn Plantation in Danville, Virginia was the last capital of the Confederacy. Thomas Fearn purchased the land in 1783 from William Wynn, both of whom were founders of Danville, Virginia. On the land is a historic cemetery where a tombstone still reads “Fearn’s Burying Ground.” A single chimney and artifacts of a slave house still inhabit the grounds at Fearn, including the graves at the cemetery.

The Fearn Plantation was home to thousands of slaves who took care of the 1,200 acres of land. Through their servitude, the slaves of Fearn were key in building the booming tobacco market of Virginia. The site has been added to the Remembering Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom Project through the College of William and Mary and the Martin Luther King Memorial Commission of the Virginia General Assembly.

Although the plantation is family history to many Virginia blacks, the city is planning to sell the land to a Chinese manufacturer. There are plans to build a furniture assembly plant on the Fearn Plantation historic grounds.

The Preservation Virginia group, which is comprised of both black and white Virginians, is working to stop the demolition and erect a memorial on the grounds. They want the city to consider an alternate design for the industrial park that would preserve and incorporate the historic site. Fearn Plantation has been added to Preservation Virginia’s list of Endangered Sites. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources has asked that the cemetery remain on Fern Plantation.

Enthusiasts and historians hope that the plantation will become an educational resource for Virginians and tourists, as well as a place for families to convene during reunions to learn about the lives lived and lost during a significant time in American history.

For more information on the preservation of the Fearn Plantation, contact Sonja Ingram, field representative for Preservation Virginia, or visit

4 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: The Fearn Plantation

  1. In any case I am always curious of my grandparents’ beginning – this is a city where my grandmother and family were born. it is my hope to visit this city in the near future. Thank you for providing some history to me.

  2. Ginny K. on said:

    If the city sells the land that black folks were slaves and was not paid for their labor. The money from the sell of the land should go to an historical black college.

  3. KennethBond on said:

    Sorry but your story is a bit off or misleading, The Fearn Plantation was not the last capital of the Confederacy.

    Danville became the last headquarters of the Confederate States of America within the space of a few days. Jefferson Davis stayed at the palatial home of William T. Sutherlin on April 3, 1865. It was in the Sutherlin home that Davis’ issued his final Presidential Proclamation. The final Confederate Cabinet meeting was held at the Benedict House (later destroyed) in Danville. Davis and members of his cabinet remained there until April 10, 1865, when news of Lee’s surrender forced them to flee southward. On the day of their departure, Governor William Smith arrived from Lynchburg, to establish his headquarters.,_Virginia

    That however doesn’t demise the importance of this site.

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