Dates of Service: 1880-1885
1848: Edward David Bland is born a slave in Dinwiddie County, VA., to parents Frederick & Nancy Yates Bland.
1860s: After the Civil War, the Bland family moves to Petersburg, VA, where Edward attended night school.
1872: Marries Nancy Jones on December 18th in Petersburg, VA. They raised 9 children.
1874: Edward Bland and his family move to City Point, VA., where Edward worked as a shoemaker, and preacher.
1879-1884: Edward Bland is elected to the Virginia House of Delegates representing Prince George & Surry County.
1880-1881: Edward Bland served as Principal Keeper at Jordan Point Lighthouse, VA., from November 1880 through December 10th, 1881. His salary was $540/year.
1882-1883: Edward Bland served as Principal Keeper at Jordan Point Lighthouse, VA., from May 1882 through December 1883. His salary was $540/year.
1884-1885: Edward Bland served as Principal Keeper at Jordan Point Lighthouse, VA., from May 1884 through July 1885. His salary was $540/year.
1900: Edward and his family move to a farm in Petersburg, VA.
1927: Edward David Bland died on February 13th, in Petersburg, VA. He is buried at Providence Cemetery (now known as People’s Memorial Cemetery), in Petersburg, VA.
Keeper Edward David Bland Anecdotes:
Edward David Bland served three terms in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1879 to 1884 representing Prince George and Surry counties. During those terms, he was a member of numerous House Committees: Schools and Colleges, Agriculture and Mining, Claims, Executive Expenditures, Retrenchment and Economy, Enrolled Bills, Propositions and Grievances, and Officers & Offices.
After his re-election in 1881, passed legislation to create an insane asylum and state college for the African Americans in Virginia, as well as increasing funding for black schools. In 1883, the Conservatives initiated a white supremacy campaign that would eventually help them regain the majority in the Virginia General Assembly. After serving a third term, Edward Bland decided not to run but would remain active in local politics.
After his death in 1927, a housing project was named in his honor in Hopewell, Virginia.
Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper’s Database; familysearch.org; uslhs.org, Encyclopedia of Virginia. Retrieved March 26, 2022