Immanuel Episcopal Church
On Sunday, June 24, 2018, members of the Society gathered at Immanuel Episcopal Church in Old Church for our summertime Membership Presentation.

Representing the church was David Jennings, who gave a brief history of Immanuel Episcopal: The Parish started in 1718 at a location near the Pamunkey River, relocated next to the Old Church Tavern, and then moved to its present location in 1853. Pastors of Immanuel Episcopal included Patrick Henry (uncle of the famous Virginian statesman of the same name), and the Reverend Sewell Stavely Hepburn, grandfather of American actress Katharine Hepburn.
David Jennings

Master of Ceremonies Art Taylor opens the event

Cleavers Chisholm, portrayed by David Deal

The presentation at this event was by Cleavers Chisholm, owner and proprietor of the Hanover Tavern in the 1860's, as portrayed by the current Executive Director of the Hanover Tavern Foundation, David Deal (click here to see a bio of David Deal).

Chisholm regaled his audience with stories and anecdotes from his time at the Tavern, which included the tumultuous years of the Civil War. During that period the Tavern cultivated its own livestock and crops, and was responsible for feeding the prisoners held in Hanover's Old Stone Jail.

Chisholm wanted nothing to do with secession, and though he had two sons who fought with the 15th Virginia Infantry Regiment during the war, Confederate officers passing through Hanover Courthouse threatened to hang him for his anti-secessionist tendencies.

Working in the Tavern's kitchens during Chisholm's time was Martha Ann Fields, a slave of the Winstons from nearby Nutshell. Fields escaped in the confusion following a battle in July of 1863, and managed to take six of her children to freedom at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. Her son George Washington Fields went on to become the first African-American to graduate from Cornell University in 1890, and his brother James became a lawyer and then a Virginia State Senator in 1889.

Chisholm's politics did him no good whatsoever when the Yankees came to town. They helped themselves to whatever took their fancy, ultimately appropriating around $3,000 worth of the Tavern's resources.
Art Taylor presents David Deal with a copy of Nature's Bounty, Nation's Glory by Martha W. McCartney

Cleavers Chisholm and his family applied to the US government for reimbursement in the 1870's, and were exhaustively interviewed for the case. The government eventually awarded $92 to Chisholm's 9-year-old daughter, who was deemed to have been too young to choose a side.

Many thanks to Immanuel Episcopal Church and David Deal for making this event possible!