At the same time Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) announced its proposed new name, Laurel Ridge Community College, the college website was still claiming it has evidence that Thomas the 6th Lord Fairfax engaged in long-term sexual abuse of black slaves.
The claim is false. There is no evidence that he sexually abused one, or many slaves.
As I discussed in a previous letter, the claim is based on an error and rumor in a biography of Fairfax by Stewart Brown Jr.
The claim is proved an error by the index to African American manuscripts in the Virginia Historical Society. The publisher of Brown’s book may issue an errata.
This erroneous claim was often mentioned in the LFCC Sept. 2 work group meeting minutes found at the LFCC website, College Campus Name Review Workgroup.
Some of the comments about Lord Fairfax in that meeting are astonishingly uninformed. One can feel the tug-of-war between the non-historians and the historian(s) as you read. LFCC President Kim Blosser chaired the work group.
To persist in this claim, and for Blosser not to issue a public apology, shows a lack of academic integrity and a disregard for the history of our region.
John Thompson, Front Royal