"I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids--and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."

 - Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man"

West Ford's Property

West Ford's Property

West Ford was willed 160 acres of land adjoining Mount Vernon in 1829, making him the richest black man in Virgina at that time.  He later sold his land and purchased 214 acres adjacent to it which he later divided into four, 52-3/4 acres for his children. After the Civil War his property became a refuge and depot for freed slaves. The area is known today as Gum Springs and West Ford as the father of Gum Springs (I Cannot Tell a Lie, Chapters 11, 16, 21).