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Phillip S. Bolling

Member From: 1883 - 1884

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  • Bio: ​Phillip S. Bolling, a farmer and brick mason, was born a slave in Buckingham County around 1849 to Samuel P. and Ellen Munford Bolling. His father owned land in Farmville and Lynchburg, and Phillip Bolling acquired the Lynchburg property from his father in 1872. He worked for his father's brickyard in Farmville, and they were both listed as brick masons in the 1880 census. He became very interested in politics and ran for the Virginia House of Delegates as a Readjuster in 1883. On election day, Democrats charged that Mr. Bolling was a Prince Edward resident and ineligible to represent Buckingham and Cumberland Counties. Voters ignored the warnings. Winning the election by 538 votes and certified by the local board of elections to represent Buckingham and Cumberland Counties in the Virginia House of Delegates, he was appointed to the House Committees on Banks, Currency, and Commerce; on Officers and Offices at the Capitol; and on Rules. The Democrats again challenged his election, when the Democratic majority of the Committee of Privileges and Elections rejected evidence that Bolling had been registered to vote in Cumberland County, had voted there from 1881 to 1883, and had served as a juror there as recently as June 1883. Because he had been working at a brick kiln in Prince Edward County before the election, the committee ruled that he was not a resident of Cumberland and was ineligible to represent the district in the House of Delegates. He was later elected to the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors. Because their names were similar and some documents confused he and his father, who served in the House of Delegates from 1885 to 1887, the election of Phillip Bolling to the House of Delegates and his brief service there have not been included in references on African Americans in Virginia politics late in the nineteenth century. He died on April 18, 1892, in Petersburg.​
  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1883-1884 Cumberland and Buckingham Banks, Currency and Commerce
Officers and Offices at the Capitol

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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