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Armistead S. Nickens

Member From: 1871 - 1875

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  • Birth Date: July, 1836 Birth Place:Lancaster County, Virginia
  • Death Date: April 25 or 26, 1906
  • Gender: Male Race: African American
  • Spouse: Sophronia Wood; Violet Watkins (m. November 19, 1871)
  • Children: 7+
  • Religion: Baptist
  • Education:
  • Military Service:
  • Occupation/Profession: Sawyer and Farmer
  • Memberships/Affiliations: Saint John’s Colored Baptist Church (trustee) Calvary Baptist Church (deacon)
  • Additional Info Links: Bio from Encyclopedia Virginia
    Bio from Virginia's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
  • Bio: Armistead S. Nickens represented Lancaster County in the House of Delegates for two terms (1871–1875). Born into a free family, Nickens became prosperous enough by the end of the American Civil War (1861–1865) that the local agent of the Freedmen’s Bureau listed him as a respectable citizen capable of holding public office. Nickens won his first term in 1871, becoming the first African American elected official in county history. He gained a second term in 1873 by a scant twenty-nine votes. After his term in the assembly Nickens received an appointment as a special collector of delinquent taxes in Lancaster County. A landowner, according to local tradition Nickens advocated a bridge across the Rappahannock River that would connect Tappahannock and Richmond County. He died at home in 1906.
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1871-1873 Lancaster Radical Republican/Readjuster Agriculture and Mining Committee (Dates Unknown)
Militia and Police
1874-1875 Lancaster Radical Republican/Readjuster Agriculture and Mining
Militia and Police

*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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