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Littleton Owens

Member From: 1879 - 1882

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  • Birth Date: ca. 1842 Birth Place:Princess Anne County, VA
  • Death Date: March 11, 1894
  • Gender: Male Race: African American
  • Spouse: Sarah Cuffee (m. February 20, 1868, d. October 1879) Mary Jarvis (m. December 24, 1882)

  • Children: Atleast two sons and two daughters
  • Religion:
  • Education:
  • Military Service: Private, corporal, and sergeant in Company C of the 2d Regiment, U.S. Colored Cavalry
  • Occupation/Profession: Lighthouse keeper and laborer
  • Additional Info Links: Bio from Virginia's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
    Bio from Encyclopedia Virginia
  • Bio: Littleton Owens represented Princess Anne County in the House of Delegates from 1879 to 1882. He was born free in the county where members of his family had lived as free people for generations. In 1864 he enlisted in the 2d Regiment U.S. Colored Cavalry. The regiment participated in many battles around Petersburg and Richmond during the American Civil War (1861–1865). After the war Owens served as a justice of the peace and was appointed an assistant keeper of the Cape Henry Lighthouse. He was elected in 1879 to a two-year term in the House of Delegates where he allied himself with the new biracial Readjuster Party. He was reelected, and unsuccessfully sought to create an asylum for African Americans who were blind, deaf, and dumb. After losing a bid for a third term he worked in the navy yard in Gosport, at Portsmouth. In August 1889 Owens killed a man he believed was having an affair with his wife. He was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to eighteen years in the state penitentiary. In 1893 the governor pardoned him because of his deteriorating health. Owens died of pneumonia on March 11, 1894, and was buried in the Sergeant March Corprew Family Cemetery in Norfolk County.
  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Justice of the peace and commissioner of roads for the Princess Anne County
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1879-1880 Princess Anne Republican Propositions and Greivances
Retrenchment and the Economy
1881-1882 Princess Anne Republican Enrolled Bills
Militia and Police
Public Property

*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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