Lott Cary Birth Site

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


For two centuries this late 18th-century vernacular dwelling has been recognized as the birthplace of Lott Cary (1780-1829), the first Black American missionary to Africa and a founding father of Liberia. The house is the only remnant of the plantation of John Bowry, on which Cary was born enslaved. Cary lived here until 1804, when Bowry hired him out to a Richmond tobacco manufacturer. Cary taught himself to read and write and eventually purchased his freedom. He was ordained a Baptist minister and became active in the African Missionary Society and the American Colonization Society. With support from the American Baptist Board of Foreign Missions he journeyed to Liberia, where he founded the Providence Baptist Church of Monrovia and helped establish native schools. Cary died unaware that he had been elected governor of the colony.

Last Updated: February 26, 2024

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


Dancing Point

Charles City (County)



Charles City (County)


Fort Pocahontas

Charles City (County)