Guinea Colored

GUINEA (BRITTAIN) Colored School, Lovettsville

Data as of 11/11/2014

Sections:   1) Description, 2)  An interesting history, 3) Instructors

1)   Description

  • 1921:  Guinea School was a wooden frame, one room structure with ten windows for ventilations.  It sat on a 3/4 acre lot with wires to enclose the space.  The structure was heated by a wood stove.  Frame toilet were provided, but were described in 1921 as being in bad condition.  There were also 8 desks and seating for 24.  In 1921 16 students, 8 boys and 8 girls used the school.   No American flag flew on the school house.  Guinea Colored School is a  summary of the Term Report for 1921, the only year for which we have such a report.   Source:  Brown, Geneva. (1921). Term Report for Guinea Colored School in Lovettsville.  LCPS, Purcellville.  I have also enclosed US census data, mainly from the 1920 Federal Census for Lovettsville.

2)  An interesting history

For Britain: See history provided by the Black History Committee on the Guinea/Brittain Community.” Britain (or Guinea) – Sometimes Blacks established settlements by purchasing land and old dwellings from earlier white settlements, which saved many log cabins in Loudoun from ruin. This was the case in Britain, on the lower slope of Short Hill in the southwest corner of the German Settlement. Wooded, hilly, or poor land sold for as little as eight dollars an acre after the Civil War, and here was a place where freed people could establish themselves. Down Morrisonville Road, Ned Davis, free black man from Petersburg, had a home, workshop, and kiln where he produced red ware pottery in the decades surrounding the Civil War. Mount Sinai Free Baptist Church, built in 1880, also served as a school until 1915. Unlike most black settlements, Britain had a post office. Blacks moved away by the 1920s.” Source: Brittain (or Guinea) in Black Communities of Loudoun County, http://www.balchfriends.org/bhmap.htm#b2. See also “The Society of Friends,” pg 22 in The bulletin of the Historical Society of Loudoun County, Virginia, 1957-1976.

3)  Instructors

  • 1892/93:   John B. Spriggs of Harpers Ferry, W. Va. Grade of Certificate 2rd.  Instructed at Brittain, which may have been another name for Guinea.  See below “An interesting History.”  Source: Lists of Teachers, 1892-1975 ( Census 1893ColoredA of Colored Teachers for the School Year closing July 31, 1893), Richmond, Virginia, USA: Virginia Department of Public Instruction/Education.
  • 1893/94:  John B Sriggs of Harpers Ferry, W. Va continued to instruct on a 2nd grade certificate at Brittain.  Source: Lists of Teachers, 1892-1975 (  18931894ColoredReel4418Census of Colored Teachers 1893/94 – March 30, 1894), Richmond, Virginia, USA: Virginia Department of Public Instruction/Education.
  • 1894/95:  Mr. Spriggs continued at Brittain. Source: Lists of Teachers, 1892-1975 (1895ColoredA Census of Colored Teachers 1894/95 – Done Dec 10, 1894), Richmond, Virginia, USA: Virginia Department of Public Instruction/Education.
  • 1895/96:  Miss Sara L. Lewis of 229 2nd St, NW, Washington, DC instructed at Brittain on a 3rd grade permit.  Source: Lists of Teachers, 1892-1975 (1895ColoredA Census of Colored Teachers 1894/95 – Done Dec 10, 1894), Richmond, Virginia, USA: Virginia Department of Public Instruction/Education
  • 1921:   Geneva Browna at Guinea. Source: Brown, Geneva. (1921). Term Report for Guinea Colored School in Lovettsville.  LCPS, Purcellville.2)

2)  Openings and Closings

  • EWP Archives has Term Reports showing the school open 1919-20 and 1920-21.