A pillar and sign at Tuckahoe Plantation in Goochland County were vandalized Monday with paint and graffiti reading “We profit off slavery,” as activists in downtown Richmond called for the resignation of Virginia’s top three elected officials.
The white pillar was vandalized with red paint and the “We profit off slavery” message. The historical marker for the property was painted black and had the same message written in red. An anonymous news release says the message refers to the “exploitation” of the property’s “dark history.”
Goochland County Sheriff Jim Agnew said a motorist reported seeing a black SUV near three African-American women vandalizing the property Monday afternoon. Police responded to the scene shortly after but did not locate the women. No further description of the suspects was available.
“Whatever movement these people espouse, acts like this won’t ingratiate themselves with the people of Goochland County,” Agnew said.
He said the incident appears to be linked to the protests at the Capitol, where red dye was thrown into a fountain as activists demanded that Gov. Ralph Northam resign.
Another anonymous, similar-looking news release circulated online Monday says the red fountain symbolized Virginia’s “bloody” history of slavery and racism.
Northam has faced pressure to quit over the past two weeks following the discovery of a photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page showing a man in blackface with a man in a Ku Klux Klan robe.
Northam initially apologized for the photo, but later said that he does not believe he was in it, and that he is unsure how it was selected for his yearbook page.
The protesters Monday also called for the resignations of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who is facing two sexual assault allegations, and Attorney General Mark Herring, who admitted to wearing blackface at the University of Virginia in 1980.
The anonymous news release on Tuckahoe Plantation says the vandalism there mirrors other recent protests, and that it serves as a “poignant reminder of Virginia’s troubled history.”
Tuckahoe Plantation, Thomas Jefferson’s boyhood home, is close to state Route 288 and overlooks the James River.