Betsy was an enslaved worker during the Wight period of Tuckahoe. She would have been born sometime around 1824 and was one of the children mentioned in the will of Hezekiah Wight. Her mother, Maria, would have been freed upon Wight’s death in 1837 however it was specified that Betsy would not be freed until she reached 30 years of age. She would have been enslaved for another 17 years.
On September 20, 1854 she and her brother (Major) were registered on the account of “free negroes” in Goochland County. The description given of her in the account lists some unsettling details. It was noted her “thumb and a part of the forefinger of the left hand have been cut off and the little finger and the third finger of the right hand are crocked.” It is unknown whether these were the result of a work accident or a form of punishment she had endured. It was also noted that neither she nor her brother had permission to remain in the state of Virginia. At the time, permission was required to remain in the state after freedom was granted. Once freed they were obligated to leave within one year or risk being re-enslaved. It is unknown where Betsy would have gone or if any of her other family would have gone with her.