Virginia Women’s Monument Nomination

In March the King and Queen County Historical Society and Courthouse Tavern Museum in partnership with the J. C. Graves Museum were pleased to nominate Miss India Hamilton for the Virginia Women’s Monument commissioned by the Virginia General Assembly to commemorate the contributions of the women of Virginia. The monument will be located in Capital Square. For inclusion on the Wall of Honor the nominee must have been a native Virginian or have lived a great portion of her life in Virginia, and be known and recognized as a Virginian, or have achieved or contributed in a significant manner while living in Virginia. She must no longer be living and have died at least ten years prior to consideration.

Miss India Hamilton was born to former slaves in 1879 in rural King and Queen County. She rose from what would be called abject poverty today to become an educator and pioneer in creating literate, healthy, and prosperous rural communities at a time when many doors were closed to her gender and race. She obtained an excellent education and promoted education as a life-long process. As a Jeanes supervisor for most of her long teaching career in King William County and a leader in the Negro Organization Society, she was well known on a local, state and national level. Although she never married, she was known as “the Children’s Friend”, ensuring that Negro children had educational opportunities. A summer camp that offered organized recreational and educational enrichment experiences for Negro boys and girls throughout Virginia was named for her. In 1946 she achieved her goal of a Negro high school in King William County and in 1952 it was named Hamilton-Holmes High School. Today the middle school in King William County carries her name.