15. Cock Robin

Photograph of George W. Fields (1853-1932)

Photograph of George W. Fields (1853-1932)

Characters Introduced

  • George W. Fields (1854-1932).  George W. Fields's life is described in detail in chapter fifteen of Forsaken.  It is drawn from Fields's autobiography, Come On Children:  The Autobiography of George Washington Fields, Born a Slave in Hanover County, Virginia.  Kevin M. Clermont included it within his 2013 biography of Fields, The Indomitable George Washington Fields:  From Slave to Attorney.  For additional information see:  Clermont, Kevin M. "The Life of George Washington Fields." The Online Version of the Magazine of Cornell Law School. Cornell University Law School, Fall 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2016.
  • James A. Fields (1844-1903).  James Apostle Fields was born a slave in Hanover County in 1844. He was the son of a shoemaker and became a teacher and lawyer. As a young man, he served as caretaker of the horses used by lawyers attending court at the Hanover Court House, and he spent considerable time in court observing the proceedings, which very likely inspired him to become a lawyer and a commonwealth's attorney. Fields became a refugee during the American Civil War. He graduated from Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, now Hampton University, in 1871 as a member of the institution's first graduating class. He also attended Howard University, graduating in 1882 with a law degree. Fields taught school before and after law school, and was later elected doorkeeper of the Virginia House of Delegates for the 1879–1880 session. He was eminently successful as a lawyer. Fields represented Elizabeth City, James City, Warwick, and York Counties and the city of Williamsburg in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1889 to 1890. He died in 1903.  Source:  "James Apostle Fields." African American Legislators in Virginia. Virginia General Assembly. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission, 2011-2016. Web. 27 Feb. 2016. For an expanded biography see:  Gunter, Donald W. "James Apostle Fields." Dictionary of Virginia Biography (1998- ). Library of Virginia, 2011-2016. Web. 27 Feb. 2016.