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The Life and Times of Robert Orrick Book Talk, Signing, and Reception

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Program Type:

History & Genealogy

Age Group:

Adults, Families
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Program Description

Event Details

Join us to celebrate the release of a new book by local author Brenda Nelson: The Life and Times of Robert Orrick.


In the nineteenth century Robert Orrick (ca. 1827–1902) was the best-known African American in Winchester. While enslaved, he began a hauling service, which in freedom he built into a large livery service. U.S. mail carrier, Methodist minister, farmer, property owner, businessman, community leader, philanthropist, Orrick left his mark on Winchester. In her book Brenda Nelson explores his life story and that of his family with insights into the economic and social relations of his time.


Following a presentation about The Life and Times of Robert Orrick, Brenda Nelson will sign copies of her book, and there will be a reception open to the public.


Brenda B. Nelson is a retired elementary school teacher. She was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, graduated from Norfolk State University, met and married a Marine Vietnam veteran from Winchester, and taught in the Winchester Public Schools for thirty-one years. While teacher, she loved putting on plays and musical productions. Her students’ presentation on African American inventors for Black History Month in February 1999 was videotaped for the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum in Washington, D.C. In retirement, she began doing genealogical research on her and her husband’s ancestors, and through it has gained a wonderful new extended family. With whom she keeps in touch. The Life and Times of Robert Orrick is her first book.