The records of the Office of the Bursar contain a wide array of financial information dating back to the 18th century. Recently, these records have provided additional information about the College of William & Mary’s involvement in slavery and the slave trade. Many of the documents contain references to enslaved people who were held by the College, as well as payments to slaveholders for hiring enslaved people. These references show some of the ways that using enslaved people played an important role in the everyday functioning of the College.
In 1997, the College of William & Mary purchased property on Ironbound Road from a prominent African American couple, Charles E. (d. 2001) and Zelda DeBerry Gary (d. 2010). He, the owner of the West End Valet Shop and a notary public, and she, a nurse who once worked for the James City County school system, were long-time residents of Williamsburg. Both tremendously enriched the community through years of civic involvement in a number of local organizations.