Thomas Findley II, born abt 1800 is listed as Findley, Thomas 1 Chesterfield County in the 1810 Virginia Census of free colored heads of households.
Possibly born after or during processes by which his mother was granted freedom by George Washington or Robert Carter before or during years 1809-1810 and relocation to the Chesterfield County area: such as):
The 1850 census reflects that Thomas Findley was living in Wythe County Virginia with a wife and six children, and presumably working in the tobacco industry that began on the James River and expanded into southwest Virginia and North Carolina.
Wythe County's Austinville community, which was founded by Stephen and his brother Moses Austin, father of the famous Stephen F. Austin.
In the 1790s the Austins took over the mines that produced lead and zinc; the town was named for the Austin surname, and not for any one particular Austin of the brothers who bore that surname. Lead was mined and shipped throughout the fledgling country; lead shot was also produced.
Located near Fosters Falls, Jackson Ferry Shot Tower still stands as a testament to the citizens of Wythe County. Lead was hoisted to the top of the tower using block and tackle and oxen. The lead was melted in a retort and then poured through a sieve at the top of the tower. The droplets of molten lead would become round during the 150-foot descent. The shot would collect in a kettle of water and slave laborers would enter through a 110-foot access tunnel located near the bank of the New River to retrieve the shot from the kettle.
We are inclined to speculate that a young Thomas Findley earned his living via creation of a livery business for transport of lead to various market locations inclusive of Alexandria/Arlington and Richmond/Petersburg mills and mines that used lead and manufactured shot-guns and ammunition. In such a case, we find it reasonable to assume he might have encountered Nancy Lee as a free man earning a good living.
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