Born on October 15, 1838, Kitty was among the 88 enslaved people that lived on Rock Spring Plantation by 1863. Following the emancipation of slaves, she served as a nanny in the surrounding area, and maintained close connection with the Reynolds family. In 1878, two of Kitty's sons, Burwell and Lee Reynolds, were charged with the murder of a white man. They were defended by Andrew Lybrook, son-in-law to Hardin and Nancy Reynolds, and the subsequent trial led to the Supreme Court case Ex Parte Virginia, which ruled that jurors could not be excluded from serving on a trial on the basis of race. Today, the Reynolds Homestead continues to discuss the life of Kitty Reynolds and the other enslaved people that lived on the plantation.
“Kitty Reynolds,” Southwest Virginia Digital Archive, accessed February 28, 2024, https://di.lib.vt.edu/items/show/2857.