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Walk through history and see Olde Towne’s origins and it’s continued evolution.
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George Teamoh was born a slave in Norfolk County. Prior to the Civil War, he escaped to the north and to freedom. in 1865, he returned to Virginia and attended an African-American political convention in Alexandria. Upon his return to Portsmouth, he worked at the Naval Shipyard and focused his efforts on workers rights. In 1867, he was nominated to represent Portsmouth and Norfolk County by the main faction of the local Republican Party to be one of its candidates for the state constitutional convention required by the Reconstruction Act passed by Congress that year. On October 22, 1867, when African American men voted in Virginia for the first time, Teamoh and two white Republicans won the district’s three seats. Teamoh received the votes of seventy-four white men. Voters in Norfolk County and Portsmouth elected him to the Senate of Virginia on July 6 of that year. Teamoh won easily with 3,527 votes of 5,685 cast, and improved his performance among white voters, receiving at least 291 votes.