historic marker William H. Sheppard Virginia attraction display education historical marker Historical Site information landmark marker Place of Interest sign Tourist Destination Travel Destination attractive destination educating historic markers historic site info signage tourist attraction VA appealing history no people text tourism travel South attract historic nobody word daytime displays historical markers landmarks markers signs appeal color image educate historical outdoor vertical day destinations historic sites tourist attractions US colour image outside day time USA day-time U.S. words color images daylight outdoors U.S.A. verticals colour images Jason O. Watson / historical-markers.org natural light outsides United States United States of America Bath County sign with text
THE REV. DR. WILLIAM H. SHEPPARD (28 MAY 1865 - 25 NOV. 1927)
Born in Waynesboro to former slaves, William H. Sheppard became a Presbyterian missionary to the Belgian colony of Congo Free State in 1890. He and others opposed King Leopold II of Belgium, who encouraged such atrocities as the amputation of children's hands to intimidate Congolese rubber workers. On 21 Aug. 1904, while visiting his mother here, Sheppard spoke out at Warm Springs Presbyterian Church; reportedly, the Belgian ambassador attended. Later, in Africa, Sheppard published his charges, and the Belgian rubber monopoly sued for libel. After a judge dismissed the suit in Sept. 1909, an investigation verified Sheppard's claims and compelled improvements. Sheppard returned permanently to America in 1910.
Department of Historic Resources, 1998