Andrew, Robert, William, Cornelius, and Richard Allen
We relate this history of our heir property to preserve a record so that heirs, present and future, will know the history, appreciate it, pass it on, and keep the property in our family. All family history is important because it can contribute to your knowing who you really are.
Andrew, Robert, and William purchased 40 acres of land in rural Hanover County, Virginia in 1896, thirty-three years after they were promised 40 acres and a mule. We believe each of the brothers put up equal sums of cash. According to the County records, Andrew handled the transaction. He purchased 40 acres in his name and ‘gave’ Robert and William 10 acres each. He did not designate which 10 acres to each or provide deeds to their land. Andrew kept 20 acres with a deed to his property. According to family members, only Andrew was good at reading and writing, and there were two other brothers, Richard Allen, and Cornelius Allen, who did not participate in this deal because they did not trust their brother Andrew. The deal between the brothers was done with a handshake agreement. Richard purchased land and built a home about three miles from this site. Uncle Richard visited us often. I got to know and like him. Cornelius left town. I never met or knew Cornelius, William, Robert, or Andrew. They died before I was born.
The three brothers set up a mobile sawmill and cut the oaks, hickories, sycamores, pines, maples, and cedars. In 1900 they helped each other build modest four-room homes with their own labor for their respective families, although they were farmers, not carpenters. The home of William and Sylvia Allen (my grandparents) became a beautiful 10-room mansion with wrap-around porches upstairs and downstairs. It was sitting on a hill overlooking a creek that fed the well in our yard. The creek is still there. The house was destroyed by fire in 1984.
The property remained in joint ownership in the names of Robert and William. They did not know how to separate their shares of the total of 20 acres of land. Both of them died in 1932 and the property passed to their heirs still undivided. No heir could build on either parcel of land because no heir knew how to separate the parcels or was willing to pay a lawyer to do so. The County billed and collected real estate taxes on the same land from Robert and William heirs until we corrected it in 1999. No heir noticed this administrative glitch, and the County is not inclined to issue refunds without a lawsuit. We do not have time or money for lawsuits. We want to proceed with positive vibrations and actions. We partitioned the land to the heirs of the respective brothers in 1999. All of our grandfather's heirs have agreed to sell their shares to The Propagation Congregation.
We believe that Grandpa William and Big Momma (Sylvia) would be happy and proud of our efforts and the struggles of our mother and her siblings to keep this property in our family. I witnessed with some joy and some pain as our Big Momma struggled year after year to keep the family farm going, raising all kinds of crops for consumption and sale (at the 18th Street side-walk marketplace in Richmond, VA); raising chickens, turkeys, ducks, guineas, cows, pigs, goats, two mules, a horse, and ten grandchildren and adopted children, adopted grandchildren, and neighbors’ children. Grandpa William died in 1932. I was born in 1940. Big Momma died in 1958. Our mother, Martha Allen Price, became the matriarch of the family. She died in 1996. We found in our mother's belongings a newspaper clipping dated 1942 that announced this land for auction sale due to $2.42 delinquent taxes plus $.05 penalty. We are happy that our mother paid the taxes and penalty.
I am Bilal Yasin El-Amin. I am leader of The Propagation Congregation, a nonprofit private foundation formed in 1986 by our five children and me. We intend to buyout all heirs of 10 acres of land that has been in our family since 1896. Our grandfather and grandmother built a home, a farm, and raised the family here beginning in 1900. Our mother, her five siblings, their children, and their children were raised on this small farm in northeastern Hanover County, Virginia. This property has never been mortgaged. The house was destroyed by fire in 1984 when it was old, dilapidated, and unoccupied. The apple trees, maple trees, a giant cedar and a walnut tree, and grapevines in the yard were the greatest loss to me. The maple, cedar, and walnut trees were at least 100 years old.
I visit the cite now at least three days a week to reflect, read, listen to the birds, walk barefoot, cut grass, bushes and vines, work on fixing the roads, box my big bag and shadow, and enjoy the fresh air and natural setting, and to contemplate and plan the full potential use of our property. We appreciate the cooperation these brothers showed in doing what they did. We need this kind of family cooperation, ties, and trust today.
The Propagation Congregation intends to build an education and prayer room, a cemetery, and a residence on this property. We also intend to use the land for raising vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, and herbs. It is important that our property remains in our family, and that it remains dedicated to education and the correct presentation of the complete and balanced way of life.
We intend to establish scholarships for learners, a library and research facilities for researchers, and accurate information and counseling for the public in the six generally accepted aspects of life that establishes the complete and balanced way of life, which are:
Politics (social life), Rituals, Education, Economics, Culture, Health.
We coined an acronym for these aspects of life: PREECHealth to make them easy to remember. We must have healthy perceptions of each of these aspects of life and their relationships and interdependence. So, we teach the oneness and inseparable nature of these aspects of life that affects all humans. You can learn more about The Propagation Congregation here: About the Propagation Congregation
Also, visit our original music website and download a song or three. Revenue from our music is donated to this project. Production and distribution of original uplifting music is one of the products and services of The Propagation Congregation. The Propagation Congregation Publications publish and distribute educational materials for the public. We intend that all our products and services be free to the public. Our businesses and supporters finance operations of The Propagation Congregation. Download a song or three to help us out.
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The Propagation Congregation has existed in form and function as a nonprofit since 1986. We do not feel the need for recognition or supervision by any government or authority. Our only Criterion is the Qur'an. Our obedience of the Qur'an assures compliance with universal, global, federal and state laws, regulations, and procedures. Funds raised through this campaign will be added to funds provided by private and public supporters.
Generally accepted accounting principles and best practices are in place for competent administration, accountability, and transparency. Individually and acting on behalf of The Propagation Congregation I have spent more than $27,500 since 1996 for real estate taxes, attorney fees, survey fees, land clearance, maintenance, plowing, and planting.
We pray for success of this project, and we appreciate and pray for all who contribute to it in any way. We know and appreciate that the Believers are already successful (Qur'an 23:1). All affairs and decisions are with our Source Creator, Allah.