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 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 timber of oaks, hickories, sycamores, pines, maples, and cedars. They helped each other build modest four-room homes (with their own hands) for their respective families in 1900, though they were farmers, not carpenters. The comfortable and happy 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. Our old house was accidentally destroyed by fire in 1984 by a contractor whom I hired to pull the house down and save as many oak and hickory boards as possible.
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. I am a grandson of William and Sylvia Allen.
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 after that. She died in 1996, and our youngest sister and I have been carrying the torch and paying the real estate taxes since then. 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 somebody paid the taxes and penalty.
I am Bilal Yasin El-Amin of Richmond, Virginia. I am leader of The Propagation Congregation, a nonprofit private foundation formed in 1986 by our five children and me. We intend to buyout 32 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 and irreplaceable.
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 became heir property. 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 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 32 of our grandfather's heirs except one have agreed to sell their shares to The Propagation Congregation. We are working on getting full agreement or to partition the 1.5 acres owned by the one dissident heir... without a lawsuit.
The Propagation Congregation intends to build an Islamic Prayer Room, an Islamic Cemetery, and a residence for the Resident Imam (leader) on this property. It is important that this property remains in our family, and that it remains dedicated to education and the correct presentation and image of the complete and balanced way of life known as Al-Islam.
We intend to establish scholarships for learners, a library and research facilities for researchers, and counseling for the public in the six generally accepted aspects 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. Gross income from downloads 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.
Download enjoy and share our original music
We recently filed an Application for Recognition of Exemption. Although The Propagation Congregation has existed since 1986, and we have been functioning as a nonprofit, we did not feel the need for Recognition until this time due to the low level of funding required in the past. The increased level of funding presently needed makes it necessary to do at this time. Funds raised through this campaign will be added to funding 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 in real estate taxes, attorney fees, survey fees, and land clearance and maintenance costs since 1996, the year in which our mother died and passed on the responsibility of keeping the land in the family to our youngest sister and me. Other heirs have shown no interest in keeping the land in the family or developing it. We rent the land to a local farmer who plants soybeans and corn. This rental is primarily to keep the land from growing up. The total rental income is only $360 per year, which we allocate to each heirs' ownership value. We maintain detailed records of all financial and other transactions that have occurred since 1996. These and all records are available to heirs, donors, and potential donors.
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, The One, Who has power over everything.
DonationsSee top donations
- Bilal Yasin El-Amin
- Amir N Muhammad
- BENJAMIN BILAL
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