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Pavilion V and VI were places where William and Isabella Gibbons, who were both enslaved at UVA, lived and labored. Owned by different faculty, they were able to maintain family connections and become literate despite the constraints of slavery. Mr. Gibbons was owned by Professor Henry Howard and later worked for Professor William H. McGuffey in Pavilion IX. Mrs. Gibbons was a domestic servant in the household of Professor Francis Smith in Pavilions V and VI. Although their marriage had no legal standing, William and Isabella Gibbons preserved their union and raised their children while living in slavery. Legal restrictions and the strong opposition of white society severely limited access to education for Virginia's slaves. William Gibbons learned to read by carefully observing and listening to the white students around him. His daughter Bella recalled that she could not have learned to read and write, "unless my mother taught me secretly."
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