Name: Brackett, Romulus
Death: 7 Aug 1888
Parents: Renns and Betsy Brackett
When Romulus Brackett died in 1888, his name was mistakenly listed as Remus Brackett in the Charlottesville Register of Deaths. The informant listed in the original register was R. F. Harris, his employer. We can see on the 1880 U. S. Census (below) that Romulus Brackett was working for and living with R. F. Harris. Remus Brackett was working on the railroad in 1880. A transcription of the death record of Romulus Brackett (as Remus Brackell) is included in the Library of Virginia Death Records Indexing Project.
When Remus Brackett died in 1899, his obituary in the Daily Progress mentioned that his twin brother Romulus had died “some years ago” and that the twins “were as much alike as two peas.” The similarity between the two brothers must have caused confusion on more than one occasion.
Romulus Brackett and his twin brother Remus Brackett were among the enslaved workers who built towering embankments and prepared and maintained track beds on the Blue Ridge Railroad near the tunnel. We have not located a marker for Mr. Romulus Brackett (1825-1888), but we believe that he is buried at the Daughters of Zion Cemetery alongside his brother Remus and his brother’s wife, Mrs. Mary Ann Brackett.
Mary E. Lyons has written about the Brackett twins and the Blue Ridge Railroad on her Blue Ridge Tunnel Books Facebook page and in her books The Blue Ridge Tunnel: A Remarkable Engineering Feat In Antebellum Virginia (2014), The Virginia Blue Ridge Railroad (2015), and Slave Labor On Virginia’s Blue Ridge Railroad (2020).