Burton-Washburn Genealogy

William MACON

Male 1693 - 1773  (79 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All

  • Name William MACON 
    Born 11 Nov 1693  St Peter’s Parish, New Kent County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 1 Nov 1773  New Kent, New Kent County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I3080  Washburn & allied families
    Last Modified 12 Dec 2016 

    Father Gideon MACON,   b. 11 Mar 1648, St. Botolgh without Aldgate, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 4 Mar 1702, New Kent, New Kent County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 53 years) 
    Mother Martha WOODWARD,   b. Abt 1657, King William County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1727, King William County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years) 
    Married Abt 1681  New Kent County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1161  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • ...Continued from “The Macon Plantations” posted oonline 19Dec2011 by William Arnold

      The Second Macon Owner, William Macon

      When Gideon died in 1702, Macon Island and the Mount Prospect Plantation, passed to his second oldest son, William, (1694 to 1773). His oldest son was Gideon Jr (1682 to 1761), according to the St. Peters Parish records of New Kent Co.. Apparently William inherited Macon Island, but Gideon Jr. seems to have inherited the land patents. Gideon Sr. had 5 land patents on record, between 1694 and 1701.

      Two were in New Kent Co., One was, “On April 12, 1694, 155ac and 4 persons,“it being the Island on the North East side of the main run of Chickahominy swamp at the wading place near Meradays plantation”, patent 8, page 357 This is the only record I found for Gideon buying an Island in New Kent Co. However, it may have been another Island.

      The second, in New Kent Co. was on Nov.7 1700, “standing on the fork of Chickahominy river, at the mouth of the said fork, and where the swamp of the said river ends”.

      There were two in King and Queen Co., both on April 25 1701. "One was, in the Pamunkey neck, on the east side of Pampatike swamp. Beg.g &c. In the head line of his 425 acres, parcel of Pullams patent”.

      The second one was “in Pampatike swamp. Adjoining the Spencer's land, North & c. crossing John's creek.

      And there was one in Henrico Co.On Oct. 15 1698,”On the South side of Chickahominy swamp, being three small Islands. Begg. &c. on Queen's Cabin branch”. (Gideon Macom Jr. sold part of this land in 1704, he had inherited it from his father.)

      Gideon Macon Jr.,( B. June 20, 1682 in New Kent Co). After the death of his father, Gideon Sr., in 1702, it was recorded in Henrico Co. Va., April 28 1704, that he sold “74 acres of land in Chickahominy Swamp, part of a tract granted to my father in 1698”, (from Henrico Co., Deed Bk. 1700-1704). (Land patent listed for Gideon Sr.).Gideon Jr. had to inherit the land before he sold it. Gideon Jr. was also on the New Kent Co., Virginia, Rent Rolls for 1704, “Gideon Meacon, 270 acres in New Kent Co”.

      William, was one of Gideon's heirs with his older brother Gideon Jr., who was 12 years older. William inherited Mount Prospect Plantation on Macon Island. However, William was still very young and under the guardianship of his step father, Capt. West. In the land processioning records of St. Paul's parish in Hanover Co., it was stated that “Capt. West had the gout and could not be present, but William Macon would be of age in 3 years to attend”. William Macon was born on the Island (1694-1773), raised his children and died there.

      William married Mary Hartwell. Mary was, ...“left 300 pounds, (English currency), at age 18 or day of marriage...”, by her uncle Henry Hartwell then in England, late of Virginia. Her uncle also left her land. And according to the Virginia Wills and Deeds Records of 1725, William and his wife Mary (Hartwell) Macon, sold 1210 acres of her inherited land. They sold the land to Robert Carter of Lancaster Co. Robert was known as “King” Carter.

      William and Mary had eleven children, three, were their only sons, William Hartwell Macon Sr., the oldest son, who inherited the Mount Prospect Plantation on Macon Island, as the third owner, and Hartwell Macon, born in 1741, and Henry Macon, born in 1727, the two younger sons did not inherit. (Note to family, we are descendants of this Hartwell.)

      When Hartwell Sr. was 30 years old,( married with children), in 1771, his father published in the Richmond newspapers that he, “William Macon, was not responsible for my son, Hartwell Macon's debts”. In another newspaper,William Macon said that “My son, Hartwell Macon has gotten into debt and that he will receive nothing more from his father”. This was on Oct. 17, 1771. Hartwell was 30 years old in 1771, and probably was in debt for an extended period of time for his father to resort to publishing this information in the newspapers.

      Hartwell, his brother Henry, and their families, were in So. Carol. by 1789, according to court records of Fairfield Co. So. Carol., Hartwell Macon Sr. gives “power of attorney to Hartwell Macon Jr. to transact all his business in every state in the union not excepting No. Carol., to receive money, pay debts, make and receive conveyances, etc. Dated 13 Nov. 1789”. Wits: Gideon Macon, (Hartwell Sr.'s son), H. Macon (Henry, Hartwell's brother). Proved by Gideon Macon 15 Nov. 1789 before John Buchanan, J. P., and recorded 16 Nov. 1789. Fairfield Co., So. Carol., deed book A, 1785 to 1794.

      William had many slaves on the Mount Prospect Plantation. The following is a list of a few of the slave children born and owned by William. (St. Peters Parish Records)

      Mr. William Macon
      “Beck a Negro girl belonging to Capt. Macon b Sept 29 1722
      Rachel a Negra girl belonging to Capt. Macon b Nov 5 1722.
      Jeny dau of Moll a Neg belonging to ye sd Macon b April 26 1717
      Ann dau of Moll a Neg belonging to ye sd Macon b July 1 1717”

      One of the above slaves named Moll may have belonged to Gideon, Williams father. According to St. Peters Parish Records, there was a Moll born in 1695, with Gideon as owner. Moll would have been 22 years old in 1717.

      Mary died in 1770, and William died in 1773. Their headstone lists all of their children (“issue”). William and Mary's headstone was found in the family cemetery on Macon Island. It states:

      “Here lie the bodies of
      William Macon and Mary
      his wife. He was born 4th
      November 1694 and departed this
      life in November 1773 in
      the 79th year of his age.
      She was born 18th June 1703
      and departed this life 19th
      of November 1770
      And had issue
      Ann, Martha, Mary, William, Henry,
      Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary, Judy, Hartwell,
      and Anna,of whom, two are
      Interred near this place, Viz., Ann
      who died 9th November 1736, age
      16 years and Mary, who died 29th January 1733
      age 9”.

      The Third Macon Owner, William Hartwell Macon Sr.

      The Mount Prospect Plantation on Macon Island, then passed to William's son, William Hartwell Macon Sr.(1725 to 1813). This William married Lucy Scott.

      William Hartwell Macon Sr. was married with children, and had already established and built the Fairfield Plantation in Hanover Co., long before his father, William died in 1773. All of his children were born at Fairfield Plantation. He had bought a large tract of land that included two parcels, Fairfield and Powhite, earlier known as Old Quarter and Swamp Quarter. Both were in St. Paul's parish in Hanover Co. On Fairfield he built his home and raised his family.

      On the Powhite tract he renamed the cemetery that was there, Macon Cemetery. According to a survey that was done in 1937, the cemetery was 50 feet wide and 100 feet long and shaded by many old trees. It is located 10 miles northeast of Richmond, Virginia (in Hanover Co.). In 1937 it was located, “out route #360, 7 miles from Richmond...to intersection of route #156, southeast on route #156, 2 miles to a private lane, south on private lane 1 mile”, it is located, “10 miles northeast of Richmond...” I was told that Fairfield and the Powhite Tract may be a subdivision of Richmond now, in the year 2010. William Hartwell Macon Sr. also established a Mill called “Mekenses” (Macon's) Mill at Powhite.

      According to the 1790 Federal Census and the State Enumerations of 1784, This William had 3 whites, 1 dwelling, and 24 other buildings in New Kent County at Mt. Prospect Plantation. Also he had at Fairfield Plantation in Hanover County, 11 whites, and 91 blacks. All of the ancestors seem to have owned slaves in a big way, going back to William Macon, who died in 1684, the father of Gideon Sr. The slaves were inherited from generation to generation.

      There were agencies that were springing up in Richmond for the hiring out of Negro slaves. This formed a large part of the “Real Estate Business” in the area. By the late 1700's there were about 100 tobacco factories in Richmond. Tobacco was a very large crop in Virginia.

      The cemetery at Powhite had a very few headstones left after the Civil War. Three headstones were found for the Macon family, William Hartwell Macon Sr., His wife, Lucy, and one of his daughters, Elizabeth. The stones state:
      “Here lies the body of
      William Macon
      He was born January 4 1725
      And died November 25 1813”

      “Here lies the body of
      Lucy Macon
      The wife of William Macon
      She was born June 9 1737
      And died December 1 1802”

      “Here lies the body of
      Elizabeth Nicholson
      Daughter of William and Lucy Macon
      She was born May 24th 1768
      And died November 5 1802”

      The Fourth Macon Owner, William Hartwell Macon Jr.

      William Hartwell Macon Jr.(1740 to 1848), the oldest son of William listed above, inherited the Fairfield Plantation, the Powhite tract of land at Fairfield, as well as the Mount Prospect Plantation on Macon Island. He choose to live on Macon Island and sell Fairfield and the Powhite tract of land.

      William Hartwell Macon Jr., after the death of his father, William, in 1813, sold the Powhite tract to Thomas Macon (1796-1851), (according to the survey of 1937).Thomas Macon married Mary Yancey, and “purchased land next to Capt. Wm. Macon, so. side of Pamcokey River”. (The Powhite tract). After various owners it was sold to a Dr. Gaines, who renamed the Mill, Gaines Mill. Apparently, there was later a Civil War battle fought there by that name.

      William Hartwell Macon Jr. was married 3 times. Sarah Amblar (1760-1782), Hannah Selden (1760-1813), and Sarah Smith (1800-1857). He built another home (“a Mansion”), “on higher ground away from the swampy areas”, this was because of Malaria and other problems in the summer. It was called Mount Pleasant, however, it seems that both Plantations were referred to as Mount Prospect. Many planters had summer houses away from the rivers for these same reasons.

      In 1810 he had purchased the land known as Butts Old Field. This was for 1000 acres. He also purchased more land around Mt. Prospect and part of the Brickhouse tract, for a total of 1040 acres he added to the Mt. Prospect Plantation around 1810.

      William Hartwell Macon Jr. died in 1848, but his third wife, Sarah, lived there until her death in 1857. She was listed in the census of 1850 as 50 years of age, (1800-1857), (she lived 7 more years), she died having $23,360 worth of real estate.

      The Fifth Macon Owner, Miles Cary Macon

      William's son, Miles Cary Macon, (1791-1852), inherited the plantation next, but he could not take control of it, because he died in 1852, five years before his stepmother. Sarah, his stepmother was still living at Mt. Prospect until her death in 1857, as mentioned above.

      Miles and family were living at Fairfield Plantation, his birth place, until his father, William, sold Fairfield Plantation. Then,according to Thomas Macon, his son, the family moved to Magnolia Farm, about two miles North of Richmond, and owned by the Nortons. Later, they moved to Rose Cottage owned by a Mr. Richardson. These moves were to be nearer to certain schools for their children.

      Miles then bought “Auburn” Plantation, his wife's family home, about two and a half miles from the city of Richmond. Thomas was sent to live at Woodland Plantation, that his brother, Dr. William Hartwell Macon owned., so he could be nearer to a certain school, about three miles away. As the children got older they were sent away to boarding schools.

      These moves were between the selling of Fairfield Plantation by William, Miles father, and 1852 when Miles himself died. He lived at places other than the family Plantations, because his stepmother was still living at Mount Prospect until 1857, so Miles did not live at the Mount Prospect Plantation. His wife, Francis, after the death of her husband, Miles in 1852, continued to live at the “Auburn” Plantation Miles had bought, but later moved to the city of Richmond.

      Miles married Francis Mutter and had 4 sons among other children. Miles Macon, George Kennon Macon, Dr. William Hartwell Macon., and Thomas Joseph Macon (1839-1917).

      1)This Thomas Macon wrote, “Life Gleanings”, a small book about his first hand account of life in early Virginia.

      2) Miles Macon was the commander of the Fayette Artillery, Confederate States Army, (C. S. A)

      3)George Kennon Macon, was a Cadet of the Virginia Military Institute when the Civil War started. He was wounded at the battle of New Market by a canister shot passing through his arm. Miles, recovering from typhoid fever went after him and took him to his mothers house in Richmond. George was born in 1846, at Henrico Co., Va., VMI Class of 1866, 2ed Corporal, Company A at New Market, a lawyer, and died in 1894, in Richmond, and was buried at Hollywood Cemetery. (C.S.A)

      4)Dr. William Hartwell Macon, he studied to be a doctor in Philadelphia, where he had attended the Jefferson Medical College as an office student of Dr. Thomas C. Mutter, the president of the collage, and was a first cousin to his mother, Francis Mutter.

      The Sixth Macon Owner, Dr. William Hartwell Macon.

      After Miles death in 1852 and Sarah's death in 1857, Miles son, Dr. William Hartwell Macon was next to inherit the Mount Prospect Plantation, and Mount Pleasant.

      He married, in 1848, Nora Criana Braxton.. Ingleside Plantation in Hanover Co. was his wife's family home.

      He bought a Plantation called, Woodland, where he was living when his father and step mother died. Woodland was the Plantation, Thomas Macon, Dr. Macon's brother, was sent to live for awhile when Thomas was in school.

      When Dr. Macon inherited Mount Prospect on Macon Island,and Mount Pleasant, he probably lived at both of them, including Woodland, at different times. He was living at Mount Prospect at times during the Civil War, according to his daughter, Mary.

      The Seventh Macon Owner, Mary Sayre Macon Johnston

      When he died, Dr. William Hartwell Macon passed Macon Island, the Mount Prospect Plantation, and Mount Pleasant, to his daughter, Mary Sayre Macon, who married Nathaniel Burwell Johnston and lived on the Island.

      It was probably Mary and her husband, Nathaniel Johnston, who sold the Mt. Pleasant Plantation in 1908. Mt. Pleasant was set back from the “swampy” Island, “on higher ground”, as a summer house. This was the Plantation that was built by William Hartwell Macon Jr. in 1814. It was referred to as a “mansion”. It was part of the Mount Prospect Plantation.

      The Eighth (Macon Family) Owners, J. Ambler Johnston, (With his brother, Miles Cary Macon Johnston)

      Mary S. Macon Johnston left Macon Island to her sons, J. Ambler Johnston, (and Miles Cary Macon Johnston), Ambler Johnston was apparently still there in Jan., 1974, according to someone that was supposed to have been there.

      I do not know what happened to the Island after 1974. It was probably sold off. It is too bad if this is the case, after almost 300 years of family ownership.

      The following additional information for The Macon Plantation Essay was added, Dec. 12, 2010
      It was contributed by Rusty Weber at RWNLK@aol.com. Thanks Rusty

      Macon Island is still in the family. Mary Sayre Macon Johnston and Nathaniel Burwell Johnston had two sons, James Markham Ambler Johnston, 18 May 1885 to Feb. 1974, and Miles Cary Macon Johnston, 11 July 1888 to 2 Jan. 1963. They jointly inherited Macon Island.

      The Ninth (Macon Family) Owners

      The son of Miles Cary Macon Johnston, Miles Johnston Jr., he married Mary Garland (Cox), owns the Island now with one of his relatives. His son, Miles Johnston III, works the land with them. her his half and settled in Missouri.

      One of his descendants, “William Hartwell Macon of Missouri died in 2006, but before his death, he shared some family stories with me about his great – grandparents, William Hartwell Macon and Nora Criena Braxton. He was the owner of Mount Prospect during the Civil War and was also an MD. Bill said that Nora actually left his grandfather for a while because she was so upset with him because he had given medical treatment to Yankee soldiers. They did eventually get back together, and his family still has the family Bible and still has some letters that Mary Custis Lee wrote to Nora during and after the war (Mary, Mrs. Robert E. Lee, was a cousin of William Hartwell Macon's). Bill said that at the time of her death, Nora was still so impassioned about the war that she was buried with a Confederate flag and a photograph of Robert E. Lee.”


      William and Mary Quarterly, Series 1, Vol. 6, P. 33.
      Library of Virginia Digital Collections, Old Macon Graveyard Land Survey Report by Evans, 1937.
      Old New Kent County (Virginia), Some account of the Planters..., Vol 1, by Harris M.D.
      Life Gleanings, by Thomas Joseph Macon
      Genealogies of Virginia Families from Tyler's Quarterly Historical. p. 724.
      Genealogical Gleanings in England, Vol.1, by Fitz and Waters, p. 313-14.
      Seldens of Virginia and Allied Families, by Allaben, 1911.
      St. Peter's Parish register.
      The 1790 Federal Census
      The Virginia state Enumerations of 1784.
      The Record of Burton Parish Church” by Goodwin
      The Virginia Land Office of Patents and Grants.
      The Virginia Archives Division, of Wills and Deeds. 1716 to 1730.
      The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. XVI, Num.2, Spring, 1988.
      The New Kent County Rent Rolls of Virginia, 1704


      The below info is from “LIFE GLEANINGS”
      Compiled by T. J. MACON

      Richmond, VA.

      [Bruced Washburn’s note: I am including the info from this book in William Macon’s bio here because I am ASSUMING that T. J. Macon was his grandson]:

      CHAPTER I.

      The author of these pages first saw the light of day at the family home of his father, Mr. Miles Cary Macon, called "Fairfield," situated on the banks of that historic river, the "Chicahominy," in the good old County of Hanover, in Virginia. My grandfather, Colonel William Hartwell Macon, started each of his sons on the voyage of life with a farm, and the above was allotted to my respected parent. Belonging to the place, about one or two miles from the dwelling, was a grist mill known as "Mekenses," and how the name of "Macon" could have been corrupted to "Mekenses," is truly unaccountable, yet such as the case. The City of Richmond was distant about eight miles to the South. This old homestead passed out of the Macon family possession about seventy years ago, and a Mr. Overton succeeded my father in the ownership of "Fairfield" and the mill. Later a Doctor Gaines purchased it. My highly respected parents were the fortunate possessors of a large and flourishing family of ten children, all of whom were born at "Fairfield."

      The Macon manor house was situated just on the edge of the famous trucking section of Hanover County, which agricultural characteristic gave its soil an extensive reputation for the production of the celebrated and highly- prized melons and sweet potatoes of Hanover, known to

      Page 6
      Eastern Virginia for their toothsomness and great size. This fine old plantation was surrounded by country estates belonging to Virginia families, who were very sociable, cultured and agreeable people.

      ... I was the youngest of the family...


      At the time I am writing about, the life of the Virginia farmer was one to be much desired, for he was a baron in his realm, was lord of all he surveyed, and yielded no obeisance to any one, but to his Maker and his country. The dark shadows of coming dire events had not then cast their war-like omens ahead. The question of the Missouri Compromise, the admission of Kansas into the sisterhood of the States under the Lecompton Convention, the decision in the Dred Scott case, the political issues and measures which were the precursors of the great war between the States had not yet reached Congress. Everything that could render life pleasant was vouchsafed the country gentleman and planter, and his family about three-quarters of a century ago.

      Our family moved from old Fairfield to Magnolia farm, only about two miles north of Richmond, which place was then owned by the Nortons, and it was a quiet, pleasant home "far away from the madding crowd" in a sociable and agreeable neighborhood; it is at the present time owned by the "Hartshorne" Colored Female Institute and now is included within the corporate limits of the city of Richmond, Va. How rapidly the wheel of time brings changes in our surroundings. My father's children are advancing in years, the older ones are sent off to boarding schools, my oldest brother had just returned from Philadelphia, where he had attended the Jefferson Medical College as an office student of Dr. Thomas C. Mutter, the president of the college, who was first cousin of my mother - her maiden name was Frances Mutter.

      From Magnolia we moved to "Rose Cottage," owned by a Mr. Richardson, the object in this move being to be near "Washington and Henry" Academy, a boarding and day school carried on by a Mr. and Mrs. Dunton; she was in charge of the small boys and the girls, while her husband taught the large boys. I was in Mrs. Dunton's department, being but a small chap, and as to whether I learned anything at this time it is a matter of considerable doubt. My mother furnished six pupils to this institution. The principals would come over to "Rose Cottage" two or three times per month, bringing their boarders with them, which visits they appeared to enjoy greatly as a good supper, with a large and shady yard to play in, was certainly well calculated to afford mirth and pleasure to both old and young. A Mr. Osborne, a Presbyterian minister, boarded at the academy, being a unique character and one of the

      Page 10
      best men to be found anywhere; he formed the plan of teaching the scholars, young and old, the catechism of the Presbyterian Church, and all those who committed it to memory received a nice book as a prize. The climax of the scheme was an offer of a grand prize to any scholar that would repeat the whole of it without a hitch or halt. The children were thoroughly inoculated with Presbyterianism. The final trial of reciting, or memorizing, the catechism came off at the residence of Mr. Thomas Gardner. The contest was one long to be remembered, a Miss Fannie Shelton scoring the first honor, and Miss Newell Gardner the second. The supper provided for this happy occasion was a first class one in every respect. The best that a well- stocked farm house could produce, both in substantiate and nicknacks, such for instance, as broiled chicken, roast lamb and barbecued pig, with dessert of ice cream, yellow cake and pies in abundance; it was in short one of the finest "lay-outs" that I ever saw, and being an appreciative youngster I did ample justice to it indeed, and fairly revelled in the many good eatables so generously spread before us, and to this day I remember it with pleasure. "Rose Cottage" was truly a delightful home. The never-failing wheel of time was turning fast, and the water of life that once passed over it will never again turn it. We were all growing fast as we advanced in years. At this time my father bought a place on Nine Mile Road, about two and a half miles from the city, it was named "Auburn," and to it we moved bag and baggage.

      Just as with "Fairfield" and Magnolia," we found hospitable neighbors, and genial intercourse was conspicuous. Among them were Colonel Sherwin McRae and family, a Mrs. Gibson, Mr. Tinsley Johnson, Mr. Galt Johnson, and many other well known families, nearly all of whom have

      Page 11
      now moved away or have passed to the other side of the river. Mr. William Galt Johnson lived about a quarter of a mile from us, and there was a considerable intercourse between the two families. "Galt," as he was called...

      My mother determined to send me to live with my eldest brother, Doctor William H. Macon, who had recently married Miss Nora C. Braxton, the daughter of Mr. Carter Braxton, of "Ingleside," Hanover County, the owner of the celebrated plantation "New Castle," situated on the Pamunkey River. The name of my brother's home was "Woodland," about three miles below the well-known tavern at Old Church. The reason of my being sent to live with him was to be convenient to enter the school kept

      Page 12
      by a Count Larry, one of the best teachers of his day and time. The school house was distant about three miles from my brother's place, and not too far away for a little boy to walk at that time. I was duly enrolled as a day scholar in Count Larry's establishment, which consisted of an unpretentious structure, about thirty feet square, with two doors, one for entry and the other for exit, and was lighted by two windows with which to admit the sunshine and fresh air in the summer time, and to shut out the "cold chilly winds of December." The school was composed of both boys and girls, and the Count sat in a large wooden chair, with a table at his side similar to those now seen in a modern dairy lunch room in the cities.


      My brother, Miles Macon, afterwards commander of the Fayette Artillery, Confederate States Army, joined me at "Woodland" and became a scholar in our school; he was my senior by two years. Our country life there was very pleasant, for on Saturdays we would hunt birds all day, as my brother owned a fine pointer dag named "Roscoe," and we were hunting on "Spring Garden," owned by Judge Meredith, it being about seven miles from our place, when the old dog broke down from the infirmities of age and Miles and I carried him home on our shoulders, it being his last appearance in the fields that he had so successfully hunted, for he died soon afterwards.

      Dr. William Macon, my brother, about this time came into possession of the Mount Prospect plantation in New Kent County, on the Pamunkey River, left to him by our grandfather, Colonel William Hartwell Macon, it being then one of the finest farms on the river; it adjoined the famous White House aforementioned, which latter plantation was inherited and occupied later by General William H. Fitzhugh flee, son of the famous General Robert E. Lee, of Confederate fame.

      The York- River railroad passed through a portion of the "Mt. Prospect farm." A noted feature of the place was its very large and beautiful garden, almost every flower and plant known to Eastern Virginia florists was to be found there, and considerable expense had been made to render it a veritable Garden of Eden; and then, alas! when the great strife began between the North and the South, and our beloved old State became the battleground of the contending hosts of soldiers of both sides, and the Federal army, under General McClellan, advanced up the peninsula from Fort Monroe the farm became the camping ground, and his cavalry was picketted in that lovely spot, amid the almost priceless roses and violets, and needless to add that when those horsemen left it was a pitiable scene of "horrid war's desolating effects, as hardly a trace of its former beauty and vision of refinement remained.

      A gentleman, Colonel Grandison Crump, taught school near the place, and I was made a scholar of his; it was quite like that of Count Larry's, except that the Colonel had no girls in his school. He sat is the same kind of armchair, and made and trimmed quill pens in the very same

      Page 17
      way. He was a most excellent teacher and I fairly buckled down to hard study, and as a consequence learned more then ever before, or indeed afterwards, at school. Our teacher was not a young man, as he was near sixty years of age...

      Well, after attending Colonel Crumps' school for three years, when he closed for the summer vacation I bid farewell to his excellent tutorship. There were many quite pleasant associations connected with my school days there; I was considered one of his best boys; I packed up my few belongings there and returned to Auburn, my mother's home. My respected father died in the year 1852, and my mother then carried on the farming operations under the supervision of our servant Israel as her head man and overseer, who was one of the most efficient and faithful negroes I ever knew, performing his duties fully and satisfactorily to his mistress as manager of the hands.

      Two of my sisters were then married, Sister Anne to Mr. Peyton Johnston, the senior member of the drug house of P. Johnston & Brothers, of Richmond; my other sister, Betty, married the Rev. Dr. Alexander Martin, of the Presbyterian Church in Danville, Va. Probably no minister in that denomination had a higher reputation for pulpit oratory; he preached with force and effect, and set an example of a pure, unselfish, Christian life.

      After consulting the wishes of her single daughters my good mother decided to move to Richmond. She therefore rented a nice roomy house in a pleasant street in the city, and then a new leaf in the book of life was turned for me, as I of course continued to live with the family, but an era, or epoch in my journey of life now confronted me, as I was about to start to work to earn my own bread and meat. I therefore duly made application to the firm of Parker,

      Page 21
      Nimms & Co. for a clerkship in their establishment, and the senior partner told me to call in a few days for an answer, which I accordingly did in due time and received a favorable one, and in a few days I began my life's work. I remained with that firm six years and only left in 1861 to join, or rather to go with the First Company Richmond Howitzers into the great war between the States, being a member before the same strife began, having joined in the year 1859 when the company ...


      A unique feature was the agencies for hiring out negro hands and servants, it forming a large part of the business of the real estate men. Richmond was then said to have one hundred tobacco factories in active operation.

      My memory reverts to an interesting event in the year 1860, when Edward, the Prince of Wales, of the Royal family of Great Britain, visited Richmond, coming here from Washington with his retinue who were entertained at the old Exchange and Ballard House - then in its prime. The Prince stayed over Sunday and attended church at Saint Paul's. Doctor Minnegerode was then the rector of the parish, and he preached a good practical sermon for the distinguished guests. I remember well seeing the

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      Prince, who was then a beardless youth, of a good figure and looks, he returned to the Capital City the next day, pleased with his trip; it was an epoch in the history of Virginia, socially speaking. Another incident was the lecture delivered here by Mr. Thackery, the great novelist, at the Athenaeum, which building was then just in the rear of the Broad Street Methodist Church, the subject of the lecture was the "Georges," and it was a chaste and interesting address, full of anecdotes, with a vein of sarcasm interspersed throughout.

      Another lecture about this time was that of the Hon. Edward Everett, delivered at the old African Church; the subject was General George Washington. He was lecturing under the auspices of the Mount Vernon Association for the purchase of that place from its owners. The Mount Vernon papers which were then published by Mr. Bowner in the New York Ledger, were edited by him, and this address by him here was a literary treat, as was everything emanating from his cultivated mind; the church was filled with a highly appreciative audience, and all went home well pleased.

      The local politics were to some extent interesting, as almost every man discussed them in public. The African Church was used on Sundays as a negro meeting house for worship, and during the week for political gatherings by the white people, it being the largest in town. The colored people were of course paid for the use of their church building. When a person announced his candidacy for any office in the gift of the people, he was requested to define his position and views on the questions of the day. For instance when the subject of a free bridge between Richmond and Manchester over the James River was debated

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      the people were called upon to express their ideas pro and con in the old African Church.