Patrick Henrys Life And Beliefs

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Patrick Henrys Life And Beliefs



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Even the basins, pitchers, etc. Here Mr. Bruce lived, like the lord of an English manor, in the midst of hundreds of slaves and adherents of all kinds - a sort of feudal chief on his great landed estate. He died in , just before the close of the war. He said on his death-bed that he "felt a grim satisfaction in leaving the world at that time, as he knew that nothing but ruin was in store for his class. II, page ] This short excerpt from the well-known genealogy of the Bruce family I have inserted here because the male line of the above family still resides at "Berry Hill," and still retains the proverbial hospitality of their ancestors.

Few of the present inhabitants of Halifax county know when James Bruce, the richest and, judging from the records, one of the best and purest of men, settled in this county. He left a most remarkable will, which is recorded at the court house. He died in Philadelphia, whither he had gone for his health. He was reputed to be the largest slave-holder in Virginia and one of the richest men in America at that period. It evinced a broad mind, a generous heart and a wonderful spirit of humility for a man with such an extensive estate.

He gives to James C. Bruce, his son, besides other large endowments, "a tract of land in Halifax county called 'Boyd's Tract,' now tenanted by John Juniel - the same tract of land I hold as heir to my brother, Charles, who owned, I think, a good equitable title under George Carrington, who purchased it from Archie Boyd, the title of the same being warranted by the said George Carrington, John Carrington and Paul Carrington, deceased, by a bond made for that purpose. The said James C. Irby and wife, and James Smith, the trustee of said Irby; also my lots and improvements, in the town of Banister, near Halifax Court House; also my store and lott, and every of the appertencies, adjoining Halifax Court House lott.

One lumber house in the town of Lynchburg purchased of Charles Johnston and lying on Blackwater, adjoining the Cotton Factory. Easley, five hundred dollars each. Bruce shall continue to act as guardian for all of my said infant children unless the said act shall be too oppressively inconvenient to him, in that event he must use his efforts to ordain some reputable and responsible and friendly person or persons to aid him in guardianship, who will, of course, give bond and security under the direction of the court. Bruce, Executor of my last Will and Testament, without giving any sort of security, as I have decided confidence in him, and owe but little comparatively.

Atkisson and Thomas J. September 28, This will of James Bruce filled several pages, and is a most comprehensive and interesting one, especially when we know that he went to work as a mere youth and by honest work made the third largest fortune in the United States at that period. There is a tradition that "Berry Hill" was built after the style and architecture of "Montpelia," Lord George Keeling's seat in Granville, now Vance county, North Carolina, which Lord Keeling had copied after his country seat in Ireland, which he had to leave on account of religious persecution.

The 'Berry Hill' house was built by my uncle, James Coles Bruce, after his purchase;" and in regard to it he adds: "I was told by Professor Fiske Kimball, of the school of architecture at the University of Virginia, that this house is the most remarkable specimen of its kind to be found in the South. Colonel Carrington's residence, a plain one, stood on the same site and was pulled down. James Bruce was a character that no thoughtful person will pass by without taking into consideration the manner of his life and his excellent advice to those who sought it. If one will go carefully through his several volumes of letter books and read his character from the letters therein, it will be easy to understand how he grew to be the richest man in Halifax county and the third richest in the United States at that time.

He was a sturdy Scotchman of the Kinloss Clan, and was honest in thought, word and deed. He was an extensive money lender and attended to every detail of his tremendous business with his personal advice and letters through his lawyers and agents, of whom he had many, tested and tried for ability and honesty. Through all his dealings with men, he never lost faith in humanity. Shrewd and close in business as he was, he was no Shylock, nor did he demand his dues, but by gentleness and persuasive measures he obtained what was his. He was merciful, and when those who had served him had grown old and feeble, he ministered to their necessities so graciously they could not feel their dependence. He disliked above all things to have recourse to the law and never did if it was possible to avoid it.

Being honest himself, it was hard for him to understand the long continued delinquencies of a debtor. He gave his honest opinion when his advice was sought, though it may not always have been agreeable to the party seeking it. He had many relatives who suffered losses through misfortune or adventure; he helped them all with financial gifts well-seasoned with good advice. Not one of his many letters give the slightest evidence of self-indulgence, pride, arrogance or display, and this sentiment in one of his letters illustrates the tender sympathy he had for a friend and relative who was in trouble: "They must know that a man under desperate circumstances with a large family has no chance to rise whilst embarrassed with debt, and the greater distance one takes under such circumstances from his friends in a wide world of strangers the worse his situation.

Bruce left his plantation and home the slaves having been emancipated to his son, Mr. Alexander Bruce, the father of the present owners, Mr. Walter Bruce, bachelor, and Mr. He married secondly his cousin, Miss Bruce Williams, of Culpeper. Charles Crane III, who after his return from his foreign ministry in Czechoslovakia, purchased "Westover," the celebrated home of the Byrds, where they now reside when in Virginia. They have one daughter, Bruce Crane. Excerpt from a Letter of Mr. James Bruce to Mr. Josiah Abbott. Josiah Abbott "Dear Sir: I now send you annexed the names of persons distributors of Henry's estate - the Elder, whose names appear in the Clerk's office signing an address to codicil which consents to a final decree on the principle of the former interlocutory decree admitting the account of Winston's estate to stand as it appears from his account settled by commissioners, which is all he can ask, but if anything is required of him in a way of consent to a final decree you can advise what is necessary for him to say as to my claim in right of my wife, late Elvira A.

Henry, who was the widow of Patrick Henry, Jr. I abandon all claim, my chief object being to secure a final decree in favor of her daughter, Elvira A. Henry, now Clark, as she has lately intermarried with William H. Clark, who, I suppose, must, of course, become a party to a final decree. As to others by the first marriage, I suppose they had claims of money legacies which have been probably satisfied. My chief object is to obtain distribution in favor of William H.

Clark and Elvira A. Henry, now Elvira A. Scott, formerly Sarah B. Henry, in her own right and as distributor of Fayette Henry, deceased. Winston in right of his wife, late Dorothy Henry. Henry Banks "Have this day ordered Mr. In yours of February 4 last you expressed an inclination of returning to Richmond and residing with your niece, Miss Spottswood, and occasionally visiting your brother and myself. I approve of this resolution and would be pleased if you would withdraw yourself from the public journals, and meddling with elections, such doings though accompanied with the purest patriotism often involve sad results.

Governor Giles, formerly a man of high estimation, has lowered his standing considerably by subscribing his name to a great deal of scandal and defamation against characters of high standing. Henry E. Samuel S. Venable that you were disposed to borrow from me five thousand dollars if it should be convenient. I have to say in answer that I will accommodate you with pleasure, if you will make a bond and add a name merely for the sake of bank form, and made payable in two years, bearing interest, payable semi-annually, and send it to your friend in Richmond to be negotiated, where I shall be from the 25th to the 28th or probably longer, as I think of starting tomorrow and may go with my family from Charlotte C.

Intending to go to Norfolk and the northern cities I may be absent four or five weeks. Your remarks on the valuableness of U. States bank-stock, the political effects, the cause of foreign demands for our stock, and the quotations of value of various stocks, and of produce in your market are all instructive, convenient and profitable to me. Our election terminated on Monday and three hundred votes were taken at the C. Clay and Seargeant may probably get from the district some 20 or so more. In the election at Court House, Barber had a few scattering votes not worth mentioning. Clay, being most suitable to represent the Southern interest. I fully expect we differ in opinion on this subject of the election, only for the same reason that men of the most honest convictions and the like interests often differ in sentiment on political subjects.

Gerard Banks, Jr. I really regret that you should have made your Southern expedition in December last under such unpropitious prospects and plans when a person under your embarrassments are about to adopt a measure of such importance to yourself and family, it would be fit that you would consult your best friends about the prudence of your scheme. I expect you had some such in the neighborhood you reside, and I am sure you have a few such in this neighborhood. The mischief is, however, done and it is unnecessary to dwell on the past.

I know enough to ascertain that you are heavily involved and that the demands against you could not be paid by all the funds you have in the world, but by a heavy and unnecessary sacrifice. If one should take it in his head to render you in person an advance of one thousand dollars or much more it would do you no good, as it would be a mere bait for some creditors near you. For you to hold property would be an useless effort, as it would be in the power of your creditors to strip you of everything at any time.

At the same time you should be determined to be steady, industrious, stay much at home for the consolation of your family and determined to engage in no sort of speculation nor dissipation of any kind. You said yesterday that you wanted no aid as to expenses in getting home, and as for an advance of one thousand to pay your creditors near you I should consider it a useless step. As to the trust measure proposed, if I could see a subscription on foot that promised security and benefit, I would contribute myself.

Clark to James Bruce. I saw your father yesterday and consulted him about what was best to be done. He advised me to write to our Servant James and beg of him the favor to attend to this matter for us. Should the time of payment be first of January, , the matter will admit of no delay, but I observe from the papers that the Legislature had taken up that subject and should the time be postponed I will get you to wait till you hear from me again. I should be very glad to see first the list of delinquent lands for Campbell, as it is probable that tract of land belonging to Cabell's estate purchased from Fayette Henry may be the lands advertised to be sold for delinquent taxes. I commit to your care, however, knowing that in so doing I shall receive no detriment.

They were all well at his house and at yours, as he informed me. You have voted no doubt on the popular side, though I differ in opinion with you on that very important subject. Large slave owner as I am, I am clear for taking some steps in that matter which all admit must sooner or later come to pass. Public opinion is not ripe for it at present, though I believe a respectable minority to be, and I have no doubt that public sentiment might be changed by a man of energy and talent who would openly advocate it.

Madison did not open his mouth in the Legislature for probably the two first sessions he served. I shall be very glad to hear from you at any time, and in turn to be of service to you in Halifax. I have some small expectation of being with you in January. Laurel in the morning and will drop this letter there. Stith the historian bought acres of land from Francis Calloway of "Poplar Forest," the founder of the Calloway family in the Colonies. Francis Calloway had three sons, viz. Richard was sergeant and lieutenant in the French and Indian wars from Bedford county, Virginia; he was trustee for the town of New London in ; went to Kentucky with Daniel Boone in ; was a Burgess in Virginia in ; was killed by the Indians in William Calloway patented 15, acres of land in Lunenburg, Brunswick, Bedford and Halifax counties.

In , William Calloway, gent. He married Miss Crawley and has many descendants throughout the South. Dated April, From this date until the present the Carltons have many deeds, wills and marriages recorded in the court house. Among the deeds is an indenture made in , November 17 Book 27, page Witnesseth, that above parties for and in consideration of sum of four hundred dollars paid in hand to them by Edward Carlton, Sr.

Land devised to Richard Holt by Peter Holt. In , Edward Carlton buys from Nancy Wimbish executrix of the estate of John Wimbish, her husband, deceased a certain half acre of land situated in the town of Banister and known as lot No. In , August 21, Catherine Carlton, executrix of her husband's, Philoman Carlton, estate, for a certain sum of money paid by the legatees, relinquishes her dower right in favor of her children, viz. He made his wife executrix and son, Edward, and trusty friend, Dr. Charles D. Fontaine, executors. Edward acknowledged bond in the penalty of twenty-five thousand dollars. Several wills are recorded leading up to that of Rachel Carlton's estate settlement in In , John L.

Lewellyn was trustee for Mary C. Carlton and children. In , Henderson Sneed was guardian for Henry H. Carlton, and Emeline Waller, formerly Emeline Carlton. Philip's Parish, under a monument thus inscribed: "Henningham Carrington, widow of Dr. Paul Carrington, Obit, June 28, , Aet, Colonel George Carrington son of Dr. Paul Carrington, Sr. Paul Carrington, Jr. Walter Coles was born in Hanover county, November 13, She died May 1, She was a daughter of Mildred Howell and William Lightfoot.

Walter Coles died November 7, , at "Mildendo," his country seat in Halifax county. Coles, born May 15, , died April 24, , married August 24, was born March 4, He married Alice Cabell November 15, Alice Cabell Carrington died leaving four children sons , viz. George Cabell Carrington M. She married Mr. Waddell and had Carrington Waddell. Four children. William W. Carrington, of Halifax, married his cousin, Jane W. Carrington, who was the first of the Carringtons to own Belleview. This is a beautiful old seat, surrounded by massive oaks, covering extensive grounds, the house built of red brick. A small porch with massive pillars reaching to the top of the second story gives an imposing air to what was once a most attractive and hospitable home.

It was like almost all of the old Virginia homes, a large flower garden, that leads to the last resting place of those who once revelled amid the evergreens and blooming shrubbery. Through the long neglected flower garden we were piloted to the graveyard by the mother of the present owner, Mr. Henry Reeves who married his attractive wife in Alabama. Work, the mother of his wife, very kindly assisted us in getting the following epitaphs from the gravestones embedded in a tangle of honeysuckle: "Sacred to the memory of Our Mother, Judith A. Born Dec. Died Aug. Watkins wife of R.

Watkins Born Dec. Died Oct. Died March 29, Henry Paul Carrington's widow and children have moved from the county, and strangers now own their old home and are putting forth every effort to restore it to its original beauty. The rooms are large and high-pitched, the walls white and of such hard finish as to have withstood a hundred years of wear and tear.

The mantels are of marble and the "parlor" has the usual frescoed ceiling. It is both pleasing and comforting to think that the old place will be kept up and beautified, as far as conditions. Jane W. William C. Carrington, of Halifax. Being compelled to leave home, friends and all earthly possessions in their native land, they came to this colony, barely escaping with their lives. We find the forebear of the subject of this sketch living in this county at a very early date, with sufficient land upon which to build a simple home, and sufficient thrift, frugality and industry to add to it and provide for a family. The old home, now fallen into disuse and decay, was well built of hewn logs, smooth and square, mortised together after the substantial fashion of most of the primitive homes of people in moderate circumstances of that day.

The nails used were evidently made in the blacksmith shop on the place, and they are holding the timbers together today almost as firmly as they did when driven there almost a hundred years ago. Through the small panes of glass in the narrow windows several generations have looked out over the broad fields and sloping hills, and two generations are laid to rest in the graveyard close by, around which there is a strong wall, and within it on a large slab is the inscription, "Sacred to the memory of the Chastain family," the names following: "Howell Chastain, born April 3, , died October 30, Chastain, born December 25, , died June 18, The subject of this sketch, their descendant, James Chastain, has had substantial marble stones placed at the head of each grave.

James Chastain was born and lived through his young life in this county. In later years he went to New York to live, and there met and married a wealthy widow, who died in a few years, leaving him an independent fortune, and one of the most praiseworthy things that he did was to mark with stones the graves of his people and leave an endowment fund with St. John's Church at Halifax for keeping up these graves. After the death of Captain Henry Edmunds, James Chastain bought his beautiful home that he had built for his wife, who was Susan Edmondson.

Chastain put some improvements on it, and there he lived during his widowerhood and entertained with lavish hand his friends and relatives. Generous to a fault, those who knew him best know how many he helped in times of stress, and how bitterly disappointing was his sudden death to those who regarded him as still a man in the prime of life. His will, recorded at Halifax, a lengthy and liberal one, covers several pages with generous legacies and leaves the home, which he named "Restawhile," to his cousin, Miss Lula Howard Edmondson with other legacies and no incumbrances as to upkeep, etc. Chastain's French blood was strongly tinctured with a love of luxury and pleasure, which licensed him to do many things repugnant to the more straight-laced views of the puritanical, but he was so thoroughly unselfish, and generous withal, that the envious alone could have maligned him.

He died suddenly in Washington, D. He left a large estate, and was considered very liberal to his legatees, but nevertheless there followed some law suits and much wrangling. Coleman, of Halifax county, and then bought "Springfield," the plantation adjoining, from his brother, Joseph Chalmers, afterwards judge and United States Senator. The will of James Chalmers was probated in this county in By the will he left his property to his three sons, plantations, and a number of negroes to each.

The sons were named John, David, and Joseph W. Chalmers, and these are undoubtedly the ancestors of the Chalmers of this county, whose descendants are still here. James Chalmers had also two other sons, viz. Lucinda Chalmers married Thomas Galloway and had three sons and three daughters. Sarah Chalmers married John Glenn. Had three sons, James, Chalmers, and Archie Glenn. No children. David Chalmers, son of James, married Miss Coleman. He represented a celebrated ancestry, and the Chalmers arms have been borne with honor by the descendants, now living in many Southern States.

Phil E. Chappell, of Kansas City, Mo. This is all that we now know, and all that is necessary for us to know, for while this information may be gratifying to our family pride, we must not forget that we are Americans - not English - and the fact that ours is one of the very oldest families in this country is a far greater cause for self-congratulation and honest pride of ancestry than that we sprang originally and remotely from a noble family in England. When in his twentieth year William commanded a company on Byrd's Cherokee expedition; he headed a militia company wherein Henry Pauling and Walter Crockett were his subordinates.

Removing first to Botetourt, then to Fincastle county, Christian established his home at "Dunkard's Bottom," on New river, whence he was called to represent his county in the Virginia Assembly in In Colonel Preston's enforced absence he commanded the Fincastle Regiment during Dunmore's war, arriving at Point Pleasant at midnight after the victory had been won. In , Christian acted on the committee of safety, and in the following year was chosen second in command of Patrick Henry's Continental regiment. Upon hearing of the danger from the Cherokees, he resigned his commission and enrolled an expedition of seventeen hundred men to advance to the Cherokee towns , which were burned and the savage uprising quelled. In , Christian acted as one of the commissioners who concluded a lasting peace with this tribe.

Early in , Christian removed to the neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, where his advent was eagerly welcomed by the harassed frontier. He did not live to secure its permanent peace, being mortally wounded by a party of marauding Indians, April 9, His widow, a sister of Patrick Henry, and six children survive him. His only son, John, died while a youth, and all of his daughters married Kentuckians. Dunmore's War, pages Mark Renfro, originally of Halifax county, we find in Patrick county, where he married Naomie Standefer, April 22, His ancestry was almost, if not entirely, English. In his will John Clark gives to his son, William H. Clark, "My Banister plantation, with all the stock, tools, and everything belonging to the plantation, including all the negroes, except Dick Coates and his family," for which he supplied two other slaves.

He wished William to take possession of the place and property bequeathed immediately after his demise. One part from William Thewett and another part from the children of Matthew Sims after the death of Mrs. Clark was born in Halifax county, January 23, He represented Halifax county in the Legislature and was a planter. He died at his seat, "Banister Lodge," October 20, She died at "Banister Lodge," June 21, It was said of her that she was one of the purest and noblest of women, and that "her life was a living Witness to the truth she professed, and by her beautiful example of Christian gentleness and love she allured to brighter worlds and led the way.

Philip Alexander Bruce says in a recent letter: "Well do I remember as a boy of eight or nine years of age passing several months at my aunt's, Mrs. William Clark's, at 'Banister Lodge. I have seen in my day a good deal of the great world, and of its varied societies, and I do not believe there has ever existed any homes or any society superior in refinement and spiritual beauty to those to be found in Virginia in those remote times. I say remote, for the period before is now practically as distant as the period before the Revolution. No county had a larger number of these homes or a greater share of this cultured society than Halifax county. Time was when those lofty halls resounded to mirth and merry laughter, the strains of music and the graceful minuet.

Proud sons and stately daughters spending their lives in a round of pleasure, but keeping "God's day" seated in the high-backed pews, coyly eyeing their neighbors in the adjoining pew. Everybody knew everybody in those days, and "a stranger in the pew" was rare. We walked through the broad hall and large rooms with frescoed walls and marble mantels and over the smooth floors where so many dainty feet had danced, and a spirit of sadness came over us that was close akin to pain. The old oak trees were still standing and the ragged boxwood led the way to trysting places and cool summer houses now lost to view. The "thumb print" of wealth and elegance was there, but dimmed by commonplace usage and general neglect, for strangers own that once lovely home and have neither the money or the taste to make it attractive.

The old graveyard lies hard by, but no stone stands sentinel to tell who sleeps there. The only river plantation for sale at that time in Halifax county was 'Rosebank' on the Staunton river, which belonged to the Yuilles. It was purchased and Mr. Charles Clark lived for a while in the old Yuille house. Just before his marriage. Clark had Mr. Howard Cosby, of Halifax Courthouse, to build a brick house for him on the 'public road' about a mile and a quarter from the river. He and his bride moved in shortly after its completion. Clark superintended the laying out of his grounds by the slaves, of whom he had a goodly number. To the southwest of the house was situated a deer park. The flower garden, where he himself grafted roses, was approached through cathedral arches of arborvitae which led from the house.

Charles Clark bought land and added to the original tract; he called the place 'Hoveloke,' an Indian name. Clark, named the depot 'Clarkton,' and so the whole place has been called ever since. In that day and time the disease was treated very differently from what it is now. He visited the West Indies and spent nearly every winter in New Orleans.

In his travels he went North and heard Henry Ward Beecher preach. When he returned home he remarked at a family gathering that abolition had gotten into religion and politics and that slavery was not going to last. He expressed it as his opinion that after slavery was abolished Southern plantations would be worked by the tenant system. His family, complacent and satisfied in their isolation, said 'poor Charles he is losing his mind.

Charles Clark died at the age of thirty-nine years, two years before the Civil War, and four of those brick houses are occupied by tenants today, the other two having been destroyed by fire. Thomas B. Clark, the son of Charles and Eliza Spraggins Clark, being the only child, fell heir to "Clarkton," and lived and died there, and is buried in the family graveyard, a short distance from the mansion house, where the native oaks shelter with protecting shade this well kept "God's Acre," where his parents are also laid to rest under fitting marble stones. Charles Adolphus Clark, born February 9, , died December 18, Eliza A. Clark, born July 24, , died February 1, Born February 9, , died July 9, He came to America and settled in New Orleans, where he became a large sugar planter and merchant.

He spent much of his time abroad, his daughter often traveling with him. When she married Mr. Clark and came to live with him at "Clarkton," beautiful as it was and is now, she must have felt the sudden transition from life in a large and gay city, with its varied amusements, to that of a remote plantation in the sylvan shades of Halifax county, but the nearness to several old country seats, homes of royal hospitality and refinement, compensated for the city life. Clark is by nature domestic, enjoys her home and takes the greatest delight in having her friends enjoy it with her. She has two accomplished daughters, Anita Grace Clark, wife of Mr. Frank Robertson White son of Mr. James L.

Clark, of "Clarkton. Broad piazzas, winding stairways and large square rooms, each exquisitely furnished in "heirloom" mahoganys of many designs, from the ornate tables to the tester beds in "my lady's chamber," not one but six, each vieing with the other in exquisite mechanism. Old portraits, old china and old silver, that did service in "ye olden times," all so beautiful, and the home so perfectly equipped with all that is modern and convenient, one forgets amid such luxury that it is really a country seat. But that which charmed us most was the gracious hostess. Nearby is the little Clarkton church, where her most efficient work is done among the countryside girls and boys, and where she is now having a parish house built.

Clark loves this work and gives much of her time and money in financing it. Coleman's eldest son, Dr. John Coleman with two brothers came to Virginia from England about the middle of the eighteenth century. They were shipbuilders and settled first at City Point, later one brother went to Pennsylvania, where he and his descendants became Wealthy. Later he removed to Halifax county and purchased a large estate and called his place "Woodlawn," not far from the little town of Clover.

He was present as justice of county court in , and was magistrate in county court in , which tried eight Scotch merchants, factors charged with disaffection to the cause of the Colonies and sentenced to depart. He died December 16, She was born July 13, , and died June 7, Thomas Rolph was son of John Rolph and Pocahontas. Coleman and Annie G. John Clark. Nathaniel R.

George McLaren Brydon. Coleman, and he in turn left it to his daughter, Caroline, who married first Major Snowden and second Mr. Selden, and she sold it out of the family. Sarah E. Later Dr. Chalmers inherited his father's estate, "Springfield," and moved to it, replacing the original frame dwelling with a brick colonial one in When Dr. Ethelbert A. Ragsdale, when in or he built a brick colonial house not very far from the old frame dwelling at "Rose Hill" and called it "Creekside.

Coleman, who sold it to its present owner. Colonel Nathaniel R. Coleman, son of Ethelbert A. Coleman, inherited "Riverside," the home of his mother's parents, where his widow, Mrs. Annie Nelson Page Coleman, now lives. Here the original dwelling house remains, the oldest parts dating back to Revolutionary days. It was purchased by Nathaniel Ragsdale, father of Martha F. Ragsdale Coleman, about Nannie Coleman, daughter of E. Coleman, married Thomas Edmunds. They lived at "Elm Hill," a fine old brick house, surrounded by many acres, including the lands of the pre-Revolutionary "old Glebe Church.

Harris, its present owner. Elizabeth Coleman, daughter of Ethelbert A. Coleman, married John Clark, who inherited "Banister Lodge. William Thompson, of Chesterfield county, sells to John Coleman, of Halifax county, on October 7, , for pounds, acres on Piny branch of Difficult creek. The records contain a number of deeds to and from John Coleman in the county. Lieutenant John Coleman, from Halifax county, was in the Revolutionary war. See Doc. Many Colemans and Chalmers are buried in the church yard of the little church at News Ferry, and some of the representative families still live in this county. Should his wife marry, then Sarah C. Craddock, his daughter, is to be placed in the custody of Mrs. Nancy Wimbish, her grandmother. Eliza, the wife, did take a second husband, but she very wisely waited until Sarah Cornelia grew into womanhood, when we find an indenture of marriage, May 2, , between Abraham M.

Poindexter, D. Craddock, widow and relict of Granville Craddock, late of Halifax county, Virginia, of the second part, and A. Wimbish, of the county of Campbell, State of Virginia, of the third part. Poindexter and the said Eliza J. Craddock, and whereas the said Eliza J. Craddock is possessed of considerable personal and real estate, consisting of all the land left her by her deceased mother, Mrs. Nancy Wimbish, excepting a portion of which she has given in trust for her children, the following household furniture, plantation utensils, stock, horses, hogs, cows and twenty slaves, etc. Craddock was born in Halifax county and married November 24, , Mary B.

His brother, Charles J. Craddock, married January 21, , Fanny Y. Easley, a sister of his brother's wife. The Craddock brothers graduated in medicine and practiced their profession as partners in Halifax county for many years, prominent local physicians held in high esteem, loved and respected by all. How we used to love, almost worship, the old "family doctor," the embodiment of unselfishness and self-denial, going day and night through all kinds of weather to minister to some suffering patient.

If the patient got well they generally pulled through, for there were few medicines and no nostrums in the travel-worn saddle bags , "our doctor" was sure to get the credit for it, but if the patient died the Lord was punishing that family for some sin committed, for it was a stern Lord in those old days and we loved the pitying doctor more than the punishing Lord. The children of Dr. John W. Craddock are: 1 Charles Craddock. Craddock, who married Mrs. Vaughan, daughter of Judge William R. Barksdale, and his first wife, Hallie Bailey Craddock Barksdale. Lawson children given under Lawson. Charles J. Craddock died at his residence near Halifax Court House, December 30, , aged His wife, Fanny Y.

Craddock, died They left the following children: 1 Dr. Craddock, of Lynchburg, Virginia. Craddock is president of the Craddock-Terry Shoe Co. The grave of Dr. Craddock found their wives, and where the aged wife of Dr. Craddock still lives. The hospitality of this old home is mentioned in Mrs. Phillips' letter, relating her trip to North Carolina, wherein she says: "At the appointed time we left home for Black Walnut, a village south of Dan, and stopped with Mrs.

Easley, my mother's friend, a grand old lady, who gave us a most cordial reception. There I met her three children, Fannie, Mary, and William Thomas , a youth who in after years was a captain of a company of United States soldiers, in the war with Mexico, in the regime of Santa Anna. This handsome gallant officer was killed in that war. Thomas Easley, of the U. Army, fell at the Battle of Churrubusco, near the city of Mexico on the 20th day of August, in the 25th year of his age. We know him only by this simple epitaph and the letters of his many friends, and we believe he "waded through slaughter to a throne.

Some did not return. Whether they fell on Flanders field, where the crimson poppies blow, or in the trenches, crimson with their blood, matters not now, for we know they died that we might live, and we do homage to their fealty, with a silent prayer for them and for their broken-hearted mothers, the bravest soldiers of them all. In this graveyard we found a slab, "Sacred to the memory of John W. Born , died From henceforth, yea saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them. The friend of man, the friend of truth, The friend of age, the friend of youth. Charles C. Being too extensive for this history, we insert only that part of it that relates to and will interest the families of Halifax county mentioned therein. Colonel George Reade came to Virginia in , died Colonial secretary of Virginia.

See William and Mary Quarterly I, William and Mary Quarterly I, Abingdon Parish Register. Paul Watlington, born in Abingdon Parish, May 7, Died June 8, Married Elizabeth Armstead? Abingdon Parish Register, Gloucester county, Va. Armstead Watlington, born in Abingdon Parish, December 27, Lived there in Moved to Halifax county, Virginia, and was justice in Halifax. The census of for Halifax county gave him a family of six.

He was appointed member of King's Council in Williamsburg, Virginia, December 19, , and justice of the peace, , in Pittsylvania county. Historical Magazine, Vol. XVI, p. Elizabeth Watlington, married in , Peter Barksdale. Family Bible of Judge W. Barksdale and Halifax records. She was born Issue: William A. Barksdale, unmarried. Elizabeth Barksdale, unmarried. Sarah Williams. Mary Virginia Barksdale, unmarried. Robert Morton Barksdale, unmarried. Sydnor Barksdale, married Ellen Martin. Charles Nelson Barksdale, unmarried. Elvira Randolph Crews. Elizabeth Virginia Crews, married Harrison Martin. Rosa Emaline Crews, married N. Frances Sydnor Crews. Annie Laurie Crews. Mary Virginia Crews. John Bullock Crews. Louise Barksdale Crews. Charles Richard Crews.

Charlotte Crenshaw Crews. Peter Barksdale was recommended for ensign to Captain Epaphroditus White's company of militia, February, Halifax Pleas, 9, Nathaniel Barksdale served in the Revolutionary War. See Auditor's Account XV, Peter Barksdale was also in the Revolution. See House of Delegates, October, , page DRINKARDS Many names mentioned in this history are not known in the county now except in the records at the court house, and the places of their homes are recognized by land grants, indentures and locations. It is pitiful, almost tragic, to look on the old home built so quaintly, so well, that it has stood the storms of a hundred and forty-two years.

The one I am describing, tradition says, was the home of the Drinkards. Cut into one of the foundation stones was the date To support the tradition there is an indenture in the court house between Robert Bromfield and John Drinkard, wherein Bromfield sells to Drinkard for the sum of two thousand pounds, "paid in hand," a parcel or tract of land, five hundred acres, lying on both sides of Bates' branch. The said tract of land being now in possession of Robert Bromfield and Peter Cruze, they both having plantations on the said tract, and the said premises are adjoining plantations and tracts of lands, to-wit: A tract of land formerly in the possession of Captain Epaphroditus White; a plantation or tract of land now in the possession of Richard North; a tract of land belonging to Simeon Holt and a tract belonging to John Hill, who sold and conveyed the same by proper deed of conveyance to the said Robert Bromfield, who conveyed to John Drinkard, his heirs, etc.

On the 6th day of April, , William Bottom, of Amelia county, sells to John Drinkard, of Halifax county, four hundred and twenty-four and a half acres on Catawber creek, beginning at Ephriam White's line. On June 17, , John Drinkard, Sr. There are many indentures of land sales and lands bought by John Drinkard in this county, but none of the name seems to live in this county now. Professor A. Among the marriage bonds I find record of the marriage of Professor Drinkard's great-grandfather, Archibald Drinkard, to Edith Hawkins, of this county, September 21, Witness: Epaph.

Witness: J. James Monroe, Esq. EASLEY The Easleys of Halifax county are very numerous, and only those who are individually interested would undertake to straighten out and connect the various lines. They may have all sprung from the same original source, but not from the same head in this county. Through the numerous wills and deeds recorded herein the descendants can place their ancestral lines without difficulty. In an inventory of John Easley's estate was taken and Daniel Easley was appointed guardian of the two children, Robert and Elizabeth.

This Daniel died in , and his son, Isaac, was appointed their guardian, and in he renders an account of their expenses in part, viz. Among the small articles he bought for Elizabeth, now about grown, was numberless yards of ribbon, "lute string" and satin. We conclude that Elizabeth was pretty and dressed accordingly. In , October 26, the administration of Daniel Easley's will, with the will annexed, was granted to Thomas Easley. In , March 2, the will of Drury Easley was probated. Easley; daughter, Jane Watkins. One-fifth of his estate put in trust in the hands of his son, William B. Easley, for benefit of Jane Watkins.

In , Isaac Easley leaves a will. Wife, Judith; sons, Isaac and John. He leaves to John the tract of land on Dan river, where Samuel Easley now lives. See will. Henry Easley, of Cluster Springs, married a Miss Bennett, a descendant of the emigrant Bennett, who lived near Mayo, and built on the site of the present summer home of Mr. John Harris. The original house was built before the Revolution and was destroyed by fire. The present one was built by Mr. Robert E. Owen, the grandfather of Mr. Harris, who, through his aunt, Miss Nannie Owen, inherited it. In a corner of the garden are the graves of some of the Bennetts, among them Richard Bennett, born February 20, , died September 14, Another old tombstone was that of Thomas Carter, born February 8, , died February 14, The Easleys are buried in a plot on the farm.

William L. Owen, who survives him with the following children: Helen, wife of Rev. Stimson; Dr. Thomas Easley was clerk of Halifax court for several years. His first wife, by whom he had no children, was Miss Mary Moon. Joined Poague's battalion of light artillery and served in it until the surrender at Appomattox. Colonel Henry Easley has held many offices of trust in the town, county and State, and is at present one of the leading citizens of South Boston. Owen, and have the following children: Irving Easley, wife of Howard Edmunds. Owen, who married Susan Morton. Annie, wife of Dr. Mamie, wife of Wiltze Willingham.

Thomas E. Owen, a sister of Mrs. Henry Easley and a half-sister of Mrs. Joseph Stebbins. They had one child, Mrs. Preston Easley Mulford deceased. John Owen, a son of Mr. Owen, and had: 1 John W. Easley, who married his first cousin, Willie Easley daughter of Thornton Easley. Easley, married Miss Florine Irby. Penick children given under Penick. Owen son of Thomas E. Owen , a daughter, Louise, wife of Rev. David Lewis. Claire one daughter. The Easleys of the town of Halifax do not claim relationship with the above Easleys, but we have discovered from a very old member of the family that they did "cousin" each other fifty years ago.

Robert Easley was born in Pittsylvania county March 3, He married Nancy, born November 6, They lived near the old town of Peytonsburg. He died September 10, His son, James S. Easley, was born March 27, , in Pittsylvania county. He married Miss Holt. They moved to Halifax, where Mr. Easley has since made his home. They have the following children: 1 Elizabeth Easley. James Stone Easley, son of above, is a prominent young lawyer and Commonwealth's attorney for the county. In , a Robert Easley lived in Henrico county, Virginia. He died in , leaving five hundred acres to his three children, viz. He mentions three younger children, Elizabeth, William, and Robert. The Pittsylvania Easleys were in Halifax before the county was cut off in We learn from the records that the first court was held at "Hampton Wade's house," and the tradition is that it was held at Peytonsburg, therefore we conclude that Hampton Wade lived at Peytonsburg, then Halifax county, now in Pittsylvania county.

Marcellus French refers to it in his letter as a venerable place with few contemporaries. Charles B. Easley, of Halifax county, Va. Letter From General George E. Pickett to Mr. We have been together for more than five years, classmates at West Point and in the same regiment after graduating. From constant association, the hardships we have undergone, and the struggles shared together, being from the same State and having so many interests in common, I had for a long time regarded him, I may say, as an elder brother and from the many kindnesses and little attentions he had shown me always and on all occasions when necessary, and could be appreciated, I had for a long time been well aware that the feeling was reciprocated.

He was thought by all to be one of the most active, gallant and promising young officers in the service. His extreme bravery is shown by the manner of his death. He, Lieutenant Jones and fifteen men were together in front or face of the worst of Churrubusco, advancing towards it under a heavy fire from it, when a company of deserters from our ranks, who had enlisted in the Mexican service and were at that time defending the works, fired a whole volley right amongst them, killing my poor friend Easley dead, and killing or wounding the fifteen men, leaving Lieutenant Jones alone standing. I believe he was more generally beloved than any other officer with us. It could not have been otherwise, for he combined such an amiable disposition with so much firmness and decision of character that no one could know him a week and not appreciate his character.

He was a general favorite in my regiment, to which he formerly belonged, the Eighth, and we all felt his loss when he left us to join the Second, but I can not tell you how deeply grieved we were when we learned of his untimely fate. Every one knew he had lost a friend, and the service a gallant officer. I assure you this is not the only place where his loss is felt. He was known and loved by every member of my family.

He, of course, was always with me in passing through Richmond and consequently became well known to both my father and mother; and in an answer to one of my letters my mother in speaking of him says she felt just as if she had lost a near and dear relative, and that my poor little note had caused as much sorrow as if he had been her brother. She and my sister had known us to be together so much and had heard me speak so often and so affectionately of him that they had grown to believe that he was my guardian saint, and the last remark my mother made was that she felt but little anxiety on my account during my journey, as Mr.

Easley was going with me. Scholars are divided as to whether Madison was a devoted Christian or a deist with a strong belief in God. And at other times he is mostly silent on his personal beliefs, focusing instead on his distrust of religion in the hands of government. In describing his belief that every person should be free to exercise the religion of his choosing, Madison wrote,. The religion, then, of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man: and that it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.

It seems likely that Madison shared a deist worldview with several other of the Founding Fathers, but regardless of whether he considered himself a Christian or not, he clearly thought that belief in God was essential to humanity. He wrote,. Belief in a God All Powerful wise and good is so essential to the moral order of the World and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources.

That series of essay is still used today by courts to understand the intents of the Founders. As a member of the first Congress, Madison helped to create and introduced the Bill of Rights, restricting the power of the federal government and safeguarding individual liberties. That document became a cornerstone of American culture, as revered as the original Constitution itself.

He was also involved in the creation of the first political parties in the United States.

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