(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Colonial Virginia, its people and customs"

liOLONIALVIRGINI. 

■' S PEOPLE AND CUSTOIV 



BT 



MARY NEWTON STANARD 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2008 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/colonialvirginiaOOstanuoft 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA 
ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 



THIS LIMITED EDITIOX HAS BEEN PRINTED 
FROM TYPE AND THE TYPE DISTRIBUTED 






li 




ci 






^--^-^^- 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA 

ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 



BY 



MARY NEWTON STANARD 

AUTHOR OF "the DREAMER THE LIFE-STORY OF EDGAR ALLAN POE " 

AND "THE 8TORT OF BACON's REBELLION" 



WITH 93 ILLUSTRATIONS 




PHILADELPHIA AND LONDON 
J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY^ 



COPYRIGHT, 1917. BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY 



PUBLISHED OCTOBER, 1917 



PRINTED BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY 

AT THE WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS 

PHILADELPHIA. U. S. A. 



TO 

W. G. S. 



PREFACE 




£> OW may we call to life the everyday 
men and women of other times, obtain 
glimpses of them in their homes, go- 
ing about their business or pursuing 
pleasm-e, know them as they were 
known to their families and neigh- 
bors ? Not by reading history. His- 
tory records events and names a few of those who figured 
in them, but no matter how ingeniously the string is pulled 
these generally seem more like puppets than people — to be 
made of bronze or marble rather than flesh and blood. A 
gossipy letter, though crumbling and yellow, telling what 
company the writer had for dinner and what there was to 
eat, the jokes that were cracked and healths drunk; a frag- 
ment of a diary giving the neighborhood news, the condition 
of the crops or the latest political excitement; a tailor's 
or a milliner's bill; a will; an inventory; a court record of 
a lawsuit or a trial, will make a bygone day more real 
than volumes of history. 

Notwithstanding the lamentable destruction of early 
records — all of those of a number of counties having been 
lost — Virginia is rich in this graphic kind of material. 
Much of it is preserved in still existing colonial county 
records, in files of that quaint newspaper, The Virginia 
Gazette, in collections of family papers, in old pamphlets, 
in privately published and other books most of which are 
now out of print, and in journals like the Virginia Maga- 
zine of History and Biography and the William and Mary 
College Quarterly Magazine. But these scattered sources 
of information are inaccessible to the general reader — the 
existence of many of them is known only to a few special 
students — and no attempt has hitherto been made to gather 



PKEFACE 



wiiat is most illustrative from them all into one volmne, 
with the piu*pose of giving a jiicture, or series of pictures, 
of life in the colony from its settlement to the Revolution. 

This is a tremendous — a daring — task, of course, like 
attempting to make a few drops of w^ater illustrate the 
character of the ocean, and has necessitated careful selec- 
tion of the salient and elimination of every item that could 
be spared; indeed, many items as interesting as those which 
have been used have been rejected only because they would 
have been duplications. For instance, it has been impos- 
sible to name all the owners of Turkey-work chairs, silver 
tankards, great looking-glasses and coaches-and-six, all 
the wearers of silver-hilted sw^ords and gold-laced hats ; all 
who sent their sons abroad to be educated or who be- 
queathed propert}^ for the benefit of the poor or the estab- 
lishment of free schools; all the owners of a "parcel" — 
meaning a collection — of books, or of fine libraries, even. 
And so in each case a sufficient nmiiber of examples to indi- 
cate the w^hole has been given. 

I have taken my data first hand from original manu- 
scripts or printed copies of them to be found in the publi- 
cations referred to. In the very few exceptions to this rule 
credit to the writer to whom I am indebted has been given. 

In my endeavor to give a true presentation of life in 
the colony — to deliver a " round, unvarnished tale " — I 
have had the incalculable advantage of the advice and 
guidance of my husband, William G. Stanard, Secretary 
of the Virginia Historical Society and Editor of the Vir- 
ginia Magazine of History and Biography, who has aided 
me at ev^ery step of my laborious, though fascinating, 
research, and has placed at my disposal his own great mass 
of notes from county and other records and his knowledge 



PREFACE 



of the Virginia people acquired by life-long study. I am 
especially indebted to him for information and counsel 
in the treatment of the Later Emigrants. 

In the list of illustrations, acknowledgment has been 
made to those who have kindly permitted the use of pic- 
tures, but I desire in addition to thank them most cordially 
for this courtesy. 

M. N. S. 



Richmond, Yirgixl\ 
July M, 1917 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER PAGE 

I. THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE . 15 

I. — The Founders of the Colony 
II. — The Later Emigrants 

II. HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO MANSION 55 

III. HOUSEHOLD GOODS 77 

I. — Furniture 
II. — Plate 

IV^ SOCIAL LIFE 102 

I. — The Home 
II. — Hospitality 
III. — Festivities 
IV. — Gaming, Taverns, Fairs, Etc. 

V. COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE 166 

VI. DRESS 186 

I. — Jewels 

VII. VIRGINIA AND ENGLAND 213 

VIII. THE THEATRE 229 

IX. OUTDOOR SPORTS 252 

X. EDUCATION 262 

I. — Free Schools 
II. — Private Schools 
III.— Tutors 

IV. — William and Mary College 
V. — Studying Abroad 

XI. BOOKS 295 

XII. MUSIC 308 

XIII. PICTURES 314 

XIV. RELIGION 320 

XV. FUNERAL CUSTOMS 341 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 

Children of Philip Grymes, of "Brandon," Middlesex County. From 

a portrait (painted about 1750) in the collection of the Virginia Historical 

Society Frontispiece 

A Piece of Armor Dug up at Jamestown. From the original in the collection 

of the Virginia Historical Society 16 

A Palisaded Fort 16 

Captain John Smith and Opecancanough. From Smith's " History of Virginia " 22 
Typical English Homes of Many Virginia Emgrants 26 

An Old London Street. 1638 

A Farm House 

A Cottage 

A Village 
Ancestral Homes of Some Virginia Families 32 

Chilham Castle, Kent — Digges. From an old engraving 

Leeds Castle, Kent — Lord Fairfax. From an old engraving 
Ancestral Homes of Some Virginia Families 36 

"Barlbrough Hall," Derbyshire — Rodes, Baronets. From "A Quaker 
Post-bag" (Mrs. G. L. Lampson). By the courtesy of Longmans, Green 
and Company 

"Okewell Hall," Yorkshire — Batte. From "The Manor Houses of 
England " (H. H. Ditchfield) . By the courtesy of Charles Scribner's Sons. 

Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax 42 

Sir Thomas Lunsford. From a print in the British Museum 46 

Some Founders of Virginia Families 52 

Robert Bolling, Formerly of the City of London. From a portrait 

owned by Mr. Richard Bolling 52 

Henry Corbin, Formerly of "Hall End," Warwickshire. From a 
photograph by Mr. J. E. H. Post of the portrait at "Mt. Airy." By 

courtesy of Mrs. Edward Shippen 52 

A Log Cabin 56 

The Robertson House, Chesterfield County. Built about 1750 56 

House Near Williamsburg. A tjnpe of the earliest brick dwelling 60 

Interior at "Bloomsbury," Orange County. Eighteenth century 60 

"Stratford." By the courtesy of Mr. R. C. Ballard Thruston 65 

Plan of "Stratford" House and Grounds. By the courtesy of Mr. R, C. 

Ballard Thruston 68 

Box Maze in the Garden at "Tuckahoe" 68 

"Clifford Chambers," WARW^CK3HIRE. A Type of the English Model of 

"Carter's Creek." From "Highways and Bywajs in Shakespeare's 

Country." By the courtesy of the Macmillan Company 72 

"Carter's Creek," Gloucester County. Originally an E-shaped House 72 

"Carter's Grove," James City County. Showing Terraces 75 

Stairway. "Westover" 80 

"Elbow" or "Roundabout" Chair w^ich Belonged to Patrick Henry . 84 

xiii 



ILLUSTRxVTIOXS 



Chippendale Chair. From the collection of the Virginia Historical Society . . 84 
Dining-room at "Mt. Atrt." From a photograph by Mr. J. E. H. Post. By 

the courtesy of Mrs. Edward Shippen 88 

A "Great Bed." By the courtesy of Mr. David I. Bushnell, Jr 92 

Some of the "Shirley" Silver. By the courtesy of Mrs. Alice Carter Brans- 
ford 92 

Governor Spotswood's Silver Tea-Caddt Be.uiixg His Crest and Arms. 
By the courtesy of the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of 

Virginia 96 

"Westover" Doorw.\t. By the couTicsy oi ihe Century Magazine 102 

Evelyn Btrd. From the portrait at "Brandon," Prince George County . . . 106 
A Colonial Doll. By the courtesy of the owner, Mrs. W. W. Richardson, 

"Little Berkeley," Hampton, Virginia 112 

"M.vmmy" by the Kitchen Fire at " Greenspring " 112 

RiCH.uiD Lee. About 1660. From "Lee of Virginia." By the courtesy of the 

author, Edmund J. Lee, M.D 116 

Mrs. Rich.vrd Lee. Abottt 1660. From "Lee of Virginia." By the courtesy 

of the author 122 

The Dining-room at "Shirley" 126 

Washington's Punch Bowl. By the courtesy of the United States National 

Museum 132 

A Coach and Six. From an old engraving 132 

The Lee Arms. A Wood-carving Formerly on the Front Door of " Cobbs," 
Northumberland County. From "Lee of Virginia." By the courtesy of 

the author 138 

Armorial Tomb of Edward Hill, at "Shirley." By the courtesy of the 

Century Magazine 138 

Sir William Berkeley. About 1665. From a portrait in the Virginia State 

Library 146 

Stairway, "Tuckahoe" 150 

John Tayloe, 2d. From a photograph by Mr. J. E. H. Post, of the portrait 

at "Mt. Airy." By the courtesy of Mrs. Edward Shippen 156 

H.\LL AT "Mt. Zion." W.\rren County. By the courtesy of Mr. R C. Ballard 

Thruston 162 

Chimney-piece in a Panelled Bedroom 162 

Pocahontas. From the original portrait in the possession of Mr. Emlyn, Norfolk. 

England 168 

Sarah Harrison, Wife of Doctor James Blair. From a portrait at William 

and Mary College 174 

The Parlor at "Shirley" 180 

WiLLi.iM MosELEY, OF LowER NoRFOLK CouNTY. .\bout 1640. From a por- 
trait formerly in the collection of the late Burwell B. Moscley 186 

John Page, of York County. About 1660. From a portrait at William and 

Marj- College 192 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Elizabeth Landon, Second Wife of Robert ("King") Carter. From the 

portrait at "Sabine Hall" 196 

John Parke .vnd Martha Parke Custis, Washington's Step-children. 

From a portrait at Washington and Lee University 200 

Martha CrsTis's Watch 204 

Evelyn Byrd's Fan. Preserved at " Brandon " 20-i 

Mrs. John Tayloe and Daughter M.^^ry, Afterward Mrs. Mann Page. 
About 1756. From a photograph by Mr. J. E. H. Post of the portrait at 

"Mt. Airy." By the courtesy of Mrs. Edward Shippen 208 

Old London, the Mother of Virginia. From Visscher's View, 1616. . . . 214 
London Shop Bill for Richahd Corbin. From original in the collection of 

the Virginia Historical Society 218 

London Shop Bill for Robert Carter. From original in the collection of the 

Virginia Historical Society 218 

Colonel Daniel Parke, 1704. From a portrait at Washington and Lee 

University 222 

Austin Brockenbrough. From a miniature 226 

Advertisement of the Williamsburg Theatre. From the Virginia Gazette . 234 
Mrs. Lewis Hallam, Sr., Afterward Mrs. Douglas, as "Daraxa," in 
"Edward and Elenora." From "Social Life in the Colonies" (Edward 
Eggleston). By the courtesy of Mrs. Edward Eggleston and Mrs. Elizabeth 

Eggleston Seelye 240 

Lewis Hallam, the Younger. From "Social Life in the Colonies" (Edward 
Eggleston). By the courtesy of Mrs. Edward Eggleston and Mrs. Elizabeth 

Eggleston Seelye 246 

Entrance to the Stagg House, Williamsburg 246 

John Baylor of New Market. From a portrait painted about 1721 when 
he was at Putney Grammar School, England. By the courtesy of Captain 

James B. Baylor 252 

An Old Virginia Race Horse 258 

Lord Fairfax's Riding Boots. From the collection in the Virginia Historical 

Society 258 

William and Mary College (Second Building), 1724-1859. From an old 

painting 264 

William Byrd, 2d. From the portrait at " Brandon " 270 

Ralph Wormeley, of "Rosegill," Virginia, and of Trinity College, 

Cambridge. By the courtesy of Harper's Magazine 276 

John Baylor, Jr., of "New Market," Virginia, and of Caius College, Cam- 
bridge. Bythecourtesyof Captain James B.Baylor 283 

Thomas Nelson, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. When a Boy 
at Hackney School, England. From a portrait by Chamberlin, London, 

1754 290 

Colonial Bible Owned by Mary Newton Stanard 296 

Fly-leaf of this Bible Showing Owners for Five Generations 296 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



Some VincixiA Rook-puktes 302 

Geouge Washington 

William Stith 

Ralph Wohmeley 

Philip Ludwell 
Robert Carter, of "Xomini Hall." From a photograph made at "Oatlands," 

Virginia, of the portrait by Reynolds 308 

A Lady of the Moseley Family. From a portrait brought to Virginia in 1649 314 

WiLLL\M Byrd, 1st. From a portrait brought from England 318 

A Seventeenth Century Church — St. Luke's, Isle of Wight County. By 

the courtesy of Miss Mary L. Garland 324 

An Eighteenth Century Church — St. Paul's, King George County. . . 324 
Interior of Christ Church, Middlesex. By the courtesy of Harper s 

Magazine 330 

The Oldest American Communion SER\acE, St. John's Church, Hampton, 

Virginia 330 

Plan of Pohick Church, Fairfax. From "The History of Truro Parish." 

By the courtesy of Rev. E. L. Goodwin 334 

Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Creek, Hanover County, Built 1770. 

From "Our Quaker Friends." By the courtesy of Mr. R. O. Bell 338 

Old Stone Church, Presbyterian, Augusta County 338 

BuRWELL Tombs at Abingdon Church, Gloucester. Removed from "Car- 
ter's Creek" 346 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA 
ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 



I 
THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 




I— THE FOUNDERS OF THE COLONY 

iHREE HUNDRED years ago, as 
every school child knows, European 
civilization was already compara- 
tively ripe. England had her great 
churches, her palaces, her univer- 
sities, and had enjoyed golden ages 
of chivalry and of letters. But 
America was still a wilderness — its 
only roads the trail of the Indian, the track of the deer, 
the bear or other wild creature, its only sign of human 
habitation clusters of bark huts and such patches of corn, 
beans, and tobacco as savages were able to cultivate by 
scratching the ground with the most primitive implements 
of wood and stone. 

What manner of men were the emigrants from that 
old world to this new one who made the beginnings of 
the change which in three centuries has become a trans- 
formation? 

We know that, charmed with travellers' tales of an El 
Dorado, or aflame with the spirit of adventure, or with zeal 
to add to their king's earthly dominions and win a heathen 
people for a heavenly one, and with an eager curiosity hard 
for a blase age like ours to comprehend, these men left 
their familiar haunts, their more or less comfortable fire- 
sides, their friends and relatives and the women they loved. 
Crowded into toy ships in which they endured indescribable 
miseries and were over and over again swept far out of 
their course by violent gales, they crossed three thousand 
miles of ocean and, in spite of dangers, disappointments, 

15 



COLONIAL VIIU.INIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

illness, famine, death, sowed here the seeds of the white 
man's civilization — the white man's religion. Who were 
they, and what was their condition in that distant land whose 
manners and ways they transplanted to this? 

The question is a difficult one, for the emigrant did not 
concern himself about our interest in him, or stop to make 
a family tree, though here and tliere an allusion in a will, 
letter, or legal paper in Virginia or England, or a rare 
reference in a foreign pedigree to a member of a family 
w^ho had come to America, gives us a hint as to who one of 
them was at home. 

Thanks to the lively " Historic " of Captain John 
Smith we have a comparatively complete record of the little 
band of " first planters " who came in 1607 and the two 
" supplies " added to them in 1607-08. These three parties 
brought, in all, about 295 persons — the first settlers num- 
bering 105, the first " supply " 120, and the second " sup- 
ply " about 70, and Captain Smith gives us the names of 
nearly all of them. Of the whole number ninety-two are 
described as " gentlemen," forty-five as " laborers," four- 
teen as " tradesmen," seven as " tailors," four as " car- 
penters," three as " surgeons," two as " apothecaries," two 
as " goldsmiths," tw^o as " refiners," two as " blacksmiths," 
a " jeweler," a " perfumer," a " gunsmith," a " cooper," 
a " sailor," a " barber," a " bricklayer,'* a " mason," a 
" drummer," a " tobacco pipe-maker," six " boys," eight 
" Dutchmen and Poles " and " some others," including 
two women. 

The term " gentleman " was a comprehensive one at the 
time and was applied to men of widely var\nng social rank. 
In England during the later Tudor and early Stuart 
periods there was general aspiration for heraldic distinction 
and it was the fashion for successful men to secure coats- 

16 




ARMOR DUG UP AT JAMESTOWN 



-^.. 




A PALISADED FORT 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



of-arms. Prosperous merchants would buy land and be- 
come country gentlemen; men of yeoman origin, like 
Captain Smith, would become army officers and be styled 
" gentleman " ; and of course the landed families of ancient, 
as well as those of more recent, descent were included in 
the gentry. 

In regard to most of our ninety-two earliest of Vir- 
ginia " gentlemen," there is but little known. Some of 
them, like JVIaster George Percy, brother of the Earl of 
Northumberland, and author of a " Discourse," which is 
one of the valuable soui'ces of information in regard to the 
first settlement, and Francis West, brother of Lord Dela- 
ware, were younger sons of noblemen. Others bore the 
names of good old English families. Of these were Master 
Edward Wingfield, the colony's first President; "worthy 
and religious" Captain Bartholomew Gosnold; Captain 
Gabriel Archer, the ready writer, who, says Wingfield, 
" glorieth much in his pennworke," and whose " True Re- 
lation " is another illuminating contribution to the settle- 
ment story; Harrington, Throckmorton, Pennington and 
Waller. Some, like Captain John ^lartin, whose patent 
for the plantation of " Brandon," later to become widely 
known as the historic Harrison seat, is still in existence, 
were sons of prominent Londoners ; but of a larger number 
we have only names. 

The embarking of so large a proportion of " gentle- 
men " upon an undertaking which called for the severest 
manual labor has caused many hard tilings to be said 
about the colony. Captain Smith — who was a bundle of 
energy and enterprise, with no tolerance for men less hardy 
than himself — was their first and harshest critic. 

True, it was to search for gold, not to cut down trees 
and prepare the soil for crops, that most of these " gentle- 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

men " came adventuring to Jamestown. Dreams of vast 
quantities of the precious ore had come true in countries 
further south, and they hoped to see them come true in 
Virginia. Yet when the need arose, they did their part 
with the axe and the hoe, as well as in exploring the country 
for food supplies and defending the colony against the 
Indians. Of the very beginning of the Jamestown settle- 
ment it is written : 

" Now falleth every man to worke, the Councell con- 
trive the Fort, the rest cut down trees to make place to 
pitch their Tents; some provide clapbord to relade the 
ships, some make gardens, some nets." 

In the year following, as soon as the " Supply" arrived, 
Captain Smith, who was then the President, took a party 
of thirty of them down the river to learn to make clap- 
board, cut down trees, and become hardened to sleeping 
on the ground. Among those he chose were Gabriel 
Beadles and John Russell, described as " the only two 
gallants of this last Supply, and both proper gentlemen." 
The quaint chronicler adds: 

" Strange were these pleasures to their conditions; yet 
lodging, eating and drinking, Avorking or playing, they 
were but doing as the President did himselfe. All these 
things were carried so pleasantly as within a weeke they 
became blasters: making their delight to heare the trees 
thunder as they fell; but the Axes so oft blistered their 
tender fingers that many times every third blow had a 
loud othe to drowne the echo; for remedie of which sinne, 
the President devised how to have every man's othes num- 
bered, and at night for every othe to have a cann of water 
powred do^vne his sleeve, with which every offender was 
so washed that a man should scarce heare an othe in a 
weeke." 

18 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



It was after nearly five months of discomfort and mis- 
haps at sea that, on that memorable 13th of May, 1607, the 
Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery were 
moored to the trees in six fathom water before what was 
soon to be Jamestown. Any one who now visits James 
River in the month of May, when the temperature is balmy 
and the wooded banks newly dressed with green and gar- 
landed with bloom, may readily imagine the delight of the 
sea-weary voyagers with the situation. A few days after 
the landing *' Master Percy," walking with several others 
in the woods, found " the ground all flowing over with 
faire flowers of sundry colours and kindes, as though it 
had beene in any Garden or Orchard in England," and 
with '* Strawberries and other fruits unknowne." Walk- 
ing on through " this Paradise," they came to an Indian 
village where they were given berries to eat and shown 
*' a Garden of Tobacco and other fruits and herbes," and 
one of the Indians hospitably gathered some of the tobacco 
and distributed it among them. 

By June 15 the triangular shaped fort, with its bul- 
warks mounted with artillery at each corner, was finished, 
and most of their corn was planted. Thus fortified — as 
they supposed — against the Indians and hunger, Percy 
complacently remarks: 

" This is a fruitful soil, bearing many goodly and 
fruitful trees." 

But conditions were not so favorable as they seemed, 
and soon enough this enthusiastic sounder of Virginia's 
praise was to tune his pipe to a different key. On June 22 
Captain Christopher Newport, admiral of the little fleet 
that brought the settlers over, sailed for England, " leaving 
us," says Percy, " one hundred and foure persons verie 
bare and scantie of victualls; furthermore, in warres and 
in danger of the Savages." 

19 



COLONIAL VIRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

With tlie departure of the ship on wliose stores they 
had depended " there remained neither taverne, heere house, 
nor place of reliefe, but the common Kettell," which — 
equally distributed — provided " halfe a pint of wheat, and 
as nnich barley boyled with water for a man a day." 

Says Thomas Studley, anotlier of the " gentlemen " 
whose observations had been preserved by Captain Smith: 
"Had we beene as free from all sinnes as gluttony and 
di'unkennesse, w^e might have beene canonized for Saints. 
. . . Our drinke was w^ater, our lodgings Castles in the 
ayre." 

And so, for all the fairness and fruitfulness of the 
country, there was no bread, and they soon found that with 
water all around there was not a drop that was fit to drink. 
As the spring mildness gave way to fierce summer heat 
to which their bodies were not " seasoned," they were to 
make another discovery. All unseen, there lurked in that 
" paradise " a foe more deadly than the Indians were soon 
to prove. Not only were there trees and fruits " un- 
knowne " to the English emigrant, in the neighborhood 
of Jamestown, but, invisible and undreamed of, millions of 
malaria germs flourished in the undrained swamps — and 
there was no quinine and little medicine of any kind. 

Dysentery laid them low. The grim twins. Ague and 
Fever, fell upon them, setting their teeth chattering, their 
limbs quaking with cold, then burning and parching their 
flesh with maddening heat and racking their bones with 
aching, and finally leaving them weak of body and will, 
dispirited and miserable and without nourishment or re- 
storatives. The kind physician. Dr. Thomas Wotton, and 
the godl}^ minister. Reverend Robert Hunt, did all in 
their power to relieve and comfort them, but their huts — 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



hastily put up of green timber thatched with reeds from 
the swamps — became houses of torture and of death. 

"God (being angrie with us)," says Captain Smith, 
" plagued us with such famine and sicknes that the living 
were scarce able to bury the dead." 

Under such conditions contentment would have been 
impossible among any set of men in any part of the world, 
and, though the naive humor with which even the most 
dismal of their accounts is spiced indicates that the colonists 
were well supplied with that wholesome preservative, mu- 
tiny and discord were rife. Thej^ berated the authorities 
in London for sending them out so poorly provided, they 
berated President Wingfield and the Council, they be- 
rated each other. 

The sturdy Smith himself " tasted the extremity of the 
Country's sickness," but he seems to have had unusual 
recuperative powers, for he was soon up and doing again 
and chiding his enfeebled and half-starved companions for 
their idleness. Of course building and planting were 
neglected, but the chroniclers, though sufferers themselves, 
had not yet fully enough realized the debilitating effects 
of malaria to make due allowance, and the colonists had 
little sympathy from them or the " adventurers " at home 
who, in return for what they had spent in fitting them out, 
were anxiously awaiting a share in the products of so fruit- 
ful a region as Virginia was reported to be. The wonder 
to-day is that all effort was not abandoned and that the 
infant colony should have, even feebly, held on to life. 

Toward the end of the summer Master George Percj^ 
the late enthusiastic stroller through a " paradise," entered 
in his note-book this pathetically eloquent necrology: 

" The sixt of August there died John Ashhie, of the 
bloudie Flixe. 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

" The ninth day died George Flowre, of the swelling. 

*' The tenth day died William Bj-uster, Gentleman, of 
a wound given by the Savages, and was buned the eleventh 
day. 

" The fourteenth day Jerome Alicoch, Ancient [En- 
sign], died of a wound. The same day Francis Midxmnter 
and Edward Moris, Corporall, died suddenly. 

"The fifteenth day there died Edward Browne and 
Stephen Galthorpe. 

" The sixteenth day there died Thomas Gower, Gentle- 
man. 

" The seventeenth day there died Thomas Mounslic. 

*' The eighteenth day there died Robert Pennington 
and John 3Iartine, Gentlemen. 

" The nineteenth day died Drue Piggase, Gentleman. 

" The two and twentieth day of August there died 
Captaine Bartholomew Gosnold, one of our Councell: he 
was honourably buried, having all the Ordnance in the 
Fort shot off, with many vollies of small shot. 

" The foure and twentieth day died Edward Harring- 
ton and George Walker; and were buried the same day. 

" The sixe and twentieth day died Kenelme Throg- 
mortine. 

*' The seven and twentieth day died William Roods. 

" The eight and twentieth day died Thomas Stoodie, 
Cape Merchant. 

" The fourth day of September died Thomas Jacob, 
Sergeant. 

" The fifth day there died Benjamin Beast. 

" Our men were destroyed with cruell diseases . . . 
and by warres, and some departed suddenly: but for the 
most part they died of meere famine." 

Master Percy adds : " There were never Englishmen 



f:l0{!: 



-iijmi 




CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH AND OPEC ANC ANOL GH 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



left in a forreigne Countrey in such miserie as wee were in 
this new discovered Virginia. Wee watched every tliree 
nights, lying on the bare cold ground what weather soever 
came ; warded all the next day : which brought our men to 
be most feeble wretches. Our food was but a small Can 
of Barlie sod in water to five men a day. Our drinke, cold 
water taken out of the River which was at a floud verie 
salt; at a low tide full of slime and filth." 

The sick and dying men " night and day groaning in 
every corner of the fort " were " most pitifull to heare." 
Sometimes, continues the ghastly record, those " departing 
out of the World " were as many as " three or fom*e in a 
night," and in the morning their bodies were " trailed out 
of their Cabines like Dogges, to be buried." 

" From May to September," says Studley, " those that 
escaped lived upon Sea-crabs and Sturgeon. Fifty in this 
time we buried." 

Ere long their pitiful store of provision was " all spent," 
and the sturgeon season was over. Even the Indians who 
they hourly expected to destroy them in their weakness, 
seem to have been touched by their " desperate extremitie," 
for it is written that God " so changed the harts of the 
savages that they brought such plenty of their fruits and 
provision as no man wanted." 

With the aid of these unexpected supplies and doubt- 
less helped also by the passing of summer with its burning 
suns, the remnant of the original one hundred and five 
colonists seems to have secured a firmer grip on life. Cap- 
tain Smith, who was given control of alFairs, set some of 
them " to mow, others to bind thatch, some to build houses, 
others to thatch them." 

Going off in " the shallop " on a search for food, he 
succeeded in securing a helpful supply of game and corn 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

from the Indians, in return for beads, hateliets and " such 
toys," and estabhshed a fantastic sort of trade with 
Powhatan, which in spite of tlie fact that the wily old 
" emperor " never ceased to view the dauntless Wliite Chief 
with suspicion, nor to plot his destruction, kept the colony 
from actual starvation until the arrival of the First Supply 
from England. JNIoreover, Smith's reports of the plenty he 
had seen and the love of Pocahontas for himself and the 
colony, " so revived their dead spirits ... as all men's 
fears was abandoned." 

It is significant that chroniclers who found Virginia in 
spring a paradise are silent as to the beauties of autunm. 
There was no enthusiasm left with which to chant the praise 
of the sunset-colored woods, the golden smishine, the soft- 
ening, veil-like mists of Indian summer. 

In the spring of 1607 the change from sea to shore 
had made IVIother Earth doubly charming, but in the mid- 
winter following it was the first glimpse of the white wings 
of Captain Newport's returning ship that enraptured their 
longing eyes. Enfeebled as they were, we may be sure 
they found voices that made the woods ring with shouts of, 
A sail! Newport! England has not forgotten us! We are 
saved! Glory to God! Long live the king! 

One hundred and twenty men, " well furnished with all 
things that could be imagined necessary," both for them- 
selves and the first settlers, landed on January 14, 1608. 
But the joy they brought was shortlived, for three days 
later, during freezing weather, Jamestown was destroyed 
by fire. Buildings, arms and ammunition, bedding, clothing 
and much of the provision went up together in smoke. 
Their houses had been rough and comfortless, but had, at 
least, afforded shelter; the church was barn-like and rick- 
ety, but it had ser\^ed to remind them tliat God was still in 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



heaven, and in it they had daily said the prayers they had 
learned in England. Say Thomas Studley and Anas Tod- 
kill, contributors to Smith's " Historie ": 

" Good Master Hunt, our Preacher, lost all his Library 
and all he had but the cloathes on his backe ; yet none never 
heard him repine at his losse." 

And so the First Supply meant only over a hundred 
more stomachs to fill, and according to Studley and 
Todkill, they were again reduced to meal and water, 
" whereby, with the extremitie of the bitter cold frost, 
more than halfe of us dyed." 

An outbreak of the gold fever caused necessary work 
to be neglected and added to the general distress. Captain 
Newport was infected and lingered at Jamestown to freight 
his ship with a " gilded dirt " believed to contain the cov- 
eted metal. The practical Smith, knowing that England 
would expect to see the ship return laden with valuable 
products, wished to load her witli cedar timber, for he said 
he was " not enamored of their dirty skill," but the " gilded 
refiners with their golden promises made all men their 
slaves," and there was " no talke, no hope, no worke, but 
dig gold, wash gold, refine gold." 

Captain Smith had his way, and the ship was loaded 
with timber, but later he too seems to have had a touch of 
the gold fever. From June 2 to July 20, 1608, he, with 
a party consisting of seven soldiers and seven " gentlemen " 
— including a physician — were absent from Jamestow^n on a 
voyage of discovery and trading for food supplies. They 
went in an open barge with a sail w^hich they repaired 
with their shirts when it had been badly damaged in a 
storm. They explored Chesapeake Bay and the Poto- 
mac River, " searching every inlet and bay fit for har- 
bors and habitations " ; " digging and searching for gold "; 

25 



COLONIAL VmGL\L\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

parleying, trading or skirmishing with the Indians ; fisliing 
— for want of nets — with a frying-pan, but finding it, as 
they artlessly declare, " a bad instrument to catch fish 
with." 

They returned to the settlement on July 21 with the 
thrilling news that they had discovered a gold mine and 
that the Chesapeake " stretched into the South Sea, or 
somew^hat neare it." They found the new Supply " all 
sicke," while the remnant of the earlier settlers were " some 
lame, some bruised, all unable to do anything but com- 
plain " of Ratcliff e — the new President — who they charged 
had " riotously consmiied " more than his share of the pro- 
visions and, by setting them to work on " an unnecessary 
building for his pleasure in the woods, had brought them 
to all that misery." 

Captain Smith put Scrivenor at the head of affairs, 
distributed the provisions Ratcliffe had appropriated, and 
set out with six gentlemen and six soldiers to make further 
discoveries. Seven of this party were of the " last Supply," 
and not being " seasoned to the country," were soon " sicke 
almost to death," but the only one that died was " ^Ir. 
Fetherstone," who had " behaved himselfe honestly, vali- 
antly and industriously." They buried him " with a volley 
of shot," in a little bay to which they gave his name. 

It was the custom of these Englishmen, exploring a 
wilderness in an open boat, three thousand miles from 
civilization, or the influence of woman, " daily to have 
Prayer with a Psalme, at which solemnitie," we are in- 
formed, " the poore Salvages much wondred." 

Returning to Jamestown on September 7 they found 
Master Scrivenor and divers others whom they had left 
" exceeding sicke " with yellow fever, " well recovered." 
But thev also found " many dead; some sicke." 







A LONDON VrREET IN 1638 




A FARM HOUSE 




^^.. 




A VILLAGE 

Typical English Homes of many Virginia Emigrants 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



Captain Smith resumed the presidency and set about 
getting things at Jamestown into shape. The building of 
Ratchffe's " pallace " was stayed as " a thing needlesse." 
the church was repaired and the storehouse re-roofed, and 
buildings made ready for supplies expected from Eng- 
land. The " order of the watch " was renewed, and the 
whole company di'illed every Saturday in a field near the 
fort, " where sometimes more than an hundred Salvages 
would stand in amazement to behold " the soldiers batter 
a tree on which a target had been placed. 

The boats, " trimmed for trade," and sent out with 
Percy in conmiand, met Captain Newport's ship bringing 
the Second Supply. This added to the colony seventy 
persons, including the first two Englishwomen who had 
seen Virginia — Mrs. Forrest and her maid, Ann Burras. 
There came also Captain Ralph Waldo and Captain Peter 
Wynne, " two ancient soldiers and valiant gentlemen," to 
be added to the Council, " sundry skilful workmen from 
foreign parts," and " many honest, wise, painful men of 
every trade and profession." 

But, alas, they brought little in the way of provision. 
In a letter to the Treasurer and Council of Virginia in 
London, entrusted to Newport on his retm-n trip, Captain 
Smith complained of the inadequate amount of food fur- 
nished the colony and the large number of men sent out to 
consume it. He describes the colonists as " the one halfe 
sicke, the other little better," and saj^s, " our dyet is of a 
little meale and water, and not sufficient of that." He 
begs that next time they will " send but thirty carpenters, 
husbandmen, gardeners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons, 
and diggers up of tree roots," rather than a thousand such 
as they have, and to send them well provided. " For 
except wee be able both to lodge them and feed them 

27 



COLONIAL VIRGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

they wiU die for want of the necessities of life before they 
can be made good for anything." 

He also protests against the expectation of profit out 
of Virginia so soon — reminding them that the colonists are 
" but a many of ignorant, miserable soules, that are scarce 
able to get necessaries to live, and defend themselves 
against the inconstant Salvages/' 

Captain Newport sailed for England again — carrying 
Smith's letter — in December, 1608. Soon after his de- 
parture the colonists witnessed the first English wedding 
on Virginia soil. The bride was Ann Burras and the bride- 
groom was John Laydon, a laborer, and one of the first 
settlers. Hmiible folk they were, but though we have no 
details of the wedding we may be sure that Jamestown 
made as merry over it as was possible under the circum- 
stances, and that when good ^Master Hmit spoke the solemn 
words that meant the founding of the first English family 
in the first English colony in America they fell on the ears 
of his hearers with due significance. 

Doubtless ^listress Forrest dressed the bride, acted as 
her matron of honor and gave her away, and doubtless 
too, she was godmother to little Virginia Laydon, the 
colony's first baby, born to John and Ann in the following 
autumn. 

The colony was now in the middle of its second winter. 
Realization that notwitlistanding the losses by death, there 
were, with the last Supply, two hundred persons to keep 
soul and body together on the pitiful provision so " af- 
frighted " them with the prospect of famine that Captain 
Smitli and others bestirred themselves more diligently tlian 
ever to find food. This was growing more and more diffi- 
cult, for the Indians frequently either refused to trade or 
demanded swords and " sticks that speak," as they called 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



muskets, in return for their corn, and of course these were 
denied them. In their bargaining, all the slirewdness of a 
Smith was required to match the shrewdness of a Powhatan 
or Opecancanough, and the hardships that were endured 
to obtain a few bushels of corn or a few pounds of deer 
suet are past description. 

In December, with the ground covered with snow, their 
" quarter " was the open woods. 

" The snow we digged away and made a great fire in 
the place ; when the ground was well dryed we turned away 
the fire, and covering the place with a mat there lay very 
warme." 

At Werowocomico — Powhatan's seat on York River — 
the barge went aground in half frozen shoals, " a flight 
shot from shore," and, led by Smith, they waded " neere 
middle deepe " ashore, through muddy icy ooze. They 
" wrangled " ten quarters (eighty bushels) of corn out of 
Powhatan for a copper kettle which had struck his fancy, 
but as it was plain that he was " bursting with desire to 
have Captain Smith's head," and Pocahontas came " in 
that darke night through the irksome woods " to inform 
her English friends of a plot to send them a fine supper 
and then murder them while they ate it, they spent the 
night " vigilantly " until it was high water and took their 
departure. 

At Pamunkey, Opecancanough, after entertaining 
them with " feasting and much mirth," plotted to kill them, 
but Captain Smith, with a mixture of tact, bluff, and 
daring, saved their lives. He snatched the dread Opecan- 
canough by the scalp-lock and pressing his pistol against 
his breast assured him that if his subjects did not keep their 
promises to load the barge with provisions, he would load 
her with their " dead carcases," but if they would trade as 
friends he would not hurt them. 

3 29 



COLONLAX VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

" Upon tills, away went their Bowes and AiTOwes, and 
men, women and children brought in their Conmiodities. 
. . . and whatsoever he gave them they seemed therewith 
well contented." 

Yet there are some bright spots in the story. In the 
Indian towTi of Kecoughtan — the site of the present 
Hampton — a week of " extreme winde, rayne, frost and 
snow^ " caused the explorers to keep that Christmas of 1608 
among the Indians and they " were never more merry, nor 
fed on more plentie of good Oysters, Fish, flesh, Wild- 
foule, and good bread; nor never had better fires in Eng- 
land, than in the dry, smoaky houses of Kecoughtan." 

Upon his return to Jamestown Captain Smith gave 
the colonists a plain talk as to the necessity of the greatest 
industry if they would live, and laid do^vn the law that " he 
that will not work shall not eat," unless disabled by illness. 

And now, runs the record, they so quietly followed 
their business that in three months' time they made some 
tar, pitch and soap ashes, produced " a trial of glass," made 
a well in the fort " of excellent sweet water," built about 
tw^enty houses, re-roofed the church, made fishing-nets and 
weirs, built a blockhouse in the " neck " of the island 
guarded by a garrison, " to entertaine the Salvages trade," 
and " digged and planted " thirty or forty acres of land. 
They had now sixty-odd pigs and nearly five hundred 
chickens which " brought up themselves without having 
any meat given them." 

In the midst of this lull in their hardships an examina- 
tion of their supply of corn showed that it was " halfe 
rotten," and the rest being consumed by " thousands of 
rats," the first of which were emigrants from England. 

" This did drive us all to our wits' end," and " occa- 
sioned the end of all our worke, it being worke sufficient to 

provide victuall." 

so 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



A party of "60 or 80 " was sent down the river to 
live upon oysters, and twenty to Point Comfort to try 
fishing. Twenty more were sent to the falls, but nothing 
could be found there but a few acorns, which were equally 
divided among the men. They had for a time " more 
sturgeon than could be devoured by dog and man," some 
of which they dried and pounded and used for making 
bread. 

There were mm-murings against Captain Smith and 
threats to abandon the country which he answered by 
promising all runaways the gallows, reminding them that 
he had never had more from the " store " than the worst 
of them. He declared that he would divide what was left 
of the English provisions among the sick and that the well 
must gather for themselves " the fruits the earth doth 
yield." 

" He that gathereth not every day as much as I doe," 
said he, " the next day shall be set beyond the river and be 
banished from the Fort as a drone, till he amend his con- 
ditions or starve." 

" This order many murmured was very cruell," but it 
" caused the most part to so well bestirre themselves " that 
only seven of the two hundred colonists died in that winter 
and spring of 1608, " except they were drowned." 

They had some help from the Indians, especially the 
" honest, proper, good, promise-keeping king of the ]Man- 
goags," who sent Captain Smith " many presents to pray 
his God for raine or his corne would perish, for his Gods 
were angry." 

Living thus, literally from hand to mouth, the colonists 
got through the slow, difficult months, until midsummer — 
when temporary relief came from an unexpected quarter. 
In ^lay, Captain Samuel Argall had been sent from Eng- 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

land to find a safer passage to Virginia and make trial of 
the fishing in Chesapeake Bay and James River. On 
July 23, in the midst of the sickly season when endurance 
had been strained to the utmost, the eyes of the hapless 
band at Jamestown were rejoiced with the sight of his sails. 

" God having scene our misery sufficient, sent in Cap- 
taine Argall to fish for Sturgeon, with a ship well furnished 
with wine and bisket; which though it was not sent us, 
such were our occasions we tooke it." 

Captain Ai-gall also brought the ne^vs of the commis- 
sion to Lord Delaware as Governor of Virginia, with Sir 
Thomas Gates as his Lieutenant, Sir George Somers as 
Admiral General, Captain Newport as Vice Admiral, and 
a " great supply " in preparation for Virginia. 

This supply — by far the largest that had been sent 
out — sailed from England on June 18, 1609. There was 
a fleet of nine ships carrying five hundred persons — men, 
women, and children. They sailed by way of the Canary 
Islands, and while under the tropic suns both yeUow fever 
and the equally deadly London plague made their appear- 
ance among the passengers. Many died and were buried 
at sea. About the first of August, while crossing the Gulf 
Stream near the Bahamas, a small vessel was lost, with all 
on board, and the admiral ship, with Sir Thomas Gates, 
Sir George Somers, and Captain Newport aboard, was 
caught in a hurricane and cast away on the Bermudas. 
The wreck of this ship, The Sea Venture, is believed 
to have given Shakespeare the theme for his great drama, 
" The Tempest." 

The remaining seven ships arrived at Jamestown, in a 
" miserable estate," late in August. Some of them had 
lost their masts, some had their sails blo\^^l from their yards, 
and much provision liad been spoiled by tlie seas washing 
over their decks. 

32 




Chilham Castle, Kent— Digges 




Loed^ (.astle, Kent— Lord tairfax 
ANCESTRAL HOMES OF SOME VIRGINIA FAMIUES 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



Among the newcomers were " divers Gentlemen of 
good meanes and great parentage," and also " unruly 
gallants packed thither by their friends to escape ill des- 
tinies." More unwelcome than these were the diseases 
with which many of the passengers were infected and 
which they added to the sufficiently formidable " country's 
sickness." 

Early in October Captain Smith, who had been pain- 
fully burned in a powder explosion, decided to go to 
England for treatment of his wounds, and Master George 
Percy succeeded him as President. In the " Historic " 
we have an account of conditions in the colony when Smith 
left it. According to this there were four hundred and 
ninety " and odd " persons — including of course the pas- 
sengers in the seven ships. Jamestown was strongly pali- 
saded and there were some fifty or sixty houses there and 
five or six other forts or plantations. The harvest was 
newly gathered, with the result that there was ten weeks' 
provision in the store. There were five or six hundred 
hogs and about as many hens and chickens, " some " goats, 
" some " sheep, six mares and a horse; and they had fishing 
nets, and tools for all kinds of work. 

The list of arms and armor for defence against the 
Indians is especially interesting. There were twenty-four 
pieces of artillery, three hundred muskets, " snapchances 
and firelocks " — primitive guns, a sufficient supply of 
powder and shot and more pikes, swords, cuirasses and 
morions — open face helmets — than there were men to use 
them. 

There were a hundred " well trained and expert sol- 
diers " to whom " the language and habitations " of the 
Indians were known, one carpenter, and three *' learners," 
two blacksmiths, two sailors, and a number of laborers. 



COLONIAL VmGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

The rest of the men are described as " poore gentlemen, 
tradesmen, serving-men, Hbertines and such like, ten times 
more fit to spoyle a commonwealth than either begin or 
help to maintaine one." But the chronicler more graciously 
adds, " Notwithstanding, I confesse divers amongst them 
had better mindes and grew much more industrious than 
was expected." 

Hard upon Smith's departure followed the " Starving 
Time," and the earlier hardships of the colonists faded into 
insignificance. The increased population soon devoured 
the increased provision. Ague and fever proved as debili- 
tating to the laborers with the last supply as they had to 
the " gentlemen" with the first two, and, as has been said, 
\^ellow fever and the " plague " had been added to the 
" comitry's diseases." The Indians, finding that the 
dreaded Captain Smith had left, robbed and murdered 
them and instead of com and other provisions dealt them 
" mortal wounds with clubs and arrow^s." Of the whole 
population of about five hundred, there remained within 
six months " not past sixty men, women and children, most 
miserable and poore creatures, and those were preserved 
for the most part by roots, herbes, acornes, walnuts, berries 
and now and then a little fish." There was not a hog or 
fowl left and they had even eaten the horses.^ 

Historians have doubted the assertions that there was 
camiibalism at Jamestown at this frightful time. True 
or not, statements that there was are certainly to be found 
in contemporary records. One of these incorporated into 
Smith's " Historic " tells us: 

" So great was our famine that a wSavage we slew and 
buried, the poorer sort tooke him up againe and eat him, 
and so did divers one another boyled and stewed with roots 

^ Strachey and Smith both testify to this. 
34 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



and herbs: And one amongst the rest did kill his wife, 
powdered [salted] her, and had eaten part of her before it 
was knowne, for which hee was executed, as hee well de- 
served; now whether shee was better roasted, boy led or 
carbonado'd, I know not, but of such a dish as powdered 
wife I never heard." 

The same witness adds that what the settlers endured 
at this time was " too vile to say," and declares that aU 
would have perished within ten days more had not rehef 
come to them. 

"But God that would not this Countrie should be 
unplanted, sent Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers 
with one hundred and fiftie people most happily preserved 
by the Bermudas to preserve us." 

The " two noble knights " were so appalled at the con- 
ditions they found at Jamestown that they decided there 
was nothing to do but abandon it, and taking what were 
left of the half-starved colonists aboard the ship they had 
managed to build during their nine months' sojourn in 
the Bermudas, but refusing to burn the town as many 
wished them to do, set sail for England. 

But " God would not have it so." 

Early next morning, before they were out of James 
River, they met Lord Delaware, coming as governor of the 
colony, ^vith three ships *' exceedingly well furnished with 
all necessaries fitting," and bringing with him Sir Ferdi- 
nando Wainman and " divers other gentlemen of sort." 

With this fleet they returned to deserted Jamestown. 
This was on Sunday, June 10, 1610. All went ashore 
and heard a sermon by Parson Bucke, after which his 
Lordship read his commission as governor and " entered 
into a consultation for the good of the colony." And 
the chronicler piously observes, " Never had any people 

35 



COLONIAL VmGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

more just cause to cast themselves at the very foot-stoole 
of God, and to reverence his mercie." 

Heartened by the provisions his Lordship brought, 
their hope of success renewed, all fell to work at the tasks 
allotted them and " every man endeavoureth to outstrip 
the other in diligence." 

Jamestown was now three years old. There were in 
the fort, in addition to the dwelling houses, a market-place, 
a storehouse, a " corps-du-guarde " and a church — its best 
building. The fort was built in the shape of a triangle with 
its widest side facing the river and a row of houses running 
along each of the other two sides within the heavy plank 
palisades. The houses were exceedingly primitive, of 
course, but their large " country chimneys " and the abun- 
dance of wood made possible the cheerful log-fires dear to 
the Englishman's heart. 

The church was sixty feet long and twenty-four feet 
wide and had a chancel of cedar and a communion-table of 
black walnut. " All the pews and the pulpit were of cedar, 
with fair broad windows, also of cedar, to shut and open as 
the weather shall occasion." The font was " hewen hollow 
like a canoe," and there were two bells in the steeple. 
" Every morning, at the ringing of the bell, about ten 
o'clock, each man addressed himself to prayers, and so at 
four of the clock, before supper." ^ 

It is in connection with this little house of worship that 
we have the first suggestion of ceremonious manners in 
Virginia. Lord Delaware had it put in good repair and 
" kept passing sweet and trimmed up with divers flowers," 
and " Every Sunday when the liOrd Governor went to 
Church he w^as accompanied with all the Councillors, Cap- 
tains, other Officers, and all the Gentlemen, with a guard 

^ Strachey. 

S6 




From " A Quaker Post-Bag. " Courtesj of Lonifmati 

Barlbrough Hall, Derbyshire — Rodes, Baronets 



.. »>■ ■T"\ -v^ 







^ rum The Man..r Houses ot Eni:l,,n,l.' ' Cuurtesy of Clias. ^cnhner's S..n, 
Okewell Hall, Yorkshire— Batte 
ANCESTRAL HOMES OF SOME VIRGINIA FAMILIES 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



of fifty Halberdiers in his Lordship's Livery, fair red 
cloaks, on each side and behind him. The Lord Governor 
sat in the choir, in a green velvet chair, with a velvet cushion 
before him on which he knelt, and the council, captains, 
and ofiicers sat on each side of him, each in their place, 
and when the Lord Governor returned home, he was waited 
on in the same manner to his house." ^ 

Lord Delaware followed the fashion of blaming the 
colonists for their misfortunes. In an address soon after 
his arrival he charged them with " haughtie vanities and 
sluggish idlenesse," and in his report to the Virginia Com- 
pany in England, dated July 7, 1610, describes them as " a 
hundred or two debauched hands ... ill provided when 
they come and worse governed when they are here. JMen 
of distempered bodies and infected minds." However, he 
was already becoming acquainted with the real cause of 
their condition, for in the same letter he speaks of the " sick- 
ness of the country," with which a hundred and fifty of his 
men had been afflicted at one time, and he is persuaded 
he would have lost most of them had he not brought with 
him good Dr. Bohun and a store of medicines which were 
already nearly exhausted.* 

The Lord Governor was soon to learn by bitter experi- 
ence the effects upon the energies of malaria and other 
ailments with which the colonists were only too familiar, 
for, after nine months' residence at Jamestown, continued 
ill-health drove him back to England. In a letter of 
apology for deserting his post, he says that he was " wel- 
comed to Jamestowne by a violent ague," and that three 
weeks after he was cured of that he " began to be dis- 

^ Strachey. 

* Strachey, " History of the Travaile into Virginia Britania," 
Halduyt Society, p. xxxii. 

37 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

teiii^^ered with other grievous sicknesses which successively 
and severally " assailed him. Then ague and fever seized 
him again with much more violence than before and held 
him for more than a month, bringing him to " greater weak- 
nesses' He was soon to be brought to a still more miserable 
condition, for says he : 

" The ilux sm-prised mee, and kept me many daies, 
then the crampe assaulted my weake body with stronge 
paines, and after that the gout." 

Finally, scurvy reduced him to such a state that he was 
" ready to leave the w^orld," but preferring a " hopefull 
recoverie " to an " assured mine," and lacking " both food 
and Physicke fit to remedie such extroardinary diseases, 
on March 28, 1611, he " shipped " himself back to England, 
taking along to attend him Dr. Bohun. 

He says he left in Virginia " about two hundred " — 
all that were left alive of some nine hundred and twenty- 
five who had come out in the three years. He left the 
colony in charge of " Captaine George Piercie, a Gentle- 
man of honour and resolution," who was to act as governor 
until the coming of Sir Thomas Dale. 

The able Su- Thomas and his fleet of three ships with 
men and cattle, " and all other provisions necessarie for 
a yeare," entered Virginia waters on the tenth of ^lay. 
At Jamestow^n he found " most of the companie at their 
daily and usuall works, bowling in the streets; these he 
imployed about necessarie w^orkes." 

About the first of August there arrived, " to second 
this noble knight," Sir Thomas Gates with a fleet of " six 
tall sliips," bringing three hundred persons — twenty of 
whom were women, and among them Lady Gates and her 
daughters — a hundred cattle, and " all manner of provision 
that could be thought needfull." 

38 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



As a disciplinarian Sir Thomas Dale was a past master. 
The martial laws he established at Jamestown were severe 
in the extreme, but he made some wholesome improvements. 
The colony had been managed from the beginning on the 
commmiity plan — all sharing the work and such provisions 
as were at command. Dale at once allotted all of the settlers 
private gardens, in addition to the public ones, and in 
1613 gave each man three acres of cleared ground to farm 
for himself and his family, and we are informed that when 
they were " fed out of the common store and laboured 
jointly together, glad was he that could slip from his labour, 
or slumber over his taske, he cared not how, nay the most 
honest among them would hardly take so much paines in 
a weeke as now for themselves they will doe in a day." 

There was now a steady inflow of emigrants to Vir- 
ginia, in smaller numbers. Englishmen may be said to 
have secured a fairly firm foothold in the Red Man's land 
and, in spite of continued high mortality, there was no 
longer any doubt of the continuance of the colony. Little 
settlements gradually extended along the river from Point 
Comfort and Newport's Xews to the present site of Rich- 
mond. Governor Dale established a new town at Henrico 
on the Dutch Gap peninsula, and a hospital called " Mount 
Malady " was built nearby. Though from 1611 to 1613 
there were frequent contests with the Indians, the use of 
armor by the Englishmen made their arrows almost harm- 
less. The marriage of Pocahontas with John Rolfe, in 
April, 1613, was followed by a peace with Powhatan and 
his people, and says Rolfe: 

" The great blessings of God have followed this peace 
and it, next under Him, hath bredd our plentie — everie man 
sitting under his fig-tree in safety, gathering and reaping 
the fruits of their labors with much joy and comfort." 



COLONML VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Iron works were established at Falling Creek and the 
manufacture of salt and glass, and experiments in vine- 
growing and silk-making begun. Encouraged by the hap- 
pier conditions, the colonists actually undertook enter- 
prises outside of Virginia, such as the sending of Captain 
Argall, in 1614, to break up the French settlement on 
the coast of Elaine, which saved New England for the 
English. 

In 1619 the cultivation of tobacco was begun, and in 
the same year came the Virginia Company's best gift to 
the colon\' — the right to have its o^^^l legislature. Any 
one who reads the journal of this assembly's first session 
must see that the representatives were independent, sturdy 
Englishmen, honestly endeavoring to serv^e the people. 
Early in 1622 justice was more fully brought home to the 
people by the establishment of local courts in various parts 
of the colony. 

Plans had been formed and a beginning made for the 
establishment of a school at Charles City — now City 
Point — and a college at Henrico. 

Upon this scene of fair promise suddenly fell the 
frightful Indian IVIassacre of 1622, when about four hun- 
dred of the twelve hundred and forty English then living 
in Virginia were murdered. There was a temporary panic, 
but the Virginians soon dauntlessly expressed the belief 
that the colony would rise from its depressed condition 
to greater things than it had yet attained to, and the Com- 
pany in London replied that " this addition of Price had 
endeared the Purchase and that the Blood of those People 
w^ould be the Seed of the Plantation." 

After the first year or two a much larger proportion 
of laborers and mechanics was brought over. Those that 
came with Sir Thomas Dale were described as " honest and 

40 



THE \TRGINIA PEOPLE 



industrious men, carpenters, smiths, coopers, fishermen, 
tanners, shoemakers, shipwrights, brickmen, gardeners, 
husbandmen and laboring men of all sorts." Yet they stood 
the diseases of the locality no better than those of the less 
hardy class. According to John Rolfe's count, there were, 
in 1616, only three hundred and fifty people in Virginia. 
The historian, Alexander Brown, has made a calculation 
showing that between Xovember, 1619, and February, 
1625, forty-four hundred persons died or were mm-dered 
by the Indians. 

Gentlemen and laborers alike, the vast majority of the 
earliest emigrants to Virginia died untimely deaths, leaving 
in the land of their adoption only nameless graves upon 
graves of which to-day we have no trace. 

They are less than shadows — represented only by 
groups of colorless figures. Yet we know that those fig- 
ures stand for human beings like to ourselves save for the 
excess of hardship that was their portion. As we ponder 
over them, they seem to take on flesh and to plead for 
interest and sympathy. 

They blazed the way. They were the forerunners of 
those who planted a civilized and Christian state in a 
wilderness. Whatever sins were theirs they blotted out in 
their own blood. All honor to them — saints or sinners! 
Amid toil, abuse, want, terror, starvation, disease and 
death, they held the land — a forlorn hope dying for the 
sake of those to follow them. 



COLONIAL VIRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

II— THE LATER EMIGRANTS 

The Census of 1624-25 forms a good starting point for 
a study of the classes of emigrants to Virginia, for by 
that time the colony had assumed, in a rudimentary way, 
its later form. 

The Census shows many names of men long afterward 
active in colonial affairs. There were then in Virginia six 
hundred and eight free people, four hundred and fifty- 
seven white servants, and twenty-three negroes. Of the 
freemen twenty-five left descendants in well-known fam- 
ilies which can be traced to the present day and eight of 
the servants were ancestors of Virginia families of some 
standing. There may have been many others, both bond 
and free, who left descendants that cannot be traced. 

Among the freemen referred to were Thomas Savage 
and John Proctor, who came in 1607; Edward Waters, 
1 608 ; John Flood and Thomas Willoughb}^ 1610 ; Thomas 
Harris, Commander of a plantation, 1611 ; Francis Mason, 
1613; Abraham Persey, 1616; William Farrar, John 
Wilkins and Matthew Edloe, 1618; Thomas Osborne, 
Commander of a plantation, John Woodson and Thomas 
Gascoine, 1619; Christopher Branch, 1620; John Utie, 
John Chew, Anthony Barham, Daniel Gookin, Thomas 
Purefoy, and John Chisman, 1621; John West, Samuel 
Mathews and Christopher Calthorpe, and Sir Francis 
Wyatt and Dr. John Pott, whose brotliers founded 
families. 

We have information about the English forefathers 
of but few of those resident in Virginia at the time of the 
Census, as in the earlier days. The father and grand- 
father of Christopher Branch are styled " gentleman," 
but his great-grandfather was a prosperous mercer of 
Abingdon. Thomas Baugh was a grandson of Rowland 

42 




THOMAS, SIXTH LORD FAIRFAX OF LEEDS CASTLE, ENGLAND, 
AND GREENWAY COURT, VIRGINIA 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



Baugh, Esq., of Twining, in Worcestershire. Thomas 
Pawlett was great-grandson of the first ^larquis of Win- 
chester. Sir George Yeardley, who had been an officer in 
the Low Countries, was the son of a merchant tailor of 
London; and the father of his fellow-comicillor, Ralph 
Hamor, was another Londoner in the same trade. John 
Southern, Gent., was of Tichfield, in Hampshire. Eliza- 
beth and Anne Southey were the widow and daughter of 
Henry Southey, Esq., of Rimpton, Somerset, who had died 
soon after his arrival in Virginia. John West was a 
younger son of the second Lord Delaware. Thomas Farley, 
Gent., was of the city of Worcester, and John Proctor was 
brother of Thomas Proctor, a wealthy London merchant. 
Edward Berkeley was the son of John Berkeley, who had 
been killed by the Indians in 1622, and grandson of Sir 
John Berkeley, of Beverstone Castle, Gloucestershire. 
George, Paul, William, and Maurice Thompson were sons 
of Ralph Thompson, of Walton, Hertfordshire, and 
Maurice was grandfather of the first Lord Haversham. 
Christopher Calthorpe was the son of Christopher Cal- 
thorpe, Esq., of Blakeney, Norfolk. Nicholas Martian was 
a Protestant Walloon who had been naturalized in England. 
Thomas Spilman was a brother of Captain Henry 
Spilman who had been killed by the Indians some years 
before ; they were nephews of Sir Henr}^ Spilman. Edward 
Waters had brothers and sisters living at Great Horn- 
meade, Hertfordshire, and ^liddleham, Yorkshire. Adam 
Thoroughgood was a brother of Sir Jolm Thoroughgood, 
and his wife, Sarah, was a member of the great London 
family of Offley and granddaughter of Lord INIayor Sir 
Edward Osborne. Captain Francis West was another 
son of the second Lord Delaware, and Captain John Mar- 
tin the son of Sir Richard Martin, goldsmith, of London. 

43 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Anthony Bonall was probably a Frenchman, as the Vir- 
ginia Company gave him two shares for his pains in secur- 
ing certain vine-dressers from Languedoc to go to Virginia. 
Charles Harmer was a brother of Dr. John Harmer, Greek 
professor at Oxford, and John Barnabe, a brother of 
Richard Barnabe, merchant, of London. English connec- 
tions of a number of others are known. 

Of those of w^hose origin we know nothing the following 
are termed " gentleman," in contemporary public records: 
Thomas Hothersall, Raleigh Crashaw, John Barnham, 
Edward Waters, Pharoah (or Farrar) FHnton, Giles 
Allington, John Boush, Albino Lupo, Peter and John 
Arundel, John Chisman, Robert Poole, John Southern, 
Clement Dilke, Giles Jones, Thomas Willoughby, William 
Perry, Robert Sw^eete, Jolm Howe, Thomas Harwood, 
Elmer Phillips, James Davis, William Spence, Richard 
Brew^ster, William Kempe (of Hawes, Leicestershire), 
William Julian, John Burrows, Edward Grindon, Na- 
thaniel Causey, William Harwood, Peter Strafferton, 
Richard Kingsmill (whose amis appear on his widow's 
tomb), Thomas Marloe or Marlott, Thomas Crispe (of 
Kent), Hugh Crowder, Killibett Hitchcock, John Wilcox, 
John Utie, John Baynum, Anthony Burrows, William 
English, and Samuel Sharpe. There may, of course, have 
been others entitled to the designation " gentleman," whose 
names do not happen to appear in the scanty records of 
the time. 

Among other men of good standing were various mem- 
bers of the Council such as Captain Roger Smith, who had 
served twelve years in the wars of the Low Countries; 
George Sandys, the poet, who was Treasurer of the Col- 
ony; William Claiborne, of an ancient family at Cleburne, 
in Westmoreland; Christopher Davison, son of Queen 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



Elizabeth's unfortunate secretary, who had died in 1623, 
but whose widow was still Hving in Virginia, and Abraham 
Persey, perhaps the wealthiest merchant in the colony. 

Still another class of prominent men were those who 
held military commissions, and who in lists and documents 
are always given their rank. Among these were Lieutenant 
Thomas Osborne, Ensign Isaac Chaplaine, Captain Wil- 
liam Pierce, Captain Nathaniel Bass, Captain Thomas 
Davis, Captain Wilham Eppes, Captain Thomas Graves, 
and Ensign Francis Eppes. 

It will not do to lay too much stress on the social mean- 
ing of the term " mister," but its use always noted a person 
of respectability. It seems to have been applied ahke to 
gentlemen and prosperous yeomen. It appears before the 
following names of men living in Virginia about this time : 
Thomas Swift, William Bentley, Robert Langley, Thomas 
Allnut, William Atkins, Thomas Hamor (a brother of 
Ralph), Henry Home, Anthony Barham, John Smith, 

Luke and John Boyse, Emerson, Jolm Upton, 

Edward Cage, Tobias Felgate, Francis Chamberlain, 
Bagwell, John Bates, and Robert Bennett. 

Of these John Upton and John Bates were included 
in the Census among the servants of Abraham Persey, but 
there is evidence in contemporary records that they were 
hired employes. Upton was soon afterward styled " gen- 
tleman," and Bates " merchant." 

Next to this upper class which we have been describing 
come the yeomen and mechanics. Among those styled 
yeoman were Adam Dixon (who had come to Virginia as 
master caulker of the Company's ships), John Sipsey, 
afterward prominent in Lower Norfolk; Thomas Sully, 
William Spencer, John Johnson, Richard Taylor, John 
Powell, Robert Salford, John Downman, Thomas Bouldin, 

4 45 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

and others. Some of these aftei-ward became members of 
the House of Bm-gesses. Among the mechanics were 
Thomas Passmore, carpenter, and Richard Tree, carpen- 
ter, who had come to Virginia as a foreman for Abraham 
Persey. 

Thirty of the freemen named in the Census were, or 
became, men of sufficient importance to be members of the 
House of Burgesses, but are otherwise so httle known that 
in most instances we are unable to determine their social 
standing either in England or in the colon3^ Of some 
we know a little. John Powell, yeoman, seems to have 
had a son of his own name, who was a burgess for Elizabeth 
City 1666-76; Richard Tree, as has been said, was a car- 
penter; Thomas Kingston was afterward Surveyor Gen- 
eral; Rice Hooe, who appears as having business trans- 
actions with Edward Bennett, of London, was ancestor 
of a family prominent to the present day; Roger Dilke 
had a son Roger, of SuiTy County, who was styled " gentle- 
man"; and John Moon, at his death, in 1665, in Isle of 
Wight Count}% left a considerable estate in Virginia and 
lands in Hampshire, England. 

We have now given a summary as far as one can be 
made of social conditions among the freemen living in 
Virginia in 1625. 

Of the four hundred and fifty-seven servants we liave 
information of only about thirty beyond the fact that they 
were servants. 

It is evident that some of them were merely teclinically 
so classed. For instance, Richard Townsend liad come to 
Virginia when a boy of fifteen, but we know tliat before 
long he was apprenticed to Doctor Pott to be taught to be 
a physician and apothecary. Adam Tlioroughgood, who 
also came at fifteen, had two brothers who were knights — 
one of them in the household of the Duke of Buckingham — 




..Cooper sculp 
SIR THOMAS LUNSFORD 
From an unique print in the British Museu 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



and it was probably thi'ough this powerful influence that 
some years later he received a grant of 3200 acres " at the 
espetiall recommendation of him from their Lordships and 
other of his Majesty's Most Hon'ble privie Councell." 

Abraham Wood was brought to Virginia as a child of 
six and in later years became a Major General of militia, 
the greatest Indian trader of his time, and a leader in pro- 
moting Western exploration. 

While no doubt very many of the servants named in 
this Census were laborers and menials, it is plain that many 
others were of a different grade from those brought over 
later. On account of the small amount of land which could 
be cultivated in Virginia there was not in the early days 
that intense desire for labor which later caused nmnerous 
examples of kidnapping in England and the sliipping to 
the colony of people gathered up in the streets of London. 

Among the thirty servants of whom a little is known 
were Robert Hallam (a brother of William and Thomas 
Hallam, salters, of Essex and London) who in 1636 ob- 
tained a grant of a thousand acres of land and who had a 
grandson, Samuel Woodward, of Boston, Mass.; John 
Trussell, who settled in Northumberland County and be- 
came a burgess and colonel of militia ; Randall Crew — both 
of whose names appear in the noble English family of 
Crew — who was a burgess for Upper Norfolk; John Bates, 
who in 1626 is styled "merchant"; John Upton who in 
1626, as " Mr. John Upton," was ordered by the Council to 
pay Abraham Persey for the eight months he was absent 
from his service the year after the Massacre and who 
became a burgess, commander of Isle of Wight and mint- 
master general ; Randall Holt, who married Mary, daugh- 
ter and heiress of John Bayly, and acquired a large landed 
estate on Hog Island; Richard Townsend, whose career 

47 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PP:0PLE AND CUSTOMS 

has already been described; John Lightfoot (not ancestor 
of the later family of the name), who must have been a 
hired and not an indentured servant, as in a grant of land to 
him in 1625 he is described as "an ancient planter who 
came in the time of Sir Thomas Dale "; Abraham Wood, 
already referred to ; David jNIansfield or JNIansell — de- 
scribed in the Census as " a hired servant " — who became 
a burgess; Wessell Webling, a son of Nicholas Webling, 
of London, brewer, whose indentures show that he had con- 
tracted to serve Edward Bennett for three years and at 
the end of that time was to be given a house and fifty 
acres of land; Thomas Curtis and some other servants of 
Daniel Gookin, who seem from the records to have made 
contracts with liim before coming to Virginia; Lionel 
Roulston — both of whose names appear in an old family in 
the north of England — who, in 1627, was buying and sell- 
ing land as "gentleman," and who was a burgess; John 
Hill, of Lower Norfolk, w^ho had been a bookbinder in the 
University of Oxford; Stephen Webb, afterward burgess 
for James City, whose father is said in several depositions 
to have been of Breshley, Worcestershire, and a free- 
holder of several lands in that manor; William Allen, 
Anthony Pagett, and Thomas Jordan, who were also bur- 
gesses; John Atkins, Thomas Barnett, Thomas Hawkins, 
Anthony Jones, Francis Fowler, and others. 

In later years when, as has ])een intimated, the demand 
for laborers in the colony could hardly be met, there were 
fewer servants who were not menials, but among this class 
Virginia genealogists have found but two from whom 
sprung people of any prominence. It is, of course, possible 
that after becoming free, many servants became small 
farmers and may have had descendants who rose in the 
world, but if they did we have no record of it. 

48 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



The treatment of the emigrants for the long period 
between the Census of 1625 and the Revolution must 
necessarily be more general. 

The first subject to be considered is the origin of the 
higher planting class. One of the most discussed phases of 
emigration to Virginia has ever been that of the Cavaliers. 
It should be clearly understood that " Cavalier " means 
not only a class in society, but also a political party. Any 
one acquainted with the history of England during the 
Civil Wars must feel that after the defeat of the King 
and the numerous fines, confiscations, and sales forced by 
necessity, large numbers of the Royalists would have wished 
to leave the country. After the Restoration, when so 
many of them found their hopes of repaired fortunes dis- 
appointed, the reason for their emigration continued. In 
1649 there were sixteen thousand people in Virginia, and 
in 1671 forty thousand, including six thousand servants. 
During this period, though many servants came, including 
Scotch and Irish prisoners of the Parliamentary Army, 
and there was a considerable increase by births, it is evident 
that there was an unusually large emigration of freemen. 

No one was in position to be better informed in regard 
to the Royalist emigration to Virginia than Clarendon. In 
the 18th book of his History he says, " Sir William Berke- 
ley, the Governor thereof, who had industriously invited 
many gentlemen and others thither as a place of security, 
. . . where they might live plentifully, many persons of 
condition and good officers in the war had transported 
themselves with all the estates they had been able to 
preserve." 

Governor Berkeley himself says in his " Discourse and 
View of Virginia" (1663): "Another great imputation 
lyes on the Country that none but those of the meanest 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

quality and corruptest lives go thither. . . .But this is not 
all true, for men of as good families as any subjects in Eng- 
land have resided there, as the Perseys, the Barkleys, the 
Wests, the Gages, the Throgmortons, Wyatts, Digges, 
Chichleys, JMoldsworths, jNIorisons, Kemps, and a hundred 
others, which I forbear to name." There is no doubt that 
the " imputation " referred to by Berkeley was long preva- 
lent in England. It probably arose, in part, from the 
exportation of convicts, but chiefly from the infamous 
system of kidnapping so widely spread there. 

While there is abundant proof that many gentlemen 
of good family settled in the colony, and also many sons 
and kinsmen of merchants, there is not yet sufficient evi- 
dence to authorize positive statements as to the whole plant- 
ing class. A good deal, however, is known. There was one 
baron, Fairfax ; a son of an earl, Percy ; three sons of an- 
other baron. Lord Delaware ; and the grandson and great- 
grandson of two others, Henry Willoughby and William 
Fairfax, whose descendants became Lords Willoughby, 
of Parham, and Lords Fairfax. Four baronets, Beckwith, 
Bickley, Pe}i;on, and Skipwith, came to Virginia and left 
families in which their titles descended, and three families, 
Bathurst, Booth — from the Dunham ]Massie line — and 
Rodes, descended from younger sons of baronets, also 
isettled in Virginia. Several knights, such as Sir Henry 
Chichley, Sir Thomas Lunsford, Sir Fleetwood Dormer, 
Sir Dudley Wyatt, and Sir John Zouch, came, not as 
officials, but as settlers. 

Among other emigrants of interesting or historic con- 
nection in England were William Bernard, a nephew of 
Sir John Bernard, who married Shakespeare's grand- 
daughter; George Donne, a son of Doctor John Donne; 
Henry Finch, brother of Sir John Finch, Speaker of the 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



House of Commons; Francis Lovelace, brother of the poet; 
Nathaniel Littleton, brother of the Lord Keeper, and 
Francis, Robert, and Richard Moryson, whose sister mar- 
ried the famous Lord Falkland. 

A very considerable number of the English gentry, 
many of whom founded families of their own names while 
others left descendants through daughters, settled in the 
colony. As has been said, " gentleman " is a term covering 
a wide field. Ancestors classed as gentry ranged from 
ancient and distinguished lines like Brent, Calthorpe, 
Chamberlayne, Chichester, Clifton, Coke, Digges, Evelyn, 
Filmer, Isham, Littleton, Ludlow, Mallory, Wyatt, and 
others of equal note, down through families like Batte and 
Jenings which rose during later Tudor times, to those whose 
*' gentry " was only a couple of generations old at the time 
of emigration, and whose fortunes had been founded on the 
successful exertion of merchant or tradesman, or of some 
shrewd and thrifty steward of a nobleman's estate. 

The Scotch emigration was smaller, but, like the Eng- 
lish gentry, represented various grades. Some were de- 
scendants of such families as Douglas, of Mains; Spots- 
wood; Home, or Hume, of Wedderburn; Graham, of 
Wackinston and Killearn; and Wedderburn, while others 
were of much lower rank. 

The families which can be traced to the mercantile class 
constitute not quite so large a number as those descended 
from the gentry. Some of them were of great merchant 
families, like Bennett and Bland, of London, and Cary, of 
Bristol. Though several of these, and others — like Boiling, 
Byrd, Metcalfe, and Terrell — trace ultimately to the landed 
gentry, little is known of the ancestry of many merchants 
from whom Virginia families descend. As it was a com- 
mon custom during the reigns of Elizabeth and the early 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Stuarts for younger sons of country gentlemen to be ap- 
prenticed to trade, many more may have been of the gentry, 
but there is an equal possibility that they were of humble 
extraction. 

A good number of prominent Virginia families — at 
least forty — descended from ministers of the Church of 
England living in Virginia, or from emigrant sons of min- 
isters. In view of the common criticism of the Virginia 
clerg}', it may be well to say here that as far as is known 
every one of these founders of families was a man of good 
character. Most of them of whom we have any detailed 
record were college bred and many had well stocked 
libraries. Like the other classes, they came of different 
social grades. Some, like Bagge, Campbell, Foliott, Rose, 
McRae, Semple, and a number of others, were of gentle 
blood, while others still came from a lower rank. An 
influential churchman in England sometimes founded the 
fortunes of a family in the colony, as did John Robinson, 
Bishop of London, whose brother Christopher settled 
in Virginia. 

A few families of note traced to physicians, lawy^ers, 
army and navy officers, five or six to masters of ships in 
the Virginia trade, three or four to master weavers or cloth 
manufacturers, three or four to yeomen, and about 
the same nimiber to mechanics. Servants who came after 
1625 founded, as has been said, two well known Virginia 
families, and there are traditions that two others descend 
from indentured servants. One from a law student who 
was kidnapped and sold into Virginia, and the other from 
a young Scotchman of good family who, having run away 
from college and bound himself to the master of a Vir- 
ginia ship, was sold here to a rich planter and in time 
became a prominent lawyer and married his former owner's 
daughter and heiress. 

52 



I 




Copyright, 1908, by J. E. H. 

Henry Corbin, of Hall End, Warwickshire 
SOME FOUNDERS OF VIRGINIA FAMILIES 



THE VIRGINIA PEOPLE 



Besides the families of the upper class which have now 
been treated of, there was a much larger group — among 
them a number of the most influential in the colony — of 
whose ancestry over the sea we have absolutely no knowl- 
edge. The emigrant members of a good proportion of these 
are known, and all that are were freemen — many of them, 
no doubt, sons of gentlemen or merchants. They came 
to the colony as men of recognized position, had coats- 
of-arms, and numbers of them soon became members of 
the House of Burgesses or of the Council. They bore 
such names as Aston, Ashton, Armistead, Ball, Ballard, 
Beale, Beverley, Braj^ Duke, Eppes, Farrar, Bridger, 
Browne (of Surry), Carter, Chisman, Churchill, Hill (of 
" Shirley") , Lee, Parke, Pettus, and others of prominence. 

In addition to all of these there was a large number 
of emigrants of whose ancestral connections we cannot 
make even a conjecture, and who may have been derived 
from almost any grade of society in England; but not a 
single instance of a Virginia family descended from a con- 
vict has ever been found by any genealogist. Some con- 
victs may, after the expiration of their term of service, 
have become small landholders and left descendants, but 
of such there is no trace. 

Larger still than any of the classes of emigrants which 
have been considered was the great mass of small farmers, 
yeomen, mechanics, and free laborers who throughout the 
Colonial period came from English towns and villages, 
farmhouses, and cottages to Virginia, and who constituted 
the bulk of the population then, as their descendants did 
later. This middle class had various grades within itself 
and later in the period, and after the Revolution, many of 
its members acquired wealth and position. And let it be 
emphatically asserted here that neither during the Colonial 

S3 



COLONIAL VIRGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

nor the State period was the popuhition of Virginia made 
up mainly of hirge landowners and " poor whites." A 
great majority of our people have always been the respect- 
able, independent middle class. 

This discussion has been devoted chiefly to emigrants 
from England, for the few hundreds of Huguenots who 
came over were soon merged in the surrounding English 
population, and the very important Scotch-Irish and Ger- 
man elements came too late to influence colonial manners 
and customs except in the districts settled by them. Special 
knowledge and research would be required for the special 
study which they deserve. 




II 

HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO 
MANSION 



OORLY provided in many ways as 
were the first English Americans they 
found ready for their axes and saws 
great plenty of goodly timber upon 
which they at once fell to work, and 
Virginia pine and cedar trees speedily 
^^ became roof-trees. The construction 
of these is left to the imagination, but they were, of course, 
the crudest and most primitive of shanties. Hastily put 
together of green plank, they were soon warped and rickety 
and it is not surprising that when Sir Thomas Dale came 
out to be governor, in 1611, he should have found them 
about to fall down on the heads of their owners. 

Ere long the flimsy plank hut gave way to the sturdier 
if equally primitive log-cabin, which deserves to be called 
the earliest form of colonial architecture, for so much the 
rule did it become that it was known as the " Virginia 
house " — as the cloth the busy housewife wove for bed 
linen and clothing was " Virginia cloth." 

This original Colonial Dame was not conscious of any- 
thing picturesque about the title which is hers by right, 
for it had not then become redolent of mansions and min- 
uets. She had a stout heart or she would not have 
ventured so far from her native hearth-stone; and before 
Jamestown malaria froze her blood and parched her flesh 
and fear of the tomahawk haunted her sleeping and wak- 
ing hours, her cheek was as ruddy and her eye as glancing 
as cheeks and ej^es of wholesome English girls are like to 
be. She was glad of her dwelling of logs with the bark 
on, chinked with mud or with clay to keep the weather 



COLONIAL VIRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

out, and roofed with poles or with clapboard, and proud of 
her chest of drawers and looking-glass, her pewter plates 
and dishes, her brass kettle, candlesticks and fire-dogs, 
brought from England, and also of the home-made settle, 
table, or cricket which supplemented these, and the feather- 
bed made of feathers plucked from her own geese. There 
is no doubt that many a worthy burgess and his lady from 
whom Virginians of to-day are proud to claim descent 
found peace and content, when the day's work was done, 
by the crackhng fire of such a home. 

During these early days, and afterward in the settle- 
ments in the western part of the colony, there were scat- 
tered about small palisaded forts in which neighboring 
families took refuge when in danger of Indian attack, and 
immediately after the ^lassacre of 1622 the General 
Assembly ordered that every house be pahsaded. 

As time went on, the one-room log-cabin developed 
into the double cabin with two rooms below and loft above 
and a shed-room kitchen adding to its commodiousness, and 
sometimes a shingled roof and weather-boarded sides, or 
even a rude porch, gave it further comfort and sighthness. 

Later, w^hen these primitive abodes were supplanted 
by frame and brick houses with steep roofs and big chim- 
neys like those the colonists remembered in old England 
the " Virginia house " became and remained the home 
of the very poor man and the frontiersman. These were 
more scantily furnished — straw pallets or bear-skins laid 
before the fire often taking the place of the prized feather- 
bed, while much more frequent than the brass kettle was 
the " great iron pot " in which such of the good man's food 
as was not roasted or baked before the open fire was cooked, 
and which was a cherished possession — a valued legacy. 
For instance, in 17.5G James !McClure, a settler in The Val- 

56 




A L(K, ( AH1.\ 




THE ROBERTSON HOUSE, CHESTERFIELD COUNTY. BUILT ABOUT 175U 
Frame dwelling with chimney twenty-five feet wide 



HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO MANSION 

ley of Virginia, bequeathed to his son James his " Bible 
and big iron pot," and to his son Samuel his " next biggest 
pot," and directed that his wife Agnes was " to have the 
use of both pots." ^ 

On the frontier the cabin was often loop-holed for de- 
fence against the Indians. If it was adorned and made 
comfortable with skins of animals, the passer-by guessed 
that its owner was a hunter. The diary of a JMoravian 
missionary from Pennsylvania who, in 1735, visited the 
western part of Virginia now occupied by the mountain 
counties of Bath and Alleghany, tells of lodging in cabins, 
sleeping on bear-skins in front of the fire, and eating bear's 
meat which he says was to be found in every house in that 
part of the colony. He describes the white people of the 
region as living like the Indians — hunting being the chief 
occupation of the men and their food " Johnny cakes," 
deer and bear's meat.^ 

Whether the Virginian's home was the earliest one- 
room cabin or the fair mansion of a later day, its most 
invariable characteristic was hospitality. Every good man 
of a house and every good housewife stood ready to share 
without apology such accommodations as were at command 
with the stranger who chanced to come by as freely as with 
the invited guest. Perchance the unknown was offered a 
" great bed " with silk cm-tains and valance, perchance 
sleeping space on a bear-skin or pallet in the one room 
occupied by his host, hostess, and a numerous brood ; but 
the spirit of the offering was the same — the cheerful giving 
of the best the giver possessed — and the spirit of the 
acceptance was the same. 

Colonel William Byrd was a hospitable soul and 

^ Chalkley's Augusta County Records, iii, 64. 
2 Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., xi, 123. 

57 



COLONL\L VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

enjoyed the hospitality of others — rich and poor. In the 
lively diaries he kept during his horseback journeyings 
about Virginia and North Carolina he described in detail 
the kinds of entertainment offered liini in homes of varying 
types. In November, 1733, travelling on the frontier in 
what is now Brunswick County he spent the night in the 
cabin of Captain Henry Embrey, who, in spite of the simple 
life carried to excess described by Colonel Byrd, became 
in after years a man of property and a member of the 
honorable House of Burgesses. Says the graphic diarist : 

" We found the housekeeping much better than the 
house. Our bountiful landlady had set her oven and all 
her spits, pots, gridirons and saucepans to work to diversify 
our entertainment. The worst of it was we . . . were 
obliged to lodge very sociably in the same apartment with 
the family, where reckoning men, women and children we 
mustered no less than nine persons who all pigged very lov- 
ingly together." 

This the cultured and wealthy Colonel Byrd — the mas- 
ter of Westover! 

At another time and place when he had been enter- 
tained in like fashion he comments less amiably on " that 
evil custom of lying in a house where ten or a dozen people 
are forced to pig together in one room, troubled with the 
squalling of peevish, dirty children into the bargain." But 
he continues more cheerfully: 

" Next morning we ate our fill of potatoes and milk 
which seemed delicious fare to those who have made a cam- 
paign in the woods." 

And again: "Our bounteous landlady cherished us 
with roast beef and chicken pie." 

Still again he tells of being entertained at a poor 
planter's house when " the good man " laid him and his 

58 



HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO MANSION 

two companions in his own bed " where all tliree nestled 
together in one cotton sheet and one of brown oznaburgs." 

Washington, when a surveyor in The Valley of Virginia 
in 1748, had a taste of log-cabin life in its roughest form. 
In ^March of that year he and his party were thus enter- 
tained in the neighborhood of Winchester : 

" After supper we were lighted into a room and I not 
being so good a woodsman as the rest stripped myself very 
orderly and went into the bed as they called it, when to my 
surprise I found it to be nothing but a little straw matted 
together without sheet or anything else but only one thread- 
bare blanket with double its weight of vermin. I was glad 
to get up and put on my clothes and lie as my companions 
did." 

Writing to a friend in the following year he says : 

" Since you received my letter of October last I have 
not slept but three or four nights in a bed, but after walking 
a good deal all the day I have lain down before the fire 
upon a little hay, straw, fodder or a bearskin, whichever was 
to be had, with man, wife and children; and happy is he 
who gets the berth nearest the fire." ^ 

Long before these frontier experiences of Byrd and 
Washington the log-cabin had, in the older part of the 
colony, become identified with the poor white and the negro, 
and weather-boarded frame houses with a good proportion 
of brick ones were the rule among the well-to-do. In 1638 
Governor Sir John Harvey, writing to the Privy Council 
in England, reported that a convenient portion of ground 
at Jamestown had been allotted to every person that would 
"undertake to build upon it," and adds, " Since which 
order, there are twelve houses and stores built in the 
Towne, one of brick by the Secretary the fairest that ever 

3 Sparks' "Washington," ii, 416. 



COLONIAL VIUCINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

was kiiowne in this countrye for substance and uniformitye, 
by whose example others have undertaken to build framed 
houses and to beautifye the phice consonant to his Ma'ties 
Instruction that we should not suffer men to build slight 
cotta^'-es as lieretofore." * 

Brickmaking began very early in the history of the 
colony, and though a few small lots of bricks were brought 
from England, most of those used for building Virginia 
homes were of home manufacture. 

Owing to the burning of Jamestown by Nathaniel 
Bacon in 167C, and its abandonment as the colonial govern- 
ment seat, none of the original houses remain there, but 
many foundations have been unearthed. These show that 
for three-quarters of a mile along the river front and 
scattered about the island there w^ere quite a number of 
brick houses, including one tenement-like row which were 
doubtless stores or warehouses. A larger building at the 
end of this row has been identified as the State House 
before whose windows the thrilling scene of Nathaniel 
Bacon's encounter with the royal Governor, Sir William 
Berkeley, was enacted. 

^lost of the foundations which have been unearthed are 
about forty by twenty feet and show deep cellars. As 
nothing more remains of the houses, it is impossible to say 
what they were hke, but the tower and buttresses of the 
church, finished about 1640, show that it was a well pro- 
portioned building. Part of the walls and a chimney of a 
small house believed to have been a contemporary^ of the 
Jamestown dwellings were to be seen near Hampton until 
the year 1907, when the bricks — of a fine glazed kind — 
were used in the restoration of Jamestown Church. An- 
other house of the same type may be seen a few miles above 
Williamsburg. 

* Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., iii, 29. 







HOUSE NEAR WILLIAMSBURG 
A type of the earliest brick dwelling 




ROOM AT "BLOOMSBURY," ORANGE COUNTY 

Showing corner fireplace 



HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO MANSION 

An example of the better class of brick house at James- 
town and on the early plantations was " Malvern Hill," a 
few miles below Richmond, built by a member of the Cocke 
family early in the seventeenth century. Unhappily, this 
beautiful httle mansion was destroyed by fire within the 
last few years. 

As every trace of most of the houses of the first half 
of the seventeenth century has long since disappeared, we 
must depend upon the inventories of the household goods 
of their owners for an idea of their proportions. From 
these it seems that the great majority of them were smaU, 
with few rooms for their size. Matthew Hubard was a 
prosperous merchant of York County and had seven Eng- 
lish servants, seven horses, forty-one cattle, five pounds 
worth of silver, and thirty-odd books — among which were 
a Latin Bible and Prayer Book, Ben Jonson's plays, 
" Purchas's Pilgrims," and the works of Captain John 
Smith; yet his house contained only four rooms besides 
kitchen and buttery. 

Later in the seventeenth century and throughout the 
eighteenth, the popular — and generally populous — frame 
house in the towns and on the plantations varied in size 
from the one-story, two-room cottage to homesteads of 
such generous dimensions that they shared with the large 
brick houses the title of " manor," " mansion " or " great 
house." Most frequent, whether built of brick or of wood, 
was the story-and-a-half house, with or without a wing at 
the rear, and with a small square porch and a " shed- 
room " kitchen. Many of these are still scattered about 
the State — their steep roofs and hooded windows and per- 
haps a great outside chimney at either end bestowing upon 
them an air of quaint charm. Such a house, if of wood, 
was generally painted white, and, with its embowering trees 

5 61 



COLONIAL MROLNLV, LIS J'LOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

and yard enclosed by a white paling, made a pleasant pict- 
ure of unpretentious home comfort. The two principal 
rooms of a house of this character were the parlor, kept for 
" company," and the hall used as dining and living-room, 
suggestive of the reception hall of to-day. From it a stair- 
way, with a turn of the foot and broken by a landing half 
way up, led to attic-like chambers above. 

Sometimes this house was elongated by an additional 
room at one or either end. Such additions had the one- 
story rectory of Accomac Church, built in 1633, which 
was " forty feet wide, eighteen feet deep and nine feet in 
the valley, with a chinmey at each end, and on either side 
of said chimney a small room — one to be used as ye minis- 
ter's study and the other as a buttery." 

The oldest house now standing in Virginia whose date 
can be positively identified is " Smith's Fort," in Sm-ry 
County, across the river from Jamestown. It bears the 
mark of time and neglect, but its thick glazed-brick walls 
are in a good state of preservation. Its frontage of fifty 
feet affords a spacious room on either side of the hall 
through the middle, and plain as is its exterior its parlor is 
panelled to the ceiling and has fluted pilasters framing 
the chimney-piece and deep window seats. Thomas War- 
ren, who built it in 1654, was a substantial planter, but not 
one of the wealthiest men in the colony, and there is no 
reason to suppose that his house was better than plenty of 
others of its time. 

Nearby, on the river bluff, are traces of the earthworks 
of the " New Fort " built by captain Smith as a place of 
retreat from the Indians should it become necessary to 
abandon Jamestown. 

The original farm was given by the Indian king to 
Thomas Rolfe, son of John Rolfe and Pocahontas, who 

62 



HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO MANSION 

sold it to Thomas Warren. " Smith's Fort " is now owned 
and occupied by a negro farmer and his family.^ 

A house of about the same age, though its exact date is 
not known, is " Parker Place," an early home of the Parker 
family, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It is interesting 
as illustrating another type of dwelhng of the period — the 
hip -roofed frame house, with glazed-brick gable-ends — and 
also because it was there that the Governor took refuge 
when he fled from Jamestown during Bacon's Rebellion. 

The large plantation mansion house began to be built 
toward the end of the seventeenth century and became 
more numerous in the eighteenth. 

" Carter's Creek," in Gloucester County, the earliest 
home of the Bur well family, which is believed to have been 
the first of these, met the fate which has overtaken so large 
a number of Virginia country houses — destruction by fire 
— only a few years ago. It was modelled after the small 
English manor house of the sixteenth and early seven- 
teenth centuries, frequently styled the E -shaped house, and 
was unique in America. The cornice surrounding its walls 
under the eaves and the tall, clustered, diamond-shaped 
chimneys made it a remarkably elaborate house to be built 
in a wilderness. On one of the chimney stacks appeared 
the initials, in iron, L. A. B. — standing for Lewis and 
Abigail Burwell — and the date 1692, which probably re- 
fers to some improvement, as the house is believed to date 
from an earlier year. Those who remember it speak of its 
handsome interior, especially of a detail of the hall decora- 
tion — wainscot carved to represent drapery caught at the 
top by a human mask. This is extremely interesting as 
it was probably the only instance in America of the use 

5 Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., xxi, 210, 211. 
63 



HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO MANSION 

buildings connected by cuned passage-ways with wings 
standing away to the front and forming a court, is " Mt. 
Airy," near the Rappahannock — the home of the Tayloes, 
who have owned and occupied it for two hmidred years. 
" Shirley," on the James — the Carter home which has been 
the roof-tree of one family for an equally long time — and 
" Rose well," on the York, built by Mann Page in 1730 
and destroyed by fire in 1916, had similar wings originally, 
but they long since disappeared. " Rosewell " had, with 
these wings, a frontage of two hundred and thirty-two 
feet. The central building contained fourteen rooms 
twenty feet square and nine rooms fourteen by seven feet. 
There were nine passages, and the " great hall " and hall 
over it were each large enough to have made thi'ee large 
rooms. Much of this space was occupied by the grand 
stairway, with its balustrade of mahogany richly carved in 
fruits and flowers, ascending by easy flights to the cupola, 
which commanded a wide view of York River and the sur- 
rounding country. One of the many traditions that made 
" Rosewell " interesting had it that in this cupola Jef- 
ferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence while on a visit to his hf e-long friend, John Page. 

The main building at " Rosewell " had three full stories, 
besides garrets and cellars. 

" Warner Hall," also in Gloucester, the home of the 
Warner and Lewis families, which was destroyed by fire 
but has been rebuilt, was a three-story house, with wings, 
containing twenty-five rooms, and was unusual in having 
a roof of tiles — some of which are preserved in the collec- 
tion of the Virginia Historical Society. 

Among other mansions of more or less unique char- 
acter were H-shaped, L-shaped, and T-shaped houses of 
both brick and wood. " Stratford " on the Potomac, the 



COLONIAL VIROIXLV, ITS PF.OPLE AND CUSTOMS 

impressive seat of the I^ees, and " Tuckahoe," the Ran- 
dolph lionie, near Kiclunond, are well-known examples 
of the H-shape in wliieh the cross-bar is formed by a large 
central hall connecting two long wings. " Stratford " 
and its outbuildings are of glazed brick, wliile one wing 
and some of the outhouses of " Tuckahoe " — including the 
tiny one in which Thomas Jefferson went to school — are 
of wood. 

AVe have seen Colonel Byrd " pigging " in frontier 
cabins, let us peep in on him at " Tuckahoe " and get a 
picture of Colonial Virginia life of a different kind. Bad 
weather overtook him in the neighborhood of this home- 
stead and detained him several days as the guest of ^Nlrs. 
Randolph, widow of Thomas Randolph. The lady not 
only " smiled graciously " upon him and entertained him 
" very handsomely," at her board, but confided in him 
the tragical story of her daughter's humble marriage and 
diverted him vdth a dish of gossip of " how the parish 
minister was henpecked by his wife who made herself 
ridiculous by trj^ing to be a fine lady." 

Had the daughter " run away with a gentleman or a 
pretty fellow there might have been some excuse for her 
though he were of inferior fortune ; but to stoop to a dirty 
plebeian without any kind of merit ! " 

To reward this obliging hostess for her varied and 
spicy entertainment the Colonel read to her and her 
sister-in-law, ]Mrs. Fleming, from the popular " Beggar's 
Opera." And so the rainy days and evenings on the re- 
mote plantation were worn away. 

" Chelsea," the home of Bernard ^loore, in King Wil- 
liam County, is a fine example of the T-shaped house. A 
long hip-roofed dormer- windowed building forms the stem 
of the letter, while a more imposing structure, with upper 



HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO MANSION 

and lower porches, provides the cross-bar and is the main 
building of the mansion. 

Less attractive were the huge weather-boarded boxes, 
with no beauty of line or proportion, but often, as in the 
case of " Tazewell Hall," the Randolph home in Williams- 
burg, and " Marmion," the Fitzhugh home in King 
George County, made surprisingly beautiful within with 
fine carved wainscoting which must have made a particu- 
larly becoming setting for the grandfather's clock, the 
corner cupboard, the fireside chair, and other picturesque 
furnishings of the day. 

In The Valley of Virginia the log house of pioneer 
days was succeeded by small stone houses, many of which 
still remain, and besides them some substantial mansions, 
also of stone, built late in the eighteenth century. Among 
these are " Springdale," the old Hite homestead; " Abra- 
ham's Delight," the quaintly named house of the Hollings- 
worths; and " Mt. Zion," the interesting home of the 
Thrustons. 

The eighteenth century house, whether in the low coun- 
try or in the mountains, was usually entered through a 
small square porch with sloping roof whose comer sup- 
ports varied from a simple post to a fluted column. 

There was often a " porch chamber," built over the 
porch or adjoining it at one side. 

Sometimes there was no porch, but only a flight of steps 
leading to the front door — as at " Stratford," where the 
stone steps are straight and steep, or at " Westover," 
where they are semicircular and lead to a stately doorway 
with a carved pineapple — emblem of hospitality — within 
a broken pediment, above it. 

Contrary to the popular impression, the pillared portico 
generally called colonial did not appear until just before 

67 



COLONIAL MRC;iMA, LIS PEOPLP: AND CUSTOMS 

the Revolution or become frequent until after it. Indeed, 
*' Mt. Vernon," " Nomini Hall" (the home of "Coun- 
cillor" Robert Carter in Westmoreland), and "Sabine 
Hall," the home of Landon Carter in Richmond County, 
are among the few colonial examples known. "Nomini " 
has long since disappeared, but a full description of it is 
given in the diary of Philip Fithian, tutor to the Carter 
children, as it was in 1773. 

According to this witness it was a two-story house 
seventy-six feet long and forty-four wide, with five stacks 
of chimneys and was built of brick, covered with white 
plaster. It had a large portico and a " beautiful jut " 
supported by tall columns, and, as it stood on a high hill, 
could be seen for six miles. A hundred yards from each 
comer of the house stood a dormer-windowed, forty-five 
by twenty-seven foot building. These were used as school- 
house, laundry, coach-house, and stable, and each of them 
formed the corner of a square of w^hich the " great house " 
was the centre — a plan identicalh^ like that of " Stratford." 
In the triangle made by the school-house, laundry, and 
stable was a " bowling-green," levelled for the popular 
game of bowls — or ten-pins as we would call it — and laid 
out in rectangular walks paved with brick. 

In front, the lawn — or yard, to use the less pretentious 
term of the day — was terraced, and an avenue of poplars 
three hundred yards long, which still exists, and is all that 
is left of beautiful " Nomini Hall," led to the road. It is 
easy to imagine that the view of the white pillared mansion 
through this green aisle was, as Fithian pronounces it, 
" most romantic." 

The interior arrangement was the popular one of four 
large rooms on a floor with a wide hall through the centre. 
The dining-room " where we usually sit " and the children's 



D 



U 




D 



f^ 






PLAN OF "STRATFORD" HOUSE AND GROUNDS 




BOX MAZE IN THE GARDEN AT "TUCKAHOE' 



HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO MANSION 

dining-room were on one side, while the " study," contain- 
ing Mr. Carter's fine collection of books, and a ballroom 
thirty feet long, were on the other. Upstairs were jMrs. 
Carter's chamber, the young ladies' chamber, and two guest 
chambers. The tutor and boys slept in chambers in the 
upper story of the school-house. " Nomini " must have 
been a cheerful abode, for Fithian describes the great num- 
ber of windows with their many " lights " to flood the house 
with sunshine by day, and the abundance of candlelight in 
the evening; the twenty-eight fires that glowed and leaped 
in open chimneys and set brass fire-dogs twinkling in cold 
weather ; the music of harpsichord, violin, flute, and guitar 
upon each of which one or more of the family played; the 
frequent treading of the minuet and country dances ; meiTy 
games in which old and young took part; pleasant gossip 
of books, and of public and neighborhood affairs; the 
coming and going of company, and an always bountiful 
board. 

In the Virginia Gazette of 1766 Lawrence Taliaferro 
advertised for sale a plantation on the Rappahannock near 
Port Royal, upon which was a house with four rooms on 
the first floor and two above, and which had a twelve-foot 
porch in front, and at the rear, facing the river, a portico 
fifty-two feet long and eight wide. 

An interesting characteristic of the colonial house was 
its tendency to grow. Families grew apace in those good 
old days, and with the need for more room wings thrown 
out from any point that was most convenient rambled away 
with charming irregularity of line. 

The first mention of a garden in Virginia is in the 
" Voyages " of De Vries, a Dutch sea captain who was 
at Jamestown in 1633. He describes a visit to " Littleton," 
the plantation of George ISIenifee on James River seven 



COLONIAL MIU.LXLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

or eight miles from town, and its two-acre garden, " full 
of Provence roses, apple, pear and cherry trees, the vari- 
ous fruits of Holland with different kinds of sweet smell- 
ing herbs such as rosemary, sage, marjoram and thyme." 

Few remains of colonial gardens now exist and in- 
formation regarding them is meagre. Robert Beverley, 
the historian, writing about 1700, speaks of the ease 'with 
which both fruits and flowers were grown in Virginia and 
especiall}' mentions the tulips, the " perfection of flavor " 
of " all sorts of herbs " and the " charming colors " of the 
hmimiing birds revelling among the blossoms ; but he adds 
that there are but few gardens in Virginia that he con- 
siders worthy of the name. 

In the Virginia Gazette of 1737, Thomas Crease, gar- 
dener to William and jNIary College, advertises garden 
pease, beans, and other seeds and also a choice collection 
of flower roots and " trees fit to plant as ornaments in 
gentleman's gardens." 

" The circle," a driveway from porch to gate around 
each side of a large or small circular or oval plot planted 
more or less elaborately in trees, shrubbery, or flowers, was 
the rule with Virginia farmhouses of all descriptions before 
the Revolution and long afterw^ard. Beyond this, the 
more ambitious houses had lawns, groves, and avenues of 
trees secluding them from the road. At " Stratford " 
there was an oval flower plot at both front and rear — the 
one in front having in it a sun-dial. 

Other favorite details of the colonial garden, whether 
terraced or level, were the box-walk, tlie ])ox-maze, and the 
rose-embowered summer-house — both dwarf-box and tree- 
box being much in use. A dwarf-box maze at " Tuckahoe " 
and one at ^It. Vernon may still be seen. Gone is the 
original, beautiful garden at " Westover," praised by 

70 



HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO MANSION 

Chastellux when with other French officers he visited the 
Byrd family, soon after tlie surrender of Yorktown, but 
some clumps of the ancient box-trees have survived, and 
the flower garden and its wall have in late years been 
restored. 

Among directions for the " Governor's Pallace " in 
Williamsburg it was ordered that the flower garden behind 
the house as well as the courtyard before it be enclosed 
with a brick wall four feet high with a balustrade on top. 

Sometimes there was a large area devoted entirely to 
flowers. Again, vegetable gardens would have walks bor- 
dered "vvith flowers or the first terrace of a " falling " gar- 
den would be devoted to flowers wliile those below would 
contain grape-arbors and vegetable squares. To one side 
or below it, and embowered with evergreen shrubs or ti'ees, 
was often the family graveyard. 

Fithian frequently mentions pleasant walks with the 
Carter family in the garden at " Nomini." On March 16 
he noticed that peas were up two or three inches, cowslips 
and violets beginning to bloom, the English honeysuckle 
was in leaf, and fig and apricot trees and asparagus beds 
began to give promise of their delightful ofl'erings. 

Colonel B\Td, in his " Progress to the Mines," writes of 
the garden and " terrace walk " at Governor Spotswood's 
home at Germanna, and George Braxton's letter book con- 
tains a contract with a man whose profession was " the 
laying out of ornamental grounds," for making a " falling 
garden " and bowling green at " Newington," " accord- 
ing to the best efforts of his art." 

" Ceelys," the Cary home near Hampton, built in 1706 
and burned by negroes soon after the Civil War, and 
■" Society Hill," the home of Francis Thornton, King 
George County, are also known to have had falling gar- 
dens. Among gardens some of whose terraces remain are 

71 



COLOXIAT. VIU(.INIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

those at " Sabine Hall " and " Carter's Grove," while in 
" Mt. Airy " f^arden, in which in Fithian's time stood " four 
large, beautiful marble statues," may still be seen a sunken 
bowling green and a picturesque ruin which was once a 
conservatory. The terraced court-yard with its stone balus- 
trade in front of the " iSIt. Airy " house, and the approach 
through a deer park, make the grounds unusuall}^ elaborate, 
and at both " Sabine Hall " and " Brandon," the storied 
James Kiver home of the Harrison family, a park, shaded 
with splendid trees, stands between the house and the road. 
The flower garden at " Brandon " is justly famous. It 
stretches from the rear entrance of the house to the river 
and is unbroken by terraces, but with its broad " grass 
walk " hedged with old-fashioned perennials of every kind, 
its spaces of bloom and spaces of greensward, its masses 
of shrubbery, its magnolia, mimosa, smoke, and other orna- 
mental trees and its charming water view, it is a place to 
dream in and to dream about. 

Did the Colonial Virginia carpenters bring their skill 
in woodwork from England or did they acquire it after 
they came over? It is impossible to answer, but certain 
it is that they were artists — though doubtless unconscious 
ones — and their masterpieces in cornices, wainscoting, man- 
tels, and doorways deserve a place in the annals of Ameri- 
can art. In a great nimiber of houses small and large, 
brick and frame, from the beginning to the end of the 
period were rooms and halls panelled to the ceiling, chim- 
ney-pieces and cornices of chaste design, graceful arch- 
ways and balustrades, fluted pillars and pilasters — gen- 
erally of pine or cedar, painted white. 

In a few of the greater mansions the wood used was 
mahogany and the carving correspondingly rich, but the 

72 




By courtesy of Macmillan & Company 

E-SHAPED ENGLISH MANOR HOUSE 




\R I F R ^ ( Rl Hv (.1 01 ( Fsl ER COUNTY 

()riginill> m h -sh iped house 



HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO IVIANSION 

sumptuous mahogany balustrade and panelling at " Rose- 
well " and the richly carved doorways and cornices at 
*' Shirley " are not more surprising than the artistic work 
to be found in far smaller houses such as " Toddsbury," 
the early home of the Todds and Tabbs of Gloucester — an 
ancient, wee homestead with a beautiful interior — to name 
one of the many. 

The interesting old Nelson House, at Yorktown, has a 
spiral staircase built between the walls, winding from the 
cellar to the top story, whose entrance to each floor is 
concealed in the panelling, and " Nomini Hall " is also said 
to have had a secret stairway. Sometimes panelling made 
possible a secret closet such as one discovered but a few 
years ago at " Brandon "; while an interesting feature of 
" Stratford," is a secret room concealed, not behind wain- 
scoting, but within a cluster of four massive chinmeys. 

Although wood panelling and carving were the almost 
universal decoration for walls of houses which aspired to 
anything more aesthetic than whitewashed plaster, tapestry 
was not unknown, for the inventory of Colonel Francis 
Eppes shows that in 1679 he had " a suit of tapestry hang- 
ings " valued at £lS 17/ at his home in Henrico County, 
then on the frontier,^ and in 1683, William Fitzhugh, of 
Stafford County, ordered through his London agent a 
suit of tapestry hangings for a room twenty feet long, six- 
teen wide, and nine high. Another letter mentions his 
" three rooms hung with tapestr}^" 

When the Governor's Palace, in Williamsburg, was 
built and furnished, in 1710, one of the special orders was 
that the " great room," in the second story, be hung with 
gilt leather.* 

^ Va. Mag. Hist, and Blog., i, 121. 
* Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., xvii, 37. 
73 



COLONIAL VIR(;L\L\, LIS PEOPLE AXD CUSTOMS 

There were a few houses with ceihngs ornamented with 
molded and tinted plaster or papier mache — the most nota- 
ble example being the extremely ornate ceiling in the parlor 
at " Westover." 

AVall-paper made its apjDearance in Virginia about the 
middle of the eighteenth centm-y. The earliest I have 
found was imported by George Washington for Mt. Ver- 
non in 1757. In September, 1769, a Williamsburg mer- 
chant announced in the Virginia Gazette that he had " just 
imported from London a choice collection of the most fash- 
ionable paper hangings for rooms, ceilings, and staircases, 
and in December of the same year James Kidd, upholsterer, 
of Williamsburg, advertised that he was prepared to " hang 
rooms with paper or damask." 

The correspondence of Robert Carter of " Xomini " 
with London merchants shows that he had in his Williams- 
burg house three parlors hung with papers whose descrip- 
tions have quite a modern sound. One of these was " crim- 
son colored," another white with a pattern of large green 
leaves, while the third, with which the best parlor was hung, 
was blue covered with large yellow flowers.^ 

A room was often called after the color of its hangings 
and this is occasionally indicated in inventories, as in that 
of ]\Irs. Elizabeth Digges, who, in 1601, left furniture in 
a " yellow roome," a " large roome over against ye yellow 
roome," and a " red roome," ^^ while the inventory of 
Colonel John Tayloe, of " INIt. Airy," made in 1747, men- 
tions " tlie green room," and that of John Spotswood, 17-58, 
*' the blue room." 

Interiors were given added charm by tlie cozy window 
seats which thick walls afforded, and great chimney-pieces 

^ Glenn's " Colonial Mansions," 266. 
^^ Wm. and Mary College Quarterly, i, 208. 
74 



HOUSES FROM LOG-CABIN TO MANSION 

which projecting into the room formed deep recesses on 
either side. Some of these were left open and lighted with 
many-paned windows, with the usual inviting seats, others 
filled with built-in cupboards with wooden or latticed-glass 
doors. Some of the older houses had corner fireplaces, a 
few of which were tiled. 

Rooms oftenest mentioned by name were the hall, the 
parlor, the parlor chamber, the porch chamber, the room 
over the parlor chamber, the hall room, the shed room, 
garrets and closets. The principal bedroom was occupied 
by the mistress of the house, and the importance with which 
it was regarded is shown by the names by which it was fre- 
quently called — " tlie chamber " or " the lady's chamber." 
The inventory of Ralph Wormelc}^ of beautiful " Rose- 
gill," in Middlesex, made in 1701, names, with various other 
rooms, the lady's chamber, the room over the lady's cham- 
ber, the nursery, and " the " old " nursery. 

The omission of a dining-room in many inventories 
indicates the use of the hall, which was parlor too in houses 
too small to have a room kept for company, like that of 
Arthur Allen, of Surry, whose inventory, made in 1711, 
mentions fumitui'e in the chamber, room over the chamber, 
the hall, room over the hall, east garret, west garret, porch 
garret, cellar, entry, and pantry ; and that of William Fox, 
of Lancaster, which according to his inventory had in 
1718 a hall, a hall-chamber, hall closet, porch-chamber, 
chamber above stairs, and kitchen. The " chamber above 
stairs " was doubtless a shelving-roofed, dormer- windowed 
room. 

Another of the many inventories describing furniture 
in houses which were evidently of the quaint and popular 
stor}^-and-a-half type is that of Thomas Willoughby, of 

1^ William and Mary College Quarterly, ii, 170. 



COLONIAL VIIKJXLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 



Norfolk Count3% wliich in 1713 names a parlor, a parlor- 
chamber, liall, hall-chaiiiber, porch-chamber, garret over 
the parlor-chamber, and garret over the hall-chamber. 

Twice since Virginia ceased to be " his INIajesty's Col- 
ony " has it been a battle-gromid. From Jamestown to 
the Ke^'ollltion, and long afterward, it was a rural district — 
its homes, standing apart from each other in plantations 
small or large, or here and there in a straggling village 
which ambitiously styled itself a city, have been at the 
mercy of every spark which a wanton breeze could fan into 
a flame, and changes of ownership following death or de- 
cline in fortune have caused household goods to be scattered 
far and wide. 

And so it happens that to-day but a small percentage 
of these homes and an extremely small percentage of 
their equipment remain; yet so rich in information about 
them are the old wills and inventories that but little effort 
of the imagination is required to recreate them completely 
furnished. 



Ill 
HOUSEHOLD GOODS 




FURNITURE 

10 the heart of the Virginian precious 
were the sturdy furniture of the oak 
age, or the later walnut and mahog- 
any, and the good linen, pewter, 
brass or silver " out of England " 
for which, thi'ough a London agent, 
he had exchanged his crop of tobacco 
and which had come over sea to serve him. Whether tliis 
furniture was carved or plain, it was made to endure, and 
in his will he carefully divided it out for the use of his 
" heirs forever." 

It was natural that in a new country where hfe was 
hard at best, a good bed upon which to lay down one's 
weary bones was a possession of first importance, and " my 
feather bed " or " my feather bed and furniture " — mean- 
ing the bedstead, bed-clothing, tester, curtains, valance and 
all the paraphernalia then supposed to belong to a proper 
bed — was not only among the most frequent bequests, but 
a prized heirloom. 

It will be remembered that Shakespeare left his second 
best bed to his wife. The Virginian made a better hus- 
band, for he almost invariably left his best feather-bed 
to his wife and his second best to a favorite child or friend. 
For instance, in 1719 Orlando Jones, of Wilhamsburg, 
bequeathed to his wife his best feather-bed and furniture, 
and to his daughter his next best feather-bed and f m-niture,^ 
and in 1711, Joseph Ball, of Lancaster, left his wife his 
" feather-bed, bolsters and all furniture thereto belonging," 
and his daughter INIary, the mother of Washington, " aU 

^ William and Mary Quarterly, viii, 191. 
6 77 



COLONIAL MRGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

the feathers in the kitehen loft to be put in a bed for her." 
AVhether the best bed stood in a chamber on the first 
floor, " over against the parlor," or in a dormer- windowed 
" room above stairs," and whether its sheets were of ozna- 
burgs, dowlas or fine Holland, plain — as most of them 
were — or trimmed with " Elgin lace ", like those left by- 
James Sampson, of Isle of Wight, in 1689; whether its 
curtains were chintz or kidderminster — like those of 
Thomas Jefferson, great-grandfather of the immortal 
Thomas — or yellow silk — like those of Mrs. Elizabeth 
Digges, whose descendants living to-day, in Virginia and 
outside of it, are legion — such a bed must have made an 
appealing picture. The apartment in which it stood, 
whether the one room of a log-cabin or the " lady's cham- 
ber" of a mansion, was of generous proportions, for it was 
intended to accommodate, not an individual, but a family, 
if necessary, and not only did the " great bed " stand high 
off of the floor to make room for the trundle-bed which 
was rolled under it during the day and out again at the 
children's bedtime, but often there were one or two more 
large beds in the room. In the inventory of Philip Smith, 
of Northumberland, 1724, fifteen bedsteads are appraised, 
and that of Clement Reade, of Lunenburg, shows that he 
left, in 1765, twelve beds " and furniture." 

Less highly esteemed than the downy feather-bed 
was the " flock-bed," stuffed with bits of wool or cotton 
or with rags. Yet it, too, was of sufficient value to be 
handed down by will. In 1652 Thomas Gibson left his 
daughter his " best flock-bed with rug, bolster and pillow 
and the fine pair of Holland sheets." 

Bed coverings were important items and handsome 
imported quilts, or quilts of her own handiwork, among 
the housewife's treasures. In the inventory of ^lajor 

78 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



Peter Walker of Xorthampton County, made in 1655, we 
find " a coverlid of tapestry," cambric sheets and an " East 
Indian quilt." Mrs. Nicholas Morris deeded to her son 
in 1665 property including " one bed covering with Queen 
Elizabeth's amies thereon," and Mrs. Ehzabeth Wormeley 
left in 1702 " a crimson satin quilt." Home-made quilts 
were, of course, far more plentiful, for quilt-making was a 
favorite occupation and pastime of women of every class. 
George Lee in his will, 1761, left one of his sons the quilt 
" worked by his mother." 

Another comfort for the bed in constant use was the 
warming-pan to take the chill from the sheets. 

Next in importance to the bed was the chest in all its 
forms, from the plain or carved wooden box which served 
the double purpose of seat and receptacle for clothing, to 
the chest of drawers with or without a dressing-glass top- 
ping it, or hung above it, to be found in large numbers in 
wills and inventories. Late in the period it began to put on 
airs and to appear under the Frenchified name of bureau. 

It was natural that a people so fond of dress as our 
transplanted Londoners should have valued looking- 
glasses, and they were brought over in a variety of styles. 
In addition to the dressing-glass of the chamber, the " chim- 
ney-glass " and " great looking-glass " were used in any or 
every room. 

Chairs were rare in England until about the time of 
the settlement of Jamestown. In earlier days there, only 
the master of the house or the distinguished guest was 
given a chair; less important persons sat on benches, settles, 
or stools. The first chairs were ponderous things of oak 
with solid square backs — which were often panelled and 
gave them the name of " wainscot chairs " — solid wooden 
seats and heavy under-bracing. Later came the chair made 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

also of oak, and oltcn elaborately carved — of the high, 
narrow back with a panel of cane set in and a cane seat; 
the rail-back and splat-back chair — with seat upholstered 
with leather or Turkey work — and finally the light and 
graceful Chippendale and Sheraton and the plainer but 
worthy rush-bottom and Windsor chairs. 

Since, then, the chair was still something of a novelty 
in the mother country, it is not surprising that during early 
settlement days it was a rarity in Virginia and that home- 
made stools, benches, and settles were in general use. 

The first chair in America of which there is any record 
is the green velvet one in which Lord Delaware sat in 
Jamesto\\7i Church. Probably the next is the " Wainscott 
chaire " bequeathed in 1623, by Jolm Atkins of James- 
town, to his friend Christopher Davison, Secretary of the 
Colony.- 

Absence of Virginia wills and inventories for the first 
half of the seventeenth century makes information con- 
cerning personal belongings extremely vague, but we may 
be sure that with the passing of the log-cabin as the dwell- 
ing of the man of property, passed the home-made seat — 
the stool and bench became the poor man's and the fron- 
tiersman's chair as the log-cabin was his home. The ear- 
liest existing records of such things show that there were 
soon chairs in great number and variety in homes of the 
better class. There were great chairs, small chairs, high- 
back chairs, low-back chairs, ami-chairs, elbow chairs, plain 
wooden chairs, Russia leather chairs, Turkey-work chairs, 
willow chairs, cane chairs, Dutch chairs, silk chairs, silver- 
stuff chairs, but no rocking chairs. As the log-cabin was 
called the Virginia house, the rocking chair might well be 
called the Yankee chair, for it was evidently not known 

'^ \'a. Ma^. Hist, and Biog., xi, 154. 
80 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



until a later day when some ingenious New Englander with 
more eye for comfort than beauty invented it to make 
future generations sit down and call him blessed. 

Inventories which remain show that Major Peter 
Walker of Northampton County left as early as 1655 six 
leather chairs, three Dutch chairs and "some willow chairs"; 
Colonel John Carter of Lancaster County, in 1679, fifteen 
Turkey-work and twenty-one leather chairs, also eight 
Turkey- work cushions; George Nichols, of Isle of Wight 
County, in 1677 — among other interesting possessions — • 
" a great joyned chair," evidently a wainscot chair. There 
is no way of ascertaining the age of these or other pieces 
of furniture, as there is no record of how long they had been 
in the possession of their owners, but frequently the ap- 
praisei*s specify that they were " old." 

A few examples of chairs taken at random from a mass 
of eighteenth century inventories, from scattered sections, 
may prove of interest. Colonel William Churchill, of 
Middlesex County, left in 1714 four wooden, twelve 
Turkey- work, twelve Russia-leather chairs and a " great 
green " chair; Peter Presley, of Northumberland County, 
in 1719, eighteen leather chairs; Matthew Hubard, of 
York County, in 1745, twelve " high back leather " ones; 
Mrs. Elizabeth Stanard, widow of William Stanard, of 
Middlesex, in 1747, ten high-back, two low-back, and 
twelve cane chairs, and a cane couch; Clement Reade, of 
Lunenburg County, in 1765, nineteen rush-bottom and 
twenty-five leather chairs. 

John Fontaine, describing in his diary a visit to Robert 
Beverley, at his home " Beverley Park," in 1716, says: 

" He hath good beds in his house but no curtains and 
instead of cane chairs he hath stools made of wood." 

81 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

This was evidently a siinplieity of life that was con- 
spicuously unusual. 

The chair commonly called " roundabout " was cer- 
tainly familiar in Virginia, for a number of them still re- 
main, though not under that name. It was probably the 
" elbow chair " of the wills and inventories. Fit companion 
for the stately canopied four-poster, frequently called the 
" great bed," was the winged fireside chair, or " great 
chair." 

The popular Turkey-work upholster}^ was imported 
into England from the Orient in proper sizes for chair 
bottoms. Turkey carpets, too, were plentiful in England 
and Virginia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
though they were not found on the floor, save in rare in- 
stances W'hen they were laid beside or around the bed, but 
were used as table-covers. Pictures of interiors by the 
seventeenth century Dutch painters show tables of various 
sizes covered with these beautiful carpets often reaching 
to and sweeping the floor — their weight and richness of 
color clearly indicated — and they explain the frequent 
mention in a Virginia will of a " table with carpet of Tur- 
key-work." 

To quote a few of the many examples, Mrs. Amory 
Butler, of Rappahannock, left in 1673 — along with a 
"great looking-glass," " an oval table," " a napkin press," 
and other things which indicate refinement of living and 
easy circumstances — " a Turkey carpet," w^hile in the in- 
ventory of Edward Digges, of York, 1G92, we find two 
Turkey-work carpets besides nine Turkey-work chairs 
and a Turkey-work couch. 

From an order of Court in 1641, enumerating articles 
reserved for the widow of Captain Adam Thoroughgood, 
of Lower Norfolk County, we may learn what was con- 

8i 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



ceived to be " a fit allowance " for furnishing the chamber 
of a gentlewoman of means at that early day. The lady 
was given " one bed with blankets, rugs, and the furniture 
thereunto belonging; two pairs of sheets and pillow-cases; 
one table with carpet ; table-cloth and napkins ; knives and 
forks; one cupboard and cupboard cloths; six chairs, six 
stools, six cushions; six pictures hanging in the chamber; 
one pewter basin and ewer; one warming pan; one pair 
of andirons in the chimney; one pair of tongs; one fire 
shovel; one chair of wicker for a child." The cupboard 
was to contain the following pieces of silver: " One salt 
cellar, one bowl, one tankard, one wine-cup, one dozen 
spoons." ^ 

Very fortunate was this lady in being the proud pos- 
sessor of forks, for these novelties were scarce even in 
England. 

Next in importance to the chamber was the dining- 
room or hall, whose principal pieces of furniture besides 
chairs were, of course, the table and the cupboard. The 
earliest tables were like the benches and stools, hasty, home- 
made affairs, and it is likely that they often consisted of 
boards laid upon trestles at meal time and set aside when 
not in use, after a time-honored English custom from which 
the term " the board," meaning the dining-table, was de- 
rived. The inventory of a small planter of Lower Norfolk 
County shows that he left, in 1643, a " table frame and two 
planks." 

Dining, serving, and tea tables appear plentifully in 
the wills and inventories later in the seventeenth century 
and throughout the eighteenth. Colonel John Carter of 
Lancaster left in 1670 " six Spanish tables." 

Among housewives who could boast of a drawing table 



Ya. Mag. Hist, and Biog., ii, 416, 417. 



COLONIAL VIIUJLXLV, 11^ PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

was Mrs. Amory Butler, who left one in her will, in 1673.* 
This interesting piece of furniture — the first form of ex- 
tension table — had slabs at each end which could be folded 
under when not in use and drawn out and supported by 
wooden braces upon occasion. 

Styles of cupboard frequently mentioned are the corner 
cupboard and the court cupboard — a, short, tall cupboard 
with a closet below and open shelves for the display of 
table service above. Among early owners of court cup- 
boards was George Xicholls, as his bequest of one in 1677 
proves.^ 

In 1732 Colonel Thomas Jones, of Williamsburg, 
settled on his wife, with other property, quite a complete 
equipment for a dining-room — including a comer-cup- 
board on which stood seven punch bowls — " all of which 
things," says the deed, " are now in a room of the dwelling 
of said Thomas Jones called the Hall, and most of them 
are part of the usual furniture of the hall." ^ 

The inventory of Ambrose Fielding of " Wickocomoco 
Hall," made in 1674, gives us quite a clear picture of the 
interior of a well-furnished seventeenth century home 
whose rooms, though they were doubtless large ones, num- 
bered only five — three of which were downstairs, two 
above.^ The "greate room," which was evidently the hall, 
had in it a " long dining table," a serving table, a small 
table, fourteen rush-bottom chairs, two chests, a cupboard, 
a pair of andirons, a bottle case and bottles, a supply of 
linen, earthenware, glass, and pewter, two brass candle- 
sticks, a brass kettle, a brass mortar and pestle, spoons of 

* Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., iii, 65. 
'^ Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., v, 286. 

* Jones Papers, Library of Congress. 

' Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., xiv, 205, 207. 
84 




PATRICK HENRYS 'ELBOW CHAIR' 






CHIPPENDALE CHAIR 
Owned by the Virginia Historical Society 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



silver and of *' alchemy," a silver bowl and drinking vessels 
of silver including a tankard and two tumblers marked 
with the Fielding arms. There were also in this dining 
hall a fowling piece, a musket, two pistols, a rapier, and a 
hanger. 

" Ye parlor chamber " contained a " great bedd," with 
curtains and valance lined with silk, damask tester, silk 
counterpane, linen sheets, a feather-bed and blankets; a 
leather chair, a silk chair, a " carved chest with locks and 
keys," a pewter basin and ewer, a looking-glass, a warming 
pan, a brass candlestick, an ivory comb, two clothes 
brushes. The two upper chambers were more plainly and 
scantily furnished. 

In the parlor were an oval table, a small table, seven 
Turkey- work and three Russian leather chairs, a silk chair, 
a Dutch carved chair, a tapestry couch, a court cupboard, 
some books — including a large Bible — a Turkey carpet, a 
pair of brass andirons, a pair of silver candlesticks, four 
family portraits and three other pictures. 

" Wickocomoco Hall " was in Northumberland, one 
of the counties of the Northern Neck of Virginia, far from 
the little James River metropolis, or from any other town. 

Among handsome novelties to be found in eighteenth 
century parlors were Alexander Spotswood's two japanned 
chests on castors, japanned tea-table and six walnut chairs 
with silver-stuff covers — all of which appear in his inven- 
tory, made in Orange in 1740. Japanned tables and cabi- 
nets were to be found in a good number of houses at this 
period, and at about the same time the escritoire, or " scru- 
toire " as it was often called, became a popular piece of 
furniture for the parlor and other rooms. For instance, 
Francis Eppes, of Henrico, in 1733, bequeathed to an 
heir his " scrutoire standing in the parlor made of black 

85 



COLONIAL MRGLMA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

walnut with gLass doors," in 174.6 Henry Lee, of West- 
moreland, left one of liis sons an " escritoire made of 
mahogany," while in the inventory of John Woodbridge, 
of Kichmond County, 1769, we find a " desk and bookcase 
with glass doors." 

As time went on and fortunes and houses became 
larger, correspondence between the Virginia planters and 
London merchants, as well as other records, bear witness 
that furniture and manners became more luxurious. 

Of course it was to be expected that the house pro- 
vided for the royal governor would be in keeping with the 
dignity of his office as the king's representative in Vir- 
ginia, but the orders of 1710 for the equipment of the 
" Pallace " in Williamsburg seem surprisingly fine for so 
early a day. The orders specify three dozen " strong 
fashionable chairs," three large tables, three large looking- 
glasses and four chimney glasses for the lower apartments. 
Also " one marble bufFette or sideboard with a cistern and 
fountain." 

The " great room " in the second story was to be fur- 
nished with gilt leather hangings and sixteen chairs to 
match, two large looking-glasses with the arms of the Col- 
on}^ on them " according to the new mode," two small 
tables to stand under the looking-glasses, two marble tables 
and eight glass sconces. A large looking-glass was ordered 
for the largest of the bed-chambers, four chimney glasses 
for the other chambers and a " great lanthorn " for the hall.* 

The " great looking-glass " was a favorite ornament for 
the parlor of the well-to-do Virginian, of both the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries, and it appears over and 
over again in wills and inventories. George Nicholls left 
one in 1677. Col. William Byrd, writing in his " Progress 

® Va. Ma^. Hist, and Biog., xvii, 37. 
86 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



to the Mines " of a visit to Governor Spotswood, in 1732, 
says: " I was carried into a room elegantly set off with 
pier glasses." 

Jolin Hunter, of Winiamsburg, left in 1760, with a 
house full of fine furniture, in oak, walnut, and mahogany, 
a gilt pier glass and gilt sconces,^ and at about the same 
date Councillor Carter of " Nomini " ordered from Lon- 
don, for his splendidly equipped town house in Williams- 
burg, a " great looking-glass " four by six and a half feet— 
" the glass to be in many pieces agreeable to the present 
fashion." The house had marble hearths, and stairway- 
candles in wrought brass sconces with glass globes. ^'^ 

Especially interesting is an order from Washington to 
a London merchant showing the style in which he fitted up 
^It. Vernon in 1757. He was then Colonel Washington — 
with the laurels won in the French and Indian War still 
fresh — a bachelor and a beau. It was two years before 
he won a bride, but his mind was running on matrimony 
and it is more than likely that in importing furnishings 
for the principal chamber in his house he was indulging in a 
dream which doubtless came true of its becoming some day 
his bridal chamber. He elected to make it a yellow room 
and ordered for it " a mahogany bedstead with carved and 
fluted pillars and yellow silk and worsted damask hang- 
ings ; window curtains to match ; six mahogany chairs, with 
gothic arch backs and seats of yellow silk and worsted 
damask, an elbow chair, a fine neat mahogany serpentine 
dressing table, with a mirror and brass trinmiings, a pair of 
fine carved and gilt sconces." 

For the parlor he ordered a marble chimney-piece and 
" a neat landskip " to hang over it. In 1759 he ordered 

^ William and Mary Quarterly, viii, 147. 
^'^ Glenn's " Colonial Mansions," 266. 
87 



COLONIAL VIRGLMA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

** two wild beasts not to exceed twelve inches in length," 
and " sundry small ornaments for the chimney-piece." The 
London agent sent " a groupe of ^lEneas carrying his 
Father out of Troy," a Flora, a Bacchus, two vases with 
faces and festoons of grapes and vine leaves, " all neatly 
finished and bronzed with copper," and suggested that the 
^neas group be placed in the middle of the chimney- 
piece, the vases on either side of it and the Flora at one 
end, the Bacchus at the other. He also sent two lions 
" bronzed with copper after the antique Lyons in Italy," 
and assured Colonel Washington that " of all the wild 
beasts as could be made there is none thought better than 
the Lyons." 

And now appear floor coverings. In the ship that 
brought the outfit for the yellow chamber came Wilton 
carpets, wall papers, bed and window curtains of blue 
chintz for a much simpler room, and also fifty yards of 
best, yard wide, royal matting.^^ Councillor Carter had 
Wilton carpets in his Williamsburg house a year or two 
later, and some time before the Revolution Colonel George 
William Fairfax had at " Belvoir," near ]\It. Vernon, a 
" large Wilton Persian carpet." 

" Belvoir " contained many other items of interest, 
among them the equipment of Colonel Fairfax's dressing 
room. In it were an oval glass in a burnished gold frame, 
a mahogany shaving table, a mahogany desk, four chairs 
and covers, a mahogany settee-bedstead with Saxon green 
covers, a mahogany Pembroke table, firedogs, shovel, tongs 
and fender. ^^ 

In a letter from William Nelson, of York, to Messrs. 

" Mt. Vernon Inventory. Preface. 

'^ " Barons of the Potomac and Rappahannock," M. D. Con- 
way, 218. 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



Thomas and Rowland Hunt, merchants, of London, in 
1772, he says: 

" I am much obHged to you for the elegant mahogany 
cistern as well as the convenience to preserve the gravy 
warm, but do you observe that these elegancies are so many 
incitements to luxury to which Virginians are but too 
prone." ^^ 

Robert Beverley, the historian, writing of the Vir- 
ginians about the year 1700, says: 

" They are such abominable ill husbands that though 
their country be filled with wood, yet they have all their 
woodenware from England, their cabinets, chairs, tables, 
stools, chests, cart-wheels, and all other things, even so 
much as their bowls and birchen brooms to the eternal 
reproach of their laziness." 

Beverley must have been referring to the wealthier 
planters, for there were after the earliest years numbers 
of carpenters in Virginia among slaves, indentured servants 
and free men. A quantity of homely but serviceable 
furniture was made by them, and later plenty of good pieces 
were of colonial workmanship. 

In a list of articles to be sold in a private house in 
Williamsburg in 1768 the Virginia Gazette advertises 
" sundry tables and chairs of wild cherry." These and 
the chests of drawers and other articles of cherrj^ men- 
tioned in wills and inventories were doubtless of Virginia 
wood — and make. 

In 1766, " B. Bucktrout, cabinet-maker from London," 
announced in the Gazette that he was doing, in his shop 
in Williamsburg, " all kinds of cabinet-work in the newest 
fashions," and could furnish "the mathematical gouty 
chair," and in 1769 a Norfolk merchant advertised that he 



William and Mary Quarterly, vii, 29. 



COLONIAL MIU;L\L\, LIS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

had just receivt'cl a cargo of " choice mahogany and log- 
wood." 

In 1770 a Williamsburg cabinet-maker named Atwell 
made two bedsteads, three tables, and a dozen Windsor 
chairs for "Councillor " Carter, and in 1772 Bucktrout 
made him " eight mahogany chairs and fom* elbow chairs."^* 

In the absence of details in regard to the work of these 
early cabinet-makers we can only conjecture that they 
used English furniture as patterns and we are supported 
by Bucktrout's promise to reproduce the London fashions. 
Chippendale and Sheraton were the fasliion there, and 
much of such Colonial Virginia furniture as remains shows 
the influence of these famous designers. 

That ^"irginia occasionally patronized the cabinet- 
makers of other colonies is sho\vn by an announcement in 
the Gazette in January, 1739, that the sloop Buth, of 
Rhode Island, had entered A^ork River with " four cases 
of drawers, four desks and other things." 

Though watches of gold and of silver were plentiful 
in Virginia from quite an early day, clocks were rare until 
the middle of the eighteenth century, when they added an 
attractive as well as useful detail to the equipment of the 
" great hall." One of the earliest appearing in the inven- 
tories is that of Ralph Wormeley, of Middlesex, in 1701. 
Among other owners of clocks in different parts of the 
colony were Henry Lee, of Westmoreland, who bequeathed 
one to a son in 1746; James Ball, of Lancaster, to whose 
clock his grandson. Burgess Ball, fell heir in 1754; Mat- 
thew LIubard, of A^ork, whose clock was appraised at 
six pounds sterling in 1745; and Mrs. Ann Mason, of 
Stafford, who left one worth twelve pounds in 1762. 

In ^Lirch, 1768, the Virginia Gazette advertised a lot- 

^* Carter Papers, i, 98-129. 

90 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



tery for disposing of furniture belonging to James Hamil- 
ton, including " an eight-day clock," and in 1766 James 
Gait, " clock and watch-maker, and jeweler," of Williams- 
burg, announced through the same medium his intention 
to remove to " Shockoe, near Richmond town," where he 
*' would keep clocks in repair by the year at reasonable 
rates." 

In striking contrast to the state of ease and polite living 
to w^hich people of means in eastern, and older, Virginia 
had arrived by the middle of the eighteenth century was the 
condition of the settlers across the mountains. It was in 
1716 that Governor Spotswood and his " Knights of the 
Golden Horseshoe " made their memorable journey to the 
top of the Blue Ridge and white men looked upon the 
beautiful Shenandoah Valley for the first time. Long 
before that explorers and traders had blazed their way in 
the southwest to a point some distance past the site of the 
present city of Roanoke; but when Washington was fur- 
nishing his best chamber at Mt. Vernon with carved 
mahogany and yellow damask " The Valley " was still in 
the pioneer stage, the dwellers in its cabins contending with 
difficulties like to those with which the early settlers at 
Jamestown were familiar, including fear of the Indians. 
After the beginning of the French and Indian War they, 
too, had palisaded forts to which the people could flee for 
refuge ; but it was more difficult to haul furniture through 
wood and stream and over mountains than to bring it across 
seas in sailing vessels, and no wonder the log cabins of The 
Valley were even more scantily supplied with conveniences 
of living than had been those at Jamestown. 

Waddell, the well-known historian of Augusta County, 
tells us that these homes were for the first fifteen years or 
more, hardly better furnished than the wigwams of the 
Indians, and that while most of their owners had horses. 



COLONIAL VIRGLXLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

cattle, and Bibles, their minute inventories mention no fur- 
niture. Kercheval in his " History of the Valley," draws 
a similar picture. Instead of " feather-beds and furniture," 
these sturdy folk had pillows, bolsters, and bed-ticks filled 
with straw or chaff, laid on the floor or on rude home-made 
bedsteads, and it seems that these and such tables, stools, 
and benches as necessity must have compelled them to knock 
up were not deemed worth appraisement. 

They had linen brought b\' the Scotch-Irish emigrants 
from their own country — one of whom, Jean Bohannon, 
in 1747, bequeathed her daughter Margaret "the table- 
cloth brought from Ireland"; but not until ^^ 1749 does 
the first table found in the records by Mr. Waddell appear. 
This was the property of Patrick Cook, who had also two 
table-cloths, seven chairs, three beds, a looking-glass, 
wooden trenchers and dishes, one knife and two forks. 
Joseph Walton and Samuel Cunningham each had knives 
and forks two years before this, and Cunningham had nine- 
teen pewter spoons and four pewter dishes. It was the 
custom in The Valley, as in Eastern Virginia, to keep 
pewter on hand for the moulding of table-ware, and many 
spoon moulds are mentioned. In 1751 David Flournoy 
left a dozen pewter plates. 

In 1762 Delft ware appears in The Valley inven- 
tories. The good man is now becoming thrifty, the good 
wife must have something in which to keep her treasured 
plates and dishes, and so, in 1764, we find a corner cupboard. 
Perhaps this was made by George Inglebird, the clever 
carpenter employed by John Latham, in 1766, to make 
him a table " with four divisions in the drawer," and a 
bedstead. ^° Chests of drawers and other comforts to make 



^^ Chalkley's Augusta Records, iii, 7. 
*® Chalkley's Augusta Records, i, 473. 
92 




A -'GRKAl HKl) 




SOME OF THE "SHIRLEY" SILVER 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



glad the heart of the housewife made their appearance 
about the same time, and some, like John Hall, who died 
in 1767, had coifee-pots. In 1769 Thomas Beard be- 
queathed his wife an elbow chaii', and by this token of 
leisure we know that the prosperity ^' for which nature 
destined The Valley had set in, the log-cabin age was soon 
to be followed by the stone-house age and bareness to give 
place to comfort. 

The housewife of the older settlements was rich in table 
and bed linens of various kinds and qualities. At a time 
when forks were expensive rarities, napkins were necessary 
for keeping their predecessors in handling food fairly clean. 
Almost every inventory save those of the extremely poor 
has its list of linen, and even the planter's wife of moderate 
means had a good store of Holland or its cotton substitutes 
— dowlas, canvas, and oznaburgs. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Beasley, of Surry, seems to have been 
especially well equipped in this line. In 1677 she com- 
plained that she had lost during Bacon's Rebellion the year 
before " twenty-two pairs of fine dowlas sheets, six pairs 
of Holland sheets, forty-six pillow cases, twenty-four fine 
napkins, two tablecloths and thirty-six towels, most of them 
fine dowlas." ^* 

There w^as no china in use in the earliest days of the 
colony. Wooden trenchers and pewter plates, dishes and 
liquor-vessels, with a tankard or two of the more precious 
silver — which were passed around with happy unconscious- 
ness of possible germs — made up the table service. The 
inventory of William Stafford shows that he left, in 1644, 
eleven pewter dishes, four pewter porringers, and one pew- 
ter flagon, and in 1670 the wealthy John Carter, of Lan- 



^^ Chalkley's Augusta Records. 
18 Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., v, 372. 
7 93 



COL()NL\L VIRGIMA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

caster County, left a hundred and ten pounds of the " best 
sort of pewter," sixty pounds of the " middle sort of pew- 
ter," and five pounds of " old broken pewter." 

Table knives were in use, but scarce, in the earlier time, 
but as every man had his own knife in his pocket, the lack 
was not seriously felt. Later, among the prosperous, ivoiy 
handled knives and forks like the dozen of Mrs. Elizabeth 
Stanard, of ]Middlesex, silver forks and *' silver hafted " 
knives like the " dozen in a case " of Major Harry Turner, 
of King George County, put the pocket knife — and fingers 
— out of commission as table implements. 

Early in the eighteenth century china began to appear 
in good quantities. Edmund Berkeley, of Middlesex, left 
in 1718, two china bowls, two sets of fine china teacups and 
saucers, eleven chocolate cups and saucers, a china teapot, 
a sugar dish of china and one of glass, and a china tea- 
canister. Xumbers of inventories from this time on include 
china and glass in various quantities from a " parcel of 
earthenware " to complete equipment. Attractive items 
from the collection in the well furnished house of ]Mrs. 
Elizabeth Stanard are a dozen delft soup plates, a dozen 
shallow delft plates, a dozen large delft bowls. 

In a country where it was often necessary to provide 
entertainment for a hungry traveller or a party of hungry 
travellers on short notice, the kitchen furniture was vastly 
important. Kettles of copper and of brass and " great iron 
pots " appear frequently as heirlooms, and inventories show 
pantrj'' and kitchen appointments of varying degrees, from 
those of a poor man of early date who had only an oven, a 
pot, a skillet, two knives, two forks, two tea-cups, and two 
saucers, to those of Philip Ludwell of his Majesty's Coun- 
cil. This gentleman had, in the late rich years of the eigh- 
teenth century, at historic " Greenspring," where Sir Wil- 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



liam Berkeley, from whom the Ludwells inherited it, had 
kept open house for the Cavaliers, the following aids in 
the exercise of hospitality : 

Twenty-two blue and white china dishes, seven and a 
half dozen blue and white china plates, eleven red, white, and 
gilt china dishes, thirty-seven red, white, and gilt china 
plates, five red, white, and gilt bowls, eleven blue and white 
bowls, three sets of red, white, and gilt cups and saucers, 
two sets of blue and white cups and saucers, one set of 
white cups and saucers, fourteen chocolate cups and sau- 
cers, eight brown cups and two tea-pots, seven decanters, 
eight fruit bowls, thirty-nine finger bowls, fifteen glass 
tumblers, four glass salts, six cruits, two mustard pots. 
Also, cider glasses, wine glasses, strong beer glasses, jelly 
glasses, glass salvers. Also, blue and white earthenware, 
stone sweet-meat pots, lead chocolate moulds, tart-moulds, 
ivory knives and forks, dessert knives and forks, sweet-meat 
knives and forks, tea-spoons, tea-boards, tea-chests and 
canisters, coffee and chocolate pots, a coffee roaster and 
toaster, a coffee mill, copper kettles, tea-kettles, fish- 
kettles, and "other kettles "; a copper cooler, brass chafing 
dishes, pewter plates, hot-water plates and dishes, plate- 
baskets and hampers, nut-crackers, pie and cheese plates, 
sifters, flat-irons and stands, a mortar and pestle, milk 
pans, butter pots, pot-hooks, pot-racks, spit-racks, a roast- 
ing jack, a Dutch oven, frying and dripping pans, pre- 
serving, sauce and stew-pans, ladles, skimmers, and graters, 
bell-metal skillets, gridirons, trivets, flesh-forks, pickle- 
pots, spice mortars, and so forth. 

The inventory shows that the rest of Colonel Ludwell's 
house was as well equipped as his kitchen and pantry and 
that he had what doubtless added much to his comfort there 

95 



COLONIAL VIRGL\L\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

in the neighborhood of swampy Jamestown, " mosquito 
curtains." ^'* 

Among household equipments of families of all degrees 
was the powdering tub, used in salting meat. The cooking 
of rich and poor was done on the wide hearth of the great- 
chimney, in vviiich hung the pot-hooks and hangers and the 
roasting jack. 

PLATE 

John Hammond, who spent a good many years in 
Virginia, and wrote " Leah and Rachel " about the middle 
of the seventeenth century, said in that quaint pamphlet 
that there was a good store of silver in the homes of many 
of the planters, but absence of records for the earliest years 
and destruction of many of the later ones will always make 
anything like a complete list of silverware in the colony 
impossible. Certain it is, however, that there was an amaz- 
ing quantity of plate in use, varying from the precious 
little collection of the small planter who left each child a 
spoon, to the owners of great estates whose silver was 
appraised at from one hundred to over six hundred pounds 
sterling. I find in my own incomplete notes names, with 
dates, of nearly two hundred o'vviiers of silver — sixty-odd 
in the seventeenth century and the rest in the eighteenth. 

The earliest plate of any kind in the American colonies 
was of course the Communion Service of Jamestown 
Church. Doubtless Lord Delaware, with his noble rank 
and his regard for the amenities of life, brought table 
silver when he came out as governor in 1609, and very likely 
Sir Thomas Gates and Sir Thomas Dale would have felt 
it necessary to their dignity as knights and governors of 
his Majesty's first colony to be so provided, but we have 
no proof that they were. 

'» Va. Mag. HistTand Biog., xxi, 415, 416. 
98 




GOVERNOR SPOTSWOODS SILVER TEA CADDY 

With his arms and crest 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



The first family silver of which this witness has seen 
record is that of Sir George Yeardly, who, dying in 1627, 
left all his plate to his wife, Lady Temperance Yeardly. 

Sir George was said to have brought only his sword 
with him on his first coming to Virgina, in 1609, as 
" George Yeardly, gentleman," but in 1618 when during a 
visit to England, he was knighted and commissioned as 
Governor of the colony, an enemy wrote of him that " he 
flaunted it up and down the street with extraordinary 
bravery, with fourteen or fifteen fair liveries after him." 

John Pory, Speaker of the famous First Legislature 
in America — convened by Governor Yeardly in 1619 — 
writes in that year that when Sir George " and his lady " 
were last in London he was able " out of his mere gettings " 
in Virginia to spend nearly three thousand pounds to fur- 
nish him for the return voyage. It is likely that the plate 
bequeathed Lady Temperance was brought over then. 

This indefinite bequest of " all my plate " to a single 
heir, or to be divided among heirs, so often appearing in 
the wills, is extremely tantalizing, but in many cases pict- 
uresque items are named. Among the earliest of the re- 
maining inventories is that of John Lanckfield, of Lower 
Norfolk County, a man of moderate means who left, in 
1640, a silver dram cup and a silver spoon. 

When the estate of Captain Adam Thoroughgood, also 
of Lower Norfolk, was divided in 1642, it included, with 
other silver, two dozen spoons and two small bowls, and the 
widow " did claim them as a gift given her by her brothers. 
Sir John Thoroughgood, Knt., and Mr. Thomas Thor- 
oughgood at her marriage with their brother Captain 
Thoroughgood." This is doubtless the earliest reference 
to silver as a wedding present in America. 

To quote a few of the earliest wills which have been 

97 



COLONIAL VIRGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

preserved, in 1641 Anthony Barham, of Warwick County, 
bequeathed his god-daughter Sarah Butler, daughter of hia 
" friend and gossip, Wilham Butler," 30 shillings to buy 
a wine cup; in 164-3 William Burdett, gentleman, of 
Nortliampton County, left his son Thomas " the silver 
spoons with his name engraved on them," and in 1653 
George Ludlow, of York County, left to one friend " my 
great silver tankard with my arms on it," and to another 
the " silver tankard lately brought in." 

As far out of the world as were the Virginians they 
tliought much of keeping in the fashion. In 1655 Colonel 
Ki chard Lee took some of his plate to London to have its 
fashion changed. There was a law against exporting silver 
from England, and when he was about to embark on his 
homeward voyage the customs officers at Gravesend seized 
his " trunk of plate," but on his affidavit that it was all 
intended for his own use and that most of it had been 
brought from Virginia a year and a half before, and that 
every piece had his coat-of-anns on it, it was given back 
to him.^^ The inference is that silver which had become 
old-fashioned must have been here some time. 

The McCartys, at their coming to Virginia, about 1660, 
brought quite an array of silver with them from Ireland. 
A handsome collection, most likely the same, appears in the 
will of Captain Daniel McCarty, of Westmoreland County, 
in 1724, and much of it came down in direct line to the late 
Captain W. Page JNIcCarty, of Richmond. He was the 
happy possessor of twelve tankards, six salt cellars, a tea 
um, and a sugar dish — all engraved with the McCarty arms 
and some of it bearing the date 1620.^^ 

Hannah Fox was one of the most fortunate young 

""^ Lee's " Lee of Virginia," 21. 
^' Haydcn's Va. Genealogies, 85. 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



women of her time. In 1662 her father, David Fox, of 
Lancaster made a deed to take effect after his death, giving 
her all the plate with which he was " then possessed withal " 
— namely, three dozen large silver spoons, one large sylla- 
bub dish with a cover, a tankard and a caudle cup, each 
holding a quart, a sugar dish in the form of a scallop shell, 
an engraved fruit dish with a foot, a plain fruit dish, a 
large salt cellar, two small ones and one trencher salt, two 
" large, substantial " porringers, a wine bowl, a sack cup, 
a large dram cup, a basin holding a gallon, a plain caudle 
cup with three legs. 

During Bacon's Rebellion in 1676 some of his soldiers 
seized the house of Mr. Arthur Allen, in Surry County, 
and fortified it, and it has ever since been known as 
*' Bacon's Castle." According to a deposition after the 
Rebellion, one of the men was very inquisitive about Mr. 
Allen's plate, " importuning the deponent to tell where it 
was hid," ^^ which suggests that silver plate was supposed 
to be found in a gentleman's house. 

Interesting bequests made by Mrs. Katherine Isham 
in her will made in 1686 and sealed with the Isham arms, 
are her " best silver tankard," her " next best silver tank- 
ard," her " small silver tankard," her " biggest silver tank- 
ard but one," her " largest silver porringer," and her " great 
silver cup." ^^ 

Novelty characterizes the description of plate be- 
queathed by James Sampson of Isle of Wight, in 1689. 
He gave his daughter Margaret a silver bowl and two wine- 
cups, *' one with a foot and the other with a bulge," and 
three silver spoons " with nobs at the ends." ^^ 



22 Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., v, 370. 

23 Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., iv, 124. 

24 William and Mary Quarterly, vii, 245. 



99 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

"William Fitzhugh, of Stafford, had a great quantity of 
plate bearing liis arms, which he bought not only for its 
useful and ornamental qualities, but because he believed it 
to be a safe investment for his children. In a letter to a 
London merchant in 1090, acknowledging the safe receipt 
of a lot of silver, he says it amved " just in time for a sev- 
eral days' visit from the Governor." His will, made in 
1700, disposes of fifty-eight pieces of massive silver table 
service, besides spoons — including nineteen plates, three 
bread plates, eight dishes, a set of castors, a " Montieth," 
seven candlesticks, two pairs of candle snuffers with stands, 
and a chocolate-pot, and it is believed that he had already 
given many pieces to his children. 

Beer and wines were on every table — hence the popu- 
larity of tankards and wine cups. With the use of tea -and 
coffee, toward the end of the seventeenth century, silver 
tea and coff'ee pots make their appearance in the records 
and become numerous thereafter. In 1716 iSlrs. Elizabeth 
Churchill, of ^liddlesex, bequeathed with much other plate 
to her daughter Elizabeth a silver tea-kettle and tea-kettle 
stand, and in 1733 the will of Captain Francis Eppes, of 
Henrico, with a good supply of silver, including a " large 
flowered tankard," names a teapot. The beautiful tea- 
caddy of Cxovernor Spotswood, bearing arms, is still in 
existence. 

An advertisement in the Maryland Gazette for silver 
stolen from the house of Mr. Thomas Lee, of Virginia, in 
1728-20, mentions among the missing pieces a chocolate- 
pot, a teapot, and a coffee-pot. 

During the prosperous eighteenth centun^- there was, 
naturally, a great increase in the quantity of silver brought 
to Virginia. A cherished handful of teaspoons took the 
shine off of the pewter in a large number of little farm- 

100 



HOUSEHOLD GOODS 



houses, while in the " great " houses of the large planta- 
tions the soft light of wax candles fell on cupboards and 
newly acquired and new-fashioned sideboards sparkling 
with plate of goodly weight and elegant design. 

In 1769 the silver plate at " Westover " was valued at 
six hundred and sixty-two pounds. It included an epergne 
worth fifty pounds and many other fine pieces. The com- 
plete list is worth quoting in full and here it is: "An 
epergne, a pitcher and stand, a bread basket, ten candle- 
sticks, a snuffer stand, a large cup, two large punch bowls, 
two coffee pots, six cans, a sugar dish, a sugar basket, two 
sauce boats, eight salt cellars and spoons, two sets of castors, 
a cruet, a large waiter, two middle sized waiters, four small 
castors, a cream boat, four chaffing dishes, a tea kettle, a 
' reine,' two pudding dishes, a fish slice, a sucking bottle, 
a large sauce-pan, a punch strainer, a punch ladle, a soup 
ladle, a small sauce-pan, four ragout spoons, two large 
sauce spoons, three marrow spoons, seven dozen knives and 
six dozen and eleven forks, eleven old-fashioned table- 
spoons, four dozen best large tablespoons, two dozen dessert 
spoons, three pairs of tea tongs, two tea strainers, one mus- 
tard spoon, one dozen new teaspoons, eleven second best 
teaspoons, six camp teaspoons, seven old teaspoons, five 
children's spoons, a large camp spoon, two small camp 
spoons, a camp cup, a broad candlestick." ^^ 

In the latter part of the eighteenth century silver spoons 
appeared in small numbers in The Valley, where as early 
as 1746 Katherine Green was charged with stealing a silver 
plate from " David Kinked, joiner, and wife." ^^ 

From this it would seem that making tables and chairs 
was a thrifty trade in those parts. 



25 Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., ix, 81, 82. 
^^ Chalkley's Augusta County Records, i, 431. 
101 



IV 

SOCIAL LIFE 




I— THE HOME 

HE vast majority of Virginians 
throughout the colonial period were 
country people, born and bred. True, 
many of the emigrant founders of 
families built up their fortunes by 
engaging in business as merchants 
or as Indian traders, but even these 
cultivated the profitable tobacco and other crops with 
enthusiasm, and their sons, as a rule, aspired to be and 
were planters only. 

In 1666 Governor Berkeley, writing to Lord Arling- 
ton of conditions in the colony, said: 

" We live after the simplicity of the past age, indeed 
unless the danger of our coimtry gave our fears tongues 
and language we should shortly forget all sounds that did 
not concern the business and necessities of our farms." 

The county seat and warehouse were little centres of 
public and private business, and of news, and during the 
seventeenth centuiy Jamestown, with its fifty to sixty 
houses, was known throughout the colony as " town." In 
the later eighteenth century Norfolk became a prosperous 
port with full-rigged ships and smaller craft constantly 
coming and going, and several tliousands of inhabitants. 
Williamsburg had about one thousand, and Petersburg, 
Richmond, Fredericksburg, Alexandria, and some other 
places on the rivers — none of which were more than large 
villages — became busy marts of trade. But all of these 
together made but a small part of the colony; the far 
larger, rural population was composed of many classes, 
from the great planter and slaveholder whose lands ex- 

102 




"WESTOVER" DOORWAY 



SOCIAL LIFE 



tended around his ample home as far as eye could see, to 
the squatter on a few acres, in his one-room cabin. Much 
more numerous than either extreme was the farmer of the 
middle class living with no attempt at elegance, but in 
plenty, and supphed with every real necessity. 

Social lines were closely drawn and were recognized 
bj^ all classes, but there was never any iron-bound caste 
to forbid successful men from mounting the social ladder. 
Political democracy prevailed and the Virginian of all 
ranks was sturdily independent. In Northampton, in 1644, 
there was a quarrel between Captain WilMam Stone, a 
magistrate — who had been high sheriiF of the county and 
was later Governor of Maryland — and Mr. Peter Walker, 
a respectable citizen. The difficulty was taken to court 
and a witness testified that he had heard Mr. Walker say 
to Captain Stone: 

" God's woimds ! I am as good a man as thee, and 
better too, better borne and better bredde." ^ 

The attitude was typical. Indeed, the life encouraged 
independence. Not only was the large or small planter's 
house his castle, his plantation was his kingdom. He was 
a man in authority bidding his one slave or his hundreds of 
slaves and scores of white, indentured servants do his will. 
To these he was master, to his household he was the head — 
the authority from whom there was no appeal. 

That the fmmdation of_aILsociaLlifei§^th£iamiLy_.,wa& 
never anywhere more fully illustrated than in Virginia. 
Distance between homes caused dependence of members 
of the household upon each other and made large families 
to be desired; the most fortunate parents were they that 
had the greatest number of children. Grandmothers en- 
joyed a position of honor, and other dependent relatives 



Northampton County Records. 
103 



COLOMAl. MKCIMA, Ti^ TEOPLP: AND CUSTOMS 

were welcome additions to the circle. If they were women 
they generally helped about the housekeeping, if men they 
found occupation enough in hunting and fishing; in either 
case they provided relief from loneliness. There was 
always plenty of food and plent}- of firewood, and the more 
to enjoy them the merrier was the pleasant doctrine. 

In 168G William Fitzhugh wrote Ills brother in London : 

" God Almighty hath been pleased to bless me with a 
good wife and five children and means to support them 
handsomely." He had heard that his mother and sister 
were in straitened circumstances in the old country, and 
directed that his fortune be drawn upon to assist them " if 
it be to the utmost farthing." In regard to his sister he 
said, " I should be heartily glad of her good company, 
with an assurance she shall never want as long as I have 
it to supply her," and added, " I would desire and entreat 
you that she come out handsomely and genteely and well 
clothed, with a maid to wait on her and both their passages 
paid." 

In 1702 Samuel Griffin, of Northumberland County, 
directed in his will that his kinsman, Samuel Godwin, have 
" free accommodation " in his house for three years; and 
Robert Beverley, of " Newlands," in his will made in 1733, 
directed that his three maiden sisters " have board and live " 
in his house after his death — as during his life — mitil mar- 
riage, " without charge or expense," and gave them six 
pounds a year and the produce of their own slaves, who 
were to be permitted to work on his plantation. 

If the presence of these and other " in-laws " made 
discord in colonial homes there is no proof of it. 

Wills are a fruitful source of information as to relations 
between husbands and wives — careful provision for the 
wife with unqualified tributes to her good qualities being 

104 



SOCIAL LIFE 



the rule — and references of husbands and wives to each 
other and to their children in letters, diaries, and other 
records bear witness to the affection and confidence which 
generally characterized home life. Among the earliest of 
such testimonials is that given by John Rolf e, who, writing 
from Jamestown, in 1617, of his sorrow at the death of his 
wife, Pocahontas, expresses his great desire to have her 
infant son with him as soon as he is old enough to be 
brought from England, and speaks of the courage of the 
mother at the approach of death, " Saying all must die, but 
'tis enough that her childe liveth." 

Dr. John Pott was a popular physician of Jamestown, 
a member of his Majesty's Council and some time Gover- 
nor, but his fondness for the cup that cheers got him into 
trouble. It was charged that while under its influence he 
branded other men's livestock as his own, and — though he 
stoutly denied it — he was tried and convicted of cattle steal- 
ing. Madam Elizabeth Pott made the long and dangerous 
voyage to England alone, in midwinter, to plead for him 
before the Privy Council, whose members were so impressed 
by her devotion that they sent her home with a pardon for 
her husband. 

The records of Lower Norfolk furnish an instance of 
a widow's loyalty to her husband's memorj^ and a quaint 
picture of manners, as well. Women of prominence were 
addressed as " Madam " while those of lower rank were 
called " Goody." Goody Layton told IMadam Thorough- 
good to her face that nobody could get a bill out of her late 
husband. Captain Adam Thoroughgood. The widow in- 
dignantly replied : 

" Goody La\i;on, could you never get yours? " 

" Yes," she admitted, and Madam Thoroughgood bade 
her bring another that could not. At wliich Goody Layton 

105 



COLONIAL MRGIXL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

*' turned about witli a scornful manner and cried, 'Pish.' " 

Then said Madam Thoroiighgood : 

" Goody Layton, you nmst not think to put it off with 
a * pish,' for if you have wronged him you must answer 
for it, for though he be dead I am here in his behalf to 
right liim." 

She swore out a warrant and Goody Layton was or- 
dered to ask her pardon kneeling, before the court and 
people present there, and again in the parish church after 
the first lesson at morning prayer, the next Sunday. 

John Moon, of Isle of Wight County, in his will of 
1655, thus appeals to his wife and children: 

" And for you my children, I charge you all before God 
and the Lord Jesus Christ who shall judge the Quick and 
the Dead that you demean yourselves loving, obedient, com- 
fortable unto your Mother all the days of her life. And I 
charge you my beloved wife that you provoke not your 
children to wrath lest they be discouraged, but bring them 
up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and live 
peaceably and lovingly together." 

Francis Page, of Williamsburg, in his will, 1692, di- 
rected that tombs to be erected over his " dear wife " and 
himself be left to the discretion of his " honored ]Mother " 
and his " dear and loving brother." He gave to his *' dear 
and onl}^ child " all his estate and adds, '* I hereby commit 
her next to the blessing of God to the care, tuition and 
government of my honored ]Mother." 

In 1716 another of this family, Mann Page, of " Rose- 
well," wrote in his Bible: 

" On the 12th day of December (the most unfortunate 
day that ever befell me) about 7 of the clock in the morning, 
the better half of me, my dearest dear wife, was taken 

1 me." ^ 

Page Family, 63, 143. 

106 




EVELYN BYRD 



SOCIAL LIFE 



On the next day, December 13, 1716, we find Colonel 
Byrd writing from London to inform his brother-in-law. 
Colonel Custis, of the death of his first wife, his " dear 
Lucy " Parke. " Gracious God," he exclaims, " what pains 
did she take to make a voyage hither to seek a grave. No 
stranger ever met with more respect in a strange country 
than she had done here from many persons of distinction, 
who all pronounced her an honor to Virginia. Alas ! how 
proud was I of her and how severely I am punished for it ! "^ 

Richard Bray, in 1690, bequeathed most of his property 
to his wife, Ann, with the wish that after his death she 
would " go to England and live like a gentlewoman " ; and 
Benjamin Harrison, disposing of a handsome estate in 
1743, said: 

" Forasmuch as my wife hath at all times behaved in 
a most dutiful and affectionate manner to me — always 
assisting me through my whole affairs, I therefore think 
proper to give my dear wife as a small requital over and 
above the thirds of my estate aforesaid. ..." Handsome 
legacies follow — among them a coach and horses, a chariot, 
a gold watch, and jewels. 

In a majority of wills the wife is left sole executrix, 
often without bond. For instance in 1669, the wealthy 
Edward Digges, of " Belfield," York County, who had 
been for some time in England, but was "now bound upon 
a voyage to Virginia," made his wife, Elizabeth, his execu- 
trix and gave her twelve hundred pounds sterling and 
all the rest of his estate except two hundred and fifty 
pounds each to his eight children. No wonder the lady 
sought repose in a " great bed " canopied with yellow silk! 

Provision against a grasping successor was frequent. 
For instance, ]Major Robert Beverley, of Middlesex, in 

^ Glenn's " Colonial Mansions," 34-, 35. 
107 



COLONIAL VIRGLXLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

1686, made his " deare and loving wife Catherine," full and 
sole executrix, " without security so long as she shall re- 
main a widdow," but if she sliould marry or leave Virginia 
she was to give bond; while Daniel Gaines, in 1757, left his 
" beloved wife Eliza " his whole estate during her natural 
life or widowhood, but added: 

*' In case of my wife marrying, embezzling or squander- 
ing any part of my estate that is left to her, it shall be 
directly taken out of her hands to be taken care of for 
the use of my six children." * 

In his " Progress to the Mines " Colonel Byrd — then 
married to his second wife, Maria Taylor, gives us some 
pleasant glimpses of himself and of Governor Spotswood — 
who married late in life — as family men. Leaving " West- 
over " on September 18, 1732, he says: 

" For the pleasure of the good company of Mrs. Byrd 
and her little governor, my son, I went about half way 
to the Falls in the Chariot " — to which he drove six horses. 
This was about twenty miles; the rest of his journey was 
made on horseback. 

Arrived at " Germanna," he " spent the evening 
pratthng with the ladies — " Mrs. Spotswood and her sister 
Dorothea, or " Miss Theky," as she was called. 

" I observed," he continues, " my old friend to be very 
uxorious and exceedingly fond of his children. This was 
so opposite to the maxims he used to preach up before he 
was married that I could not forbear rubbing up the mem- 
ory of them. But he gave a very good-natured turn to his 
change of sentiments by alleging that whoever brings a 
poor gentlewoman into so solitary a place from all her 
friends and acquaintance would be ungrateful not to use 
her and all that belongs to her with all possible tenderness." 

* William and Mary Quarterly, v, 91. 



SOCIAL LIFE 



Nearing home again, on October the ninth, the traveller 
writes : 

" My long absence made me long for the domestic de- 
lights of my own family, for the smiles of an affectionate 
wife and the prattle of my innocent children." 

Lord Adam Gordon, who visited Virginia in 1765 
and recorded his impressions in his journal, said of the 
women that they made excellent wives and he had not 
heard of one unliappy couple.^ 

There were, of course, unsatisfactory husbands and 
wives — as there have always been, in eveiy quarter. In 
1625 Joseph Johnson was tried for wife-beating and put 
under a bond of forty pounds to keep the peace. In 1714 
Mr. John Custis and his wife Frances had a quarrel that 
made necessary an agreement, now on file in Northampton 
County, in which it was ordered that — 

" Frances shall henceforth forbear to call him, ye said 
John, any vile names or give him any ill language, neither 
shall he give her any, but to live lovingly together and to 
behave themselves as a good husband and good wife ought 
to do and that she must not intermeddle with his affairs 
but that all business belonging to the husband's manage- 
ment shall be solely transacted by him, neither shall he 
intermeddle in her domestic affairs but that all business 
properly belonging to the management of the wife shaU 
be solely transacted by her." 

According to a deposition in the Lower Xorfolk records 
of 1640: 

" Matthew Hayward's wife did live as brave a life as 
any woman in Virginia, for she could lie abed any morning 
till her husband went amilking and came back again and 
washed the dishes and skimmed the milk and ^Ir. Edward 



^ " Travels in the American Colonies," Mereness, 406. 
8 109 



COL()MAI> VIlUilMA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Florde would come in and say, ' Come, neighbor, will you 
walk?' 

"So they went abroad and left the cliildren crying, that 
lier husband was faine to come home and leave his work 
to quiet the children." 

As there was no ecclesiastical court in Virginia there 
were no divorces, but there were a few legal separations, 
ordered by county courts. The Virginia Gazette of the 
middle and latter part of the eighteenth centuiy contains 
occasional advertisements of deserted husbands warning the 
public against crediting their wives, and Colonel James 
Gordon's diary informs us that in 1763 Captain Glascock 
ran away from his wife and took a young woman with him. 

But all of these are rare exceptions. There is abundant 
proof that Virginia was a land of happy marriages — of 
loving and trusting husbands and wives, surrounded by 
children who w^ere objects of the utmost pride and devotion. 

Robert Boiling, of " Kippax," concludes a Bible record 
of the births of his children thus : 

" That God Almighty may bless these blessings shall 
be the continual prayer of their father." 

William Beverley, writing of the death of a son in 
1743, exclaimed, " Oh! that I had died in his room, for 
tho' I know I ought to submit in patience, yet my melan- 
choly increases and I believe it won't be long before I lie 
in the dust with him who was the sweetest bov that ere was 
bom." 

Yet children were disciplined and especially were they 
made to obey. The commandment to honor their parents 
was drilled into them, and the maxim *' spare the rod and 
spoil the child " was taken literally and followed faithfully. 
Politeness was considered of first importance, and parents, 

grandparents, teachers, and nurses all took a hand in train- 
no 



SOCIAL LIFE 



ing boys and girls to mind their manners. A gentleman 
of Middlesex, in making his will, cut his son off with a 
sliilling " for some disrespect." 

Colonel Daniel Parke, writing about 1702 to his daugh- 
ter Frances, who afterward became Mrs. Custis — and for 
all her careful training fell out with her husband — ad- 
monishes her thus: 

"Do not learn to romp but behave yourself soberly 
and like a gentlewoman. ... Be calm and Obliging to all 
the Servants, and when you speak doe it mildly, even to 
the poorest slave ; if any of the Servants commit small faults 
yt are of no consequence, doe you hide them. If you imder- 
stand of any great faults they commit, acquaint yr mother, 
but do not exaggerate the fault." 

Fithian declared that liis pupils at " Nomini Hall " 
were more polite to the servants who waited on them than 
many ladies and gentlemen in his own colony were to each 
other. 

Interesting pictures of domestic life are afforded by old 
letters and diaries and show the children of the long ago 
colonial days to have been very human little people. In 
1728 Mrs. Thomas Jones, of Williamsburg, went to Eng- 
land in search of health, leaving her year-old baby, Dolly, 
two-year-old Tom, and seven-year-old Bessy Pratt — the 
child of an earHer marriage — to the care of her husband 
and mother. In a letter from the husband, who was still 
a lover, addressing her as " Dearest Life," and describing 
his state of desolation in her absence, he says of his little 
step-daughter : 

" I asked her t'other day whether she would not rather 
live with somebody else than with me, but she told me she 
would not leave me to go to anybody or anywhere else, 
and you know she is a plain dealer and not afraid of incur- 



COLONIAL MRG1NL\, LIS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

ring my displeasure for anything she can say. She drinks 
your health very cheerfully every day after dinner. Upon 
a late visit she made to the Governor's Lady, passing 
tlirough the Hall wliere the Governor, myself and several 
more were Setting, she behaved so very prettily that he 
cou'd not forbear taking particular notice of her. She 
also behaves very handsomely at Church and all public 
places, which I promised her to let you know." He says of 
Tom, " There is great prospect of liis making a fine boy," 
and that Dolly is " as engaging as I think it possible for a 
child of her age to be." 

The grandmother, Mrs. Holloway, writing her daugh- 
ter, says that little Tom " has fallen in love ^\dth his maid 
Daffney. He kisses her and runs his head in her neck for 
w'ch he is never ye sweeter or cleaner, but you know chil- 
dren thrive on durt." 

Of Bessy Pratt, the grandmother says, " she has made 
a pocket handkerchief (as prettily as you can work) . She 
is now hem'g a neck handkerchief for me." 

This delightful little girl's older brother, Keith Pratt, 
was at school in England, and here is a fascinating little 
letter from her to him, written when she was' eleven vears 
old: 

Virginia, August 10th, 1732. 
Dear Brother: 

I was very glad to hear by both your letters to my Ma-ma that 
you was well ; I wish there was not so much water betwixt us as I 
am told there is, I wou'd come to see you, tho' as it is I cou'd 
venture if my Ma-ma would come with me, and I shou'd think it the 
greatest Pleasure in the world ; But as there is little hopes of that, 
I must be contented till you are big enough to come and see me, 
which I think will be more decent as I wear Petty-coats, but then 
you will see so many fine and agreeable Ladies every day that 
I'm afraid you will hardly think it worth while to come so far to 
see a Sister; so tliat perhaps I may never see you at all, which 

112 




A COLONIAL DOLL 




MAMMY BY THE KITCHEN FIRE AT "GREENSPRING' 



SOCIAL LIFE 



wou'd be a hard fate, only a Bro': and a Sister not to see one 
another so long as we live; but to be as perfect strangers, not to 
know each other tho' if by any accident (as they say) we were 
to meet in a dish: However, as we can both write, I shall always 
once or twice a year as opportunity offers let you know how I do, 
and I hope you will do the same. I find you have got the start of 
me in learning very much, for you write better already than I 
expect to do as long as I live ; and you are got as far as the Rule 
of three in Arithmetick, but I can't cast up a sum in addition 
cleverly, but I am striving to do better every day. I can perform 
a gTeat many dances and am now learning the Sibell, but I cannot 
speak a word of French. I fear you will think my letter too long, 
therefore shall only ad that all our Bros and Sisters that can 
speak give their love and Service to you, and be assured that I am 
Your most affectionate Sister." ^ 

A few samples from a fragment of a diary which has 
been preserved kept by small Sally Fairfax, in 1771 and 
1772, will serve to show us another very lively little colonial 
girl: 

" On thursday the 26th of decem. Mama made 6 ^lince 
pies and 7 custards, 12 tarts, 1 chicking pye and 4 pudings 
for the baU." 

" On Satterday the 28th of decem. I won 10 shillings 
of Mr. Wm. Payne playing chex," 

" On Thursday 2d of Jan. 1772, Margery went to wash- 
ing and brought all the things in ready done on Thursday 
the 9th of the same month. I think she was a great while 
about them, a whole week if you will believe me, reader." 

" On Friday the 3d of Janna. that vile man Adam at 
night killed a poor cat of rage, because she eat a bit of 
meat out of his hand & scratched it. A vile wretch of New 
Negrows, if he was mine I would cut him to pieces, a 
son of a gun, a nice negrow, he should be killed himself by 
rites." 



Jones Manuscripts — Library of Congress. 
113 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

" On Friday the lOtli of Jan. Margery mended my 
quilt very good." 

" On Saterday, the 11th of Jan. Papa measured me 
on the right side of the door, as you come out of the 
chamber." 

" On Saterday, the 11th of Jan. I made me a card 
box to put my necklass in, & I put them in." 

" On Thursday the 16th of Jan. there came a woman 
& a girl and INIama bought 3 old hens from them & gave 
them to me, which reduced the debt she owed me, which 
was 5 and nine-pence to three & nine-pence, which she 
now owes me, & she owes me fiveteen pence about Nancy 
Percys ribon, which she never paid." 

Little Sally was the granddaughter of Colonel William 
Fairfax of " Belvoir " and daughter of Rev. Bryan Fair- 
fax of " Toulston," who was, in 1800, recognized by the 
House of Lords as the eighth Lord Fairfax. She died 
while still a young girl. 

Colonial children, like cliildren the world over, loved 
toys and games. Doubtless most of the toys of earliest 
times were home-made, but they had " store " toys too, 
for Williamsburg shops advertised them in the Virginia 
Gazette — tea-sets for little girls being especially mentioned. 
In 1734 a jointed doll was imported for Betty Carter, and 
in 1769 a runaway servant advertised in the Gazette had a 
toy watch in his pocket. In a pleasant letter to her sister, 
Mrs. George Braxton, of " Xewington," written about 
1769, Anne Blair of Wilhamsburg tells of dressing a doll 
for her little sister Betsy. She has " had hair put on Miss 
Dolly," but finds it not in her power to keep her promise 
to give her a silk sack and coat as the silk has been stolen 
from her trunk. " Little Betsy is busy making a tucker." "^ 

' William and Mary Quarterly, xxi. 
114 



SOCLiL LIFE 



jNIany of the quaint ring games, singing, kissing and 
counting-out games en j oyed by boys and girls of later days, 
with others, such as " blind man's bluiF," " fox in the war- 
ner " (or warren), "prisoner's base," "cat," and " chur- 
many " — as the old game of " rounders " was called here — 
were legacies from colonial children whose fathers and 
mothers played them in merry England and taught them to 
their sons and daughters in the big rooms and on the green- 
sward of Virginia plantations. Shakespeare mentions 
prisoner's base, and Bunyan says that he was playing " cat " 
when he heard a voice from Heaven warning him of his sins. 

Nothing could be further from the truth than the idea 
that the Colonial Virginia woman led a life of idleness. 
True she had plenty of servants to relieve her of manual 
work, even though her husband might be a man of moderate 
means, but the training and direction of these servants — 
white and black — the management of a large family and the 
superintendence of home industries made the position of 
mistress of a plantation one of importance and responsi- 
bility. It must be remembered that all of the sewing was 
done by hand and that most of the elaborate paraphernalia 
worn by men, women, and children and all of the clothing 
for the servants were made on the place ; much spinning and 
weaving was done, many stockings were knitted. There 
was milk to be looked after, butter to be made and a quan- 
tity of pickles and preserves to be put up, and poultry and 
garden also came under the supervision of " the Mistress." 
Perchance her hair was brushed by one maid, her shoes 
laced by another, while still another fanned her when she 
sat down to read or sew, but at hog-killing time she assisted 
her husband in personally looking after the putting up of 
lard and sausage and curing of hams that were to grace 
her table. 

115 



COLONIAL \1RGL\IA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Colonel Byrd says that wlien visiting the home of j\Iajor 
Woodford, of Carohne County, he " surprised JNIrs. Wood- 
ford in her liousewifery in the meathouse, at which she 
blushed as if it had been a sin." 

There was often a home school taught by a tutor who 
was a member of the family; " the mistress " — and mother 
— must see that this was properly conducted and that the 
tutor's chamber, as well as the schoolroom, was comfortable. 

In addition to all her other duties, she must have some 
knowledge of the care of the sick, for she practised, upon 
occasion, on both the wliite and black members of her 
family, in the house and in the " quarters." For these 
patients she not only made broth and gruel, but prepared 
teas, balms, and ointments from medicinal herbs grown in 
her garden, bandaged cuts and bruises, applied poultices 
and plasters, and administered emetics and purges. 

Her badge of office was the key-basket carried on her 
wrist or placed upon her candle-stand or in some other 
handy place, filled with keys of every description from the 
little ones that unlocked the drawers of her sewing-table, 
" scrutoire," or linen press, to the ponderous ones whose 
grating in huge locks was open sesame to the cellar where 
provisions were kept cool and sweet, or the smoke-house 
from whose beams dangled row upon row of hams, jowls, 
and sides of bacon. 

In the earliest settlements, and later on the frontier, 
the life of the housewife, if less varied in its responsibilities, 
was rougher and harder. She must understand the use 
of firearms and, in emergency, be both man and woman. 
In 1622, during the absence of John Proctor from his home 
— upon the southern side of James River, his wife, with 
her servants, bravely defended the house against the 
Indians. In 1710 the Commissioners to settle the boundary 

116 




RICHARD LEE 
About 1660 



SOCIAL LIFE 



line between Virginia and Xorth Carolina passed the fron- 
tier house of Mr. Francis Jones who was away from home, 
but they were hospitably entertained by his wife and re- 
ported of her: 

" She is a very civil woman and shews nothing of 
ruggedness, or Immodesty in her carriage, yett she will 
carry a gunn in the woods and kill deer, turkeys, &c., shoot 
down wild cattle, catch and tye hoggs, knock down beeves 
with an ax and perform the most manfull Exercises as well 
as most men in those parts." ^ 

This competent lady had several negro sei'vants. 

So much for the woman of comfortable circumstances. 
Those of poorer class who had no servants, and those of 
the mountain settlements, did their own cooking, washing, 
and housework, cared for their children, and not only made 
with their own needles all the clothing of the family, but 
wove the homespun cloth of which it was made. Kercheval 
tells us that in The Valley there was a loom in everj^ house 
and almost every woman was a weaver. 

Byrd in his " Journey to the Land of Eden," in 1733, 
came to the "poor, dirty house " of one Daniel Taylor, 
" with hardly anything in it but children." He says, " The 
woman did all that was done in the family and the few 
garments they had to cover their dirty hides were owang to 
her industry." 

The next day he went to Brunswick Church, in the 
neighborhood, and says: 

" What women happened to be there were very gym 
and tidy in the work of their own hands, which made them 
look tempting in the Eyes of us Foresters." 



* Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., v, 10. 



COLONIAL MKGLMA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

II— HOSPITALITY 

Early and Late, east and west, the Colonial Virginia 
woman knew that she must be a good neighbor and an 
ever ready, always gracious hostess. 

From the beginning of time, making the stranger wel- 
come to roof and board has been an unwritten law in thinly 
settled rural communities, and so liberally observed was 
this law in his Majesty's first colony that at an early day 
in its history Virginia hospitality passed into a proverb. 
One of the first witnesses to this was the traveller, De Vries, 
who writing on March 11, 1632, says: 

" At noon we came to Littleton, where we landed and 
where resided a great merchant named Mr. Menife, who 
kept us to dinner and treated us very well." 

In 1648 a writer calHng himself Beauchamp Plantage- 
net said in an account of a visit to America that on reaching 
Virginia he came to Newport's News, where he received 
kind entertainment at the houses of Captain Matthews and 
Master Fauntleroy and " free quarter everywhere." 

Captain JNIatthews was a councillor and was afterward 
governor of the colony. Another traveller who enjoyed 
his hospitality has left a description of him, which, in a sen- 
tence, sums up the ideal of old Virginia character: " In a 
word, he keeps a good house, lives bravely and is a true 
lover of Virginia." 

The cordiality with which the Old Dominion received 
Cavalier refugees is an oft-told tale. Toward the end of 
1649 three such visitors, Colonel Henry Norwood, Major 
Francis Moryson, and Major Richard Fox, landed in a 
storm on the Fastem Shore, were made welcome at the 
nearest plantation and heartily entertained on all sides. 
Stephen Charlton *' would have the Colonel to put on a 
good farmer-like suit of his own." A few days later they 

118 



SOCIAL LIFE 



sailed across to York River where, at Captain Ralph 
Wormeley's, they found several other Cavaher officers — 
Sir Thomas Lunsford, Sir Henry Chichley, Colonel PhiHp 
Honeywood, and Colonel Mainwaring Hammond — feast- 
ing and carousing. Colonel Norwood declared of Gover- 
nor Berkeley's hospitality to Cavaliers, " house and pui'se 
were open to all such." 

Writing of Virginia about 1700, Robert Beverley, the 
historian, says: 

*' The inhabitants are very courteous to travellers, who 
need no other reconmiendation but the being human creat- 
ures. A stranger has no more to do but to enquire upon 
the road where any gentleman or good housekeeper lives 
and there he may depend upon being received with hospi- 
tality. This good nature is so general among these people 
that the gentry when they go abroad order their principal 
servant to entertain all visitors with everything the planta- 
tion offers. And the poor planters who have but one bed 
will very often sit up or lie upon a form or couch all night 
to make room for a weary traveller to repose himself after 
his journey." 

Says Hugh Jones, in his " Present State of Virginia," 
1724: "No people can entertain their friends with 
better cheer and welcome, and strangers and travellers are 
here treated in the most free, plentiful and hospitable 
manner so that a few inns or ordinaries on the roads are 
sufficient." 

Forty years later Lord Adam Gordon wrote in his 
"Journal": 

" The inhabitants are courteous, polite and affable, 
the most hospitable and attentive to Strangers of any I 
have yet seen in America." 

So much for the Virginians and the strangers w^ithin 



COLOMAL MRCilMA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

their gates. Letters and diaries give more intimate pict- 
ures of them with their friends and relatives. Those of 
the upper chiss were hke one big, scattered family, for they 
were ahnost all related either by blood or marriage, and 
closely connected in all their interests. The casual caller 
had often travelled a good distance, on horseback or in 
carriage, and was always offered immediate refreshment 
and not only invited, but urged, to spend the day and night 
and to stay as much longer as was agreeable to him, and he 
very often accepted — sometimes prolonging his visit for 
days. If he came alone this meant entertainment for him- 
self and his horse only, but as likely as not he came in his 
coach, chariot, or chair, with anywhere from a pair to six 
horses, a driver and perhaps postilions and outriders and 
a maid or two to wait upon the family with which the 
equipage overflowed. In Januarj^ 1735, Sir John Ran- 
dolph and his family had been making such a visit to the 
Byrds of " Westover," and upon their departure their host, 
who had done everything in his power to keep them longer, 
followed them with a letter to further assure them of his 
kind feeling. He wrote: 

" Dear Sir: 

" In hopes you may be safe at Williamsburg by this 
time and my lady up to the elbow in Sassages & Black 
Puddings I can't forbear Greeting you well, and signifying 
our joy at your arrival in your o^v^l chimney-corner. We 
have had the good nature to be in pain for you ever since 
you left us, 'tho in good truth your obstinacy in exposing 
your wife and children to be Starved with cold and buried 
in the mire hardly desen^ed it." 

A letter bearing date November 25, 1765, from William 
Byrd, the third, to his niece Maria Carter, of " Cleve," 
shows that " Westover " was keeping up its traditions of 

120 



SOCIAL LIFE 



hospitality. After congratulating his " dear Molly " upon 
her engagement to William Armistead, of " Hesse," Glou- 
cester County, the writer says: 

" I & the rest of your relatives here beg the Favour 
of you & Mr. Armistead to spend your Christmas at West- 
over, where many young People are to make merry; & 
give our love to your Sisters & bring them with you. Our 
coach shall attend you anywhere at any time." 

In the towns there was much tea-drinking and enter- 
taining at meals. Here is an invitation sent to the charm- 
ing widow Pratt and her sister by one of her admirers, a 
short time before she gave her hand to the adoring Thomas 
Jones, of Williamsburg: 
Pleasant Madam, 

The favor of your company with Mrs. Ann's will be very accept- 
able at Dinner, Supper and all other times to 

Madam, Y'r most oblidged Serv't 

Graves Packe. 
May 23, 1725. 
Queen's Creek. 

The coming of a new Governor always stimulated 
sociability. On November 23, 1751, President John Blair 
of the Council recorded in his diary that he and Mrs. Blair 
dined, by invitation, at " Ye Attorney's with the newly 
arrived Governor Dinwiddle and his wife and daughters." 
and that " many ladies and gentlemen visited them in the 
afternoon." 

On November 25 he writes: " The Governor, his lady 
and Miss Dinwiddle, Mr. Attorney and his lady, the Coun- 
cillor and his lady dined and supped with us this day." 
And on December 31, "I invited the Governor and his 
family to begin the year with us tomorrow." 

In 1769 President Blair's daughter, Anne, wrote her 
sister, Mrs. Braxton: 

121 



COLONIAL VIRGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

" I am to drink tea at the Attorney's; he breakfasted 
with us this moniing. Tomorrow I breakfast with him 
at his Quarters and on Thursday he has bespoke some 
Firmaty at our lower j^lantation." 

Even the hospitable Virginian had too much company 
sometimes, though his training forbade him to acknowl- 
edge it save to liis ever ready and supposedly safe confidant, 
his diary. 

We camiot forbear hearty sympathy with Colonel 
James Gordon, of " Meny Point," Lancaster County, a 
man of many aff airs and with an ill son-in-law in his house, 
who has left the following record: 

" March 2, 1761. ]Mr. Hunt came soon after break- 
fast, and Captain Thornton, Captain Foushee and his wife, 
Colonel Tayloe and Armistead Churchill after dinner, so 
that we had the house full." 

" ^larch 3. So much company I can't do any business." 

" March 4. All the company went awa}^ after dinner." 

We can almost hear the sigh of relief with which this 
entry was made. 

On March 29 he has had guests again — ten of them, 
who stayed several days. On ^larch 30 all of these left, 
but the respite was brief, for on April 1 the record began 
again with " Armistead Churchill and his wife, Richard 
Span and his wife and baby arrived," and continued thus: 

" 3. Our Company still with us, with the addition of 
^Ir. Wormeley, his wife and daughter, which is rather 
troublesome at this time. 

" 4. It blowed so hard that our company could not get 
over the river. 

" 5. Our company all went off, tho' we insisted upon 
their staying till tomorrow." 

Their ideal of hospitality^ and good breeding demanded 

122 




MRS. RICHARD LEE 
About 1660 



SOCIAL LIFE 



this insistence, no matter how inconvenient acceptance of 
the invitation might have been. On May 11 he wrote, 
" 'No company, which is surprising/'' but was soon to add, 

"13. Mr. Wm. Churchill his wife and five childi*en 
came, & Mrs. Carter & her son & Miss Judith Bassett. 

" 15. The Company all here yet." 

On May 16, " Mr. Carter and Mr. Churchill & their 
families went away." ^ 

It is evident that all of these visitors were miinvited 
and unexpected. No mention is made of the horses and 
servants they brought to be cared for on the plantation — 
they were doubtless taken as a matter of course. 

Colonel Landon Carter of " Sabine Hall," made a 
regular practice of celebrating his birthday with what 
would be called to-day a house-party and recorded in his 
diary his enjoyment of these entertainments. On January 
14, 1770, he writes of his sixtieth birthday feast: 

" My annual entertainnient began on Monday, the 8th, 
and held till Wednesday night, when except one individual 
or two that retired sooner things pleased me much, and 
therefore I will conclude that they gave the same satisfac- 
tion to others. The oysters lasted till the third day of the 
feast." 

On January 22 he writes, " Colonel Fauntleroy's feast 
day, where I suppose my family must go." 

On January 16, of the following year, he describes 
his birthday celebration with even greater gusto : 

" From the 1st day of this month till this day we have 
had prodigious fine weather indeed, so that I have enjoyed 
my three days' festival, to wit: The 10, 11 & 12, \vath 
great cheerfulness to everybody ; in all about 60 people of 
whom were Mr. Carter of Corotoman & his Lady, my 

9 William and Mary Quarterly, xi, 219, 220. 
123 



COLONIAL \ JIU.LNLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

nephew Charles Carter, Late of Nanzaticoe, & his Lady, my 
nephew Fitzhugh, his Lady, CoL P. Lee, his Lady, & all 
my neigliborhood except CoL Brockenbrough, although 
invited ds: really j^romised to come." 

In 177-i he simply says: 

" As it was my 04th birthday I received the compU- 
ments of most of my better sort of neighbors." 

This constant and wholesale entertaining was made 
easy for the Virginians by the abundance of almost every- 
thing imaginable to eat — and drink — and the great nmnber 
of negro cooks, whose natural turn for the culinary art 
developed into genius under the training of the planters' 
wives, with whom keeping a good table was a point of honor. 
The woods were full of game of every description, the 
rivers with fish, oysters, and crabs. 

Hugh Jones, in his " Present State of Virginia," says 
that the frontier counties abomided with venison and wild 
turkeys and that though in the lower country venison was 
not so plentiful there was " enough and tolerably good." 

Burnaby in his travels — 1759-60 — writes of the sora 
which, in season, " you meet with at tables of most of the 
planters, breakfast, dinner and supper." He adds: "In 
several parts of Virginia the ancient custom of eating meat 
at breakfast still continues. At the top of the table, wliere 
the lady of the house presides, there is constantly tea and 
coffee, but the rest of the table is garnished with roasted 
fowls, venison, game, and other dainties." 

Every planter, in proportion to his means, made a 
garden, set out an orchard, and raised poultry and hogs, 
and the well-to-do raised also beeves and sheep. The 
settlers in The Valley had their patches of corn, cabbage, 
beans, and potatoes, and carried peach and apple trees on 
pack horses across the mountains. In 1745 one of these, 

124 



SOCIAL LIFE 



Christopher Zimmerman, carried a hundred and thirty- 
seven apple trees a hundred and fifty miles and planted 
them on his tract on the upper James River.^*^ 

Peaches were especially plentiful. As early as 1691 
William Fitzhugh, whose pride in his fruit trees was 
not exceptional, writes that his orchard gives him " from 
its loaden boughs, a promised assurance of future grati- 
fication." 

The first comers to Jamestown learned from the Indians 
the many uses of corn. They and their successors ground 
it to make meal or crushed it to make hominy, and corn- 
bread not only became and remained throughout the period 
the staff of life to the poor-white and the negro slave, but 
was popular in the great house as well and was especially 
relished as the natiu-al accompaniment of bacon and cab- 
bage or "greens." Virginia-cured bacon early became 
famous, and " hog and hominy " — a homely but palatable 
combination — was a mainstay of the poorer people tlirough- 
out the low country and in the mountains and was far 
from being despised by the prosperous. 

To call Hugh Jones to the witness stand again, he says : 

" They bake daily bread and cakes, eating too much 
hot and new bread which cannot be wholesome tho' it be 
pleasanter." 

Smyth in his " Travels " — 1774 — describes the aver- 
age planter in summertime as rising early, drinking a 
julep " made of rum, water and sugar, riding around the 
plantation viewing his stock and crops, and breakfasting 
about ten o'clock on cold turkey, cold meat, fried hominy, 
toast and cider, ham, bread and butter, tea, coffee and 
chocolate." 

^^ Chalkley's Augusta Co. Records, i, 431. 
9 125 



COLONIAL VUIGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Colonel Byrd had toast and cider for breakfast at 
Major Woodford's. 

All kinds of vegetables were grown in the gardens. 
In his diary President Jolin Blair mentions dining at 
Colonel Burwell's in February and eating " fine greens 
that were planted about the first of September," having 
asparagus on his own table in March and green peas in 
September. He also says that he " gathered oranges at 
Greenspring " — grown under glass, of course — in March. 
Colonel Landon Carter tells of having at " Sabine Hall " 
a '* great abundance of mushrooms." 

As spices, almonds, raisins, and flavorings were im- 
ported by the planters, and during the eighteenth century- 
were to be bought in the home stores, and the housewives 
had all the recipes that were in use in England, there was 
nothing in the way of making " good things." In 1738 
the versatile Mrs. Stagg, dancer and actress, of Williams- 
burg, advertised in the Virginia Gazette, " Hartshorn and 
Calvesfoot jellies fresh every Tuesday," besides other con- 
fectionery, including " mackaroons. Savoy biscuits and 
Barbadoes sweetmeats." 

Williamsburg druggists advertised " white and brown 
sugar candy," sugar plums, and comfits. 

A prohibitionist in Colonial America would have been 
considered a lunatic. It was a di-inking age. The English- 
man or Scotchman made merry with his friends over the 
flowing bowl at his favorite inn or in his home in the old 
country, and when he crossed the sea he brought his con- 
vivial habits with him and passed them on to his children. 
Even Puritan and Quaker restraint did not extend to the 
cup, for court records exhibit no more proof of drunken- 
ness in one colony than another. In Virginia a julep before 

126 



SOCIAL LIFE 



breakfast was believed to give protection against malaria, 
and a toddy, or a glass of wine, punch, or beer at almost any- 
time of the day or night to be good for the body as well 
as cheering to the spirit and indispensable to the practice 
of hospitahty. 

Yet it was realized that drinking could be carried too 
far, and as early as January, 1643, steps were taken by the 
authorities to " prevent the importation of too great a quan- 
tity of strong liquors " into Virginia from neighboring 
colonies. In August of the same year an order of the 
Governor and Council was proclaimed in the courts re- 
citing that " in accordance with the instructions of his 
Majesty against the excessive and scandalous importation 
of strong waters into the Colony," laws had been passed to 
prevent it, but had been evaded ; and because the intemper- 
ance of certain persons was a " general scandal to the 
Colony and to temperate and continent men, no debts for 
wine imported nor for strong waters distilled and made 
in the Colony should be recoverable in any Court in the 
Colony." 

A great part of our information in regard to drinking, 
gambling and other offences is derived from the records 
of county courts, and these show that juries faithfully and 
fearlessly performed their duty and indicted and convicted 
without respect to persons. There are instances of the 
indictment of magistrates themselves for being drunk. 

The wines most freely used were Madeira and Fial, 
and in addition to these aU kinds of French and other 
European wines — especially claret and port — were " plen- 
tifully drank by the better sort." In 1739 Richard Chap- 
man in ordering half a pipe of good Madeira to be shipped 
to York River for him, wrote a London merchant that he 
found it impossible to keep house in Virginia " without a 

127 



COLONIAL MUGL\L\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

little wine." In 1715 John Fontaine made a visit to 
Robert Beverley, the historian, at " Beverley Park." After 
breakfast they went out to see the vineyard and " were very 
merry " with tlie wine of his host's making, and " drank 
prosperity to the Vineyard." 

The ^"irginians made a good deal of beer of the native 
persimmon and more still of molasses from wliich they 
brewed an " extraordinary brisk good tasting liquor at a 
cheap rate." They also made malt beer and imported 
Bristol beer which was consumed " in vast quantities." - 

Cider was always a favorite drink. The planters made 
great quantities of it from their own apples, and Virginia 
cider, like the Virginia ham and Virginia peach brandy, 
was often sent as a present to friends abroad. In a letter 
to a correspondent in Barbadoes in 1743 William Beverley 
sends thanks for a gift of rum and promises in return some 
" good white apple cider." 

The fondness of the negroes for the cheap native drinks 
has been celebrated in the jingle, 

Christmas comes but once a year ; 
Every man must have his sheer 
Of apple cider'n 'simmon beer. 

Wherever there was drinking there was toasting of 
royalties and other personages, as well as of friends far 
and near, and in many homes the custom of proposing 
toasts after dinner was as invariable as that of grace before 
meat. Philip Fithian alludes over and over again to its 
daily observance at " Xomini Hall," where each person at 
table, in turn, toasted some one he wished to compliment. 
The lovesick young tutor himself usually gave the name of 
some neighborhood belle, though he confided to his diary 
that in his heart he meant the faraway Laura. One day 
there dropped in to dinner at " Nomini " a plain man " who 

128 



SOCIAL LIFE 



seemed unacquainted with company, for when he would at 
table drink our health, he held the glass fast with both 
hands, gave an insignificant nod to each one at the table, 
in haste and with fear, and then di-ank like an Ox. At 
the second toast, after having seen a little of our manner, 
he said, ' Gentlemen and ladies, the King,' but seemed 
better pleased with the liquor than with the manner in which 
he was at this time obliged to use it." 

This inviting to his board of passers-by of all ranks 
was one of the many indications that in the vocabulary of 
the Virginian there was no such word as snob. 

On another occasion Fithian says : 

" Breakfasted with us a gentleman from Maryland. 
At dinner he was joined by another from the same prov- 
ince. They are both unknown." 

John Harrower, an indentured servant, from Shetland, 
bound to Colonel William Daingerfield, of Spotsylvania 
County, for four years, to teach his three small children 
reading, writing, and arithmetic, tells in his diary of the 
gracious terms upon which he lived at " Belvidera." One 
day he asked his master for a bottle of rum to treat two of 
his fellow-countrymen who were coming to see him. The 
Colonel gave it " very cheerfully " and told him to ask 
for another whenever he wanted it and to bring his two 
friends to the great house to dinner. 

Transportation was a most important factor in the 
exchange of hospitality between the scattered plantations. 
Dwellers along the rivers frequently called upon each other 
in sail or row boats, as did the Carters of " Nomini," who 
not only made visits, but sometimes went to church, in a 
boat rowed by four negro men. But most of the going 
about was done on horseback or in carriages. Everybody 



COLONIAL MllGLMA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

that liad anything had something to ride — from the " one 
old poore mangy, scabby horse " in the inventory of Grace 
Sherwood, the witch, to the stables filled with highly bred 
horses of the rich planter. 

During most of the seventeenth century — and later in 
the upper country — when the roads were mere bridle- 
paths, almost all travel by men and women was done on 
horseback. A wife often rode behind her husband, on a 
pillion, but many women had good horses and saddles of 
their own, and a riding horse was a frequent legacy to 
either man or woman. 

The first mention I have seen of a carriage of any de- 
scription in Virginia is in 1677, when the Commissioners 
sent by the English government to suppress Bacon's Rebel- 
lion complained that when Sir William Berkeley sent them 
in his coach from his seat, " Greenspring," to the wharf, he 
insulted them by having the " common hangman " to act 
as postilion. Governor Berkeley declared that he was as 
innocent of such a thing " as the blessed angels themselves," 
but the charge has served to put him on record as the first 
man in Virginia known to have had a coach. 

In 1701 William Fitzhugh bequeathed to his wife and 
son two coaches. 

Hugh Jones, in 1724, says, " most people of any 
note in Williamsburg have a Coach, Chariot, Berlin or 
Chaise." And an anonymous writer in the London Maga- 
zine, describing his travels in America in 1746, tells us that 
he was struck by " the prodigious Number of Coaches that 
crowd the deep, sandy Streets of this little City," and that 
in Yorktown " almost every considerable man keeps an 
equipage, tho' they have no concern about the different 
colors of their horses." 

Says the Virginia Gazette of July 13, 1749: 

130 



SOCIAL LIFE 



" This day the Hon. John Robinson, Presid't. and the 
rest of the G^nt. of the Council went all in Coaches to wait 
on the Gov'r." 

In 1756 William Stephens, a newcomer to the colony, 
wrote to Nathaniel Philips, of London: 

" If a man keeps his Coach the coachman, postilion and 
footman are all blacks. They all drive with six horses." 

Lord Adam Gordon, writing of the people he had met 
in eastern Virginia, in 1764, says: 

*' Their Breed of Horses is extremely good, and par- 
ticularly those they run in their Carriages. . . . They all 
drive six horses and travel generally from 8 to 9 miles an 
hour — going frequently sixty miles to dinner — You may 
conclude from this their Roads are extremely good. They 
live in such good agreement that the Ferries, which would 
retard in another Country, rather accelerate their meeting 
here, for they assist one another and all Strangers with 
their Equipages in So easy and kind a manner, as must 
deeply touch a person of any feeling and convince them 
that in this Country Hospitality is everywhere practised." 

Naturally, the acquaintance of a visiting lord would have 
been among the prominent and prosperous. It is impossi- 
ble to say what proportion of these drove a coach and six. 
Many did, but many also drove a coach, or chariot, and 
four horses, many others a chair, or chaise, and pair. 

I find among my own notes mention of about eighty 
owners of coaches and chariots for four or six horses, and 
could quote besides many wills like that of Moore Faunt- 
leroy, of Richmond County, who, in 1739, left his wife his 
" chariot and horses " without indicating whether the har- 
ness was for four or six. 

Of course I do not pretend to have examined all the 
records now in Virginia, to say nothing of the many which 

131 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

have been destroyed There was a still larger number of 
small carriages — chairs, chaises, calashes, and phaetons; 
and there was the poor man's carriage — the ox-cart. A 
good number of gentlemen had several pleasure vehicles, 
among them Governor Spotswood, whose inventory shows 
that he left, in 1740, a coach, chariot, and chaise; Benjamin 
Harrison of " Berkeley," who, in 1743, bequeathed his wife 
his coach, chariot, chair, and six horses; Philip Lightfoot, 
of YorktowTi, who left in 1748 a two-wheeled chair, a four- 
wlieeled chair, and a coach and six; Wilson Gary, who in 
his will of 1772 gave his " dear wife Sarah " a coach, post- 
chariot and horses, and a chair; and John Tayloe, of " Mt. 
Airy," who in 1773 bequeathed to his wife not only a 
coach and a chariot and six horses, but " their drivers." 

While the wife ahnost always fell heir to her husband's 
carriages and horses, a will sometimes provided that a child 
should ride in state. For instance, in 1742 WiUiam Ran- 
dolph bequeathed his daughter ^lary his " new chaise and 
harness for six horses, together with six horses of her own 
choosing." And in 1767 Willoughby Newton, of West- 
moreland, gave his daughter Elizabeth his " coach and four 
horses." 

Colonel Landon Carter makes frequent mention of his 
coach and six in his diary. On March 15, 1770, he writes 
that the weather is bad, but his daughter and her Cousin 
Nancy Beale insist upon going in the chariot to visit 
Nanc\''s mother forty miles off, in Lancaster County. 
Fithian tells of the arrival at " Nomini " of " our new 
coach," which he says is " a plain carriage, the upper 
part black and the lower sage or pea green." It cost a 
hundred and twenty pounds sterling. Councillor Carter 
had also a " strong, fashionable, travelling post coacli, lined 
with blue morocco," a " chariot with six wheels," and a 




WASHINGTON S PINCH BOWL 




A COACH AND SIX 



s 



SOCIAL LIFE 



chair. His coachman and postilions wore livery of blue 
broadcloth with brass buttons/^ 

Let us see Phihp Fithian going a-visiting with the 
" Nomini " family. Mrs. Carter invited liim to escort her 
when she called upon the rector of the parish, and the 
" Councillor " lent him his own *' beautiful grey riding 
horse." They set out about ten o'clock, Mrs. Carter and 
her daughters Prissy, Fanny, and Betsy in the chariot, Bob 
and Mr. Fithian on horseback. There were also " three 
waiting men — a coachman, driver and postilion." They 
arrived at the rectory at a little after twelve and found 
Mr. Smith away from home, but his wife and sister enter- 
tained them, and they stayed to dinner. Imagine a party 
of six with three servants and certainly six, probably eight, 
horses descending imexpectedly upon a parson's wife and 
staying to dinner ! It is to be hoped the Old Virginia cus- 
tom of stocking the parson's larder with bacon, poultry, 
and vegetables was observed in that neighborhood. 

In 1739 Samuel Bowler, coaclimaker, from London, 
settled in Williamsburg and advertised in the Gazette that 
he was prepared to " serve Gentlemen in making and re- 
pairing coaches, chariots, chaises and chairs, and harness 
for them." In 1753 a second-hand chariot was sent from 
London to Francis Jerdone, a Yorktown merchant, for 
sale. Jerdone wrote the owner that he had sold it for 
forty-three pounds sterling — the most he could get for it — 
and adds: 

" Second hand goods are no way saleable here, for our 
Gentry have such proud spirits that nothing will go down 
but equipages of the nicest and newest fashions. You wiU 
not believe it when I tell you that there are sundiy chariots 

" Glenn's " Colonial Mansions," 271. 
133 



COLONIAL MRGLNU, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

now in the country which cost 200 guineas and one that 
cost 260." '- 

Immediately after the death of William Nelson, of 
Yorktown, in 1773, his widow ordered from London " a 
genteel chariot with six harness, to be painted a grave 
color, and the coat of arms of our family, the whole to 
cost about £100 sterling." 

The carriage door or harness was a favorite place for 
displaying coats-of-arms, which were used by a great num- 
ber of the more prominent families, but not all. Other 
ways of making use of them were on seals, silver-plate, 
rings, tombs, book-plates, snuff-boxes, painted for fram- 
ing, and on hatclunents — tablets with the armorial bearings 
of deceased persons which were hung in front of houses at 
the time of funerals. Funeral hatchments seem to have 
rarely been preserved, for the only ones now known to be in 
Virginia are two at " Shirley." Occasionally, arms were 
carved upon front doors — as those of the Lee family on 
the door at old " Cobbs," in Northumberland County. 

Sometimes a militia officer would have his coat-of- 
arms painted on his drum. In the inventory of Colonel 
William Farrar, of Henrico, 1677, the appraisers name 
" one new drum w^ee think fitt to leave to the heir, it belong- 
ing to ye family as by ye arms thereupon appears." 

Among the comparatively few original papers which 
remain in the files of the older counties may still be found 
many with armorial seals. For instance, there is the fine 
Isham seal at Henrico, that attached to the will of iSIajor 
Robert Beverley, in JNIiddlesex, and the excellent impres- 
sion of the Filmer arms on a paper now in the collection 
of the Virginia Historical Society. To quote a few of the 
great number of references to arms on rings, Leonard 

" William and Mary Quarterly, xi, 238. 
1S4 



SOCIAL LIFE 



Howson, of Northumberland, in 1704, bequeathed to Eliza- 
beth Brereton " a small gold seal ring with her grand- 
father Brereton's Coat of Arms." In 1711 Samuel 
Peachey, of Richmond County, mentioned in his will his 
" great silver tankard and sealed gold ring " — both having 
his coat-of-arms upon them; in 1740, George Turberville, 
of Westmoreland, left his son John his gold seal ring, with 
his coat-of-arms; and in 1761 George Lee left his son 
Launcelot " a seal set in gold with the family Coat of 
Arms cut thereon, which was given me by my friend 
Colonel Richard Lee." 

Sixty-four armorial book-plates are known to me, and 
there are doubtless others. 

Notwithstanding the fact that tombstones had to be 
imported from England and that many old ones have been 
destroj'^ed, there were within recent years in Virginia 
churchyards and family burjmig grounds — and most of 
them still remain — at least a hundred and sixteen tombs 
of the colonial period bearing arms. 

Both the Father of his Country and the democratic 
author of the Declaration of Independence were interested 
in coats-of-arms. In 1771 Washington wrote to London 
from Mt. Vernon, ordering his crest engraved on two 
seals — one to be " topaz or some other handsome stone " 
and the other " a plain stone " — and in the same year Jeffer- 
son wrote from Monticello to Thomas Adams, merchant, 
of London : 

" One farther request and I am done, to search the 
Herald's office for the Arms of my family. I have what I 
have been old were the family Arms, but on what authority 
I know not, it is probable there may be none, if so I would 
with your assistance become a purchaser, having Sterne's 
word for it that a coat-of-arms may be purchased as cheap 
as any other coat." 

135 



COLONIAL VIRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

III— FESTIVITIES 

A:mong other things brought by the Virginians from 
England was love of pleasure which asserted itself as soon 
as the hardships of settlement days and the terrors of the 
massacres were behind them. Firearms played an impor- 
tant part in their life, not only for protection from the 
Indians, but for giving dash to their frolics, and it was easy 
enough to provide this when every man carried a gun upon 
all occasions; for during the times of the red-skin menace 
preparedness was, in effect if not in name, the w^atchword 
of the colonist. It was against the law for a man to go 
to church unarmed, and in 1626 the Governor and Comicil 
ordered that no man work in the fields without arms and 
an armed sentinel to keep watch. 

The first suggestion of merry-making in my notes is 
a proclamation, issued in 1627, against " spending powder 
at meetings, drinkings, marriages and entertainments," 
because a war w^itli the Indians was expected. On October 
23, 1719, being the anniversary of the coronation of his 
Majesty George I, a negro slave, named Priemus, " had 
his right arm shot off in firing the great gmis in Williams- 
burg," and as late as 1773 Philip Fithian, the tutor, was 
aroused from his slumbers at " Nomini Hall " on Christmas 
morning by " guns fired all around the house." 

White and colored in the colony loved anniversaries 
and festivals. Francis Louis Michel, who wrote an account 
of his " Journey " from Switzerland to Virginia, in 1701, 
says that harvest time was one of the principal seasons of 
festivity and that it was the " custom of the country " 
when the harvest was ready to be gathered in to prepare 
a big dinner and invite all the neighbors. As there were 
often thirty to fifty persons cutting grain, the work would 

186 



SOCIAL LIFE 



last only two houi's. The rest of the day was, of course, 
given up to jollity/^ 

A similar festival for the negroes, which was held 
throughout Virginia until the War between the States and 
doubtless began far back in the colonial period, was the 
com-shucking. For this, moonlight nights in October were 
chosen. The negi'oes of a neighborhood gathered at each 
plantation in turn, where plenty to eat and drink was pro- 
vided, and, with laughter and song, antics and buffoonery 
which would make a modern minstrel show appear tame, 
would in a few hours' time shuck out the crop of corn which 
had been cut and gathered in the barn ready for the frolic. 

Let us see Mr. Blair, the honorable President of his 
Majesty's Council, making holiday. According to his 
diary, on January 8, 1751 — the fourteenth day after 
Christmas — he " Dined at Col. Burwell's & staid all night 
& danced & drew 14th cake." On January 11 he " Had 
a dance & cake at Mr. Cocke's," and on February 2 spent 
" a good Candlemas day. Had Company from ye College." 

St. Andrew's Day and Shrove Tuesday — or " Pancake 
Day " — were other popular merry-making occasions. 
Colonel James Gordon, of " Merry Point," tells how his 
wife visited Mr. Criswell's school in the neighborhood, in 
1758, and " treated the scholars to pancakes and cider, it 
being Shrove Tuesday, & prevailed on ]\Ir. Criswell to give 
them play." 

On New Year's Day, 1762, Colonel Gordon " had a 
large company " at " Merry Point," and on " Twelfth 
Day " Mrs. Conway and her children. Colonel Tayloe, and 
Dale Carter dined and spent the night with him and his 
family. 

Fithian speaks of Good F riday as a '' general holiday," 

13 Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., xxiv, 32. 
137 



COLOXL\L MRGLMA, ITS PEOPLE .\XD CUSTOMS 

and writing on Easter Monday says, " The negroes are 
now all disbanded 'till Wednesday Morning & are at Cock 
fights through the countrj'." 

The birthdays of members of the royal family were 
special holidays in the loyal colony, especially in Wilhams- 
biirg, as the local columns of the Virgina Gazette show. 
For instance, in 1736 the birthday of the Prince of Wales 
was celebrated by " firing of guns, displaying of colors 
and other public demonstrations of joy, and at night his 
Honor, the Governor, gave a ball and an elegant enter- 
tainment to the ladies and gentlemen." 

The King's birthday, a few months later, was cele- 
brated in like fashion, while upon the night of his Majest\''s 
birthday in 1752 " the whole city was illuminated " and 
there was a ball at the " Palace," where were present " the 
Emperor and Empress of the Cherokee's Xation with their 
Son, the young Prince, and a brilliant appearance of 
Ladies and Gentlemen. Several beautiful Fireworks were 
exhibited in Palace Street by Mr. Hallam, Manager of 
the Theatre in this Cit^', and the evening concluded with 
every Demonstration of our Zeal and Loyalty." 

L^pon another occasion the President of the Council 
kept " the birthday " in an " extra manner, by adding to 
his elegant entertainment for the ladies and gentlemen a 
purse of fifty pistoles to be distributed amongst the poor." 

In 1769, on the Queen's birthday, the " flag was dis- 
played on the Capitol and in the evening his Excellency, 
the Governor, gave a splendid ball and entertainment at 
the Palace to a very numerous and pohte company of 
ladies and gentlemen." 

The proclamation of a new sovereign was an occasion 
of even greater festivity than a royal birthday. The 
staunchly protestant and libert^^-loving Virginians hailed 

138 



SOCIAL LIFE 



with delight the accession of WiHiam and Mary. We 
find among the records of Henrico County an account of 
a meeting held at Varina, " where were present the Com- 
missioned Officers of the County, civil and military, the 
settled militia thereof and other inhabitants, when their 
royal ISIajesties William and Mary were proclaimed with 
firing of guns, beating of drum, Sound of trumpet and ye 
universal Shouts and Huzzahs of ye people assembled." 

Much more elaborate ceremonies, at Williamsburg, 
commemorated the death of William and the accession of 
Anne. On the 18th of May, 1702, the Governor called 
together the militia of the six nearest counties, and repre- 
sentatives from the Indians. Three stands were erected 
in front of the College, two batteries were placed, and the 
troops — horse and foot — were drawn up in line to the num- 
ber of about two thousand. In the upper balcony of the 
College were buglers from the warships, in the second 
oboes, in the lower violinists, which at times played sepa- 
rately and at times together. When the proclamation of 
the king's death was to be made they played " very mov- 
ingly and mournfully." The flags were covered with crape 
and borne by men in mourning, and the Governor fol- 
lowed on a white horse draped with black. Dr. James 
Blair delivered a funeral oration, and after it the Governor 
withdrew, but returned in a little while dressed in a blue 
uniform trimmed with gold braid. The musicians now 
played a lively air, flags were undraped, the accession of 
Queen Anne was proclaimed, and a salute from small arms 
and cannon fired. 

The Governor then entertained all of the prominent 
people " right royally," and " each ordinary person was 
given a glass of rum or brandy." That night there were 

139 



COLONIAL MlUilXLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

fireworks and the next day shooting matches and more mili- 
tary niananivres. 

The arrival of a new governor, the election of a mayor, 
ever}' propitious event was an excuse for merry-making. 
Says the Gazette of June 20, 1766: 

" Our gratitude and thankfulness upon the joyful occa- 
sion of the repeal of the Stamp Act and the universal 
pleasure and satisfaction it gives that all differences be- 
tween the ^lother Country and her Colonies are so happily 
terminated was manifested here by general illuminations 
and a ball and elegant entertainment at the Capitol, at 
which was present his Honor the Governor, many of the 
members of his ^Majesty's Council and a large and genteel 
Company of Ladies and Gentlemen who spent the evening 
with much mirth and decormu, and drank all the loyal and 
patriotic toasts." 

John Kello, in a letter to London from Hampton, Vir- 
ginia, in 1755, declared, " Dancing is the chief diversion 
here, and hunting and racing," and the English traveller 
Burnaby said of the women, " They are inordinately fond 
of dancing, and indeed it is almost their only amusement." 
He ungallantly added, " in this they discover gi-eat want 
of taste and elegance and seldom appear with the grace 
and ease which those movements are so calculated to 
display." 

There is abundant evidence that dancing was by far the 
most generally popular amusement in the colony. Wher- 
ever there was " company " there was dancing. Every- 
body danced. Girls and boys, men and w^omen capered 
fantastically in jigs and reels, stepped forward and back 
and turned their partners in the picturesque country dances 
— later knowTi as square dances, or quadrilles — tripped 

140 



SOCLIL LIFE 



thi'ough the rollicking and immensely popular Sir Roger 
de Coverley — which under the name of the " Virginia 
reel " was the last dance at every ball until long after the 
War between the States — or courtsied low to each other in 
the rhythmic minuet. 

Indeed " company " was not necessary" where nearly 
every family was large enough for an impromptu dance, 
and probably as great a proportion of them as now have 
phonographs could boast of negro fiddlers who could " call 
figures." 

Fithian tells how one night after supper at " Xomini " 
" the waiting man played and the young ladies spent the 
evening merrily in dancing." 

Burnaby thought that the jigs were borrowed from the 
negroes, but he was mistaken. The negroes had, and still 
have, grotesque dances of their own, but it is much more 
likely that they got their quaint jigs from the white people 
w^hose forefathers had danced them time out of mind in the 
old country. Here is Burnaby's description of jigs: 

" These dances are without any method or regularity. 
A gentleman and lady stand up and dance about the room, 
one of them retiring, the other pursuing, then perhaps 
meeting, in an irregular, fantastic manner. x4fter some 
time another lady gets up and the first lady must sit do^vn, 
she being, as they term it, cut out; the second lady acts 
the same part which the first one did till somebody cuts 
her out. The gentlemen perform the same manner." 

In 1762 Charles Carter of " Cleve," in King George 
County, directed in his will that his sons be sent to Eng- 
land to be educated and his daughters " brought up frugally 
and taught to dance." 

Learning to dance was considered an important part of 
education in the colonv, and throughout the eighteenth 



10 



141 



COLOMAL MIK.IMA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

century there were plenty of professional dancing teachers 
• — men and women. In 1716 permission was given William 
Levingston to use a room in William and Mary College 
" for teaching the students and others to dance until his 
own dancing school in Williamsburg be finished." 

The Williamsburg players, Charles Stagg and his wife, 
supplemented their income by teaching dancing and giving 
balls and " assemblies," and after her husband's death 
Mistress Stagg continued in the business, with, for rival, 
another widow, Madame la Baronne de Graifenreidt, 
whose husband, Christopher de Graffenreidt, of Berne, 
Switzerland, had brought a colony of Swiss and Palatines 
to North Carolina in 1709. 

In 1735 Colonel Byrd, writing to Sir John Randolph 
that IMadame la Baronne was hoping to succeed to part of 
Mr. Stagg's business, said: 

" Were it not for making my good Lady jealous (which 
I would not do for the world) I would recommend her to 
your favor. She really takes abundance of pains and 
teaches well, and were you to attack her virtue you would 
find her as chaste as Lucretia." 

Between them these ladies evidently made the little 
capital very gay, for advertisements in the Gazette show 
that their entertainments were frequent and varied, 
^ladame de Graffenreidt announced a ball on the 26tli of 
April, 1737, and an assembly on the 27th — for both of 
which tickets could be purchased " out at her house." On 
the 28th and 29th of the same month Mrs. Stagg gave 
assemblies, " at the Capitol," where tickets were " half a 
pistole," and there were " several valuable things to be 
raffled for." In March, 1738, Mrs. Stagg advertised an 
assembly at the Capitol when " several grotesque dances 
never yet performed in Virginia " were promised, some 

142 



SOCIAL LIFE 



valuable goods would be put up to be raffled for, and " also 
a likely young negro fellow." 

Not to be outdone, ^ladame de Graif enreidt announced 
for a few days later a ball at which would be put up to be 
raffled for " a likely young Virginia negro woman fit for 
house business, and her child." 

"Queer people!" I hear the reader say. A more 
fitting comment would be " queer times! " 

The ladies had another rival in William Dering, who 
advertised in 1737 that he could teach " all gentleman's 
sons " to dance " in the newest French manner." 

In the Gazette also appear references to frequent public 
balls at the house of Mrs. Shields, the daughter of a French 
Huguenot who kept a tavern in Williamsburg, and the 
wife successively, of three husbands, the earliest of whom 
was the first Grammar Master of William and Mary, the 
other two tavern-keepers of Williamsburg. Both JMadame 
de GrafFenreidt and Mrs. Shields have descendants among 
prominent Virginia families of to-day. 

Among later Williamsburg dancing teachers was Le 
Chevalier de Peyronny who, in 1752, advertised in the 
Gazette for pupils in " the art of Fencing, Dancing and the 
French Tongue." In the same j^ear Alexander Finnic 
announced that he proposed to have " a Ball at the Apollo, 
in Williamsburg once every week during the Sitting of the 
Assembly and General Court." 

In 1750 Edward Dial advertised in the Gazette that he 
would have an Assembly at his dwelling house, in Norfolk. 

George Washington came naturally by a taste for 
dancing. In 1754 his friend Daniel Campbell wrote him 
of having " lately had the honor to dance " with his mother, 
who was then a widow of forty-six and a grandmother. 
Among balls in various places which her famous son's diary 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, 11^ PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

shows that he attended was one in Alexandria, in 1760, 
where he says '* abounded great plenty of bread and butter, 
some biscuits with tea and coffee which the drinkers of 
could not distinguish from hot water sweetened. Be it 
remembered that pocket handkerchiefs serv^ed the purposes 
of tablecloths and napkins and that no apologies were 
made for either. I shall therefore distinguish this ball by 
the style and title of the bread and butter ball." 

Kercheval tells us that even in The Valley, which was 
settled chiefly b)^ Scotch-Irish and Germans who are sup- 
posed to have had stricter ideas in regard to worldly pleas- 
ures, dancing three and four-handed reels and jigs was the 
principal amusement of the young people. They also had 
a dance called " the Irish trot " from which it seems that 
the word trot as the name for a dance is not so modern 
after all. The Augusta Records bear witness that in 1763 
there were at least two dancing masters in that mountain 
county — Ephraim Hubbard and James Robinson, by name. 

From the seventeen-fifties to the seventeen-seventies 
there was in the colony a celebrated dancing master named 
Christian who went about holding classes in country neigh- 
borhoods. About the earliest mention of him is in 1758 
when he was paid twenty pounds for teaching his art to 
Priscilla and Mary Rootes, of King and Queen County. 
In 1773 he had classes at several houses in Westmoreland 
and the neighboring counties, among them " Stratford " 
and " Xomini Hall," and Fithian's diary gives us a lively 
picture of the one at " Nomini." The pupils arrived early 
Friday morning and Fithian gave his own school holiday. 
There were present eleven " young misses " wonderfully 
arrayed, seven " young fellows," and several older people. 
Under Mr. Christian's direction they danced most of that 
day and the next. First there were " several minuets 

144 



SOCIAL LIFE 



danced with great ease and propriety, after which the whole 
company joined in country dances," and the tutor decided 
that " it was indeed beautiful to admiration to see such 
a number of young persons set off by dress to the best 
advantage moving easily to the sound of well performed 
music." 

The lesson continued from immediately after break- 
fast until two o'clock, when there was a rest until dinner, 
which was served at half-past three. Soon afterward, all 
" repaired to the dancing room again " and kept it up 
until dusk, when there was another brief rest; but they were 
on with the dance again from half-past six until half-past 
seven, when Mr. Christian withdrew and the company 
" played Button to get pawns for redemption " until the 
half-past eight supper time. The scruples created by early 
training had restrained the straight-laced Presbyterian 
tutor from taking part in the dancing, though being but 
human, and young at that, he could not help enjoying 
looking on, but he joined in the game of " button " and 
complacently remarks, " In redeeming my parvus I had 
several kisses of the ladies." He continues : 

" The supper room looked luminous and splendid; four 
very large candles burning on the table where we supped ; 
three others in different parts of the room; and a gay, 
sociable assembly, & four well instructed waiters. After 
supper the company formed into a semicircle around the 
fire & Mr. Lee was chosen Pope, ;Mr. Carter, INIr. Christian, 
Mrs. Carter, ]Mrs. Lee and the rest of the company ap- 
pointed friars in the play called Break the Pope's Neck." 

In an entry in his diary in 1774 Colonel Landon Carter, 
of " Sabine Hall," rejoices that Christian has stopped his 
dancing classes in the neighborhood, as the schoolboys lost 
two days in every three weeks. 

145 



COLONIAL VIRGLXIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Fithian also tells of a ball given in January, 1773, 
by " Squire " Richard Lee — then a bachelor — of " Lee 
Hall," a few miles from " Nomini." It lasted four days — 
from Monday morning until Thursday night — when the 
*' upwards of seventy " guests, " quite wearied out," de- 
parted, though their host " entreated them to stay longer." 
" 3Irs. Carter, Miss Prissy and Miss Nancy, dressed splen- 
didly, set away from home at two on Monday." They re- 
turned on Tuesday night, but were off to " Lee Hall " 
in time for dinner again on Wednesday, taking Mr. Fithian 
with them. " The ladies dined first, when some good order 
was preserved; when they rose each nimblest fellow dined 
.first." The dinner was " as elegant as could be expected 
when so great an assembly was entertained for so long a 
time." The drinkables served were several sorts of wine, 
lemon punch, toddy, cider, and porter. At about seven the 
ladies and gentlemen began to dance in the ballroom to the 
music of a French horn and two violins. First there was a 
minuet; jigs followed, then reels, and last of all " country 
dances with occasional marches." 

Fithian was a fascinated observer of it all, but his knowl- 
edge of dances was limited ; a country dance with occasional 
marches was doubtless the Sir Roger de Coverley — or 
\^irginia reel. 

" The ladies were dressed gay and splendid & when 
dancing their skirts & Brocades rustled and trailed behind 
them." But all did not dance. There were parties in other 
rooms — evidently of men — some of whom were " at cards, 
some drinking, some toasting the sons of America and 
singing Liberty Songs." One of these who was rather the 
worse for his own part in the meriy-making, noticing that 
the gentleman from Princeton neither danced, drank, nor 

146 




GOVERNOR SIR WILLIAM BERKELEY 
About 1665 



SOCIAL LIFE 



played, more pointedly than politely asked him why he 
came to the party. 

A hundred years before Fithian made his sprightly 
word-pictures of life at " Nomini," " Stratford," and " Lee 
Hall," in old Westmoreland Coimty, the neighborhood was 
a social one. 

There is on record in the county a quaint " agreement " 
between Mr. Corbin, ^Mr. Lee, Mr. Gerrard, and Mr. AUer- 
ton, made in 1670. These four gentlemen were " for the 
continuance of good neighborhood," to build a banqueting 
house in which " each man or his heirs " in turn, had to make 
" an Honorable treatment fit to entertain the undertakers 
thereof, their wives, mistresses & friends, yearly & every 



COLONIAL VIRGL\L\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

n—CJAMlXG— TAVERNS— FAIRS, ET CETERA 

The Colonial age was a gambling age, and in Virginia, 
as in Great Britain and the other colonies, men of all ranks 
caught the infection. In addition to the betting at horse 
races and cock fights, almost every kind of game became, 
upon occasion, a gambling game. A few characteristic 
items from a mass of evidence will serve as illustrations. 

In 1646 John Bradshaw and Richard Smyth, of Lower 
Norfolk County, were fined a hundred pounds of tobacco 
for " unlawful gaming at cards." The Henrico County 
records of 1681 show us JNIr. Thomas Cocke, Jr., a gentle- 
man of prominence, playing ninepins " at the ordinary " 
at Varina, with Richard Rathbone and Robert Sharpe — 
" the first four games to win, 31 up " — for four hundred 
pounds of tobacco, and in the following year we find him 
playing again wdth Sharpe for a hundred pounds of tobacco 
a game. In 1682 " Mr. Pygott," also of Hem-ico, w^on 
seven hundred pounds of tobacco from Martin Elam and 
'John ]Milner at a game of " Cross and pile," and in 1685 
Giles Carter won five hundred pounds of tobacco from 
Charles Steward at a game of dice, and Captain William 
Soane fifteen pounds of tobacco from Mr. William Dear- 
love at a game of " putt." 

Taverns and inns — or " ordinaries " as they were most 
commonly called — where there were billiard tables and 
bowling alleys, were favorite places for indulging the 
gambling rage. George Fisher says in his diar}^ that dur- 
ing his horseback ride from Williamsburg to Philadelphia 
he passed Chisw^ell's ordinary, in Hanover County, at about 
eight o'clock in the morning, and that in the room he entered 
two planters were " at cards." " Something after ten " he 
reached " Ashleys," where he saw " a number of 2)lanters 
at ninepins," and at Mills' ordinary, which he passed at 



SOCIAL LIFE 



three o'clock, there " were hkewise a great number of peo- 
ple at ninepins." 

At the Augusta County Court, in 1762, several persons 
swore that they saw John Boyers, Gentleman, " gaming 
at an unlawful game called hazard, or seven and eleven, 
at the house of Francis Tyler, ordinary keeper in Stami- 
ton" Another game played at Tyler's ordinary was called 
" pass and no pass." 

According to the " Recollections " of David ^Meade, 
William Byrd, the third, of " Westover," the only son of 
his distinguished father, went to England before he was 
of age and there engaged in " all the prodigalities and 
dissipations to which young men of rank and fashion are 
addicted," but he gambled " as a fashionable amusement 
merely — avarice being a passion alien to his breast." 

Virginia gossip said that at a noted gaming table in 
London this young gentleman lost ten thousand pounds 
sterling at a single sitting to the Duke of Cumberland. 
The memorandum book of President John Blair of the 
honorable Council shows that he, in 1753, won of young 
BjTd £19.7 at " Westover," and £192.8.6 at Williams- 
burg. 

Mt. Blair also won money of ]Mr. Armistead Burwell ; 
£17.3 of Mr. Sackville Brewer, and £1.10—" at back- 
gammon " — of ]SIr. Burwell Bassett, and lost £l7.3 to iSlr. 
Thomas Swann, " at bilhards." 

All of these were gentlemen of " quality." 

In 1772 Colonel Landon Carter, suspecting that his 
young sons had been at the gaming table, confided to liis 
diary, " Burn me, if I pay anything more for such sport." 

Apropos of taverns a quaint writer of the time of 
Bacon's RebelHon said that most of the inliabitants of 



COLONIAL VIRGLXLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Jamestown made a living " keeping ordinaries at extraordi- 
nary rates." The number of visitors constantly coming 
to the little town by ship and over land doubtless made 
tavern-keeping a brisk business, but the charges were fixed 
by law. Here is a list of rates from the Middlesex records 
of 1770: 

Pursuant to Law the Court doth set the following Rates and 
Prices for Liquors, Diet, Lodging, Provender, Stableage, Fodder 
and Pasturage to be paid at the several Ordinarys in this County 
for the 

£ S D 
Canary Wine or Mallaga, the quart 4 

Slierry, the quart 3 

Madeira Wine the quart 4 

Claret the quart 5 

White wine the quart 3 

Rhenish the quart 1. 6 

Nants or French Brandy the gallon 16 

Rum the gallon 10 

English or Virginia Brandy the Gallon 6 

A quart of Arrack made into punch 10 

A pint of rum made into punch with white sugar 1. 6 

A quart of Madeira Wine made into Sangaree or 

lemonade with the same 4. 6 

A pint of English or Va. Brandy made into punch 

with the same 1 

English strong beer or ale, the bottle 1. 6 

The same, the quart 1. 3 

Virginia Ale the quart 7^/2 

^'irginia Small beer the quart 4 

Good Cyder, the gallon 1. 3 

Good Hughes best apple Cyder the quart 8 

A dinner with good small beer 1. 3 

A breakfast or supper with good small beer 1. 

A night's Lodging with clean sheets 6 

Pasturage for a Horse for twenty-four hours 6 

Stablage for a horse for twenty-four hours 6 

Corn or Oats per Gallon 6 

150 



SOCIAL LIFE 



Taverns at the county seats were throughout the period 
centres of social and political hfe, especially upon court 
days, which beaming hosts turned into feast days for the 
guests that boisterously overflowed them. The most famous 
of them all was the Raleigh Tavern, at WiUiamsburg — 
a square wooden building with many dormer windows and 
a leaden bust of Sir Walter Raleigh over the door. Its 
chief pride was a wainscoted banqueting hall named after 
an apartment in a famous London tavern, the " Apollo 
Room," which was the scene of many brilliant balls and 
assemblies and notable political gatherings, not only before 
the Revolution, but long afterward. In 1742 the Raleigh 
was kept by one Henry Wetherburn, whose fame as a 
mixer of punch has been preserved by the Goochland 
County records. WilHam Randolph of " Tuckahoe " sold 
to his friend Peter Jefferson — the father of Thomas Jef- 
ferson — two hundred acres of land for mine host Wether- 
burn's " biggest bowl of Arrack punch." The deed was 
duly recorded in Goochland where it may be seen to-day. 

Fisher makes special mention of the unusually hand- 
some furniture in a tavern in the town of Leeds which he 
visited during his horseback journey in 1755. He says: 

" The Chairs, Tables, &c. of the Room I was conducted 
into was all of mahogany and so stuft with fine, large 
glaized copperplate prints that I almost fancied myself in 
Jeffries' or some other elegant print shop." 

Among the many other famous colonial taverns were 
the " Rose and Crown," in Hampton, and the " Rising 
Sun," in Fredericksburg." 

A form of gambling extremely popular and generally 
countenanced in Virginia was the lottery for disposing of 
property of various kinds and raising money for smidry 

^* Now the property of The Association for the Preservation 
of Va. Antiquities. 



COLONIAL VIRC.IXLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

purposes. In 1753 the Gazette advertised a lottery to raise 
money for preserving the country against the French. 
There were to be 25,000 tickets at a pistole each, and 2050 
of them were to draw prizes. In 1768 Richard Graves 
announced a lottery to dispose of his estate in New Kent 
consisting of his plantation, furniture, livestock, slaves, 
and a double chair and harness for two horses. 

In liis advertisement he appealed to the public to take 
chances and " have the pleasure of affording some relief 
to a distressed but deserving family," declaring that his 
" misfortunes were not occasioned by any want of industry 
but by accidents and his too hospitable, friendly and gen- 
erous temper, which all his acquaintance can testify." 

Among other lotteries advertised in the Gazette of 
1768 was one by William Byrd, third, for disposing of his 
property at Shockhoe and Rocky Ridge, as Richmond and 
jVIanchester were then called, and one " for raising the 
sum of £900 to make a road over the mountains to the 
Warm and Hot Springs in Augusta County." 

The healing properties of the mineral springs with 
which the Virginia mountains abound brought going to the 
springs into fashion in the seventeen-forties, and thence- 
forward many of the low comitry planters journeyed by 
coach-and-six, over hill, over dale, to give their families the 
benefit of the change to bracing mountain air and let them 
drink of and bathe in the health-giving waters. In June, 
1747, Henry Lee, of Westmoreland, was at Berkeley 
Springs. During the same summer the Reverend L. 
Schnell, a Moravian missionary of Pennsylvania, visited 
them, and in his " Diary of a Journey to ^laryland and 
Virginia " says he saw " many sick people " there. 

In 1750 Dr. Thomas Walker, who also kept a diary, 
" went to the Hot Springs and found six invalids there." 

152 



SOCIAL LIFE 



In 1769 Fielding Lewis ^vrote to Washington: 

" I hope you have had an agreeable Journey to the 
Springs and that Miss Custis has been benefited by them." 

Of course the accommodations at these watering places 
were extremely primitive. Life at them was doubtless not 
unlike that enjoyed in the mountain camps of to-day. In 
addition to their taverns, doubtless some of the frequenters 
of all of them, as at Capon Springs on North Mountain, 
put up " cottages to shelter them." 

Going to the fair is another diversion which began in 
colonial days. It was, like the old English fair, a market — 
its special object being to bring buyers and sellers to- 
gether — but, also like the English fair, it was accompanied 
by various amusements. As early as 1665 the Governor 
and Council ordered that a fair be held twice each year 
at Jamestown. In 1737 the Virginia Gazette announced 
that a fair was to be held in Williamsburg twice yearly 
and that prizes in money would be awarded for the best 
display of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs. The advertise- 
ment continues : 

" The fair is to hold three days and there will be horse- 
racing and a variety of diversions every day, and the fol- 
lowing prizes to be contended for. A good hat to be 
cudgelled for. A saddle to be run for — a handsome bridle 
for the horse that comes in second and a good whip for the 
third. A pair of silver buckles to be run for, by men, 
from the College to the Capitol — a pair of shoes to him 
that comes in second, a pair of gloves to the third. A 
pair of pumps to be danced for by men. A handsome 
firelock to be exercised for. A pig with his tail soaped to 
be run after and given to the person that catches him and 
hfts him off the ground by his tail." 

153 



COLONLU. VIRGIXIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

The next issue of the paper told of the success of the 
fair. The Gazette also contains a number of references 
to the Fredericksburg fair, which seems to have been a 
regular institution from the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tur}^ on. Fairs were held at several other places, and in 
1762 Staunton in The Valley had one. During it Ehza- 
beth Hog and Priscilla Christian went to Crow's store and 
got as " a fairing " a present of ribbon from the clerk.^^ 

AVhile the constant arrival of English ships which came 
into the principal rivers and delivered their consignments 
almost at the planters' doors, encouraged the direct impor- 
tation of goods from London merchants, Virginia women 
were not altogether denied the delights of shopping, for in 
the towns and in the country there were surprisingly well- 
stocked stores. Many of the planters had on their estates 
general merchandise stores managed by salaried or inden- 
tured storekeepers, in which English and Virginia goods 
could be bought, and tobacco was currency. Says ^Michel: 

" When the inhabitants need something they go to the 
nearest ^Merchant who gives them what they want. It is 
recorded according to agreement. When the tobacco is 
ripe the ^Merchant arrives to take what is coming to him." 

Daniel Sturgis, a storekeeper who had been a servant, 
wrote about fifty j^ears later : 

" Stores here are much like shops in London, only with 
this difference, the shops sell but one kind or species of 
wares, and stores all kinds. These commodities we sell 
planters and receive in return tobacco, a weed of very 
little sen-ice to mankind as to its use, yet as it is the promoter 
of a great trade, is of infinite advantage to Great Britain."^* 

" Chalkley's Augusta Co. Records, i, 341. 

^« Guide to Material for Amer. Hist, in British Pub. Rec. 
Office, ii, 323. 

154 



SOCIAL LIFE 



One of the earliest of Virginia merchants was Thomas 
Warnett, of Jamestown, in whose wull, made in 1629, the 
stock of his store and his personal belongings are so im- 
partially mixed that the reader shall be permitted to exert 
his ingenuity in deciding which is which. He makes be- 
quests of " butter, salt, candles, pepper, ginger, meal, ink, 
writing paper, silk stockings, white starch, blue starch, pins, 
knives, a green scarf edged with gold lace, his best sword 
with gilt belt, his second best sword, his felt hat, sheets, 
towels, napkins, tablecloths, a gilded looking-glass, a black 
beaver hat, a doublet of black camlet, a pair of black hose, 
vinegar, thread of several colors, silk and thread buttons, a 
pewter candlestick, oil, a black felt hat, a suit of grey kersie, 
a weeding hoe, a ' bowing ' hoe, Irish stockings, bars of 
lead, gunpowder, a Polish cap furred, a pair of red 
slippers." ^^ 

In the records of Henrico County is an inventory made 
in 1678, of the stock of a store in the little village of Ber- 
muda Hundred — then almost on the frontier — which had 
been owned by Henry Isham of that place and two London 
merchants named Richards. Among the goods were 
women's and men's shoes, " French falls," children's shoes, 
axes, steel spades, a bramble saw, shovels and tongs, 
hammers, reaping hooks, " scarlet cloth," tapestry, men's 
woolen stockings, brown sheeting, lawn, " pintadales," fine 
calico, tufted hollands, blue linen, gloves, women's bodices, 
children's, women's, and boys' stockings, whalebone, 
candlewick, thread of various colors, girls' and women's 
hoods, pins, ribbon, ivory and horn combs, children's caps, 
buttons, silk galloon, silk floss, " tammy," " East India 
petticoats," canvas, wax, spoons, chains, brandy, guns. 



Water's Gleanings, 39. 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

guiilocks, powder, nutmegs, pepper, trays, strainers, bel- 
lows, salt, trenchers, milk-pails, and steelyards. Another 
store which is heheved to liave been in Bermuda Hundred 
and belonged to Colonel Francis Eppes, w'ho was killed by 
the Indians in 1679, had an even larger and more varied 
stock, including some books, among them " a Bible in 
quarto, with the AjDOcrypha," " two play books," " The 
English School-master," " The Orphan's Legacy," " The 
Academy of Compliments," and " The Clerks Tutor." 

Later the finest stores in the colony were, naturally, 
at WilHamsburg. The Gazette of 1751 contains some 
appealing advertisements of their wares. In that year 
George Gilmer, Apothecary, announced : 

" Imported in the Duchess of Queenshur?/ and just 
come to Hand, a large Assortment of Drugs with all man- 
ner of Chymical and Galenical ^Medicines, faithfully pre- 
pared, also a quantity of Almonds in the soft shell, fresh 
Currans, Turkey Coffee, Prunes, Tamerinds, Bateman's 
and Stouton's Drops, . . . Cinnamon, Cloves, ]Mace, Nut- 
meg, Black Pepper and all-spice, Annodyne Necklaces, 
White and Brown Sugar Candy, Sugar Plumbs, Carra- 
way Comfits, Candied Eringo, Citron, Allum, Vermicelli, 
Sandiver, Borax, Ratsbane, Crucibles, Wine Stone Indigo, 
Chocolate, Bohea, Congo and Green Tea, Strong and good 
^Vhite Tartar Emetic, with ditto dark nice cut Sarfa, 
Black Soaps, China Root, Saltpetre, Oriental and Occi- 
dental Bezoar Sponge, Gold Leaf, ]Musk, Plenty of Vials 
and Pots, Coltsfoot, Birdlime, Spanish Juice, Juice of 
Buckthorn," et cetera. " To be sold at reasonable Rates 
by the Subscriber, at his Shop nigh the Court House, the 
Corner of Palace Street, Williamsburg." 

In the same year John Mitchelson advertised, " Great 
variety of Household Furniture of the newest Fasliions, 




Copyright. 1908, by J. E. H. Tost 

JOHN TAYLOE (^D) OF • -MT. AIRY 



SOCIAL LIFE 



London make, viz.: Mahogany Chests of drawers, Ditto 
Dressing tables. Ditto Card ditto, Ditto Claw ditto, Ditto 
Chairs; Ditto Bedsteads, some with silk and some with 
Worked damask Furniture, Window Curtains, &c. &c. 
Ditto tea boards & tea chests and a dumb waiter, fine 
large gilt, carved and plain Sconce glasses, a Chimney glass 
and dressing glass, Turkey Carpets, a Spinet, Sundry 
pictures done by good hands. Likewise linens, Iron, Brass, 
and Pewter wares of Sundry sorts for Home use." 

In the following year James Craig, jeweller, imported 
a new assortment of " silver work," diamonds, amethysts, 
and " diamond, mourning and other rings," to be sold " for 
ready money only." 

In 1769 William Willess, " gunsmith from Birming- 
ham," announced that he had " opened shop opposite the 
playhouse in Williamsburg." 

Among novelties imported by capital city merchants 
for this year were " shapes, ornaments and mottoes for 
desserts." 

The dress goods and millinery advertised show that 
town and visiting belles had close at hand ample provision 
for making themselves ready on short notice, and according 
to the latest demands of fashion, for one of Mistress Stagg's 
or la Baronne de Graffenreid's " Assemblies," or a " birth- 
night ball " at the Governor's Palace. 

Among country stores which patronized the advertising 
columns of the Gazette was one " in Sussex County, near 
Peter's Bridge," which in 1766 had for sale " broad cloths 
with full trimmings for suits, stuffs for gowns and mil- 
linery ware." 

Philip Fithian, before leaving " Xomini Hall," where 
he had been not only well cared for but happy, went shop- 
ping at a nearby store to buy parting gifts for the Carter 
girls, who had been his pupils. He selected " a neat gilt 

11 157 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, 11^ PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

paper snuff-box for INIiss Priscilla, a neat best clear hair- 
comb apiece for !Miss Nancy and Fanny, and a broad, 
elegant sash apiece for Miss Betsy and Harriet." For the 
whole collection he paid fifteen shillings. 

The merchants in importing stock usually ordered 
" spring goods " in the fall and " winter goods " in spring. 

In The Valley where no tobacco was grown the skins 
of animals became currency. Wolves were troublesome 
there as in other frontier districts of the colony, and the 
Government offered rewards for their destruction. In 
1734 Samuel Woods bought eleven and a quarter yards of 
" Masquerade " and seven and a half yards of " Sagathee,'* 
a heavy woolen stuff, at Samuel Smith's store, in Augusta 
County, and in payment gave the merchant an order for 
the bounty on two wolves' heads. In 1738 Michael Woods 
bought a dozen Catechisms at the same store for six foxes, 
seven raccoons and one beaver. 

The Augusta Records also show that in 1770 one 
" Captain Sawj^ers " had a " peddling store " in Bedford. 

The peddler with his pack was a familiar figure in 
Colonial Virginia, throughout the period. Perhaps he was 
in the business for himself, perhaps was one of several like 
him sent out by a store to show his wares from house to 
house, and sell them if possible, but certainly to create a 
ripple of the kind of excitement looking at new goods and 
perchance securing a bargain brings to women in lonely 
neighborhoods. The peddler himself was doubtless a wel- 
come visitor, for he could hardly make his round without 
picking up many a bit of gossip ; a call from him was as 
good as a newspaper. 

Among English fashions which the Virginians, very 
happily, did not bring ^vith them was that of duelling, for 

158 



SOCIAL LIFE 



though duels were frequent after the Revolution, they 
were so rare in the colony that only two of them are known 
to have been actually fought. The first of these was at 
" Dancing Point," in Charles City County, in 1619, when 
a sea-captain named Edward Stallinge was killed by Cap- 
tain William Eppes. In the second, in 1624, George 
Harrison died from a cut between the knee and garter 
from the sword of Captain Richard Stephens. 

In 1653 Richard Denham was the bearer of a challenge 
from his father-in-law. Captain Thomas Hacket, to Mr. 
David Fox, a magistrate sitting on the bench. For this 
disregard of the law and of propriety Denham was given 
six lashes on his bare back, and Hacket held without bail 
and his case sent on to the next General Court. 

There were other challenges, one of which resulted dis- 
astrously. In 1765 John Scott, the eighteen-year-old son 
of the rector of Quantico Church, who had himself been 
set apart for the ministry, had a quarrel with John Baylis, 
an older man. Baylis spoke so insultingly of young Scott 
and his father that the youth sent him a challenge by his 
brother-in-law and chosen second, Cuthbert Bullitt. Mr. 
Bullitt tried to dissuade his " dear Johnny," but failing, de- 
livered the challenge with the resolve to make another 
attempt to patch up the quarrel at the meeting, which was 
to be before sunrise, behind the church. This he did, and 
so angered Baylis that he opened fire, which Bullitt re- 
turned wuth " Johnnj^'s " pistol and instead of the duel 
coming off as arranged, Bullitt gave Baylis a mortal 
wound. He was acquitted on a plea of self-defence, and he 
and his family sorrowed with the widow and children of 
Baylis. Young Johnny Scott fled over the sea, where he 
completed his education at King's College, old Aberdeen, 
and while doing so lived up to his reputation for impetu- 

159 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

ousness by marrying — secretly, it seems, though he was 
forgiven — a daughter of one of the professors. Later he 
was ordained and returned to America as chaplain to the 
Governor of INIaryland and rector of the Parish of Ever- 
sham, in that province. 

While the colonists were much given to litigation and 
the court records show innumerable and long continued 
suits, the law>^er had no distinctive place apart from the 
mass of the people. He was simply a planter who prac- 
tised law. The justices of the county courts and judges 
of the general courts were not men trained to the legal pro- 
fession, but some knowledge of law was part of the educa- 
tion of every gentleman. 

With the doctors it was different. Their work, like that 
of the clergj% set them apart; it was not, like that of the 
lam' ers, in court and legislature, but in the home where 
it placed them upon the most familiar and confidential 
footing and made them a part of the daily life of the people. 

It seems strange when, according to modern views, the 
early colonial physicians were utterly ignorant of the true 
principles of medicine, and when sanitation and germs 
were alike undreamed of, that these doctors cured any- 
body. They undoubtedly did make cures, though their suc- 
cessors of to-day may be of the opinion that their patients 
recovered in spite of them. 

In 1622 Doctor Edward Gibson treated successfully a 
number of patients at Falling Creek — among them 
Thomas Fawcett, who was " farre spent with the dropsy." 
When Doctor Pott was convicted at Jamestown for brand- 
ing other men's cattle as his own, one reason given for his 
pardon was that the Virginians should not be deprived of 
his skill in treatment of the " epidemical diseases " of the 

160 



SOCIAL LIFE 



country. He was a Master of Arts, as well as an M.D., 
and had been sent to Jamestown by the Virginia Company 
of London, on accomit of his ability. 

There were from the beginning some physicians in the 
colony who had been regularly trained in their profession 
as it was known in that day, but it is likely that most of 
the colonial practitioners had studied as apprentices, and 
no doubt the colonies were good fields for quacks. It must 
be remembered that even in England many practising 
physicians had no degree. Late in the period — for twenty 
years or more before the Revolution — many young Vir- 
ginians went to Edinburgh to study medicine, and the 
character of the profession was decidedly raised. 

As was natural, Virginia physicians made many ex- 
periments with native plants. Early in the eighteenth 
century Doctor John Tennant, of Williamsburg, acquired 
local fame by his advocacy of rattlesnake root as a specific 
for many diseases, especially pleurisy, and Doctor John 
Mitchell, of Urbanna, Middlesex County, who died in 
London in 1768, was not only a distinguished physician 
but made a name for himself by liis valuable researches 
and discoveries in botany. He was an author of scientific 
books, a Fellow of the Royal Society and gave informa- 
tion about American flora to Linnaeus, who named the 
Mitchella repens after him. In 1737 this advertise- 
ment appeared in the Virginia Gazette: 

" Every Man his own Doctor Or the Poor Planter's 
Physician. Prescribing plain and easy Means for Persons 
to cure themselves of all or most of the Distempers incident 
to this climate, and with very little charge, the medicines 
being chiefly the Growth and Production of this Country." 

Doctors were constantly employed to treat servants 
and slaves, and planters were not permitted to neglect bills 

161 



COLONLVL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

for such serv^ice. On the same day — ^larch 30, 1640 — 
the Lower Norfolk County Court ordered Robert Came 
to pay the bill of " Thomas Bullock, Chirurgeon," and 
John Drayton that of Thomas Sawj^er, for " physic " 
adminstered to slaves. 

In 1764 Colonel Theodorick Bland placed an epileptic 
slave under the care of Doctor James Greenhill, of Stony 
Creek, -vvho in giving up his patient after several months, 
made a quaint report of his treatment, in a letter to 
Colonel Bland. 

" According to your request," rmis the letter, " I have 
sent the negro home but altho he is much amended yet I 
am apprehensive that the disease is not quite vanquished 
& therefore must desire that he be permitted to continue 
the course of medicines he is now under at least 6 weeks 
or two months longer. . . . 

" When first he came to me I put him on a course of 
Cumabarine jNIedicines. I Bled him, in the fit, vomited 
him afterwards and . . . gave him aorthrementics and 
mercurial purges. All this seemed to do no good. I there- 
fore Resolved to give him a shock from two Glass Spheres 
fixed to an Electric ^lachine, but before I could get it 
completely fixed I drew a blister on the scalp behind — upon 
the Occiput, dressed it according to Art and made it per- 
petual, at the same time putting him under a different 
course of Medicines than had been tried before. The 
Bhster ran Bountifully for a while; ])ut drying, I laid 
another upon the nape with an Intent to Stimulate a 
Branch of a Considerable Nerve Called par Vagum which 
in that part Lays Something Superficial, continuing the 
Medicines with little Alteration. This succeeded and the 
next Cliange of the ^loon expecting the fit, as usual, he 
missed them. The Medicines has been continued and he 




MANTEL IN A PANKLLKI) HK1)K(»()M 



SOCIAL LIFE 



has missed the fits this last full moon again. The Blister 
is almost dry hut I intend if the fellow stays with me to 
di-aw a fresh one. It is something remarkable that the 
fits has Usually returned when the Moon was in the Sign 
Capricorn Even When it was a week before or after the 
full or change." 

There is little doubt that had the poor darkey been 
given his choice he would have preferred fits at the change 
of the moon to bleedings, vomitings, electric shocks, and 
" perpetual " bhsters. 

The customary doctor's charge in Virginia seems to 
have been as in England, a guinea a visit — the fee re- 
ceived by Doctor Pasteur, of Williamsburg, when he 
treated the mashed finger of Lady Tryon, the wife of the 
Governor of North Carolina, during her visit to the 
Governor and his lady in Virginia. 

The tourist, Burnaby, summing up his impressions 
of the Virginia people in 1760, declares: 

" The chmate and external appearance of the country 
conspire to make them indolent, lazy and good-natured; 
extremely fond of Society and much given to convivial 
pleasures. In consequence of this, they seldom show any 
spirit of enterprise or expose themselves wiUingly to 
fatigue. Their authority over their slaves renders them 
vain and imperious and entire strangers to that elegance 
of sentiment which is so particularly characteristic of re- 
fined and polished nations. Their ignorance of manhood 
and of learning exposes them to many errors and preju- 
dices. The pubhc or polished character of the Virginians 
corresponds with their private one; they are haughty and 
jealous of their liberties, impatient of restraint and can 
scarcely bear the thought of being controlled by superior 

163 



COLONL\L VIRGINIA, ITS PP:0PLE AND CUSTOMS 

power. ]Many oi' them eonsider the Colonies as independent 
states, not connected with Great Britain otherwise than by 
having the same common King." He adds a note: 

" General Characters are always liable to exceptions. 
In Virginia I have had the pleasm-e to know several gentle- 
men endowed with many virtues and accomplishments." 

" The women," he continues, " are upon the whole 
rather handsome, though not to be compared with our fair 
country women of England. They have but few advan- 
tages and consequently are seldom accomplished; this 
makes them reserved and unequal to any interesting or re- 
fined conversation . . . They seldom read or endeavor to 
improve their minds; however they are in general, good 
housewives and though thej^ have not, I think, quite as 
much tenderness and sensibility as the English ladies, yet 
they make as good waves and as good mothers as any in the 
"vvorld." 

Bm-naby had a kindly feeling toward the Virginians, 
but his opinions show^ how far British prejudice could go. 
It must be remembered that he came from an England 
where the morals of Tom Jones and the manners of Tony 
Lumpkin w^ere far from being confined to fiction. " Sen- 
sibility," in which he says Virginia women were lacking, 
was a fashionable affectation with which the mistress of 
a plantation w^as too busy to be afflicted. But let us hear 
from another witness from the same part of the w^orld. 
Lord Adam Gordon, writing four years later, says : 

" The first settlers were many of them younger 
Brothers of good Families in England, who for different 
motives chose to quit home in search of better fortune, their 
descendants who possess the greatest land properties in 
the Province, have intermarried and have always had a 
much greater connection with and dependence on the 

164 



SOCIAL LIFE 



Mother Country than any other Province. ... I have 
had an opportunity to see a good deal of the Country and 
many of the first people in the Province and I must say 
they far excel in good sense, affability and ease any set of 
men I have yet fallen in with, either in the West Indies 
or on the Continent, this, in some degree, may be owing 
to their being most of them educated at home ( in England ) 
but cannot be altogether the Cause, since there are amongst 
them many Gentlemen, and almost all the Ladies, who 
have never been out of their own Province, and yet are as 
sensible, Conversible and accomphshed people as one 
would wish to meet with." 



COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE 




)HE first lover, in very truth " sigh- 
ing like a furnace," of whom Vir- 
ginia records give us a pictui'e, is 
John Rolfe, gentleman, the earliest 
tobacco planter in the colony, a 
member of his Majesty's Council 
and soon to be Secretary of State. 
When the Indian maiden Pocahontas, who had been 
sold to Captain Argall for a copper kettle by the perfidious 
uncle to whose care Powhatan had entrusted her, was 
brought to Jamestown and held there as a hostage. Master 
Rolfe astonished himself as much as any one else by losing 
his heart to her. No sonnet to his lady's eyebrow could give 
relief to the agitation and perplexity into which so unprece- 
dented a situation threw him, and which he feared would 
bring upon him the wrath of Heaven, the censure of the 
government, and the criticism of his fellows, so he wrote 
instead a long letter to the Governor, Sir Thomas Dale, 
explaining his plight, and begging approval of his mar- 
riage with her whom, he declared, *' My heart and best 
thoughts are and have byn a long tyme soe intangled and 
entralled in soe intricate a laborinth that I was even 
awearied to unw\Tide myself e thereout." 

He was not, he wrote, " so voyde of friends nor meane 
in Birth " that he could not make a match to his " greate 
content " in England, and he had looked " warily and with 
circumspection " for reasons to provoke him to fall in love 
with one whose " education hath byn rude, her manners 
barbarous, her generation cursed and soe discrepant in all 
nurtriture " to himself, and " oftentimes with feare and 
tremblinge " had concluded that his sentiments toward her 

16G 



COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE 



were " wicked instigations hatched by him whoe seeketh 
and delighteth in man's destruction." 

But for all his conscientious scruples against marriage 
with a heathen whose ancestors were in hell — for he was 
far too orthodox to believe in a happy hunting ground for 
unbelieving braves — Master Rolf e's love for the forest maid 
tortured him by day and disturbed his rest at night. 
Finally, he declared, thoughts of her had taken the form of 
a " more gratious temptacon . . . puUinge me by the eare 
and cryene why doest not thowe endeavour to make her a 
Christian." Since when he had persuaded himself and 
hoped to persuade Governor Dale, that it was his religious 
duty to wed the Indian Idng's daughter. 

Thej^ were married about April 5, 1614, in Jamestown 
Church, and with the consent of the Governor and of the 
bride's father, who sent to witness the ceremony two of her 
brothers and an uncle who gave her away. Doubtless 
it was the charm which captivated Rolfe that won so many 
friends for this American princess when she visited 
England. 

There was much wooing and wedding at Jamestown 
and thereabout, in 1619 and the two years following, during 
which the Virginia Company sent out a number of English 
maidens — about a hundred and fifty in all — to provide 
wives for the lonely bachelors of whom the colony was in 
great part comprised. These courageous girls were said 
to be " such as were specially recommended to the Com- 
pany for their good bringing up," and were to be given in 
marriage to the " most honest and industrious planters," 
each of whom was to pay his bride's passage money — a 
hundred and twenty pounds of tobacco. The Governor 
and Council were urged to be " as fathers " to the maidens, 
who were not to be forced into distasteful marriages, but 

167 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

were to be placed in homes of people of repute until they 
found husbands to their liking. 

According to a letter from Virginia in 1622, all the 
maidens had then been mated. 

In 1623 the colony had its first breach of promise case, 
which doubtless caused no end of hub-bub in high society. 
Only a few days after the death of Captain Samuel Jordan, 
of " Jordan's Point," on James River, the Reverend Gre- 
ville Pooley, who had conducted the funeral services, went 
a-courting the young and wealthy widow, Cicely, taking 
with him Captain Isaac Madison as witness of the promise 
he hoped to receive. The fair Cicely accepted him, and he 
and she drank each other's health, after which he kissed her 
and said: 

" I am thine and thou art mine till death us separate." 

The lady desired the engagement might be kept quiet 
for a time as she did not wish it known she had bestowed 
her love so soon after her husband's death. Mr. Pooley 
promised to keep the secret, but was so elated by his success 
that he could not help letting it out. Whereupon Madam 
Cicely, saying that he " had fared better had he talked 
less," without giving him any notice engaged herself to 
jNIr. William Farrar, an honored member of his Majesty's 
Council. The parson sued her for breach of promise, and 
in spite of the damaging testimony of Captain ]Madison 
not only lost his case but made and had duly recorded in 
court a formal release of the charmer, binding himself in 
the sum of five hundred pounds sterling " never to have 
any claim, right or title to her." 

The Governor and Council were moved by this unique 
suit to issue a solemn proclamation prohibiting women from 
engaging themselves to more than one man at a time. The 
proclamation was disregarded at least once, for at a court 
held the following year it was ordered that: 



• t 

i 






■ ^ 




.-,..^, .._ ,.__ 







POCAHONTAS 

From a photograph of the ori^'iiial portrail 



COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE 



" The next Sabbath day, in the time of divine Service, 
Eleanor Spragg shall publicly, before the congregation, 
acknowledge her offence in contracting herself to two sev- 
eral men at one time and penitently confessing her fault 
shall ask God's and the Congregation's forgiveness. To 
prevent the like offence in others it is ordered that every 
minister give notice in his church that what man or woman 
soever shall use words amounting to a contract (or engage- 
ment) of marriage to several persons, shall be whipped or 
fined according to the quality of the person offending." ^ 

In later years when Mr. William Roscow, who evi- 
dently recalled these famous cases but doubted the power 
of the law to keep a Virginia belle faithful to any one of 
her string of lovers, secured Sarah Harrison's promise to 
marry him, he made her put it in writing and it was duly 
recorded, " Aprull ye 28, 1687," as follows: 

" These are to Certifye all persons in Ye World that 
I, Sarah Harrison, Daughter of Mr. Benja. Harrison, do 
& am fully resolved & by these presents do oblige myself 
(& cordially promise) to Wm. Roscow never to marry or 
contract Marriage with any man (during his life) only 
himself. To confirm these presents, I the abovesaid Sarah 
Harrison do call the Almighty God to witness & so help 
me God. Amen. 

(Signed) Sarah Harrisox."" 

Notwithstanding which the fascinating but fickle Sarah 
married only two months later the distinguished Doctor 
James Blair, the founder of William and Mary College. 
When in the course of the marriage ceremony the minister 
instructed her to promise to obey she replied, " No obey." 
Upon which he refused to proceed and a second time told 
her to say obey. A second time she said, " No obey" and a 

1 Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., xix, 231, 234i; xxi, 142-145. 
169 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

second time the minister refused to proceed. Yet the third 
time she said, ''No obey," whereupon the minister went on 
witli the ceremony.^ 

The bridegroom seems to have passively acquiesced. 
Doubtless he dared not say a word lest he lose his lady, 
even at the altar. There is nothing in the records to 
suggest that he ever regretted that she jilted Mr. Roscow 
to marry him, and all witnesses agree that no matter how 
capricious Virginia belles of the day — who were often mere 
children — may have been with their lovers, they were gen- 
erally above reproach as wives and mothers. 

Among the interesting sights of old Jamestown to-day 
are the tombs, near the church, of Doctor Blair and his 
wife, the high-spirited Sarah. A sycamore tree has grown 
up between their graves carrj^ing part of ^Irs. Blair's 
tombstone — embedded in its trunk — some distance in the 
air, as if marble could not rest easy over the ashes of so 
independent a lady. Let any who may believe that there 
were no strong-minded women in the good old days remem- 
ber Sarah Harrison Blair. 

Perhaps the most desperate lover of the time was no 
less a person than Sir Francis Nicholson, Governor of the 
colony, who became so madly enamored of Martha Bur- 
well, daughter of Lewis Burwell, the second, of " Carter's 
Creek," that he vowed to her that if she refused to marry 
him he would kill her father and her brothers. To Doctor 
Blair he swore that if she married anyone but himself he 
would cut the throats of three men — the bridegroom, the 
minister who performed the ceremony, and the justice who 
issued the license. The affair made a savory dish of gossip 
and rumors of it spread to England, and brought Governor 
Nicholson a letter of remonstrance from a friend there. 

2 Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., vii, 278. 
170 



COURTSHIP AND IVIARRIAGE 



The young lady braved all his threats and married 
Mr. Henry Armistead, of " Hesse," and there is no record 
of murder committed as a result. 

Men and women married early and often in " Earth's 
only paradise, Virginia." Unhealthy conditions and ignor- 
ance of hygiene kept the dread reaper busy separating 
husbands and wives, but the lonely survivor — however 
devoted he or she may have been — was seldom slow to find 
another mate. Cicely Jordan only flirted with Parson 
Pooley, but on the very day — May 19, 1657 — when the 
will of Thomas Brice, of Rappahannock, leaving his whole 
estate to his wife, was proved, a marriage contract between 
her and the Reverend William White, who officiated at 
the funeral, was recorded. 

The most married woman of her day was Elizabeth 

, who had so many husbands that her maiden name 

has been lost. She was the wife successively of Thomas 
Stevens, Raleigh Travers, Robert Beckingham, Thomas 
Wilks, and George Spencer — prominent gentlemen, all of 
them — and is supposed to have been the Widow Spencer 
who married in 1697 William Man, and by taking this, her 
sixth, husband went Colonel John Carter, the husband of 
five wives, one better. Elizabeth Travers, the daughter 
of the aforesaid Madam Stevens -Travers -Beckingham - 
Wilks-Spencer-Man by her second marriage, was second 
wife of John Carter, Jr., and after his death became the 
third wife of Colonel Christopher Wormeley. Exampleslike 
this make it plain that the way of the genealogist who under- 
takes to untangle Virginia relationships is not a smooth one. 

Colonel Byi'd, writing to the Earl of Orrery in 1727, 
tells him that matrimony " thrives so excellently " in Vir- 
ginia that " an Old Maid or an Old Bachelor are as scarce 
among us and reckoned as ominpus as a Blazing Star." 

171 



COLONIAL VIIKJNIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

He adds that one of the most " antique Virgins " he knows 
is his daughter Evelyn — who was then about twenty — 
and says, " Either our young Fellows are not smart eno' 
for her, or she seems too smart for them." 

This is the earliest on record of the many attempts to 
explain why the lovely Evelyn Byrd died a spinster. 

The proposal was a formal and elaborate matter in 
Colonial Virginia. The lover who had proper regard for 
the conventions and for a comfortable provision for him- 
self and his heart's desire, confided his hopes to his father, 
who — if he approved — informed the father of the fair one 
that his son would ask permission to besiege her affections, 
and what estate he would settle upon him if he should be 
successful. If the match was acceptable to the lady's 
father, he replied stating what property he would settle 
upon his daughter. When the matter had been arranged 
to the satisfaction of both parents, the anxious lover was 
free to try his fortune with the maiden. 

Courting a widow was a simpler matter for she dis- 
posed of her own heart, hand, and fortune as she pleased, 
as did the sister of William Fitzhugh, whose second hus- 
band, ISIr. Luke, married her in 1692 without asking any 
by-your-leave of her family. The brother expressed him- 
self as satisfied because where a widow of property was 
to be courted " consultations for marriage portions " were 
unusual. 

When John Walker of " Belvoir " set his affections 
upon iNIistress Elizabeth jMoore, the following correspond- 
ence passed between his father and hers : 

May 27th, 1764.. 
Dear Sir: 

My son, Mr. John Walker, having informed me of his intention 
to pay his addresses to your daughter Elizabeth, if he should be 
agreeable to yourself, lady and daughter, it may not be amiss to 

172 



COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE 



inform you what I feel myself able to afford for their support, in 
case of an union. jMy affairs are in an uncertain state, but I will 
promise one thousand pounds, to be paid in 1766, and the further 
sum of two thousand pounds I promise to give him ; but the uncer- 
tainty of my present affairs prevents my fixing on a time of pay- 
ment. The above sums are all to be in money or lands and other 
effects, at the option of my son, John Walker. 
I am. Sir, your humble servant, 

Thomas Walker. 
Col. Bernard Moore, Esq., 
in King William. 

May 28, 1764. 
Dear Sir: 

Your son, Mr. John Walker, applied to me for leave to make 
his addresses to my daughter, Elizabeth. I gave him leave, and 
told him at the same time that my affairs were in such a state that 
it was not in my power to pay him all the money this year that 
I intended to give my daughter, provided he succeeded ; but would 
give him five hundred pounds more as soon after as I could raise 
or get the money, which sums you may depend I \\all most punctu- 
ally pay to him. 

I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

Bernard Moore. 
To Thomas Walker, 

Castle Hill, Albemarle County, Va.^ 

In 1765 Colonel Warner Lewis, of " Warner Hall," 
gave young William Armistead, heir of " Hesse," who was 
in love with Molly Carter, of " Sabine Hall," a letter to 
Colonel Carter in which he said: 

" This will be delivered to you by my nephew. Will 
Armistead, who informs me that you are acquainted with 
his errand, which I hope meets with your approbation. I 
heartily wish my God Daughter JNIolly may like him, if 
she does the sooner they are married the better." The 
writer says it will give him " great pleasure to see Miss 

3 Page's " Page Family," 224. 
12 173 



COLONIAL VIRGINM, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

jSIoUy ^Mistress of Hesse," and adds, " You have been 
young j^ourself, for God's sake hurry on the Match." 

Doubtless the happy pair thought Colonel Lewis the 
most delightful uncle in the world. 

Another man and maid for whom the course of true love 
ran smooth were Nicholas Cabell and Hannah Carrington, 
from whom a legion of Cabells and their kin trace descent. 
In 1772 the young lover's father, Colonel William Cabell, 
received this letter from Hannah's father: 

Dear Sir: I rec'd yours by your son Nicholas, whose intended 
marriage alliance to my family is agreeable to me. I have referred 
him to my daughter and he can inform you what progress he has 
made. He is a young man that I have a good opinion of, and if 
they get together I am in hopes you will find her a dutiful child 
and a satisfaction to you for the remaining part of your time here. 
I am with respect 

Y'r very hum'l servt. 

George Carrington. 

Boys and girls, young men and maidens were then as 
they have been from the beginning, are now and ever 
shall be. The ever popular dance afforded abundant oppor- 
tunity for soft eyes to look love to eyes that spoke again, 
long rides and drives, and walks in grove and garden for 
whispered vows; and who dare wager there was never a 
kiss stolen in curtained window-seat or rose-embowered 
sunmier-house ? When the lover armed with parental con- 
sent, presented himself to his lady it is not hkely that his 
declaration was always a surprise. 

The Virginia belle was not too quick to bestow her 
hand, but kept her suitor on his knees long enough to make 
him appreciate her condescension in considering his peti- 
tion. Anne Elair, daughter of President John Blair, in 
one of her gossipy letters to her sister, INIrs. Braxton, thus 
describes the manner in which such a Lady Disdain received 

174 




SARAH HARRISON 
Wife of Doctor James Bla 



I 



COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE 



a letter containing a proposal from a certain Mr. Tunstall : 
" She was in a little Pett, but it was a very becoming 
one, let me tell you. A glowing blush suffused o'er her 
face attended with a trembling, insomuch that in extending 
her arm to reach me the creature's insolence I thought ye 
Paper would have fallen from her Hand. The emotions 
I saw her in did not fail of exciting ye cm'iosity in me 
natural to aU om- Sex, so that a dog would not have caught 
more eagerly at a bone he was likely to lose than I did at 
the fulsome stuff (as she call'd it) tho' must own on peini- 
sal was charmed with ye elegance of his stile ; & I dare say 
he might with truth declare his Love for her to equal that 
of Mark Anthony's for Cleopatra. She thought proper to 
turn his Letter back again with just a line or two signifying 
ye disagreeableness &c. &c. of ye subject. . . . There are 
several others Dancing and coopeeing about her, may they 
scrape all the skin off their shins stepping over the benches 
at Church in endeavoring who sho'd be first to hand her 
in the Chariot." ^ 

One more picture of the ways of men and maids from 
the letters of Anne Blair. In 1768 she and her sister 
Betsy were visiting another sister, JNIrs. Cary, in Hamp- 
ton, and the officers of several Enghsh men-of-war wliich 
happened to be in Hampton Roads were giving them the 
time of their lives. The sprightly Anne wrote Mrs. 
Braxton : 

" Hampton is now more gay than the Metropolis. The 
Rippon, the Lancaster & the Magdalene are all in Harbour 
here; balls both b}^ land and by Water in abundance, the 
gentlemen of the Rippon are I think the most agreeably 
affable set I have ever met with, & really it is charming 
to go on Board; the Drum and Fife, pleasing countenances, 

-^ " Blair, Banister, & Braxton Families," 51. 
175 



COLONIAL \1RGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

such polite yet easy Behaviour all hespeak a hearty Wel- 
come. This family receives a great many civilities from 
all the gentlemen, presents on presents; if there happens 
a day without seeing them there is so many comp'ts to 
enquire after our Healths that indeed to be people of 
consequence is vastly clever. 

" ' How stand yr hearts Girls,' I hear you ask? Why, 
I will tell you, mine seems to be roving amidst dear variety; 
& notwithstanding there is such Variety do you think 
Betsy Blair k Sally Sweeny does not contend for one? 
Betsy gave her Toast at Supper Mr. Sharp (a Lieutenant 
on Board ye Rippon) Miss Sally for awhile disputed with 
her, at length it was agreed to decide it with pistols when 
they should go to bed. No sooner had they got upstairs 
than they advanced up close to each other, then turning 
short round, Back to Back, marched three steps forward 
& fired; so great was the explosion & so suffocating the 
smell of Powder, that I quitted the Room, till by Betsy's 
repeated shouts I soon learned she had got the better of 
her antagonist. Both survive." 

Notwithstanding the lively Betsy's mock duel over the 
fascinating Lieutenant Sharp she finally looked over his 
head and married Captain Samuel Thompson, Commander 
of the Rippon. 

Idle scribblings in old books have preserved glimpses 
of very real young folk. On the fly-leaf of a record book 
for the years 1671-1676, in the York County Clerk's 
office, is written, *' Hannah Armistead is One of ye hand- 
somest Girls in Virgin'a, by Thomas Frayser." And 
under it, 

" Hannah For Ever, David Chamberlayne." 

On the fly-leaf of an old book in Gloucester County 
appears, 

176 



COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE 



"Jane Nelson is a neat girl; Betsy Page is a sweet 
girl; Lucy Burwell is the devil, if not the devil, she is one 
of his imps." 

Many adoring swains declared themselves in acrostics 
and complimentary verses in which the name of the beloved 
was sometimes concealed, which were published in the Vir- 
ginia Gazette. 

This tribute to Lucy Cocke is a fair sample of the 
acrostic : 

L oveley dear Maid, my gen'rous tale approve — 
U ntaught in verse to sing the fair I love ; 
C ould you but know the dictates of my heart, 
Y our gentle soul wou'd healing balm impart. 
C onquer'd by you, what raptures seize my breast, 
O say dear Charmer, will you make me blest ? 
C onstant I'll prove as light to early day 
K ind as bright Phoebus to his darling May, 
E ach hour each moment shall my love display. 
Other acrostics appearing during the same year — 1768 
— were to Catherine Swann and Nancy Murray, while 
Alice Corbin's name was concealed in a rhymed puzzle. 

Here is the first stanza of a poetical effusion, " On 
Miss Anne Geddy singing and playing on the Spinet," 
contributed by an anonymous admirer: 

When Nancy on the spinnet plays 
I fondly on the virgin gaze 

And wish that she was mine: 
Her air, her voice, her lovely face 
Unite with such excessive grace, 
The Nymph appears divine. 
Still another bit of complimentary verse — also anony- 
mous — was entitled, 

" A nosegay addressed to Miss Polly B. — in King 
William." 

Letters and wills show us both Washington and Jeffer- 

177 



COLONLVL VDIGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

son as ardent lovers. Washington, at the age of fifteen, 
wrote an acrostic on the name of Frances Alexander in 
which he declared that 

Xerxes wasn't free from Cupid's Dart, 
And all the greatest Heroes felt the smart. 

He himself felt the smart often, for young Frances 
was the first of a succession of damsels by whose " sparkling 
eyes " he was " undone." At sixteen he was in love with 
a " Low Land Beauty " who may have been the " Sally " 
to whom he wrote in 1748 from " Belvoir," when he was 
surveyor for Lord Fairfax, begging for a letter from her 
and saying: 

" I am ahnost discouraged from -v^a-iting to you, as this 
is my fourth since I received any from yourself," But 
cheerfully adding, " I pass the time much more agreeably 
than I imagined I should, as there is a very agreeable 
young lady lives in the same house where I reside ( Colonel 
George Fairfax's wife's sister) that in a great measure 
cheats my sorrow and dejectedness, though not so as to 
draw my thoughts altogether from your parts." 

About the same time he wTote to a friend whom he 
addressed as "Dear Robin": 

*' My place of residence at present is at his Lordship's 
where I might, were my heart disengaged, pass my time 
very pleasantly as there is a very agreeable young lady in 
the same house. Col. Geo. Fairfax's wife's sister, but that 
only adds fuel to the fire, as being often and unavoidably 
in company with her revives my former passion for your 
Low Land Beauty. Whereas were I to live more retired 
from young women I might in some measure alleviate my 
sorrow by burying that chaste and troublesome passion in 
oblivion, and I am very well assured that this will be the 
only antidote or remedy." 

178 



COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE 



The " agreeable young lady " was Mar}'- Gary, with 
whom tradition says he was soon enough deeply in love, 
but like his Lowland Beauty, she failed to see the future 
hero in the susceptible youth, and gave her hand to Edward 
Ambler. According to one tradition the " Low Land 
Beauty " was Lucy Grymes, of Riclmiond County, who 
became the wife of Colonel Henry Lee; another says she 
was Betsy Fauntleroy, by whom also he was certainly 
rejected, for in 1751 he wrote to her father, William 
Fauntleroy : 

" I purpose to wait on Miss Betsy, in hopes of a revo- 
cation of the former cruel sentence, and see if I can meet 
with any alteration in my favor." 

In 1756 Robert Carter Nicholas wrote to him from 
Williamsburg : 

" The snuiF-box was properly returned & I took the 
Liberty of Communicating the Extatick Paragraph of 
your letter ; what Blushes & confusion it occasioned I shall 
leave you to guess." 

How " the snufF-box " came to be in Washington's 
possession, and the name of its fair owner, are not revealed. 

In 1757 he was courting Mary Phihpse of New York, 
whom he met during a visit there. In July of that year his 
friend, Joseph Chew, who had lately been in New York, 
wrote him : 

" As to the Latter part of your Letter what shall I say? 
I often had the pleasure of Breakfasting with the Charm- 
ing Polly. Roger Morris was there (don't be startled) 
but not always, you know him, he is a Lady's man, always 
something to say, the Town talks of it as a sure & settled 
affair. I can't say I think so . . . but how can you be 
Excused to continue so long at Phil'a? I think I would 
have made a kind of Flying March of it if it had only been 

179 



COLONIAL MRGL\L\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

to see whether the Works were sufficient to withstand a 
Vigorous Attack, you a Soldier and a Lover." 

Again Wasliington was disappointed, for the " charm- 
ing Polly " chose his rival. 

In ^larch, 1758, he made a visit to Williamsburg, 
where he met and fell in love with the young, wealthy, and 
recently widowed ^lartha Custis. He was engaged to her 
before the first of April and ordered a ring for her, from 
Philadelphia, in jNIay. ^lilitary duty called him from 
her side, but he wrote her from the frontier, on the march 
for the Ohio: 

" A courier is starting for Williamsburg and I embrace 
the opportunity to send a few words to one whose life is now 
inseparable from mine. Since that happy hour when we 
made our pledges to each other, my thoughts have been 
continually going to you as another self. That an all- 
powerful Providence maj' keep us both in safety is the 
prayer of your ever faithful and affectionate friend." 

They were married in the following January. 

Jefferson, too, w^as unlucky in love, and finalty consoled 
himself with a widow. He was, however, in youth, long 
constant to his earliest flame, Rebecca Burwell of " Carter's 
Creek," whom he fancifully called " Belinda." In 1762, 
when a law-student at William and ^lary, he carried her 
picture in his watch like any college boy of to-day, and 
when it w^as injured by a wetting wrote of it to his chum 
and confidant, John Page: 

" Although the picture be defaced there is so lively an 
image of her imprinted on my mind that I shall think of her 
too often I fear for my peace of mind; and too often I 
am sure to get through old Coke this winter." He adds, 
" Write me very circumstantially everything that happened 
at the wedding. Was she there? Because if she was I 

180 



COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE 



ought to have been at the Devil for not being there too." 
Further on in the letter he says : 

" I would fain ask Miss Becca Burwell to give me 
another watch paper of her own cutting which I should 
esteem much more were it a plain round one than the 
nicest in the world cut by other hands." 

Jefferson was at this time in his life very much of a 
ladies' man, fond of dancing and society and a favorite 
with the girls, though he was devoted to but one. In the 
letter quoted he charges Page: 

" Remember me affectionately to all the young ladies 
of my acquaintance, particularly the Miss Burwells and 
IMiss Potters and tell them that though the heavy earthly 
part of me, my bodj^ be absent, the better half of me, my 
soul, is ever with them. . . . Tell — tell — in short tell them 
all 10,000 things more than either you or I can now or 
ever shall think of as long as we live." He sends a special 
message to Alice Corbin, whom he has bet a pair of garters 
— for himself — that a certain " pretty gentleman " is soon 
to make his addresses to her. 

John Page was at this time one of the numerous train 
of the fascinating Anne Randolph, of " Wilton " on the 
James, known to her circle as " Nancy Wilton." In Janu- 
ary, 1763, the future author of the " Declaration of Inde- 
pendence " wrote to the future Governor of Virginia: 

" How did Nancy look at you when you danced with 
her at Southall's? Have you any glimmering of hope? 
How does R. B. do? Had I better stay here and do nothing 
or go do^vn and do less? ... I have some thoughts of 
going to Petersburg if the Actors go there in May. If I 
do, I do not know but I may keep on to Williamsburg 
as the birthnight will be near. I hear that Ben Harrison 
has been at Wilton, let me know his success." 

181 



COLOMAL MUGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

In the following July the lovesick youth wrote Page: 

" If Belinda will not accept my service it shall never 
be offered to another. That she may I pray most sin- 
cerely, but that she will she never gave me reason to hope." 

On October 6 he and his " Belinda " were together at a 
ball in the " Apollo room " at Raleigh tavern and he de- 
cided to make a final trial of his fortune. On the day 
following he gave vent to his disappointment in a letter 
to John Page, in which he says: 

"In the most melancholy fit that ever any poor soul 
was, I sit do^vn to write to you. Last night, as merry as 
agreeable company and dancing with Belinda in the Apollo 
could make me, I never could have thought the succeeding 
sun would have seen me so wretched as I now am! I 
was prepared to say a great deal. I had dressed up in my 
own mind, such thoughts as occurred to me in as moving 
language as I knew how, and expected to have performed 
in a tolerably creditable manner. But, good God! When 
I had an opportunity of venting them, a few broken sen- 
tences, uttered in great disorder, and interriqited with 
pauses of uncommon length, were the too visible marks 
of my strange confusion! " 

His discouragement was so complete that he seems to 
have made no further effort to win her, though a letter to 
another chum, William Fleming, early in the following 
year, shows that he was still hoping. 

" Dear Will," he writes, " I have thought of the clever- 
est plan of life that can be imagined. You exchange your 
land for Edgehill, or I mine for Fairfields, you marry 
S — y P — r, I marry R — ^a B — 1, join and get a pole chair 
and a pair of keen horses, practice the law in the same 
courts, and drive about to all tlie dances in the country 
together." 

182 



COURTSHIP AND IVIARRIAGE 



This was followed speedily by another letter written 
" March 20, 1764,. 11 o'clock at night," when he was suffer- 
ing with a violent headache and his candle was nearly 
burned out, in which he says: 

" With regard to the scheme which I proposed to you 
some time since, I am sorry to tell you it is totally frus- 
trated by Miss R. B.'s marriage with Jacquelin Ambler 
which the people here tell me they daily expect. I say, the 
people here tell me so, for (can you believe it?) I have 
been so abominably indolent as not to have seen her since 
last October, wherefore I cannot affirm that I know it 
from herself. . . . Well, the Lord bless her I say! " 

The fortune hunter was not unknown in Virgina. In 
1773 Gustavus Brown Wallace of " Elderslie," King 
George County, who was afterward a lieutenant-colonel 
in the Revolution, wrote to his brother: 

"Am just going to look up a wife among the High- 
lands of Fauquier, but say thou not a word, she has a deal 
of gowd and gear and is a bonnie muckle piece worth about 
£3000, which would make Elderslie smile, but her faither 
and mither are twa crooked people to deal with." 

It is a pleasure to relate that ]Mr. Wallace failed to 
secure his Fauquier County heiress. 

The banns of matrimony were published three times in 
Virginia as in England, though it was the custom for 
couples of means and station to obtain a special license, 
when the banns were omitted. The minister's fee was fixed 
by law — two hundred pounds of tobacco or twenty shillings 
in money being allowed for marriage by license, but only 
fifty pounds of tobacco or five shillings where the banns 
were proclaimed. 

The wedding was attended by uproarious rejoicing and 
merrymaking. Not only did all Virginia love a lover but 

183 



COLONIAL VIRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

the pLinting of a new roof-tree, the establishment of a 
new fireside, spelled happiness and growth to the thinly- 
settled colony. In the earliest days salutes were fired as 
part of wedding celebrations, but though it was soon made 
unlawful to spend powder unnecessarily on account of the 
constant fear of Indian warfare, there was never any em- 
bargo on feasting, dancing, and the drinking of healths, 
and these were often kept up for days, with the happy pair 
as central figures in the festive scene. 

Colonel James Gordon, of " ^Merry Point," tells in his 
journal of the marriage of his daughter Xancy to Mr. 
Richard Cliichester, in 1758. The wedding was according 
to the usual custom with the well-to-do, at home, at eleven 
o'clock in the morning. All of the guests, except the par- 
son — seventeen grown people and some children — spent the 
day and night. The next day was Sunday, and the whole 
company, including the bride and groom, went to church — 
Colonel Gordon himself and some of the gentlemen in his 
boat, Mrs. Gordon, the bridal pair, and the rest " in chairs." 
" All except ]\Ir. Tayloe " returned to "Merry Point" for 
dinner. 

The Augusta records mention a wedding reception 
given to George Hylton, a Fluvanna County carpenter, 
and his fifteen-year-old bride, Bethenia, in 1764. 

In The Valley, where the ceremony was often per- 
formed at the minister's house, the quaint Irish custom of 
running for the bottle was in vogue. On the return of the 
bridal party tlie young men, when a few miles from the 
house, would spur their horses to a full gallop and race the 
rest of the way. The winner received a bottle of liquor deco- 
rated with white ribbon, and galloped back with it to meet 
the rest of the party. Opening the bottle, he presented 
it first to the bride and then to the groom, and when they 

184 



COURTSHIP AND IVIARRIAGE 



had each tasted its contents it was passed around to all 
the company.^ 

Neither parsons nor newspapers spared the blushes of 
the newly married. Marriage sermons were fashionable, 
though they must have been embarrassing to those in whose 
honor they were preached, and local news items were even 
more personal than they are now. The Virginia Gazette of 
January 7, 1769, announced: 

" On Sunday last Mr. William Nelson, Jr., and his 
newly married lady made their appearance in Church for 
the first time when the Rev. Mr. Dunlap delivered an ex- 
cellent sermon on the marriage state." 

Here are other news items from the Gazette of the same 
year: 

" We are informed that Mr. George Savage, lately of 
the Secretary's office, is married to Miss Kendall, a young 
lady possessed of an independent fortune of at least 6000 
pounds." 

" Yesterday was married in Henrico Mr. Wm. Carter, 
third son of ^Ir. John Carter, aged 23, to Mrs. Sarah 
Ellyson . . . aged 85. A Sprightly old girl with three 
thousand poimds fortune." 

And here is one from the issue of November 19, 1736: 

*' Yesterday was Fortnight Ralph Wormeley, of Mid- 
dlesex County, Esq., a young Gentleman of a fine Estate, 
was married to the celebrated ^liss Sally Berkeley, a young 
Lady of Great Beauty and Fortune." 

In the following year the Gazette announced the mar- 
riages of " Miss Betty Tayloe, a young lady of great 
beauty and fortune," and " Miss Fanny Grymes, a young 
lady of great merit and fortune." 

s Kercheval's " History of the Valley of Va.," 58. 
185 



VI 
DRESS 




N the seventeenth and eighteenth cen- 
turies the apparel made the man, and 
social distinctions were marked by the 
quality and cut of clothing. A pas- 
sion for dress was the natural result. 

The American habit of keeping 
up with European fashions began at 
Jamestown. In England each new^ reign brought changes 
in costume which were conveyed by the first ships to Vir- 
ginia where they were looked for as eagerly as " at home " 
and followed as faithfully as opportunity would allow, 
^lerchants on both sides of the ocean took pains to adver- 
tise to their colonial patrons that their goods were " fash- 
ionable in London." The reign of James I was marked 
by unusually few changes, and as the dress of Elizabeth 
still prevailed when the colony named for her was settled, 
there is no doubt that the first comers stepped ashore in 
the huge ruffs associated with her name, or the broad turn- 
over collars knowTi as " falling bands " which were con- 
temporary wath and had begun to supersede them, the 
slouch hats with brim turned rakishly up or down — cow- 
boy fasliion — at the fancy of the wearer, the doublets and 
hose and low, rosette-trimmed shoes of her time. In an 
illustration in Smith's *' Historic of Virginia " represent- 
ing the doughty Captain taking the King of Pamunkey 
prisoner, his hat is sharply turned up in front and adorned 
wnth a feather hat-band. Over his doublet is the sleeveless 
jacket of leather for protection against sword cuts, kno^vn 
as a buff* jerkin. Bagg}' hose meet smooth fitting stock- 
ings below the knee, where they are fastened at the Side 
with rosette-trimmed garters. He wears the short hair 

186 




WILUAM MOSELEY 
About 1640 



DRESS 

and beard of the day ; and a linen falling band, a pair of the 
fashionable hanging sleeves dangling from his shoulders, 
leather gloves, rosetted shoes, and a sword complete his 
costume. 

Smith's " Historic " also gives us the equipment the 
Virginia Company deemed necessary for the comfort of 
the colonist. The list includes a Monmouth cap, three 
falling bands, three shirts, one waistcoat, one suit of can- 
vas, one of frieze, one of broadcloth, three pairs of stock- 
ings, four pairs of shoes, and a dozen " points." A Mon- 
mouth cap was a head covering made to resist the weather 
and worn from an early date by seafaring men, and a 
point was a lace of ribbon, leather, or worsted, with a tag 
at one end, used for fastening clothing together and for 
ornament. Doubtless our colonist wore his suits of frieze 
— a coarse woollen stuff — and of canvas for every-day 
work, and donned his broadcloth with gilt or silver buttons 
on Sundays. 

A suit of light armor, a sword, and a gun were recom- 
mended for protection against Indian weapons, and the 
Census of 1624-5 shows that there were then in use in the 
colony three hundred and forty-two complete suits of ar- 
mor, two hundred and sixty coats of mail and headpieces, 
and twenty quilted coats and buff-coats. As late as 1654 
the inventory of Cornelius Lloyd, of Lower Norfolk 
County, names " one suite of Ai'mor and one case of pistols, 
and fragments of rusty armor have been dug up at James- 
town within recent years. 

After the disappearance of armor the sword continued 
to be part of the regular dress of the colonial gentleman 
and it appears in a great number of Virginia wills and in- 
ventories. Among many planters who bequeathed silver- 
hilted swords — generally with belts — between the latter 

187 



COJ.OMAL VIRGINIA, ITS TEOrLE AND CUSTOMS 

j)art of the seventeenth century and the middle of the eigh- 
teenth were AValter Whitaker, John Scott, Corbin Grif- 
fin, Henry Applewhite, Thomas Cocke, James Vaux, An- 
drew jNIonroe, George Glascock and William Yomig. In 
1733 Colonel Francis Eppes bequeathed a " silver-hilted 
sword washed with gold," and the inventory of Governor 
Spotswood, 1740, names " one silver-hilted sword, gilt." 
Robert Beverley, who died in 1734, and John Spotswood, 
in 17o8, each left two silver-hilted swords. 

During Lord Delaware's time the crimson cloaks of 
his bodyguard made a striking variation from the habitual 
close-fitting doublet. In his lordship's portrait he wears 
a plain linen falling band above his velvet, while that of 
Captain George Percy, of his Majesty's Council, and that 
of Pocahontas painted during her visit to England, show 
collars of the same shape, but fashioned of rich lace. The 
Indian princess has deep cuffs to match her lace band, 
and carries an elegant fan of ostrich feathers, like any 
noble English lady of the day. She wears the small velvet 
cap or turban, which was an Elizabethan fashion, with a 
stylish jewelled hatband around it. Steeple hats of beaver 
with either a wide or narrow brim were more used by 
both women and men, and were sometimes adorned with a 
feather in addition to the jewelled, pearl, or silver hatband. 

Variations of the doublet and hose made of the richest 
materials that could be bought or of coarser stuff, accord- 
ing to the estate of the wearer, were worn by Englishmen 
at home and across the sea until the coat, waistcoat, and 
knee breeches, the first of wliich appeared toward the close 
of the reign of Charles II, succeeded them. The doublet 
was often splendid with embroidery, slashings, gold or silver 
laces or })uttons, and the upper part, or tnmk, of the hose, 
of voluminous proportions and lined with a kind of crinoline 

188 



DRESS 

called bombast, or stuffed with everything the wearer could 
lay his hands on, until it became as great a monstrosity 
as the farthingale worn by the ladies. In 1629 Thomas 
Warnett, the Jamestown merchant, bequeathed a doublet 
of black camlet — a handsome material of camel' s-hair 
mixed with silk — a pair of black hose, silk stockings, and 
a black beaver hat. He also left a green scarf edged with 
gold lace, a sword with a gilt belt, and a pair of red slippers, 
and he had been the fortunate possessor of a gilded looking- 
glass in which to have the pleasure of beholding himself 
thus gloriously arrayed. 

The inventory of Major Peter Walker, of Northamp- 
ton County, 1655, mentions a broadcloth doublet and hose 
with silver lace. Major Walker also had a broadcloth 
short coat with silver lace, and a broadcloth coat for a 
horseman. 

A passing fashion of the latter part of the reign of 
Charles I was the wearing of petticoat breeches in which a 
short skirt suggestive of a Highlander's kilt covered the 
upper part of the hose in place of the padded trunk. As 
late as 1768 the Virginia Gazette advertised a runaway 
servant who wore when last seen " petticoat trousers." 
They must have been an old pair rummaged out of some 
attic to which change of fashion had long before relegated 
them. 

Another passing fasliion of this reign — a revival from 
an earlier day — was the love-lock, a tress permitted to 
grow long and hang down on one side of the head. It was 
curled and tied with a ribbon which was generally a keep- 
sake from some fair charmer, and was considered the van- 
ity of vanities. In England tracts were wi'itten and 
sermons preached against it, and it was worn to some 
extent by gentlemen of fashion in Virginia for, in 1639, 



COLONIAL MRGINM, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

during a quarrel between the Reverend Anthony Panton 
and ]Mr. Richard Kempe, Secretary of State of the Colony, 
who had been much at Court in England, the parson de- 
clared that the Secretary's love-lock was tied with a ribbon 
" as old as Paul's " — meaning the venerable St. Paul's 
Cathedral, London — which may only have proved that 
the gentleman cherished a proper sentiment for the gift 
of his lady b}^ w^earing it even after it had long lost its 
pristine freshness. 

The dress of the Cavalier was dashing and picturesque. 
His doublet was of silk, satin, or velvet, slashed up the 
front, and had large loose sleeves. With it he wore a fall- 
ing band of Vandyke lace. His hair was long, and, parted 
in the middle, fell in loose curls on his shoulders, his beard 
peaked, with small upward turned moustaches, and on 
the side of his head was a broad-brimmed hat with rich 
hatband and plume. A rapier hung from his sword-belt 
or sash, a short cloak was thrown over one shoulder, and 
sometimes an earring hung from one ear. Major John 
Brodnax, of York Countj^ Virginia, who, according to 
tradition was a royalist who had seen service in the Civil 
AVars in England, bequeathed in 1657 his " Eare-Ring 
with a diamond in itt." 

In striking contrast was the Puritan with his close- 
cropped head, plain cloth doublet and hose, narrow linen 
falling band, and steeple hat minus gold lace, glittering 
hatband, or waving plume. 

Near the end of the reign of Charles II arose the 
vogue to frizz, curl, and powder the hair, or dispense with 
it altogether and wear in its place the new French head- 
dress variously known as the wig, periwig, or peruke. 
The rage for this freak of Dame Fashion's lasted in Eng- 
land over a hundred years, and many Virginian portraits 

190 



j 



DRESS 



bear witness to his popularity in the colony. In 1657 
Major Brodnax bequeathed a periwig along with his 
diamond earring. 

In 1752 William Gamble, wig-maker, of Williamsburg, 
was arrested for debt and advertised in the Gazette that 
he had taken into partnership Edward Charlton, " late 
of London," who would carry on his business in his shop 
" next door to the Raleigh Tavern," while he was in the 
debtor's prison. In 1766 Wilham Godfrey, peruke-maker, 
opened shop in Williamsburg, and in 1768 a Yorktown 
merchant advertised that he had imported a " quantity of 
brown human hair and black horse hair " and was prepared 
to supply peruke-makers. 

The craze for the wig began to decline about 1750, and 
give way to the braided pigtail and queue worn in a bag. 
with both of which powder was used and the hair around 
the face frizzed or curled — especially for dress occasions. 
Philip Fithian, writing at " Nomini Hall," 1774, says: 

" I was waked by Sam, the barber, thumping at my 
door. I was dressed, in powder too; for I propose to see 
and dine with Miss Jenny Washington to-day." 

With the wig and powdered hair appeared the cocked 
hat which took as firm a hold on the affections of the 
devotees of fashion — for it was worn until the Revolution. 
In The Rambler for 1751 is printed a letter from a young 
gentleman of London who says that his mother " would 
rather follow him to the grave than see him sneak about 
with dirty shoes and blotted fingers, hair unpowdered and 
a hat uncocked." 

With the coats and waistcoats, the wigs and cocked 
hats of the " Merry Monarch's " time came cravats of lace 
with square ends hanging from a knot under the chin, and 
shoe buckles began to replace the long popular rosettes. 

191 



COLONLVL MRGIXIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

During the reigns of James II, William and Mary, 
and Anne, the periwig flourished like the proverbial green 
bay tree, and the square-cut coat with huge cuffs from 
which hung lace ruffles became general and, with slight 
variations, was the gentleman's dress throughout the re- 
mainder of the colonial period. With the decline of the 
wig the elaborate lace cravat gave way to the severe stock. 

Woman's dress underwent fewer decided changes. The 
starched ruff or more becoming falling band of linen or 
lace, the ^nde or narrow brimmed sugar-loaf hat, the 
close fitting and more or less ornate stomacher, the billow- 
ing crinoline held sway for generations. 

With the reign of Charles II these gave way to less 
stiff, formidable attire — the low-necked bodice, the petti- 
coat, to display which the voluminous gown parted in the 
middle and often flowed out in a train behind; uncovered 
curls. Up to this time my lady's hair had generally been 
partly or altogether concealed by a "coif," " hood," or 
"cap"; and caps of some description were fashionable for 
women, young and old, throughout the colonial period. 
Virginia portraits show them in great variety. 

In 1629 Thomas Warnett bequeathed a "coif" and 
a " cross-cloth of wrought gold," which had doubtless been 
imported for sale. A coif was a close cap covering the 
top, sides and back of the head, and a cross-cloth was worn 
with it for ornament. In 1643 Robert Morton, of Lower 
Xorfolk, bought two " Holland Quoifes." 

With the reign of W^illiam and iSIary came more formal 
costume for women — including the towering head-dress 
constructed by combing the hair upward over a cushion 
and decorating it with quantities of ribbon and lace. In 
Queen Anne's time there was a return to the simpler and 
more natural arrangement of tresses. Gowns were now 

192 




JOHN PAGE 

About 1660 



DRESS 

flounced and furbelowed, and the hooped petticoat — suc- 
cessor to the farthingale — appeared. With some varia- 
tions, the fashions of this gracious lady's reign remained 
through the period, but near its close the hair rose again 
in mountains of puffs, curls, and powder, ornamented with 
tufts of feathers, flowers, or ribbon known as egrets. 

A majority of the colonial portraits of Virginia women 
show costumes and head-dress of elegant and charming 
simplicity; a favorite arrangement of the hair shows it 
parted and pushed softly back from the face, with a loose 
curl drawn over one shoulder somewhat after the fashion 
of the love-lock, and sometimes called a " heart-breaker." 

Fithian describes the dress of some of the girls he saw 
at Chi-istian's dancing class at " Nomini," in 1774, when 
the ornate top-knot was in vogue. Of Jenny Washington, 
aged seventeen, he says: 

" Her dress is rich and well chosen, but not tawdry, 
nor yet too plain. She appears to-day in a chintz cotton 
gown with an elegant blue stamp, a sky blue silk quilt, 
spotted apron, and her light brown hair craped up with 
two rolls at each side, and on top a small cap of beautiful 
gauze and rich lace, with an artificial flower interwoven." 

Aprons were frequently used for ornamental as well 
as practical pm-poses in England and Virginia. According 
to the inventory of Mrs. Sarah Taylor, of Lower Norfolk, 
she left, in 1640, a " sea green apron," valued at one 
pound four shillings — equal to at least twenty-five dollars 
to-day. In 1769 a Williamsburg milliner advertised 
flowered gauze aprons. A " quilt " was a quilted petti- 
coat. Fithian continues: 

" Miss Hale " — aged about fourteen — " wears a white 
holland gown, cotton diaper quilt very fine, a lawn apron 
and has her hair craped up and on it a small tuft of ribbon 
for a cap." 

193 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Betsy Lte, a child of thirteen, has on " a neat shell 
calico gown," and her light hair is " done up with a 
feather." 

At a hall this ohsenant young Presbyterian divinity 
student attended as an interested looker-on, " Miss 
Ritchie " was apparelled in a " blue silk gown and her 
black hair done up neat without powder." 

Extravagance in dress was frowned upon by the law- 
makers in the early days of the colony. The Assembly 
of 1619 passed a law that every bachelor should be assessed 
according to the value of his own apparel, and everj^ mar- 
ried man according to that worn to church by himself 
and his family. Notwithstanding which John Por}% who 
presided over that famous gathering, said in a letter to 
England : 

" Our cowe-keeper here of James Citty, on Sundays, 
goes accoutred all in fresh fflaming silke, and a wife of 
one that had in England professed the blacke arte not of a 
scholler but of a Collier, weares her rough bever hatt 
with a faire perle hatband and silken sute there to corre- 
spondent." 

In 1621 the authorities in England directed the Gov- 
ernor, Sir Francis Wyatt, " not to permit any but the 
Comicil and the heads of hundreds to wear gold in their 
cloaths or to wear silk till they make it themselves." This 
was both to discourage display and to create interest in 
the silk industry which the Virginia mulberry tree made 
an early and long cherished dream of the colony and the 
Company. On account of the low price of tobacco a law 
was passed in 1661 forbidding, under penalty of confisca- 
tion, the importation of silk either made up into garments 
or by the piece, save for hoods and scarfs, of " bone lace 
of silk or thread," or of ribbons " wrought with gold or 

194 



DRESS 



silver"; but as this act is erased in the original record of 
laws, it was prop ably vetoed by the Governor. It is some- 
times difficult to determine just what is meant by " lace," 
as the word is used for both the tapes and cords extensively 
employed in fastening clotliing together and lace with an 
open-work pattern purely for decoration. Laces made 
with thread wound on bone bobbins were called " bone 
lace " in England and in the colonies. 

In 1639 Henry Sewell, of Lower Norfolk County, 
imported one-half piece of silk Mechlin and ten yards of 
silver lace. 

Here is a bill for lace brought in 1677 by William 
Sherwood who, though he was Attorney General of the 
Colony, was not one of the wealthiest planters. 

£ s. d. 

To 1 Cravat Lace cost 5 

To 4 Yards Lace Cost 25 sh f yard 5 

To 1 Yard of fine Lace for a pinner 1 10 

To 3 Yards of Lace for Frills and falls Cost 16 sh.lSd. 2 8 

To 6 Yards of fine plain ground Lace at 8s. 6d. . 2 11 

To 3 Yardsof Point Lace for a Handkerchief at 6s. 6d. 19 

To 1 Yard of narrow Lace at 2 

To 2 Tiffany Whisks 1 

£18 10 

It should be remembered that money at this period 
was worth three or four times as much as it is to-day. 
" Frills and falls " were sleeve ruffles and collars, and a 
" pinner " was a head-dress with lace streamers to hang 
down on each side of the face, while a "tiffany whisk" 
was a neckerchief of a gauzy silk fabric known as tiffany. 

In 1724 Colonel Thomas Jones ordered from London 
" a girls blew hatt " lined with silk and trimmed with a 
ribbon band and " a rich open silver lace," and in 1728 

195 



COLONIAL \TRGESX1, ITS PEOPLE AXD CUSTONIS 

wfaeQ >J-rs- Jonei was Ji England Mrs, ^lir-/ .S::th wrote 
her frwn Yirginia : 

^ When yoa eooie to London pray f stout me in vour 
dKMoe €^ a sunt of pinners sohably dressed with a cross- 
knot roil or whaterer the f ashion requires, with sintahk 
mflEfes and handkerchief. I like a lace of some hreadtfa, 
and of a heaotifQl pattern, that may be plainly seen, 
fine enoQgli to loc^ wdl, hot not a superim e costly lace. 
And likewise he^ your cfamee ai a rery genteel fan."' 

The handkerchief ^ suitable " to wear with the f ash* 
iooafale pinners was eridently a neck handkerchief. 

Ladies going abroad were often asked to diop for tiieir 
friends;^ just as they are to-day. Li 1752 Lady Gooch, the 
wife of Goremor Sir WTniani ^ — — ^ to F.ngTanH, 
and at the request o: ::.c K .las Dawson, 

rector of Bmtoo Chxni vr : _ > t for his 

wife;. Madam Prisciik. E:^;c:- L_ ._. _ :^.3hionable 
laced cap, handkerchief, raflks, and tuckers, a fashionaHe 
brocade suit, a pair of stays, a Une satin petticoat, a scarlet 
doQi nnder-petticoat, a pair of bhie satin shoes, fall 
trimmed, a hoop, a pair of bine silk stockings, a fasfaim- 
aUe sSher girdle, a fan.^ 

Washington was intimate with the Dawsons and rery 
likdy danced tibe mimiet at an assembly or a ^ birthnight " 
with this parson's wife in her London finery. 

In spite of laws and regnlatioos, wiDs and inren- 
tones dbow that the Virginia planter and his family had 
an tibe lidi fabrics that were f asfaionaUe across the water, 
as widl as the coarso- stuff's mannf actored for tiie poor 
man's laimenL Amwig silk materials frequently named 
are sarcenet, which was nsed principally for Hmng, bat 
also for mantifs and gowns; tabby, which was watered; 
madMmrjOiOegtQamxiaij, tv 124. 




Kl.lMHKrH LAMH>N 



DRESS 

damask, which was flowered; ducape, which was corded; 
Persian, which was flowered or " sprigged "; taffeta, heav- 
ier than the modern fabric of that name ; Paduasoy, a rich, 
smooth silk originally made in Padua; lutestring, a plain 
silk widely used, and tifl'any.^ Satin, plush and velvet were 
also imported as were several rich materials in which silk 
and wool or silk and flax were combined. Broadcloth was 
much used, and other handsome woollen fabrics were calH- 
manco, prunella, a heavy material used for petticoats, 
mantles, and women's shoes and drugget. A cheaper stuff* 
was paragon, which was frequently red in color and used 
for bodices. Cotton and linen fabrics were India calico and 
cherridary, chintz, dimity, holland, blue linen, dowlas, and 
lockram. Durable stuffs for men's wear were serge, 
kersey, sagathy, fearnought, frieze, and duffels. For hard- 
est wear leather breeches were often worn. Oznaburgs and 
canvas were coarse linen materials imported in large quan- 
tities for shirts, jackets, and breeches for rough wear, and 
for the clothing of slaves. Spinning and weaving were 
done on every plantation, and homespun was much worn 
by everybody in the earliest days, and always on the frontier 
and among the poorer classes. 

The planters imported all sorts of goods by the piece 
and stored them away in chests to be made up into gar- 
ments as needed. In 1650 William Presley bequeathed 
to his son, with " one of his best suits of clothes," a cloth 
cloak, and " a piece of Lockram," and in 1675 Robert 
Beckingham, of Lancaster County, left his father, in Eng- 
land, " all the finest broadcloth bought of Mr. John Bosher 
except as much as shall make my wife one suit." 

^ For many of the definitions of names of materials and articles 
of dress given I am indebted to Alice Morse Earle's " Costume of 
Colonial Times." 

197 



COLOMAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Gay colors were popular for women and men — " sky- 
color," sea-green, olive and scarlet being favorite shades. 
Women wore mantles of crimson taffeta and hooded cloaks 
called " cardinals " made of scarlet cloth. Perhaps this 
fashion was set by Little Red Ridinghood. ]Mrs. Sarah 
A\^illoughby, of Lower Norfolk, might have made a rain- 
bow out of her varied wardrobe in 1675. She had petti- 
coats of red, blue, and black silk, one of Indian silk, one 
of worsted prunella, one of striped linen and one of calico, 
a black gown, a scarlet waistcoat with a silver lace, a striped 
stuff jacket, a worsted prunella mantle, a sky-colored satin 
bodice, a pair of red paragon bodices, three fine and three 
coarse holland aprons, and two hoods.^ 

The petticoat was, of course, not an undergarment, but 
a skirt — often of the richest material or elaborately deco- 
rated — with which was worn a parted or looped-up over- 
dress. In 1668 Mrs. William Brown had, in a chest con- 
taining " all necessary cloaths & Lynnen for a gent 
woman," a taffeta petticoat, a tabby petticoat, a baize 
petticoat, and a scarlet petticoat with gold lace. 

In 1738 Mrs. George Charlton, mantuamaker, of Wil- 
liamsburg, through the advertising columns of the Gazette, 
offered " her services to the ladies " whom she would 
" undertake to oblige with the newest and genteelest fash- 
ions now wore in England." In 1766 a Williamsburg 
tailor advertised that he could make ladies' riding habits. 
In the same year " Katherine Rathall, a milliner, lately ar- 
rived from London," opened shop in Fredericksburg and 
advertised in the Gazette: 

" Best flowered and plain satins, flowered and plain 
modes, sarcenets and Persians ; flowered, striped, and plain 

^ Bruce's " Economic History of Va. in the 17th Century," 
ii, 194. 

198 



DRESS 



English gauze, a great variety of blonde, minionet, tliread 
and black lace, joining blondes for ladies' caps and hand- 
kerchiefs, wedding and other fans, a great variety of 
ribands, French beads and earrings, ladies' caps, Hy caps 
and lappets, egrets of all sorts, silk and leather gloves and 
niits, summer hats and cloaks, cardinals, French tippets, 
black gauze and catgut love ribands for mournings, silk, 
thi'ead and cotton stockings for ladies and gentlemen, 
gentlemen's laced ruffles, bags for wigs and solitaires, Irish 
linens and tapes in variety, garnet, Bristol stone and pearl 
sleeve buttons set in silver, garnet and gold brooches, a 
variety of silver shoe-buckles in the newest fashion for 
ladies and gentlemen, with knee-buckles for the latter . . . 
and sundry other articles too tedious to mention." 

What " gauze and catgut love ribands for mourning " 
were I have failed to discover, so leave them to the gentle 
reader's imagination. A " solitaire " was not a diamond 
ring, but a broad black ribbon worn loosely about the neck 
by gentlemen of fashion. 

Other Virginia shops offered as varied and interesting 
stocks. One in Williamsburg advertised, in 1766, with 
other appeahng articles, cardinals and cloaks made of 
flowered satin and spotted mode, white satin and calli- 
manco pumps for ladies, paste shoe, knee, and stock buckles, 
a very neat and genteel assortment of wedding, mourning 
and second mourning fans, and breast flowers " equal in 
beauty to any ever imported and so near resembles nature 
that the nicest eye can hardly distinguish the difference." 

The men were not behind the women in their love of 
gay apparel. Gold and silver laced hats and broadcloth 
coats with gold or silver buttons appear over and over again 
in wills and inventories of the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries. 



199 



COLONIAL VIRGINM, ITS PEOPLP: AND CUSTOMS 

Cloth, silk, and trimmings were made to last in the good 
old days. Persons of all ranks in making their wills dis- 
posed of their clothing, and in the inventories articles of 
dress were carefully appraised. A husband usually gra- 
ciously bequeathed liis wife " her own " clothes and jewels, 
and distributed his masculine belongings among male rela- 
tives and friends. In 1674 John Lee's will named a 
gray suit trimmed with silver buttons and a pair of gloves 
with silk tops. In 1674 James Sampson bequeathed to a 
fair legatee a sky-colored watered tabby gown and a round 
black scarf trinmied with Flanders lace, with a blue and 
a red silk sash to two of his heirs male. In 1686 Matthew 
Bentley, a prosperous shoemaker of Middlesex County, 
bequeathed to John Willis his " broadcloth coat with gold 
buttons on it," and in 1716 William Fox of Lancaster 
County left to William and James Ball, relatives of the 
mother of Washington, his broadcloth suit trimmed with 
gold lace, his new silk suit, his new beaver hat and silk 
stockings. 

Upon the death of Doctor Alexander Mattheson, in 
1756, one of his friends was the happy heir to a flowered 
plush jacket. 

In 1761 Washington, in ordering clothes from London, 
wrote the merchant, 

*' I want neither lace nor embroidery. Plain clothes 
with gold or silver buttons if worn in genteel dress are all 
that I desire." For Madam Washington he ordered a 
salmon colored tabby velvet with a pattern of satin flowers, 
to be made into a sack and coat; a cap, handkerchief, 
tucker and ruffles, to be made of Brussels or point lace, and 
to cost twenty pounds ; two fine flowered lawn aprons, two 
double handkerchiefs, two pairs of white silk, six pairs of 
fine cotton and four pairs of thread hose, one pair of black 

200 




JOHN PARKE AND MARTHA PARKE CISTIS 

Washington's stepchildren 



DRESS 



and one pair of white satin shoes, " of the smallest fives," 
four pairs of callimanco shoes, one fashionable hat or bon- 
net, six pairs of best kid gloves, six pairs of niitts, one 
dozen knots and breast-knots, one dozen round silk stay- 
laces, one black mask, one dozen " most fashionable " cam- 
bric pocket handkerchiefs, pins and hairpins, six pounds 
of perfumed powder, a " puckered petticoat of fashionable 
color," a silver tabby velvet petticoat, two handsome breast 
flowers, and some sugar candy. 

In 1765 young Edward Hawtry, who was contemplat- 
ing applying for the place of master of the grammar school 
of William and Mary, was inforaied by a former pro- 
fessor of the college that he would need in WilliamsbuLrg 
" one suit of handsome full dress silk clothes to wear on 
the King's birthday, at the Governor's." 

In 1769 Lord Botetourt smrmioned the House of Bur- 
gesses to meet him in the Council Chamber to discuss 
weighty affairs of state and received them in " a suit 
of plain scarlet " — plain evidently meaning without gold 
or silver lace. In this year Mrs. Katherine Rathall adver- 
tised " black, blue and buff silk for gentlemen's breeches," 
and " macaroni waistcoats." 

The colonists were plentifully supplied with shoes, 
gloves, and hats, of as striking appearance as the rest of 
their clothing. ^lany wills and inventories of the seven- 
teenth century mention beaver hats with silver hatbands, 
and in the eighteenth the beavor or castor — another name 
for beaver — remained in fashion and was to be had at Vir- 
ginia stores. In 1737 Williamsburg could boast of a hat- 
maker who could supply " Glen's Beavers of any Fashion 
or Size, Woman's Beavers, White, Black, Shagged or 
otherwise, and Castors of the best and neatest Sort." For 
lighter wear there were palmetto and " Carolina " hats 

201 



COLONIAL VIRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

anil — for women — " cane and silk hats and French flowers 
for trimming them." Women also wore, in both centuries, 
handsome silk hoods, and, in the eighteenth, calash bonnets. 
In 1769 jNIrs. Rathall imported for their use " blue, green 
and white riding hats." 

Shoes were imported and made at home in large quan- 
tities. In 1653 the demand for shoes was so great that 
ships bomid for Virginia were permitted to carry a hundred 
and fifty dozen shoes and their full number of passengers. 
Besides their be-ribboned and buckled shoes men wore 
jack-boots for rough service, and especially for riding. 
Women's and children's shoes were made of prunella, 
callimanco, damask, silk, and velvet, as well as of morocco, 
Spanish and other leathers. In 1737 Wilham Beverley 
ordered from London, for his wife, six pairs of flowered 
damask shoes and for each of his young daughters, Eliza- 
beth and Ursula, six pairs of callimanco and one pair of 
silk shoes. At the same time he ordered " three fine thin 
calf skins and two skins of white leather " to be made up 
at home into shoes for his children. 

Glen's gloves were most frequently made of buckskin 
and gloves and mitts for women and children of kid, lamb- 
skin, silk, and thread. Stockings were of silk, wool, cot- 
ton, and tlii'ead, and of every color of the rainbow. Green 
stockings are very often mentioned in wills and inventories. 

Women wore masks to preserve their complexions in 
Virginia, as in England, and black patches for the 
piquancy of expression they were supposed to bestow, and 
both masks and black court plaster were sold in colonial 
shops. 

Even in The Valley finery was not unknown. In 1747 
Robert Bratton and James Kirk testified at Augusta 
County Court that they had been robbed of an " orange 



DRESS 

colored sitting gown, a pale China gown, a striped blue 
and white cotton gown, a petticoat, a light colored broad- 
cloth coat, two beaver hats, a black velvet cap, a blue j acket 
of home-made cloth, a hat of Bermuda plat with red 
ribbon band." 

In 1761 Robert McClanahan testified that he had lost 
a sword mounted with silver and a sword-knot and belt, 
the whole valued at eight pounds, and Alexander McClan- 
ahan that he had lost a silver-hilted sword wliich was also 
worth eight pounds. 

Advertisements of runaway serv^ants and slaves fur- 
nish many points on the dress of the day. They were 
occasionally clad in fearnought or oznaburgs, but were 
oftener wondrously arrayed. Whether their garments were 
stolen from, or discarded by, their masters, or were their 
own holiday clothes it is impossible to say. In 1766 the 
Virginia Gazette advertised a woman runaway who when 
last seen had on " a striped red and white callimanco gown, 
a short white linen sack and petticoat, a pair of stays with 
a fringed blue riband, a large pair of silver buckles and a 
pair of silver bobs " — an old name for earrings. In 1768 
one runaway convict servant w^ore " a blue coat with metal 
buttons, a scarlet jacket, and red plush breeches," and 
another a light colored wig, fine hat with black riband 
and metal buckle around the crow^n, a blue surtout or New- 
market coat, a claret colored coat and jacket, buckskin 
breeches and very bad shoes," while still another is de- 
scribed as " extremely fond of dress, but his holiday clothes 
were taken from him when he first attempted to get off." 

In 1775 a negro ran away in a " light colored Wilton 
coat, a beaver cloth great coat and red plush breeches." 

There were no special fashions for children past their 
babyhood. They dressed as their parents did and looked 

203 



COLONIAL VIRGINM, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

like diminutive, quaint grown folk. In 1736 when Robert 
Carter of " Noniini " was ten years old there were ordered 
for him from London a suit of fine brown hoUand, a laced 
hat, wliite gloves, and red worsted stockings, and for his 
little sister Betty a gown of fine sprigged calico, Spanish 
leather shoes, and a mask. When Miss Betty was fourteen 
her guardian bought for her a cap, ruffles and tucker, a 
pair of white stays, eight pairs of white and two pairs of 
colored gloves, two pairs of worsted and three pairs of 
thread hose, one pair of morocco, four pairs of Spanish 
leather, and two pairs of calf shoes, a mask, a fan, a neck- 
lace, a girdle and buckle, a piece of " fashionable calico," 
four j^ards of ribbon " for knots," a " hoop-coat," a hat, a 
" mantua," and coat of " slite lute string." 

Soon after Washington's marriage to Martha Custis he 
ordered from London for his little stepson " Master Custis, 
eight 3'ears old," " a handsome suit " of winter clothes, a 
suit of summer clothes, two pieces of nankeen with trim- 
mings, a silver laced hat, six pairs of fine cotton and one 
pair of worsted stockings, four pairs of strong shoes, one 
pair of neat pumps, one pair of gloves, two hair-bags and 
one piece (a bolt) of hair ribbon, a pair of shoe and knee 
buckles, a pair of sleeve buttons. Also " a small Bible 
neatly bound in Turkey and John Parke Custis wrote in 
gilt letters on the inside of the cover; a neat small Prayer 
Book bound as above, with John Parke Custis as above." 

Little " blaster Custis " had been given a negro boy 
to wait upon him, and for him were ordered three pairs of 
shoes, three pairs of coarse stockings, a suit of livery clothes 
and a hat for a boy fourteen years old. Colonel Washing- 
ton took pains to direct that the livery for his stepson's 
servant should be " suited to the Arms of the Custis 
family." 

204 




MARTHA CUSTISS WATCH 




EVELYN BYRDS FAN 



DRESS 

For little " Miss Custis, six years old," he ordered a 
coat made of fasliionable silk, a fashionable cap or filet, a 
bib-apron, lace trimmed ruffles and tucker, four fashionable 
dresses of lawn, two fine cambric frocks, a satin capuchin, 
hat and neckatees, a Persian quilted coat, a pair of pack- 
thread stays, four pairs of callimanco and six pairs of 
leather shoes, two pairs of satin shoes with flat ties, six 
pairs of fine cotton and four pairs of white worsted stock- 
ings, twelve pairs of mitts and six pairs of white kid 
gloves, one pair of silver shoe-buckles, one pair of neat 
sleeve buttons, six handsome egrets, different sorts, six 
yards of ribbon for egrets " a small Bible bound in Tur- 
key and Martha Parke Custis wrote on the inside in gilt 
letters, a small Prayer Book, neat and in the same manner, 
and a very good spinet." 

With all of this paraphernalia, including a pair of 
stays, a variety of handsome egrets for the hair, a piano, 
and a morocco-bound Bible and Prayer Book, the little 
girl was to have a fashionably dressed doll to cost a guinea, 
another to cost five shillings, and " a box of gingerbread 
toys, sugar images and comfits." 

In 1770 Wilham Nelson, of Yorktown, wrote to John 
Norton that the revenue acts had taught the colonists that 
they could make many things themselves and do without 
many others that they used to indulge in. He adds : 

" I now wear a good suit of cloth of my son's wool, 
manufactured as well as my shirts, in Albemarle, my shoes, 
hose, buckles, wigg & hat etc., of our own country, and in 
these we improve every year in Quantity as well as 
Quality." 



14 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PP:OPLE AND CUSTOMS 

JEWELS 

What has become of the jewels that were in Colonial 
Virginia^ Have most of them gone to the land of lost 
pins and hairpins — wherever that may be — or are such as 
have sm-vived two wars and innumerable fires cherished 
as heirlooms by the descendants of their original owners 
who are scattered through every quarter of the world? 
Some of them can still be traced, of course, but these are 
an infinitesimal proportion of what are known to have 
existed. Wills and inventories that remain fairly bristle 
with silver and jewelled hatbands, mourning rings, seal 
rings with coats-of-arms, shoe, knee, and stock-buckles, 
watches, lockets, hair ornaments, and snuff-boxes, and name 
a goodly number of diamond rings and earrings, and pearl 
necklaces, and an occasional diamond necklace, and this 
notwithstanding the fact that many a wealthy man, like 
Colonel John Tayloe of " Mt. Airy," simply leaves his 
wife " all her jewels," without giving any indication as to 
what they were. INIany of the portraits of the time show 
handsome jewels. 

The mourning ring, which was in fashion in both the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, had generally in- 
scribed within it the name or initials of the person for whose 
sake it was worn and sometimes a motto known as a " posy." 
Many of them were plain gold, others more or less ornate 
and frequent^ cost a handsome sum. Black enamel or 
diamonds or a combination of both, or a tiny lock of braided 
hair — under glass, and sometimes surrounded by diamond 
" sparks " or by pearls — were favorite decorations for 
them. The inventory of Edmund Berkeley — 1719 — men- 
tions a hair ring with twelve sparks marked E.B., and one 
with eiglit sparks marked N.B., besides twelve other mourn- 
ing rings not described in detail. In 1736 the Gazette 



DRESS 

advertised as " lost " a mourning ring, with a black enam- 
elled cross between fom* sparks, inscribed " H. Ludwell, 
vid, 4 Aprilis, 1731. ^t. 52." In 1758 Mrs. Margaret 
Downman, of Richmond County, bequeathed to each of 
her four sons "a gold ring of a guinea value, inscribed with 
her initials and the posy ' Prepared be to follow me.' " 

By 1765 the fashion of giving mourning rings had 
gone over the mountains to The Valley. In that year John 
Mitchell bequeathed " an ancient family white stone ring 
set in gold " to ISIiss Jennie McClanahan, and to five of his 
other friends " a plain mourning golden ring each." 

Less frequently mentioned was the mom'ning brooch 
which almost always preserved a lock of hair. There 
are in existence a mourning ring in the form of a hoop 
of diamonds memorializing William Lightfoot, of " Ted- 
ington," who died in 1764, and two brooches surrounded 
with diamonds memorializing his wife, Mildred Lightfoot. 

Wedding and betrothal rings also contained posies. 
For instance, in 1736 Edward Moseley, of Norfolk County, 
bequeathed a seal ring with his " coat-of-arms on it " and 
his mother's wedding ring " with a posey in it." An unfor- 
tunate dame advertising in the Virginia Gazette in 1739 
was the loser of a green silk purse in which was a plain 
gold ring with the posy "Let love increase to crown our 
peace." A lost locket advertised in 1769 was doubtless a 
gage d'amour^ and not a badge of mourning. It con- 
tained a lock of " dark hair wrought in a cipher R. T., on 
the one side and the imitation of a landscape set around 
with garnets on the other." The landscape was doubtless 
done in enamel. 

It is possible to give here but a few examples from 
a multitude of bequests of jewels, and as some of the most 
valuable of these are from the very few records of the early 

207 



COLONIAL VIllGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUST0:MS 

days of the colony which have escaped destruction, there is 
no teUing what the great mass of lost wills and inventories 
might have disclosed. 

Among extremely early owners of rich jewels in Vir- 
ginia were the Piersey girls, daughters of Abraham Pier- 
sey, of his Majesty's Council. In 1625 jNIrs. Elizabeth 
Draper, of London, left to her granddaughter Elizabeth 
Piersey in the far-away colony "one diamond ring," and 
to Mary " one diamond ring set after the Dutch fashion." 

In 1650 Mrs. Susanna Moseley, of Lower Norfolk, sold 
to Mrs. Frances Yeardley, for some cattle, a gold hat- 
band, enamelled, and set with diamonds, bought in Hol- 
land for five hundred gelders, a " jewel " of gold — prob- 
ably a pendant — enamelled, and set with diamonds, worth 
thirty gelders, and a diamond ring. In a letter she ex- 
plained that she would not part with her jewels but for 
her " great want of cattle," but had rather Mrs. Yeardley 
would wear them than " any other gentlewoman in the 
country," and wished her " health and prosperity to wear 
them." Mrs. Moseley also had a ruby, a sapphire, and an 
emerald ring. 

Mrs. Yeardley had other costly jewels, for in her will 
made in 1657 — the year of her death — she directed that 
her " best diamond necklace and jewel " should be sent 
to England to be sold, and the money they brought spent on 
six diamond rings to be given to six of her friends, and 
two black marble tombstones to be placed over her grave 
and that of the second of her three husbands, Captahi 
John Gookin; by whose side she wished to be buried. 
Whether or not this mistress of a plantation in a then 
remote section of the sparsely settled colony had a second 
best diamond necklace this witness will not undertake to 
say, but the inference is she had. Her tomb bought with 




Copyright, 1908. by I. E. 11 Ptst 

MRS. JOHN TAYLOE AND DAUGHTER MARY 
Afterward Mrs. Mann Page. About 1756 



DRESS 

part of the " best diamond necklace " could be seen witliin 
recent years in Lynnhaven Parish Churchyard. It de- 
clared that beneath it lay " Ye body of Capt. John Gooking 
and also ye body of Mrs. Sarah Yardley, who was wife to 
Capt. Adam Thorowgood, Capt. John Gooking & CoUonell 
Francis Yardley." 

In 1669 Colonel John Carter, of " Corotoman," left 
his wife Elizabeth her necklace of pearls and diamonds, and 
to his son Robert " his mother's hoop ring and crystal 
necklace." 

In 1673 Mrs. Amory Butler bequeathed to various 
heirs her wedding ring, two of her biggest stone rings, her 
blue enamelled ring, two mourning rings, her small dia- 
mond ring, her biggest diamond ring, her necklace with the 
biggest pearls, her small pearl necklace, her silver bodkin 
and her gilded bodkin, a pair of silver buttons, and a pair of 
silver buckles. A bodkin was in those days an ornamental 
hairpin. 

In 1677 ^Irs. Elizabeth Howe, of London, who was 
an ancestress of General Lee, left to her granddaughter 
Henrietta ^laria Hill, of " Shirley," on James River, a 
"necklace of pearle," to Sara Hill "a rose diamond ring," 
to Elizabeth Hill " a table diamond ring," and to her 
daughter, Mrs. Edward Hill, the mother of these girls, 
" a gold seal ring." 

Among quaint bequests in the will of Mrs. Elizabeth 
Eppes, in 1678, were two " stone rings " and a " thumb 
ring." 

In 1687 Thomas Pitt, of Isle of Wight County, be- 
queathed to his " deare and lovinge wife," Mary, with " all 
her wearing apparel," her wedding ring, two diamond 
rings, an enamelled ring, and a necklace of pearls. The 
question naturally arises wherewithal would a poor widow 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

have been clothed in good old times when even her wedding 
ring was not her own, had her husband neglected to give 
her in his last will and testament " her wearing apparel "? 

According to the inventory of Colonel Edward Digges 
he left in 1692 eight gold mourning rings, one diamond 
ring, a small stone ring and " a parcel of sea pearls." 

The inventory of Edmund Berkeley, 1718-19, men- 
tions, besides the interesting mourning rings already de- 
scribed, a large gold ring, a " set of ruby bobs," two neck- 
laces of very fine, small beads, forty-four smaU silver 
buttons, and a necklace of five strings of small pearls. 

In 1706 Madam Frances Spencer, wife of Colonel 
Nicholas Spencer, Secretary of State of Virginia, gave 
her daughter a pearl necklace valued at eighty pounds 
sterling — equal to at least a thousand dollars to-day. 

In 1726 Robert (" King ") Carter directed in his will 
that thirty pounds be paid for a gold watch and twenty-five 
pounds for a pearl necklace for his daughter Mary when 
she should arrive at the age of sixteen, and that diamond 
earrings to cost fifty pounds sterling be imported for his 
daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Doctor George Nicholas. 
He directed that thirty of his friends be presented with 
mourning rings. 

In 1742-43 William Randolph, of " Tuckahoe," be- 
queathed to his daughter Judith the " rings and trinkets 
which were her mother's," and to his younger daughter, 
Mary, two hundred pounds sterling " to be laid out in such 
trinkets as her guardians shall think fit." 

In 1747 John Gr\mies left a diamond ring worth fifty 
guineas to the Right Honorable Horatio Walpole, an 
uncle of the famous Horace, as an acknowledgment of 
favors done him in England. 

In 1751 Colonel Thomas Bray, of James City County, 



1 



DRESS 



left a set of silver knee and shoe buckles, a silver collar 
for a waiting man, a pair of gold sleeve buttons, and "about 
twenty gold rings, several of them set with valuable stones." 

In 1764 William Lightfoot, of " Tedington," left, with 
many other luxurious possessions, a miniature of himself 
in a gold frame ornamented with a bow-knot of diamonds, 
also a gold snuff-box with a miniature of his wife inside. 

There seem to have been quite well stocked jewelry 
stores in the colony during the eighteenth century. In 
1737 Alexander Kerr, of Williamsburg, advertised in the 
Gazette a collection of j ewels to be sold by lottery during 
the October Court. There were to be four hundred tickets, 
eighty of which would draw prizes. Each prize would con- 
sist of a group of trinkets, and among the articles in the 
various groups described were diamond, emerald, ruby, 
amethyst, and garnet rings, earrings, studs, seals, buckles, 
and snuff-boxes. 

The earliest mention of a watch in my notes is in 1697 
when Richard Aubrey, of Essex County, bequeathed two 
silver seals, one of which had been his grandfather's, and 
his " Dudelum watch." There may have been others in 
the seventeenth century, and certain it is that there were 
plenty of them in the eighteenth. Leroy George, of Rich- 
mond County, bequeathed one as early as 1700, and Tobias 
Mickleborough, of Middlesex, another in 1702, and from 
that time on gold and silver watches were frequent bequests. 

An especially interesting watch was that presented 
by Daniel Parke Custis to his seventeen-year-old bride, 
Martha Dandridge, who was later the wife of George 
Washington. Soon after his marriage Mr. Custis wrote his 
agent in London: 

" I desire a handsome watch for my wife, a pattern like 
the one you bought for Mrs. Burwell, with her name 



COLONIAL MIUHNIA, 1 IS PKOPLK AM) ( USIOMS 

around the diaL There are just twelve letters in her 
name, 3Iartha Custis, a letter for eaeh hour marked on the 
dial-plate." 

The watch, wliieh is presened at AVashington's head- 
quarters at Newhurg-on-the-IIudson, has an open-faced, 
gold case, inlaid with white enamel, and around the 
dial — a leter over each numeral — may be read the name, 

MARTHA CUSTIS. 



VIRGINIA AND ENGLAND 




-y^f 



UK Colonial Virginian thougPit 
and spoke of Kngland as " home/' 
With no meaiLS of cominurjication 
I save the primitive sailing vessels 
, of the time, intercour.se with the 
'^ Mo^.hfjf Countr\' was far more inti- 
\y^ mate than now with fast steamers, 
the Atlantic cahle, and wireless telegraphy. This was, in 
part, of course, the result of being under one government, 
but it was even more by reason of close business, social, 
and family ties. 

The settlement of Virginia had intrrxiuced into the 
world's market an entirely new product — tobacco — which 
caused as sensational a development of trade along a 
hitherto unknown line in the seventeenth century as the 
automobile has in the twentieth, and the colonists soon 
realized that though they had not found gold they had 
that for which men were willing to exchange gold — which 
was as good for supphdng the necessities of life and more, 
the luxuries that add to the enjoyment of life. 

So fascinating did the new weed prove that it was diffi- 
cult tfj grf>w it fast enough to satisfy the consumer across 
the sea. It is said that when Doctor James Blair was 
pleading for a charter for William and Mary College for 
the sake of the souls of the Virginians, the English Attor- 
ney General sent back the answer, 
** Damn your .souls, plant tobacco! " 
As the more of it they planted the more comfort in the 
way of English-made goods appeared in their homes, 
tobacco became and remained Virginia's principal staple — 
the planter's chief source of income — and created constant 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

business intercourse with Great Britain. Every substan- 
tial planter had one or more merchants in England or 
Scotland to whom he regularly shipped his crop for sale 
with a bill of lading like this: 

" Shipped by the grace of God in Good order & well 
conditioned by John Fitz Randolph in & upon the Good 
ship Called the Constant Endeavor whereof is Master 
under God for this present Voyage John Pawling & now 
riding at Anchor in the River Rappahannock & by God's 
Grace bound for the port of London, to say Tenn hogs- 
heads of Virginia Tobacco . . . and so God send the Good 
shipp to her desired port in Safety. Amen. Dated in 
Virginia the 17th of October 74." 

Another frequent conclusion was " God send the good 
ship in safety to the haven where she would be." 

With his precious crop the shipper sent orders for pur- 
chases in infinite variety, from tacks to thoroughbred 
horses, and the merchant acted as his purchasing agent — 
buying the articles named from the retailers in London, 
Glasgow, or elsewhere, and speeding them on their way to 
Virginia, accompanied by his own general account and 
the retailer's bills, or " shop-bills " as they were called. A 
number of these shop-bills have been preserved in old 
family papers, and possibly there may yet be tucked away 
in the pigeon-hole of some ancient desk a Chippendale 
shop-bill. 

The last order sent by IMartha Custis to her London 
merchant before she became IMrs. Washington, was for 
purchases for her family and plantation to the value of 
£309.8.5, and it would be difficult to name any article of 
ordinary use not contained in it. Three months before 
she had imported goods worth £103.1 .5. .5. 

Mrs. Custis shipped her tobacco to Hanbury and Com- 

214 



:? o 







P*"^ 


if'^ 


p" 


■.A 


fc_.^ . 


t 




I 



VIRGINIA AND ENGLAND 



pany, Quakers, who were great merchants of London. On 
October 1, 1759, they sent the newly- wedded Washington 
this quaint expression of good will: 

"Esteemed Friend: 

" We are favored with Thine of June 12th, informing us 
of Thy marriage with our friend Martha Custis, upon 
which circumstance we heartily congratulate you both & 
wish you a great deal of happiness." 

Some planters made a point of not buying anything 
in Virginia if they could possibly help it. George Lee, 
of Westmoreland, directed in his will in 1761 that "the 
goods, clothes and tools wanted for the use of the negroes 
and plantations may be yearly sent for to England and 
none purchased in the Country but what there is an abso- 
lute necessity for." 

Sometimes, it seems, wives of London merchants 
would, as an especial favor, shop for the wives of Virginia 
planters. In 1737 one of these — Mrs. Elizabeth Perry — 
wrote to Mrs. Thomas Jones, of Williamsburg: 

" I am very glad what I do for my friends in Virginia 
pleases them. I have done my best endeavors that Misses 
things should be what she likes, for a walking gown I have 
bought a Turkey Burdet for I thought a Cery dery had 
too mean a look and tho' what I have sent is something 
dearer it will answer it in the wear, as for the piece of 
sprigged muslin you wish for there is no such thing for the 
money you allow. I have been, or sent, all over the town 
and there is none to be got under double the price, so have 
not sent you any." 

An entry in Colonel James Gordon's diary tells us 
that he had been " busy all day writing letters to England." 

Every extensive planter seems to have kept copies of 
his letters in a book provided for the purpose, and these 

215 



COLONIAL MRGIXL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

letters and the replies show that correspondence between 
Virginians and their London merchants — often continuing 
through years — resulted in business friendships which 
sometimes grew into intimacies. The ^vriters exchanged 
presents and bits of news and gossip and the merchants 
looked after the planters' sons when they were sent abroad 
to be educated and were hospitable to the planters them- 
selves when they crossed the sea. Charles Goore, a Liver- 
pool merchant, writing to Theodorick Bland, Sr., of Vir- 
ginia, in 1758, acknowledged a " kind present of hams and 
peach brandy" which were "very good," and a red bird 
which " dyed " on the w\iy. In 1765 Mr. Bland thanks 
a merchant for " eight very fine pineapples," and in 1767 
John Hall, merchant of London, thanks ^Ir. Bland for 
some "exceeding fine" hams, and sends him in return "a 
cag of new red herrings." 

Hams and tobacco w^ere the most frequent presents 
from Virginians to friends and relatives in England 
throughout the period, and doubtless none could have been 
more acceptable. In 1689 C. Calthorpe sent his relative, 
James Calthorpe, of East Barsham, in Suffolk, Eng., 
" two Rowles of Chawing tobacco " which he declared 
" upon his word to be the best." 

Various other characteristic gifts were sent " home.' 
In 1686 William Byrd, the first, wrote to liis friend, John 
Clinton, " According to your desire I have herewith sent 
you an Indian Habitt for your Boy, the best I could pro- 
cure amongst our neighbor Indians." This included a 
" flap " — drapery worn about the waist — " a pair of moc- 
casins, or Indian shoes, also some shells to put about his 
neck and a cap of wampum " — all of which were sent in 
an Indian basket with " a bow and arrows tyed to itt." 
The happy little English boy who received this present was 
possibly the first white child who ever " played Indian." 

216 



VIRGINIA AND ENGLAND 



Virginia seeds and plants were often sent across the 
ocean as presents. In 1690 Colonel Byrd wi'ote to Thomas 
Wetherold that he had saved him many seeds, but all had 
been ruined except the ones he sent — namely, " Poppeas 
Arbor, Rhus Sentisei folius, Sassafras and Laurus Tulip- 
fera." 

In 1730 the distinguished naturahst, Catesby, wrote his 
niece, Mrs. Thomas Jones, that he was sending her the 
instahnents of his " Natural History " and that Virginia 
cones, acorns, and seeds — "especially of poplar, cypress 
and some long white walnut " — would be acceptable to 
him. There is still in existence in Virginia a copy of 
Catesby's work sent by him to John Clayton, the botanist. 

Dwellers in the faraway colony were ever eager for 
home news. In 1690 Byrd said in a letter to his brother- 
in-law, Daniel Horsmanden : 

" Wee are here at ye end of ye world & Europe may 
bee turned topsy turvy ere wee can hear a word of it; but 
when news comes wee have it whole sale, very often more 
than the truth." 

Eighty years later Roger Atkinson wrote to Robert 
Bunn, merchant of London: 

" Pray send me the newspapers & magazines & Political 
Registers, regularly. ... I never desire to read anything 
else except an Almanack, a Prayer Book and a Bible." 
And in the same year another London merchant, Edward 
Brown, wrote to Thomas Adams: 

" Junius has wrote his last letter which being a very 
bold one, addressed to the K-g, has made a great noise. 
I intend to send it to you by Mr. Mosse who goes in Capt. 
Walker's ship." 

Sometimes correspondence between Virginians and 
their relatives at home was kept up continuously for many 

217 



COLONIAL VIRGLNIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

years — as in the case of George Home or Hume, of Wed- 
derburn, whose letters to and from his family in Scotland 
have been published/ 

A great part of the business done for and by Virginians 
in London was transacted at the " Virginia Coffee House " 
and on the " Virginia Walk " in the Exchange. This 
coffee house was a favorite gathering place for visitors from 
the colony, and provided them with a sort of club. In 
1685 William Fitzhugh wrote a cousin in London: 

" Upon the Exchange in the Virginia Walk, you'll 
meet Mr. Cooper, a Virginia merchant, who will take care 
of and convey your letters to me." 

In 1769 Captain Robert Stewart, a regular corre- 
spondent of \Vashington's, in London, sent his letters to 
the Virginia Coffee House to be forwarded. 

And now for a bit of gossip, plenty of which was heard 
at the Coffee House. John Pratt, ^\Titing from London 
in 1725 to his sister-in-law, the much courted widow, Mrs. 
Ehzabeth Pratt, says: 

" 3Ir. Robert Gary, last Thursday in the Virg'a Coffee 
House told me, publicly, yt he had letters from several in 
Virg'a yt you wer certainly to be married to ^Ir. Thom 
Jones, Col. Bird was there present." 

And Mrs. Pratt certainly was married to Mr. Jones 
very soon thereafter. A few montlis later slie had another 
letter from her gossipy brother-in-law in London in which 
he told her that " Colo Spotswood was married about a 
month ago to a daughter of ]\Ir. Braine who was formerly 
Stewart of Chelsea College," and added: 

" Ye young lady is said to be wonderfully pretty, but 
no money." 

While business took large numbers of Virginians to 

^ Va. Mag. Hist, and Biog., xx, 381, etc. 

218 






'^^^ - ^ ■^' V^'^^^^S -^iTtH^.FE WELLE r) 



-f.mT 



tyi/i,'.i//,- . ^i//, ////irr . -J///ir , f //rt//f.i/t/f 












i/j\/^ r,l^ 



-^ 



/9 /i^- 



Sa- q 




-.^^-^■'■G-^jsa 



'<9UffAd 



'T 



':a^ .f.^A /Vii ' /; 
nil III II 1 1 III ■III— i^Mtiiiaii 

LONDON SHOP BILLS 
For goods for Virginians 



I 



I 






VIRGINIA AND ENGLAND 



Great Britain, others went for pleasui-e or improvement 
in health. They frequented the theatres, and Bath was to 
them, as to the English, a sort of Atlantic City of the time 
to which they resorted both for physical benefit and diver- 
sion. Young Samuel Griffin, of Williamsburg, was there 
in October, 1771, and in a letter to Thomas Adams in 
London, said: 

" Bath is at this time very full of company, though 
very few handsome Men and Women and no Fortunes 
worth making a Bold Stroak for. . . . We have at this 
time four Balls a week though I think they can't be sup- 
ported as most of the Company think Two enough. The 
new rooms have Mondays and Thursdays with Concerts 
on Wednesdays and generally very full." 

In the same year Mr. Adams had a letter from Isaac 
Hall, a Virginia student of medicine at Edinburgh, show- 
ing the writer's familiarity with London theatres. 

" I have enjoyed," said he, " as good spirits as can 
be expected from one who lately left your Playhouses, &c, 
to become a retired, sedentary student in Edin'h. But 
however heroically I may bear the want of such sublime 
entertainments, I can't forbear enquiring after them, has 
Garrick, the Pride and Boast of the Theatrical world, 
appeared, & what characters? — has Barry yet recovered 
his health? does his lady retain all her power of terrifying, 
reforming & melting the Audiences, and does she shew 
herself often— & Mrs. Yates?" 

It is likely that the only acquaintances of most Vir- 
ginians visiting England whose families had been in the 
colony for several generations were the merchants, but 
those who were born in the mother-land or had kept in 
touch with their kinsfolk there had a far wider circle. 
Among these was Mr. Thomas Jones who during a visit 

219 



COLONIAL VIIUJXLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

to England when a young man was fortunate enough to 
receive a gracious invitation from INIargaret, Lady Cul- 
peper, wife of Lord Culpeper, who had been Governor of 
Virginia, and was a friend of young Jones's father — 
Captain Roger Jones. Here is the invitation : 

Leeds Castle, December the 19th, 1706. 
Sir 

I received yrs of the 14 instant and am glad of your safe arrival 
in England. I hope j'ou are come upon a good account that will 
turn to your advantage. I shall be very glad to see you here if 
it is no prejudice to your business and you shall be very wellcome 
when you please to come. . . . 

M}' daughter and her seven children are all very well this is all 
from Sir 

Yor affectionate friend & servant 

Mar. Culpeper. 
It is addressed : 
For Mr. Thomas Jones 
at the Virginia Coffee house 
at London. 

It is interesting to recall that in the course of time 
Leeds Castle became the property of an emigrant to Vir- 
ginia — Lord Fairfax — who inherited it from his grand- 
father, Lord Culpeper. He erected at Leeds a sun-dial 
so ingeniously contrived that it showed the time of day both 
there and at " Belvoir," the Fairfax home in Virginia. 

Another lucky youth was Peyton Skipwith, who at the 
age of twenty — and the year before he became Sir Peyton 
Skipwith, Bart. — went to England to see the sweetheart 
who was later his wife. While on a visit to Bath he was 
taken ill — he feared hopelessly — but was prevailed on by 
his " good friend Mr. Hanbury Williams " to go with him 
to his seat, " Coldbrooke," in Wales, where he recovered 
his health. In a letter written from " Coldbrooke " to 

220 



VIRGINIA AND ENGLAND 



Theodorick Bland, Jr., of Virginia — then a student at the 
University of Edinburgh — young Skipwith says his host is 
" heir to the great Mr. Charles H. Williams, and lives like 
a prince in a most agreeable house that was his, furnished in 
a more elegant manner than any house I have ever been in." 

The Hanburj^ Williams family was one of great wealth 
and social prominence, but for all their grandeur and their 
kindness their guest from over the water seems to have 
been a bit homesick. He entreats Bland: 

" Pray don't be so devilish concise and lazy, but write 
me all the news. . . . Pray make my comp'ts to your 
cousin and his good family, Col. Ludwell and his, ]Mr. Din- 
widdie and his and all other acquaintances, not forgetting 
Mr. Burwell and his family. Pray, if you hear any Vir- 
ginia news don't forget to mention it." 

In 1726 Colonel William B\Td, the second, returned 
to " Westover " from a long visit to England where his 
daughters Evelyn, a nineteen-year-old girl of flower-like 
beauty, and WiUiemina, a child of ten, had been made much 
of in high society. Soon afterward he wrote to John, 
Lord Boyle, son of his intimate friend the Earl of Orrery, 
whose guests he and his family had been: 

" My Young Gentlewomen like everything in the coun- 
try except the Retirement, they can't get the Plays, the 
Operas and the Masquerades out of their Heads, much 
less can they forget their Friends. However, the lightness 
of our Atmosphere helps them to bear all their losses with 
more Spirit and that they may amuse themselves the better, 
they are every Day up to their Elbows in Housewifery, 
which wiU qualify them effectually for useful Wives and 
if they live long enough, for notable women." 

A year later Colonel Byrd wrote to the Earl of Orrery: 

" My Lord — I am made obliged to your Lordship for 

15 221 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

being so very good as to sweeten my Retirement by wi'iting 
so often. Whenever my spirits sink at any Time below 
the natural pitch Your Letters are Cordial enough to raise 
them again, and make me as gay as the Spring. They all 
bring to my Memory all the delightful scenes at Britwell 
and Downing Street and for Variety make me look back 
sometimes on the graver amusements at Will's. Mrs. Byrd 
too, gives you a thousand thanks for your Favours to her 
daughters." 

In 1760 Arthur Lee went to England to study medi- 
cine — arriving there two weeks before Christmas. On 
Christmas Eve he met Samuel Johnson — probably at the 
house of John Paradise, a friend of Doctor Johnson's who 
had married a Virginia woman. The Doctor graciously 
advised the young visitor as to the best place in which to 
study his profession, and writing his brother, Richard 
Henry Lee, of his London experiences, Arthur said: 

" Last night I was in company with Dr. Johnson, 
author of the English Dictionary. His outward appear- 
ance is very droll and uncouth. The too arduous cultiva- 
tion of his mind seems to have caused a very great neglect 
of his body, but for this his friends are amply rewarded in 
the enjoyment of a mind most elegantly polished, en- 
lightened and refined ; possessed as he is of an inexhaustible 
fund of remark, a Copious flow of words, expressions 
strong, nervous, pathetic and exalted, add to this an ac- 
quaintance with almost every subject that can be pro- 
posed; an intelligent mind cannot fail of receiving the 
most agreeable information and entertainment in his con- 
versation." ^ 

Arthur Lee met Dr. Johnson at least once more — 
dining with him on a famous occasion in May, 1776, when 

^ Southern Literary Messenger, xxix, 62, 63. 

222 




( OI.OXKL DAMKL PARKK 



I 



VIRGINIA AND ENGLAND 



Boswell, with whom Lee had formed a friendship at Edin- 
burgh, upon which University his choice had faUen, was 
much exercised as to how his adored Doctor and John 
Wilkes would get along together. 

But not all Virginians had such happy experiences 
in the old coimtry. To some the temptations of the cities 
proved too strong, while others got into financial straits 
from living beyond their means, or from slow remittances 
from home. To these Thomas Adams, a member of a 
well-known family of Richmond, Virginia, who was for a 
time a merchant in London, seems to have been a veritable 
angel of mercy — his big heart and open purse making him 
a very ready help in time of trouble. The letter written 
him by Samuel Griffin, describing the delights of Bath, 
was followed speedily by another showing a change of 
mood, and appealing for aid in getting the writer out of 
difficulties into which gambling had involved him. 

" To be ingenuous," he wrote, " I have been imprudent 
enough to suffer myself to be taken in by a set of D'd 
knaves, however I have set a Resolution never again to 
play at any kind of a game but for amusement." 

In the same year George fiercer, of Stafford County, 
Virginia, who had been a lieutenant-colonel in the French 
and Indian War, and of whom a handsome portrait re- 
mains, wrote in desperation: 

" My dear Adams, you must by some means or other 
procure me £50 by Tuesday morning, or I must go to the 
Dogs." He was expecting a shipment of " a hundi-ed 
puncheons of Shenandoah tobacco " from his estate in the 
colony with which he hoped to pay all his debts. Mr. 
Adams evidently helped him out, but he was soon in sti*aits 
again. Nevertheless, he courted and won an Enghsh 
girl and when her parents very naturally opposed the 

223 



COLONIAL MRGIXIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

match, eloped with her. The post chaise in which the pair 
ran away in good old-fashioned style was overturned, but 
as they were not hurt the accident " occasioned more 
laughter than crying." At Yarmouth they stopped long 
enough for the hopeful bridegroom to write Mr. Adams 
telling him of two bills amounting to sixty pounds which 
would fall due in a week, and begging his friend to get 
him the money " by hook or by crook," to pay the interest 
on them, and leave it with his housekeeper, as he did not 
think it would " appear decent " to be arrested on his 
" return home with Madam for such a sum as £60." 

A postscript gives a glimpse of the bride-to-be. 

" I have told her," it said, " I am writing to a par- 
ticular Friend. She desires for Heaven's Sake and for 
the sake of my own character, that I will not mention to 
him that I have a giddy, hot headed, runaway Young girl 
with me, especially if the friend has anything serious about 
him." 

Perhaps the most adventurous career of any Virginian 
who travelled abroad during the Colonial period was Daniel 
Parke, the younger, son of the Daniel Parke, Burgess, 
Councillor and Secretarj^ of State, whose mural tablet may 
be seen in old Bruton Church, Williamsburg. Like his 
father, young Parke sensed as a member of the House of 
Burgesses and of the Council, but public life in Virginia 
offered too narrow opportunities to satisfy so tempera- 
mental a gentleman, and after a stormy career in the 
colony he went to England, where he bought an estate 
and became a member of Parliament, but was unseated 
for bribing voters. In 1701 he volunteered under Lord 
Arran for the campaign in Flanders, and in 1704, at the 
battle of Blenheim, h.e was aide to Marlborough and so 
distinguished himself that he was sent with the first news 

224 



i 



VIRGINIA AND ENGLAND 



of the great victory to England. He received handsome 
rewards, including a jewelled miniature of Queen Anne, 
which he ever after wore on his breast, and which appears 
in the two portraits of him now remaining in Virginia. 
Governor Nicholson, in announcing the victory to the 
colonists, told them with pride that the good news was 
brought to England by " Colonel Parke, a gentleman, and 
a native of this Colony." 

Many Virginia wills mention English possessions or 
make bequests to persons in England, and many English 
wills name heirs in Virginia or bequeath property there. 
Here are a few illustrations, taken at random : 

In 1640 Edward Dewall, servant of Symon Cornocke, 
of Warwicksqueake, Virginia, bequeathed his master an 
inn called " The Rose," in Reading, England. In 1645 
George Scott, grocer, of London, left a brother all his 
lands at Martin's Hundred, Virginia. In 1648 Mrs. 
Susan Perrin writes her son John in Virginia: 

" Yor father hath departed this life and hath left you 
a little house." 

The fond mother also tells John that she has sent him 
a barrel of " things," a servant boy, and a small piece of 
gold for his wife, and adds, " There is a noate in ye barrel, 
it lyeth at ye topp in ye new blankett." 

The Northampton records for 1652 contain a power 
of attorney from Doctor John Harmer, " Ye Greeke 
reader to Ye University of Oxford, heir of Charles Har- 
mer, now or late of Jamestown in ye Dominion aforesaid." 

In 1672 Thomas Gerrard, of Westmoreland County, 
Virginia, bequeathed land " lying in ye Kingdom of 
England." 

In 1684 Thomas Pope, " of Bristol, Merchant," left 
land in Gloucester, England, and Westmoreland, Virginia. 

225 



COLONIAL \1RGL\L\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Also in 1684 Rev. John Lawrence, of Lower Norfolk 
County, Virginia, a Presbyterian minister, left six tene- 
ments in the parish of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, London. 

In 1695 John Newton, of Westmoreland, bequeathed 
lands at Carlton and Camelsforth, in Yorkshire, and a 
house in Hull " which was my father's." 

In 1696 Charles Lightfoot, of London, left fifty pounds 
to his sister, Frances Lightfoot, in Virginia, " if she ever 
come to England and demands it, not else." 

In 1708 WiUiam Brent, of Stafford County, went to 
England to recover the two estates of " Stoke " and 
" Admington " to which he had fallen heir by the dying 
out of the elder branch of his family.^ 

In 1713 Edmund Jenings resigned the office of Secre- 
tary of State of Virginia, and went to England to claim 
an estate which fell to him on the death of his elder brother. 

In 1726 Richard Walker, of Middlesex County, Vir- 
ginia, bequeathed his brothers John, Thomas, and Edward 
Walker, at Ashbourne, in Derbyshire, and his sister Jane 
Locket, in Staffordshire, twenty pounds each for " a suit 
of mourning." 

In 1742 Leonard Yeo, of Elizabeth City County, Vir- 
ginia, left his cousin George Arnold, merchant, of London, 
certain tenements in the borough of Hatherly " and the 
plate I brought from England." 

In 1750 ]Mrs. Elizabeth Caiy, of Chesterfield County, 
Virginia, left two hundred pounds sterling to " John 
Brickenhead, peruke-maker in Old Street, near St. Luke's 
Church, London." 

In 1753 John Chichester, of Lancaster County, left 
his wife five hundred pounds out of his estate in England, 



^ Va. Mag. of Hist, and Biog., xii, 442. 
226 




AUSTIN BROCKENBROUGH 



VIRGINIA AND ENGLAND 



and all of his estate in England " besides," to his brother, 
Richard Chichester. 

The intimacy between England and the Mother Coun- 
try is sometimes illustrated by tombs in old English 
churches, like that at St. Mary's, Bedfont, erected by 
Colonel John Page, of Williamsburg, in memory of his 
father, who died in 1678. Other memorials are to natives 
of Virginia who died in England, like the tomb of Robert 
Porteus, at Ripon Cathedral. 

In 1703 Thomas Matthew, of " Cherry Point," North- 
umberland County, Virginia, directed in his will: 

" If I die in or about London to be buried as near as 
possible to my son William, in the Church of St. Dunstan- 
in-the-East." 

In the Church of Little Paxton, Huntingdonshire, 
England, is the tomb of Robert Throckmorton, Esq., who 
died in 1699, with an inscription which says that he was 
born in Virginia. In 1767 another of this family, Robert 
Throckmorton, of " Hail Western," Huntingdonshire, be- 
queathed the larger portion of his estate, valued at eight 
thousand pounds, to his distant kinsman, John Throck- 
morton, of Gloucester, Virginia, who went to England and 
secured it. 

The Virginia colonist frequently made bequests to the 
poor of his birthplace or of his early and tenderly remem- 
bered home in England. In 1655 John Moon, of Isle of 
Wight County, left five pounds to the poor of Berry, and 
the same amount to the poor of Alverstock, in Hampshire, 
England, where he had lands, and in 1674 Captain Philip 
Chesley, of " Queen's Creek," York County, left to every 
person whose name was Chesley " inhabiting in Welford, 
in Gloucester " — which was probably his birthplace — " each 
one hogshead of tobacco." 

227 



CC)LOXL\L VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

In 1762 James Deans, of Chesterfield County, Vir- 
ginia, bequeathed two hundred pounds to " the Infirmary '* 
of Aberdeen, Scotland. 

In view of the many close ties between Virginia and 
England it is surprising that so few members of prominent 
families of the colony took the side of the Mother Country 
during the Revolution. Among those who did were John 
Randolpli — the last royal Attorney General — John Ran- 
dolph Gr\Tnes, Austin Brockenbrough — who had been an 
officer under Washington in the French and Indian War — 
Richard Corbin — the last Receiver General — and Ralph 
Wormelev. 



VIII 
THE THEATRE 




HEATRE-GOING is so peculiarly 
a diversion of city folk that it seems 
strange that the first play known to 
have been presented on an American 
stage was acted before an audience 
of farmers in a remote country 
neighborhood. 
In far Accomac, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and 
on the 27th day of August, 1665 — seventy-five years before 
there is any record of a dramatic entertainment in New 
York — " a play commonly called ye Beare & ye Cubb " 
was performed, with Cornelius Watkinson, Philip Howard, 
and William Darby as the principal, possibly the only, 
actors. Either the Puritans or the serious-minded fol- 
lowers of William Penn might have been expected to shake 
their heads over the introduction of this unseemly amuse- 
ment, and even in meiTier Virginia one Edward Martin felt 
himself in duty bound to inform the King's attorney, Mr. 
John Fawsett, of the matter. The three actors named 
were summoned to court on " ye 16th of November," and 
each in turn put through a rigid cross-examination and 
ordered to appear at the December court, " in the habili- 
ments they had acted in, and give a draught of such verses 
or other speeches and passages which were then acted by 
them." 

And so " Ye Beare and ye Cubb " was presented a 
second time in Accomac County, with " ye honorable 
court " and — we may depend — as many others as the room 
would hold, as spectators. The court finding the actors 
" not guilty of fault, suspended ye payment of Court 

229 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PP:OPLE AND CUSTOMS 

charges; & forasmuch as it appeareth upon Ye Oath of ye 
said ^Ir. Fawsett, that ujion ye said Martin's information, 
ye Charge and trouble of that suit did accrew, It's there- 
fore ordered that ye said Edward INIartin pay all ye 
Charges in ye suit." ^ 

Whether, in spite of their acquittal, the experience of 
these three gave play-acting in Virginia a check which was 
felt for nearly half a century, or performances were given 
of which there is no record, it is impossible to say. Dra- 
matic entertainments would hardly have been discouraged 
by Sir William Berkeley, the Cavalier Governor, for he 
not only delighted in them when he was in London, but 
was himself an author of plays. It is only known that the 
next mention of a performance of a theatrical character 
was in 1702, when the students of William and Mary Col- 
lege gave " A Pastoral Colloquy " before the Governor ^ — 
whether at the college or the " palace '' does not appear. 

In the year 1716 residents in the colonial capital saw 
erected the first playhouse in Virginia and in America, 

" William Levingston, merchant," had for some time 
conducted a dancing school in New Kent County. His 
star pupils, Charles Stagg and his wife, ^Iar}% evidently 
developed ability to do more than dance, for under contract 
recorded at Yorktown, July 11, 1716, the merchant agreed 
with this couple, as " actors," to build a theatre in Williams- 
burg, and to provide players and scenery and music out of 
England, " for the enacting of comedies and tragedies." 
On November 21 he bought ground in Williamsburg, in 
the neighborhood of the church and the courthouse, and 

^ "Early Histor\' of the Eastern Shore of Virginia," J. C. 
Wise, 325, 326. 

2 « Williamsburg," L. G. Tyler, 228. 
230 



THE THEATRE 



placed upon it a playhouse, a bowling-green, and a dwelling 
house and garden.^ 

Governor Spotswood, in a letter written June 24 of the 
next year, mentions giving a public entertainment at his 
house, in honor of the King's birthday, and adds " a play 
was acted on that occasion."^ What tliis play was he does 
not say, but it must have been acted by the Staggs and 
others, at Levingston's theatre. 

As a practical enterprise, it seems that the theatre was 
not successful, for in 1721 Levingston mortgaged the 
ground on w^hich it stood to Dr. Archibald Blair for 500 
years, and by his failure to meet his payments Dr. Blair 
secured possession of the property two years later.^ 
Whether or not the performances of the company con- 
tinued does not appear. Charles Stagg died in Williams- 
burg in 1735, and after his death Mistress Mary Stagg, the 
earliest leading lady of the American stage, earned her 
bread and butter holding " dancing assemblies " for the 
ladies and gentlemen of Williamsburg — charging a hand- 
some admission fee.*^ 

Mistress Stagg, her dwelling house and garden, and 
the playhouse figured interestingly in Mary Johnston's 
novel, " Audrey," since when the quaint cottage has been 
pointed out as " Audrey's house." One of its appealing 
features is a window-pane bearing the inscription — evi- 
dently written with a diamond — " Oh fatal day," and the 
date " 1790." 

Long before Miss Johnston's time, John Esten Cooke 

8 "Williamsburg," L. G. Tyler, 224-226. 
^ Letters of Alexander Spotswood, ii, 284. 
^ " Williamsburg," L. G. Tyler, 226. 
« Ih., 225. 

231 



COLONIAL VIRGIXLV, FfS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

found in the colonial theatre the theme for a romance 
entitled " The Virginia Comedians." 

In 1735 and 1736 the playhouse was used to a greater 
or less extent by amateurs. " The Busy Body " had been 
a fashionable play in London since its presentation for the 
first time, in 1709, with Anne Oldfield as " Isabinda," the 
leading character, and a letter from Col. William Byrd, 
of " Westover," to Sir John Randolph, in Williamsburg, 
written January 21, 1735, bears w^itness that it was being 
acted there.' 

" Which of yom- actors," asks the Colonel, " showTi 
most in the play, next Isabinda, who I take it for granted 
is the Oldfield of the theatre? 

" How came Squire Marplot off? With many a clap, 
I suppose, though I fancy he would have acted more to 
the life in the comedy called the Sham Doctor. But not 
a word of this for fear in case of sickness he might poison 

you." 

The part of " Marplot " was evidently taken by Sir 
John's physician, at whom Colonel Byrd takes occasion to 
have a playful fling. 

The time-yellowed Virginia Gazette for September 10, 
1736, contains this advertisement: 

This evening will be performed at the Theatre, b}' the Young 
Gentlemen of the College, The Tragedy of Cato. 

And on Monday, Wednesday and Friday next will be acted the 
following Comedies, by the Gentlemen and Ladies of this Countr}', 
viz. The Busy Body, The Recruiting Officer, and the Beaux Strat- 
agem. 

Under date September 17 the Gazette for the same 
year announces : 

•^ Va. Mag. Hist. Biog., 240, 241. 



THE THEATRE 



" Next Monday night will be performed the Drummer; 
or The Haunted House, by the Young Gentlemen of the 
College." 

Out of these performances and the atmosphere of merri- 
ment which they created grew one of the earliest newspaper 
"personals" on record. It appeared as an "advertisement" 
in the Gazette of October 22, and was evidently intended 
as a joke on one of the town beaux: 

" Whereas a Gentleman who towards the latter end of 
Sunmier usually wore a Blue Camlet coat lined with Red 
and trimmed with Silver, a silver laced hat and a Turpee 
wig, has often been observed by his Amoret to look very 
languishingly at her, the said Amoret, and particularly 
one night during the last session of Assembly, at the 
Theatre, the said gentleman ogled her in such manner as 
shewed him to be very far gone, the said Amoret desires the 
Gentleman to take the first opportunity that offers to ex- 
plain himself on that subject. 

" N. B. She believes he has very pretty teeth." 

Interest in these amateur theatricals is shown by a con- 
temporary letter. Colonel Thomas Jones, writing on Sep- 
tember 17, 1736, to his wife in the countr}^ sends this 
message to his step-daughter: 

'' You may tell Betty Pratt there has been but two 
Plays acted since she went, which is Cato by the Young 
Gent'n of the College as they call themselves, and the Busy 
body by the Company on Wednesday Night last, and I 
believe there will be another to Night, they have been at 
a great loss for a fine Lady who I think is to be called 
Dorinda, but that difficulty is overcome by finding her, 
which was to be the greatest Secret and as such 'tis said 
to be ]Miss Anderson that came to Town with Mrs. Carter." 

233 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Some time after Stagg's death the playhouse, which 
was not then being used, was bought by thirty-one promi- 
nent men of the colony and presented to Williamsburg 
as a town hall.^ And thus ended the history, as a theatre, 
of the first theatre in America. 

Six years later Williamsburg was given at once a new 
playhouse and an opportunity to enjoy Shakespearean 
drama. During the year 1750 a theatrical troupe known 
as the " Kean and Murray Company " was acting in New 
York," and one of the roles of Thomas Kean, its leading 
man, was that of Richard III. Whether or not he was 
of the family of that great interpreter of Shakespeare of a 
later day, Edmund Kean, is not known, but the connection 
of the name with the colonial theatre is interesting. In the 
Virginia Gazette of August 29, 1751, may be seen the 
following announcement: 

" By permission of his Honour the President [of the 
Council, who was acting Governor], Whereas the Com- 
pany of Comedians that are in New York intend perform- 
ing in this City; but there being no Room suitable for a 
Play House, 'tis propos'd that a Theatre shall be built 
by way of Subscription; each Subscriber advancing a Pis- 
tole ^*^ to be entitled to a Box Ticket for the first Night's 
Diversion. 

" Those Gentlemen and Ladies who are kind enough to 
favour this Undertaking are desired to send their Sub- 
scription Money to Mr. Finnie's, at the Raleigh, where 
Tickets may be had. 

" N. B. The House to be completed by October 
Court." 

« " Williamsburg," L. G. Tyler, 226. 
» lb., 228. 

^° A Spanish coin in use in the Colony and worth about $3.80, 
234 



By peimi/Tion of the Woilhipful the Mayor of yWaffi/bur^] 

At the old Theatre, rear the Capitol, 

By the Virginia Company of Comedians, 

6n Friday the 8th of Jprii will be prefented a TRAGEDY, 

CALLED 



Venice Preferved, 

O R A 

Plot Difcovered. 




To which will be added a ballad OPERA, called 



Damon and Phillida* 

"^ r Mr. Bromaoci 

/ I Mr, Godwin. 

VbyJ Mrs. Osborne, 

\ I Ml. Parker. 

J L Mr. Verling. 



ARCAS, -^ f Mr. Bromaoce 

CORYDON, 

DAMON, 

CYMON, 

MOPSUS, 



PHILLIDA, by Mrs. Parker. 
Tickets to be jiad of Mr. Jf^Hfiam Rujfell, ar his ftore next dooC 
to the Poft Office, and at the door oi the Thtatie. 

The doors to be opened at lix, and the play to begin at fcven 
o'clock precifely. 

Boxes 7s. 6 d. Pit 5s. Gali try 3s. 9d. 

rhant Rex isf Regi-n. 
U. B# No perfon whatever can be admitted behind the fceiies. 

ADVERTISEMENT OF THE WILLIAMSBURG THEATRE 
From the Virginia Gazette 



THE THEATRE 



A site just back of the Capitol building was selected, 
and the promoters made good their word to have the house 
ready by the October Court, when doubtless the town and 
the visitors who thronged it at that time gave the players 
generous patronage. Says the Gazette of October 21 : 

" On Monday a company of Comedians opened at the 
New Theatre near the Capitol, in Williamsburg with King 
Richard III and a tragic dance composed by Monsieur 
Denoier, called the Royal Captive." 

From the same paper for December 19, of the same 
year 1751, we learn that — 

*' The Company of Comedians intend to be at Peters- 
burg by the middle of next month and hope that the Gentle- 
men and Ladies who are Lovers of Theatrical Entertain- 
ment will favour them with their Company." 

Later they went to Norfolk and in the spring were 
back in the gay little capital, as may be seen from the 
following advertisement from the Gazette of April 17, 
1752: 

By Permission of His Honour the Governor, 
At the New Theatre in Williamsburg, 

For the Benefit of Mrs. Beccely, 

On Frida}', being the 24th of this Inst, 

Will be performed a Comedy, called the 

Constant Couple; 

or a 

Trip to the Jubilee. 

The Part of Sir Harry Wildair to be performed 

By Mr. Kean. 

Colonel Standard 

By Mr, Murray 

And the Part of AngeKca to be perform'd 

By Mrs. Beccely. 

With Entertainment of Singing between the Acts. 

235 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 



Likfwise a Dance, called the Drunken Peasant. 

To which will be added a Farce, called the 

Lying Valet. 

Tickets to be had at Mrs. Vobe's, and at Mr. Mitchel's, in York. 

They played at Hobb's Hole, as Tappahannock was 
then called, from jNIay 10 to 24, and in Fredericksburg 
during the " June Fair," which seems to have been their 
last appearance in the colony. Their eight months' 
stay had created much gayety and doubtless given great 
pleasure. 

But Virginians were not long to be deprived of the 
form of entertainment for which they had acquired so keen 
a relish. When they opened their Gazettes on June 12, 
1752, their eyes were gladdened by this delightful an- 
nouncement : 

*' This is to inform the Public that Mr. Hallam, from 
the New Theatre in Goodmansfield, London, is daily 
expected here with a select Company of Comedians; the 
Scenes, Cloaths, and Decorations are entirely new, ex- 
tremely rich, and finished in the highest Taste, the Scenes 
being painted by the best Hands in London, are excell'd 
by none in Beauty and Elegance, so that the Ladies and 
Gentlemen may depend on being entertain'd in as polite 
a Planner as at the Theatres in London, the Company being 
perfect in all the best Plays, Operas, Farces and Panto- 
mimes that have been exhibited in any of the Theatres for 
these ten years past." 

On August 21 of the same year the Gazette's readers 
were informed that the Company lately from London had 
altered the Playhouse to a " regular theatre, fit for the 
reception of ladies and gentlemen and the execution of their 
own performance " and would open on the first Friday 
in September with " a play called the ^Merchant of Venice, 

230 



THE THEATRE 



written by Shakespeare." Ladies engaging seats in the 
boxes were advised to send their servants early on the day 
of the performance to hold them and " prevent trouble and 
disappointment. ' ' 

On August 28 appeared the following advertisement, 
giving the complete cast of the play : 

By Permission of the Hon. Robert Dinwiddie, Esq., His 
Majesty's Lieutenant Governor, and Commander in Chief of the 
Colony and Dominion of Virginia. 

By a Company of Comedians from London, 

At the Theatre in Williamsburg, 

On Friday next, being the 15th of September, will be presented 

A Play, Call'd, 

The 

Merchant of Venice, 

(Written by Shakespear.) 

The Part of Antonio (the Merchant) to be perform'd by 

Mr. Clarkson. 

Gratiano by Mr. Singleton. 

Lorenzo (with songs in character) by Mr. Adcock, 

The Part of Bassanio to be perform'd by 

Mr. Rigby. 

Duke, by Mr. Wynell. 

Salanio, by Mr. Herbert. 

The Part of Launcelot by Mr. Hallam, 

And the Part of Shylock (the Jew) to be perform'd by 

Mr. Malone. 

The Part of Nerissa, by Mrs. Adcock, 

Jessica, by Mrs. Rigby. 

And the Part of Portia to be perform'd by 

Mrs. Hallam. 

With a new occasional Prologue. 

To which will be added a Farce, call'd 

The Anatomist. 

or. 
Sham Doctor. 
16 237 



COLONLVL VUIGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 



The Part of Monsieur le Medecin by 
Mr. Rigby, 
And the Part of Beatrice, by Mrs. Adcock. 
No Person whatsoever to be admitted behind the Scenes. 
Boxes, 7s. 6d. Pit and Balconies, 5s. 9d. Gallery, 3s. 9d. 
To begin at Six o'Clock Vivat Rex. 

The Gazette of September 22 reported that the drama 
and the farce were " performed before a numerous and 
polite audience, with great applause." The " new occa- 
sional prologue " had been composed on shipboard by 
Mr. Singleton, who played the part of " Gratiano," and 
was spoken by Mr. Rigby, the " Bassanio." In it, after 
a long preamble, the Muse is described as sending the 
actors to Virginia to increase her fame : 

Haste to Virginia's plains, my Sons, repair, 
The Goddess said, Go, confident to find 
An Audience sensible, polite and kind. 
We heard and strait obey'd; from Britain's Shore 
These unknown Climes advent'ring to explore: 
For us then, and our Muse thus low I bend. 
Nor fear to find in each the warmest Friend; 
Each smiling Aspect dissipates our Fear, 
We ne'er can fail of kind Protection here ; 
The Stage is ever Wisdom's Fav'rite Care: 
Accept our Labours then, approve our Pains, 
Your smiles will please us equal to our Gains ; 
And as you all esteem the Darling Muse, 
The generous Plaudit you will not refuse. 
On the ninth of November " the emperor of the Chero- 
kee nation, with his Empress and their son, the young 
prince, attended by several of his warriors and great men," 
were received at the "palace " by his honor Governor Din- 
widdie, " attended by such of the Council as were in town," 
and were " that evening entertained at the theatre." The 
play was " Othello," and it gave the Indians " great sur- 

238 



THE THEATRE 



prise, as did the fighting with naked swords on the stage, 
which occasioned the Empress to order some about her to 
go and prevent their kiUing one another." ^^ 

On the next day Governor Dinwiddie celebrated the 
King's birthday with a splendid entertainment at the 
palace. A great company of ladies and gentlemen, the 
Indian guests, and the actors were all present, and Mr. 
Hallam was given charge of a display of fireworks in the 
street in front of the palace. ^^ 

The Virginians were fortunate in having so excellent 
a company to entertain them. Lewis Hallam and his wife 
were good performers, and Mrs. Hallam was, besides, a 
beautiful and graceful woman, while Rigby and Malone 
were actors of established reputation in London. ^^ The 
troupe remained in Virginia, playing with " universal 
applause," for nine months, and when in the summer of 
1753 they left for New York, Governor Dinwiddie gave 
them a letter endorsing their ability as actors and their 
personal conduct. ^^ 

For some years after the departure of the Hallam com- 
pany there is little definite information in regard to plays 
and players in Virginia, for there are no files of Virginia 
newspapers in existence between 1752 and 1766, but it is not 
likely that the dramatic muse suffered herself to be for- 
gotten in the colony. 

In May, 1767, Addison's " Cato " was played by the 
" young gentlemen of the Reverend Mr. Warrington's 
school, in Hampton," and an " Epilogue " in two parts, 
written for the occasion, was spoken by his daughter, 

" « Williamsburg," L. G. Tyler, 230. 

12 76., 230. 

13 Daly's " First Theatre in America " (Dunlap Soc), 13. 
1^ " History of the American Theatre," Seilhamer, 45. 

239 



COLONIAL MRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Camilla Warrington. The first part refers to the play and 
the second to the performers, as follows : 

Now for our actors — little folks we are, 

Who in a vast attempt too greatly dare: 

We strive to be in air, in gait, in looks, 

Statesmen and Princes — whom we've seen in books. 

If here we fail forgive, and be content. 

With thought and diction by the author lent. 

These are the substance and without the Show 

Aid lower life, as I already know: 

For I, in exercising smiles and frowns, 

To gain my Prince, have scarce a thought of crowns ; 

But hope to make the better wife, when I 

Obtain m^^ princely Colonel by and by. 

In one petition join our fairy band. 

Let love and patriot ardor bless the land. 

If nothing please you else, you'll clap the zeal 

Of brats who pant to serve the common weal ; 

Each in th' allotted useful occupation. 

When genius, time, and fortune point the station.^'^ 

This is the first admission on record of the dream of 
every daughter of the Old Dominion to become the bride 
of a Virginia colonel " by and by." 

In Januaiy, 1768, a troupe known as " The Virginia 
Company of Comedians " was playing in Norfolk, in a 
frame structure originally built for a pottery. ^*^ The Vir- 
ginia Gazette for February 4, of that year, gives the fol- 
lowing prologue, " Spoken by ^Irs. Osborne at Norfolk, 
on her benefit night, Tuesday, the 19th of January:" 

With doubts — joy — apprehension — almost dumb. 
Fearful — yet pleased — with trembling steps I come. 
No florid speech to make, but just to own. 
The Countless favors you to me have shown. 

if^ Gazette, May 21, 1767. 

i« " Lower Norfolk Co. Va. Antiquary," ii, 102. 
240 




MR& LE\M^ H\LL\M, ^R. 
A3 "Daraxa ' .n 'Edward and tlciiora' 



THE THEATRE 



I'm told (what flattery to my heart!) that some 
For Osborne's sake alone this night have come; 
And yet, so poor am I, so much I owe, 
I have but thanks to give — to you — and you. 
In spite of better hopes, by fate decreed, 
For ten long years this motley life I've led ; 
And felt (as rapidly thro' life I've whirl'd) 
All changes of this April-weather world ! 
One day have gaily basked in sunshine warm, 
The next have shivered underneath a storm; 
Yet though thus doomed perpetually to roam, 
Still when in Norfolk thought myself at home; 
And zcish'd, yes, often rcish'd, but oh! in vain, 
With such dear friends, I ever might remain. 
But fate decrees I no such bliss shall know, 
Still bids me wander, and resigned I go. 
For you, ye generous souls ! whom here I leave, 
May every bliss be yours, this would I give ! 
And should kind Heaven indulgent to my prayer, 
Once more restore me to my good friends here, 
Oh may I find you all, some few years hence, 
Still blest with health, and peace, and competence. 

This year, 1768, was an especially brilliant one socially 
in the colonial capital. The Governor held stately recep- 
tions to which flocked ladies and gentlemen in coui't 
apparel; there was no end of music, dancing, and private 
entertaining, and there was a two months' theatrical sea- 
son. The actors were " The Virginia Company of Come- 
dians," and the old Gazettes give us their names, the plays 
they presented, and the parts they played. The performance 
began sometimes at six, sometimes at seven o'clock, and 
must have lasted to a late hour, for the audience of that day 
was not satisfied with one play, but expected, even at the 
end of a long Shakespearean tragedy, an afterpiece in the 
way of a farce or pantomime, or elaborate dances, and 
sometimes dancing and singing between the acts. 

241 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Mrs. Osborne seems to have been the bright, particular 
star of the company, and played both male and female 
roles. Other stars were Mr. and Mrs. Parker and Mr. 
Godwin, who was the principal comic actor and an accom- 
plished dancer. Mr. Parker was a singer, and others who 
danced as well as acted were Miss Yapp, Mr. Walker, 
Mr. Bromadge, and Mr. Charlton, 

In the advertisements in the Gazette for this year the 
new theatre near the Capitol, built in 1751 for the " Kean 
and Murray Company " and improved in the year follow- 
ing by the Hallam troupe, has become " the old theatre." 
On April 14, " By permission of the Worshipful, the 
Mayor of Williamsburg," the " Comedians " gave " The 
Orphan," one of the favorite plays of the day, followed by 
** a new comic dance called The Bedlamites," at " the old 
Theatre, near the Capitol." 

A slightly mutilated advertisement in the Gazette of 
May 12 announces a benefit night, probably in honor of 
Mrs. Osborne. Congreve's " The Constant Couple " was 
the principal feature of this performance, but in addition 
there were so many song and dance acts that the advertise- 
ment suggests a modern vaudeville : 

By Permission 

Of the Worshipful the Mayor of 

Williamsburg, 

At the old Theatre, near the Capitol 

By the Virginia Company of 

Comedians, 

For the Benefit of 

On Wednesday 

Will be presented 

A Comedy Called 

The Constant Couple 

Or 

242 



THE THEATRE 



A Trip to the Jubilee 

Sir Harry Wildair Mrs. Osborni 

Colonel Standard 

Vizard 

Alderman Smuggler 

Beau Clincher 

Clincher, junior 

Dicky Mr. Farrell 

Tom Errand Mr. Walker 



Lady Darling Mrs. Dowthaitt 

Angelica, Miss Dowthaitt 

Parley, Miss Yapp 

Lady Lurewell, by Mrs. Parker. 

Between the first and second Act a Pro 

Logue, in the Character of a Country 

Boy, by Mr. Parker. 

After the Second Act, a Dance, called 

The Coopers, by Mr. Godwin, Mess 

Bromadge, Walker, &c. 

After the third Act a Cantata, sung by 

Mr. Parker. 

And in the fifth Act, a IMinuet, by Miss 

Yapp, and Mrs. Osborne, in the Character of Sir Harry Wildair. 

After the PLAY, a HORNPIPE, by Mr. 

Godwin. 



To which will be added 
A Farce, called 
The Miller of Mansfield. 
King Mr. Verling. 

Miller Mr. Parker. 

Xord Lurwell Mr. Godwin. 

First Courtier Mrs. Osborne 

Second Courtier Mr. Charlton 

Joe . Mr. Farrell. 

243 



COLONIAL \TRGINIA, 11^ PEOPLE AND CUSTOIMS 

Madge Mrs. Dowthaitt 

Kate Miss Dowthaitt 

^^SSJ Mrs. Parker 



Keepers, Mess. Walker, Farrell, &c. 

Tickets to be had of Mrs. Osborne, at 

Mrs. Rathell's Store, and at the Door 

of the Theatre. 

Boxes 7s. 6— Pit 5s. Gallery 3s. 9. 

Vivant Rex & Regina. 

To begin at 7 o'clock. 

On June 3 the Company played " The Beggar's 
Opera " and " The Anatomist, or Sham Doctor," for the 
benefit of Mrs. Parker. 

In the spring of 1771 the Hallams were back in Wil- 
liamsburg, as members of " The American Company of 
Comedians," organized and managed by an actor named 
David Douglas. Mr. Hallam had died and ^Irs. Hallam 
had married Douglas. During the season of 1752 in Wil- 
liamsburg her son Lewis, then a boy of twelve years, had 
made his first appearance on any stage, but when speaking 
his single line had been seized with stage-fright, burst into 
tears, and rushed out.^" Now, at the age of thirty-one, he 
w^as not only the leading man of the company, but king 
of the American stage, and his cousin, Sarah Hallam, the 
leading lady, was its queen. They had lately played to 
enthusiastic audiences in Annapolis, where the fine artist, 
Charles Wilson Peale, had painted ^liss Hallam's portrait 
as " Imogen," in " Cymbeline," generally pronounced her 
best part, and the Mar^dand poets had celebrated her 
beauty and genius.'^ One of these sings as follows: 

" " Williamsburg," L. G. Tyler, 229. 
'^ lb., 231. 

244 



THE THEATRE 



" From earliest youth, with raptures oft 

I've turned great Shakespeare's page; 
Pleased when he's gay and soothed when soft 
Or kindled at his rage. 

" Yet not till now, till taught by thee, 
Conceived I half his power! 
I read admiring; now I see 

I only now adore. 

******* 

" Methinks I see his smiling shade 
And hear him thus proclaim, 
' In Western worlds to this fair maid 
I trust my spreading fame ! 
Long have my scenes each British heart 

With warmest transports filled ; 
Now equal praise, by Hallam's art, 
America shall yield.' " ^^ 

On April 19, 1771, Col. Hudson Muse, of Middlesex 
County, wrote his brother in Maryland that he had been 
in Williamsburg eleven days and had " spent the time very 
agreeably at the plays every night." He pronounces Miss 
Hallam " superfine," but " must confess her lustre was 
much sullied by the number of beauties that appeared at 
that court. The house was crowded every night and the 
gentlemen who have generally attended that place agree 
there was treble the number of fine ladies that was ever 
seen in town before — for my part I think it would be impos- 
sible for a man to have fixed upon a partner for life, the 
choice was too general to have fixed on one." ^° 

He adds that he hopes to make another visit to Wil- 
liamsburg, " as the players are to be there again." 

A spinet or harpsichord probably did duty as orchestra 

^^ " History of the American Theatre," Seilhamer, 290. 
^^ William and Mary Quarterly Mag., ii, 241. 
245 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

at these performances, as the music was furnished by Mr. 
Peter Pelham, the organist of old Bruton Church, an 
accomphshed musician, who was — by the way — the half- 
brother of the famous painter, Copley. 

The Diary of General Washington testifies that the 
theatre was a favorite diversion of that august gentleman. 
To find him, after busy days devoted to affairs of state, 
whiling away the evening hours at the play, doubtless j oin- 
ing heartily in the applause of the acting or in the laughter 
at the whimsical farces and dances, and often going with 
a merry party to a ball later on, is to turn the bronze 
statue into flesh and blood. His ledger shows many entries 
of expenses for " play tickets," at Williamsburg, Alex- 
andria, Fredericksburg, Annapolis, New York — wherever 
he happened to be. Indeed, so partial to playgoing was 
the Father of his Country that Mr. Paul Leicester Ford 
has written an elaborate monograph upon the subject. 

Here are some fair samples of the exhibits in his 
Diary: "' 

On May 2, 1771, he " set out with Colo. Bassett for 
Williamsburg and reached Town about 12 O'clock — dined 
at Mrs. Dawson's ^~ & went to the Play." On the following 
evening he " Dined at the Speaker's and went to the Play — 
after wch Drank a Bowl or two of Punch at Mrs. Camp- 
bell's." On the 8th he " Dined at Southall's with Colo. 
Robert Fairfax & some other Gentlemen & went to the 
Play &c." 

In September of the same year the players were in 
Annapolis, and Washington, happening to have business 

21 Ford's " Washington and the Theatre," 19, 22. 

^^ Mrs. Priscilla Dawson was the widow of Rev. Thomas Daw- 
son, D.D., and a sister of Washington's brother-in-law, Col. Bur- 
well Bassett. 

246 




LKWI- JIALI.W!, IR. 




A GLIMPSE INTO THE STAGGS' HOUSE 



THE THEATRE 



there, saw them four times in six nights, on two of which 
he went to a ball afterward. In the following month he 
was in Williamsburg again, attending the session of the 
House of Burgesses, and thus registers his Diary: 

" Oct. 29. Dined at the Speaker's, went to the Play in 
the Afternoon. 
31. Dined at the Governor's, went to the Play. 
Nov. 1. Dined at Mrs. Dawson's — went to the Fire- 
works in the afternoon and to the Play at 
night. 
4. Dined with the Council and went to the 
Play afterwards." 
In 1772, just before the " American Company of Come- 
dians " left Virginia for their Northern tour — and for the 
last time — we have this from the Diary : 

"Mar. 11. Dined at the Club and went to the Play. 

17. Dined at the Club and went to the Play in 

the afternoon. 
19. Dined at Mrs. Dawson's & went to the Play 

in the evening. 
25. Dined at Mrs. Lewis Burwell's and went 
to the Play. 
Apr. 3. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and went to the 
Play — Then to Mrs. Campbell's again. 
7. Dined at Mrs. Campbell's and went to the 
Play." 
Among dramas not already mentioned witnessed by the 
gentlemen quoted and their friends in the autumn of 1771 
were " West Indian," " Musical Lady," " King Lear " — 
announced as never before performed in Virginia — " Every 
Man in his Humor," " Damon and Phillida," " Jealous 
Wife," and " Padlock." 

It seems from one of Washington's letters to Mrs. 

247 



COLONIAL MRGINM, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

George William Fairfax that he occasionally took part in 
amateur theatricals. He writes; 

" I should think our time more agreeably spent, be- 
lieve me, in playing a part in Cato, with the company you 
mention and myself doubly happy in being the Juba to 
such a Marcia as you must make." 

In the spring of 1772 the " Comedians " were in Wil- 
liamsburg again, and the Gazette of April 2 gives them 
editorial comment: 

" Mr. Kelley's new comedy of A Word to the Wke 
was performed at our Theatre last Thursday for the first 
time, and repeated on Tuesday to a very crowded and 
splendid audience. It was received both nights with the 
warmest marks of approbation; the sentiments with which 
this excellent piece is replete were greatly and deservedly 
applauded, and the audience, while thej^ did justice to the 
merit of the Author, did no less honor to their own refined 
taste. If the comic "writers would pursue Mr. Kelley's 
plan, and present us only with moral plays, the stage would 
become (what it ought to be) a school of politeness and 
virtue. Truth indeed, obliges us to confess that for several 
years past most of the new plays that have come under our 
observation have had a moral tendency, but there is not 
enough of them to supply the theatre with a variety of 
exhibitions sufficient to engage the attention of the public; 
and the most desirable enjoyments, by too frequent a repe- 
tition, become insipid." 

In the Gazette of April 9 appears this advertisement: 

On Tuesday next, being the 14-th Instant 

A New Comedy, Called 

False Delicacy 

By the Author of A Word to the Wise. 

248 



THE THEATRE 



S^^It may not be improper to give notice that 
the Theatre in Williamsburg will be closed at 
the end of the April Court, the American Company's 
Engagements calling them to the Northward from 
whence it is probable they will not return for several years. 

On April 21 they played " The Provoked Husband," 
followed by " the Farce of Thomas and Sally," and this 
seems to have been their farewell performance. Just once 
more they appear in the columns of the Virginia Gazette 
whose New York correspondent, on October 14, 1773, gave 
Mrs. Douglas the doubtful pleasure of reading her own 
obituary. 

" Last week," reads this notice, " died at Philadelphia, 
Mrs. Douglas, wife of Mr. Douglas, Manager of the 
American Company of Comedians, and mother of Mr. 
Lewis Hallam : a Lady who by her excellent performances 
upon the stage, and her irreproachable manners in private 
life, had recommended herself to the friendship and affec- 
tion of many of the principal families on the Continent and 
in the West Indies." 

In a " Supplement " bearing the same date, the news- 
paper declares that the announcement of the death of 
Mrs. Douglas was a mistake, " For by late advices from 
Annapolis, in Maryand, where the American Company 
of Comedians is now performing that lady was in very 
good health and acting on the stage with her usual 
applause." 

And now ends the story of the theatre in Colonial 
Virginia. 

Already a wider stage was being set for the more 
thrilling scenes of the American Revolution, and with the 
rising of the curtain upon that great drama of real life the 
toy playhouses in Virginia and the other colonies closed 



COLONIAL VIRGIiNIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

their doors. In 1774 the Congress which met in Phila- 
delphia to discuss resistance to Great Britain resolved and 
recommended to the people " to discountenance and dis- 
courage every species of extravagance and dissipation, 
especially all horse-racing, all kinds of gaming, cock-fight- 
ing, exhibitions of shews, plays and other expensive diver- 
sions and entertainments."' 

And Sarah Hallam, the lovel}^ and gifted, what became 
of her when j^oung, and at the height of her fame tliis 
embargo was laid upon her art? 

It is evident that she had made a place for herself as a 
woman as well as an actress in the hearts of her patrons in 
the Virginia capital, for, laying aside the roles in which 
she had appeared so charmingly before them, she returned 
to them in the character of herself and made her home 
among them, earning her living conducting a fashionable 
boarding school for girls.^^ In an advertisement in the 
Gazette of August 18, 1775, she " begs leave to acquaint the 
ladies and gentlemen " of Williamsburg that she " hopes to 
be favoured with the instruction of their daughters " in the 
" genteel accomplishment of dancing," which was evidently 
considered an important part of a j'oung person's education 
in Virginia, even with w^ar-clouds muttering. 

With this advertisement the star makes her exit from 
colonial records, but the personal charm to which she held 
fast, even in old age, is among the traditions of Williams- 
burg. Mrs. Randolph Harrison, a venerable lady of that 
storied town, who when a small child visited Miss Hallam 
in the modest cottage in which she was living at a great 
age, and the pet of the place, as late as 1839, has given us 
an appealing picture of her. 

2^ William and Mary Quarterly, xii, 237. 
250 



THE THEATRE 



"Though possessing no visible means of support," says 
Mrs. Harrison, the actress " fared sumptuously every day." 
A wealthy planter provided her with servants, and the 
people of Williamsburg " vied with each other in supply- 
ing her with comforts and luxuries." 

The ladies of old Bruton Church " held weekly prayer 
meetings in her chamber where she sat enthroned in her 
old arm chair." Happy were the children who were 
allowed to attend these services — not that they developed 
unusual evidences of early piety, but " visions of sugar 
plums danced through their heads." Not only were they 
" feasted with dainties on their arrival, but on leaving each 
child was presented with a paper bag of good things to 
take home." It seemed to the fortunate little visitors that 
Miss Hallam's sole occupation was making these bags, for 
the pockets around her chair were kept filled with them. 

" When this dear old lady was gathered to her fathers," 
adds Mrs. Harrison, " there was universal mourning in the 
community." ^^ 

^* Letter quoted in William and Mary Quarterly, xvii, 66, 67. 



IX 
OUTDOOR SPORTS 




)HE emigrants to ^"i^gima brought 
with them the Enghshman's love of 
outdoor hfe. Horses were intro- 
duced early and increased rapidly, 
and the planters became unsurpassed 
riders. This perhaps accounts for 
the charm they found in racing, 
which they regarded as peculiarly a gentleman's diversion 
and which became the reigning and raging sport of the 
colony.^ 

Disputes over races settled in court and preser\'ed in 
the comity records provide our earliest information on the 
subject. For instance, in 1674 York County Court issued 
this order: 

" James Bullock, a Taylor having made a race for his 
mare to runn w'th a horse belonging to Mr. ]Mathew 
Slader for twoe thousand pounds of tobacco and caske, it 
being contrary to Law for a Labourer to make a race, 
being a sport only for Gentlemen, is fined for the same 
one hundred pounds of tobacco and caske. 

" Whereas ]Mr. ]\Iathew Slader & James Bullock, by 
condition under the hand and Scale of the said Slader that 
his horse should runn out of the way that Bullock's mare 
might win, w'ch is an apparent cheate, is ord'ed to be putt 
in the stocks & there sitt the space of one houre." 

From which it seems that though the tailor was punished 
for aspiring to indulge in the gentleman's sport, being a 
gentleman did not save his adversary from the humiliation 

^ For a comprehensive article on Racing in the Colony see the 
Va. Magazine of History and Biography, ii, 293. 

252 




JOHN BAYLOR, OF "NEW MARKET" 
Noted turfman. When at Putney Grammar School, England, about 17^1 



OUTDOOR SPORTS 



of the stocks when it was discovered that he won the stake 
by cheating. 

The earhest mention of a race in the records of Henrico 
County, which are the most accessible to me, is the follow- 
ing, in 1678: 

" Bartholomew Roberts, aged 40 years or thereabouts, 
Deposeth that July last yo'r Deponent being at Bermuda 
Hundred, there being a horse race run between Mr. Abra- 
ham Womock & Mr. Rich'd Ligon. Capt. Tho. Chamber- 
laine bemg at ye end of ye race, he asked whether both 
horses were ready to run, young Tho. saying yes, and 
Abraham Childers being ordered to start the horses he bid 
them go. Tho : Cocke's went about 4 or 5 lengths from ye 
starting place, run out of ye way, and Tho : Cocke rained 
him in and cryed it was not a faire start & Capt. Cham- 
berlaine calling ye other man backe, Joseph Tanner made 
answer, ye start is faire, onely one horse run out of ye way.'* 

Henrico people seem to have been quarrelsome over 
their races. Among others which they brought into court 
was one in 1679 between Richard Ligon and Alexander 
Womock, for three hundred pounds of tobacco; one in 
1683 between Edward Hatcher and Andrew Martin — the 
winner to have the other's horse; one in 1687 between 
Mr. John Brodnax and Captain William Soane, and a 
nimiber in later years. 

Among the places where the races were run were 
*' Varina," " Malvern Hill," and " the race-place commonly 
called ye Ware." The usual distance for these early races 
seems to have been a quarter of a mile, and they were run 
by saddle horses; there is no evidence that horses were 
kept especially for racing until some time in the eighteenth 
century — probably about 1730. 

17 253 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

The passion for racing increased as time went on. 
Writing in 1724, Hugh Jones says: 

" The common planters leading easy lives don't much 
admire Labour or many Exercises except horse racing." 

The Virginia Gazette of Januarj^ 11, 1739, contains 
an advertisement of races — some at fom' miles— at JMr. 
Joseph Sewell's, in Gloucester, for various purses, run- 
ning as high as thirty pistoles. The managers were Wil- 
liam Xelson, of York, and Ralph Wormeley, of ^liddle- 
sex — two of the most prominent gentlemen in the colony. 
The Reverend Andrew Burnaby, who was in Virginia 
in 1759, commented on the horses thus: 

" The Gentlemen of Virginia who are exceedingly fond 
of horse racing, have spared no expense or trouble to 
improve the breed of them by importing great numbers 
from England." 

Between 17-1-0 and 1775 the names of at least fifty 
horses and thirty mares, imported to Virginia, are re- 
corded, and there were probably many others. Among the 
gentlemen who by these importations laid the foundation 
of the Virginia race of thoroughbred horses, or who were 
otherwise interested in such horses and the turf, were 
William Smalley, Mr. Maclin, Capt. William Evans, 
James Gibson, William Lightfoot of " Sandy Point," Col. 
John Tayloe of " ^It. Airy," Alexander Spotswood (later 
the Revolutionary General), Col. John Baylor of " Xew 
Market," Col. John Syme of Hanover, Nathaniel Harri- 
son of " Brandon," Sir ]Marmaduke Beckwith of Richmond 
County, Col. Francis Thornton of " Society Hill," King 
George County, Col. William Byrd of " Westover," Mor- 
decai Booth of Gloucester County, Daniel jNIcCarty of 
" Pope's Creek," William Fitzhugh of " Chatham," Wil- 

254 



OUTDOOR SPORTS 



liam Brent of " Richland," Lewis Burwell of " Carter s 
Creek," Ralph Wormeley of " Rosegill," Richard Lee, 
James Balfour of Brunswick County, Capt. Littleburry 
Hardyman of " Indian Fields," Charles City, Armistead 
Lightfoot, Roger Gregory, William Churchill of "Wil- 
ton," Edward Ambler of Jamestown, Col. Thomas Mann 
Randolph of " Tuckahoe," Col. John Willis of Brunswick, 
Capt. Henry Harrison of Sussex County, Thomson 
Mason, John Fleming of Cumberland County, l^athaniel 
Walthoe, Samuel Du Val, Col. John Mercer of " Marl- 
borough," Francis Whiting, George Nicholas, Philip 
Lightfoot Lee of " Stratford," George Baylor, I^andon 
Carter, John Banister of " Battersea," Mann Page of 
" Rosewell," Moore Fauntleroy, jNIaximilian Robinson of 
Richmond County, William Hardyman, James Parke 
Farley, Robert Goode of "Whitby," Benjamin Grymes, 
AValker Taliaferro, Robert Slaughter, Col. Presley Thorn- 
ton of " Northumberland House," and his son Peter Pres- 
ley Thornton, Peter Conway of Lancaster County, John 
Baird of " Hallsfield," Prince George County, Thomas 
Minor of Spotsylvania, George B. Poindexter of New 
Kent County, William O. Winston of Hanover, and 
finally, the versatile George Washington, who, according 
to the " Turf Register," was a steward of the Alexandria 
Jockey Club and ran his own horses there and at Annapolis. 
There are few files of the Virginia Gazette between 
1740 and 1756, but those that remain, and the Maryland 
Gazette, show that the sport was as much in vogue as ever 
during these years. One of the most exciting races of 
this period was in 1752 when William Byrd, the third, 
issued a challenge to run his horse Tryall against, any for 
five hundred pistoles — about eighteen hundred dollars. 

255 



COLONIAL VIKGLXLV, LIS PEOPLE .VND CUSTOMS 

Five liorses were entered and the race was run at " Glou- 
cester race ground," and won by Selima, belonging to 
Colonel Tasker of ]\Laryland. 

Racing news occupied a prominent place in the Virginia 
Gazette from 1766 to 1775. One of the chief turf events 
seems to have been the four-mile heat race for one hundred 
pounds, run at Williamsburg each spring and fall. In 
April, 1766, this was won by Colonel John Tayloe's Travel- 
ler, and in October by the same gentleman's Hero. In 
the spring of 1768 it w^as won by Captain Littleberry 
Hardyman's Partner, and in the fall by Colonel Lewis 
Burwell's Remus. J. F. D. Smith, an English traveller 
who was in Virginia in 1772, and wi-ote his impressions, 
mentioned the Williamsburg spring and fall races when 
two, three and four-mile heats were run over an excellent 
course adjoining the town, and said that annual races were 
established in almost every considerable place in Virginia. 

Racing in the colony closed with a most successful 
season in 177-1. The Fredericksburg Jockey Club had 
an especially brilliant meeting, when the " Jockey Club 
Plate," the " Town Purse," and other races were hotly 
contested by horses belonging to the foremost gentlemen 
of the country. 

What was perhaps the last great race before the Revo- 
lution — the " Town & Country Purse," four mile heats — 
was reported in quite modern style as follows: 
William Fitzhugh, of Chatham's, ch. g. Volun- 
teer, 140 lbs 4 4 1 1 

Peter Conway, Esq.'s, gr. m. Mary Gray, 122 lbs. 1 3 dis. 
Alex. SpotsAvood, Esq.'s, ch. g. Sterling, 122 lbs. 3 12 2 
Thos. Minor, Esq.'s, s-h. Fearnaught, 140 lbs... 2 2 2 dis. 
Robt. Slaughter, Esq.'s, bl. h. Ariel, 132 lbs dis. 

A complete search of the newspapers, letters, and 

256 



OUTDOOR SPORTS 



records of the tinie would be necessary for full illustration 
of the almost universal interest in horses and racing. Lead- 
ing men, even when not owning race horses, went regularly 
to race meetings. For instance there is a letter to Wash- 
ington from George ISIason dated " Race Ground at Bog- 
gess's Saturday 6th May, 1758, 5 o'clock p.m."' 

Naturally the passion for racing was injurious to those 
who indulged in reckless betting, and this was felt by some 
of the planters. Robert Page, of " Broad Neck," Han- 
over County, in his will made in 1765, directed that neither 
of his sons should be allowed to go to horse races. 

From an early time the Virginians had field days given 
up to all sorts of outdoor sports and exercises, and in 1691 
Governor Sir Francis Nicholson appointed a regular day 
for such recreations and offered prizes for those who should 
excel in them, by proclamations published in the counties, 
of which this is a sample : 

" To the Sheriff of Suny County, 

*' I desire that you give public notice that I will give 
first and second prizes to be shott for, wrasttled, played 
at backswords, & run for by Horse and foott, to begin 
on the 22d day of Aprill next, St. George's day, being 
Saturday, all which prizes are to be shott for &c by the 
better sort of Virginians onely, who are Batchelors." 

The Governor duly received a letter from " The Batche- 
lors of Virginia," thanking him for his intention of " insti- 
tuting annual games for the training of young men in 
manly exercises and feats of activity." 

The Virginia Gazette tells how Mr. Augustus Graham, 
" a generous bachelor " of Scotch birth, living in Hanover 
County, " provided a handsome entertaiimient for gentle- 
men and ladies on November 30, 1736 — St. Andrew's 

257 



COLONIAL MRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE /\ND CUSTOMS 

day — and I'or their diversion gave several prizes to be con- 
tended for by several sorts of exercise and agility, all 
at his own expense." He was " honored with a great deal 
of Company who were so well pleased that it was then 
resolved for keeping the same spirit of friendship and good 
society to have an annual meeting " to be paid for by sub- 
scription. And here is the programme, given in the 
Gazette, for the " meeting " on St. Andrew's Day of the 
following year. 

Twenty horses were to be run around a three-mile 
course for a prize of five pounds. A hat worth twenty 
shillings was to be " cudgelled for." A violin was to be 
played by twenty fiddlers and given to him that should 
l>e adjudged to play the best; no person to play imless 
he brought a fiddle with him. After this prize was won 
all the fiddlers w^ere to play together, each a different tune, 
and be treated by the company. 

Twelve boys twelve years of age w^ere to run twelve 
yards for a hat worth twelve shillings. A " Quire of Bal- 
lads" was to be sung for by a number of songsters, the 
best songster to have the prize and all to have liquor to 
clear their windpipes. A pair of silver buckles was to be 
wrestled for by a certain number of brisk young men, a 
pair of handsome shoes to be danced for and a pair of silk 
stockings to be given to the handsomest young country 
maid that appeared in the field, and there were to be " many 
other whimsical and comical diversions too tedious to men- 
tion." A flag was to fly thirty feet high, and drums, trum- 
pets, and hautboys were to play. A handsome entertain- 
ment was promised the subscribers and their wives, and such 
of them as were not so happy as to have wives would be 
permitted to treat any other lady. After dinner " the 

258 




AN OLD VIRdlMA RACE HORSE 




LORD FAIRFAX'S RIDING BOOTS 



OUTDOOR SPORTS 



Royal healths, his Honor, the Governor's, &c.," were to 
be drunk. 

Finally the advertisement announced, " as this niirth 
is designed to be purely innocent and void of offence, all 
persons resorting there are desired to behave themselves 
with decency and sobriety. All immorality is to be dis- 
countenanced with the utmost rigour." 

Beverley, writing of the pastimes of the Virginians at 
the beginning of the eighteenth century, says : 

" They have hunting, fishing and fowling, with which 
they entertain themselves in an hundred ways." He de- 
scribes the hunting of wild horses, of deer, and other game, 
including the " treeing," after dark, of opossums, of which 
he says: 

" In this sort of hunting they carry their great dogs 
with them, because wolves, bears, panthers, wild cats and 
other beasts of prey are abroad in the night." 

The fox chase, with hounds — so dear to the Enghsh- 
man's heart — was a favorite sport of the Virginians, and 
the letters of the period contain many allusions to it. In 
1756 William Stevens, of Hanover Comity, wrote to 
Nathaniel Phillips, in London : 

" This morning I went a fox hunting with some gentle- 
men where we had an excellent sport, for after running 
him four hours we killed him." 

Washington was an enthusiastic fox hunter, as frequent 
entries in his diary attest. In a letter to him from Bryan 
Fairfax, in 1768, the writer says: 

" I shall be glad of your Company at Towlston when 
it is convenient to spend three or four days or more. I 
can't say my hounds are good enough to justifie an Invi- 
tation to Hunt." 

259 



COLONL\L MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

When Lord Fairfax was living at " Belvoir," a mem- 
ber of his household sent the following note to a neighbor: 

" Dear Sir: 

" His Lordship proposes drawing Mudd Hole tomor- 
row; fii'st killing a Fox; then to turn down a Bagged Fox 
before your door for ye diversion of ye Ladies ; but I would 
not have you think that we shall stop a long time at y'r 
door, for if y'r dinner should be ready by two then we 
shall pass through y'r door and enter y'r House .... 

" If you should chuse Friday for our coming lett me 
know. We took the Fox yesterday without Hurt." 

A sport popular with men of all ranks from the mas- 
ter to the slave was that of cock-fighting, and again we 
find Washington stepping from the pedestal which evi- 
dently often cramped his legs, to enjoy himself like any 
gentleman of the day with perfectly good flesh and blood. 
Writing in his journal in 1752 he says: 

" A Great JMain of cocks was fought in Yorktown 
between Gloucester and York for 5 pistoles each battle, 
and 100 ye odd. I left with Colo. Lewis before it was 
decided." 

Says the Virginia Gazette of May 23, 1755 : 

" On Tuesday, 6th of this inst., was determined at the 
Xew Kent Court House, the great Cock Match between 
Gloucester and New Kent, for 10 pistoles a battle and 100 
the main. There fell eighteen of the ^Match of which the 
Xew Kent men won ten and Gloucester seven, and one 
drawn battle. Some James River cocks that fell on the 
Xew Kent side distinguished themselves in a very ex- 
traordinary manner." 

The advertisement of a cock fight at Sussex Court 
House, in 1768, ends, " At night there will be a ball for the 
ladies and gentlemen." 

260 



OUTDOOR SPORTS 



Boat racing was another popular diversion. Philip ,^ 

Fithian gives a lively account of one which he attended at ^^ 

Hobb's Hole — now Tappahannock — on the Rappahan- 
nock River. He was one of a company of forty-five ladies 
and sixty gentlemen who watched the race from the deck 
of the ship BeaufoH and were given " an elegant enter- 
tainment " by her Master, Captain Dobby. There was a 
ball that night, at the house of Mr. Ritchie, a wealthy 
merchant of the town — two fiddlers fui*nishing music for 
the minuet and other dances. Says our faithful clu'onicler: 

" Dolly Edmundson, a short, pretty, stump of a girl, 
danced well, sung a song with great applause and seemed 
to enter into the spirit of the entertainment. Mr. Ritchie's 
Clerk, a limber, well-dressed, pretty handsome chap seemed 
fond of her and she of him . . . and waited on her home, 
in close hugg too, the moment he left the ballroom." 

The company " got to bed by three, after a day spent in 
constant, violent exercise and drinking an unusual quantity 
of liquor." 



EDUCATION 




I— FREE SCHOOLS 

HE group of Virginians, who as the 
colonial period drew to a close stood 
ready to bear a tremendous part in 
securing freedom and constructing 
a nation in America, is the best 
evidence of the moral and intellect- 
ual training which had been going 
quietly on in his Majesty's first colony. 

It is not necessary to name these men — their fame has 
gone round the world and grows brighter with the passing 
of the years. In them the seeds of Anglo-Saxon civiliza- 
tion which their forefathers had brought across the sea to 
plant and nurture in a new world flowered splendidly. 

It is natural to ask what sort of educational system pro- 
duced these soldiers, orators, and statesmen, for highly 
developed genius such as theirs could never have sprung 
from the uncultivated and unfertilized soil of illiteracy. 

The destruction of Virginia records which began with 
the burning of Jamestown, in 1676, makes it difficult to 
report with any degree of completeness on educational 
advantages in Virginia — especially in the earliest years — 
as on other matters, but enough remains to indicate earnest 
zeal for the training of youth, and every opportunity the 
time and conditions made possible. A goodly number of 
the emigrants had been liberally educated in the schools 
and universities of England and Scotland, and these of 
course saw to it that their children did not grow up in 
ignorance. There was time to spare on the plantations, 
and many a child was carefully taught by parents and 

262 



EDUCATION 



guardians. Almost all homes but the poorest contained 
books, few or many — historical, religious, scientific, and 
literary works — and as there was practically no light litera- 
ture, young people and their elders did more reading of a 
kind to give them mental exercise, and persons of every 
age, class, and condition drank far more deeply than now 
of that well of English pure and undefiled — the Bible. 

In addition to these cultivating influences, the planter's 
child learned the three Rs or received a liberal education in 
one or more of four ways : From a tutor under the parental 
roof, from a local school — free or private — to and from 
which he went each day, or in which he boarded, from a 
school or college abroad, or — after 1693 — from William 
and Mary College. 

Toward the end of the period a few Virginia boys were 
sent to Princeton and other Northern colleges. 

Masters were made to see that orphaned and other 
children apprenticed to them were taught to read and write, 
and provision was made by both Church and State and in 
wills of charitably disposed men and women that poor 
children should attend the " old field " and other schools 
free of charge. 

This does not mean that everybody was educated in 
even the most rudimentary way. It must be remembered 
that universal education was then a thing undreamed of; 
that in England, illiteracy among the poorer classes was 
widespread, and that old letters bear witness that many 
ladies of rank there could not spell. One fair test of liter- 
acy is the number of persons in a community who can 
sign their names. Philip A. Bruce has shown that in 
Virginia in the seventeenth century over fifty per cent, of 
persons on juries, sixty per cent, of men making deeds 

263 



COLONIAL VIRGLNLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

and depositions, and thirty-three per cent, of women could 
write. ^ There was vast improvement as time went on. 
Signatures in the printed volume of Spotsylvania County 
records prove that from 1729 to 173-1 about twenty-three 
per cent, of persons represented were illiterate. In the 
ten years following only fourteen per cent, could not write. 
This may be too high a proportion of literacy to be exact, 
as many of the deeds were made by large landliolders, who 
were generally men of education. Yet out of signers of a 
hmidred and fifty-five deeds, not especially selected, in the 
same county, onlj^ twelve made their marks. Alexander 
Brown, referring to the period from 1740 to 1770, says: 

" I have orders for entry or transfer of lands from 
nearly a thousand different persons, and it was rare indeed 
that they were not able to write their own orders. It is true 
that some of the writing is very bad, but much of it is very 
good." ■ 

There were no children in the colony during its earliest 
years, but soon after the first birth, in 1609, ships with new 
supplies of emigrants brought children, as well as men and 
women. 

Indian children were there from the beginning, how- 
ever, and very early the Virginia Company of London 
launched a plan to found a college in which to educate and 
make Christians of them, and at the same time give the 
planters educational advantages for their children. In 
1617 King James ordered letters patent to be issued 
throughout his kingdom to raise money, and a handsome 
sum was contributed and invested for the proposed insti- 
tution. The Virginia Assembly of 1619 discussed plans 

^ Bruce's " Institutional History of Virginia in the Seven- 
teenth Century," i, 450, 459. 

2 Brown's " Cabells and their Kin," 190, 191. 
264 



EDUCATION 



for it, the Virginia Company gave it a fertile tract of ten 
thousand acres at Henrico, on James River, and by 1620 
" the College lands " had been laid off into small farms 
and a hundred tenants sent out from England to cultivate 
them on shares — the rewards of their labor to be equally 
divided between the College and themselves. In this year 
came Master George Thorpe, a gentleman of his Majesty's 
privy chamber, distinguished for godliness and learning, 
who had been appointed manager of the College and as- 
signed three hundred acres of land with ten tenants to 
cultivate it. 

Not only in Virginia and in England were plans for 
education in the colony going forward. At the faraway 
Cape of Good Hope the British ship Royal James, return- 
ing home from India, met some vessels which had been to 
Virginia and gave so favorable a report of the colony that 
the Reverend Mr. Copeland, the good ship's chaplain, 
passed around his hat among the passengers and mariners 
and collected over seventy pounds sterling to be devoted 
to building either a church or a school there. In 1621 this 
gift, equal to at least seventeen hundred dollars to-day, was 
turned over to the Virginia Company which appointed a 
committee to consider what to do with it. The committee 
decided that " as each plantation would have a church " 
there was " greater want of a school," which would be " like 
to prove a worke most acceptable unto the planters . . . 
constrained at great cost to send their children home (to 
England) to be taught." 

The Company agreed to use the money " towards the 
erection of a publique free schoole in Virginia," for which 
they had already received an anonymous gift of forty 
pounds sterling. They named it the East India School, 
appointed Mr. Copeland as its rector, and gave it a thou- 

265 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

sand acres of land in Charles City, a few miles from the site 
chosen for the College to which it was to be a sort of annex, 
and to which students from the school were to be advanced 
into such scholarships and fellowships as should be en- 
dowed. An architect and carpenter bringing his wife and 
five apprentices came over early in 1622 to build the school- 
house, but in IVIarch of that year plans for both school and 
college were completely overthrown by the ghastly Indian 
Massacre which came very near annihilating the colony 
itself. Good JVIaster Thorpe was one of the hapless victims. 

A year later the Virginia Company, evidently not real- 
izing in far-away London the stricken state of the colony, 
gave orders for the improvement of the College lands and 
the construction of the College building, declaring, " The 
work by the assistance of God shall again proceed." But 
at the close of another year the revocation of the Com- 
pany's charter put an end at once to its useful existence 
and its plans for a school and a college on the James. 

For some years no known attempts for providing edu- 
cational advantages in the colony were made, but on 
February 12, 1642-43, Benjamin Syms bequeathed two 
hundred acres of his land and eight cows to found a free 
school in Elizabeth City County. The profits from the 
sale of the milk and of the first increase of the cattle were 
to be used to build a schoolhouse and later profits to carry 
on the school. The Assembly declared that the gift should 
be used " according to the godly intent of the testator," 
and the school was successfully established by this first gift 
for education in America by a resident in any American 
colony. The good work evidently prospered, for a writer 
describing conditions in Virginia in 1647 says: 

" We have a free school with two hundred acres of 
land, a fine house upon it, forty milch kine and other 



EDUCATION 



accommodations. The benefactor deserveth perpetual 
mention, Mr. Benjamin Syms, worthy to be chronicled. 
Other petty schools we have." 

Elizabeth City was fortunate, for on September 20, 
1659, another of its planters, Thomas Eaton, bequeathed 
a farm of five hundred acres with everji:hing on it, in- 
cluding houses and furniture, orchards, two negroes, four- 
teen cattle, and twenty hogs, for a second free school for 
children born within the limits of the county. 

It is evident that only children of the poor were sup- 
posed to attend these and other " free " schools of Vir- 
ginia, without charge, but it was said in 1759 that a great 
number of students whose parents were able to pay for 
their education had been admitted gratis to the Eaton 
School. There is much testimony to the benefits of both 
the Syms and Eaton schools. They existed separately 
until 1805, when they were combined under the name of 
Hampton Academy and to-day survive in the Syms-Eaton 
Academy which, with a handsome building and a little 
fund of its own, is part of the public school system of the 
town of Hampton. 

From the middle of the seventeenth century on, many 
wills, some of them of men and women of obscure position 
and small estate, show bequests for founding schools or 
aiding children of the poor in obtaining an education. 
When in 1671 Governor Berkeley declared that he thanked 
God there were no free schools in the colony, he gave 
enemies of Virginia a weapon with which they have been 
hacking away at her fair name ever since. What the embit- 
tered old man meant will never be known. He certainly 
was well aware of the Syms, Eaton, and other schools that 
were by that time scattered about, but perhaps he deemed 
them as nothing compared with the great schools of old 

£67 



COLOMAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

England. He was himself a scholar and an author, but 
he was also an extremely narrow aristocrat, wrapped up 
in a pride and caste feeling that made him spurn the 
common people who he would probably have said had no 
more right to learn to read than to wear gold lace. Robert 
Beverley, the Virginia historian, wrote in 1705: 

" There are large tracts of land, houses and other 
things granted to free schools for the education of children 
in many parts of the country, and some of these are so 
large that of themselves they are a handsome maintenance 
to a master ; but the additional allowance which gentlemen 
give their sons render them a comfortable subsistence. 
These schools have been founded by the legacies of well- 
inclined gentlemen, and the management of them hath 
commonly been left to the direction of the county court or 
the vestry of their respective parishes." 

Among the " well-inclined gentlemen " and women of 
Virginia in the seventeenth century who are known to have 
interested themselves in public education were " Mr. Lee," 
of Xorthumberland, whose plan for establishing a free 
school there was approved by the county court in 1652; 
Captain William Whittington, who in 1654 bequeathed 
two thousand pounds of tobacco for use of a free school 
under contemplation in Northampton County ; Jolm iVIoon, 
who in 1655 left a legacy of cattle, and Henry King, who 
in 1668 left a hundred acres of land for maintenance of 
schools in Isle of Wight County; Richard Russell, a 
Quaker, of Lower Norfolk, who about 1670 left part of 
his estate for the education of children of the poor in his 
neighborhood; Henry Peasley, who in 1675 bequeathed 
six hundred acres of land, ten cows and a mare for found- 
ing a free school in Gloucester County; ^Vlrs. Frances 
Pritchard, wife of Richard Pritchard, a boatwright, who 



EDUCATION 



in 1680 left a legacy to found a free school in Lancaster 
County; and William Gordon, who in 1685 gave Christ 
Church Parish, Middlesex, a hundred acres of land on 
which to build a free school. 

This parish had at least two legacies for free schools 
in the next century. In 1763 James Reed left it two lots 
in the town of Urbanna and in 1768 Alexander Frasier 
left it land in Middlesex County. 

In 1704 William Rawlings, of King William County, 
bequeathed his estate " for schooling of poor children." 

About 1706 Mrs. Mary Whaley, of York County, 
founded a free school in Williamsburg in honor of her only 
child Matthew, or " Mattey." In her will in 1742 she gave 
the " Mattey School," with over five hundred pounds ster- 
ling for its maintenance, to Bruton Parish, and it did a 
beneficent work in the colonial capital for many years. 

In 1711 William Stark gave a quarter of an acre lot 
in Yorktown " for the proper yuse of a schoule forever 
and for no other yuse but for a public scoule to educate 
children." In the deed he gives a list of gentlemen who 
had been " benefactors " of the school. They were Will 
He wit, Thomas Hansford, Thomas and Will Barber, 
Joseph Walker, Lewis Burwell, Cole Digges, William and 
Thomas Harwood, Robert Goodwin, Cuthbert Hubert, 
Thomas Wade, Robert Crawley, Will Babb, Richard Pate, 
Richard Butt and William Stark. 

In 1723 John Mayo, of Middlesex, bequeathed prop- 
erty for the education of children of the poor. 

In 1753 Mrs. Ehzabeth Smith, of Isle of Wight, " did 
by deed order " her trustee, Joseph Bridger, to invest part 
of her estate in a lot in Smithfield and build upon it a 
house for a free school. She also appointed three trustees 
to employ a teacher and look after the school, and in her 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

will she left it a handsome sum of money — referring to it 
as " my school." 

In 1766 Joseph Royle, of Williamsbm'g, directed in 
his will that in event of the death of his son his estate was 
to be used to found " Royle's Free School," for which he 
wished employed a teacher " of good character and capable 
of teaching the English language with propriety, accent, 
cadence and emphasis; civility, arithmetic and practical 
Mathematics." This was one of a number of wills — early 
and late — directing that property be devoted to educational 
purposes upon the death of childless heirs. 

In 1770 Colonel Landon Carter, of Richmond County, 
mentions his " Charity school " in his diary, and in 1772 
he writes, " Gave William Rigmaden £20, being his salary, 
this day at my free school." Colonel Carter had a private 
tutor for his own children. 

In 1774 William Robinson left his estate for the edu- 
cation of the poor of Halifax County, and Colonel Hum- 
phrey Hill bequeathed five hundred pounds to St. Ste- 
phen's Parish, King and Queen County, to be put out at 
interest for the education of poor children. 




WILLIAM BYRD, OF "WESTOVER' 



I 



EDUCATION 



II— PRIVATE SCHOOLS 

In addition to the free schools there were little private 
schools scattered tlu'ough the colony, both in eastern Vir- 
ginia and in the mountains. ^lany of them were taught by 
parish ministers who were frequently college-bred English- 
men or Scotchmen who thus placed their accomplishments 
at the service of their flocks and at the same time added 
comfortably to their own incomes. Others had school- 
masters who came over with credentials from the Bishop 
of London or were duly examined and licensed by his 
Majesty's Council in Virginia. In the latter part of the 
seventeenth century there were a number of these little 
schools in Henrico, then a frontier county in constant 
danger from the Indians — among them a boarding school 
kept by a gentleman with the delightful name of Havaliah 
Horner. The little Bland boys, Theodorick and Richard, 
were there about 1673, evidently at a tender age, as their 
mother sent a cow to the school to furnish them with milk. 

In 1683 Nathaniel Hill, a Gloucester County school- 
master, moved to Henrico and the county court ordered 
that he be exempt from taxes for a year as an encourage- 
ment to " able tutors " to settle in those parts. In 1688 
Thomas Dawley, of Henrico, charged a patron thirty shill- 
ings for teaching two children nine months. As to whether 
or not they were young enough to have their cow go to 
school with them the deponent fails to enlighten us. In 
1699 the Council recommended Thomas Kingston, Thomas 
Smythe, and Nicholas Sharpe to the Henrico authorities 
as suitable persons for schoolmasters. 

In 1687 Colonel Wilham Fitzhugh, of Stafford 
County, wrote a friend in London that he found it difficult 
to educate his children in that remote neighborhood, " and 
better never be bom than be ill-bred." Three years later 

271 



COLONIAL MIIGIMA, US PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

lie wrote that he had intended sending his eldest son to 
England to school, but meeting a French clergyman of 
learning, in whose family only French was spoken, he put 
the boy with him and he was getting on well in both French 
and Latin. 

While some of these country pedagogues were classical 
scholars, others, of course, attempted only the rudiments. 
In 1684 Valentine Evans, of York County, taught reading 
and writing for twenty shillings a year. In 1699 Stephen 
Lylly and Charles Goring, of Elizabeth City County, 
" being found capable of teaching youth reading, writing 
and arithmetick," were recommended to the Governor for 
licenses as schoolmasters. 

In 1712 Samuel Shepperd, of Princess Anne County, 
was granted leave to build a school " on ye court house 
land for common benefit." He is given " liberty to keep 
School in ye Courthouse till a School house be Built." In 
1716 George Shurly, also of Princess Anne, obtained per- 
mission for his sen^ant, Peter Taylor, to keep school in 
the courthouse and jury room, " Ye Court thinking ye 
same to be a reasonable and usual practise." 

From 1736 until 1739, inclusive, George Mason, the 
author-to-be of the Bill of Rights, went to a Prince Wil- 
liam County boarding school, paying a thousand pounds 
of tobacco a year for board and eight hundred and forty- 
five pounds for schooling and books. His sister Mary 
went for three years, paying the same amount for board 
but only two hundred pounds of tobacco a year for school- 
ing. Neither in England nor in Virginia at the time were 
girls supposed to need much education of an intellectual 
kind; accomplishments such as music, dancing, and em- 
])roidering being considered more feminine, and the amount 
paid for Mary ^lason's " book-learning " suggests that it 



EDUCATION 



was of an elementary character. She was, however, sent to 
a dancing school for a year and a half, which doubtless 
finished her for colonial society. 

In 1740 Reverend James Marye opened a school in 
Fredericksburg to which in course of time went Washing- 
ton, Madison, and Monroe. 

Occasionally a colored servant was permitted to go to 
school with the children of his master. Colonel and Mrs. 
James Gordon, of Lancaster, were interested in a little 
country school in their neighborhood, taught by a school- 
master named Criswell, and frequently visited the school 
and gave the children treats. On January 16, 1759, 
Colonel Gordon records in his journal, " Sent Molly and 
her maid, Judith, to school to Mr. Criswell." In 1760 
this school had thirteen Latin and four English students. 

Fithian took a youth who waited on the table at " Nom- 
ini Hall " into school there. 

The Reverend Jonathan Boucher, in his " Reminis- 
cences," tells of his experiences first as a tutor in the home 
of Captain Dixon, at Port Royal, Virginia, and later as 
master of a country boarding school when he was rector of 
St. Mary's Parish, Caroline County, from about 1763 to 
1774. He says he had " nearly thirty " boys, " most of 
them sons of persons of the first condition in the Colony," 
all of whom boarded with him. 

The yellowed columns of the old Virginia Gazette show 
advertisements for teachers for both schools and private 
families, and those of various qualifications are wanted 
from " a sober person of good morals capable of teaching 
children to read English well and to write and cipher," to 
" a single man capable of teaching Greek, Latin and the 
mathematicks." In 1739 Thomas Brewer, of Nansemond 
County, advertises that " any sober person duly qualified 

273 



COLONL\L VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

to keep a country school can be assured of twenty-four 
scholars," and in 1775 a schoolmaster " unexceptionable in 
point of character " and " able to teach the Enghsh, Latin 
and Greek languages in their pui'ity and elegance, writing, 
arithmetick, accounts and the mathematicks," is wanted to 
open a school for boys and girls in Port Royal. The 
advertisement adds that " a commodious schoolhouse has 
lately been built and free use of it will be granted." 

The great mass of family papers used by Alexander 
Brown in " The Cabells and their Kin " throws much light 
on education in the colony. AVhen Doctor William Cabell 
settled near the Blue Ridge, within the present Amherst or 
Nelson County, then a frontier section, schools were doubt- 
less scarce there, but the correspondence between himself 
and his wife during his absence in England, from 1735 to 
1741, shows constant solicitude for the education of their 
children. Their son WiUiam, at the age of eight, could 
" read well and had commenced learning to ^vi-ite." In 
1737 another son, Joseph, five years old, had begun to go 
to school, and two years later he could read well. The 
Cabell papers preserve the names of a number of early 
teachers in this part of the colony, among them WiUiam 
Ward, 1741; William Cox, 1762; John Clay, 1763-64; 
Roderick McCulloch, 1768-69, and Reverend James 
]Maury, to whose Classical School, in Albemarle County, 
went Thomas Jefferson, Bishop Madison, John Taylor, 
of Caroline, Dabney Carr, Sr., and other distinguished 
men. Mr. Brown says: 

" It was the custom of the landed gentry- of this region, 
with their minor children, that first one and then another 
of a circle of friends w^ould employ a tutor and take the 
sons of the others as boarders. Thus in 1768-60 the tutor 
was at ' Union Hill,' the home of Colonel WiUiam Cabell; 



1 



1 



EDUCATION 



in 1770-71, at Colonel Peter Fontaine's; in 1772-73, at 
Colonel John Nicholas's, and in 1774-75 again at ' Union 
Hill.' There were also teachers of music, of dancing and 
of fencing who gave lessons by the month or quarter." 

About 1750 Robert Alexander, a graduate of Trin- 
ity College, Dublin, settled in Rockbridge County and 
taught the first classical school west of the Blue Ridge, 
and the Augusta Records show that there were a good 
number of little schools across the mountains. About 
1759 Frederick Upp, lay reader of the " Church on the 
Fork," agreed with his flock to keep school for six months 
at twelve shillings and a bushel of wheat for each child, but 
residents of another neighborhood promised him thirty- 
four children — a larger number than the congregation on 
the Fork could assure him — and he went to them. In 1766 
we find Charles Knight, another Valley schoolmaster, 
agreeing with his patrons to teach for a salary of eighteen 
pounds sterling a year and have every other Saturday or 
half of every Saturday off, and " if any alarm of the 
Indians comes they are to provide shelter, food and di'ink." 

The very great number of wills of both the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries which direct that boys and girls 
should be sent to school bear witness to both the general 
desire to have children educated and the accessibility of 
every part of the colony to schools of some sort. Men of 
means who lived in remote or frontier counties were often 
not satisfied with the elementary ones within their reach 
and directed that their children be sent where they could 
have better advantages. For instance, Philip Buckner, 
of Stafford, in 1699, requested in his will that his brothers 
who lived in York County " take his sons down with them 
that they might have learning." 

A few of the many whose wills provided for education 

i75 



COLONIAL ^TLRGINM, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

in the earlier century were Humphrey Clark, 1655; Ann 
Littleton, widow of Colonel Nathaniel Littleton, 1656; 
Richard Briggs, 1679; Thomas Parnell, 1687, who wished 
two sons and four daughters to be " brought up in the fear 
of the Lord and to learn to wright and reade," and Thomas 
Brereton, 1698, who directed that liis son Thomas be " put 
to school to be taught to read, write and cypher, and if pos- 
sible, the Latin tongue." 

]Many fathers, like Edmund Berkeley, of " Bam 
Elms," in 1710, direct that their sons be " kept at school 
until they arrive at ye age of twenty-one years." Others 
like Reverend Charles Andrews, in 1712, desire their 
" children to have a liberal education." 

Wills of women show an equally careful provision for 
the training of their children. In that of Mrs. Elizabeth 
Churchill, made in 1716, she says: 

" I desire that ]Mr. Bartholomew Yates undertake the 
instruction of my son, Armi stead Churchill, and instruct 
him in his own house in Latin and Greek." ^Ir. Yates 
"is to be given j^early two of the best beeves and four of 
the best hogs, over and above what he shall demand for 
teaching and board." 

Not all parents aspired to a classical education for their 
sons. iSIany carefully arranged that they should have 
practical training. In 1718 Samuel ^latthews, of Rich- 
mond County, a man of considerable estate, and a de- 
scendant of hospitable Governor Matthews, directed in 
his will that his two eldest sons be apprenticed one to a 
master of a ship and the other to a good house carpenter. 

Thomas Lee, of " Stratford," one of the wealthiest men 
in tlie colony and the father of six distinguished Lees, in 
his will made in 1749-50, requested the guardians of his 
sons to educate them as they thought fit, " Religiously and 

276 



I 




RALPH WORMELEV, ()E ■RUSEGILL," VIRGINIA. AND Ol TRINITY COLLEGE, 
CAMBRIDGE 



EDUCATION 



Virtuously," and, if necessary, to bind them to any trade 
or profession, that they might " learn to get their living 
honestly." 

Some, like Edward Scott, a member of the House of 
Burgesses for Goochland, and Matthew Hubard, a York 
County planter of good family, directed that their sons 
be given the best education their estates afforded " until 
sixteen," and then bound out to a trade. Thomas Rey- 
nolds, of Yorktown, in his will made in 1759, wished his 
son to be educated " in writing and accounts and the most 
useful branches of mathematics, as geometry, trigonome- 
try, gauging, dialing, surveying, gunnery, with a knowl- 
edge of the French tongue," and afterward "to be bound 
to a good trading merchant such as trade to sea." 

Others, like Cadwallader Dade, of Stafford, 1760, 
simply desired that their sons " have as good an education 
as the estate can afford." In this year Gawin Corbin of 
" Peckatone," Westmoreland, directed in his will that his 
only child, Martha Corbin, be given "a genteel education," 
and in 1765 Beverley Stanard, of Spotsylvania, ordered 
that his " sons William and Larkin Stanard be put to 
schools and continued at them until they are liberally and 
genteelly educated." 

A quaint direction was that of George Caplener, a 
German settler in The Valley, who in his will in 1773 de- 
sired that his two oldest sons " lorn the two youngest boys 
to read through the Salter." 



COLONIAL MUGLNIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

III— TUTORS 

^lany of the larger planters employed tutors for cliil- 
dren who were not sent abroad to be educated, and some- 
times for those that were, during their tender years. They 
usually " kept school " in a wing of the great house or in 
one of the smaller out-buildings which often provided not 
only a school-room but lodgings for the tutor and some- 
times for the boys of the family. The tutor generally had 
leave to increase his income by additions to the school 
of children of the neighborhood — rich or poor — and occa- 
sionally yomig friends or relatives of the family from too 
great a distance to come and go each day were taken as 
guests or boarders in order that they might have the ad- 
vantage of being under an accomplished teacher. 

The tutors were educated men — or sometimes women — 
from the mother comitry, or from other colonies, who came 
to Virginia to seek a livelihood, or residents of Virginia 
whose only fortune was a small or great store of learning. 
Sometimes they were Englishmen " of parts " in such hard 
luck that they sold themselves into servitude to keep soul 
and body together. Colonel John Carter, of " Coroto- 
man," directed in his will, made in 1669, that his son Robert 
— the famous " King " Carter — be well educated that he 
might be equipped to manage his estate, adding, " and he 
is to have a man or youth servant bought for him that hath 
been brought up in the Latin school and that he (the 
serv^ant) shall constantly tend upon him, not only to teach 
him his books, either in English or Latin, according to his 
capacity (for my will is that he shall learn both English 
and Latin, and to WTite) and also to presence him from 
harm and doing evil." 

Robert Carter's letters show that he was at one time 
at school in England. 

278 



EDUCATION 



In 177 4i John Harrower, a young married man of 
blameless life, of the Orkney Islands, after a desperate 
struggle to support his family, took ship for Virginia, and 
sold himself for a term of years to Colonel William Dain- 
gerfield, of " Belvidera," near Fredericksburg. His diary, 
containing copies of affectionate letters to his wife and 
expressing trust in God through all of his misfortunes, 
shows that this " servant " tutor was treated as much like 
a member of the family at " Belvidera " as was Philip 
Fithian, the Princeton divinity student at " Nomini Hall." 
Not so well satisfied was John Warden, a Scotchman, 
educated at Edinburgh, and " a good scholar in Greek, 
Latin, Philosophy, and Mathematics," who in 1769 was a 
tutor for Colonel Thomas Jones. In a grumbling letter 
to a brother of his employer, in London, he complained 
that though he was much better treated than most of his 
profession, he found he was " less looked upon as a Gentle- 
man in Virginia " than before he became a tutor and he 
was " much at a loss for a room to retire to at night to 
study." 

Colonel Jones replied that Mr. Warden was " put to 
no inconvenience with regard to a place to retire to or any- 
thing else," and continued: " He has a house about three 
hundred yards from mine, 24 feet square, I think, with two 
rooms, one his lodging room and the other the school room, 
extremely warm and light, a plank floor, plastered and 
white-finished walls, a brick chimney with two good fire- 
places, has furniture — as good a bed as any in my house, 
chairs, bookcase, &c. and a boy of 16 yrs. attends him . . . 
he has candles when he pleases and generally burns three 
large mould candles of myrtle wax and tallow in six nights, 
has nobody to interrupt him, comes to the house by day 
or night when he pleases, is company for every Gent, that 



COLOXL\L MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

visits me . . . Fact is lie is a good Tutor and a good sort 
of niaii, but that cursed pride so inlierent in these people is 
most insufferable." 

Occasionally the position of tutor was a stepping-stone 
to becoming a planter, as in the case of one employed by 
William Reynolds, of Xorthmnberland, in 1655, who in 
addition to his board and lodging was to have, when his 
three years of teaching were over, free use of land in which 
to plant corn and tobacco and barns in which to store his 
crops; and another w^ho, in 1666, was paid in land for 
giving " one year's schooling " to the daughter of Francis 
Browne of Rappahannock County.^ 

Among very early tutors whose names have been pre- 
served were Samuel Motherhead, employed by Xathaniel 
Pope, in 1652; John Johnson, by John Rogers, in 1655; 
Robert Jones, by John Hansford, in 1662; Richard Burk- 
land, employed by Richard Kellam, in 1663, to give his 
daughter lessons in reading and writing and casting 
accounts; Marj^ Coar, employed a little later to teach 
Martha Willett; Richard Glover, employed by Francis 
Browne; Henrv^ Spratt, by George Ashwell, in 1668; 
Catherine Shrewsbur\% by Richard Tompkins, in 1693; 
John Waters, to teach William Tunstall, in 1694; John 
^latts, by Charles Leatherbury, in 1678. Many more 
might be named for later years.'' 

In 1741 William Beverley, of " Blandfield," Essex 
County, wrote his London merchant to send him a " school- 
master " to teach his children to " read, write and cipher," 
adding that the usual salar\^ paid in Virginia for a Scotch 

^ Bruce's " Institutional History of Virginia in the 17th Cen- 
tury," i, 324. 

■* Bruce's *' Institutional History of Virginia in the 17th Cen- 
tury," 324, 329. 

280 



EDUCATION 



master was twenty pounds sterling, with board, " but they 
commonly teach the children the Scotch dialect, which they 
never can wear off." 

Here is a letter in which a lively little schoolgirl, Maria 
Carter, of " Sabine Hall," tells her cousin Maria Carter, 
of " Cleve," about her daily routine under a tutor: 

March 25, 1756. 
Mj Dear Cousin: 

You have really imposed a Task upon me which I can by no 
means perform viz: that of writing a merry & comical Letter: 
how shou'd I, my dear, that am ever confined either at School or 
with my Grandmama know how the world goes on.'' Now I will 
give you the History of one Day the Repetition of which without 
variations carries me through the three hundred and sixty five 
Days, which you know compleats the year. Well then first begin, 
I am awakened out of a sound sleep with some croaking voice 
either Patty's, MiUy's, or some other of our Domestics with Miss 
Polly Miss Polly get up, tis time to rise, Mr. Price is down stairs, 
& tho' I hear them I lie quite snugg till my Grandmama uses her 
Voice, then up I get, huddle on my cloaths & down to Book, then 
to Breakfast, then to School again, & may be I have an Hour to 
my self before Dinner, then the Same Story over again till twi- 
light, & then a small portion of time before I go to rest, and so 
you must expect nothing from me but that I am Dear Cousin, 
Most Affectionately Yours, 

Maria Carter. 

Harry Turner, of King George County, directed in 
his will that his son Thomas should have the best education 
to be gotten in Virginia. His father, Thomas Turner, 
who outlived him, made his will in 1757 directing that no 
expense should be regarded in giving not only little 
Thomas but all his grandsons a " finished education." He 
wished them all to be taught by the same tutor, in a house 
to be fitted up for them on his estate, and four negroes 
selected to wait on them. 

281 



COLOXIAl. VlllGlNIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

When Philip Fithian opened school in one of the brick 
out-buildings at " Nomini Hall," he had eight pupils — the 
two sons and five daughters of Colonel Carter, and a 
nephew. The youngest daughter, Harriet, was " beginning 
her letters, and the oldest son, Ben, studying Latin gram- 
mar and reading Sallust. The second son. Bob, was in 
love with one of the Tayloe girls of " Mt. Airy," and 
begged Mr. Fithian to teach him Latin, as Mrs. Tayloe 
had playfully told him that " without he understands Latin 
he will never be able to win a young lady of Family & 
fashion for his wife." 

In addition to other tutors in the neighborhood of 
" Nomini " the Corbins of " Peckatone " and the Turber- 
villes of " Hickor)^ Hill " had governesses from England. 




JOHN BAYLOR, OF "NEW MARKET, " VIRGINIA, 
CAIUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE 



EDUCATION 



IV— WILLIAM AND MARY COLLEGE 

The year 1660 saw a revival of interest in giving Vir- 
ginians opportunities of liigher education within the col- 
ony — originating this time with the General Assembly, 
which proposed to estabhsh a " college of students of the 
liberal arts." Governor Berkeley and members of the 
Council headed the list of subscribers, but money was 
scarce, the troubles which brought on Bacon's Rebellion 
were already brewing, and the project fell through. 

In 1689 affairs of both Church and State in Virginia 
fell under the control of enthusiasts for education when 
Francis Nicholson was sent over as Governor and James 
Blair as Commissary to the Bishop of London — which 
placed him at the head of the clergj^ The result was a 
speedy revival of the " design of a free school and college " 
whose special objects were to be the education of the col- 
onists' sons, the education and conversion of the Indians, 
and the training of ministers to fill the parish churches. 

The Assembly responded with quick sympathy, plans 
to raise money in the colony were made, and Doctor Blair 
was chosen as agent for the projected college and sent to 
England to procm'e a charter and endowment. He suc- 
ceeded in interesting their Majesties King William and 
Queen Mary, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury and 
other dignitaries. "SVhen introduced to the King he knelt 
down and, presenting the petition with which the 
Assembly had entrusted him, said : 

*' Please, your Majesty, here is an humble supplication 
from the government of Virginia for your ^Majesty's 
charter to erect a free school and college for the education 
of their youth." 

" Sir," replied his Majesty, " I am glad that the Colony 

28S 



COLONIAL MIUJXLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

is upon so good a design, and will promote it to the best 
of my power." 

After being held up by much red tape the charter for 
the College of AVilliam and ^Nlary was signed in Februar}% 
1693, and Doctor Blair set sail for Virginia armed not only 
with the coveted paper, but with sufficient endowment to 
make the long delayed institution sometliing more than a 
castle in the air. 

A site " near the church in ^Middle Plantation old 
fields " was selected, and the plan, " designed to be an 
entire square when completed," was drawn by Sir Chris- 
topher Wren; but not until 1697 were the front and the 
north sides of the square finished. During its earliest years 
the college was only a grammar school where boys were 
taught reading and wTiting, Latin and Greek. Its faculty 
consisted of the president. Doctor Blair; the grammar mas- 
ter, Mr. ^lungo Inglis, who was an accomplished Master of 
Arts; an usher who assisted him and a " writing master." 
In 1698 a committee composed of members of the faculty 
and four students addressed a letter to the " Speaker and 
Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses," thanking them 
in the name of the " President, INIaster and scholars of 
William and JNIary " for gracing the college exercises " with 
their own countenance and presence on INIay Day." 

The first regular commencement was held in 1700, and 
besides many planters with their families and some of the 
Indians from the country around, it is written that visitors 
came in sloops from New York, Pennsylvania, and Mary- 
land. 

After the long succession of discouragements and post- 
ponements a college in Virginia seemed now to have made 
a good beginning, but on an October night in 1705 a fire 
broke out in the building and the hope and work of years 

284 



EDUCATION 



went up in flames. However, the friends of education 
plucked up courage again. Though the building was gone, 
the faculty and students remained. Doctor Blair bestirred 
himself to raise more money and declined to accept his 
salary as President for some years, the Assembly levied 
extra taxes, and William and Marj^ was rebuilt on its 
original walls. The restoration was not complete until 
1723, but the classes had been continued and the college 
grew and developed in the meantime. 

In 1711 a professor of natural philosophy and mathe- 
matics was engaged. In 1712 there were twenty Indian 
boys in attendance — among them the son of the queen of 
Pamunkey and the son of the king of the Nottoways. 

In 1723 the Brafferton Building was erected on the 
campus to the right of the main building, out of the pro- 
ceeds of the Brafferton estate in England — which was 
part of the endowment of the college — and devoted to the 
Indian school, and it was hoped that the Indian youths 
christianized and educated would become missionaries to 
their own people, but instead they returned to idolatry 
and barbarism. 

In 1729 the college could boast of a president and six 
professors, and in 1732 a commodious home for the presi- 
dent was built. 

But the picture has its dark side. Almost from the 
beginning William and Mary was embroiled in contentions. 
Doctor Blair and Governor Nicholson — its earnest pro- 
moters and friends, but both of them men of unyielding will 
— soon fell out over it, and later the able but stubborn 
President quarrelled also with the successors of the able 
but stubborn Governor. Nevertheless, the college became 
and remained the pet and pride of Virginia. As early as 
1694 John Mann, of Gloucester County, bequeathed his 

19 285 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

land — if his family should hecome extinct — " for ye main- 
tenance of poore children at ye college." Many others 
from that time on made it gifts or showed their regard 
for it by directing in their wills that their sons be educated 
there, and a long roll of distinguished Virginians and 
Americans of the Colonial period, and after it, have 
claimed old William and Mary as their Alma Mater. 



EDUCATION 



V— STUDYING ABROAD 

An amazing number of Virginia boys and a few girls 
were sent to England and Scotland to school or college or 
both — the more amazing when the perils of the vo} age 
and the long waits between letters to and from their parents 
are considered. And new perils awaited them over sea — 
smallpox was rampant in Great Britain. Michel greatly 
exaggerated when writing, in 1701, of the education of 
Virginians abroad, he says, " Not many of them came back. 
Most of them died of smallpox." But in 1724 we find 
Hugh Jones writing that more of them would be sent over 
" were they not afraid of smallpox which most commonly 
proves fatal to them." 

Lord Adam Gordon says in his journal that most of 
the gentlemen he met during his visit to Virginia a few 
years before the Revolution were educated " at home " — 
meaning in England. 

It will be remembered that one of the reasons given 
for the attempted founding of the East Indian School, 
in 1621, was that planters had been " constrained " to 
send their children " home " to be taught. The destruction 
of the records makes it impossible to say who any of these 
earliest Virginia students abroad and many of the later 
ones were, and — wuth the exception of Oxford — such 
records of English institutions of learning as have been 
preserved have not been fully examined. When they are, 
it is certain that the number — already large — of Colonial 
Virginia boys known to have been educated at the famous 
schools and great universities of the IMother Country will 
be greatly increased. Among the earliest of these stu- 
dents abroad of whom we have any testimony were Thomas 
Willoughby, of Lower Norfolk, who was at the Merchant 
Tailors' School in London, in 1644, and Augustine War- 

287 



COLONIAL MRCUMA, n> PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

ner, Jr., of Gloucester — an ancestor of Washington — who 
was there in 1658. 

John Lee, of WestmoreLand, entered Queen's College, 
Oxford, in 1658, and was graduated as a Bachelor of Ai'ts 
in 1662. He presented his college with a silver cup bearmg 
the Lee arms, which may still be seen there. 

A number of Virginia famihes sent generation after 
generation of boys to school or college in England. For 
instance Ralph Wormeley, Secretary' of State of the Col- 
ony, entered Oriel College, Oxford, in 1665, at the age of 
fifteen, and at the time of his death, in 1701, his sons, 
Ralph and John, were being educated abroad. Interesting 
letters from " King " Carter in regard to these boys, who 
were his nephews — or " cousins " as he calls them — and 
who became his wards, have been preserved. In one of 
these, written in 1702 to Thomas Corbin, the London 
merchant, he says : 

" Am glad to hear my Coz'ns Ralph Wormeley and 
Jno Wormeley thrive so fast in their learning." A month 
later he suggests, " If you can Retrench their Expenses 
what Reasonably you can twill be a kindness to the Boyes," 
adding that he had noticed when he was at school in 
England himself that " those Boys that wore the finest 
close and had ye most money in their pockets still went 
away with the least learning in their heads. Yett I am 
nott for too narrow a keeping." 

In a letter to Corbin four years later he "v^Tites: " I am 
sorry Mons'r Ralph is angrj- with us, if it be for ordering 
his keeping within Suitable limits wee must take no notice 
of it, he will in time see his o-vvti folly." 

A third Ralph Wormeley, the grandson of Colonel 
Carter's ward, went to Eton in 1757, and afterward to 
Trinity College, Cambridge. An interesting portrait of 



EDUCATION 



hini in cap and gown, and many books containing his 
armorial book-plate, remain. 

Colonel John Catlett, of Rappahannock, who died 
about 1670, directed in his will that his cliildren be educated 
in England out of his estate there, and John Savage, of 
Northampton, who made his will in 1678, was another of 
the many — early and late — who directed that a son, or sons, 
be educated in England without naming any special school. 

Sometimes mere infants made the long, difficult voyage 
for the sake of an English education. Letters of William 
Byrd, the first, who was then living in Henrico County, 
on the frontier, show that in 1683 his son William — nine 
years old — and his daughter Susan — about six — were at 
school in England and being watched over by their grand- 
parents, the Warham Horsmandens, of Purleigh, in Essex, 
and that in 1685 plans were making to send over his baby 
girl Ursula, affectionately nicknamed " Little Nutty, "'' 
who was only four. In March of that year he wrote 
" Father Horsmanden," as he called his father-in-law: 

" We received yours by JNIr. Broadnax, which was a 
great satisfaction to hear of you and our Children's Wel- 
fare. My wife hath all this year urged mee to send little 
Nutty home to you, to which I have at last condescended 
and hope you'll please excuse the trouble. I must confesse 
she could learn notliing good here in a great family of 
negroes." 

On the same day he wrote " Will": 

" Dear Son, I received your letter and am glad to hear 
you are with so good a Master who I hope will see you 
improve your time and that you bee carefull to serve God 
as you ought, without which you cannot expect to doe well 
here or hereafter." 

Ursula was sent over in charge of a maid and she and 



COLONIAL MRGINLl, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Susan were at school at Hackney until 1691, but, alack- 
a-day, the nut-brown Ursula had not long to enjoy the 
accomplishments she w^ent so far to acquire, for ere she 
was quite seventeen she lay in Jamestown churchyard, 
under a stone bearing the arms of Byrd and Beverley 
impaled and an inscription which said she had been the wife 
of Kobert Beverley — the historian — and left a son. Wil- 
liam remained long abroad receiving the polish for whicli 
he was afterward noted. The epitaph on his tomb in the 
garden at " Westover " says: 

" He was early sent to England for his education, 
where under the care and direction of Sir Robert South- 
Mell and ever favored with his particular instructions, he 
made a happj^ proficiency in polite and varied learning. 
He was called to the bar in the Middle Temple, studied 
for sometime in the Low Countries, visited the Court of 
France and was chosen Fellow of the Royal Society." 

It was not unusual for a parent to have several children 
at school in England at the same time. One of these was 
Colonel John Baylor, of Caroline County, who had re- 
ceived his o^vn education at Putney Grammar School and 
Caius College, Cambridge. In 1762 he sent his twelve- 
year-old son, John, to Putney, and later entered him at 
Caius College, where he was a friend and classmate of 
William Wilberforce. He also sent his daugliters, Court- 
ney, Lucy, Frances, and Elizabeth, abroad to boarding 
school, placing them at Croyden, in Kent. 

Among other families a number of whose members 
were educated abroad were those of Robinson, Randolph, 
Grymes, Bland, Meade, Corbin, and Lee. 

Daniel McCarty, of Westmoreland, in his will, made 
in 1724, said that his son Daniel was then in England being 
educated, and that he wished his younger sons to be " one 

290 




THO.MAS NELSON' 

Signer of the Declaration of Independence. \Yhen at Hackney School, 
England, 1754 



EDUCATION 



a lawyer, one a divine, one a physician, chirurgeon, or 
mariner, in the Secretary's office or any other lawful em- 
ployment their inclination leads them to ; but rather to the 
axe or the hoe than to be suffered to live in idleness and 
extravagancy." 

Robert Boiling, of " Chellowe," Buckingham County, 
was at school in Wakefield, Yorkshire, under the *' cele- 
brated Mr. John Clarke," from 1751 to 1755, and accord- 
ing to his kinsman, John Randolph, of Roanoke, wrote 
equally well in Latin, French, and Italian. Theodorick 
Bland, grandson of the little Richard Bland, whose cow 
went to boarding school with him in Henrico, was at school 
and college abroad for eleven consecutive years. In 1753 
when he was eleven, he was sent to Wakefield. Five years 
later he was still there and the head-master reported that he 
was in the second class and read Xenophon and Horace 
with tolerable ease, but like most of the boys composed 
wretchedly, especially in Latin. In 1761 he went to Edin- 
burgh to study medicine. 

Among the Bland papers are " Articles relating to 
the Virginia Club — 1761," at Edinburgh. All members 
were to be Virginia boys, who wished to take a degree in 
medicine, and the club was " solely for the improvement 
of the members in anatomy (which is justly said to be the 
bones of Physic)." The same papers contain a letter in 
Bland's handwriting, from the Virginia Medical Students 
at Edinburgh, to the Council and Burgesses of Virginia, 
asking that laws be passed to prevent unlicensed persons 
from practising physic in the colony. 

Peter Hog, of Augusta County, in The Valley, directed 
in his will, made in 1773, that his sons be sent to Edinburgh 
to be educated. 

John and Landon Carter, sons of Charles Carter of 

291 



COLONIAL VIRGLNIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

" Cleve," were being educated in England in 1764 when 
their father made his will, directing that " They shall con- 
tinue at school to learn the languages, mathematics, plii- 
losophy, dancing and fencing till they are well accom- 
plished and of proper age to be bound to some reputable, 
sober, discreet practising attorney, till they arrive at the 
age of twenty years and nine months," when they were to 
return to Virginia. He desired that a suitable present be 
made to the gentleman to whom they were bound, and that 
they be " by their masters permitted to attend Commons 
so as not to interfere with their studies and the practice 
and business of an attorney," and added: 

" I do earnestly desire their guardians, as much as in 
their power lies, to prevent extravagance by limiting their 
pocket expenses, after they arrive at the age of eighteen 
to a sum not exceeding fifty pounds sterling money per 
annum, as their fortunes depend entirely upon the seasons 
of a most variable climate." 

A suit in King George County records shows that John 
Taliaferro, Jr., was in England for his education for three 
years from 1764 to 1766, inclusive. 

Here is as complete a list, with dates of entrance, as 
I am at present able to make of Colonial Virginia boys at 
college abroad: 

At Cambridge: 

{Trinity College) John Carter, 1714; Wilson Cary, 
1721; Daniel Taylor, 1724; John Ambler, 1753; Robert 
Beverley, 1753; Ralph Wormeley, 1757; Thomas Smith, 
1759; George Riddell, 1759. (Christ's College) WiUiam 
Spencer, 1684; Joseph Holt, 1716; Gawin Corbin, 1756; 
Thomas Nelson, 1761 ; George Fairfax Lee, 1772. (Caius 
College) John Baylor, 1722; Lewis Burwell, 1729; John 

292 



EDUCATION 



Baylor, Jr., 1772. (Pembroke College) Thomas Clayton, 
about 1720; John Brunskill, 1752. 

At Oxford: 

(Oriel College) Ralph Wormeley, 1665; Christopher 
Robinson, 1721; his cousin Christopher Robinson, 1723; 
Chichley Thacker, 1724; Bartholomew Yates, 1732 ; Robert 
Yates, 1733; Peter Robinson, 1737; William Robinson, 
1737. (Queen's College) John Lee, 1658; John Span, 
1705; William Stith, 1724. (St. John's College) Mann 
Page, 1709; (Christ's Church College) Henry Fitzhugh, 
1722; (Balliol College) Lewis Burwell, 1765; (Brasenose 
College) Bartholomew Yates, 1695. 

At Edinburgh: 

Valentine Peyton, 1754; James Blair, George Gilmer, 
Arthur Lee, William Bankhead, Theodorick Bland and 
John Field, in 1761 ; James Tapscott and Corbin GrifRn, 
1765; Cyrus Griffin, about 1767; George Steptoe, 1767; 
Walter Jones and Joseph Goodwin, 1769; Archibald 
Campbell, John M. Gait, James McClurg and John 
Ravenscroft, 1770; Isaac Hall, 1771; William Ball, 1773; 
John Griffin and Philip Turpin, 1774; Lawrence Brooke, 
1776; Richard Bland, date unknown. 

At the Middle Temple: 

William Byrd, the second, 1690; Peyton Randolph 
(first President of the Continental Congress), 1739; 
George Carter, about 1740; John Randolph, 1745; John 
Blair, 1755; Gawin Corbin, 1756; William Fauntleroy, 
1760; Gustavus Scott, 1767; Henry Lee Ball, 1769; 
Arthur Lee, 1770; Walter Atchison and Cyrus Griffin, 
1771; Henry Lee and Joseph Ball Downman, 1773. 

At the Inner Temple: 

Philip Alexander, 1760; Alexander White, 1762; 
Philip Ludwell Lee, about 1747; Lewis Burwell, 1765. 

293 



COLONIAL MRGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

At Gray's Inn: 

Henry Perrott, 1674; Sir John Randolph, 1715; 
Joseph Ball, 1720. 

At King's College, Aberdeen: 

Gustavus Scott, 1765; John Scott, 1768. 

^lany more boys, of course, attended the various 
schools. They went in goodly number to Wakefield, in 
Yorkshire; Putney Grammar School, ]SIile End School, 
near London ; the ]Merchant Tailors' School, London ; St. 
Bees Grammar School, Wood End Grammar School, 
Scotland ; Dalston, Harrow, Appleby, Winchester, Leeds 
and Eton. 

Augustine Washington — father of George — and his 
sons, Augustine and Lawrence, were at school at Appleby. 

Among those who are known to have been at Eton are 
Mann Page, 1706; Lewis Burwell, 1725; Arthur Lee, 
1753 ; Ralph Wormeley, 1757; James Burwell, Philip Lud- 
well Grymes, John Randolph Grymes, Alexander Spots- 
wood and John Spotswood, all in 1760; Beverley Ran- 
dolph and William Randolph, 1762. 

In 1769 the " Academy at Leeds, York Comity, Eng- 
land, ^Ir. Aaron Grimshaw, Master," advertised for pupils 
in the Virginia Gazette. 



XI 
BOOKS 




T ■ least two of the first comers to 
Virginia in 1607 are known to 
have brought books with them. 
Smith's " Historie," describing the 
bm*ning of Jamestown in the winter 
of that year says: 
" Good Master Hunt our Preach- 
er lost all his Library." 

In June, 1608, President Wingfield, in defending him- 
self from the charge that he was an atheist because he 
" carryed not a Bible with him," said that he had " sorted 
many books " to take to Virginia, among them a Bible, 
but could not say whether it was — like others he had missed 
— " Ymbeasiled " from the trunk in which they were 
packed before he left England, or " mislayed " by his 
servants. 

The inventory made in 1626, of Parson Bucke, who 
officiated at the first marriage and the first christening 
at Jamestown, mentions this library, and doubtless others 
of the educated men who came over early brought books. 
At least one of them, George Sandys, Treasurer of the 
colony in the early sixteen-twenties, was the author of 
highly praised works of the day in poetry and prose — 
notably his " Travels," his metrical version of the Psalms, 
and his translations of Ovid's JSIetamorphoses and the first 
book of the iEneid, which were written at Jamestown soon 
after the Massacre and published in England, first in 
1626, and later, in folio, and richly illustrated, in 1632. 

The student is again handicapped by absence of records 
for the early years, and owing to the inaccessibility of many 
of those that have been preserved few of them have been 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

thoroughly searched, but examples from Albemarle, West- 
moreland, Amherst, ^liddlesex and other counties far re- 
moved from each other show how widespread was the own- 
ership of books. My own notes furnish proof of six 
hundred collections, varying in size from two or three 
volumes to several thousand. 

The Bible and Prayer Book were evidently in nearly 
every home, while other books, from " a parcel," valued 
at a shilling or two, to " a library " worth many pounds 
sterling, were bequeathed by a great number of those 
who made wills and named in the inventories of a great 
nmnber of those who left goods worth appraising. It must 
be remembered that a parcel refers here to a lot or quantity, 
not to a package. 

In many instances no titles are given, but, where they 
are, most of the collections show a preponderance of re- 
ligious works, a good percentage of history, travel, science, 
law, and philosophy, a good percentage of the classics and 
of French and Spanish books, and a good percentage of 
English literature. Here are a few characteristic samples 
from early collections: 

Doctor John Holloway, of Northampton County, be- 
queathed, in 1643, all his physic and surgery books, all his 
Latin and Greek books and his Greek Testament in folio. 
In 1645 Arthur Smith, of Isle of Wight, simply bequeathed 
" all " his books, and was one of many who thus vaguely 
described their libraries. Michael Sparke, stationer, of 
London, in his will made in 1653, gave to Virginia and 
Barbadoes, each, one hundred copies of " the Second part 
of Crums of Comfort with groanes of the Spirite and 
Hankerchieff es of wet eies, ready bound to be distributed 
amon.fjst the poore children there that can read." Poor 
little children of Virginia and Barbadoes! 

296 



BOOKS 

In 1655 William Brocas, of Lancaster County, left 
a parcel of old torn books " most of them Spanish, Italyan 
and Latin," appraised at a hundred pounds of tobacco. In 
1669 Colonel John Carter, of " Corotoman," bequeathed 
his wife " David's Tears, Byfield's Treatise, The Whole 
Duty of Man and her own books." Poor Mrs. Carter! In 
1690 his son John left books whose sixty-three titles in- 
cluded works in English, French, Spanish, Latin, and 
Greek. In the small collection of books left by Matthew 
Hubard, of York County, in 1670, were John Smith's 
" Historic of Virginia," Ben Jonson's " Remains," Pur- 
chas's " Pilgrims," Donne's " Poems," and " Astrea, a 
French Romance." 

The inventory of Mrs. Sarah Willoughby of Lower 
Norfolk County, 1674, describes " a parcell of books " in 
her room appraised at fifteen hundred pounds of tobacco. 
They were fifty-six in number and included religious 
works — among them " A Sweet Posie for God's Saints," 
essays — among them IMontaigne's ; travels — among them 
Sandys'; history, biography, astronomy, mathematics, 
some of the works of Virgil, Ovid, and Cicero, " a book of 
Latin verse," and iEsop's Fables. 

John Baskerville, of York, left in 1675 " a parcel of 
English books," appraised at three pounds sterling, and 
" a parcel of Latin books," at one pound. 

James Porter, of Lower Norfolk, seems to have been 
an author, for in 1684 he left forty-two books and twelve 
manuscripts. 

In 1690 William Byrd, the first, was evidently laying 
the foundation of the noted " Westover " library. In that 
year he spent for books thirty-five pounds and fourteen 
shillings — a sum equal to over five hundred dollars to- 
day. In 1691 William Fitzhugh, of the remote frontier 

297 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

county of Stafford, wrote to his brother who was on a visit 
to England to bring him the third part of " Rushworth's 
Collections," and " Cornelius Agrippa's Occult Philoso- 
phy, in English if it can be had, if not in Latin," and 
added " some of the newest books if they be ingenious, will 
be mighty welcome." Among other additions to his large 
library. Colonel Fitzhugh ordered from London, in 1695, 
Virgil in English, and Horace, Juvenal, and Perseus in 
Latin and English. In 1701 he bequeathed his " study 
of books " to his two sons. 

In 1690 Samuel Ball, of Lower Norfolk, left a hundred 
and three books. In 1692 Thomas Osborne, of Henrico^ 
left " Josephus in quarto " and half a dozen other " old 
books." 

In 1692 John Sandford, of Princess Anne County, left, 
in one parcel, twenty-three Latin and Greek books, in an- 
other twenty-five English books, and in another five 
Hebrew books and a Greek Testament. 

In 1693 Nathaniel Hill, a schoolmaster of Henrico 
County, on the frontier, left among his little collection of 
twenty- three volumes a large Bible and " sixteen play 
books." Henry Randolph of the same county left in 1693 
twenty-nine folio volumes, eighty-seven quartos and fifty 
octavos — the whole appraised at fourteen pounds ten 
shillings, amounting to at least three hundred dollars to- 
day. In 1697 Captain John Cocke, of Princess Anne, left 
among his thirty-odd books — for the most part historical 
and religious works — " The History of a Coy Lady." In 
1698 John Washington, of Westmoreland, left " a parcel 
of old books " valued at two hundred pounds of tobacco. 
In 1699 Arthur Spicer, of Richmond County, left a good- 
sized library — mainly law, religious, and Latin books, but 
among them " Icon Basilice," Bacon's " Advancement of 



BOOKS 



Learning," Raleigh's " History of the World," and a copy 
of " Macbeth." 

As time went on, libraries became larger and more 
varied in interest, and many Virginians kept in close touch 
with English booksellers. Robert Beverley, writing of 
his visit to England in 1703, speaks of " my bookseller " 
as familiarly as if he lived in London, and about seventy 
years later Jefferson says: 

" I wrote to Waller last June for forty-five pounds 
sterling worth of books. I have written to Benson Fearon 
for another parcel of nearly the same amount." 

In the eighteenth centur}% as in the seventeenth, it is 
often impossible to get, from the reference, any idea of 
the size or character of a library. For instance, George 
Lee, of Westmoreland, in 1761, bequeathed his son George 
Fairfax Lee " all his mother's and my books," and Wil- 
loughby Newton, of the same county, in 1767, as vaguely 
left his son John " all " his books. 

Others were more definite, among them Wilson Gary 
who in 1772 directed his executors to " send to England 
for the following books, all lettered and bound in calf, 
viz.: the- Spectator, Pamela, Clarissa, and Sir Charles 
Grandison, which books I give to my granddaughter Sarah 
Cary." 

Susannah Livingston, in making her will in 1745, said: 

" I give to Thomas Matthews the large Bible now in 
my house (for the good of his soul)." 

Innumerable inventories merely mention " a parcel of 
books," like that of Charles Wortham, of Middlesex, 1743, 
whose parcel is valued at eighteen shillings. By reason 
of the varying degrees of knowledge — or ignorance — of 
the appraisers the valuation gives no clue to the number 
or character of books in these parcels. 



COLOMAL VIR(;iXIA, ITS PEOPLE .VND CUSTOMS 

In 1776 William Blackwell and William Venable, of 
Albemarle, each left " a quantity of books." One " quan- 
tity " is appraised at twenty-two shillings sixpence, and 
the other at tliirteen shillings — and the reader is left guess- 
ing. When the number of books is given, the valuation is 
often distractingly variable, though there is occasionally 
some regard to proportion, as where William Kilpin, of 
Middlesex, 1717, is said to have had twenty books worth 
one pound three shillings, and those of John Warnock, 
of the same county, representing seventy-eight titles, are 
appraised at four pounds seven. 

Many of the collections of medium size were valuable 
and interesting. Among the books of Hancock Lee, 
Northumberland County, 1710, were the first, second, and 
third parts of " Pilgi'im's Progress"; among those of 
Leonard Tarrent, Essex, 1718, was " Locke on the Human 
Understanding." John Dunlop, Elizabeth City, 1728, had 
twenty-nine volumes, including " The Spectator," " The 
Rape of the Lock," and " The Constant Couple." Mark 
Bannerman, ^liddlesex, 1728, had fifty- three volumes; 
Charles Pasture, Henrico, 1736, had seventy-two volumes, 
including " Clarendon's Historj^" " The Gentleman's 
Magazine for 1735," and Pope's "Letters"; Joseph 
Brock, Spotsylvania County, 1743, eighty-one books; and 
William Phillips, Essex, 17-17, a collection in which sixty 
titles were represented, among them some Greek books. 

John Buckner, Stafford, 1747, had eighty volumes; 
Sterling Clack, Brunswick County, 1751, books valued at 
five pounds seven shillings — including the works of Pope 
and Addison; and William Kennon, Chesterfield, 1757, 
books appraised at ten pounds. George Hedgman, Staf- 
ford, 1760, was one of the early Virginia readers of " Tom 
Jones." 

sop 



BOOKS 

Among the occasional inventories of libraries owned by 
women was that of Mailana Drayton, of Middlesex, who 
in 1760 had, among other volmiies, eleven French books, 
" a parcel " of novels, " a parcel " of Latin books and six 
picture books. 

Edward McDonald, of Augusta County, in 1760, 
Robert Burgess of Stafford, in 1761, and Richard Tutt of 
Spotsylvania, in 1767, had " The Spectator " among their 
books. And those of John Pleasants, of Cumberland, 
1766, included " The Spectator," " Paradise Lost," " Para- 
dise Regained," and Quarles' " Emblems." William 
Walker, Stafford, 1767, had among his sixty-four 
volumes Swift, Pope, " The Spectator," " Tatler," and 
" Guardian." 

One of the larger libraries in the colony was that of 
Ralph Wormeley, of Middlesex, 1701, whose inventory 
names upwards of five hundred book titles, including Bur- 
net's " History of the Reformation," " fifty comedies and 
tragedies in folio," Hooker's " Ecclesiastical Polity," the 
works of Bacon, Fuller, Davenant, Jeremy Taylor, 
Quarles, Waller, Montaigne, Baxter, Gower, Burton, 
Camden's " Britania," Herbert's " Poems," " Every Man 
in His Humor," " Hudibras," and " Don Quixote." 

In the same year " Mr. Sehutt," a Huguenot, of Hen- 
rico County, left a large Bible, a " great parcel of books," 
two bales of books, and a trunk of unbound books. 

Thomas Lawson, of Princess Anne, 1704, had a hun- 
dred and sixty-six volumes besides " some parcels of old 
books." Richard Lee, of Westmoreland, 1715, had dis- 
tinctly a scholar's library of two hundred and eighty-two 
titles, containing works in Latin, Greek, and French and 
some Italian — for in the list appear the " Pastor Fido " 
and " Orlando Furioso." Among his English books were 

20 301 



COLONIAL VIIK.IXLV, LLS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Lord Bacon's works. Godfre}^ Pole, Northampton, 1716, 
had a hundred and twenty-two titles, including Chaucer, 
Cowley, Jeremy Taylor, Drayton, Waller, Hudihras, 
Bacon's "Essays," and "Paradise Lost"; Edmund 
Berkeley, Middlesex, 1719, a hundred and eight titles, 
among them " Locke on the Human L^nderstanding," the 
" Decameron," and Shakespeare. 

Daniel ^IcCarty, of Westmoreland, left in 1724 a 
valuable collection including Latin and Greek w^orks, law 
books, and history; and " King" Carter left in 1726 five 
hundred and twenty-one volumes consisting largely of 
Greek and Latin books, theology, and history. 

Tlie appraisers of the estate of Nathaniel Harrison, 
Surry, 1728, made no pretence to knowledge of literature. 
They dismissed his library with " in the study, books of 
several sorts and sizes," but the fact that they were in a 
" study " suggests a good-sized collection. 

Robert Beverley, of Spotsylvania, at a time when only 
a sparse population lay between him and the mountains, 
had a library of two hundred and fifty volumes. It con- 
tained much Latin and Greek, books by Tillotson, Locke, 
Temple, Burnet, Bacon, Cliillingworth and Pope, Evelyn's 
" Sylva," " Paradise Lost," Shaftsbury's " Characteris- 
tics," the " Spectator " and " Tatler," " Hudibras," 
More's " L^topia " and the " Beggar's Opera." Doctor 
Charles Brown, Williamsburg, 1 736, had five hundred and 
twenty-one volumes which an advertisement in the Virginia 
Gazette described as " the finest and most copious in the 
branches of Natural Philosophy and Physick ever off'ered 
for sale in the Colony," and Henry Fitzhugh of Stafford 
had a librar}^ appraised in 1713 at over two hundred and 
fifty-eight pounds sterling. 

Richard Chichester, Lancaster, 174'-4, left two hundred 

302 




^^al. 



ini}''y^ 



^ 



'"-^m 







*^yuh 



^^Ifcf^--- 




f Ju^r\, 



'7>^. 



^^^^f'/^TSr 



SOME VIRGINIA BOOK-PLATES 



BOOKS 



volumes, and the inventory of Robert Brooke, of Essex, 
1745, names a hundred and thirty-eight titles. Daniel 
Parke Custis, New Kent, 1757, the first husband of Mrs. 
Washington, left four hundred and ninety-nine volumes 
including the works of Fuller, Smollett, Cowley, Claren- 
don, Defoe, Dryden, Waller, Bacon, Pope, Swift, Taylor, 
Herbert, Steele, Johnson, Shakespeare, and Milton. John 
Waller, Spotsylvania, 1755, had a hundred and thirty- 
seven titles, besides magazines and newspapers. Among 
his books were " Paradise Lost," " Tale of a Tub," " Suck- 
ling's Works," " Robinson Crusoe," " Hudibras," " The 
Spectator," " The Dunciad," Dryden's " Satires," Pope's 
" Satires," Shakespeare's " Poems," " The Tatler," and 
Congreve's works. John Herbert, Chesterfield, 1760, had 
two hundred and forty-seven volumes including — besides 
Latin and Greek — Ben Jonson, Shakespeare, Cowley, 
Pope, Swift, Addison, Milton, Butler, Herbert, Pryor, and 
Bolingbroke. Augustine Washington, Westmoreland, 
1762, left with other books, Virgil and various Latin books, 
Homer and Shakespeare. 

In 1764 Colonel Wilham Cabell of Amherst County 
ordered from England over forty-seven pounds worth of 
books. He had a fine libraiy to which he generally added 
about fifty books a year. Henry Churchill, Fauquier 
County, 1762, left books valued at eighty-eight pounds, 
and Clement Reade of the frontier county of Lunen- 
burg, 1763, at twenty-five pounds. George Johnston, 
Fairfax, 1769, who seconded Patrick Henry's famous 
speech in 1765, left a hundred and eighty- six volumes. 
Philip Ludwell, of " Greenspring," who had moved to 
England to live some years before and doubtless carried 
part of his library with him, left in Virginia, at his death, 
in 1767, four bookcases, a trunk and a box of books valued 
at two hundred and fifty pounds sterling. John Harvie, 



COLONIAL VIRGLXLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

of Albermarle, 1769, had a hundred and eighty-nine titles 
besides " a parcel of French and Latin books," and a num- 
ber of books lent out. 

John Baylor, of " Xew JSIarket," Caroline County, in 
1770, bequeathed his son John "all" liis books and directed 
that he should pay to his brothers George and Robert 
twenty-five pounds sterling each to assist in a library 
" which," he concludes, " I highly recommend to be yearly 
added to." It was in this year that Thomas Jefferson lost 
by fire, his library valued at tw^o hundred pounds sterling. 
In the year following John fiercer, of " 3Iarlborough," 
Stafford, died leaving a library of fifteen hundred volumes, 
of which a catalogue has been preserved. 

Robert Carter, of " Xomini Hall," had in 1772 a thou- 
sand and sixty-six volumes, among them the works of 
Locke, Clarendon, Bacon, Sidney, Dryden, Cowley, Rob- 
ertson, Chaucer, Wycherley, jNIontaigne, Gay, Somerville, 
Thompson, Smollett, Donne, Sterne, Addison, Hume, Bur- 
net, Moliere, Waller, Pryor, More ("Utopia"), Shake- 
speare, Hobbes, Pope, Congreve, Vanbrugh, Swift, Shafts- 
bury, and Milton, and much Latin and Greek. 

Charles Taylor, Southampton, 1773, bequeathed his 
"library of books." Jacob Hall, a tutor in the family of 
Thomas Nelson, of Yorktown, in 1775, writes of Colonel 
Nelson's " fine collection." At the same time Richard 
Bland, of Prince George, had " a library of books," and that 
of Ralph Wormeley, of " Rosegill," was noted. 

The largest library of Colonial Virginia and the largest 
private library in Colonial America was that at " West- 
over," which contained nearly four thousand volumes. It 
was collected chiefly by William Byrd, the second, but 
some of the books were inherited from his father and others 
added by his son, the third William.^ 

^ For catalogue see Bassett's " Writings of William Byrd." 

304 



BOOKS 

All of the books mentioned so far belonged to persons 
living east of the Blue Ridge. The Bible was in every 
home in The Valley, as in the older parts of the colony, 
and Waddell seemed to think it was the only book there, 
but there were many more than he suspected. For in- 
stance, the will of Hugh Thompson, 1757, the inventory 
of Robert Clark, 1759, the will of Bryan McDonald, 1759, 
and the inventories of John Buchanan and William Adair, 
1763 — the latter having two bookcases — show modest col- 
lections of books, while Thomas Lewis owned a large and 
valuable library embracing many of the most important 
works then extant. 

Almost all of the ministers of the Established Church 
were well educated men who had good collections of books. 

The libraries of Robert Hunt and Richard Bucke, of 
the Jamestown Chm-ch, have been mentioned. Other par- 
sons who certainly owned books were Ralph Watson, of 
York, who, in 1645, left thirty folios and fifty quartos; 
Benjamin Doggett, of Lancaster, who in 1682 directed in 
his will that his books be " packed in a great chest " and 
sent to England for sale ; John Waugh, of Stafford, whose 
library was appraised, in 1706, at three thousand pounds 
of tobacco, or about seventy-five pounds sterling; St. John 
Shropshire, Westmoreland, who left, in 1718, " a large 
library of books," valued at sixty pounds sterling; John 
Cargill, of Surry, who in 1732 left two hundred and sev- 
enty-five bound books " besides newspapers and pamphlets 
and books lent out " ; Reverend William Dawson, President 
of William and Mary, who left, in 1752, " a choice col- 
lection of books " ; Lewis Latane, Essex, 1737, one hundred 
titles; William Key, Lunenburg, 1764, one hundred and 
sixty-eight volumes; John Moncure, Stafford, 1765, a 
himdred and thirty-seven titles; William Dunlop, King 

305 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

and Queen, 1769, " several thousand volumes in most arts 
and sciences "; James jNIarye, Albemarle, 1774, four hun- 
dred books and forty-four pamphlets. 

The Presbyterian ministers were also men of culture 
and fond of books. Two early examples of those who left 
valuable collections in various languages were Josias 
JNlackie, Princess Anne County, 17*26, and Charles Jeffrey 
Smith, New Kent, 1771. 

In :May, 1768, ]Mr. William Rind, editor of the Vir- 
ginia Gazette, announced in that paper: 

" Gentlemen who chuse to subscribe to the Gentleman's 
or London INIagazines, or for the Reviews will be regularly 
supplied from January next if they leave their names soon 
enough to have them imported by that time." 

In July of the same year he offered for sale the " Vir- 
ginia Almanack and Ladies' Diary for 1769, containing 
among other things, enigmas, acrostics, rebuses, queries, 
paradoxes, nosegays of flowers, plates of fruit and mathe- 
matical questions," and in the following February adver- 
tised for subscribers to a monthly " under the title of the 
American ^Magazine " to be published in Philadelphia bj' 
Lewis Xicola. 

Fithian several times noted in his " Diary " the arrival 
at " Xomini " of magazines from London and Philadel- 
phia and of the AVilliamsburg papers. L^pon one occasion 
he writes: 

" In a ship arrived in the Potomac ^Ir. Carter received 
half a dozen of the latest Gentleman's Magazines, with 
several otlier new books," and again " The English jNIaga- 
zines and Reviews arrived to-day." 

In 1736 William Parks, then publisher of the Virginia 
Gazette, established a book store in Williamsburg, and 
among later capital city book stores was that of Dixon 



BOOKS 



and Hunter, who in 1775 published a Hst of more than 
three hundred titles from their stock, including the works 
of Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, Addison, Pope, Bunyan, 
Bacon, Josephus, Smollett, Gay, Swift, Blackstone, John- 
son's Dictionary, Plutarch's " Lives," Smith's " History of 
Virginia," " Gil Bias," " Robinson Crusoe," " Tristram 
Shandy," " Tom Jones," the " Spectator," " Rambler " 
and " Tatler." 

The Gazette also frequently advertised books by Vir- 
ginia authors published and sold in Williamsburg. 

There were doubtless book stores, or stores where books 
could be bought, in other Virginia towns in the eighteenth 
century, and the inventories of countiy merchants show 
that all of them had some books for sale. 



XII 

MUSIC 




USIC of a simple and social kind — 
principally sentimental songs, ballads 
containing a stoiy, tmieful airs and 
dances — entered largely into Colonial 
Virginia life. In the seventeenth 
century young women played on 
Queen Elizabeth's instrument, the vir- 
ginal, and in the eighteenth on the spinet and harpsichord. 
^len, from the planter to his negro slave, scraped tunes 
from the violin — or the fiddle, as it was more often called — 
and everybody sang. 

Captain John Utie, afterward a member of his 
Majesty's Council, was seen to " play upon the viol at 
sea " on his way to Virginia in 1620, and in much later 
times Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry turned for 
recreation to the fiddle and the bow. 

In 1746 Henry Lee bequeathed among other servants 
one known as ** the piper," and many an advertisement 
of a runaway slave declared " he can play on the violin," 
or " he took his fiddle with him." Owing to the popularity 
of dancing, ability to play on a musical instrument added 
to the slave's usefulness and value. For instance, tliis 
appeared in the Gazette in 1760: 

" To be sold a young healthy negro fellow who has been 
used to wait on a gentleman and plays extremely well on 
the French horn." 

In 1769 there was an advertisement for an " orderly 
negro or mulatto man who can play well on the violin,'* 
and the description of a runaway of 1775 declared: 

" He played exceedingly on the banger and generally 
carries one with him." 




ROBERT CARTER, OF "NOMIM HALL" 

From a portrait by Reynolds 



IVIUSIC 



In 1757 Philip Ludwell Lee offered through the col- 
umns of the Gazette a handsome reward for the recovery 
of a runaway named Charles Love — a white indentured 
servant — who was described as " a professor of music, 
dancing and fencing." 

Musical instruments — especially violins — figure in wills 
and inventories throughout the Colonial period. In 1688 
Thomas Jordan, of Surry, left " a pair of very old vir- 
ginals " and a bass viol. 

In the prosperous years from the middle of the eigh- 
teenth centmy to the Revolution a spinet or harpsichord 
seems to have been generally found in the home of the 
well-to-do planter, who had his girls taught to play, and 
music on one of these instruments — often with the addition 
of the flute or violin, or both — was a favorite diversion of 
the evening hom-s in both country and town. Frequently 
the instruments accompanied a love ditty sung by a fair 
daughter of the house, a rollicking song or a familiar hymn 
in which all the family joined, or broke into one of the 
dance tunes for which the young folk were always ready 
and in time to which the feet of the oldest within hearing 
patted sympathetically. 

William Downman, of Richmond County, wrote his 
brother, in 1752: 

" My little Rawlegh is a very brisk boy and sings 
mightily. He can sing almost any of the common tmies 
our fiddlers play." 

It is evident from allusions to music in Fithian's 
" Diary " that there were many harpsichords in the neigh- 
borhood of " Nomini Hall," and that most of the girls of 
the Carters' circle played on them. A music teacher named 
Stadley taught in that part of the colony and spent several 
days at a time at " Nomini," giving lessons to the girls. 
According to Fithian, all the young ladies at " Mt. Airy " 



COLONIAL MR(;L\IA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

played well and of the niiich admired Jenny Washington, 
who was " about seventeen," he says: 

" She plays well on the harpsichord & spinet, under- 
stands the principles of music and therefore performs her 
tunes in perfect time. . . . She sings likewise to her 
instrument." 

" A Young Lady Singing to the Spinet " inspired " A 
Young Gentleman of Virginia " to an effusion in rhyme, 
printed in the Virginia Gazette in 1737. Here is a speci- 
men stanza from some " Lines on Hearing a Young Lady 
Play on the Harpsichord " from the pen of one who " never 
attempted before anything in the poetical way," which 
appeared in that paper in 1769: 

Wlien Suke>' to her harpsichord repairs 
And, smiling, bids nie give attentive ears. 
With bliss supreme the lovely maid I view. 
But with reluctance forced to bid adieu. 
Her charms, I find, are on my heart impress'd, 
Nor time nor absence can regain my rest. 

The Gazette contains an occasional advertisement of a 
musical instrument for sale, for instance this, in 1752: 

" Just imported from London. A very neat hand 
organ in a mahogany case with gilt front, which plays six- 
teen tunes, on two barrels ; it has four stops and everything 
in the best order." 

And this, in 1767: 

" To be sold for prime cost, a complete Harpsichord, 
with three stops, just imported from London, made by 
Kirpman, the Queen's instrument maker, and supposed 
by good judges to be the best in the Colony. Inquire of 
the printer." 

In 1771 Jefferson, who was devoted to nuisic, ordered 
from a London merchant a clavichord. But quickly fol- 
lowed his letter with another in which he says: 

310 



MUSIC 



" I have since seen a Forte piano and am charmed 
with it. Send me this instrument then, instead of the clavi- 
chord : let the case be of fine mahogany, solid, not veneered. 
The compass from Double G to F in alt. A plenty of spare 
strings and the workmanship on the whole very handsome 
and worthy the acceptance of a lady for whom I intend it." 

Gay little Williamsburg was a music-loving town, and 
the diary of President John Blair (1751) makes frequent 
mention of the musical entertainments at William and 
INIary College and in private houses. Mr. Blair himself 
had a spinet on which the ladies of his family played, and 
when he had friends to dine with him, or when he dined 
out with friends, he took pains to record, " we had fine 
music." 

The inventoiy of Cuthbert Ogle, of Williamsburg, 
shows that he left, in 1755, a fiddle and case, a harpsichord 
and a large collection of music, including works of Handel 
and other famous composers. Dr. Lyon G. Tyler, from 
a study of Mr. Ogle's belongings, conjures up a quaint 
picture of him in a green coat with flowing wig, tuning 
his fiddle as he glances through his spectacles at his music. 

Another acomplished musician of the little capital was 
Peter Pelham, the organist of Bruton Church. In 1769 
Anne Blair wrote her sister, Mrs. George Braxton, of 
" Newington" : 

" They are building a steeple to our church, the doors 
for that reason are open every day and scarce an evening 
but we are entertained with performances of Felton's, 
Handel's and Vi- Valley's works, &c., &c., &c." 

In 1770 Landon Carter, of " Sabine Hall," grouchily 
confided to his diary — apropos of the popularity of music 
in Williamsburg — 

" I hear from every house a constant tuting may be 
listened to from one instrument or another." 

311 



COLOXL\X MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

He evidently would not have found a congenial com- 
panion in his nephew, " Councillor " Carter, of " Xomini 
Hall " and Williamsburg, who took more interest in 
" music, heavenly maid," than anybody of the time in Vir- 
ginia. He was a man of broad culture and devoted to 
intellectual pursuits. Philip Fithian says that his " main 
studies" were law and music, and a catalogue of the fine 
library at " Xomini " given in the tutor's diary bears wit- 
ness to a remarkably versatile taste. According to it, there 
were among his folios "17 volimies of Music by Various 
Authors " and " Alexander's Feasts, or the Power of 
Music, an Ode in Honour of St. Ceceeha by Dryden, set 
to music by Handel," and among the octavos " Malcolm 
on Music," " Handel's Operas for Flute, 2 Vols.," and a 
" Book of Italian ^lusic." The Councillor's favorite even- 
ing pastime was transposing music or playing on the flute, 
viohn, or harpsichord. His children were all musical, and 
the family at " Xomini " may be said to have made a little 
home orchestra, content to be its own audience or ready to 
perform for the pleasure of the company that often gath- 
ered under that hospitable roof. The tutor caught the con- 
tagion and tells of practising sonatas with the master of 
the house and his sons. One of the boys, Ben Carter, a 
favorite pupil of Fithian's, played well on the flute, and 
the tutor paid him half a bit to read or play to him for 
twenty minutes every night after he was in bed. 

In 1770 the Comicillor ordered from London, for his 
house in Williamsburg, an organ made according to direc- 
tions of PeterPelham,andhe also had "an Armonica, one of 
the new fashioned musical instruments invented by Mr. B. 
Franklin, of Philadelphia," and " played on by Miss Davies 
at the great room in Spring Garden." It was described 
as " the musical glasses without water framed into a com- 

S12 



MUSIC 



plete instrument, capable of thorough bass and never out 
of tune." 

The local and advertising columns of the Gazette show 
that there were a number of professional musicians scat- 
tered about the colony. In 1736 this paper announced 
that: 

" On Christmas Eve, died in Hanover County after a 
very short Illness, Mr. John Langford, a noted and skilful 
Musician. His Death is m^uch lamented by his Acquaint- 
ance in general whose Love and Esteem he had Acquired 
by his facetious, good Behavior, and the more so having 
left behind him a poor Widow and six or seven small Chil- 
dren, who tis hop'd will receive some comfort under their 
affliction from the beneficent Hands of those Gentle- 
men and Ladies whom he has often delighted with his 
Harmony." 

In 1752 John Tompkins was prepared to instruct " all 
Persons inclinable to learn, a true Method of singing 
Psalms, at the College of William and Mary, or at the 
Church in Williamsburg," and in the same year " Mr. 
Singleton proposed to teach the violin in Williamsburg, 
Yorktown, Hampton and Norfolk." 

In 1775 " a young lady lately arrived in Williams- 
burg " desired " pupils on the guitar." 

The accommodating Gazette also contributes the 
following : 

" To be performed at King William Courthouse. A 
concert of instrumental Musick, by Gentlemen of Note for 
their own amusement. After the concert will be a Ball 
if agreeable to the Company. Tickets to be had at five 
shillings each." 

A few months later these unnamed " gentlemen of 
note " gave a concert and ball " at Mr. Tinsley's, in Han- 
over To\NTl." 

313 



XIII 

PICTURES 




^>J?T^^^g^^ICTURES in Colonial Virginia ran 
' - — ^ largely to portraits, but there are a 

goodly number of prints mentioned 
in wills and inventories, though few 
of them remain. ]Many of the por- 
traits, too, have been destroyed by 
fire and other accidents, and very 
many of those whicli have been preserved are scattered 
through Virginia and other states and known only to those 
who have fallen heir to them and to their friends. Of the 
interesting collections which have remained intact, like 
those at "Brandon," " Shirley,'' and " Mt Airy," no lists 
are in print, but from such as are, and are easily accessible, 
a catalogue of more than two hundred and fifty could be 
made. From other indications it is believed that at least 
five hundred portraits of Virginians painted before the 
Revolution are still in existence. Among the larger col- 
lections were those of the Randolphs — about thirty-three 
in number; the ]Moseleys, twenty-two — which were long 
kept together and descended from generation to genera- 
tion ; the Carters, twenty ; the Fitzhughs, about twenty ; the 
Byrds, eighteen; the Boilings, sixteen; the Lees, twelve; 
the Pages, ten or twelve, and a number of other groups 
almost as large. 

Some of the emigrants brought j^ortraits of their an- 
cestors with them from England. The ^Nloseleys had one 
of a gentleman in armor, and another, still existing, of a 
lady of the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century, 
wearing interesting jewels — among tliem a thumb-ring. 
The descendants of Sir Thomas Lunsford ow^l a miniature 
of that knight and one of his brother. Colonel Henry Luns- 

314 




A LADY OF THE MOSELEY FAMILY 
From a portrait brought to Virginia, 1649 



J 



PICTURES 



ford, of the Royal Army, who was killed in a charge at 
Bristol, and the Fairfaxes have a number of portraits of 
English members of their family. A descendant of the 
Byrds has a charming full length portrait of the first 
William Byrd, painted during his childhood in England, 
dressed as a little Roman soldier. 

]Most Virginia portraits of the seventeenth and early 
eighteenth centuries are of men, as there were no painters 
in Virginia during those years, and many more men than 
women went " home " and had the opportunity of sitting 
to English artists. Among women who did were the wife 
and daughters of Edward Jaqueline, of Jamestown, who 
was born in 1668. During a visit to England with his 
famity, early in the eighteenth centurj^ he had painted by 
" an artist of the greatest merit he could find," fine por- 
traits of himself, his wife, his three daughters, and two 
sons, with the family coat-of-arms and name and birthday 
of the subject upon the frame of each picture. 

Robert Carter, of " Nomini," when in England sat to 
Sir Joshua Reynolds for a charming portrait which, hap- 
pily, has been preserved. At least one other Virginian, 
Warner Lewis, of " Warner Hall," Gloucester, was painted 
by Reynolds, but the picture perished with historic " Rose- 
well," destroj^ed by fire in 1916. 

In later years Hesselius, Bridges and Wollaston 
painted many portraits in Virginia and Peale a few — 
notably that of Washington as a colonial colonel. 

In 1736 Colonel Byrd wrote to Governor Spots wood 
introducing Charles Bridges as " a man of good family, 
either by the frowns of fortune or his own mismanagement 
obliged to seek his bread in a strange land," adding, " His 
name is Bridges and his profession painting, and if you 
have any employment for him in that way he will be proud 



COLOMAL MRGLMA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

of obeying your command. He has drawn my children and 
several others in this neighborliood, and tho' he has not the 
]\I aster Hand of a Lilly or Kneller, j^et had he lived so long 
ago as when Places were given to the most deserving, he 
might have pretended to be Sergeant Painter of Virginia." 

Bridges was painting in Virginia for years, and a large 
nmnber of portraits done by him have been preserved. His 
women are graceful and attractive and generally wear the 
popular single curl drawn over one shoulder. In 1738 he 
rented a house in Williamsburg which he doubtless made 
his headquarters. In 1740 he was employed to paint the 
King's arms for the Courthouse at Caroline County at the 
price of sixteen hundred pounds of tobacco. 

Here is an advertisement which appeared in the Vir- 
ginia Gazette in 1769: 

Henry Wairen, limner, who is now in Williamsburg has had 
the satisfaction of pleasing most gentlemen who have employed 
him and should any in this place have a mind to please their fancy 
with night pieces or keep in memory their families with family 
pieces or anything of the like (landscapes excepted) may be sup- 
plied by their humble servant. 

If well you're pleased then sure you'll recommend 
Your humble sers'ant to a tasty friend. 

Among the possessions of Colonel Thomas Ludlow, of 
York, who died in 1660, was " Judge Richardson to ye 
waist in a picture," appraised at fifty pounds of tobacco. 
John Brewer, of Isle of Wight, left " 12 small pictures " 
in 1669. 

Thomas Madestard, of Lancaster, who died in 1675, 
was another early owner of pictures, while David Fox of 
the same county left about 1690 " 3 pictures in the parlor 
and 2.5 Pictures of the Sences in the Hall," and Edward 
Digges, of York, in 1692 " 6 pictures." 

316 



PICTURES 



Pictures were frequently handed down by bequest, but 
wills are as tantalizingly indefinite as inventories. In 1700 
William Fitzhugh, of Stafford, bequeathed to his son " my 
own and my Wife's pictures and the other six pictures of 
my relations," and to his wife " the remainder of my pict- 
ures." A portrait of him owned by a descendant is 
labelled " Colonel William Fitzhugh, aged 40, 1698. Copy 
by J. Heselius." The date refers to the original. 

John Swann, of Lancaster, dying in 1711, left two 
small pictures and " a prospect of the City of London." 
Andrew Monroe, of Westmoreland, a great-uncle of the 
President, left in 1714 " 3 large pictures "; Richard Lee, 
1714, " Richard's Lee's picture, frame and curtain, G. Cor- 
bin's picture, the Quaker's picture, T. Corbin's picture;" 
William Churchill, Middlesex, 1714, five pictures with gilt 
frames and one gilt frame " with colors " — doubtless a 
framed coat-of-arms. " King " Carter, in 1726, left por- 
traits of his children, two portraits of himself and two of 
his wife. He bequeathed each child " his own picture." 

Among the household goods of William Gordon, of 
Middlesex, who died in 1726, was " The Royal Oak in a 
frame," and among those of Christopher Robinson, of the 
same county, 1727, "a picture of the Bishop of London," 
who was his brother, while the inventory of Colonel ^laxi- 
milian Boush, of Princess Anne County, 1728, mentions 
portraits of Queen Anne and Prince George, one picture 
in a large gilt frame, ten in small gilt frames, two in black 
frames, two new Maps of London, and a picture of St. 
Paul's Cathedral. 

The inventory of Captain William Rogers, of York- 
town, who died in 1739, mentions " a Dutch picture in a 
gilt frame," seven " cartoons," four " glass pictures," three 
" small pictures," and " a neat picture of Charles II." 

21 317 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Tliat of Alexander Spotswood, Orange, 1740, has " 26 
prints Overton's Theatrum Passion," a " Scripture piece 
of painting, the History of the Woman taken in Adul- 
ter}" — valued at thirty-six pounds sterling — *' 20 prints 
with glasses " — valued at one pound four shillings — and 
" 42 prints with glasses," at three pounds three. 

Henry Hacker, of Williamsburg, dying in 1742, left 
sixteen framed pictures, and jNIajor Harry Turner, of 
King George Comity, 1751, sixty-nine pictures " in gilt 
frames." The inventory of Colonel John Tayloe, 1747, 
lists among articles in the dining-room " a sett of Rubens 
Gallery of Lusenburgh." 

In 1757 Washington ordered from London " 1 neat 
Landskip 3 feet by 21 >^ inches." A landscape " after 
Claude Lorraine" was sent him. 

Colonel John Tabb, of Elizabeth City, according to 
his inventory made in 1762, had one dozen prints in frames, 
and John Pleasants, Cumberland, 1765, ** The Ten Sea- 
sons," valued at five pounds, and " a prospect of Phila- 
delphia," at eight shillings. George Johnston, Fairfax 
County, 1767, left two unframed paintings valued at four 
pounds each, six Hogarth prints, and a family portrait. 
Hogarth's pictures were in at least one other house in the 
colony. In a fragment of a letter preserved in the Jones 
Papers, Colonel Thomas Jones requested his brother, who 
was studying abroad, to buy him some more Hogarths 
in London and gave him a list of those he already had. 
They were " Midnight Conversation," " The Rake's Prog- 
ress," " The Harlot's Progress," " The Roast Beef of Old 
England " and — as well as can be made out — " Marriage 
a la Mode." 

According to the inventory of Adam ]\Ienzies, North- 
umberland County, 1767, he had seven engravings from 

318 




WILLIAM BYRD, FIRST 
From a portrait brought from England 



PICTURES 



Raphael's cartoons, four large prints in gilt frames, and 
one small print. 

In the same year the Gazette announced: 

" Sometime ago the gentlemen of Westmoreland, by 
subscription, ordered a portrait of the Right Honorable 
the Earl of Chatham to be put up in their Courthouse. It 
is now arrived and esteemed a masterly performance and 
drawn by Charles Peak." 

This picture, after a long visit to the Hall of the House 
of Delegates, in the Capitol at Richmond, hangs again on 
the walls of Westmoreland Courthouse. 

In 1775 Professor Henley, of William and Mary Col- 
lege, advertised for sale '* a portfolio of engravings, etch- 
ings and Mezzotints — all fine impressions and many of 
them proofs by the most celebrated IMasters," and in the 
fine house of his contemporary^ William Hunter, of Wil- 
liamsburg, were a " sea piece," a landscape, and a large 
picture of the " Ruins of Rome," in gilt frames, nineteen 
prints, and two small pictures " with glasses and frames." 

In 1775 also John Champe, of King George County, 
bequeathed to his wife, Anne — who was the daughter of 
Charles Carter, of " Cleve " — the " four pictures drawn 
last by Hesselius, to wit: Colonel Charles Carter and Anne 
his wife, my own and the said Anne Champe." 

A letter written from Virginia about this time men- 
tions the family pictures drawn by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 
and others, at Windsor," the home of the Claytons, in 
New Kent County. 



XIV 

RELIGION 




HILE his Majesty's first Colony was 
not strictly a religious settlement, re- 
ligious observances were so much a 
part of the life of the people of the 
day that such an enterprise could 
hardly have been launched with this 
element left out, and in the final orders 
of the Virginia Company of London to the first colonists 
before the three little ships set sail from England, they 
were admonished to 

" Serve and fear God the Giver of all Goodness, for 
every plantation which our Heavenly Father hath not 
planted shall be rooted out." 

To this the founders of all the American colonies would 
have said a hearty Amen, but among the incentives which 
moved the emigrants to Virginia to seek a home in a new 
world, desire to break away from the faith of their fathers 
had no part — they brought with them not only the religion 
of England but the Church of England. Allien they made, 
at Cape Henry, their first landing on American soil, they 
set up a cross and claimed the country for their chm'ch as 
well as for their king — a ceremony which was repeated on 
one of the islets in the tumbling waters of the James, at 
the present site of Richmond, when their explorations 
brought them there on that bright Whitsunday morning 
a month later. An important member of the first settle- 
ment group was Parson Hunt, the Chaplain, who, on 
June 21 — the third Sunday after Trinity — gave them the 
Commimion on the greensward at Jamestown under an old 
sail stretched from tree to tree. Wherever these men cut 
down trees and planted a settlement of cabins fashioned 



RELIGION 



of the green logs, they built a house better than their dwell- 
ings for a church, where the familiar rites of the English 
Prayer Book were used. On August 9, 1619, the earliest 
legislative assembly in America met in the church at James- 
town, as " the most convenient place they could find," and 
it is written in the official journal of that historic gathering: 

" Forasmuche as men's affaires doe little prosper where 
God's service is neglected all the Burgesses tooke their 
places in the Quire till a prayer was said by Mr. Bucke, the 
minister, that it would please God to guide and Sanctifye 
all our proceedings to his owne glory and to the good of 
this Plantation." 

There were two or three wooden churches at James- 
town — the first " a homely thing like a barn set on crotch- 
ets," and the last a more comely, weather-boarded struct- 
ure — before the brick church with tower, buttresses, and 
diamond-paned windows was built upon the same site. In 
1623 the settlers in Accomac County worshipped in a small 
building of " roughly riled logs, cemented loosely with 
wattle; the whole enclosed by Pallysadoes for protection 
against ye Indian tribes, an ever present menace to peace 
and safety." 

About 1614 a good frame church had been built at 
Hem'icopolis and a brick one was planned. In 1624 a 
church was under way in Elizabeth City which seems from 
foundations which have been unearthed to have been, like 
the last frame church at Jamestown, of wood on a brick 
underpinning. There was a church in Charles City in 
1625 and doubtless there were others, as there were then 
five or six ministers in the colony. 

A long war of words has been waged as to whether the 
church at Jamestown or its counterpart in Isle of Wight 
County was the earliest brick house of worship in the 

321 



COLONIAL VIRGLNIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

colony — Isle of Wight having persistent traditions, the 
date 1632 moulded into a brick in its walls and other evi- 
dences to support its claim. It was in 1638 that Governor 
Sir John Harvey in his report to England on conditions 
in Virginia said: 

" Out of our owne purses wee have Largely contributed 
to the building of a brick church " — meaning of course the 
one at Jamestown, which is believed to have been finished 
about 1640. 

In 1645 Lower Norfolk County had two parish 
churches which were probably of wood, but in 1691 it was 
ordered that a " good, substantial brick church " be built 
for Lynnliaven Parish in that county. It was to be forty- 
five feet long and twenty-two wide, within the walls, which 
were to be thirteen feet high, with " brick gable ends to the 
bridge of the roof " and a " brick porch ten feet square." 
The roof was to have " good beams covered with good 
oaken boards " and, inside, to be " well sealed with good 
oaken boards, archwise, and whited with good lime." There 
were to be " good and sufficient lights of brick, well glazed 
with good glass " on each side of the church and " at the 
east end a good large window fitt and proportionable for 
such a church." There was to be a row of pews on each 
side and also a " wainscott pew," for the use, of course, of 
persons of importance, on each side. This tiny but well- 
proportioned and dignified little temple, which has long 
since disappeared, was doubtless a typical country parish 
church of the period. 

Beverley wrote at the beginning of the eighteenth 
century : 

" They have in each parish a convenient church built 
either of timber, brick or stone and decently adorned with 
everything necessary for divine service." 



RELIGION 



In large parishes there were also one or more small 
chapels of ease for the use of persons living at an incon- 
venient distance from the church. In building either a 
church or chapel care was always taken to choose a site 
near a spring of good water. In 1769 the vestry of the very 
large parish of Camden, in Pittsylvania County, then on 
the frontier, ordered at one time the building at different 
points of three small frame churches — one of them to be 
situated " at the most best and convenient spring near the 
Road Ford of Leatherwood Creek." 

During the eighteenth century many beautiful churches 
were erected in the colony and a good number of them 
are still in use, while others are in a state of deplorable 
but picturesque ruin. Bruton Church, Williamsburg; St. 
Paul's, Norfolk; St. John's, Hampton; Christ Church, 
Alexandria, and St. John's, Richmond — each of which is 
surrounded by a graveyard filled with interesting tombs — 
are especially appealing town churches. Christ Church, 
Lancaster County, is the finest example of a country church 
remaining. It was built in 1732 by " King " Carter, 
whose home, " Corotoman," was three miles away on the 
Rappahannock River. From his house to his church he con- 
structed a straight road enclosed on either side by a hedge 
of cedars along which, in periwig and gold lace and sur- 
rounded by his family in attire as dashing, this Virginia 
grandee passed in his coach on Sundays. 

The church, which is built of brick, with walls three feet 
thick, is in the shape of a Greek cross, measuring inside 
sixty-two feet from wall to wall each way. The ceiling, 
which is thirty-three feet high, forms a groined arch above 
the intersection of the wide aisles which are paved with 
flagstones. The lofty pulpit with its winding stair, the 
chancel and the high-backed, box pews, with seats running 

323 



COLONIAL MRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

all around them, are of black walnut. There are twenty- 
two of these with a seating capacity of twelve each, and 
three — which were reserved for the Carter family and dig- 
nitaries — that will seat twenty persons each. There were 
other countr}^ churches nearly as impressive as this — nota- 
bly 3Iatapony, in King and Queen County, and Abing- 
don, Gloucester County. Many others still were plain, 
frame buildings, but while some of the more primitive ones 
doubtless had simple benches, it seems from the records 
that most of them were equipped with square pews, high 
pulpits, sounding boards and other churchly furnishings. 
Pews and sometimes galleries were owned by individuals. 
In 1735 Edward ^loseley, of Lynnhaven Parish, was given 
permission " to erect a hanging pewe on the north side of 
the new church at his own cost," for the use of himself 
and his family, and in 1772 Wilson Car\^ directed in his 
will that his pew in St. John's Church, Hampton, should 
" go doT\Ti with his home to his heirs forever." 

Many of the churches had bells which were sometimes 
gifts. For instance, in 1760 Alexander Kennedy, of Eliza- 
beth City County, bequeathed forty pounds sterling for a 
bell for the parish church. Some, though perhaps not so 
many, had organs. Among these was old Petsworth Church 
in Gloucester, not a brick of which now stands, whose 
vestry made " great subscriptions " for the purchase of 
an organ in 1735 and ordered that seven hundred gold 
leaves be bought for the use of the painter. Some time 
before the Revolution an organ was carried over the moun- 
tains to the old Lutheran Church in what is now Madison 
County. 

In 1040 Adam Thoroughgood bequeathed a thousand 
pounds of tobacco to Lynnhaven Parish Church " for the 
purchase of some necessary and decent Ornament." 

S24 




A SEVENTEENTH CENT r in- (ill H( H -T. I.I KH'S, 
ISLE OF WK.HT ( (HM^ 




AN EIGHTEENTH CENTIRY CHrRCH— ST. PAULS, KING GEORGE COUNTY 



RELIGION 



A favorite interior decoration for houses of worship 
throughout the Colonial period was the framed Lord's 
Prayer, Creed, or Ten Commandments, which was often 
provided by bequest. In 1675 John Washington, of West- 
moreland, bequeathed the Lower Church of Washington 
Parish " the Ten Commandments and the King's Arms, 
to be sent for out of England," and in 1716 William Fox, 
of Lancaster, left to St. Mary's White Chapel a font and 
" the Lord's Prayer and Creed well drawn in gold letters," 
with his name under each of them, set in black frames. 
There was a rare attempt at elaborate decoration. Old 
Petsworth had over the chancel a fresco representing the 
Last Judgment. The picture showed a crimson curtain 
drawn back and disclosing an angel with a trumpet in his 
hand, surrounded by rolling clouds from which looked other 
angel faces. ^ 

About 1764 Mrs. Elizabeth Stith, of Surry County, 
bequeathed fifty pounds sterling to buy " an altar piece " 
for the Lower Church in Southwark Parish. Her direc- 
tions were that " Moses and Aaron be drawn at full length 
holding up between them the Ten Commandments and, 
if the money be enough, the Lord's Prayer in a small frame 
to hang to the right over the great pew, and the Creed in 
another small frame to hang on the left over the other great 
pew." 

There were many gifts and bequests of silk and velvet 
pulpit hangings and cushions. Among these were pulpit 
cloths and cushions for the upper and lower Machodick 
Churches, in Westmoreland, bequeathed by Lawrence 
Washington, the grandfather of George, in 1697. As early 
as 1617 Mrs. Mary Robinson, of London, bequeathed to 
the Church at Smith's Hundred two hundred pounds ster- 

^ Meade's " Old Churches and Families of Virginia," i, 323. 
325 



COLONIAL VIRGINM, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

ling with part of which was bought a " Yellow & blue 
Cheiny Damaske Carpett wth a Silke fring," a " white 
dainaske Communion Cloath," and a " Surplisse," and 
also a " Communion Silver Guilt Cupp & two little Chal- 
ices in a black leather cover." This oldest colonial com- 
munion service in America may still be seen at venerable 
St. John's Church, Hampton. 

A silver communion service in a cloth of gold cover, 
a crimson velvet " carpet," or pulpit hanging, with gold 
and silver fringe, and a damask communion cloth which 
were, about 1621, sent from England for use in the chapel 
of the ill-fated college at Henrico, were in existence in 
1627. In later years there were many bequests of com- 
munion silver to Virginia churches — usually bearing the 
name of the donor and frequently his arms. Among them 
were the gift of William Burdett, gentleman, to the 
Lower Parish of Northampton County, in 1643, that of 
David Fox, to St. Mary's, White Chapel, in 1669, and 
that of Hancock Lee " to ye Parish of Lee " in 1711. The 
Reverend John Farnifold left " each church " in his parish 
in Northumberland County a chalice of silver. Augustine 
Warner gave a handsome service to Petsworth Church, 
and Ralph Wormeley one of five pieces to Christ Church, 
Middlesex. In 1741 John Allen, of Surry, left thirty-five 
pounds sterling to each of the two parishes in that county 
to buy services, and in 1748 Philip Lightfoot fifty pounds 
current money for a " handsome flagon and chalice " with 
his " arms thereon " for the Church at Yorktown. It is 
evident that there were silver services in every parisli and 
a goodly number of colonial silver communion services are 
in use in Virginia churches to-day. 

There are frequent references to surplices as gifts, and 
in 1752 the Virginia Gazette advertised as " stolen out of 

326 



RELIGION 



Ware Church, in Gloucester County, Communion table 
and pulpit cloths of crimson velvet, double laced with gold, 
and also a surplice and gown." 

Sunday observance and church-going were enforced 
by law in Colonial Virginia. In the earliest days at James- 
town attendance on morning and evening prayer was re- 
quired on week days as well as Sundays, and every day 
in the week, and in 1616 the Governor and Council issued 
a proclamation that every person must go to church on 
Sundays and holy days or " lye neck and heels " in the 
guard house all night and be a slave to the Colony for a 
week." For the second offence the sinner would be re- 
quired to serve the colony for a month; and for the third, 
a year and a day. 

In 1626 the Council further ordered that " the Com- 
mander and Church Wardens of each plantation take a 
list of the inhabitants and see that the service of God be 
duly performed and any found delinquent punished as 
provided by law." Any man who came to church without 
his arms was " to receive the same punishment as if he 
had stayed away," and " every master of a family must 
call his people together for prayer twice, or once a day, 
at least." 

The General Assembly was as explicit as the Council 
of State in its insistence upon religious observances. In 
1623 it made absence from church punishable by fine of one 
pound of tobacco for a first offence, or fifty pounds for 
absence for a month. In 1631 church- wardens were or- 
dered to '* lev}^ one shilling for every tyme of any person's 
absence from the church havinge no lawfull or reasonable 
excuse to bee absent," and in later years there were re- 
peated acts compelling church attendance. 

In 1642 one was passed making it unlawful to " take a 

327 



COLONIAL VIRGINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

voyage " on the Sabbath day " except it be to church or for 
other causes of extreme necessitie, upon the penaltie of 
the forfeiture of twenty pounds of tobacco." In ITO-t 
York County Court made it milawful for inn-keepers to 
" sell strong drink or suffer any drunkenness in their 
houses on the Sabbath." 

And these laws were enforced, as hundreds of entries 
in the council and county court records show. For in- 
stance, in 1624 his ^Majesty's Council ordered that Thomas 
Sully, who had broken the Sabbath by " going a hunting," 
should pay " five pounds sterling in good tobacco " toward 
the support of the church and acknowledge his fault in tlie 
presence of the congregation. In the same year William 
Newman and John Army were fined " for not coming to 
church, according to the act of Assembly," and in 1626 
Thomas Farley, Gentleman, was fined a hundred pounds 
of tobacco " for not coming to church on the Sabbath day 
for three months." In 1679 the grand jury of Henrico 
presented Joseph Royal for playing cards, John Edwards 
and " one of Mr. Isham's servants " for playing checkers, 
Henry ]Martin for swearing and Charles Fetherstone and 
Edward Stratton for getting drunk and fighting on Sun- 
day, and some years later Henry Turner was tried in the 
same county for stripping tobacco on that day. In 1704 
the grand jury of Middlesex County indicted Thomas 
Sims for " travelling on the road with a loaded beast " and 
William ^Montague and Garrett INIinor for " bringing 
oysters on shore on the Sabbath." 

Later in the period Sunday observance was less strict — 
especially on the part of the laboring people. Philip 
Fithian -WTote in 1774: 

" Sunday in Virginia don't seem to wear the same 
dress as our Sundavs to the northward. Generallv here bv 



RELIGION 



five o'clock on Saturday every face (especially the negroes) 
looks festive and cheerful. All the lower class of people 
and the servants and the slaves consider it a day of pleasure 
and amusement." 

One Sunday when he and the Carters went to church in 
a boat he recorded in his diary, " The Nomini River alive 
with boats, canoes, etc., some going to church, some fishing, 
some sporting." 

All sorts of surprises awaited the church-goer in the 
early days of the colony, and the preacher who could hold 
the attention of his audience must have been eloquent in- 
deed. Many oiFences were considered crimes against the 
Church as well as the State, and it was deemed proper that 
pmiishment, or a part of it, should be inflicted within the 
sacred building and in the presence of minister and people. 
For instance, in 1641, Christopher Burroughs and Mary, 
his wife, were ordered to do penance in their parish church 
" standing upon stools in the middle alley, wrapped in 
white sheets and holding white wands in their hands, all 
the time of divine service, and to say after the minister 
such words as he should deliver unto them." In the same 
year Edy Tooker was sentenced to do penance in church 
and " during the exhortation delivered unto her by the 
minister admonishing her to be sorry for her foul crime 
did, like a most obstinate and graceless person, rend and 
mangle the sheet in which she did penance." For which 
she was " ordered to receive twenty lashes and to do pen- 
ance according to the spiritual laws and forms of the church 
of England in the same Chapel Sunday come fortnight." 

In 1643 Bartholomew Haynes and a woman named 
Julian Underwood were presented by the churchwardens 
of Elizabeth River for immorality and were — 

" Ordered to stand forth in white sheets in the parish 

329 



COLONIAL VIRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

church at Sewell's Point and, in the face of the minister 
and congregation in the time of divine service, between 
the first and second lessons in the forenoon, make a public 
acknowledgment of their fault and ask Almighty God for- 
giveness in these express words : ' I, Bartholomew Haynes 
and Julian Underwood, do here acknowledge and confess 
in the presence of the whole congregation that I have 
grievously sinned and offended against the divine Majesty 
of Almighty God and all Christian People in committing 
a foul and detestable crime, and am heartily sorry and 
truly penitent for the same and do unfeignedly beseech 
Almighty God of his infinite goodness to be merciful unto 
me and forgive this my heinous oiFence, and I do heartily 
desire the congregation and all good people to forgive and 
pray for me/ " 

An ingenuity which would have delighted the heart of 
a Dante was often shown in making the punishment fit the 
crime. In 1648 Robert Warder, for getting drunk, was 
sentenced to stand at the door of Nassawattocks Church, 
Northampton County, " with a great pot tied about his 
neck," and Samuel Wyard, of the same county, who had 
stolen a pair of breeches, " to appear during the whole 
time of service for three Sundays, with a pair of breeches 
tied around his neck and the word Thief, written on his 
back." 

The colonists evidently believed that heathen should be 
punished with few (or no) stripes in this world, as the Bible 
gives us to believe they will be in the next. In 1695 Joane 
Scot, the first Gypsy mentioned in the records, was brought 
before the grand jury for immoral conduct, but was dis- 
charged, as the Court was of the opinion that " the law 
did not touch her — she being an Egyptian and no Christian 
woman." 




courtesy of Harpers Magazine 

INTERIOR OF CHRIST CHURCH, MIDDLESEX 




THE OLDEST AMERICAN COMMUNION SERVICE 

St. JohD's Church, Hampton 



RELIGION 



The earliest day of public thanksgiving known to have 
been celebrated in Virginia was March 23, 1623 — the first 
anniversary of the Indian Massacre — and was appointed 
by Act of the Assembly to commemorate the preservation 
of the colony from entire destruction. It was ordered that 
the day be " Yeerly solemnized as holliday," and in 1624 
the statute declared with ingenious variation as to spelling : 

" It is ordered, that the 22d day of March be yearelie 
kept Holy day in commemoration of our deliverance from 
the Indians at the bloodie Massaker which happened upon 
the 22d of March 1621 "-2. 

On April 18, 1644, occurred the second massacre, and 
the year following we find an act of Assembly: 

" That the eighteenth day of April be yearly cele- 
brated by thanksgiving for our deliverance from the hands 
of the Salvages." 

At the same session the pious lawmakers ordered " for 
God's glory and the public benefit of the Collony," that 
" the last Wednesday in every month be sett apart for a 
day of ff ast and humiliation, And that it be wholy dedi- 
cated to prayers and preaching." 

The two annual thanksgiving days were continued by 
later Assemblies, but gradually fell into disuse, though 
throughout the Colonial period, days of thanksgiving or 
of fasting and prayer were occasionally ordered by procla- 
mation of the governor. For instance, in March, 1692, 
Governor Sir Edmund Andros appointed " a Solemn fast 
to implore the blessings of God upon the Consultations of 
the Assembly," and in April of the same year another " to 
avert God's Judgment upon the Country being sorely 
afflicted with measles." 

April 8, 1760, was made a day of public thanksgiving 
for the " signal success of his Majesty's arms." 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

In a country wlicie there was plenty of room for every- 
body, plenty of timber for building log and frame houses 
and for firewood, and plenty to eat, want was almost un- 
known, yet " the poor of the parish " are remembered in 
many, many wills, early and late, and such gifts were 
looked after and dispensed by the vestry and church war- 
dens. Here are a few characteristic examples: 

In 1625 James Carter bequeathed forty shillings to the 
poor of tlie parish and fifty acres of land " bought of my 
Lady Dale in Shirlej^ Hundred Island " for a " place of 
residing for the minister." In 1667 Daniel Boucher, of 
Isle of Wight, gave " to the poorest people in the parish 
. . . one oxe commonly called Brand, wdth a good loaf 
of bread to each of the poor people aforesaid." In 1674 
Richard Bennett, of Xansemond, w^ho had been Governor, 
left to his parish three hundred acres of land, the rents 
from which were to be received by the chm'ch wardens 
and used for the relief of " four aged and impotent per- 
sons," and in 1749 Richard Bennett, then of Maryland, left 
thirty pounds sterling a year to the poor of the same parish, 
where he had long lived. In 1683 Robert Griggs, of Lan- 
caster County, bequeathed twenty thousand pounds of 
tobacco " to those that are indeede truly poore," in 1684 
William Gordon, of ]Middlesex County, a hundred acres 
of land and two cows to Christ Church parish, and in 1691 
George Spencer, of Lancaster, ten thousand pounds of 
tobacco to the poor of White Chapel parish and twenty 
pounds sterling for a communion plate. In 1726 " King " 
Carter directed in his will that some of his " friends and 
poor neighbors " be excused from paying his estate *' sun- 
dry debts and balances " which they owed him. and that 
forty pounds worth of coarse goods be "distributed amongst 
the poor necessitous people of the parish." 

332 



RELIGION 



In 1750 Griflin Fauntleroy, of Xorthumberland 
County, left six cattle " to the poor house-keepers of 
Cherry Point Neck," in 1751 Frances Stokes, of Amelia 
County, twenty-five pounds to the poor of Raleigh parish, 
in 1762 Charles Carter, of " Cleve," " twenty-five pounds a 
year for eight years to be divided among the needy families 
of King George County," and in 1760 John Newton, of 
Westmoreland, twenty pounds to the poor of Cople parish. 

Colonel John Tayloe, of " Mt. Airy," making his will 
in 1744, and his son, John, thirty years later made 
unusually interesting bequests to the parish of Lunen- 
burgh, in Richmond County. The father left to the vestry 
three hundred pounds current money, part of which was to 
be spent upon two young negro men and four young negro 
women who were to be placed upon the glebe to work for 
the use of the parish, while the remainder of the money 
was to be spent in tobacco and corn " to clothe the naked 
and feed the poor of the parish, not intending to lessen the 
usual parish allowance to the poor." He also gave two sows 
and pigs, ten young cows and a bull to be placed upon 
the glebe. The son left to the minister and vestry five 
hundred pounds sterling, in trust, " for the use of the 
poorest inhabitants of the parish, being honest people, to 
be put on interest and the profits to be distributed every 
year at the door of the lower church of said parish on 
Restoration day," when the minister was requested to 
" give them a prayer and sermon, not mentioning this be- 
quest." He directed that the legacy should " continue 
forever." 

It does continue to-day and the parish still uses a hand- 
some silver communion service presented to it by one of 
these masters of beautiful old " Mt. Airy." 

Bishop Meade's valuable and widely read work on old 

22 333 



di^i 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

churclu's in Virginia has produced upon the minds of those 
unfamih'ar witli the original records an erroneous impres- 
sion of the ministers of the colony. The great Bishop was 
of the extreme evangelical, low church type, and judged 
the clergy not by the standards of their own time but 
according to his private opinions. Measured thus even, 
he was able to brand as men of bad character only some 
fourteen or fifteen out of hmidreds. Among these were 
a few like Gronow Owen — the distinguished Welsh poet — 
and Commissary Thomas Dawson, who furnished strange 
instances of ministers who drank to excess, but were, apart 
from this weakness, good men. 

Some men probably went into the Church in Virginia, 
as in England, simply as a profession and there were doubt- 
less others who were mere adventurers and would have 
been unfit for the ministry at any time. But thorough 
study of all existing evidences makes it plain that the great 
mass of the Colonial Virginia clergy were well educated 
and worthy men. 

True, the records sometimes show us zealous parish 
priests censuring their colder and more formal brethren, 
and during Governor Spotswood's administration, when 
factional feeling ran high, we find the House of Bur- 
gesses, who were bitterly antagonistic to the Governor, 
condemning the ministers for adhering to him and 
declaring: 

" The Clerg)" in Virginia are in such precarious cir- 
cumstances and many of them so obnoxious that if they do 
not keep in the Governors' favor they run the hazard of 
losing their benefices." 

But from such light as we have on the character of 
the clergy of that time no ground for these charges of the 
House can be found. 

334 




PLAN OF WASHINGTON'S PARISH CHURCH 



RELIGION 



When a clergyman was guilty of conduct unworthy 
of his calling, there was quick action on the part of the 
vestries or of the Governor and Council of State. The 
earliest known instance of such misconduct was in 1625 
when the Reverend Greville Pooley — the same that was 
jilted by the widow Cicely Jordan — and Mr. Thomas 
Pawlett were brought before the general court for quarrel- 
ling in the church at Charles City. According to the tes- 
timony, upon St. Stephen's Day, ^Ir. Pooley and his flock 
met to pray and also to consider removal of the church 
to another site — a subject which has always been and 
always will be productive of bitter feeling among church 
members. Dm*ing the discussion a violent quarrel arose 
between Mr. Pooley and Mr. Pawlett. Mr. Pooley gave 
Mr. Pawlett the lie, to which Mr. Pawlett replied that 
the minister was a " proud priest," a " purjured man " and 
a " blockhead parson who spoke false Latin and taught 
false doctrine." 

The court condemned the behavior of the priest as 
severely as that of his parishioner. Councillor Francis 
West said that in his opinion " the grossest words ^Ir. 
Pawlett gave ^Ir. Pooley could not equal the lie, which 
word toucheth his reputation in the highest nature of a 
gentleman, valuing it as near and dear unto him as his 
life." Both offenders were sentenced to ask the forgive- 
ness of the congregation, and Mr. Pawlett was ordered to 
pay Mr. Pooley three hundred pounds of tobacco. 

An example of how the Governor and Council disposed 
of ministers shown to be men of evil life is found in 1742, 
when the Reverend Mr. Blewit, of North Famham Par- 
ish, Richmond County, was tried for " drunkenness, pro- 
fane swearing and other immoralities and misdemeanors." 
The charges were proved and the court declared that he 



COLONIAL MUOINLV, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

was a " scandal to his function " and recommended that 
the Commissary deprive him of his charge and the Gover- 
nor appoint another in his place. 

A heautiful church in Xorth Farnham Parish has long 
been in ruins, but is now undergoing restoration. 

Sometimes dictatorial and unreasonable conduct of a 
vestry made the life of the minister uncomfortable. The 
vestry was all-powerful. It was composed of the most 
influential men in the parish, built and equipped the 
churches and chapels of ease, chose the minister and, upon 
occasion, dismissed him, collected his salary and provided 
his glebe, cared for the poor, and looked after the morals 
of the community. 

Some of the complaints made against ministers seem 
to-day to have been for extremely trivial causes. The 
vestry of St. John's Parish, King William County, " sol- 
emnly declared " to Governor Nicholson that their objec- 
tion to the Reverend John Monro was not " on account 
of his being of the Scottish Nation." Nevertheless, they 
naively added, " Tho we must confess an Englishman 
would be more acceptable." In 1743 the vestry of Charles 
Parish, York County, brought charges against the Rev- 
erend Theodosius Staige, for refusing to christen ille- 
gitimate children and opposing singing the new version 
of the Psalms, and prayed the Governor and Council to 
remove him. The Council found him "guilty of the sev- 
eral misdemeanors charged against him " and ordered that 
he comply with the wishes of his vestry or be allowed six 
months to provide himself with another charge. He not 
only found a new parish, but gave entire satisfaction in it. 

Church music seems to have been a vexed question 
then, as since. In 1774 the grand jury of Chester- 
field County actually indicted the Reverend Archibald 



RELIGION 



McRoberts, of Dale Parish, for " Making use of Hymns 
or poems in the Chm'ch service instead of David's Psahns, 
contrary to law." The petit jury found that he had used 
such hymns after the communion service and after the 
sermon. 

But there is abundant evidence of the high regard in 
which many colonial clergymen were held. To illustrate: 
Commissary William Dawson — himself a man of learning 
and exemplary life — writing to the Bishop of London, 
in 1734, of the death of the Reverend Bartholomew Yates, 
says : 

" Piety to God and beneficence to men were the only 
acts of his excellent life. In him wisdom and goodness were 
eminently conjoined." 

In 1730 Governor Sir William Gooch wrote that he 
had so good an account of the behavior of Reverend Chi- 
chely Thacker while at the University of Oxford, that 
he had no doubt he would prove an acceptable minister, 
and in 1745 he declared that the Reverend James Scott 
" was a man of discretion, understanding and integrity 
and in every way qualified to discharge the sacred office." 

In 1764 the celebrated George jMason wrote a most 
affectionate letter to the widow of Reverend John Mon- 
cure, who had just died, expressing warm admiration of 
her husband. Plenty of other instances might be given. 

As has also happened in later times, pretenders occa- 
sionally tried to impose upon the Church. In 1755 this 
advertisement appeared in the Virginia Gazette: 

"Asa Person pretending to be the son of the late Duke 
of Wirtemberg, and in holy Orders, and taking upon him- 
self the Names and Titles of Carolus, Ludovicus, Ru- 
dolphus, Wirtemherg , princeps, A.M., M.D., hath ob- 
tained Liberty, according to his report of preaching in 



COLONIAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

several Churches within this Dominion. This is to give 
notice to all Ministers and others that the said Person is 
an Impostor. He is a short, middle-aged Man, a most 
Notorious Liar and affects to speak broken English. In 
order therefore to put a stop to this and the like shameful 
irregularities for the future, His Honor the Governor 
hereby strictly charges, and commands all Ministers, or in 
their Absence the Church Wardens, not to allow a 
Stranger, or any itinerant Preacher, under any Pretence 
whatever, to officiate in their churches or chapels, unless 
they have previously qualified themselves, as the Constitu- 
tion and Canons of the Church of England and the Law 
of this country expressly provide." 

For a few years of the first half of the seventeenth 
century there were quite a number of Puritans in Nanse- 
mond and Lower Norfolk counties, but most of these 
soon removed to Maryland or conformed to the Established 
Church. During the greater part of the Colonial period 
there were in Virginia but few dissenters from the Church of 
England, with the exception of the Quakers — who had all 
the virtues of their sect, but, save in certain customs 
peculiar to them, they seem to have lived very much 
like their neighbors. In the seventeenth century they were 
subjected to sharp persecution and some of them were 
whipped, others imprisoned or banished, yet as long as this 
lasted they increased and prospered. There was happily 
a cessation of the persecution after James II's decla- 
ration permitting liberty of conscience, which was pro- 
claimed in Virginia and ordered to be " celebrated with 
beate of Drum and the Firing of ye Great Gunns, and 
with all the Joyfulness that this Collony is capable to 
Express." 

During most of the eighteenth century the Quakers 

338 




QUAKP:R meeting house, cedar creek, HANOVER COUNTY 

Built 1770 




OLD STONE CHURCH (PRESBYTERIAN), AUGUSTA COUNTY 



ass 



RELIGION 



were permitted to quietly attend their meeting houses, 
but, hke all dissenters, were taxed for the support of the 
Established Church. Though they far outnumbered any 
other dissenting body in the colony during most of the 
period, they were too few to produce any noticeable effect 
on the manners and customs of the general population. 

Before the middle of the eighteenth century the great 
religious revival which had begun in England spread to the 
colonies. We have accounts of Whitefield's preaching at 
Bruton parish church, and at Blandf ord — when the negroes 
in the gallery were moved to tears — but it was not until 
close to the end of the Colonial period that the Virginia 
Methodist and Baptist churches were founded. These 
great denominations — which when once started rapidly 
grew and later became immensely influential for good — 
just touch the period treated of in this book. The 
Methodists, indeed, did not regard themselves as a separate 
body until after the Revolution, for in 1776 they sent a 
petition to the General Assembly of Virginia protesting 
against the disestablishment of the Colonial Church and 
declaring that their denomination, three thousand strong, 
was " a Religious Society in Communion with the Church 
of England." 

In the latter half of the eighteenth century by far the 
largest dissenting churches were the Presbyterians and the 
various denominations of German Protestants. In the 
eastern and central parts of the colony the glowing, evan- 
gelistic preaching of Samuel Davies and James Waddell, 
men of great eloquence and ability, contributed largely 
toward laying the foundation of the Presbyterian Church, 
but the homes of those who became Presbyterians and of 
the Presbyterian emigrants into these sections were scat- 
tered about among those of adherents of the Established 

339 



*»*.. f-;-«?t.-wi'- 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Church, and but for their religious beliefs and possibly a 
somewhat greater strictness in regard to amusements, their 
lives were much the same. 

In The Valley it was different. There, in Augusta, 
Rockbridge, and neighboring districts the population was 
made up almost entirely of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, 
while in many places lower down it was composed largely 
of Germans. These people had their own churches and 
schools — some of the chm'ches being of stone and palisaded 
for defence against the Indians — and their habits of life 
were decidedly different from those of the dwellers east of 
the Blue Ridge; but by reason of the remoteness of their 
situation they had little or no influence on the manners of 
the colony beyond their own limits. 

The people of Eastern Virginia, where the Church of 
England prevailed, have been repeatedly charged with 
failure to live up to its teachings. It would be foolish to 
contend that they always did, for Virginia both east and 
west of the mountains, was settled by human beings, not 
by saints or angels, and it may be as well to add that any one 
w^ho imagines that every Scotch-Irishman in The Valley 
was a godly Presbyterian is vastly mistaken. 

In looking back to those days when intense feeling 
created by differences of creed and opinion carried men 
in Euro})e as well as in America any length, it is a subject 
of gratification to Virginians that, though there was in the 
colony much irritating and troublesome persecution in the 
way of fines, and some banishments and imprisonments, 
no one was ever put to death within its borders for either 
religious views or witchcraft, nor with the exception of 
some whippings — not many apparently — and where witch- 
craft was the charge, a few duckings, were such offenders 
made to submit to corporal punishment. 

340 



XV 
FUNERAL CUSTOMS 




I^X Colonial Virginia funerals were 
social as well as solemn occasions. 
When death entered the planter's 
home, messengers were sent on horse- 
back over land, or by sail or row boat 
up and do-v\Ti the rivers to notify 
friends and relatives, while in the 
kitchen the big pot was put into the little one ; for not only 
did the colonists bring with them the English custom of 
the funeral feast, but nmch of the company that would be 
ere long at the door would arrive hmigrj^ after a journey 
of many miles and would remain several days, consuming 
a great quantity of food and drink. The funeral expenses 
of John Smalcombe, who died in 1645, included a steer 
about four years old and a barrel of strong beer, which 
together cost nine hundred and sixty pounds of tobacco — 
nearly four times as much as the coffin, which cost two 
hundred and fifty pomids. Powder " spent at this funeral" 
cost twenty-four pounds of tobacco. 

The firing of guns seems to have been a regular part of 
the ceremony, as an act passed by the Assembly in 1655 
forbids the wasting of powder at entertainments, " mar- 
riages and iFunerals onely excepted." 

Among the provisions of the funeral feast of Mrs. 
Frances Eppes, in 1678, were a steer, three sheep, five 
gallons of wine, two gallons of brandy, ten pounds of 
butter, and eight pounds of sugar. Later we find the same 
custom prevailing in The Valley, where, in 1767, one 
of the bills against the estate of James Hughes was for 
" making cakes at the funeral," and in 1774 the funeral 
expenses of John ^IcClanahan included three gallons 
of wine, over nineteen gallons of spirits, twenty-seven 



COLONIAL VIRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

pounds of floiir and a quantity of cheese, butter, and sugar. 

Among other items in funeral bills are " warning to 
the funeral," " ribbons and scarfing," " sitting up with the 
corpse," and fees to the minister and clerk. 

No doubt the guests for whom the feast was spread 
wept real tears as, one by one or in groups, they visited 
the still cliamber and looked for the last time on the features 
of the one tliey were there to honor, no doubt they recalled 
with genuine feeling graces of character and mind which 
suddenly stood out more clearly in the stately presence of 
death than they ever had in life and which blotted out all 
recollection of hmnan weakness or fault; yet where con- 
genial friends who had not met for weeks, or it may be 
for months, gathered under a familiar roof and in an 
atmosphere mellow with a mutual sense of loss, to spend 
several days renewing old acquaintance and exchanging 
reminiscences, the sorrowful occasion would have held its 
element of pleasure under any circumstances. But there 
was always at hand a good and sufficient supply of the 
liquids that are supposed to drowTi sorrow, and it is more 
than likely that ere long lowered tones and mournful looks 
gave way to some degree of hilarity. Thomas Lee, of 
Westmoreland, said, in his will, in 1749: 

" Having observed much indecent mirth at Funerals, 
I desire that Last Piece of Human Vanity be Omitted, 
and that attended only by some of those friends and Rela- 
tions that are near, my Body may be silently interred with 
only tlie Church Ceremony, and tliat a Funeral sermon for 
Instruction to the living be Preached at the Parish Church 
near Stratford on any other Day." 

Many Virginians of the time in making their wills gave 
directions in regard to their funerals. Some of these left 
the details to the judgment of their executors, as did 
Robert Newman, of Northumberland, in 1655, whose wish 



FUNERAL CUSTOMS 



was " to be buried in a decent manner according to my 
rank and quality," but they were usually more explicit. 
All of the churches had graveyards, but these were used 
almost exclusively by persons living in the neighborhood 
or by transients. Far more popular was the family bury- 
ing ground, to be found in the garden, or at some 
other convenient spot, on every plantation. Christopher 
Wormeley, of Middlesex, who died in 1701, directed that 
he be buried in his garden between his " first wife," 
Frances, and his "last wife," Margaret; and Robert 
Carter, who was also twice married, declared in his will, 
in 1732: 

" I order my body to be laid in the yard of Christ 
Church near and upon the right hand of my wives." He 
desired a " decent " funeral and a monument the value of 
his " last wife's." What is left of the " king's " monument 
shows it to have been one of the stateliest of the period. 

Thomas Lee, whose will has already been quoted, gave 
directions for his last resting place which throw interesting 
and tender light on his family relations. 

" As to my Body," he wrote, " I desire if it Pleases 
God that I dye anywhere in Virginia, if it be Possible, I 
desire that I may be buried between my late Dearest Wife 
and my honored Mother and that the Bricks on the side 
next my wife may be moved and my Coffin Placed as near 
hers as possible without disturbing the remains of my 
Mother." 

Frequently the last will and testament was especially 
particular as to whether there should or should not be a 
sermon. In 1639 Nicholas Harwood, of the Eastern 
Shore, desired in his " that Mr. Cotton make a sermon," 
while in 1645 George Menifee, the richest merchant of his 
time in Virginia and a member of his JMajesty's Council, 
directed that he be buried in Westover -Church, and left the 

343 



COLONIAL ^'IRCJ^IA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

minister twenty pounds sterling and a thousand pounds 
of tobacco for preaching his funeral sermon. The will of 
George Jordan, of Surry County, made in 1678, contains 
this unique clause: 

" On the 15th day of every October there shall be a 
sermon of Mortality preached at my house, it being the 
day my daughter, Fortune Hunt died, and whosoever shall 
enjoy my land, although it be a tliousand generations hence, 
shall perform this sermon and prayer." 

In 1698 Lawrence Washington directed that his funeral 
expenses should not exceed three hundred pounds of 
tobacco, but he wished " a sermon at the Church." 

On the other hand, in 1756, Philip Grymes, of Middle- 
sex, declared that he wished " no funeral sermon — prayers 
only," and no one to go into mourning except his wife if 
she chose, and in the same year Philip Rootes, of King 
and Queen County, directed that his coffin, which was to 
be made of planks from his own home, be carried to the 
grave by four of his negroes and decently interred in the 
presence of a few neighbors, " without any pomp or funeral 
sermon," and that none of his family go into mourning. 
In 1757 William Beverley, of " Blandfield," also desired 
his body to be " as privately interred as may be, without any 
pomp or funeral sermon," while in 1762 Edwin Conway, 
of Lancaster County, directed that the parish minister. 
Reverend David Currie, be paid forty shillings for reading 
the burial service over him, but wished no funeral sermon. 

Women were as explicit as men as to their funerals. 
Mrs. Elizabeth Stith, a rich widow of Isle of Wight, in 
her will made in 1774, appointed her pall bearers and 
added : 

" I desire not to have any funeral but a decent burial, 
with only my relations and near neighbors at it; and that 
the parson and dark with the four men that bear me to 

344 



FUNERAL CUSTOMS 



the grave shall have hat bands and gloves ; and that I may 
have a plain, black walnut coffin." 

Wills contain many references to the wearing of 
mourning, besides the hundreds of legacies of mourning 
rings. For instance, in 1700 George Brent, of Stafford 
County, bequeathed his brother-in-law and his physician 
a guinea each to buy black gloves to be worn in his honor ; 
in 1704 William Sedgwick, of York County, left his 
brother ten pounds sterling, " to buy a suite of mourning," 
and in 1726 " King " Carter ordered in his will that upon 
his death all his children and grandchildren be put into 
mourning at the expense of his estate. 

When news had been received in Virginia of the death 
of the Prince of Wales in 1751, President John Blair, of 
the Council, wrote in his diary: 

" We went into mourning for ye Prince," and three 
months later he wrote, " This day we went into second 
mourning." 

Sometimes the testator added to instructions for his 
funeral the inscription for his tombstone. Among these 
was Richard Cole, a wealthy but dissipated planter, of 
Westmoreland, who in his will ordered that his body be 
buried upon his plantation, " Salisbury Park," " in a neat 
coffin of black walnut, and over it a gravestone of black 
marble to be sent for out of England," with his " Coate 
Armour engraved in brass & under it this epitaph : 

Here lies Dick Cole a grievous Sinner 
That died a Little before Dinner 
Yet hopes in Heaven to find a place 
To Satiate his soul with Grace. 

The direction for the epitaph was rescinded in a codi- 
cil — whether or not the " grievous sinner " or only the 
grievous poet repented, this witness cannot say. In the 
older parts of the colony the soil was sandy, with little or 

345 



COLONIAL VIRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

no stone, and all tombstones were brought " out of 
England." 

There was at least one other Virginian who ordered 
that he be registered in a marble as a sinner, but did not 
change his mind, for his tombstone with the epitaph given 
in his will, in 1697, may be seen to-day in Jamestown 
churchyard and says to every passer-by : 

" Here lies William Sherwood ... a great Sinner 
waiting a Joyful Resurrection." 

The will of John Custis, made in 1749, is nothing if 
not original and shows that if he was not by nature eccen- 
tric, his stormy married life had made him so. Here are 
his directions in regard to his burial: 

" My Executor to lay out and expend as soon as possible 
after my decease the sum of one hundred pounds sterling 
to buy a handsome tombstone, the best durable white mar- 
ble, large, and built of the most durable stone that can be 
purchased for pillars, very decent and handsome to lay 
over my dead body, engraved on the tombstone my coat of 
arms, which are three parrots, and my will is that the fol- 
lowing inscription may also be handsomely engraved on 
the said stone viz: 

" ' Under this Marble Stone lyes the Body of the Hon- 
ourable John Custis Esquire of the City of Williamsburg 
and Parish of Bruton, formerly of Hungars Parish on the 
Eastern Shoar of Virginia and County of Northampton 
the place of his Nativity Aged . . . years yet lived but 
seven years which was the space of time he kept Batchelor's 
House at Arlington on the Eastern Shoar of Virginia. 
This Inscription put on this Stone by his own positive 
Orders.' 

" And I do desire and my will is and I here strictly re- 
quire it that as soon as possible my real dead body, and not 
a sham coffin, be carried to my plantation on the Eastern 

346 



FUNERAL CUSTOMS 



Shoar of Virginia, called Arlington, and there my real dead 
body be buried by my Grandfather the Honorable Jolin 
Custis Esquire." 

If his heir does not carry out his instructions he is to be 
cut off with a shilling. His instructions were carried out. 

The seven years when he kept " bachelor's house " were 
those after the death of his wife, Frances, daughter of the 
dashing Colonel Parke. 

As to epitaphs, it is of course possible to give here but 
very few — choosing those which seem especially illustra- 
tive of the manners and thought of the time. 

The oldest tombstone in Virginia with a legible inscrip- 
tion is that of Mrs. Alice Jordan at " Four Mile Tree," in 
Surry County. This is the epitaph: 

Here Lyeth Buried The Body of Alice Myles daughter of 
John Myles of Branton, neare Herreford, Gent, and late wife of 
Mr. George Jordan in Virginia who Departed this Life the 7th 
of January 1650. 

Reader, her dust is here Inclosed 
Who was of witt and grace composed 
Her life was Vertuous during breath 
But highly Glorious in her death. 

These quaint inscriptions bring a smile to the lip of 
the reader of to-day, but amusing as they are, they are in- 
structive too, and throw many side-lights on the life of 
the people. The mere names and dates which some of 
them give supply links in family history that without them 
would be missing. Others connect those who sleep in 
peace under tombstones in Virginia with their ancestors 
beyond the sea — as does that of Governor Edward Digges 
which says that he died in 1675 and was " Sonn of Sir 
Dudley Digges, of Chilham, in Kent, Knight and Baronett 
Master of the Rolls in the reign of King Charles the 1st "; 
and that on the mural monument of William Chamber- 

S47 



(OLOMAL MRGINIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

layiic, in St. Peter's Cliureh, New Kent County, which de- 
clares that that gentleman was " descended of an Ancient 
and worthy Family in the County of Hereford." 

Others still, furnish brief biographical sketches of 
those whom they memorialize. To this group belong the 
elaborate epitaph of William Byrd, the second, on his 
tomb in the garden at " Westover," and that of William 
Randolph, the second, at " Turkey Island," which not only 
tells us that he was " of an ancient and eminent family of 
Northamptonshire," England, but that " Having been in- 
troduced early in Business and passed through many of the 
inferior offices of Government with Reputation & eminent 
capacity, he was at last, by his INIajesty's happy choice and 
the universal approbation of his country, advanced to the 
Council," in Virginia. The epitaph concludes a list of 
Colonel Randolph's many talents and virtues with, " He 
was conspicuous for a certain Majestic plainness of sense 
and honor." 

If the eulogies of epitaphs cannot be taken literally 
always, they at least show the ideal of character of the day, 
for if the subject did not have quite all the virtues the 
tombstone gives him, they are the ones his contemporaries 
most admired. A married woman's epitaph generally de- 
scribes her as obedient as well as affectionate, and a kind 
mistress to her servants as well as a tender mother to her 
children — of whom there were likely to be a goodly num- 
ber. Men were loving husbands and fathers and good mas- 
ters; maidens were virtuous, beautiful, and accomplished. 

ISIrs. Elizabeth Lewis, who died in 1672, aged forty- 
seven, was the " Tender mother of fourteen children," 
while the tomb, bearing arms, of " Abigail, the loving and 
beloved wife of Major Lewis Burwell of the County of 
Gloucester, in Virginia, Gent," declares that " she de- 
parted this world on the 12th day of November, 1692, aged 

S48 



FUNERAL CUSTOMS 



36 years, having blessed her husband with four sons 
and six daughters." According to the tomb — which is also 
armorial — of Catherine, wife of Major John Washington, 
she was " a loving and obedient wife, a tender and ever in- 
dulgent mother, a kind and compassionate mistress." 
Sarah Timson, who died in 1763, lived only twenty years, 
but was in that brief space " a dutiful child, obedient wife, 
tender mother and kind mistress." The tomb of Amy, the 
wife of Reverend John Richards, who died on November 
21, 1725, has a sort of postscript stating that " Xear her 
dear Mistress lies the body of Mary Ades, her faithful and 
beloved servant," who died two days later. 

Rachel, the wife of Thomas Williams, who departed 
this life on July 23, 1746, was 

Sweet natured kind, giving to all their due. 
Supremely good and to her Consort true 
She'd differ not, but to his will agree 
With condescending, sweet humility. 
Tender and loving to her children dear 
And to her servants not at all severe. 

Four months after this ideal wife's death the widower 
consoled himself with a fifteen-year-old bride. On July 14 
of the following year the first wife's daughter, Hannah, 
died and was buried in her mother's grave, and on July 25, 
just a year and two days after the death of the first wife, 
the youthful second wife followed her, and over her grave 
was placed a stone bearing this inscription : 

Young men and women all and standers by 
That on these tombs do cast a wondering eye 
Call on ye Lord whilst in your health and youth 
For die you must, it is a certain truth. 
Your life, a shadow, is more prized than gold 
As for example here you may behold 
Beneath these mournful tombs there lyeth three 
Which maketh eight out of one family 
23 349 



COLONIAL VIRGINL\, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Two loving virtuous wives and child most dear 
All died within two days and one whole year 
Whose patience quitted not their silent breast 
But lull'd them into an eternal rest 
To wait, in peace until that glorious day 
The trumpet sounds to call them hence away. 

This epitaph is one of many which serves the double 
purpose of a memorial to the dead and solemn warning to 
the living. 

Lettice Fitzhugh Turbendlle was evidently the model 
of her sex and time. According to her tomb which bears 
the arms of Turberville and Corbin, impaled : 

From a Child she knew the Scriptures which made her wise 
unto Salvation : From her Infancy she Learned to walk in the 
Paths of Virtue. She was Beautiful But not Vain : Witty But 
not Talkativ: Her Religion was Pure Fervent Cheerful and of 
the Cliurch of England: Her Virtue Steadfast Easey Natural: 
Her Mind had that mixture of Nobleness and Gentleness As 
Made Her Lovely in the Eyes of all People. She Was Marryed 
to Capt. George Turberville, May the 16th. 1727. The best of 
Wives Made him the Happiest of Husbands. She died the 10th 
of Feb. 1732, in the 25th Year of Her Age and 6th of her Mar- 
ryage. Who can Express the Grief. Soon did She compleat her 
Perfection, Soon Did She finish her Course of Life. Early was She 
Exempted from the Miseries of Human Life By God's particular 
Grace. Thus Doth He Deal With his Perticuler Favorites. 

All that was good in Woman Kind 
A Beauteous Form More Lovely Mind 
Lies Buryed under Neath this Stone • 
Who Living Was Excelled by None. 

The armorial tomb of the wife of Thomas Clayton 
declares : 

Here Sleeps the Bod}' of Isabella Clayton While her soul is 
gone in Triumph to meet the best of Husbands and never more 
to be Divorced, by him to be taught to Sing Eternal Praises of 
God & ye Lamb For Ever. 

350 



FUNERAL CUSTOMS 



This inscription seems to speak one word for the wife 
to two for the husband, but husbands had plenty of epi- 
taphs of their own to bear witness to their domestic virtues. 
A shining example was William Bassett, of " Eltham," 
the father of thirteen children, who was " a good Christian, 
a kind and indulgent father, an affectionate and obliging 
husband, a good master." 

Many tombs early and late, and of both men and 
women, have Latin inscriptions. That of Thomas Nelson, 
the emigrant, in the churchyard at Yorktown, bears one, 
beneath his arms; that of Richard Lee at " Mt. Pleasant " 
has a long one, that of Benjamin Harrison at " Westover " 
has twenty-seven lines of Latin with one Greek word, and 
that of Judith, wife of Mann Page of " Rosewell," bears 
arms and a Latin epitaph of thirty-four lines. 

A perfect epitaph for a young girl is that of the armor- 
ial tomb of Elizabeth, daughter of Major John Washing- 
ton, of Gloucester, declaring that she was — 

a Maiden virtuous without reservedness, wise without affecta- 
tion, beautiful without knowing it. 

Other epitaphs are as concise as those of today. For 
instance that of Mrs. Martha Aylett, 1747, simply tells us 
that she was " Wife of Philip Aylett and Daughter of the 
Honourable William Dandridge and Unity Dandridge," 
and adds her age, date of death, and names of her children. 

An air of mournful romance has always seemed to 
hang about the tomb of the lovely Evelyn Byrd at the site 
of old Westover Church, and during the nigh two hundred 
years in which she has slept in it many a stroller on the 
banks of the James River has paused there to dream of the 
days when beauteous maidens died of broken hearts and per- 
chance to lay a white flower, typical of her purity, or a red 
one of the love for which tradition says she sighed her life 
away, on the moss-fretted stone, and to read her epitaph: 



COLONIAL VIRGLNIA, ITS PEOPLE AND CUSTOMS 

Here in the Sleep of Peace 
Reposes the Bod}- of Mrs. Evelyn Byrd 

Daughter 
of the Hon'le William Byrd Esqr. 
The various & excellent endowments 
of Nature Improved and perfected 
by an accomplished Education 

Formed her 
For the Happiness of her Friends: 
For an Ornament of her Country; 

Alas Reader! 
One can detain nothing however valued 

From unrelenting Death : 
Beauty, Fortune, or exalted Honour ! 

See here a Proof! 
And be reminded by this awfull Tomb 
That every worldly comfort flees away 

Excepting only what arises 
from imitating the Virtues of our Friends 
And the contemplation of the Happiness, 
To which 
God was pleased to call this Lady 
On the 13th Day of Novemb 1737 
In the 29th Year of Her Age. 

A few weeks after her death the Virginia Gazette pub- 
lished this anonymous " Acrostick upon Miss Evelyn 
Byrd, lately deceased " : 

E ver constant to her Friend 

Y igilant in Truth^s Defence; 
E ntertaining to her End, 

L ife ! brimful of Eloquence. 

Y outh in Person ; Age in Sense 
N ature gave her Store immense. 

B ut she's fled and is no more, 

Y onder soars in Fields of Light ! 
R obbed of all our little Store, 

D eath ! Oh Death ! we're ruined quite. 
352 



Mfc. 



INDEX 



Aberdeen, Scotland, 227 
Abingdon, Eng., 42; Church, 324 
Abraham's Delight, 67 
Accomac, Church, 62 ; County 229, 

321 
Adair, William, 305 
Adams, Thomas, 135, 217, 219, 

223, 224 
Adcock, 237, 238 
Ades, Mary, 349 
Admington, Eng., 226 
Albemarle Co., 173, 300, 304, 306 
Alexander, Frances, 178; Philip, 

293; Robert, 275 
Alexandria, 102, 144, 246, 255, 

323 
Allen, Arthur, 75, 99; John, 326; 

William, 48 
AUerton, 147 
Allicock, Jerome, 22 
Allington, Giles, 44 
Allnut, Thomas, 45 
Alverstock, Hampshire, 227 
Ambler, Edward, 255; Jaquelin, 

183; John, 292 
Amelia County, 333 
" American Company of Come- 
dians, The," 244 
Amherst County, 274, 303 
"Ampthill," 64 
Anderson, 233 
Andrews, Charles, 276 
Andros, Sir Edmund, 331 
Annapolis, 246, 249, 255 
Anne, Queen, 139, 192, 225 
"Apollo Room," 143, 151, 182 
Appleby School, Eng., 294 
Applewhite, Henry, 188 
Archer, Gabriel, 17 
Argall, Samuel, 31, 166 



"Arlington," 346, 347; Lord, 102 
Armistead, 53; Hannah, 176; 

Henry, 171; William, 121, 172 
Arms and Armor, l6, 33, 39, 187 
Army, John, 328 
Arnold, George, 226 
Arran, Lord, 224 
Arundel, John, 44; Peter, 44 
Ashbie, John, 21 
Ashbourne, Eng., 226 
Ashley's, 148 
Ashton, 53 
Ashwell, George, 280 
Association for the Preservation 

of Virginia Antiquities, 151 
Aston, 53 

Atchison, V/alter, 293 
Atkins, John, 48, 80; William, 45 
Atkinson, Roger, 217 
Atwell, 90 

Aubrey, Richard, 211 
"Audrey," 231 
Augusta County, 91, 125, 149, 

152, 154, 202, 274, 291, 301, 

340 
Aylett, Martha, 351; Philip, 351 

Bacon, Nathaniel, 60 

" Bacon's Castle," 99 

Bacon's Rebellion, 93, 99, 130 

Bagge, Rev. John, 52 

Bagwell, 45 

Bahamas, 32 

Baird, John, 255 

Balfour, James, 255 

Ball, 53; Burgess, 90; Henry Lee, 
293; James, 90, 200; Joseph, 
77; Mary, 78; Samuel, 298; 
William, 200, 293 

Ballard, 53 



S53 



INDEX 



Balliol College, Oxford, ^293 

Baiiistcr, John, 255 

Bankhead, William, 29S 

Banncrman, Mark, 300 

Baptist Church, 339 

Barbadoes, 128, 296 

Barbar, Thomas, 269; Will, 269 

Barham, Anthony, 42, 45, 96 

" Barlbrough Hall," 36 

Barnabe, John, 44; Richard, 44 

" Barn Elms," 275 

Barnelt, Thomas, 48 

Barnham, John, 44 

Barrj, 219 

BaskervilJe, John, 297 

Bass, Nathaniel, 45 

Bassett, 64, 246; Burwell, 149; 
Judith, 123; William, 351 

Bates, John, 45, 47 

Bath, Eng., 219, 220, 223 

Bathurst, 50 

Eatte, 36, 51 

" Battersea," 255 

Baugh, Rowland, 42; Thomas, 42 

Baxter, 301 

Baylis, John, 159 

Bavlor, Courtney, 290; Elizabeth, 
290; Frances, 290; George, 255, 
304; John, 252, 254, 290, 291, 
304; John, Jr., 282, 292; Lucy, 
290; Robert, 304 

Bayly, John, 47; Mary, 47 

Baynum, John, 44 

Beadles, Gabriel, 18 

Beale, 53; Nancy, 132 

Beard, Thomas, 93 

Beasley, Elizabeth, 93 

Beast, Benjamin, 22 

Beaufori, ship, 261 

Beccely, Mrs. 235 

Beckingham, Robert, 171, 197 

Beckwith, 50; Sir Marmaduke, 254 



Bed, a " great," 92 

Bedford Co., 158 

" Belfield," 107 

" Belvidera," 129, 278 

" Belvoir," 88, 114, 172, 178, 220, 
260 

Bennett, 51; Edward, 46, 48; 
Richard, 332; Robert, 45 

Bentley, Matthew, 200; William, 
45 

"Berkeley," 132 

Berkeley,* 49 ; Edmund, 94, 206, 
210, 276, 302; Edward, 43; 
John, 43; Sir John, 43; Sally, 
185; Sir William, 49, 95, 102, 
119, 130, 144, 230, 267, 283; 
Springs 152 

Berling, 243 

Bermuda Hundred, 155, 156, 253; 
Islands, 32, 35 

Bernard, Sir John, 50; William, 
50 

Berry, Hampshire, 227 

Beverley, 53; Catherine, 108; 
Elizabeth, 202; Robert, 70, 81, 
89, 104, 107, 119, 128, 134, 
188, 259, 268, 290, 292, 299, 
302, 322 ; Ursula, 202 ; William, 
110, 128, 202, 280, 344 

"Beverley Park," 81, 128 

Beverstone Castle, Gloucester- 
shire, 43 

Bihle, 92, 192, 263, 296, 305 

Bickley, 50 

Birmingham, Eng., 157 

Blackwell, William, 300 

Blair, 293; Anne, 114, 121, 174, 
175, 311 ; Archibald, 231 ; Betsy, 
114, 175, 176; Dr. James, 139, 
169, 170, 213, 283, 284, 285, 
293; John, 121, 126, 137, 149, 



354 



INDEX 



174, 293, Sll, 345; Mrs. John, 
121; Sarah, 170, 174 

Blakeney, Norfolk, 43 

Bland, 51, 291 ; Richard, 271, 291, 
293, 304; Theodorick, Sr., 216; 
Theodorick, Jr., l62, 221, 271, 
291, 293 

" Blandfield," 280, 344 

Blandford Church, 339 

Blenheim, Battle of, 224 

Blewit, 335 

" Bloomsbury," 60 

Blue Ridge Mountains, 91, 274, 
305 

Boat-racing, 261 

Bohannon, Jean, 92 ; Margaret, 92 

Bohun, Dr., 37, 38 

Boiling, 51, 314; Robert, 52, 110, 
291 

Bonall, Anthony, 44 

Book-plates, 135, 302 

Books, 25, 61, 66, 69, 85, 92, 156, 
158, 217, 289, 295, ei seq.; some 
authors in Virginia libraries, 
Addison, 239, 299, 300, 301, 302, 
303, 304, 307; ^sop, 297; Ari- 
osto, 301 ; Bacon, 298, 300, 302, 
303, 304, 307; Boccacio, 302; 
Bolingbroke, 303; Bunyan, 115, 
300, 307; Burnet, 301, 302, 304; 
Burton, 300; Butler, 301, 303; 
Cervantes, 301 ; Chaucer, 302, 
304 ; Chillingworth, 302 ; Cicero, 
297; Clarendon, 49, 300, 303, 
304; Congreve, 242, 303, 304; 
Cowley, 302, 303, 304; Dave- 
nant, 301; Defoe, 303, 307; 
Donne, 297, 304; Drayton, 302; 
Dryden, 303, 304, 305, 812; 
Fielding, 300, 307; Fuller, 301, 
303; Gay, 302, 304, 307; Gua- 
rini, 301; Herbert, 301, 303; 



Hobbes, 304; Homer, 303; Hor- 
ace, 298; Hume, 304; Johnson, 
222, 223, 303, 307; Jonson, 61, 
297, 301, 303; Josephus, 206, 
307; Junius, 319; Juvenal, 298; 
LeSage, 307; Locke, 300, 302, 
304; Milton, 301, 302, 303, 304, 
307; Moliere, 304; Montaigne, 
297, 301, 304; More, 302, 304; 
Ovid, 295, 297; Perseus, 298; 
Pope, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304; 
Pryor, 303, 304; Purchas, 297; 
Quarles, 301; Richardson, 299; 
Robertson, 304; Sandys, 295, 
297; Shaftsbury, 302, 304; 
Shakespeare, 32, 77, 115, 234, 
237, 241, 245, 299, 302, 303, 
304, 307 ; Sidney, 304 ; Smollett, 
303, 304, 307; Somerville, 304; 
Steele, 301, 302, 303, 307; 
Sterne, 135, 304, 307; Suckling, 
303; Swift, 301, 303, 304, 307; 
Taylor, 301, 302, 303; Temple, 
302 ; Thompson, 304 ; Tillotson, 
302 ; Virgil, 297, 298, 303 ; Van- 
brugh, 304; Waller, 299, 301, 
302, 303, 304; Wycherley, 304 

Bookstores, 306, 307 

Booth, 50; Mordecai, 254 

Boots, Lord Fairfax's, 258 

Bosher, John, 197 

Boston, Mass., 47 

Botetourt, Lord, 201 

Boucher, Daniel, 332: Jonathan, 
273 

Bouldin, Thomas, 45 

Boush, John, 44; Maximilian, 215 

Bowler, Samuel, 133 

Bowling, 38 

Bowling greens, 68, 71 

Boyers, John, 149 

Boyle, John, Lord, 221 



355 



INDEX 



Boyse, John, 45; Luke, 45 

Bradshaw, John, 148 

Braffcrton building, 28 5 

Braine, 218 

Branch, Cliristopher, 42 

"Brandon," 17, 72, 73, 254, 314 

Branton, Eng., 345 

Brasenose College, Oxford, 293 

Bratton, Robert, 202 

Braxton, George, 71 ; Mrs. George, 
114, 121, 174, 311 

Bray, 53; Anne, 107; Richard, 
107; Thomas, 210 

Brayne, Dorothea, 108 

Brent, 51; George, 345; William, 
226, 255 

Brereton, Elizabeth, 134; Thomas, 
276 

Breshley, Worcestershire, 48 

Brewer, John, 3l6; Sackville, 149; 
Thomas, 273 

Brewster, Richard, 44 

Brice, Thos., 171 

Brickenhead, John, 226 

Bridger, 53; Joseph, 269 

Bridges, Charles, 315, 31 6 

Briggs, Richard, 276 

Bristol, 51, 225 

Britwell, 222 

" Broad Xeck," 257 

Brocas, William, 297 

Brock, Joseph, 300 

Brockenbrough, Austin, 228; Col., 
124 

Brodnax, 190. 191, 289 

Brooke, Lawrence, 393; Robert, 
303 

Brown, Browne, 53; Alexander, 
41, 264, 274; Charles, 302; Ed- 
ward, 22, 217; Francis, 279, 
280; Mrs. William, 198 
Bruce, Philip A., 263, 264, 279, 280 



Brunskill, John, 293 

Brunswick Church, 117; County, 
58, 255, 300 

Bruster, William, 22 

Bruton Church, 196, 224, 246, 251, 
311, 323, 339; Parish, 346 

Buchanan, John, 305 

Bucke, Rev. Richard, 35, 295, 305, 
321 

Buckingham, County, 291 ; Duke 
of, 46 

Buckner, John, 300; Philip, 275 

Bucktrout, B., 89, 90 

Bullitt, Cuthbert, 159 

Bullock, 252; Thomas, 162 

Bunn, Robert, 217 

Burdett, Thomas. 98 ; William, 98, 
326 

Burgess, Robert, 301 

Burkland, Richard, 280 

Burnaby, 124, 140, 141, 163, l64 

Burras, Ann, 27, 28 

Burroughs, Christopher, 329; 
Mary, 329 

Burrows, Anthony, 44 ; John, 44 

Burwell, 63, 126. 221 ; Abigail, 63 
347; Armistead, 149; Carter 
64; Col., 137; James, 294: 
Lewis, 63, 170, 256, 269, 292 
293, 294; Mrs. Lewis. 247 
Lucy, 177; Martha, 170; Re 
becca, 64, 180, 181, 182, 183 
tombs, 348 

Butler, Mrs. Amory. 82, 84, 209 
Sarah, 98; William, 98 

Butt, Richard, 269 

Byrd, 51, 71, 86, 120, 314; Eve- 
lyn, 106, 172, 221, 351, et seq.; 
Mrs., 108; Susan, 289. 290; Ur- 
sula, 289; Wilhemina, 221 ; Wil- 
liam, 1st, 216, 217, 289, 297, 
304, 315, 318; William, 2d, 57, 



356 



INDEX 



58, 66, 71, 107, 108, 114, 116, 
117, 120, 126, 142, 171, 218, 
221, 232, 254, 270, 289, 290, 
293, 304, 315, 348; William, 3d, 
149, 152, 255, 304 

CabeU, Joseph, 274; Nicholas, 
174; William, 174, 274, 303; 
William, Jr., 274 ; papers, 274 
Cabinetmakers, 89, 90 
Cage, Edward, 45 
Caius College, Cambridge, 290,292 
Calthorpe, 51; Christopher, 42, 

43, 216; James, 2l6 
Cambridge University, 288, 290, 

292 
Camden, 301 ; Parish, 323 
Came, Robt., l62 
Camelsforth, Yorkshire, 226 
Campbell, 246, 247; Rev. Archi- 
bald, 52, 293; Daniel, 143 
Canary Islands, 32 
Cape Henry, 320 
Cape of Good Hope, 265 
Caplener, George, 277 
Capon Springs, 153 
Cargill, John, 305 
Carlton, Yorkshire, 226 
Caroline Co., 116, 273, 3l6 
Carr, Dabney, 274 
Carriages, 121, 129, et seq.j 152, 

184 
Carrington, George, 174 
Carter, 53, 71, 123, 233, 309, 314, 
319, 324, 329; Benjamin, 282, 
312; Betty, 114, 133, 204; Bob, 
133; Charles, 124, 141, 291, 319, 
333; Dale, 137; Elizabeth, 209, 
210; Elizabeth Landon, 196; 
Fanny, 133; George, 293; Giles, 
148; Harriet, 282; James, 332; 



John, 81, 93, 185, 209, 278, 
291, 292, 297; John, Jr., 171; 
Landon, 68, 123, 126, 132, 145, 
149, 173, 255, 270, 291, 311; 
Maria, 281; Mary, 210; Molly, 
173, 174; Nancy, 146; Priscilla, 
133, 146; Robert ("King"), 
123, 209, 210, 278, 288, 302, 
317, 324, 332, 343, 345; Robert 
("Councillor"),68, 69, 74, 87, 
88, 90, 129, 132, 145, 204, 282, 
304, 306, 314, 315; Mrs. Robert 
(" CounciUor"), 133, 145, 146; 
Robert, Jr., 281 ; William, 63 
" Carter's Creek," 63, 64, 72, 170, 

180, 255 
" Carter's Grove," 64, 72, 76 
Cary, 51, 71, 175; Archibald, 64 
Elizabeth, 226; Mary, 179; 
Robert, 218; Sarah, 132, 299 
Wilson, 132, 292, 299, 324 
" Castle Hill, 173 
Catesby, Mark, 217 
Catlett, John, 289 
Causey, Nathaniel, 44 
Cavaliers, 49, 50, 190 
"Ceelys," 71 

Census of 1624-25, 42, et seq. 
Chalkley, Lyman, 125, 154 
Chamberlayne, 51; David, 176; 
Francis, 45; Thomas, 253; Wil- 
liam, 347 
Champe, Anne, 319; John, 319 
Chaplaine, Isaac, 45 
Chapman, Richard, 127 
Charles I, 189; H, 188, 190, 192 
Charles City County, 159, 255, 

266, 335 
Charles Parish, 336 
Charlton, 191, 242, 243; Mrs. 

George, 198; Stephen, 118 
Chastellux, 71 
357 



INDEX 



Chathaiu, 25(3; Earl of, 319 

" Chcllowe," 291 

" Chelsea," 66 

Cherokee, 138 

" Cherry Point," 227 

Cherry Point Neck, 333 

Chesapeake Bay, 25, 26, 32 

Chesley, Philip, 227 

Chesterfield Co., 226, 227, 300, 
303, 336 

Chew, 179; John, 42 

Chichester, 51; John, 226; Rich- 
ard, 184, 226, 302 

Chichley, 50; Sir Henry, 50, 119 

Children, 103, 104, IO6, 110, et 
seq.; 203, et seq. 

Chilham, 347; castle, 32 

China, 93, 94, et seq. 

Cliippendale, 90; chair, 84 

Chisman, 53; John, 42, 44 

Chiswell's Ordinary, 148 

Christ Church, Alexandria, 323; 
Lancaster, 323; Middlesex, 269, 
326, 330, 332 

Christ's College, Cambridge, 292; 
Oxford, 293 

Christian, 144, 145, 193; Priscilla, 
154 

Church bells, 36, 324 

Church, Established, 305, 320; 
" on-the-Fork," 274 

Churches, 24, 60, 62, 320, et seq.; 
at Jamestown, 321, 322; fres- 
coes in, 325; penance in, 329, 
830 

Churchill, 53, 122, 276; Mrs. 
Armistead, 122; Mrs. Elizabeth, 
100, 276; Henry, 303; William, 
81, 123,255, 317; Mrs. William, 
123 

City Point, 40 

Clack, Sterling, 300 



Claiborne, William, 44 

Clark, Clarke, Humphrey, 276; 
John; Robert, 305 

Classical schools, 274 

Clay, John, 274 

Clayton, 319; Isabella, 350; John, 
217; Thomas, 293, 350 

" Cleburne," Westmoreland, 44 

" Cleve," 120, 141, 281, 292, 319, 
333 

" Clifford Chambers," 72 

Clifton, 51 

Clinton, John, 2l6 

Clocks, 90, 91 

Coaches, 121, 130, et seq. 

Coar, Mary, 280 

Coats-of-arms, I6, 17, 44, 85, 86, 
98, 100, 134, et seq., 204, 207, 
288, 289, 290, 315, 317, 326, 
345, 346, 349, 350, 351 

" Cobbs," 134 

Cock-fighting, 137,260 

Cocke, 61, 137; John, 298; Lucy, 
177; Thomas, 188, 253; 
Thomas, Jr., 148 

Coke, 51, 180 

Cole, Richard, 345 

" Coldbrooke," 220 

College, at Henrico, 40, 265, 266; 
William and Mary, 70, 141, 143, 
169, 180, 201, 213, 230, 232, 
233, 263, 264, 283, et seq., 305, 
311, 313, 319 

Colleges, Northern, 263 

Colonists, Character of the first, 
16; English ancestry of, 42, et 
seq.; sufferings of first, 20, et 
seq. 

Comedians, The American Com- 
pany of, 247, 248, 249 

Communion, first at Jamestown, 
320 ; services, 326, 330, 332, 333 



358 



INDEX 



Constant Endeavor, ship, 214 

Conway, l37; Edwin, 344; Mon- 
cure D., 88; Peter, 255, 256 

Cooke, John Esten, 281 

Cook, Patrick, 92 

Cooper, 218 

Copeland, 265 

Cople Parish, 333 

Copley, 246 

Cornocke, Lymon, 225 

Corbin, 147, 282, 288, 290; Alice, 
177, 181 ; Gawin, 277, 292, 293, 
317; Henry, 52; Martha, 277; 
Thomas, 317 

" Corotoman," 209, 278, 297, 324 

Cotton, Rev. William, 343 

Courtship and Marriage, 166, et 
seq. 

Coverley, Sir Roger de, 141, 146 

Cox, William, 274 

Craig, James, 157 

Crashaw, Raleigh, 44 

Crawley, Robert, 269 

Crease, Thomas, 70 

Crew, Randall, 47 

Crispe, Thomas, 44 

Criswell, 137, 272, 273 

Crow, 154 

Crowder, Hugh, 44 

Croyden, Kent, Eng., 290 

Culpeper, Lord, 220; Margaret, 
Lady, 220 

Cumberland, County, 255, 301, 
318; Duke of, 149 

Cunningham, Samuel, 92 

Currie, David, 344 

Curtis, Thomas, 48 

Custis, Daniel Parke, 211, 303; 
Frances, 109, HI; John, 107, 
109, 346, 347; John Parke, 200, 
204; Martha, 180, 204, 212, 
215; Martha Parke, 153, 200, 
205 



Dade, Cadwallader, 277 
Daggett, Rev. Benjamin, 305 
Daingerfield, William, 129, 278 
Dale, Sir, Thomas, 38, 39, 40, 48, 

96, 166, 167; Lady, 332 
Dale Parish, 337 
Dalston School, Eng., 294 
Daly, 239 
Dancing, 69, 137, 140, et seq., 

151, 181, 182, 193, 196, 230, 

231, 235, 236, 241, 242, 243, 

258, 260, 313 
" Dancing Point," 159 
Dandridge, Martha, 211; Unity, 

351; William, 351 
Darby, William, 229 
Davies, Miss, 312; Samuel, 339 
Davis, James, 44, 45 
Davison, Christopher, 44, 80 
Dawley, Thomas, 271 
Dawson, Priscilla, 196, 246, 247; 

Thomas, 196, 334; William, 305, 

337 
Deans, James, 227 
Dearlove, Wm., 148 
Delaware, Lord, 17, 32, 35, 36, 

37, 43, 50, 80, 96, 188 
Delft, 92 

Denham, Richard, 159 
Derbyshire, 226 
Dering, William, 143 
De Vreis, 69, 118 
Dewall, Edward, 225 
Dial, Edward, 143 
Digges, 32, 49, 51 ; Cole, 269; Sir 

Dudley, 347; Edward, 82, 107, 

210, 316, 347; Elizabeth, 74, 

78, 107; Mary, 144 
Dilke, Clement, 44; Roger, 46 
Dinwiddle, Robert, 121, 221, 237, 

238, 239 
Discovery, ship, 19 
Diseases, 20, et seq., 26, 37, 41 



359 



INDEX 



Divorces, 110 

Dixon, 273, 306; Adam, 45 

Dobby, 261 

Donne, George, 50; Dr. John, 50 

Dormer, Sir Fleetwood, 50 

Douglas, 51, 249; David, 244 

Downing Street, 222 

Downman, John, 45 ; Joseph Ball, 

293; Margaret, 207; Rawlegh, 

309; William, 309; Dowthaitt, 

243, 244 
Draper, Elizabeth, 208 
Drayton, John, 162; Mailana, 301 
Dress, 117, 155, 157, 158, 186, 

et seq., 215, 258 
Drinking, 126, et seq., 146, 151, 

258, 259, 261, 330, 334, 335 
Duelling, 158, et seq. 
Duke, 53 

" Dunham Massie," 50 
Dunlop, John, 300; William, 185, 

305 
Dutch Gap, 39 
Du Val, Samuel, 255 

Earle, Alice Morse, 197 

East Barsham, 216 

East India School, 265, 287 

Eastern Shore, 63, 118, 229, 230 

Eaton Free School, 267 

Eaton, Thomas, 267 

Edinburgh, 219, 221, 278; Uni- 
versity, 291, 293 

Edloe, Matthew, 42 

Edmundson, Dolly, 261 

Education, l65, 219, 221, 222, 
2G2, et seq.; bequests for, 266, 
267, 268, 269, 270; abroad, 287, 
et seq.; of servants, 263, 273 

Edwards, John, 328 

Eton College, 288, 294 

Elam, Martin, 148 



"Elderslie," 183 

Electric Machine, 162 

Elizabeth City Co., 226, 266, 267, 

272, 300, 318, 321, 324 
Elizabeth, Queen, 51 
Elizabeth River Parish, 329 
Ellyson, Sarah, 185 
" Eltham," 64, 351 
Embrej', Henry, 58 
Emerson, 45 
Emigrants, the later, character of, 

41, et seq. 
England, 105, 107, 111, 115, 126, 

135, 136, 141 
English, cottage, 26; farmhouse, 

26; village, 26 
English, William, 44 
Epitaphs, 209, 227, 290, 345, et 

seq. 
Eppes, 53; Elizabeth, 209; Fran- 
cis, 45, 73, 85, 100, 156, 188; 

Mrs. Frances, 341 ; William, 45, 

159 
Essex Co., 211, 280, 300, 303 
Evans, William, 254; Valentine, 

272 
Evelyn, 51, 302 
Eversham Parish, l60 

Fairfax, 315; Bryan, 114, 259; 
George William, 88, 178, 248; 
Lord, 32, 42, 50, 178, 220, 260; 
Robert, 246; Sally, 113; Wil- 
liam, 50, 114; county, 303, 318 

" Fairfields," 182 

Fairs, 153, 154, 236 

Falkland, Lord, 51 

Falling Creek, 40, l60 

Farley, James Parke, 255; Thom- 
as, 43, 328 

Farnham Parish, 535, 336 

Farnifold, John, 326 



J 



S60 



1 



INDEX 



Farrar, 53; William, 42, 134, l68 

Farrell, 243, 244 

Fauntleroy, 118; Betsy, 179; Grif- 
fin, 331; Colonel, 123; Moore, 
255; William, 179, 293 

Fauquier County, 183, 303 

Fawcett, Fawsett, John, 229; 
Thomas, 160 

Fearon, Benson, 299 

Felgate, Tobias, 45 

Felton, 311 

Fencing, 143 

Festivities, 136, et seq. 

Fetherstone, 26; Charles, 328 

Field, John, 293 

Fielding, Ambrose, 84 

Filmer, 5 1 ; arms, 1 34 

Finch, Henry, 50; Sir John, 50 

Finnic, 234; Alexander, 143 

Fireworks, 247 

Fisher, Daniel, 151; George, 148 

Fishing, 259 

Fithian, Philip, 68, 69, 71, 111, 
128, 129, 132, 133, 136, 137, 
141, 144, 146, 147, 191, 193, 
261, 273, 279, 282, 306, 309, 
312, 328 

Fitzhugh, 67, 124; Henry, 293, 
302; William, 73, 100, 104, 125, 
130, 172, 218, 254, 256, 271, 
297, 317 

Fitz Randolph, John, 214 

Fleming, John, 255; Mrs., 66; 
William, 182 

Flinton, Pharoah, 44 

Flood, John, 42 

Florde, Edward, 110 

Flournoy, David, 92 

Flowre, George, 22 

Fluvanna, Co., 184 

Foliatt, 52 



Fontaine, John, 81, 127; Peter, 
275 

Food, 57, 58, 124, et seq. 

Foot-racing, 258 

Ford, Paul Leicester, 246 

Forrest, Mrs., 27, 28 

Fort, a palisaded, 16 

" Four Mile Tree," 347 

Foushee, Capt., 122; Mrs., 122 

Fowler, Francis, 48 

Fox, David, 99, 159, 316, 326; 
Hannah, 98; Richard, 118; Wil- 
liam, 200, 325; hunting, 259, 
260 

Franklin, Benjamin, 312 

Frasier, Alexander, 269; Thomas, 
176 

Frederickburg, 102, 154, 198, 236, 
246; jockey club of, 256 

Frescoes, 325 

Funeral Customs, 341, et seq. 

Furniture, 77, et seq. 

Furs and skins, 158 

Gage, 50 

Gaines, Daniel, 108; Eliza, 108 

Gait, James, 91; John M., 293 

Galthorpe, Stephen, 22 

Gamble, William, 191 

Games, 113, 114, 115, 145, 149, 

153, 328 
Gaming, 148, ef seq. 
Gardens, 69, et seq. 
Garrick, 219 
Gascoine, Thomas, 42 
Gates, Sir Thomas, 32, 35, 38, 

96; Lady, 38 
Geddy, Anne, 177 
"Gentlemen," 16 et seq., 44, 50, 

et seq. 
George I, 136 
George, Leroy, 211 



361 



INDEX 



Gerard, Gcrrard, li7; Thomas, 
225 

Germanna, 71, 108 

Germans, 144, 277, 339, 340 

Gibson, Edward, l60; James, 254; 
Thomas, 78 

Gilmer, George, 293 

Glascock, Capt., 110; George, 
188 

Glass-making, 40 

Gloucester Co., 63, 65, 121, 173, 
176, 227, 254, 256, 260, 268, 
271, 285, 288, 315, 324, 327, 
348; England 225, 227 

Glover, Richard, 280 

Gloves, 200 

Godfrey, William, 191 

Godspeed, ship, 19 

Godwin, 242, 243; Samuel, 104 

Gooch, Lady, 196; Sir William, 
196, 337 

Goochland Co., 151, 276 

Goode, Robert, 255 

Goodmansfield Theatre, London, 
236 

Goodwin, Joseph, 269, 293 

Gookin, Daniel, 42; John, 208, 
209 

Goore, Charles, 2l6 

Gordon, Adam, Lord, 109, 119, 
131, 164, 287; James, 110, 122, 
137, 184, 215, 273; Mrs. James, 
184, 273; Molly, 273; Nancy, 
184; William, 269, 317, 332 

Goring, Charles, 272 

Gosnold, Bartholomew, 17, 22 

Governesses, 281 

Gower, 301 ; Thomas, 22 

Graffenreidt, Baronne de, 142; 
Christopher de, 142 

Graliam, 51 ; Augustus, 257 



Graves, Richard, 152; Thomas, 45 

Gravesend, 98 

Gray's Inn, 294 

Great Hornmeade, Hertfordshire, 

43 
Green, Katherine, 101 
Greenhill, James, l62 
" Greenspring," 95, 126, 130, 303 
Gregory, Roger, 255 
Griffin, Corbin, 188, 293; Cyrus, 

293; John, 293; Samuel, 218, 

219,223 
Griggs, Robert, 332 
Grimshaw, Aaron, 294 
Grindon, Edward, 44 
Grymes, 289; Benjamin, 255; 

Fanny, 185; John, 210; John 

Randolph, 228, 294; Lucy, 179; 

Philip, 344 ; Philip, children of, 

frontispiece ; Philip Ludwell, 

294 
Gypsy, 330 

Hacker, Henry, 318 

Hacket, Thomas, 159 

Hail Western, Huntingdonshire, 
227 

Halifax County, 270 

Hall, 193; Isaac, 219, 293; Jacob, 
304; John, 93, 216 

Hallam, 244, 245, 250, 251 ; Lewis, 
138, 236, 237, 239, 242, 246, 
249; Mrs., 237, 239, 240; Rob- 
ert, 47; Sarah, 244; Thomas, 
47 ; William, 47 

" Hallsfield," 255 

Hamilton, James, 91 

Hammond, John, 96; Mainwaring, 
119 

Hamor, Ralph, 43, 45 ; Thomas, 45 

Hampshire, Eng., 46, 227 



INDEX 



Hampton, 30, 60, 71, 140, 151, 

175, 239, 313, 323, 324, 326; 

Academy, 267; Roads, 175 
Hanbury, 214 
Handel, 311, 312 
Hanover Coimty, 148, 254, 255, 

257, 259, 313; town, 313 
Hansford, John, 280, 269 
Hardy man, Littlebury, 255, 256; 

William, 255 
Harmer, Charles, 44, 225; John, 

44, 225 
Harrington, 17; Edward, 22 
Harris, Thomas, 42 
Harrison, 17, 72, 181; Benjamin, 

107, 132, 169, 351; George, 159; 

Henry, 255; Nathaniel, 254, 

302; Mrs. Randolph, 250, 251; 

Sarah, l69 
Harvey, Sir John, 59, 322 
Harvie, John, 303 
Harwood, Nicholas, 343; Thomas, 

44, 269; William, 269 
Harrow, Eng., 294 
narrower, John, 129, 278 
Hatcher, Edward, 253 
Hatherly, Eng., 226 
Hawes, Leicestershire, 44 
Hawkins, Thomas, 48 
Hawtry, Edward, 201 
Haynes, Bartholomew, 329, 
Hayward, Matthew, 109 
Head-dress, 187, 188, 190, 

193, 194, 199, 204 
Hedgman, George, 300 
Hendall, 185 
Henly, Samuel, 319 
Henrico County, 73, 85, 100, 134, 

139, 148, 155, 185, 253, 265, 

271, 289, 291, 298, 300, 301, 

321, 326, 328; town, 39 
Henry, Patrick, 303, 308 



330 



192, 



Herbert, 339 

Herefordshire, 348 

" Hesse," 121, 171, 173, 174 

Hesselius, 315, 317, 319 

Hewit, 269 

" Hickory Hill," 282 

Hill, 53; Edward, 138; Mrs. Ed- 
ward, 209 ; Elizabeth, 209 ; Hen- 
riette Maria, 209; Humphrey, 
270; John, 48; Nathaniel, 271, 
296; Sara, 209 

Hitchcock, Killibett, 44 

Hite, 67 

Hobb's Hole, 236, 26l 

Hogarth, 318 

Hog, Elizabeth, 154; Peter, 291; 
Island, 47 

Holland, 70 

Hollingsworth, 67 

Holloway, John, 296; Mrs., 112 

Holt, Joseph, 292; Randall, 47 

Home, Hume, George, 217 

Home-life, 102, et seq. 

Honeywood, Philip, 119 

Hooe, Rice, 46 

Hooker, 301 

Home, Henry, 45 

Horner, Havaliah, 271 

Horse-racing, 252, et seq. 

Horses, 129, et seq. 

Horsmanden, Daniel, 217; War- 
ham, 289 

Hospitality, 57, et seq., 118, et seq. 

Hothersali, 44 

Hot Springs, 152, 153 

Houses, 55, et seq., of first colon- 
ists, 20, 21, 23 

Howard, Philip, 229 

Howe, Elizabeth, 209 ; John, 44 

Howson, Leonard, 134 

Hubard, 81 ; Matthew, 61, 90, 276, 
297 



^ 



INDEX 



Hubbard, Ephraim, lii 

Hubert, Cuthbert, 269 

Hughes, James, 341 

Hull, Eng., 226 

Hume, 51 

Hungar's Parish, 3i6 

Hunt, 122; Fortune, 344-; Rev. 
Robert, 20, 28, 295, 305; Row- 
land, 89; Thomas, 89 

Hunter, 307; John, 87; William, 
319 

Hunting, 259 

Huntingdonshire, 227 

Hylton, Bethenia, 184; George, 
184 

Indian, Fields, 255; massacre 
(1622), 40 

Indians, 15, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 
28, 29, 30, 34, 39, 43, 92, 116, 
125, 136, 139, 156, 216, 236, 
239, 275, 285, 321, 331, 340 

Inglebird, George, 92 

Inglis, Mungo, 284 

Inner Temple, 293 

Ireland, 92, 98 

Iron Works, 40 

Isham, 51; Henry, 155; Katha- 
rine, 99; seal, 134 

Isle of Wight County, 46, 47, 78, 
81, 99, 106, 209, 227, 269, 296, 
316, 322, 332, 344 

" Isabinda," 232 

Jacob, Thomas, 22 
James I, King, 264; II, 192 
James City County, 48, 210 
Jamestown, 18, 19, 20, 24^ 25, 26, 
27, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 
60, 61, 63, 69, 75, 76, 79, 80, 
91, 95, 102, 105, 125, 150, 153, 
155, 160, 161, 166, 170, 186, 



189, 255, 262, 290, 295, 315, 
320, 321, 322, 346; church, 36, 
60, 80, 96, 167, 305; River, 19, 
32, 35, 72, 125, 209, 206, 320 

Jaqueline, 315 

Jefferson, Peter, 151 ; Thomas, 64, 
65, 66, 78, 135, 151, 177, 181, 
182, 183, 274, 299, 304, 308 

Jenings, 51 ; Edmund, 226 

Jerdone, Francis, 133 

Jewelry, 157, 188, 190, 194, 206, 
et seq. 

Jockey Club, 255 

Johnson, John, 45, 280; Joseph, 
109; George, 303, 318 

Johnston, Mary, 231 

Jones, Anthony, 48; Dolly, 111, 
112; Francis, 117; Giles, 44; 
Hugh, 119, 124, 125, 254, 285; 
Orlando, 77; Robert, 280; Rog- 
er, 220; Thomas, 84, 111, 121, 
195, 233, 218, 219, 220, 279, 
318; Mrs. Thomas, 196, 215, 
217; Thomas, Jr., Ill, 112; 
Walter, 291 

Jordan, Alice, 347; Cicely, l68, 
171, 335; George, 344, 347; 
Samuel, 168; Thomas, 48, 309 

" Jordan's Point," 168 

Kean, Edmund, 234; Thomas, 234, 
235, and Murray Company, 234, 
242 

Kecoughtan, 30 

Kellam, Richard, 280 

Kelley, 248 

Kello, John, 140 

Kemp, Kempe, 50; Richard. 190; 
William, 44 

Kennedy. Alexander, 324 

Kennon. William, 300 

Kent, Eng., 44 



364 



INDEX 



Kercheval, 92, 117, 144 

Kerr, Alexander, 211 

Key, William, 305 

Kidd, James, 74 

Killearn, 51 

Kilpin, William, 300 

King and Queen County, 144, 270, 

305, 324, 344 
King George County, 67, 71, 94, 

141, 183, 254, 281, 292, 318, 

319, 333 
King, Henry, 268 
King's College, Aberdeen, 159, 294 
Kingsniill, Richard, 44 
Kingston, Thomas, 46; Thomas, 

271 
King William County, 66, 177, 

269, 336; Court House, 313 
Kinked, David, 101 
" Kippax," 110 
Kirk, James, 202 
Kneller, Godfrey, 31 6, 319 
Knight, Charles, 275 
Knights of the Golden Horseshoe, 

91 

Lace, 188, 195, 196; Brussels, 
200; Flanders, 200; Mechlin, 
195 

Lancaster County, 81, 83, 90, 94, 
99, 122, 132, 200, 226, 255, 
272, 297, 302, 305, 3l6, 317, 
325, 332, 344 

Lanckiield, John, 97 

Langford, John, 313 

Langley, Robert, 45 

Languedoc, 44 

Latane, Lewis, 305 

Latham, John, 92 

Lawrence, John, 225 

Lawson, Thomas, 301 

Lawyers, 160 
24 



Laydon, John, 28; Virginia, 28 

Lay ton. Goody, 105, 106 

Leatherbury, Charles, 280 

Lee, 53, 66, 145, 147, 268, 290, 
314; Arthur, 222, 293, 294; 
Betsy, 194; George, 79, 135, 
215; George Fairfax, 292, 299; 
Hancock, 300, 326; Henry, 86, 
90, 152, 179, 293, 308; John, 
200, 288, 293; Launcelot, 135; 
Philip, 124; Philip Ludwell, 
255, 293, 309; Richard, 98, 11 6, 
135, 146, 255, 301, 317, 351; 
Mrs. Richard, 122; Robert E., 
209; Thomas, 100, 276, 342, 
3^3; arms, 138; Parish, 326 

" Lee Hall," 145, 146 

Leeds, Castle, 32, 220; School, 
294; Virginia, 151 

Lely, Peter, 3l6 

Levingston, William, 230, 231 

Lewis, 65, 260; Elizabeth, 348; 
Fielding, 153; Thomas, 305; 
Warner, 173, 174, 315 

Lightfoot, Armistead,255 ; Charles, 
226; Frances, 226; John, 48; 
Mildred, 207; PhiHp, 132, 326; 
William, 207, 211, 254 

Ligon, Richard, 253 

Linnaeus, l6l 

Liquors, etc., legal price of, 150 

Little Paxton, Huntingdonshire, 
227 

Littleton, 51; Ann, 276; Nathan- 
iel, 51, 276 

"Littleton," 69, 118 

Liverpool, 216 

Livingston, Susannah, 299; Wil- 
liam, 141 

Lloyd, Cornelius, 187 

Locket, Jane, 226 
365 



INDEX 



London, 17, 4-2, 43, 4i, 48, 51, 
73, 74, 77, 79, 86, 87, 89, 100, 
104, 107, 127, 131, 133, 134, 
140, 149, 154, 155, 161, 190, 
195, 196, 198, 202, 208, 214, 
215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 
223, 226, 227, 230, 232, 236, 
237, 259, 264, 271, 280, 288, 
294, 296, 298, 299, 306, 310, 
312, 317, 318, 325; Bishop of, 
270 

Lorraine, Claude, 318 

Lotteries, 151, 152, 211 

Love, 309 

Lovelace, Francis, 50 

Love-locks, 189, 190 

Lower Norfolk County, 45, 48, 76, 
82, 83, 97, 105, 109, 135, 148, 
162, 187, 192, 193, 195, 198, 
208, 225, 268, 287, 297, 322, 
338 

Ludlow, 51; Thomas, 31 6 

Ludwell, 95; H., 207; Philip, 94, 
95, 220, 303 

Luke, 172 

Lunenburg County, 78, 81, 303, 
305 ; Parish, 333 

Lunsford Henry, 314; Sir 
Thomas, 46, 50, 119, 314 

Lupo, Albino, 44 

Lutheran Church, 324 

Lylly, Stephen, 272 

Lynnhaven Parish, 209, 322, 324 

Machodick, Churches, 325 
Maclin, 254 

Madestard, Thomas, 316 
Madison, Isaac, 168; James, 272; 
Bishop James, 274; County, 324 
Magdaleve, ship, 175 
Mallory, 51 
Malone, 237, 239 



" Malvern Hill," 6l, 253 

Manchester, 152 

Mangoags, King of, 31 

Mann, John, 285 

Mansfield, David, 48 

Man, William, 171 

" Marlborough," 304 

Marlborough, Duke of, 224 

Marlott, Thomas, 44 

" Marmion," 67 

" Marplot," 232 

Marriages, 28, 136 

^Lartian, Nicholas, 43 

Martin, Edward, 229, 230; Henry, 

328; John, 17, 43; Sir Richard, 

43 
Martine, John, 22 
Martin's Hundred, 225 
Marye, James, 272, 306 
Maryland, 103, 129, 152, l60, 

244, 249, 332, 338 
Mason, Mrs. Ann, 90; Francis, 42; 

George, 257, 272, 337; Mary, 

272; Thomson, 255 
Matapony Church, 324 
Matte, John, 280 
" Mattey School," 269 
Mattheson, Alexander, 200 
Matthew, Thomas, 227; William, 

227 
Matthews, Samuel, 42, 118, 276; 

Thomas, 299 
Maury, James, 274 
^Layo, John, 269 
Meade, 390; David, 149; Bishop 

William, 325, 333 
Menifee, George, 69, 118 
Menzies, Adam, 318 
Mercer, George, 223, 224; John, 

255, 304 
Merchant Tailor's School, 287, 294 
"Merry Point," 122, 137, 184 



306 



INDEX 



Metcalfe, 51 

Methodist Church, 339 

Michel, Louis Francis, 136, 154, 
287 

Mickleborough, Tobias, 211 

Middleham, Yorkshire, 43 

Middlesex County, 30, 75, 81, 90, 
94, 107, 111, 134, 150, 161, 
185, 200, 211, 226, 245, 269, 
299, 300, 301, 317, 343 

Middle Temple, 290, 293 

Midwinter, Frances, 22 

Mile End School, Eng., 294 

Mills' Ordinary, 148 

Milner, John, 148 

Ministers, 20, 25, 35, 52; char- 
acter of, 333, et seq.; libraries, 
295, 305, 306; Presbyterian, 306 

Minor, Garrett, 328; Thomas, 255, 
256 

Mitchell, 236; John, l6l, 207 

Moldsworth, 50 

Moncure, John, 305, 337 

Monro, John, 336; Andrew, 188, 
317 

Montague, William, 328 

" Monticello," 135 

Moon, John, 46, 227, 268 

Moore, Bernard, 6Q, 173; Eliza- 
beth, 172, 173; John, 106 

Moris, Edward, 22 

Morris, Mrs. Nicholas, 79; Roger, 
179 

Morton, Robert, 192 

Moryson, 50; Francis, 50, 118; 
Richard, 51; Robert, 50 

Moseley, 314; Edward, 207, 324; 
Susanna, 208; William, 186 

Mosse, 217 

Motherhead, Samuel, 280 

Mounslic, Thomas, 22 



"Mt. Airy," Q5, 72, 74, 88, 132, 
206, 254, 281, 309, 314 

" Mount Malady," SQ 

" Mt. Pleasant," 351 

" Mt. Vernon," 68, 70, 74, 87, 88, 
91, 135 

" Mt. Zion," 67, 162 

Murray, 235; Nancy, 177 

Muse, Hudson, 245 

Music, Q9, 141, 146, 177, 235, 236, 
241, 242, 243, 258, 308, et aeq. 

Myles, John, 347 

McCarty, Daniel, 98, 254, 290, 
302; W. Page, 98 

McClanahan, Alexander, 203 ; Jen- 
ny, 207; John, 341 ; Robert, 203 

McClurg, James, 56, 293 

McCulloch, Roderick, 274 

McDonald, Bryan, 305; Edward, 
301 

McRae, Rev. Christopher, 52 

McRobert, Archibald, 336 

" Nancy Wilton," 181 
Nansemond County, 273, 332, 338 
" Nanzaticoe," 124 
Nassawattock's Church, 330 
Negroes, 215, 281, 329, 339, 344 

(see also Servants and Slaves) 
Negro quarters, 64 
Nelson, Jane, 177; Thomas, 228, 

292, 304, 351 ; William, 88, 134, 

205; William, Jr., 185; County, 

274; House, 73 
Newburg, N. Y., 212 
"Newington," 71, 114, 311 
New Kent County, 64, 152, 230, 

255, 260, 303, 319 
" Newlands," 104 
Newman, Robert, 343; William, 

328 
" Newmarket," 254 



367 



INDEX 



" New Market," 304 

Newport, Christopher, 19, 24, 25, 

27, 28, 32 
Newport's News, 39, 118 
Newton, Elizabeth, 132; John, 

226, 297, 331 ; Willoughby, 132, 

299 
New York, 179, 229, 246 
Nicholls, George, 81, 84, 86 
Nicholas, Elizabeth, 210; George, 

210; Robert Carter, 179 
Nicholson, Sir Francis, 170, 225, 

257, 283, 285, 336 
Nicola, 306 
"Nomini Hall," 68, 71, 73, 87, 

111, 128, 129, 132, 133, 136, 

141, 144, 146, 147, 191, 193, 

273, 279, 282, 304, 306, 309, 

312, 315 
Nomini River, 327 
Norfolk, 90, 143, 240, 241, 313, 

323; County, 75, 207 
Northampton County, 79, 81, 98, 

103, 109, 225, 281, 296, 302, 

326, 330, 346 
Northamptonshire, 348 
North Carolina, 117, 142, 163 
North Mountain, 153 
Northern Neck, 85 
Northumberland County, 47, 78, 

81, 85, 134, 189, 227, 279, 300, 

318, 326, 333, 342; Earl of, 17 
" Northumberland House," 255 
Norton, John, 205 
Norwood, Henry, 118, 119 

Offlcy, 43 

Ogle, Cnthbert, 311 

" Okewell Hall," 36 

Oldfield, Anne, 232 

Old Stone Church, Augusta, 310 

Old Street, London, 226 



Opecancanough, 29 

Orange County, 318 

Organs, 324 

Oriel College, Oxford, 288, 293 

Orkney Islands, 278 

Orrery, Earl of, 171, 221 

Osborne, 244; Sir Edward, 43; 
Mrs., 240, 241, 242, 243; Thom- 
as, 42, 45, 298 

Outdoor Sports, 252, et seq. 

Owen, Gronow, 334 

Oxford, 43, 48, 225, 285, 288, 293, 
337 

Packe, James, 121 

Page, 173, 314; Betsy, 177; Fran- 
cis, 106; John, 64, 65, 180, 181, 
182, 192, 227; Judith, 351; 
Mann, 65, 106, 255, 293, 294, 
351; Robert, 257 

Pagett, Anthony, 48 

Palatinates, 142 

Pamunkey, 29; King of, 186 

Panton, Anthony, 190 

Parke, 53; Daniel, 111, 222, 224; 
Frances, 111, 347; Lucy, 106 

Parker, 63, 242, 243, 244 

" Parker Place," 63 

Parks, William, 306 

Parnell, Thomas, 276 

Passmore, Thomas, 46 

Pasteur, Dr., l63 

Pasture, Charles, 300 

Pate, Richard, 269 

Pawlett, Thomas, 43, 335 

Payne, William, 113 

Peachy, Samuel, 135 

Peale,' Charles Wilson, 244. 315, 
319 

Peasley, Henry, 268 

" Peckatone," 277, 282 

Peddlers, 158 



INDEX 



Pelham, Peter, 246, 311, 312 

Pembroke College, Cambridge, 293 

Penance in Church, 229, 330 

Pennington, 17; Robert, 22 

Pennsylvania, 152 

Percy, George, 17, 19, 21, 22, 27, 
33, 38, 50, 188 

Perrin, John, 225; Susan, 225 

Perrott, Henry, 294f 

Perry Elizabeth, 215; William, 44 

Persey, 49; Abraham, 42, 45, 46, 
47, 208; Elizabeth, 208; Mary, 
208 

Petersburg, 181, 102 

Petsworth Church, 324, 325, 326 

Pettus, 53 

Pewter, 93, et seq. 

Peyronny, Chevalier de, 143 

Peyton, 50; Valentine, 293 

Philadelphia, 148, 179, 180, 250, 
306, 312, 318 

Philipse, Mary, 179, 180 

Phillips, Elmer, 44; Nathaniel, 
131, 259; William, 300 

Physicians, 20, 37, 160, et seq., 
219, 222, 291 

Pictures, 83, 85, 88, 151, 314, et 
seq. 

Pierce, William, 45 

Piggase, Drue, 22 

Pitt, Mary, 209; Thomas, 209 

Pittsylvania County, 323 

Plantagenet, Beauchamp, 118 

Plate, 96, et seq., 226 

Plays acted in Virginia: Anato- 
mist, or the Sham Doctor, 237, 
244; Beare and ye Cubb, 229; 
Beaux Strategem, 232; Beg- 
gar's Opera, 244; Busy Body, 
232; Cato, 232, 233, 239, 248; 
Constant Couple, 235, 242, 243; 
Cymbeline, 244; Damon and 



Phillida, 247; Drummer, or the 
Haunted House, 233; Every 
Man in his Humor, 247; False 
Delicacy, 248; Jealous Wife, 
247; King Lear, 247; Lying 
Valet, 236; Merchant of Ven- 
ice, 236, 237, 238; Miller of 
Mansfield, 243; Musical Lady, 
247; Orphan, 242; Othello, 238, 
239; Padlock, 247; Provoked 
Husband, 249; Richard III, 
234, 235; Recruiting Officer, 
232; Thomas and Sally, 249; 
West Indian, 247; Word to the 
Wise, 248 

Pleasants, John, 301, 318 

Plutarch, 307 

Pocahontas, 5, 24, 29, 39, 62, 166, 
168, 188 

Poindexter, George B., 255 

Point Comfort, 31, 39 

Pole, Godfrey, 302 

Poole, Robert, 44 

Pooley, Rev. Greville, l68, 171, 
335 

Poor, gifts and bequests to, 332, et 
seq. 

Pope, Nathaniel, 280; Thomas, 
225 

" Pope's Creek," 254 

Porter, James, 297 

Porteus, Robert, 227 

Porticoes, 67, 68 

Portraits, 85, 190, 193, 194, 206, 
211, 223, 225, 287, 314, et seq; 
315, 317, 319 

Port Royal, 69, 274 

Pory, John, 97 

Potomac River, 25, 65 

Pott, Elizabeth, 105; Dr. John, 
42, 46, 105, 160 

Potter, 181 



INDEX 



Powell, John, 45, 46 

Powhatan, 24, 29, 39, 166 

Pratt, Bessy, 111, 112, 233; Eliza- 
beth, 218; John, 218; Keith, 
112; Mrs., 121 

Presbyterian Church, 339, 240 

Presbyterians, 145, 194, 226, 306 

Presley, Peter, 81; William, 197 

Price, 281 

Prince George County, 255, 304 

Princess Anne County, 272, 298, 
301 

Princeton, 263, 278 

Pritchard, Frances, 268; Richard, 
268 

Proctor, John, 42, 43, ll6; Thom- 
as, 43 

Punch bowl, Washington's, 132 

Purefoy, Thomas, 42 

Puritans, 126, 190, 336 

Purleigh, Eng., 287 

Putney Grammar School, 300, 294 

Pygatt, 148 

Quaker meeting house, 339 
Quakers, 126, 268, 338, 339 
Quantico Church, 159 
Queen's College, Oxford, 288, 293 
Queen's Creek, 227 

Racing, 153, 252, et seq. 

Raleigh, 299; parish, 333; tavern, 
151, 182, 191, 234; Sir Walter, 
151 

Randolph, 66, 67, 314; Anne, 181 ; 
Beverley, 294; John, 228, 291, 
293; Sir John, 120, 142, 232, 
294; Henry, 298; Mary, 132, 
210; Peyton, 293; Thomas 
Mann, 255 ; Mrs. Thomas Mann, 
66; William, 132, 151, 210, 294, 
348 

Raphael, 319 



Rappahannock, County, 82, 171, 
279, 287; River, 65, 69, 214, 
261, 323 

Ratcliffe, 26, 27 

Rathall, Katherine, 198, 201, 202, 
244 

Rathbone, Richard, 148 

Ravenscroft, John, 293 

Rawling, John, 214 

Rawlings, William, 269 

Reade, Clement, 78, 81, 303 

Reading, Eng., 225 

Reed, James, 269 

Religion, 26, 36, 320, et seq. 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 315; Thom- 
as, 277; William, 280 

Revolution, 249 

Rhode Island, 90 

Richards, 155; Amy, 349; John, 
349 

" Richland," 255 

Richmond, 39, 61, 64, 86, 91, 102, 
116, 162, 223, 319, 320, 322; 
county, 68, 86, 131, 134, 179, 
207, 211, 254, 255, 276, 298, 
309, 333, 335 

Riddell, George, 292 

Rigby, 237, 238, 239 

Rigmaden, William, 270 

Rimpton, Somerset, 43 

Rind, Wm., 306 

Rings, 134, et seq. 

Rippon, Cathedral, 227; ship, 175, 
176 

" Rising Sun Tavern," 151 

Ritchie, 194, 26l 

Roads, William, 22 

Roanoke, 91 

Roberts, Bartholomew, 253 

Robertson house, 56 

■Robinson, Christopher, 52, 289, 



870 



INDEX 



293, 317; James, 144; Bishop 
John, 52, 317; John, 131 ; Mary, 
325; Maximilian, 255; Peter, 
293; William, 293 

Rockbridge County, 274, 340 

Rocky Ridge, 152 

Rodes, 36, 50 

Rogers, John, 280; William, 317 

Rolfe, John, 39, 41, 62, 105, I66, 
167; Thomas, 62 

Rootes, Philip, 344; Priscilla, 144 

Roscow, William, l69, 170 

" Rose and Crown " tavern, 151 

" Rosegill," 75, 255, 304 

" Rose Inn," Reading, Eng., 225 

Rose, Rev. Robert, 52 

"Rosewell," 64, 65, 73, 255, 315, 
351 

Roulston, Lionel, 48 

Royal James, ship, 265 

Royal, Joseph, 328 

Royle, Joseph, 270 

Royle's Free School, 270 

Rubens, 318 

Rush worth, 298 

Russell, John, 18; Richard, 268 

Ruth, sloop, 90 

"Sabine Hall," 68, 72, 126, 145, 

173, 281, 311 
St. Bees Grammar School, Eng., 

294 
St. Dunstan-in-the-East, London, 

227 
St. Giles-in-the-Fields, London, 

226 
St. John's, College, Oxford, 293; 

church, Hampton, 323, 324, 326; 

Richmond, 323 
St. Luke's Church, London, 226 
St. Mary's, Bedfont, Eng., 227; 



parish, Va., 325; White Chapel, 

323, 326, 332 
St. Paul's, King and Queen, 324, 

Norfolk, 323 
St. Peter's Church, 348 
St. Stephen's Parish, 270 
Salford, Robert, 45 
" Salisbury Park," 345 
Salt manufacture, 40 
Sampson, 200; James, 78, 99 1 

Margaret, 99 
Sandford, John, 298 
" Sandy Point," 254 
Sandys, George, 44, 185 
Savage, John, 289; Thomas, 42 
Sawyer, Thomas, 162 
Sawyers, 158 
Schnell, Rev. L., 152 
Schoolmasters, 270, 271, 272, 273, 

274, 275 
Schools, 137, 201; boarding, 271, 

272, 273; Charles City, 40; 

classical, 274; free, 262, et seq., 

private, 270, et seq. 
Scotch emigration, 51 
Scotch-Irish, 144, 340 
Scot, Joane, 330 
Scotland, 218 
Scott, Edward, 277; George, 225; 

Gustavus, 294; James, 337; 

John, 159, 188, 294 
Scrivenor, Matthew, 26 
Sea Venture, ship, 32 
Sedgwick, William, 345 
Sehutt, 301 
Seilhamer, 239, 248 
Servants, 46, et seq., I6I, 224, 

225, 278, 308, 309, 328, 329 
Sewell, Henry, 195; Joseph, 254 
Sewell's Point Church, 330 
Sharp, Sharpe, 176; Nicholas, 

271 ; Robert, 148; Samuel, 44 



371 



INDEX 



Shenandoah Valley, 91 
Shepperd, Samuel, 272 
Sheraton, 90 
Sherwood, Grace, 120; William, 

195, 3-id 
Shetland, 129 
Shields, 143 
"Shirley," 65, 73, 126, 134, 180, 

209, 314 
Shirley Hundred Island, 332 
Shockoe, 91, 152 

Shoes, 182, 200, et seq., 204, 205 
Shop bills, London, 218 
Shrewsbury, Catherine, 280 
Shropshire. St. John, 305 
Shurley, George, 272 
Silk-making, 40 
Silver, 83, 85, 96, et seq., 226; 

some of the " Shirley," 92; tea- 

caddv of Governor Spotswood, 

Sims, Thomas, 328 

Singleton, 237, 238, 313 

Sipsey, John, 45 

Skipwith. 50; Sir Peyton, 220 

Slader, Matthew, 252 

Slaughter, Robert, 255, 256 

Slaves, l6l, 162, 308 

Smallcombe. John, 341 

Smalley, William, 254 

Smith, 133; Arthur, 296; Eliza- 
beth, 269; J. F. D., 256; Cap- 
tain John, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 
23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 45, 
62, 186; Philip, 78; Roger, 44; 
Samuel 158; Thomas, 292 

"Smith's Fort," 62, 6S; Hundred, 
325 

Smythe, 125; Richard, 148; Thom- 
as, 271 

Soane, William, 148, 253 

"Society Hill," 71, 254 



Somers, Sir George, 32, 35 

Southall, 246 

"Southalls," 181 

Southampton County, 304 

Southern, John, 43, 44 

Southey, Anne, 43; Elizabeth, 43; 
Henry, 43 

Southwark Parish, 325 

Southwell, Sir Robert, 300 

Span, John, 293; Richard, 122; 
Mrs. Richard, 122 

Sparke, Michael, 296 

Spence, William, 44 

Spencer, Elizabeth, 171; Frances, 
210; George, 171, 332; Nicho- 
las, 210; William, 45, 292 

Spicer, Arthur, 298 

Spilman, Henry, 43; Sir Henry, 
43; Thomas, 43 

Spotsylvania County, 129, 255, 

300, 301, 302, 303 
Spotswood, 51; Alexander, 71, 85, 

87, 91, 100, 108, 132, 188, 218, 
231, 256, 294, 315, 318, 334; 
Mrs. Alexander, 108; Gen. Alex- 
ander, 254; John, 74, 188, 294 

Spragg, Eleanor, 169 

Spratt, Henry, 280 

" Springdale," 67 

Springs, Mineral, 152, 153 

Stadley, 309 

Stafford County, 73, 90, 100, 223, 
226, 271, 275, 277, 298, 300, 

301, 302, 304, 305, 317, 345 
Staffordshire, 226 

Stafford, William, 93 

Stagg, 234; Charles, 142, 230, 

231 ; house, 246; Mary, 126, 142, 

230, 231 
Staige, Theodosius, 336 
Stallinge, Edward, 159 
Stanard, Beverley, 277; Eliza- 



INDEX 



beth, 81, 94; Larkin, 277; Wil- 
liam, 81, 277 
Stark, William, 269 
" Starving Time," 34 
State House, 60 
Statues, 72 
Staunton, 149, 154 
Stephens, Richard, 159; William, 

131 
Steptoe, George, 293 
Stevens, Thomas, 171, 259 
Stewart, Charles, 148, 218 
Stith, Elizabeth, 325, 344; Mary, 

196; William, 293 
Stoke, Eng., 226 
Stokes, Frances, 333 
Stoodie, Thomas, 22 
-Stoney Creek, l62 
Stores, 154, et seq. 
Strachey, William, 34, 36, 37 
StrafFerton, Peter, 44 
"Stratford," 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 

70, 73, 144, 147, 255, 276, 342 
Stratton, Edward, 328 
Stuarts, 51 

Studley, Thomas, 20, 23, 25 
Sturgis, Daniel, 154 
Suffolk, Eng., 216 
Sully, Thomas, 45, 328 
Sunday observance, 327, et seq. 
Surplices, 326 
Surry County, 62, 75, 93, 99, 257, 

302, 305, 309, 325, 326, 344 
Susan Constant, ship, 19 
Sussex County, 255, 260 
Swann, Catherine, 177; John, 317; 

Thomas, 149 
Sweeny, Sally, 176 
Sweete, Robert, 44 
Swift, Thomas, 45 
Switzerland, 136 
Swords, 155, 187, 190, 203 



Syme, John, 254 

Syms, Benjamin, 266, 267; Free 

School, 266, 267; Eaton Acad- 

demy, 267 

Tabb, 73; John, 318 
Taliaferro, John, 292; Lawrence, 

69; Walker, 255 
Tanner, Joseph, 253 
Tapestry, 73 
Tappahannock, 236, 26l 
Tapscott, James, 293 
Tarrant, Leonard, 300 
Tasker, 256 

Taverns, 148, et seq., 182 
Tayloe, 65, 137, 184, 256, 282; 

Betty, 185; John, 74, 122, 132, 

156, 206, 254, 318, 333; Mrs. 

John, 208 
Taylor, Charles, 304; Daniel, 117, 

292; John, 274; Maria, 108; 

Peter, 272; Richard, 45; Sarah, 

193 
"Tazewell Hall," 67 
" Tedington," 207, 211 
Tennant, John, l6l 
Terrell, 51 
"Tempest, The," 32 
Tichfield, Hampshire, 43 
Timson, Sarah, 349 
Tinsley, 313 

Thacker, Chichley, 293, 237 
Thanksgiving, 331 
Theatre, the, 181, 229, et seq., 234 
Thompson, George, 43; Hugh, 

303; Maurice, 43; Paul, 43; 

Ralph, 43; Samuel, 176; Wil- 
liam, 43 
Thornton, 122; Francis, 71, 254; 

Peter Presley, 255 
Thoroughgood, Adam, 43, 46, 82, 

97, 105, 209, 324; Sir John, 



373 



INDEX 



43, 97; Sarah, 43, 105, 106; 

Thomas, 97 
Thorpe, George, 265, 266 
Throckmorton, 17, 49; Kenelm, 

22; Robert, 227 
Tobacco, 19, 40, 154, 158, 167, 

194, 213, 214, 216, 223, 297, 

328 
Todd, 73 
" Toddsburj-," 73 
Todkill, Anas, 25 
Tombs, 227, 290, 323, 343, 345, 

et seq, 
Tompkins, John, 313; Richard, 

280 
Tories, 228 

" Towlston," 114, 259 
Townsend, Richard, 46, 47 
Toys, 205 
Trades, 276 

Transportation, 129, et seq. 
Travers, Elizabeth, 171; Raleigh, 

171 
Tree, Richard, 46 
Trinity College, Cambridge, 288, 

292, Dublin, 274 
Trussell, John, 47 
Tryon, Lady, 163 
"fuckahoe," 66, 68, 70, 150, 151, 

210, 255 
Tunstall, 175; William, 280 
Turberville, 282; George, 135, 

350; John, 135; Lettice, 350 
" Turkey Island," 348 
Turner, Harry, 94, 318; Henry, 

281, 328; Thomas, 281 
Turpin, Philip, 293 
Tutors, fi8, 69, 274, 278, et seq. 
Tutt. Richard, 301 
Twining, Worcestershire, 42 
Tyler, Francis, 149; Lyon G., 230, 

231, 234, 239, 311 



Underwood, Julian, 329, 330 
" Union Hill," 275 
Upp, Frederick, 275 
Upper Norfolk County, 47 
Upton, John, 45, 47 
Urbanna, l6l, 269 
Utie, John, 42, 44, 308 

Valley of Virginia, 59, 67, 91, 
92, 93, 101, 117, 124, 144, 154, 
158, 184, 202, 203, 207, 277, 
291, 305, 340, 341 

Vandyke, 190 

Varina, 139, 148, 253 

Vaux, James, 188 

Venable, William, 300 

Vine-growing, 40 

Virginia and England, 213, et seq.; 
presents between, 216, 217 

" Virginia Coffee House," Lon- 
don, 218, 220 

Virginia Eastern, 92; Western, 91, 
et seq. 

" Virginia House," 56 

Virginians, characterized by Bur- 
naby and Gordon, 163, et seq.; 
in England, 213, et seq. 

" Virginia Walk," London, 218 

Vi- Valley, 311 

Vobe, 236 

Wackinston, 51 

Waddell, 305; James, 339; J. A., 
91, 92 

Wade, Thomas, 269 

Wainman, Sir Ferdinando, 35 

Wakefield School, Yorkshire, 291, 
294 

Waldo, Ralph, 27 

Wales, 220 

Walker, 217, 242, 243, 244; Ed- 
ward, 266; George, 22; John, 



874 



INDEX 



172, 173, 226, 269; Peter, 79, 
81, 103, 189; Richard, 226; 
Thomas, 152, 173, 226; William, 
301 

Wallace, Gustavus Brown, 183 

Waller, 17; John, 303 

Wallpaper, 74 

Walpole, Horatio, 210 

Walthoe, Nathaniel, 255 

Walton, Joseph, 92; Hertford- 
shire, 43 

Ward, William, 274 

Warden, John, 279 

Warder, Robert, 330 

Ware Church, 327 

Warm Springs, 152 

Warner, 65 ; Augustine, 287, 326 

"Warner HaU," 65, 173, 315 

Warnett, Thomas, 155, 189, 192 

Warnock, John, 300 

Warren, Henry, 3l6; Thomas, 62, 
63 

Warrington, 239; Camilla, 240 

Warwick County, 98 

Warwicksqueake, 225 

Washington, 286; Augustine, 294, 
303; Catherine, 349; Elizabeth, 
349; George, 59, 74, 87, 91, 135, 
143, 153, 177, 178, 180, 200, 
204, 211, 212, 215, 218, 246, 
247, 255, 257, 272, 294, 315, 
318, 325; Jenny, 19I, 193, 310; 
John, 298, 325, 349, 351 ; Law- 
rence, 294, 325, 344; Martha, 
200, 214, 303; Mary, 200; Par- 
ish, 325 

Watches, 90, 204, 210, 211, 212 

Waters, Edward, 42 ; John, 280 

Watkinson, Cornelius, 229 

Watson, Ralph, 303 

Waugh, John, 305 

Webb, Stephen, 48 



Webling, Wessell, 48 ; Nicholas, 48 
Wedderburn, 51, 218 
Welford, Gloucestershire, 227 
Werowocomico, 29 
West, 50; Francis, 17, 43, 335; 

John, 42, 43; Indies, 165 
Westmoreland County, 68, 86, 90, 

98, 132, 135, 144, 147, 152, 215, 

225, 226, 277, 288, 290, 298, 

299, 302, 303, 305, 317, 319, 

325, 333, 342, 345 
"Westover," 64, 67, 70, 74, 80, 

101, 102, 108, 120, 121, 149, 

221, 232, 254, 290, 297, 304, 

348, 351; Church, 343 
Wetherburn, Henry, 151 
Wetherold, Thomas, 217 
Whaley, Mary, 269; Mattliew, 269 
Whitaker, Walter, 188 
" Whitby," 255 
White, Alexander, 293; William, 

171 
Whitefield, 339 
Whittington, William, 268 
" Wickocomico Hall," 84, 85 
Wigs, 190, 191, 205 
Wilberforce, William, 290 
Wilcox, John, 44 
Wilkins, John, 42 
Wilks, Wilkes, John, 223; Thomas, 

171 
Willes, William, 157 
Willett, Martha, 280 
William and Mary College, 70, 

141, 143, 169, 180, 201, 213, 

230, 232, 233, 263, 264, 283, et 

seq., 305, 311, 313, 319 
William and Mary (King and 

Queen), 138, 139, 192 
Williamsburg, 60, 64, 67, 71, 73, 

74, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 

106, 112, 120, 121, 126, 130, 



375 



INDEX 



133, 136, 138, 139, 142, 143, 
148, 149, 151, 153, 157, l6l, 
163, 180, 181, 191, 199, 193, 
196, 198, 201, 211, 215, 219, 
224, 227, 231, 230, 232, 234, 
235, 237, 242, 245, 246, 247, 
249, 250, 256, 259, 270, 302, 
306, 311, 312, 313, 315, 318, 
319, 323, 346 

Williams, Charles Hanbury, 221; 
Hanbury, 220; Hannah, 347; 
Rachel, 349; Thomas, 349 

Willis, John, 255 

"Will's Club," 222 

Willoughby, Henry, /JO; Lords, 50; 
Sarah, 198, 297; Thomas, 42, 
44, 75, 287 

" Wilton," 181, 255 

Winchester, 59; School, Eng., 294; 
Marquis of, 43 

Wingfield, Edward, 17, 21, 295 

"Windsor," 319 

Winston, William O., 255 

Wise, J. C, 230 

Witchcraft, 340 

Wollaston, 315 

W^omock, Abraham, 253 

Wood, Abraham, 47, 48 

Woodbridge, John, 86 

Wood End Grammar School, Scot- 
land, 294 

Woodford, 11 6, 126 

Woods, Michael, 158; Samuel, 
158 

Woodson, John, 42 

Woodward, Samuel, 47 

Worcester, 43 



Wormeley, 122; Christopher, 171, 
343 ; Elizabeth, 79 ; Frances, 
343; John, 288; Margaret, 343 j 
Ralph, 75, 90, 119, 185, 228, 
255, 276, 288, 292, 293, 294, 
301, 304, 326 

Wortham, Charles, 299 

Wotton, Dr. Thomas, 20 

Wrestling, 258 

Wyard, Samuel, 330 

Wyatt, 50, 51; Sir Dudley, 50; 
Sir Francis, 42, 194 

Wynell, 237 

Wynne, Peter, 27 

Yapp, 242, 243 

Yarmouth, Eng., 224 

Yates, Bartholomew, 276, 293, 
337; Mrs., 219; Robert, 293 

Yeardley, Francis, 209; Sir 
George, 43, 97; Sarah, 208, 
209; Lady Temperance, 97 

Yeo, Leonard, 226 

York, County, Gl, 81, 82, 90, 107, 
176, 190," 227, 252, 260, 269, 
271, 275, 276, 297, 305, 3l6, 
328, 336, 345; River, 29, 64, 
90, 118, 127 

Yorkshire, 226, 294 

Yorktown, 71, 73, 130, 132, 133,. 
134, 191, 205, 236, 260, 269, 
276, 304, 313, 317, 351 ; Church, 
326 

Young, William, 188 

Zinnerman, Christopher, 125 
Zouch, Sir John, 50 



03 c; 

CO 

CO 

o 






CO 



S3 

(4 






UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO! 
LIBRARY 



Do not 
remove 
the card I 



from this 
Pocket. 



Acme Library Card Pocket 

Under Pat. "Ref. Index Vile." 
Made by LIBBAEY BUKEAU