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A Limited Edition. A Virginia book 
presenting the very life and spirit of 
the Old Dominion in text and illus- 
trations in a manner that makes 
the book unique among Virginia 
volumes. 93 illustrations. Hand- 
some binding. Boxed. $6.50 net. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

LYRASIS members and Sloan Foundation 

Photograph by Mr. Charles M. NKntgoniery. 


(By Courtesy of Richmond Chamber of Commerce.) 





















In planning this book the design of both pubHsher 
and author was to set forth the story of Richmond readably 
told, agreeably printed and sufficiently illustrated, in a 
single volume of comfortable format. Neither a record 
of all the facts and dates in Richmond's life of more than 
three centuries, nor a directory of even its more or less 
prominent citizens was contemplated. Rather, with due re- 
gard to accuracy, the spirit of the old-young city, its atmos- 
phere and its personality were to be sought and, if possible, 
imprisoned in the pages of a brief narrative. 

The quest has led the party of the first part — mean- 
ing myself — to many and varied sources of information, 
including Captain John Smith's quaint Historie of Vir- 
ginia, and other histories; biographies; public records, 
letters, diaries, files of newspapers — from the ancient 
Virginia Gazette to those of recent date — and periodicals, 
early and late, beginning with the Southern Literary 

Of course my husband, William G. Stanard, LL.D., 
now, and for the past quarter of a century. Secretary of the 
Virginia Historical Society and Editor of its magazine, 
has been my companion on this quest and, in addition to 
the facilities of the Society, and of the Virginia State 
Library and of our own library, his expert knowledge 
of Virginiana and intelligent and frank criticism of my 
work have been at my disposal. 

To the friends who have aided in securing illustrations 
I give my hearty thanks. Of these illustrations more than 
half have never appeared in any other book, and use of 
many has been for the first time granted especially for 
this volume. 


Readers from a distance who would like to know 
Richmond better are cordially invited to come in spring 
with the pansies and irises, when bees are swinging in 
linden blossoms, or in early summer when roses are embow- 
ering porches, or later, when blooms like the lucious hearts 
of ripe watermelons glow in crepe-myrtle boughs, or in 
autumn when maples are ablaze in streets and in parks. 
At any of these seasons long sections of many streets will 
be shady green arbors. You will be equally welcome if 
you come in winter, but do not be surprised if a cold 
wave has, for a day or perhaps a week, tucked this city 
which the sun loves into a blanket of snow and fringed 
it with icicles. 

I wish that it had been possible to name the rebuilders 
of Richmond — those suvivors of the struggle of 1861-65 
and their descendants of the generation following, who 
bound up the wounds of the bruised and broken city and 
restored it to its first estate, and more. But names that 
belong in this honor roll are proclaimed in every column 
of newspapers whose bound files will always be easily 
accessible, and current papers have fallen into a pleasant 
habit of having these files searched and, daily in their 
news of old Richmond, reminding us of some of the 
men and women referred to. 

A word about the section devoted to the War Between 
the States. 

Of making books and magazine articles considering 
the Capital of the Confederacy from one or more angles 
there has been no end. Its political and military history 
has, of course, filled volumes. Vivid pictures of its home, 
hospital and social life (many of which have served me 
as sources) have been drawn. But if there has hitherto 
been any attempt to convey an impression (sketchily and 


tintechnically, of course) upon a single canvas, of the 
whole kaleidoscopic scene — military, public, economic, 
home, hospital, social, literary, even the current jokes — 
with white persons and negroes, grown persons and chil- 
dren, rich and poor, high and low in their relations to 
the place and one another, I do not know of it. 

It has seemed unsuitable to burden with notes the 
pages of a work of this kind, but every statement made 
is based on good authority. 

Mary Newton Stanard 

Richmond, Virginia 


Pkeface vii 

Prologue xvii 




I. Struggles with the Indians 3 

II. Enter the Byrds 10 

III. The Beginning of Richmond Town 17 





IV. "Liberty or Death" 29 

V. Richmond Becomes Virginia's Capital 37 

VI. Peace Declared 48 

VII. The Convention of '88 58 




Vm. The Capitol 65 

IX. Enter the Two Parsons 71 

X. Undercurrents ; 78 



XI. John Marshall and His Circle-. 89 

XII. The Trial of Aaron Burr 98 

XIII. The "Chesapeake"-"Leopard" Affair 102 

XIV. The Theatre Fire 104 

XV. The War of 1812 109 




XVI. Lafayette! 117 

XVII. A New Constitution 125 

XVIII. The Negro Problem 130 




XIX. Haps and Mishaps 133 

XX. PoE AND "The Messenger" 135 

XXI. The Theatre 141 

XXII. "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" 143 

XXIII. Dueling 146 





XXIV. Richmond and the John Brown Raid 153 

XXV. War Begins 158 

XXVI. Enter Robert E. Lee 166 

XXVII. Enter Jefferson Davis 169 

XXVIII. The Earliest Battles 173 

XXIX. Seven Pines 178 

XXX. Hospitals and Social Life 182 

XXXI. The Seven Days' Battles Around Richmond 188 

XXXII. On to Richmond Again 196 

XXXIII. Enter General Grant 201 

XXXIV. The Fall of Richmond 206 

XXXV. Reconstruction 211 

Epilogue 218 



A Summertime Glimpse of the Capitol Frontispiece 

The Grey Cross on the Hill xviii 

Libby Hill, Confederate Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument and 

James River xix 

Captain John Smith, the Bronze Statue at Jamestown xix 

Men's Dress, 1607 4 

Gentlemen's Dress, 1676 4 

How Richmonders Dressed in 1745 5 

A Ducking Stool 5 

Colonel William Byrd II, the Founder of Richmond 10 

The Earliest Map of Richmond 11 

A Ticket in the Byrd Lottery 11 

St. John's Church 18 

The Islets of James River 19 

Virginia State Capitol about 1858 22 

Washington Monument in Capitol Square 22 

The Governor's House 23 

The Bell Tower in Capitol Square 23 

The Capitol and City Hall 32 

Houdon's Statue of Washington 33 

Richmond in 1796 38 

Richmond in 1798 38 

Swan Tavern 39 

Masonic Hall, built in 1785 39 

Richmond in 1800 : 44 

Chief Justice John Marshall 45 

Richmond in 1833 68 

Richmond in 1853 69 

The Home of John Marshall 78 

Dining-Room in John Marshall House 79 

"Uncle Henry" 90 

Sy Gilliat Playing for Children to Dance 90 




John Wickham 94 

Mrs. John Wickham 94 

The Hayes-Green-McCance House 95 

Burning of Richmond Theatre, 1811 104 

Monumental Church 104 

The Munford House 106 

The Woman's Club 106 

Home of Ellen Glasgow 107 

Linden Row, Frankhn Street 118 

Broad Street in 1865 119 

Avenue of Lindens on the Boulevard 126 

Lake in Joseph Bryan Park 126 

A Richmond "Mammy" and One of her "Children" 127 

Edgar Allan Poe 136 

Edgar Allan Poe Shrine, Old Stone House 137 

Edgar Allen Poe Shrine, Garden 137 

Joseph Jefferson in Valentine's Studio Looking at Bust of Edwin 

Booth 140 

Andromache and Astynax, Marble Group by Valentine 140 

In Valentine's Studio 141 

Presidents' Hill, Hollywood 148 

The War Residence of General Lee 154 

In the Old Market 156 

Selling a Watermelon 156 

Wholesale Produce District in the Eighteen- Nineties 157 

In a Tobacco Factory 157 

Confederate Memorial Institute ("Battle Abbey") 166 

Group of Confederate Generals (Fresco in "Battle Abbey").. . 166 

Marshal Foch where Lee Planned "The Seven Days' Battles" 167 

Caring for the Wounded (Frescoe in "Battle Abbey") 167 

White House of Confederacy, now Confederate Museum 170 

Stairway, Confederate Museum 171 

Lee Monument and Monument Avenue 180 

Lee Monument and Richmond War Garden 180 

Monument Avenue and Confederate Monument 181 

Franklin Street Opposite Monroe Park 184 




West Franklin Street 185 

Drawing Rooms, Westmoreland Club 186 

The Burial of Latane 192 

"Captain" Sally Tompkins 192 

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart 194 

Synagogue of Beth Ahaba 195 

Evacuation and Burning of Richmond 208 

Federal Army Entering Richmond in 1865 209 

New Mayo's Bridge and Part of Burned District Fifty-Eight Years 

After 210 

Main Street, Part of Burned District Fifty-Eight Years After 211 

The Federal Reserve Bank 218 

The Country Club of Virginia 219 

Broad Street Station 219 

"Laburnum" Garden 220 

"ReveiUe" Garden 220 

"Paxton" 221 

"Maymont" Garden 221 



Now and then in the City of Richmond, in Virginia, 
as in other places these latter days, are heard hummings 
and whirrings such as never reached the ear of earlier gen- 
erations. People look up to see some inquisitive Bird- 
man hovering overhead, circling, and dipping as he seeks 
a nearer view of the reds and yellows and greys of roofs 
and buildings crowding one another sociably up hill and 
down dale on both sides of a winding river. The air 
in which the Bird-man moves is pierced by church spires 
and towering buildings, and by smoke-stacks of factories 
throwing off bannerlike, grey veils through which he makes 
out a criss-cross of streets. Some of these are lined with 
ample homes and fringed with trees; a few of taem 
adorned with statuary. Others have rows of toy-viilage 
houses. Others still are streams of rushing traffic between 
currents of slower-moving human life, walled in by tem- 
ples of commerce. 

As he swoops lower the Bird-man may make out busy 
market-places and a few squalid spots, like sores, from 
which he will look quickly away to quiet, green parks 
agleam with still lakelets and splotches of color which per- 
haps are the blooms of bedded plants, perhaps the dresses 
of children, playing. 

Lower, and lower still he dips his wings and hears 
the tumult and shouting of progress and the laughter of 
prosperity, and he fancies that he catches an undertone 
which may be the weeping of those in sorrow or the 
groans of those in pain. 


As the Bird-man looks and listens the spirit of Proph- 
ecy may, all unseen, seat herself beside him and 
begin to show him some of the wonders of the future, 
but Memory leans over his shoulder and whispers that 
if he would see this city in true perspective he must alight 
and seek out the background from which she has fash- 
ioned the setting which gives it not merely a location, 
a name and structures of brick and stone and steel, but 
personality and atmosphere peculiarly its own. 

So, choosing a bold hilltop whose velvet terraces rise 
out of the very midst of traffic and trade and manufact- 
ure, he makes a landing and gazes at closer range upon 
the picture spreading around him. He finds that he is 
standing in the shadow of a granite cross whose base 
is a mound of rough stones (evidently gathered from the 
river) held together by cement. Upon the Grey Cross 
are written these words : 

Capt. Qiristopher Newport John Smith 

Gabriel Archer Hon George Percy 

With Gentlemen, Marines, Soldiers, To The 

Number Of Twenty-One, Explored James 

River To The Falls And Set Up A Cross 

Whitsunday, June loth, 1607. 

This Monument Is Presented To The City of 
Richmond By The Association For The Preser- 
vation of Virginia Antiquities. 
June loth, 1907, 

" Dei Gratia Virginia Condita." 

As the Bird-man reads he perceives that, though Proph- 
ecy has deserted him. Memory is still with him. She 
points to the river below, where, on a green islet he seems 
to see another cross, hastily constructed of rough pieces 
of wood bearing the legend " Jacobus Rex 1607", and to 
hear the exulting shout of a band of Englishmen in the 



The bronze statue at Jamestown 


curling locks, rakish hats and doublets and hose of that 
long past day, who erected it. As if by magic, terraced 
Gamble's Hill has become a rugged and wooded promon- 
tory in a wilderness standing out above a river flowing 
boisterously down from between other wooded hills, creat- 
ing a series of little waterfalls as it races over a stony 
bed and becomes navigable. The only signs of human 
life are the quaintly clad, sunburned men, grouped about 
the rude cross on the islet and some naked, gyrating Indians 
staring at them; the only signs of human habitation the 
dozen or so huts of a palisaded Indian village further down 
the river. 

The scene changes. Memory shows him a group more 
than a century later, whose leader, viewing this same land 
— then dotted with cultivated clearings scattered with 
homesteads — and noting a resemblance to the site of 
Richmond on the Thames, tosses off a toast and jocundly 
projects not a castle only, but a city in the air, by that 
token unconsciously dubbing himself for future genera- 
tions, the Father of Richmond on the James. 

The Bird-man lays aside his field glasses, which have 
become rather a hindrance than a help, and accepts those 
proffered by Memory with which he can see not only 
through smoke-screens of busy factories, but through 
view-obstructing buildings and can recognize quaintness 
peeping with fascinating unexpectedness over the shoulders 
of newness. He sees beyond the sky-scrapers that come be- 
tween a tiny white church, on a distant hill, from one 
of whose pews rang the slogan *' Give me liberty or give me 
death!" Halfway between the white church and the 
Grey Cross (on still another green hill) he sees the pillared 
porticoes of the Capitol of Virginia and of the Confeder- 
acy. At a little distance to the south and west he makes 
out a dingy office-building and a face in a window — the 


white, care-lined face of a poet whom disaster followed 
— bending over a desk, setting down deathless words. Not 
far away he picks out The Old Stone House of many tra- 
ditions, and at a little distance to the north and west, a 
pile of mellow red brick — the simple, sturdy homestead of 
America's most renowned Chief Justice. He gazes dream- 
ily on the sign of the Swan Tavern, where the poet and the 
Chief Justice and many others of earlier day took their 
ease ; on the house in which Thackeray was a guest when 
he found Richmond "the merriest town in America"; 
on the one in which " Mr. Charles Dickens and Lady " were 
lodged and on the theatre where charming Joe Jefferson 
played " Rip Van Winkle " and many other roles. In 
dusty old streets he detects footprints of Washington and 
Lafayette, of Monroe and Madison and of Lee. Through 
dim windows of dilapidated houses he sees the light of 
many candles streaming from a gala-night illumination. 
Doors, of houses no longer existing, open wide to admit 
gaily attired guests, to welcome the affianced lover of a 
reigning belle, or to speed the parting of a distinguished 
but rejected suitor. 

With Memory as guide, old paving-stones tell stories, 
old trees gossip, old streets become picture-books, old 
houses store-houses of strange lore. 

As the story of Richmond began with the wooden cross 
of Whitsunday 1607, the commemorative Grey Cross on 
the hill erected exactly three hundred years later, has 
seemed a natural place at which to begin this book. 



(1607— 1774) 




Virginia in 1607 was a new Eden and its story of 
conquest of the earth and carving out of homes is the 
record of a new beginning of the white race in a new world. 

The history of Richmond began just four weeks after 
the arrival of Englishmen at Jamestown. 

Its first chapter is made up of struggles with the 
Indians for a foothold for white men at " The Falls " of 
that waterway which the red men had named for their 
king, " The River Powhatan ", but the English promptly 
rechristened for theirs, " King James His River " — or 
" James River," 

It was a struggle for a safe spot where the new-comer 
might make a clearing and build him a house of logs from 
the woods, chinked with mud, or of stones gathered from 
the river-bed or blasted out of the ground, and chinked 
with mortar; a safe spot to which to bring an English 
maiden who would transform the cabin or the cottage into 
a home about which the new Adam and Eve would plant 
a garden; a safe spot where children could be born and 
reared close to nature's heart and in which the wife could 
be left with her babies and housewifery while the husband 
went forth to till the fields or to fish and hunt in river and 
forest for food to serve in wooden trenchers or pewter plat- 
ters, on the table sawed from a felled oak or brought over 
on a late ship froin " home." 



When, on Sunday, June lo, 1607, white men looked 
for the first time on what was to be this spot, they looked 
with mingled " content and grief ", for though they were 
charmed with the islet-dotted river and its green, flower- 
besprinkled banks, the hunter's paradise beyond beckoned 
them to further exploration; but the river shouted from 
its rocky bed to the " shallop " in which they had sailed 
from Jamestown : " Thus far and no further ! " 

As the commemorative Grey Cross shows, they were a 
party of gentlemen and sailors under the doughty admiral 
Christopher Newport, who had conducted the three little 
ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery from 
England to Virginia, Among them were at least three 
whose goose-quills were pens of ready writers — Captain 
John Smith, Master George Percy and Master Gabriel 
Archer — and all three used them during this trip. Master 
Archer, glancing about him with unconsciously prophetic 
eye, scribbled in his note-book — and the earliest dim 
dream of busy Richmond on the James had become a 
matter of record. This is what he wrote : 

" Here the water falls Downe through great mayne 
Rockes from ledges of Rockes above.... in which fall it 
maketh Divers little Isletts, on which might be placed 100 
water milnes for any uses." 

The country in the neighborhood was in possession 
of Indians under Little Powhatan — a chief who was 
subordinate to Great Powhatan. 

The squaws and braves, full of interest in the novelty 
of men with white, bearded faces and clothed bodies, 
entertained them with dancing at various points along 
the river, brought them wheat, beans, mulberries, straw- 
berries, and "baskets full of dried oysters", (for which 
they bargained tactfully) and gave them a guide who 
" proved a very trustye frend." On the day after their 







arrival at The Falls they entertained Little Powhatan at 
the first diplomatic dinner of record in America. The 
Indian " ate very freshly " of their meat, drank of their 
beer, aqua vitae and sack, and in dramatic pantomime they 
made him understand that his friends were their friends, 
his enemies their enemies. After the feast they had a 
friendly chat with him (in sign language, of course) " sit- 
ting upon the bank by the overfall, beholding the same." 
He discouraged their proceeding further overland — mak- 
ing them understand that they " should get no victuals and 
be tired ", and that the chief of the country higher up was 
his enemy " that came downe at the fall of the leafe and 
invaded his countreye." 

" Captain Newport . . . decided to explore no fur- 
ther for the present. ... So upon one of the little Isletts 
at the mouth of the falls " (runs the Archer record), " he 
sett up a Crosse with this inscription, Jacobus Rex 1607, 
and his own name belowe. At the erecting thereof we 
prayed for our king and our owne prosperous success in 
this his Actyon and proclaymed him kyng, with a great 

Thus was staked the white man's claim to the red 
man's country — the cross representing the Church of 
England and the name of King James, in solemn Latin, 
the Crown. Naviraus, the guide, " began to admire ", but 
" our Captayne told him that the two armes of the Crosse 
signifyed King Powhatah and himself e, the fastening of 
it in the myddest was their united Leag, and the shoute the 
reverence he dyd to Powhatah, which cheered Naviraus 
not a little", says Master Archer. 

That night Little Powhatan would have returned their 
entertainment, but said that their " hot drinks " had caused 
him " grief ", so they excused him, presented him with a 
hatchet and gave him " the kindest farewell that possibly 



might be." By morning the Indian had sufficiently re- 
covered from his first spree to have a deer roasted in their 
honor and red men and white " satt banquetting all the 

Thus was sealed the first American League of Nations. 

There is a slight suggestion of the manner of the Four 
Evangelists in the writing of the three recorders of the 
beginning of Richmond's story, in the way each sets down 
faithfully the events as he saw them, verifying one another 
by the dififerences as well as the likenesses of the testi- 
mony. Percy's observations show the poetic fancy and 
diction characteristic of this son of an Earl of Northum- 
berland. " When wee had finished and set up our Crosse ", 
he writes, " we shipt our men and made for James Fort . . 
This river is one of the famousest rivers that ever was 
found by any Christian . . , Wheresoever we landed 
. . . wee saw the goodliest woods . . . and all the 
grounds bespred with many sweet and delicate flowers 
. . .There are also many fruites, as Strawberries, Mul- 
berries, Raspberries, and Fruites unknown." 

Captain Smith is explicit and graphic : " The people 
in all places kindly intreating us, daunsing and feasting us 
with Strawberries, Mulberries, Bread, Fish and other of 
their countrie provisions . . . for which Captaine New- 
port kindly requited their least favours with Bels, Pinnes, 
Needles, beades [looking] Glasses, which so contented 
them that his liberalitie made them follow us from place 
to place, and ever kindly respect us . . . Whitsunday, 
after dinner ... we erected a Cross." 

The staking of the white man's claim at The Falls was 
a picturesque incident of a June Sunday, but he was to find 
that the land which, little by little, he made his own had to 
be defended by forts and by the spending of powder and 
shot, the spilling of blood, through nearly a hundred years 



before there was such thing as lying down in safety in 
homes on the ground now covered by the city of Richmond. 
In the fall of 1609 John Ratcliffe, then President of 
the Virginia Council, wrote to the Prime Minister of 
England: "We have planted 100 men at The Falls." 
Earlier that year Captain Francis West, brother of Lord 
Delaware, had been sent with 1 20 men to make a settlement 
there, which he named — for himself — West Fort. But 
James River, on one of the rampages to which heavy rains 
made it subject, forced them to the higher ground of " Fort 
Powhatan," which Captain Smith bought from the Indians 
but rechristened None Such, because there was " no place 
so strong, so pleasant and delightful in Virginia." Here 
they were " seated gallantlie", but when the river rested 
contentedly within its banks again they went back to West 
Fort, nearer their boats. Soon afterward they abandoned 
the attempted settlement altogether, and returned to 

Two years later a town called Henrico, for Prince 
Henry, was begun at the present Dutch Gap, fourteen 
miles below The Falls, and in 1619 the earliest iron works 
in America were established at Falling Creek (only six 
miles below The Falls) , and the eight miles of land between 
The Falls and Henrico was granted for a college and uni- 
versity for English and Indian youths. This land was 
to be rented out and cultivated to raise an endowment fund. 
Plans for the college were going ahead briskly when the 
ghastly Indian massacre of 1622 put an end to both it and 
the iron works. 

As late as 1639 the highest settled point on the river 
was four or five miles below The Falls and was given the 
name of World's End. In 1644 the Assembly in session 
at Jamestown ordered the erection at The Falls of a fort, 
for defense against the Indians, to be called Fort Charles. 



On the north bank of the river seven hills waited for 
Richmond to come and spread her skirts over them, on 
the south bank (the site of the town of Manchester, whose 
earliest name was Rocky Ridge, and whose latest, South 
Richmond), fertile low-grounds waited for the plough- 
share. Two years after the erection of the fort on the 
north bank the Assembly directed that as there was " no 
plantable land " adjoining Fort Charles and therefore no 
encouragement for anybody to maintain the same, any 
person or persons who would purchase the right of Captain 
Thomas Harris and seat on the south side of the river 
opposite the fort should " enjoy the houseing belonging 
to the said Fort for the use of timber or by burning them 
for the nails or otherwise, as also shall be exempted from 
the publique taxes for the term of three yeares, provided 
that the number exceed not tenn, and also shall have and 
enjoy the boats and ammunition belonging to said Fort," 

For ten years the settlers at The Falls seem to have 
enjoyed a sufficiently peaceful season to enable them to 
cease making history and make crops. Then, in 1656, 
some seven hundred Indians, then called Ricahecrians, now 
known to have been Senecas from the northwestern part 
of the present New York, made their way to Virginia and 
squatted upon the lands at The Falls. Panic followed, for 
Indians of this tribe were extremely savage and were 
enemies of the tribes with which the English were then 
at peace. 

, Forces under Colonel Edward Hill, of " Shirley " were 
sent to remove them " without making warr if it may be, 
only in case of their own defense", and the Indian allies 
of the English were invited " to treat with the common 
enemy * as they see fit'. " 

Colonel Hill's men, with a hundred Pamunkeys under 
their chief the " mighty Totopotomoi " were defeated in a 



battle which gave the name of Bloody Run to a stream 
(at present concealed by a culvert) near Chimborazo Park, 
in what is now the city of Richmond. 

The next year the Assembly enacted that as Henrico 
County (of which Richmond is the county seat) was, as a 
frontier, the part of Virginia most exposed to dangers 
from the Indians, the bounds within which Indians were 
allowed to come on the south side of the river be con- 
firmed, and that county militia lay out bounds on the north 
side. After bounds were laid out and notice given it 
should be lawful for any Englishman to kill any Indian 
who should presume to come in, contrary to the Act 
in force. 



Among gentlemen struggling to plant a settlement at 
The Falls was Colonel Thomas Stegg, a rich merchant and 
owner of trading ships, a Councillor, sometime Auditor 
General, and an intimate friend of the Governor, Sir 
William Berkeley. He owned lands at The Falls (and 
slaves to cultivate them) on both sides of the river. He 
made his home on the south side, in a stone house (with 
a great stone chimney in the middle), a rough drawing 
of which may be seen today, on a plat in the Byrd 
Title Book. 

And this brings us to the entrance on the American 
scene of a family which was to play star parts in Virginia's 
and Richmond's drama for a hundred years. Colonel 
Stegg died in 1671 leaving his Virginia estate to his 
nephew William Byrd, a nineteen year old youth of good 
birth and breeding, of high character and full of energy 
of mind and body. His portrait, painted in England, 
shows a beautiful and masterful looking boy of seven or 
eight years. When he became Colonel Stegg' s heir he 
was already living in Virginia, presumably in his uncle's 
home at The Falls. It was doubtless to this home that, 
upon his coming of age, in 1673, he took a twenty year 
old bride — Mary, the daughter of Colonel Warham Hors- 
manden, one of the Cavalier refugees to Virginia — who 
gave up what diversions Jamestown could offer to share 
with her mate the dangers and loneliness of frontier life. 

As time went on, William Byrd — already an exten- 
sive planter — was to become a famous Indian trader and 


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Made by William Mayo for Colonel William Byrd in 1737. Lots 97 and 98, marked "The Church' 
given by Colonel Byrd for St. John's, at Grace and Twenty-fifth Streets 

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merchant. His caravans of woodsmen and traders with 
as many as a hundred pack-horses laden with Enghsh 
goods to be exchanged with the natives for furs, were 
to be seen fiHng along a Trading Path which extended more 
than four hundred miles into the wilderness — a Trading 
Path on which scenes were sometimes enacted which, when 
talked over around the campfires at night, made the blood 
run cold; for the natives encountered were not always 
satisfied with conventional bargain and trade, and the 
trophies they displayed were not won at the cost of lives 
of wild beasts only. Young Captain Byrd sometimes per- 
sonally conducted his caravans, and rumors of him and 
his exploits and possessions were carried by Indians as far 
west as the Mississippi and north as far as Canada. 

At The Falls his business embraced importing and 
exporting, as well as general merchandise of the most 
general description. From England came everything a 
rural community might need, from goods to be sold by the 
yard and pills by the box, to white servants — to be bound 
out for a term of years — including carpenters, bricklayers 
and masons, who brought " extraordinary prices." From 
Barbadoes came white sugar, rum and molasses. Also, 
negro slaves came thence as well as from Africa. 

Meantime Mary Byrd was providing the nest at The 
Falls with five little Byrds, the first of whom " Will ", was 
to become not only the founder of Richmond, but by reason 
of his brilliant talents, his culture, his princely appearance 
and captivating personality, was to receive the soubriquet 
of " The Black Swan of Virginia." A very lucky star with 
a particularly merry twinkle must have stood over the 
stone house, at the faraway Falls of James River on his 
birthnight. When Will was two years old such peace as 
his mother could find in that danger-haunted home was 
roughly broken by the uprising known as Bacon's Rebel- 



lion. A month earlier Indian depredations had caused an 
order that " fifty men out of James City County be garri- 
soned near The Falls of James River at Captain Byrd's or 
at one fort or place of defense over against him at 
Howletts " — in the present South Richmond. Nathaniel 
Bacon and his wife made their home at Curies Neck, some 
twelve miles down the river, but had also a plantation, 
" Bacon's Quarter " (adjoining the Byrd property at The 
Falls), part of which is now covered by the northwestern 
section of Richmond. It was the murder by Indians of 
his overseer there which made him yield to the call, " A 
Bacon ! A Bacon 1 A Bacon ! " from the panic stricken 
people and lead the militia " commission or no commis- 
sion " against the red men. It is interesting to remember 
that his love for his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir 
Edward Duke, had been of the kind that laughs at lock- 
smiths and that he had borne her away from her father's 
home, Benhill Lodge, in England, in young Lochinvar 
fashion — permission or no permission — and notwithstand- 
ing the fact that his own father, Thomas Bacon, of Friston 
Hall, also opposed the match. 

Captain Byrd happened to be discussing " the serious- 
ness of the times " with " Squire Bacon " and some other 
planters at Jordan's Point, when the new Indian depreda- 
tions, combined with the Governor's indifference to them, 
brought matters to a head. Byrd at once joined Bacon 
and led some of his forces from The Falls " a great way 
south — " into North Carolina, indeed. Before going he 
placed his wife and little son with friends in the safer 
regions down the river. Elizabeth Bacon, clutching her 
baby daughter to her breast, remained in her own home 
where the enraged Governor Berkeley in his fruitless pur- 
suit of " General Bacon by consent of the people", stopped 
long enough to inform her that her husband would hang 


as soon as he came back. Each of these young wives of 
planters of the frontier settlement which was to become 
Richmond, wrote a graphic letter home describing the 

Three times during the Rebellion the neighborhood 
of The Falls rang with Nathaniel Bacon's eloquence as he 
made his "hearts of gold" (as he called his men) the 
brief but thrilling speeches with which he urged them on. 
So suggestive in spirit and in phrase are these speeches of 
those of Patrick Henry, that one wonders if their echo 
could have been held in the air, too fine for human ear, 
and communicated to the brain of the patriot of a hundred 
years later. 

In less than a year all was quiet. Bacon dead and the 
pretty picture his wife made, with her baby in her arms, 
lost to the neighborhood. But disastrous as was the end- 
ing of the Rebellion one of its several happy results was 
comparative safety from the Red Peril for Eastern 
Virginia. In the following year — 1677 — the Indian tribes 
of that section made a treaty of peace with the Colonists, 
after which presents and insignia of authority were sent 
from England to various Chiefs. The Queen of Pamunkey 
received a red velvet cap with a suitably inscribed silver 
frontlet, which is now in the collection of the Association 
for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, at the John 
Marshall House, in Richmond. 

Precautions were still necessary, however. In the 
summer of 1678 a party of Indians came down from the 
northward to The Falls, attacking white people and red 
people alike. The county militia was sent against them 
and drove them ofif, but the commanding officers, Colonel 
Francis Eppes and Major William Harris, were killed. 
In the following April the Assembly ordered that " on the 
south side of James River above Captain Byrd'a be es- 



tablished one stone house or garrison, with a small house 
for ammunition." In the same month Byrd was granted 
a tract five miles long on both sides of the river one mile 
" backwards in the woods on the south side, and two miles 
on the north side, who agreed to seat and have in readiness 
upon all occasions on beate of drumm, fifty able men, well 
armed, with sufficient ammunition and provisions for the 
country service in defense of the inhabitants against the 
enemy Indian." This grant was not confirmed in Eng- 
land, but much of the land was already Byrd's by 
inheritance, and he gradually acquired the rest. 

Though now in safety from Indians the Byrds were 
to find an enemy as subtle in the river. The story of Rich- 
mond is punctuated with the word freshet as the Psalms 
of David are with Selah. At intervals from the begin- 
ning all other activities have paused to deal with the 
ambitious river which has risen out of its bounds to 
destroy much property and some lives. The great freshet 
of 1 77 1 which devastated the land, swept vessels from 
their moorings and carried away houses, trees and mills, 
is a matter of history. In the words of an eye witness : 
" Many islands have been torn to pieces, hills of sand 
thrown up, channels stopt and their courses altered and, 
in short, the Face of Nature almost changed." Persons 
still living in Richmond have seen boats on lower Main 
Street and women and children rescued from windows of 
houses standing in water. Most of the streets have now 
been elevated above danger line, so that the river is no 
longer a serious menace. 

In a letter to " Father Horsmanden " in England, dated 
June 5, 1685, Colonel Byrd wrote: "About five weeks 
since here happened such a deluge that the like hath not 
been heard of in the memory of man; the water over- 
flowing all my plantation came into my dwelling house. It 



swept away all our fences, destroyed all that was on the 
ground and carryed away the Hills (that were made for 
tobacco) with all the top of the manured land, and what's 
more strange, carryed a mill (stones, House and all, as they 
were standing) about 150 yards down the Creek. . . The 
water hath ruined my crop and most of my neighbors', 
so that we shall make little this year." 

As the Byrd youngsters grew they were sent over seas 
to be properly polished. Letters show that at the ages of 
nine and six. Will and Susan were at boarding school there 
in 1683, and in 1685, urged by his wife, Colonel Byrd 
sent four-year-old Ursula, pet-named " Little Nutty ", 
over to the Horsmandens. He wrote a letter to each of 
his brothers and sisters — six letters in all — commending 
the baby to their love and care. Giving her up was hard, 
but she must have a chance to become a lady and in one 
of these letters he says : " I must confesse she could learn 
nothing good 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 careful! to serve God 
as you ought, without which you cannot expect to doe 
well here or hereafter." 

In charge of a maid, " Little Nutty " was sent in a toy 
ship over endless deep waters to another world, and it is 
not likely that she ever saw The Falls or her pickaninny 
playmates again. Before she was out of Hackney boarding 
school, near London, her parents were established at their 
new home, " Westover ", and it was to a house earlier 
than the present mansion, on that plantation, that she 
afterward returned. Before her seventeenth birthday she 
had been married to Robert Beverley, the Virginia histo- 
rian, and lay under a stone in Jamestown churchyard, 



leaving a son, William, who built " Blandfield ", the 
ancestral home of many of the Beverleys. Her name, 
" Little Nutty ", taken in connection with the portrait of 
her brother Will and other portraits of the Byrd family, 
make it easy to see, in fancy, this earliest little maid of 
The Falls of James River of whom anything is known — 
eyes dark and flashing under black brows and lashes, 
ringlets brown like the nuts in the woods, mouth a wild 
strawberry from the fields. 


After the removal of Colonel Byrd to " Westover ", 
he continued to conduct his business at The Falls through 
agents and overseers and was often there himself, and on 
the land where the white man's claim had been staked 
with a cross, the struggling settlement gradually grew and 
spread. England was to make of his son William an ac- 
complished scholar, a finished courtier, a versatile man of 
the world, but was not to destroy his love of the woods 
and of expanses of earth, and water and sky imbibed with 
his mother's milk and kept alive in his days of paddling 
— like Richmond boys of later generations — in frothy 
water at The Falls, playing hide and seek in groves filled 
with bird-music and listening to hunters' tales of advent- 
ure with Indians, bears and wolves. 

And so, after a lapse of years in which William Byrd I 
made his exit from Virginia and the world, young Will, 
now known as Colonel William Byrd II, came home, took 
up life at " Westover " where he built the present house, 
was twice married and became the father of still another 
Will and several daughters who grew up to be belles and 
heroines of romance. From " Westover " he wrote to a 
friend in England : " A Library, a Garden, a Grove and 
a Purling stream are the innocent scenes that divert our 
Leisure." To quote him again, however, he " detested idle- 
ness ", and it is usually in some form of activity that we 
find him. Happily, he kept diaries which preserve for all 
time a style of writing which critics agree has been equalled 
in vigor and charm by no American of the Colonial period 
save Franklin. 

2 17 


When, after the half -century which has passed since 
the nine-year-old boy's departure for England the curtain 
rises once more on The Falls, we find the man of nine-and- 
fifty, fit as a fiddle, occupying the centre of the stage and 
viewing from his saddle the land of his earliest memories, 
many, many acres of which are now his own. It is Septem- 
ber of the year 1733 and he is on a " Journey " to his tract, 
" The Land of Eden ", in North Carolina. With him 
are Major William Mayo, who goes as Surveyor, Major 
James Munford, Mr. John Banister, Mr. Peter Jones, five 
woodsmen, four negroes and three Indians. In his diary 
of this " Journey " Colonel Byrd says : " When we got 
home we laid the foundation of two large Citys. One. . . 
to be called Richmond, and the other . . .to be nam'd 
Petersburgh. These Major Mayo offered to lay out into 
Lots without Fee or Reward. The Truth of it is, these 
two places being the uppermost Landing of James and 
Appamattux Rivers, are naturally intended for Marts, 
where the Traffick of the Outer Inhabitants must Center. 
Thus we did build not Castles only, but also Citys in 
the Air." 

In lively words he paints the experiences of his party 
and the cheerfulness with which they accepted whatever 
Fortune sent — unconsciously giving the reader a picture 
of the man who was to be the Father of Richmond. For 
instance : 

" The Water was risen so high that it ran into the Top 
of my Boots, but without giving me any cold, altho I rid 
in my wet stockings." 

" My greatest disaster was that in mounting one of the 
precipices, my steed made a Short turn and gave my knee 
an unmerciful Bang against a tree, and I felt the effects 
of it several Days after. However, this was no Interrup- 
tion of our Journey, but we went merrily on." 



" I Hurt my other Knee this afternoon, but not, enough 
to spoil either my dancing or my Stomach." 

" We took up our Quarters at the same Camp where 
we had a httle before been alarmed with the Supposed 
Indian Whistle, which we could hardly get out of our 
heads. However, it did not Spoil our rest ; but we dreamt 
all Night of the delights of Tempe and the Elysian Fields." 

In the diary of an earlier expedition (to run the Divid- 
ing Line between Virginia and North Carolina) he says: 

" Our Landlord had a tolerable good House and Clean 
Furniture, and yet we could not be tempted to lodge in it. 
We chose rather to lye in the open Field, for fear of grow- 
ing too tender. A clear sky, spangled with Stars was our 
Canopy, which being the last thing we saw before we fell 
asleep, gave us magnificent Dreams. The Truth of it is, 
we took so much pleasure in that natural kind of Lodging, 
that I think at the foot of the Account Mankind are great 
Losers by the Luxury of Feather Beds and warm 

His readiness to take everything as it came reached 
its peak when he wrote : " In our way we killed two very 
large Rattle Snakes . . . but nobody would be persuaded 
to carry them to our Quarters, altho they would have added 
much to the Luxury of our Supper." 

To prove that rattlesnake had never been the chief of 
his diet and resuscitate any gentle reader for whom the 
shock of this last entry may have been disastrous, the fav- 
orite recipe of his father for cooking " ye ham in perfec- 
tion " is given here. The first Colonel Byrd preserved this 
recipe by writing it down where it was most certain to be 
safe for his own use and for posterity — on a fly-leaf of 
his Bible : " To eat ye Ham in Perfection steep it in 
Half Milk and half Water for Thirty-six hours, and then 
having brought the water to a Boil put ye Ham therein 



and let it simmer, not boil, for 4 or 5 Hours according to 
size of ye Ham — for simmering brings ye Salt out and 
boiling drives it in." 

In April of the year 1737 — three years and a half after 
two cities in the air had been thus merrily planned — the one 
that was to be named Richmond was given a foundation 
on solid ground, when Major Mayo redeemed his promise 
and laid out a little checkerboard of thirty-two squares, 
each of which contained four lots. The principal streets 
were named for letters of the alphabet, the cross streets 
for numerals. The lower or southern edge of the checker- 
board, four squares long and eight wide, rested on D 
Street, along the river front — now Cary Street ; the upper 
edge on the present Broad Street. Its western edge ran 
along what was then First but is now Seventeenth Street, 
and its eastern tilted up to the brow of what was then 
known as Richmond Hill, but later, as other heights were 
taken into the town limits, was called Church Hill on 
account of St. John's — for which Colonel Byrd gave two 
lots in the northeast corner of the checkerboard, on the 
hill-top, " with any pine timber they can find on that side 
of Shockoe Creek and wood for burning brick into 
the bargain." 

In the high land north and east of the checkerboard 
Major Mayo's map shows twelve lots, varying in size 
from five to seventeen acres, evidently intended for sub- 
urban villas with grounds and gardens. Names of these 
home-sites, such as " Abbington ", " Inglesby ", " Hamp- 
stead ", and so on, appear on the map, and on six of them 
names of men who had already become their owners appear. 
Streets and houses of later Richmond have long since 
spread themselves over these estates, but the name of at 
least one of their owners, Daniel Weisiger, who called his 
place " Frankfort ", and who is mentioned as a " high 



German " in the Henrico County records, remains in 
Richmond and its neighborhood today. Among the scat- 
tered houses as old, or older than the checkerboard, at 
least two remain. One of them was the home of John 
Coles a prosperous merchant who had in April 1741 "a 
cargo of wheat valued at £1500 sterling ready to ship for 
England ", and whose sons became wealthy planters and 
left stately homes in Albemarle and Pittsylvania Counties. 
His house later became the home of Colonel Richard 
Adams, the most prominent citizen of Richmond in the 
years immediately preceding the Revolution. It was for 
him, and not for an Adams of national distinction, that 
the street next in order to the present Jefferson Street, 
was named. His interesting old dormer-windowed house 
is now a part of Monte Maria Convent, on Church Hill. 
The initials I. R. which, in early script, appear upon the 
Old Stone House on lower Main Street, seem to stand for 
Jacobus Rex. If they do, this fascinating little building 
about which traditions as tenacious as old ivy have grown 
and clung, and which, since it became the Edgar Allan Poe 
Shrine, has taken a new lease on the interest of Richmond 
and the world at large, must date from the reign of James 
II, which ended in 1688. It was owned for six genera- 
tions by the family of Jacob Ege whose name appears on 
the Mayo map. 

In April 1737 Colonel Byrd advertised in the Virginia 
Gazette that on the north side of James River, a little 
below The Falls, there had been " laid off by Major 
William Mayo, a town called Richmond, with streets sixty- 
five feet wide. A pleasant and healthy situation and well 
supplied with springs of good water. It is near the public 
Warehouse at Shockoes and in the midst of great quanti- 
ties of Grain and all kinds of Provisions." The Act of 
Assembly incorporating the town is dated " May, 1742, 



15 George II." It provides that two days annually in 
May, and two in November, shall be observed as " Fair 
Days, for the sale and vending of all manner of cattle, 
victuals, provisions, goods, wares and merchandise 

This meant more than a mere market. It meant an 
opportunity and excuse for the coming together of the 
neighborhood for human intercourse. See them coming 1 
In sloops — by the river — and over land — on horses, in 
carts or on foot. See them plodding over the clay hills 
and gullies — some driving livestock and with difficulty 
keeping it rounded up, others carrying hampers or sacks 
of home-made goods or farm produce on their own or their 
horses' backs, or in their carts. The young women are 
as smartly attired as they may be, the young farmers in 
such holiday clothes as they possess, for the Fair is an 
opportunity for exhibition of charms as well as of wares 
and there is no telling when a romance may date from 
a Fair Day. There are games of chance, and contests 
for prizes, and races. And strolling jesters, singers, dan- 
cers and performers on such musical instruments as the 
Jew's harp, the banjo and the fiddle take occasion to pick 
up a penny where they can. 

Taverns are noisy and rowdy with jokes and laughter, 
drinking and gambling. There are some fights and some 
broken heads, but it is all for the most part merrily done, 
with no harm meant, and when quiet reigns once more 
and home folk and visitors to the Fair are settled down, 
none will be much worse off for the two days break in 
their routine. The Virginia Gazette gives this item, in 
May, 1774 : " The subscription purse, £75, was run for at 
Richmond on the 12th inst., that being Fair Day, and was 
won by Mr. William Hardyman's sorrel mare." 

Little more than seven years after the straggling settle- 

By Courtesy of Mr. J. H. U hitty 

From an old prim 

With a view of historic St. Paul's Church before its spire was removed 

Built 1810 

By Courtesy of Mr. J. H. W liiity 


Built in 1824 to succeed a frame structure on same site. Spire of no-longer-existing First Presbyterian 

Church in the distance. From an old print 


ment at The Falls had become a town, its founder and 
Father, Colonel William Byrd II, passed forever from the 
Virginia scene at " Westover ", like his father before 
him. He left his role and his property at The Falls to 
his only son, William Byrd III, who built a residence for 
occasional occupancy at Richmond. He chose a site far to 
the west of Richmond Hill and the checkerboard, and put 
upon it a commodious house with a two-storied, dormer- 
windowed central building and two one-storied dormer- 
windowed wings overlooking the river. It was fitly named 
" Belvidere " and a street of that name, a few blocks west 
of the Hill of the Grey Cross, identifies the location today. 

In 1752, Richmond, in becoming the county seat, 
acquired some quaint appurtenances. Years earlier the 
Assembly had ordered, for Henrico, that " there being 
no Ducking Stool in the county as ye law enjoynes, Captain 
Thomas Cocke is requested and appointed ... to erect 
one in some convenient place near ye court house." In 
addition to its jail, every county seat had its ducking- 
stool, its stocks, its pillory, and its whipping-post. Witches 
and scolding women were likely to be ducked, men guilty 
of all sorts of minor offenses condemned to the stocks, 
pillory or whipping-post. 

To return to the Byrds, the third William had the 
distinguished appearance and attractive personality of his 
father and grandfather, without their business ability, 
energy and strength of character. In his hands the for- 
tune which they had accumulated soon began to decay. 
The lottery was the cure-all of the day for financial 
troubles, and so in that summer of 1768 the new master 
of the Byrd estates advertised a " grand lottery " in which 
his lands at The Falls, including all improvements, were 
to be disposed of for 10,000 tickets at £5 each, 839 of 
which were to draw prizes. The drawing was quite an 



aristocratic affair, held under management of Presley 
Thornton, Peyton Randolph, John Page, Charles Carter 
and Charles Turnbull, Esquires. Some of the Byrd lottery 
tickets may still be found among old title deeds 
in Richmond. 

Being sold by lottery does not seem to have retarded 
Richmond's progress, for the next year Shockoe Hill, 
across a valley through which flowed Shockoe Creek, was 
taken into its limits. 

Hints in early eighteenth century letters and diaries 
suggest the beginnings of social life in the neighborhood 
of The Falls, even though it was on the dangerous frontier 
far from Jamestown and from the gay capital which Wil- 
liamsburg was growing to be, with the coach and six, balls 
and the theatre, brocades and jewels becoming everyday 
matters. In 1701 Louis Michel, a Frenchman, on his way 
to the settlement of Huguenot refugees some distance above 
Richmond, visited Falling Creek and wrote in his diary : 
" We found good lodging places everywhere and since the 
people love strangers we had a good time." David Meade 
says in his autobiography, 1765 : " The neighborhood of 
Curies, including that seat, abounded with as much beauty, 
fashion and rank as any part of Virginia." " Curies " 
plantation, named from the winding of the river at that 
point, was the seat of Richard Randolph, Jr., whose ances- 
tor, William Randolph, had bought Bacon's confiscated 
property after the Rebellion. The neighborhood circle in- 
cluded, among others, sons and daughters of the house, 
their next neighbors, the Cockes of " Bremo ", their 
cousins, the Carys of " Ampthill " and the Randolphs of 
" Wilton." At the time of which Meade writes Anne 
Randolph of the last named seat, known to her friends as 
" Nancy Wilton ", was a reigning belle. Among her 
admirers was young Thomas Jefferson and among her 



lovers John Page of " Rosewell " — Governor of Virginia 
to be — and Benjamin Harrison, who finally married her 
and made her mistress of " Brandon." The country 
neighborhood of Richmond also included the Randolph 
family of " Tuckahoe ", another centre of hospitality 
and sociability, where Jefferson had lived during his 
schooldays. There are many evidences of growing 
trade. Ships that brought English goods to stores and 
homes went back laden with Virginia produce equally wel- 
come on that side of the water. Among exports from 
Richmond and its neighborhood for the year from October 
1 764- 1 765 were over 20,000 hogsheads of tobacco, over 
42,000 bushels of wheat, over 75,000 bushels of corn, 
much lumber and a quantity of iron. In 1766, 4,900 
bushels of coal went over — doubtless from the mines in 
Chesterfield County across the river from Richmond. Thus 
Richmond and its neighborhood were helping to feed and 
shelter England as well as give it the solace of pipe dreams, 
and actually " sending coals to Newcastle." 

In 1 77 1 came the Great Freshet which nearly destroyed 
the growing town, but it pulled itself together pluckily, 
and was forging ahead again when the Revolution began 
to mutter. 







For ten years Virginia had been torn by dissension 
between a minority of her sons who regarded resistance 
to king and padiament as treason — no matter what the 
provocation — and the majority, who saw bowing to the 
will of a king and parHament, turned tyrants, as slavery. 
At firesides, in taverns, at county court-houses, around 
church doors, at the race, the cock-fight, the ball, men and 
women had wrangled over the rights of American sub- 
jects of the English king. A Convention to consider the 
subject had been held in the Capitol at Williamsburg, and 
now, on March 20, 1775, a second Convention was to 
meet, but a spot secure from interruption by the hostile 
royal governor, Lord Dunmore, was desired for it. The 
little town at The Falls seemed to offer such a retreat, but 
neither in the checkerboard nor among the sprinkling of 
houses beyond its limits was there an assembly-room large 
enough to hold the Convention — unless — unless the small 
white church in the green graveyard atop the hill could be 
made to serve ! So it came to pass that the pews of St. 
John's were packed with a most novel congregation that 
spring day, and the dandelion-starred grass of the spaces 
between the tombstones and the open doors and windows of 
the tiny white church were trampled by the feet of a crowd 
of people who could not get inside, but were eager to see 
and to hear. The bell in the white steeple which had rung 
for services and tolled for funerals called the Convention 
together, but nobody knew that it was calling into being the 
American Revolution. From each county in Virginia two 



delegates— all of them locally prominent, some of them 
soon to win world fame — had made the toilsome journey 
to The Falls of James River. But they had never heard of 
steam or gasoline engines, nor been spoiled for rutty and 
miry roads by familiarity with those of macadam and 
concrete. Virginia — remember — extended then from the 
Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, and included 
West Virginia and Kentucky. Delegates from distant 
frontier counties came on horseback carrying their belong- 
ings in saddlebags. The Virginian of the day was as much 
at home in his saddle as in his bed. Astride his horse he 
became a Centaur — he and his steed were one. On such 
a trip as this over mountain, down valley, across river, 
through forest, the saddle from sun-up till sundown and 
then, until sun-up again, bed in a tavern if he chanced to 
pass one, if not, in any farmhouse where he could find 
lodging, was the order of his going. He rode in his hunt- 
ing clothes, well armed against attacks from Indian 
or bandit. 

At St. John's, delegates were straggling in for a day 
or two. When all were in their seats and the roll was 
called, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and 
Patrick Henry were among those to answer " Here 1 " and 
— to name a few more of them — Peyton Randolph, who 
presided, George Mason, Richard Henry Lee, George 
Wythe, Benjamin Harrison, Edmund Pendleton, Thomas 
Nelson, Jr., Richard Bland, Andrew Lewis, Robert Carter 
Nicholas, Archibald Cary, Carter Braxton, and others of 
equal or nearly equal calibre. 

These men had come together for serious business and 
they knew it, but even as they sat tingling under the elo- 
quence of a Patrick Henry they could not realize how 
solemn and memorable a scene they were enacting, with a 
church for a stage. Most of them were young or in their 



prime, with reputations as statesmen yet in the making. 
They did not look to one another or to the spectators like 
heroes in flesh and blood or like bronze figures. They 
were just men — calling one another George and Tom and 
Pat, and so on, ready to give or take a slap on the back 
accompanied by a joke and burst of spontaneous laughter 
in the wholesome, boyish way of Virginians from the 
beginning. Washington had not been married to the 
widow Custis long enough for the girls who had given 
him the mitten to be forgotten by gossip who (with all the 
world) loves a lover, nor Jefferson to the widow Skelton 
long enough for the figure he cut sighing disconsolately 
for " Belinda " to have ceased to be a subject for merri- 
ment, and we may be sure that every one of those embryo 
heroes in their queues and their cocked hats and their 
knee-buckles, assembled in St. John's spouting eloquence 
destined to be woven into the tapestry of American history 
had a story to tell on some other member. For what are 
men — the greatest of them — but grown-up boys? And 
not all of their recess-time was given to discussion of 
Convention matters. At taverns and private houses, tables 
were spread for them with ham, cabbage and corn-pones 
( food to the taste of every real Virginian — white or black) , 
turkey, oysters, James River fish, mutton and venison, 
sweet and Irish potatoes, hominy and beans, pickles and 
preserves, jellies, puddings, pies, cakes — with toddy, punch, 
wine, beer and cider on the sideboard. When they had 
had their fill they made crowded rings around crackling 
log fires and with their pipes, their snuff-boxes or their 
quids — every man his tobacco to his liking — they stretched 
their legs in what space they could secure, took their ease 
after the tension of the session in St. John's, and talked, 
talked, talked! The smokers made the air thick. Now 
and again a snuff-taker almost raised the roof with his 



sneezes, or a chewer spat a mouthful of tobacco- juice into 
the heart of the fire. No, there was no bronze in their 
make-up. They were just human clay, though for some of 
them laurels were growing without knowing whose brows 
they would adorn, white marble was sleeping in the soil 
of Italy not dreaming whose shape it was destined to take, 
and apprentices in bronze foundries were learning their 
craft taking no thought of whose features they would one 
day portray. 

Among recommendations passed by the Convention 
was one for continuing contributions for the relief of 
Boston. Patrick Henry's seat was in a pew (now bearing 
his name on a brass plate) near the east door. Memory 
of his great speech on his resolutions written on the fly- 
leaf of an old law-book and offered before the House of 
Burgesses at Williamsburg, in 1765, which (to use his 
own words), " formed the first opposition to the Stamp 
Act and scheme for taxing America by the British Parlia- 
ment ", was fresh and commanded close attention for 
every word he uttered. Early in the Convention he 
startled his hearers with his resolutions for raising an 
armed force for defense of Virginia. Many of the most 
patriotic among them believed this to be too radical a 
measure. It was long and passionately debated on both 
sides, and then, on the third day (to quote an eye-witness) : 
" Henry arose with an unearthly fire burning in his eye. 
He commenced somewhat calmly — but the smothered 
excitement began more and more to play upon his features 
and thrill in the tones of his voice. The tendons of his 
neck stood out, white and rigid, like whip-cords. His 
voice rose louder and louder while the walls of the build- 
ing and all within seemed to shake and rock in its tre- 
mendous vibrations. Finally, his pale face and glaring 
eyes became terrible to look upon. Men leaned forward 




■ ■■ 


In the rotunda of the Capitol at Richmond. Made in 1785 by Houdon, the greatest sculptor of the time, who, 
at the invitation of Jefferson (acting for the State of Virginia) came from Paris to Vlt. Vernon to model from 
Washington's person this portrait in white marble 


in their seats with heads strained forward, their faces 
pale and their eyes glaring like the speaker's." 

At length came the dramatic climax : " Is life so dear, 
is peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains 
and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not 
what course others may take; but as for me, give me 
liberty, or give me death ! " 

Says our witness : " When Mr. Henry sat down every 
eye yet gazed entranced " on him. " Men looked beside 
themselves ... I felt sick with excitement." 

Very different was the effect on a Tory who was 
present and who wrote to a friend of his own persuasion 
in Norfolk : " You never heard anything more in- 
famously insolent than P. Henry's speech." 

Following the speech a committee, with both Washing- 
ton and Jefferson as members, adopted a plan for arming 
and equipping militia. Patrick Henry's burning words 
had resulted in pledging Virginia to war. On July 17th 
another Convention in St. John's planned further defense 
of the Colony and a temporary government. Now see the 
town at The Falls busying itself helping to take care of 
the army. Among Richmond advertisements the follow- 
ing May is one for " Journeymen weavers . , . also per- 
sons that can spin wool, linen or cotton." And in June : 
" Ten or twelve journeymen shoemakers are wanted, by 
Nicholas B. Seabrook, in Richmond Town." A woman 
who did her bit was Catherine Park whose husband made 
leather for the army. After his death she carried on his 
business and had hides tanned to make shoes for 
the soldiers. 

Yet even in war-time ordinary life goes on. Three 
meals a day are eaten, the rite of dishwashing after them 
is performed, schools and shops function, the great human 
drama in three acts — birth, marriage, death — is enacted. 

8 83 


We find in the Gazette a " doctoress and midwife " 
advertising- for business, in Richmond; a school-mistress 
announcing " a boarding-school for young ladies . . to 
instruct them in reading, writing and arithmetic, the French 
language . . . and different kinds of needlework ", in- 
cluding " the tambour " ; and James Gait " clock and 
watchmaker and jeweler " of Williamsburg proclaims his 
intention to remove to " Richmond Town ", where he will 
" keep clocks in repair by the year at reasonable rates." 

So while the cloud the size of a man's hand which 
the Stamp Act had brought over the sea, and which every- 
body in America now knew to be a war-cloud, thickened 
and spread — thickened and spread, hall clocks and mantel 
clocks in homes at The Falls cosily and correctly checked 
off the portentous minutes as if they had been ordinary 
minutes of any other time. When they struck twelve on 
the night of June 26, 1776, the Williamsburg Convention 
had adopted a constitution for England's first colony as 
an independent state, and appointed Patrick Henry its 
first governor. The news made a gala day for Richmond 
Town, but not until August 5th " being a court day " — 
was the Declaration of Independence proclaimed there. 
" It was received ", says our amiable gossip, the Gazette, 
" with universal shouts of joy and re-echoed by three 
voUies of small arms." " The same evening the town 
was illuminated, and the members of the Committee held 
a club when many patriotic toasts were drunk. Although 
there were nearly one thousand people present the whole 
was conducted with the utmost decorum and the satisfac- 
tion visible in every countenance evinces their determina- 
tion to support it with their lives and fortunes." With 
their lives and fortunes ! Richmond men were soon sup- 
porting the American cause with their lives — proud that 



leadership had fallen upon Virginia's own Washington — 
Richmond women practising severest self-denial to pro- 
vide the men at the front with necessities, while they waited 
with anxious hearts the slow- footed news. Many a mother, 
sister, sweetheart or wife counted the strokes of the clock 
in the night as she wondered if " his " letter would ever 
come to tell her how " he " fared on battle-field, march, 
or in camp. Every traveler, by horseback, foot, stage, or 
sloop was hailed with joy for the tidings he might bring. 
The hard times that are a part of war times became acute. 
On what was then Broad Road, but is now Broad Street 
(near Tenth Street), lived the accomplished Dr. James 
Currie — probably in a quaint, rambling house which was 
lately pulled down. There were then no medical ethics 
to prevent his advertising in the Gazette that his " fees for 
the practice of physick " would be " at the old rates, before 
the exorbitant prices of medicine as well as every necessity 
of life made it equitable to raise them." Dr. William 
Foushee, for whom Foushee Street is named, but whose 
home, with its office and garden was then on Main Street, 
on the site of the present post-office, announced that his 
charges would be " as formerly " — namely " a visit in town 
in the day five shillings, an emetic two shillings, six pence ; 
either in commodities that he needs, or in tobacco at 20 
shillings per hundred weight, or money." Virginia physi- 
cians had long to content themselves with pay chiefly in 
" commodities." 

A welcome visitor was a schooner appropriately named 
Good Intent which ran the blockade and made port at 
Richmond about Christmas 1776. Joshua Storrs, Hugh 
Walker & Company, sold to the neighborhood storekeepers 
her cargo from the West Indies, consisting of " gun- 
powder, nails, osnaburgs, white linen, men's and M^omen's 



white silk hose, needles, pins and writing paper. Also, a 
few hogsheads of rum and molasses." Of course the 
" public vendue " of this intriguing " assortment of dry- 
goods " put all Richmond and its neighborhood in a 
flutter. A cheering letter for Colonel William Aylett, 
Deputy Commissary General of Virginia, told him that 
Mr. Richard Adams, of Richmond had engaged at Over- 
ton's Mill in that town five hundred barrels of flour " for 
use of the Army." But money and supplies grew scarcer 
and scarcer. 


Williamsburg, being so near the seaboard, was con- 
stantly exposed to the enemy, and, besides, its situation 
had ceased to be desirable as the capital of a state whose 
settlements had extended beyond the Alleghanies. In 
May, 1779, the Assembly, acting on a suggestion made 
by Jefferson several years before, decided to remove the 
capital to Richmond, because it was " more safe and central 
than any other town situated on navigable water." The 
Act provided for a handsome State House and Halls of 
Justice — with walls of brick or stone, porticoes where- 
ever they might be found convenient or ornamental, with 
pillars and pavement of brick or stone — and for wooden 
buildings for immediate use. The Assembly appointed 
a board of directors for the town (with Jefferson as its 
head) which met at Hoggs Tavern, in August, and planned 
a temporary Capitol at the northwest corner of the present 
Cary and Fourteenth Streets. The General Assembly met 
in it in the following May and promptly passed " An Act 
creating the Public Square, to enlarge the town of Rich- 
mond, widening the streets, making Shockoe Creek navi- 
gable " (so that boats could " come, up to the warehouse 
landing for the benefit of the public") and providing a 
public market place. The present Capitol Square and Old 
Market are memorials of this Act. 

Becoming Virginia's capital meant a big stride forward 
for the town at The Falls. Norfolk and one or two other 
towns in the state were larger. By comparison with ele- 
gant Williamsburg (with its mile-long Duke of Gloucester 
Street, its Palace Green, its century-old mansions, its 



shrubberies and over-arching trees, and its seat of learn- 
ing, William and Mary College), Richmond was still a 
village and a crude one — for all its schooners being 
loaded and unloaded at the riverfront by laughing, 
singing negroes, its warehouses filled with tobacco and 
other produce for export, its semi-annual fairs and its 
checkerboard of streets. These last were deep In dust 
when the sun shone, or in slippery red-clay mud when 
there was rain. Goats sported and hogs rooted in them, 
and cows munched the grass and buttercups that found 
a foothold in their soil. In pleasant weather ebon-skinned 
washer-women, in homespun dresses with gay colored 
handkerchiefs tied around their heads, scrubbed clothes 
in the creek which made up between Church Hill and 
Shockoe Hill, and hung them out to dry on its grassy 
margin — monotonously chanting after their fashion as 
they worked. Winds blew the weird sounds about until 
they were lost in the roar of The Falls. In this same 
Shockoe Creek geese and ducks paddled and, in summer- 
time, boys learned to swim. 

Most of the houses in the checkerboard were of wood 
— one-story and a dormer or two stories and a dormer — 
with heavy shutters and chimneys built of short logs 
chinked with clay. And with an outside kitchen and smoke- 
house and perhaps a one-story office for the master of 
the house. If he happened to be a merchant, the lower 
part of the house was his store and the rooms above were 
his home. 

In becoming the capital, Richmond became the home 
of Jefferson who had succeeded Henry as Governor. He 
had always been a familiar figure in the neighborhood, 
first in boyhood when he lived at " Tuckahoe " (a few 
miles up the river), in his college days when he made one 
of the train of charming Nancy Randolph at " Wilton " 


By Courtesy, I). Applelcn ^nd Co 

The painting o«ned by the Miises Stewart, of "Brook Hill" 


The oldest Masonic Hall in continuous use in America, built 1785 


and later, as man. Of course, all latch-strings hung on the 
outside of the door for him. Another addition to the 
town's importance was a semi-weekly newspaper, for that 
storehouse of cheerful gossip — ^that paper with a person- 
ality, the Virginia Gazette, also moved from Williamsburg 
to Richmond. In its garrulous way, it tells of a group of 
" likely " negroes to be sold for cash, loan office certificate 
or tobacco, among whom is "as good a cook as any in 
Virginia." Gruesome — yet read perhaps a little wist- 
fully by ye modern housewife. 

Although the seven years war of the Revolution was 
rung in at Richmond, it was not until the year when that 
town became the capital that The Falls of James River 
had a glimpse of British Red Coats. Some officers of 
Burgoyne's Army, captured at the battle of Saratoga, were 
sent there to be quartered, on parole, in private homes. The 
impressions of one of these unusual guests remain in a 
little book entitled Anburey's Travels. The author 
describes " Belvidere " (then the Harvie home) at which 
he was quartered as " an elegant villa ... as romantic and 
elegant as anything I have ever seen." He says " Many 
gentlemen around Richmond, though strongly attached to 
the American cause, have shown the liberality and hospital- 
ity so peculiar to this province in their particular attention 
and civilities to our officers. Among those who are most 
distinguished in this line are Colonel Randolph, of ' Tucka- 
hoe', Colonel Goode, of Chesterfield, and Colonel Cary of 
' Ampthill '." The rougher element did not fancy such 
graciousness toward enemy officers. One of them became 
so enraged on seeing Doctor Foushee showing the Red 
Coats about town that he attacked that beloved physician 
and gouged out one of his eyes. 

In the last year of the war — 1781 — the traitor Benedict 
Arnold with some eight hundred infantry and a small 



detachment of the Queen's Rangers sailed into James 
River and included Richmond in a series of unwelcome 
New Year's calls. Landing at the home of the founder 
of Richmond, fair " Westover ", he feasted his men and 
horses and set out toward the town itself. Early the next 
afternoon — ^January 5th — the Red Coats marched up 
Main street, drums beating, banners flying, gay uniforms 
lighting up the street. Richmond was utterly unprepared 
for their visit. The only semblance of American soldiery 
there were a couple of hundred raw, poorly equipped 
militia, who were hurriedly corralled and drawn up on 
Chimborazo Hill, beyond St. John's, and a few mounted 
men who were as hurriedly stationed on the brow of 
Shockoe Hill, at about Fifth Street. General Nelson, with 
a handful of militia, badly supplied with ammunition, had 
marched up the opposite bank of the river, but arrived too 
late to offer resistance to the British. 

While General Arnold was marching up Main Street 
his capable subordinate. Colonel Simcoe, at the head of 
the Queen's Rangers, went after the militia on Chimborazo. 
When the militia saw what was coming, they decided to a 
man, to live to fight another day, and skedaddled. The 
Rangers galloped back to Main Street, by which they 
ascended Shockoe, and put the little troop of cavalry there 
to flight — after capturing a few good horses. With these to 
aid them, they made a dash for Westham Foundry (above 
The Falls), put the cannon there out of commission, 
destroyed the small arms and threw five tons of gunpowder 
into the river. Governor Jeft'erson, in an attempt to save 
the public stores, had part of them removed across the river 
opposite Westham. On the night of January 4th, when 
Arnold had been encamped at Four Mile Creek, below 
Richmond, preparatory to entering town next day, the 
Governor was at " Tuckahoe ", ten or twelve miles above 



town. Next day he went across the river to Colonel 
Fleming's to meet and confer with Baron Steuben (then 
in command of Virginia troops), and while there received 
a message from Arnold saying that he would not burn 
Richmond if British vessels were permitted to come up 
and take tobacco from the warehouses unmolested. The 
offer was declined, but there really was nobody to molest 
a thousand Red Coats, and from his point of vantage 
across the river, in Manchester, the Governor had to bear 
with what grace he could muster seeing public and private 
property seized, public buildings and records burned. Much 
captured liquor went down the throats of the invaders. 
What they could not swill or carry off they poured into the 
streets. The hogs riotously rooted in the unique mire it 
made until swine and men reeled and staggered against 
one another while the looting and burning went on. 

History repeats itself. War is, was, and always will 
be—" Hell." 

To give the devil his due, be it said that Arnold did not 
carry out his threat to make a bonfire of the defenseless 
and panic-stricken town. Among the things he did burn 
was a large amount of paper money, freshly printed, and 
not yet issued. Cheap as it was, it was better than no 
money. He also burned much tobacco, which was real 
money, for the tobacco note was currency in Virginia from 
early Colonial days until long after the Revolution, and to 
destroy the tobacco was to make the tobacco note worth- 
less. About midday, January 6th, the Red Coats marched 
down Main Street again and back to " Westover." To 
relieve the situation in Virginia General Washington now 
sent the gallant young Marquis de la Fayette with some 
Continental troops to form a junction with Baron Steuben, 
and take command. He reached Richmond in April. On 
April 27th Arnold, who had joined his forces with those 



of General Phillips, sunk or captured almost all of the 
small Virginia navy at Coxendale, not far below Richmond, 
and turned his face again toward The Falls. At Manches- 
ter more tobacco was burned, but news of the presence 
of the Marquis and his blue and buff battalions in Rich- 
mond made the Red Coats decide that it was their turn to 
prove that discretion was the better part of valor. On 
May 17th Lafayette was encamped at "Wilton." When 
Lord Cornwallis advanced toward him by way of Peters- 
burg with eight thousand troops — a very superior force — 
the Marquis retreated. Cornwallis with his eight thousand 
dashed after him, but soon gave up, leaving Tarleton and 
his cavalry to continue the chase. Tarleton pursued 
Lafayette to beyond Fredericksburg, when he too, gave up 
and fell back toward Richmond. 

Lafayette, in his rapid retreat from Richmond, made 
a new road known to this day as " the Marquis's road." 
On June 15th, he was reinforced by General Wayne's regu- 
lar troops from the Pennsylvania Continental line, sent to 
Virginia for the purpose, and advanced again toward Rich- 
mond Town. But Cornwallis was ahead of him. Enter- 
ing the town on June i6th, he gave his troops a few days' 
rest and opportunity to pillage and forage before beginning 
his retreat down the peninsula between James and York 
Rivers. Lafayette and his forces — including the Pennsyl- 
vania troops — passed through Richmond in pursuit of 
Cornwallis on June 22d — just twenty-four hours after the 
enemy left, leaving the town " a scene of much distress." 
Lafayette and his forces overtook and attacked Cornwallis 
(unsuccessfully) near Jamestown, on July 6th, after which 
he fell back to " Malvern Hill ", where he camped for the 
protection of Richmond. In this month an unexpected 
and ghastly foe, General Small-pox, captured the desperate 
little capital. 



When Washington and the French troops began the 
AlHed movement toward Yorktown Lafayette marched 
from his post below Richmond down the peninsula, while 
the Pennsylvania troops, which had been stationed on the 
south side of the river, crossed at Westham, passing 
through town on August 8th. It seems that the last Ameri- 
can troops on their way to meet the enemy seen by Rich- 
mond and its neighborhood were Wayne's Pennsylvanians, 
for Washington's Army, on its way to Yorktown, passed 
east of and not through the town. And now Richmond, 
with all Virginia, is filled with hope that the great combined 
American and French movement may result in capture of 
the British Army and end of war. All aglow over the 
happy turn of the tide. Governor Nelson — who had suc- 
ceeded JefTerson — writes from Richmond to Governor 
Burke of North Carolina, telling him of the arrival of 
Count de Grasse, and that General Washington, " with all 
the French troops of the Northern Army and a body of 
Continentals, is on the march for Virginia." An earlier 
version of " Over there " was in the air of Richmond and 
its neighborhood though it was not set to music : 

" The French are coming! " 

The French are coming! was the joyous thought of 
every patriot heart. And, in that dark hour, it was the 
French who hastened the dawn for Americans just as, in 
poetic justice, Americans hastened it for Frenchmen nearly 
a century and a half later. Fortunately Richmond under- 
stood that the allied army coming nearer and nearer every 
day, to bring deliverance and peace, was but a horde of 
hungry men. To save Virginia's reputation for hospitality 
they must be fed. In common humanity they must be fed. 
To bring deliverance they must be fed — and they were fed. 
Richmond was the centre from which supplies for the 
allied armies were directed, and many of them were 



provided by Richmond Town and its neighborhood. 
Among letters which brought Governor Nelson relief in 
this great anxiety was one from John Pierce telling him 
of shipments down the river of flour for the allied troops 
and adding that he expected " more every minute 
from Westham." 

Just who brought the news of the surrender at York- 
town to Richmond is not known, but we may be sure he 
owned the town that day. Maybe it was Colonel William 
Fontaine, who was there and just a week later wrote a 
friend a letter from Richmond describing it, which con- 
cludes : *T enclose two yards of ribbon for my sister Sarah 
and two for sister Mary, or, in her absence little Bess — 
trophies from York." 

Virginia was free of Red Coats, the boys whose letters 
were so slow were coming home In person, and Richmond 
Town was gay with meetings and greetings, yet It was 
still — with difficulty — doing its bit to provide for the still 
fighting army In South Carolina; with difficulty — for his- 
tory repeats itself and war times were followed by hard 
times. How the Governor must have hated to see his mail 
bag brought in 1 Its contents were clamorous with appeals 
of men struggling with the problem of making bricks with- 
out straw, for the public treasury, like private purses, was 
empty. A fair sample of these letters was one about New 
Year, from Major Richard Claiborne, who could not send 
a quantity of clothing, spirits and medicine (which was 
waiting in Richmond) to General Greene's Army in the 
South because there was not a wagon in condition to travel 
and the horses were lean and poor. He had tried " every 
blacksmith shop around to get the wagons fixed and the 
horses shod ", but " with contempt they refuse striking 
their hammers without the money Is paid down." Charles 
Russell, Quartermaster of Manchester, reported that the 


3 X 

From the portrait by Inman, Virginia State Library 


Continental horses were starving. Other pubHc servants 
declared they could not continue in office without means 
to meet the high cost of living in Richmond. Major John 
Pryor, when asked to suggest a man for a military service 
facetiously named " Mr. Royall, who possesses the art of 
living without money." In 1783 David Ross, a leading 
merchant of Richmond, prayed to be paid for furnishing 
the Southern Army with " near one thousand worth of 
supplies at a very critical and distressing period." His 
only pay had been General Greene's letter of thanks. Des- 
perate deeds were a result of the hard times — history 
repeats itself. The tiny jail was packed to suffocation, and 
as prisoners were sentenced to death not only for mur- 
der, but for burglary, horse-stealing, treason and other 
offences, public hangings offered frequent and popular 

In the midst of so much trouble the place was going 
ahead. War was ended though peace had not been pro- 
claimed. Richmond Town received its charter as a city in 
May, 1782. Twelve of its citizens were chosen to form 
a Common Hall, which elected Dr. William Foushee, 
Mayor, and Mr. William Hay, Recorder — or City Judge. 
It also granted Mr. Ryan, manager of the theatre, permis- 
sion to renew his license. His playhouse was only a shanty 
on lower Main Street, but it is refreshing to know that 
the people had even that in those bleak times. There were 
other diversions too. An occasional wedding gave oppor- 
tunity for people to forget their troubles in witnessing the 
ever fresh scene from real life of love's young dream come 
true, which turned even hardest times into times of rejoic- 
ing. And there were always feet eager to dance in Rich- 
mond, and darkies as eager to play the fiddle, pick the 
banjo and call the figures. 

Among after-the-war tourists to Richmond was Dr. 



Johann Schoepf, a Hessian, who had served in the British 
Army. His diary shows him to have been grouchy and 
prejudiced but a keen observer. The Assembly was in 
session and " The coming together of so many gentle- 
men from all parts of the province brought hither a great 
number of fine horses. One could almost fancy it was 
an Arabian village. There were to be seen the whole day 
long saddled horses at every turn and a swarming of riders 
in the few and muddy streets, for a horse must be mounted, 
if only to fetch a pinch of snuff from across the way." 

All of the inns were crowded. " Assemblymen, judges, 
doctors, clerks and gentlemen of every weight and calibre 
and every line of dress sat all together about the fire, drink- 
ing, smoking, singing and telling stories." " In the same 
clothes in which one goes hunting or tends his tobacco 
fields it is permissible to appear in the Senate or the Assem- 
bly. There are displayed trousers, stockings, and Indian 
leggings, great coats, ordinary coats, and short jackets, 
according to each man's caprice or comfort, and all equally 
honorable." In contrast are his pictures of Virginia 
women, whom he finds " clothed and adorned with great 
fastidiousness." On his way to Richmond, when stopping 
for a night at a tavern — " a draughty, empty place ", where 
" neither rum nor whisky nor bread was to be bought " — 
he had the " unexpected pleasure " of making his "devoirs" 
to " several ladies dressed tastefully in silk and decked 
with plumes." (They were evidently on their way for 
a visit at some plantation or town, and stopping to rest 
themselves and their horses, as he was. Their finery was 
probably bought before the war, for silk was made to last 
in those days). At Hanover Court House, nearer Rich- 
mond, he found " On a very warm midday, a fine circle 
of ladies, silk-clad and tastefully coiffured, sitting about 
the fire. This was not so extraordinary in itself, but it 



was something new to me that several pretty vigorous 
young blacks, quite in their natural state, should be tumb- 
ling about before the party without scandal." (They were 
doubtless clad in the cotton smocks worn by negro children 
in warm weather) . Writing of " the want of hard money", 
he says : " Tobacco pays their taxes, gives the women their 
indispensable silks and laces .... and everything which 
is not produced at home." And of the king's English as 
he heard it spoken in Richmond : ** Virginians boast that 
among all the American Colonies the English language is 
with them preserved purest and most complete, and one 
cannot altogether deny them. But here and there a few 
negroisms have crept in and the salmagundi of the English 
language has here been enriched by even words of 
African origin." 


Peace at last! And peace at the most fitting of all 
times, the approach o£ Christmas. The Treaty which 
meant definite ending of the war had been signed and 
the good news had reached The Falls of James River. 
Peace on earth was a fact. America — Virginia — Rich- 
mond needed no other Christmas gift. What difference 
did poverty make ? Peace on earth, good will toward men ! 
The bell in the white steeple of St. John's on the Hill flung 
out the words. The Falls shouted them. Even the tavern 
bells calling guests from their beds or to their meals seemed 
to repeat them. The laughter of children echoed them. 
Peace on earth! The kisses of young love were sweeter 
for it, the eyes of old folks shone with it, the voices 
of men of affairs and their wives were hearty with it, 
the hand-clasp of friendship was warm with it. The 
mantel clocks and the hall clocks seemed to tick more hap- 
pily the minutes of peace and when they chimed the hours 
— to foretell many happy years. After all the drab 
Christmases of war time, Christmas was new in Richmond 
that year, Christ was born again. Peace on earth, good 
will toward men! Young negroes cut the pigeon-wing and 
jumped juba in the streets and old ones went about giving 
one another the " right hand of fellowship ", with " Howdy 
Brother! Howdy Sister! Bless de Lord ! " 

At sundown, the day news of the Treaty came, Rich- 
mond windows began to bloom with lighted candles. Every 
home was bright with as many of them as its owner could 
afford, and such fireworks as could be procured were made 
to echo " Peace on earth, good will toward men ! " As soon 



as arrangements could be made there was a ball at the Capi- 
tol. No social lines were drawn. Equality was the popular 
slogan. America was a republic now. Down with rank! 
It must be everybody's ball, and everybody must come and 
dance. Who should lead it ? In former times that honor 
would have belonged as a right to a lady of the Governor's 
household, but the Revolution had blotted out rank. The 
only thing that would give every lady an equal chance was 
a lottery. Every lady and girl drew, and many a heart 
fell as its owner found she had drawn a blank. Finally 
a young girl who had bashfully taken her turn, tremulously 
showed her slip. It held the magic sign! All eyes were 
turned on her. She blushed as if she had committed a sin. 
For — oh, the wonder of it ! — She, a shoemaker's daughter, 
had drawn a thing which would give her, for a night, pre- 
cedence over all the belles of Richmond Town I Out of the 
buzz of talk it made came unanimous decision that her 
claim was valid. She led the Peace Ball. 

The happiest event of that happy New Year came the 
next autumn when General Washington and the Marquis 
de la Fayette visited Richmond at the same time — arriving 
there several days apart. The Assembly, then in session, 
sent each of them in turn an address of welcome — with 
Patrick Henry as chairman and James Madison as a mem- 
ber of each presentation committee. A great dinner was 
given them at The Bell Tavern and the town and the visit- 
ing Assemblymen turned out and escorted them to it. In 
an old letter it is written: "The presence of General 
Washington and the Marquis has kept the city alive for 
near a week past. Feasting, balls, illuminations and firing 
of cannon etc., etc., has been our chief employment since the 
Generals came to town." 

Richmond was gradually getting back to normality 
and was reaching out to the outside world. 

4 49 


In 1785 a regular post was established to and from 
Norfolk and Portsmouth, by way of Suffolk, and soon 
afterward the Southern Stage line, with four horses to 
each stage was running to Wilmington, North Carolina, 
where its passengers could change to a packet boat for 
Charleston, South Carolina. 

There were as yet in Richmond but three or four hun- 
dred houses and four thousand inhabitants, counting white 
and black. The Old Dominion was one of large plantations 
and small towns. A surprising number of the houses must 
have been stores over which lived their proprietors, accord- 
ing to custom. Announcements in the yellowed pages of 
the Gazette for 1785 and 1786 show frequent arrival of 
ships from European ports bringing wares to be exchanged 
with these merchants for tobacco. Only the smaller of the 
ships came all the way to Richmond. The larger ones lay 
in the river below and the announcements provide us with 
the names of the merchants and lists of their fascinating 
wares. Also, they indicate that, along with other generals. 
General Prosperity was well on the way to Richmond and 
its neighborhood. Houses were not numbered in the 
advertisements and description of shops had to be given. 
Like this : " The green painted store near the Capitol ", 
and this: "Lewis Ganot's Store, the west side of the 
Bridge, the opposite corner to Mr. Banks' Store." And 
this : " William Waddell, Goldsmith & Jeweller at the 
Sign of the Thirteen Stars opposite Mr. Anderson's Tav- 
ern." Mr. Waddell's large and varied stock " to be sold 
for cash, tobacco or State Security ", included " jewelry, 
paste shoe-buckles, and knee-buckles, gold and silver 
watches, plated spurs, and Wilton Carpeting." " Mourn- 
ing rings, hair devices " and engraving were furnished on 
order. A suitable sign for most of the shops would have 
been " Dry Goods and Wet Goods ", for whatever they did 



or did not have for sale there is always a list of drink- 
ables. Joseph Darmstadt has " Just imported old Jamaica 
spirits, sugar, coffee, gin in bottles. Also, a neat assort- 
ment of drygoods suitable to the season." " Wright and 
Southgate " offer " A great assortment of East India and 
European goods ", including " Superfine and Second 
broadcloths of various colors . . . Corduroys, velvets, 
plushes and hair shags . . . Camblets, taminies, durants, 
russets, calimancoes, black crapes and bombazines . . . 
Ladies and gentlemen's great coats with satin and velvet 
capes . . . Scarlet, crimson, black, and drab cloth coats 
trimmed with gimp and ermine. Ladies muffs and tippets 
with a great variety of broad and narrow ermines . . . 
Silk and satin quilted coats of all colors some made for 
hoops . . . Bell hoops and ladies Italian stays . . . Mus- 
lins, plain, striped, sprig, and checked . . . Gentlemen's 
Bristol stone knee-buckles and sleeve-buckles . . . Drab 
colored silks for gentlemen's summer coats . . . ladies 
riding hats trimmed with feathers . . . Satin and cali- 
manco shoes . . . Children's toy books ", etc., and " Old 
Jamaica spirits by the hogshead, cognac brandy by the 
pipe, old claret, Burgundy and Muscadel wines by the case 
or dozen." Connor and Gernon have " Just imported from 
France " — among other things " — " Elegant lute strings 
and satins, silk handkerchiefs, silk stockings, ribands, sew- 
ing silk, feathers, artificial flowers, garlands, white and 
colored kid gloves for ladies and gentlemen, paste neck- 
laces, puffs and hair powder, pomatum and perfumes, ele- 
gant double gilt looking-glasses . . . hyson tea, single, 
double and refined sugar, muscat and frontignac wines, 
Margaux claret in cases of three dozen bottles, cordial, 
apricots and plums preserved in syrup, apple, cherry and 
quince jellies in pots of one pound each, chocolate, oil in 
flasks, anchovies, Capers and Cognac brandy seven years 



old." Interesting items in the long list of things " just 
imported " by Boyd and White are : " Ladies hunting 
saddles . . . tortoise shell and horn crooked combs . . . 
violins and bows . . . rich florentines for waistcoats and 
breeches . . . Persian bonnets and hats ", and " rich Per- 
sian and satin quilts." Hollingsworth, Johnson and Com- 
pany give a dash of the variety that is the spice of life, with 
their " Leghorn hats, Windsor chairs and an elegant light 
chariot and two phaetons ", and John Barret and Com- 
pany add still more of that spice with their " Elegant and 
extensive assortment of London made mahogany furni- 
ture ", their " plain and figured silk purses, wafers, sealing 
wax and best Dutch quills ", and " a few patterns of ele- 
gant paper tapestry for rooms." James Warrenton strikes 
a newer note still with his " Lady's clogs " (wooden over- 
shoes), "elegant ostrich feathers, black and white . . . 
men and women's black lamb, white kid, wash leather, 
beaver, silk, holland and jeans gloves . . . gold and silver 
wove buttons, plain and fancy, gold and silver bindings and 
fringes, gold and silver cords, point lace, shaving pouches 
fitted with instruments complete . . . approved patent 
medicines in great variety . . . best London editions (of 
books) elegantly bound . . . lute and octave harpsichords 
with pedal swell . . . very best piano fortes , . . guitars, 
violins, new music and instructions by the most approved 
masters . . . patent floor cloths without a seam — Indian 
patterns . . . gentlemen's waistcoat patterns embroidered 
in gold." John and Joseph Henry, in a list of over a 
hundred items — " and a number of articles too tedious to 
mention " — name " Harry and Merry Andrew playing 
cards. Men's cocked and roundbeaver hats, white and brown 
do, with green under, ladies and gentlemen's saddlery in 
the newest taste elegantly mounted, ink powder, Jew's 
harps, snuflf boxes ", and, of course, liquors. The only 



sales of absolutely " dry " goods seem to have been the 
frequent book auctions which were generally held in 
taverns, where if anything wet should be needed to wash 
down the classics it was easily procurable. Mr. Gait had 
plenty of competition in supplying Time to the people of 
Richmond when " John Reilly, watch-maker from Dublin", 
opened shop, and John Humphreys promised to " make 
and repair musical, repeating and plain clocks ", and sell 
" repeating, horizontal, and plain watches ", while John 
Wilson offered " tortoise-shell watches " and " watches 
that show the day of the month," 

Reading the elaborate lists of things " just imported " 
the wonder grows where purchasers for all these goods 
were found. Wealthy planters for miles around went 
ashopping to Richmond Town and stores in smaller settle- 
ments laid in their stocks there. The Jockey Club races, 
held three days in May and September, and the dancing 
" Assemblies " which were regularly held after New Year 
1785, gave excuse for buying the finery offered by the 
shops, and opportunity for displaying it. The year fol- 
lowing had the added diversions of an " elegant ball " at 
the Capitol, to celebrate Washington's birthday, an " ele- 
gant dinner " on the Fourth of July, and a gathering in 
Richmond of the Virginia Cincinnati — which meant much 
entertaining and excited donning of the best bib and tucker. 
And of course there was church. It is written that in 1 785, 
" a numerous and respectable meeting of Quakers assem- 
bled at the Capitol " and " two eminent female speakers 
from Boston held forth." 

As to the attire of the audience of these grey ladies 
the witness is silent, but Dr. Thomas Coke, the noted 
Methodist Missionary who preached in the Capitol two 
years later, recorded that the " most dressy congregation 
he had seen in America " came to hear him. Among mer- 



chants who have not been mentioned were Pennock and 
Skipwith (who carried on a large business), Scott and 
Benge, Drinkel and Prentis, Buchanan and McKeand, Mr. 
Bently, Matthew Wright, James Lowell — who had at his 
store " at the foot of Shockoe Hill " an alluring stock, 
including " Chests of drawers and dressing glasses, oval 
and square, tea and card tables, gilt looking glasses, and 
warming pans." Many of these merchants were Scotch- 
men, Cohen and Isaacs were proprietors of " The Jews' 
Store ", and there was a Jewish broker — Levi Israel. A 
German chandler, Meyer Dinkheim, moulded " candles — 
the light of the time — for i cent per pound ", while a 
French dentist, Dr. Le Mayeur, reversed the usual order 
of things by " putting in natural teeth instead of false." 
Among physicians (all of whom furnished drugs to their 
patients and some of whom also kept drug stores), were 
" Dr. Gibson, near the Capitol ", " James Francis Conand, 
Surgeon-Doctor, near the Bridge ", and " William and 
Thomas Carter, Doctors and Surgeons." 

In December 1785, Patrick Henry again became Gover- 
nor of Virginia and a resident of Richmond. Perhaps it 
was to celebrate his election that Monsieur Busselot, on a 
bright winter's day, gave a free for all entertainment by 
sending up from the Capitol Square a balloon which " as- 
cended a great height and descended on the plantation of 
Captain John Austin ten miles distant." This to specta- 
tors unspoiled by the feats of modern birdmen, seemed 
quite as wonderful as the great dirigibles of today do to us. 
Quite modern looking headlines scream from the old pages 
of the Gazette : " we want a cook ! " and our sympa- 
thies are further appealed to by the plaint of a gentleman 
whose " wife Sarah " has " left him without any provoca- 
tion." The Fellowship Fire Company was doing its best to 
protect property with a formally organized bucket brigade. 
This did valiant service in 1787, when the Fire Fiend de- 



stroyed forty or fifty buildings in the heart of town, indud- 
ing- Anderson's Tavern and Byrd's Warehouse, with 
seventy hogsheads of tobacco. 

In the spring of 1786, Alexander Quarrier "Coach 
Maker from Philadelphia ", set up shop in Richmond, 
and announced in the Gazette that he would " receive orders 
from any part of the United States." Among others adver- 
tising fine vehicles for sale are James Brown with his " ele- 
gant post chaise lately imported with harness compleat 
for six horses ", and Major Pryor with his " riding and 
carriage horses and sundry very elegant chariots and phae- 
tons ", at Haymarket Stables. 

These wares were needed — not only for driving about 
the hilly, and by turns dusty and muddy town and its 
neighborhood — but visiting distant towns and plantations 
was a favorite diversion, and Richmond people were mak- 
ing summer trips to the Springs. An advertisement of the 
" Sweet Springs " — still a popular resort — gives directions 
for carriage routes and describes accommodations: "A 
good two story house with eight lodging rooms and a 
number of log huts with plank floors rendered as com- 
fortable as such buildings made in haste will admit." 
Primitive, but the swimming pool, medicinal waters, and 
mountain scenery made them endurable. Doubtless before 
setting out, many of the guests made visits to Major 
Pryor's Stables and had their horses " elegantly nicked for 
a guinea each, by Nicholas Atkinson ", by whom also 
" cropping and foxings in the neatest styles " and " all kinds 
of farriery ", were " performed on the most reasonable 
terms and with the greatest dispatch." In Richmond and 
its neighborhood not to know Major John Pryor of the 
Revolution was to argue one's self unknown. He was a 
judge of horse flesh and Secretary of the Jockey Club, a 
good fellow and an all round sport. He doubtless exhibited 
at the races the smartest of curled and queued locks, the 



jauntiest of " just imported " cocked hats, the bravest of 
gold embroidered waistcoats. He gave Richmond its first 
recreation park — where Byrd Street Station now stands — 
and here is his advertisement for a concessionaire to run 
a tavern in connection with it : " To be rented a large com- 
modious Inn on Haymarket Square contiguous to my livery 
stables with a garden and suitable out houses ; its situation 
being a little remote from the noise and dust of the town 
and commanding a delightful prospect of The Falls and 
country adjacent to the city will render it a handsome re- 
treat for parties to regale themselves with Ice, Punch, 
Creams, &c. The Ice house being nearly completed, a 
Billiard house is also erecting in the yard. To an active 
person that will certainly keep the above place in elegant 
and orderly manner a great bargain will be given." 

But the town at The Falls was not altogether given 
over to play. In the cause of culture the Richmond Library 
announced hours when subscribers could " draw books ", a 
" young lady capable of instructing in reading, writing, and 
needlework desired a place as governess in a genteel fam- 
ily ", and a number of schools were advertised, among them 
that of Mr. W. V. Worn, who in addition to a day school 
conducted a practical "evening school " where " reading, 
writing, arithmetic and bookkeeping were taught " and that 
of Mr. " Eldridge Harris, of the Petersburg Academy " 
which offered instruction in " Latin, Greek, and a gram- 
matical knowledge of the English language, with Geogra- 
phy, writing, arithmetic, etc. " It remained for a French- 
man to render stale and colorless in the eyes of Richmond 
youth the conventional methods of these staid school- 
masters. For Monsieur Quesnay announced the opening 
of an " Academy next door to Captain Michaell's, opposite 
the Bridge ", where " drawing, French, music, etc.", would 
be taught in the forenoon and dancing in the afternoon. 
There was to be " a private school for gentlemen at night ", 



and soon, " an assembly where ladies and gentlemen can 
practice dancing together." In December he announced 
that only three afternoons in the week would be given to 
dancing, the other days to be given entirely to " drawing, 
painting, music, and foreign languages, geography, astron- 
omy, writing and arithmetic." Both young gentlemen and 
young ladies were to be admitted — and " good boarding 
houses " to be opened for young ladies. In a very de- 
pressed announcement in January he complains that " the 
disposition of minds in every place he has attempted edu- 
cational work in America, are inclined to encourage noth- 
ing but dancing " and gives notice that he will leave 
Richmond at the end of the session. 

But there was soon a turn of the tide. In June follow- 
ing, the corner stone of the Academy building was laid, 
with Masonic rites, on " Academy Square ", near the site 
of the present Monumental Church. Through the Gazette, 
Monsieur Quesnay expressed gratitude for patronage and 
announced the arrival from England of " globes, all kinds 
of patterns for drawing and painting, a complete collec- 
tion of statues of plaster of Paris, all kinds of paints and 
patterns for landskip painting, instruments of music and 
music books." Mr. R. Morris would " teach the young 
ladies tambour, embroidery and all kinds of needle work, 
also vocal music." " Both living and dead languages " were 
to be taught. The building had a hall designed to be rented 
out to theatrical companies from time to time, and thus 
earn money for the benefit of the Academy. As soon as 
this hall was completed, in the early fall, Hallam and Henry 
played in it. The night of December 7, 1787, was a gala 
occasion, when society in its smartest attire was called 
out by a performance of " The Beggar's Opera ", in the 
Academy Hall, described as the " New Theatre on 
Shockoe Hill." 


A MORE thrilling drama than any of poet's dream was 
soon to be enacted within the Academy's walls. The seven 
years' war was seven years past. The thirteen colonies 
were thirteen free states. Yet there was no real union, for 
there was no national government. The great majority 
of the people did not want a national government. They 
had thrown off government turned tyrant ; they feared that 
in time a new government might turn tyrant also, that it 
might mean a yoke heavier than the one they had fought to 
be rid of — a yoke of unbearable taxes. True, the Philadel- 
phia Convention had draughted a Constitution and Ameri- 
ca's idol, Washington — as President of the Convention — 
had signed it, and ardently desired its ratification. But rati- 
fication meant national government, and many of the wisest 
as well as many of the wildest believed that national govern- 
ment would endanger dear-bought liberty. Liberty was 
the word to conjure with — liberty confused in the minds 
of the mob with license. Anarchy was rife. (How his- 
tory repeats itself !) Some of the states had ratified, with 
narrow majorities, after hard-fought, bitter battles, but 
the Constitution hung in the balance, perilously near defeat. 
Virginia had not spoken. Virginia, with its extensive 
area, its rich resources, its population larger than that of 
the proud states of New York and Massachusetts com- 
bined. Virginia had rung in the Revolution. Virginia 
would be the field where the decisive battle would be fought. 
As Virginia voted, the Constitution would stand or fall. 

A convention to consider ratification was called to 



meet in Richmond. It met in the new Academy Hall on 
June 2, 1788. In every Virginia county from those of far 
Kentucky (which sent fourteen delegates), to those in 
the immediate neighborhood of Richmond, feeling ran 
high and election of delegates created local tempests. 
Wherever two or more men met in any part of the state 
the Constitution was the subject of excited conversation 
or bitter argument. Shy, inarticulate men found words — 
became practiced debaters. More ready speakers developed 
into fiery orators. Long before the day appointed the 
delegates began to set out from home — giving themselves 
more or less time according to the distance from Richmond. 
Spring rains had made the roads deep in mud in many 
places, and sometimes swollen streams which had to be 
forded. The difficulties may be imagined from the diary 
of a traveler, by stage, in Virginia at about this time, 
whom it took from eight in the morning till eleven at night 
to cover the fifty-odd miles from Williamsburg to Rich- 
mond, after a rain. Most of those from a distance went 
by horse-back. Patrick Henry, in his red wig and spec- 
tacles and with a stoop which made him appear elderly at 
fifty-eight, arrived in a gig, and Edmund Pendleton, vener- 
able and a cripple, in a phaeton. There were a hundred and 
seventy delegates, and planters from far and near crowded 
into town to witness the battle of intellects. And there 
were lobbyists from distant states. Gouveneur Morris 
from New York was there with his family, and Robert 
Morris from Philadelphia — to use all the persuasion they 
possessed to make Virginia ratify — and, among those 
opposed to ratification, Oswold of the Independent 
Gazetteer, of Philadelphia. The Jockey Club, in session, 
gave Richmond a festive air. If Doctor Schoepf likened 
it to an Arabian village when only the Assembly was in 



session what would he have said of it in those Conven- 
tion days ? 

In every kitchen in the town and its neighborhood, pub- 
lic and private, negro cooks under supervision of mistresses 
beaming with hospitality had been busy for days preparing 
for the visitation of human locusts about to descend upon 
the little city. Trees and grass wore their liveliest green. 
Roses were in bloom, strawberries ripe, and bird music 
mingled with the pleasant roar of which all diaries and 
letters of the day make note, of the leaping Falls of 
James River. 

Edmund Pendleton, a friend of the Constitution, lean- 
ing on his crutches, but vigorous of intellect, was unani- 
mously elected President of the Convention. George 
Wythe, like minded, was made chairman of the Committee 
of the whole — a little man of ripe years, but erect and 
keen-eyed, with thin, clear-cut features and a dome-like 
pate, bald, except at the rear where a row of crisp little 
grey curls appeared above his white stock. The giants in de- 
bate were about evenly divided for and against ratification, 
and were arrayed against one another in the pres- 
ence of a breathless audience which included the town mer- 
chants, who shut up shop in order to be present. In favor 
of the Constitution was Governor Edmund Randolph — 
handsome, charming, and adored by the people. He had 
declined to sign it in Philadelphia and sprung a sensation 
when he announced a change of mind. And George 
Nicholas — able lawyer, gallant soldier, strong of family 
connection, but short, thick, fat, with bald head, grey eyes 
set beneath bushy eyebrows and a big beak of a nose. Big 
of brain and of body, he was in debate cold and clear of 
voice, and powerful. Striking in contrast, physically, was 
that great captain of advocates of the Constitution, James 
Madison — a small man with a smaller voice, and exquisite 



in dress with his blue and buff clothes and immaculate 
ruffled shirt and wrist-bands, and his hair powdered on 
top and queued and tied with ribbon at the back. Another 
contrast was provided by beautiful, dashing, clarion-voiced 
Light Horse Harry Lee and John Marshall — far weightier 
in debate and equally magnetic in an entirely different 
style. He was gaunt, dark, tousle-haired, but perfectly at 
ease in an ill-fitting summer coat bought for the occasion 
for a dollar. 

Among those opposed to the Constitution were Patrick 
Henry of the wizard words, and George Mason, snowy- 
haired and dark-eyed, impressively attired in black silk, 
coming in together — arm-in-arm — from the new Swan 
Tavern on Broad and Tenth Streets, three blocks from 
the Academy ; James Monroe — young, awkward in speech 
and manner; Benjamin Harrison, of " Berkeley ", an old 
aristocrat of towering figure, " elegantly arrayed in a rich 
suit of blue and buff, a long queue tied with a black ribbon 
dangling from his full locks of snow, and his long black 
boots encroaching on his knees ", and William Grayson, 
brilliant and witty. Two great Virginians who would 
have been arrayed on opposite sides were absent. Jefferson, 
who was against ratification, was in Paris, occupied with 
his duties as Minister to France, and Washington, in re- 
tirement at Mount Vernon waiting, watching and hoping. 
How he would have enjoyed a wireless apparatus ! 

The battle of wits lasted for three long weeks and then, 
on June 25th, arose the gigantic form of James Innes. He 
had been chosen to close the debate for ratification and is 
said to have spoken " like one inspired." Scholarly John 
Tyler delivered the parting shaft for the opposition. The 
vote was taken and victory for the Constitution by a beg- 
garly margin of eight votes announced. " And so ", in 
the words of Senator Beveridge, " closed the greatest de- 



bate ever held over the Constitution and one of the ablest 
parliamentary debates of history." 

Patrick Henry, accustomed to carrying everything 
before him, and others as passionately convinced as he that 
national government would be a death blow to hardly 
won freedom, went sadly away to their homes. 

Early in the next year the Virginia electors met in the 
Capitol to do their part in making the great Washington 
the first President of the United States. On March 26, 
1 79 1, Richmond was honored and delighted by a visit 
from the adored soldier as head of the nation. 



(1790 — 1800) 


When Jefferson was abroad as Minister to France he 
fell in love — but not with a woman. From " Nismes ", he 
wrote to a friend in Richmond : " Here I am gazing whole 
hours at the Maison Quarree, like a lover at his mistress." 

Appealed to, in 1785, for a design for Virginia's capitol 
building, he immediately saw not only " a favorable oppor- 
tunity to introduce into the state an example of architecture 
in the classic style of antiquity ", but to crown Richmond's 
Capitol Hill with a reproduction of the " antient " Roman 
temple on Gallic soil which had captivated the artist and 
dreamer in him. He had a small plaster model made of it 
— using Ionic columns because of the difficulty of repro- 
ducing the Corinthian and " drew a plan for the interior 
with apartments necessary for legislative, executive and 
judiciary purposes." Largely through Marshall's efforts 
the little Masonic Hall on East Franklin Street (the oldest 
in America), had been built in this year, and the corner- 
stone of the Capitol was laid with solemn ritual in the fol- 
lowing, but not until the fall of 1788 did the Assembly 
meet in it. Even then, its thick brick walls were bare of 
their coat of grey stucco which, with other finishing 
touches, it soon received — Richmond people contributing 
liberally to defray the cost. The white marble figure which 
dominates the rotunda is the only statue of Washington 
done from life and is a jewel of which Virginia has always 
been proud. Its sculptor — the great Houdon — was selected 
by Jefferson and sent from Paris to Mount Vernon, where 
he made a long visit, studying, measuring and modelling 

5 65 


his illustrious subject, while work on the capitol building 
was in progress at Richmond. One of the niches in the 
wall of the rotunda holds a bust of Lafayette, also 
by Houdon. 

Not satisfied with only an indoor effigy of Washington 
for the Capitol, books were opened by a committee, with 
John Marshall as chairman, to raise subscriptions for a 
monument in the Square. Various interruptions made the 
work lag, and not until Washington's Birthday 1858, when 
Richmond's population had grown to over 35,000, was the 
equestrian statue made by Thomas Crawford (at the cost 
of $100,000) , unveiled. It was cast in Munich and shipped 
from Amsterdam, and lazy winds took the same length 
of time to bring it to Richmond that Columbus spent in 
crossing the Atlantic three and a half centuries earlier. 
Richmond turned out to watch the unloading. The long 
ropes attached to the truck on which the box, weighing 
eighteen tons, was placed became human ropes, as all the 
men and boys in town rushed to them and, cheering and 
being cheered, hauled the statue through the streets to 
Capitol — a performance which was repeated thirty years 
later when the Lee statue was hauled through the city to 
its pedestal by cheering boys and men. The Governor 
and Mayor made speeches from atop the great box which 
held the bronze Washington. The artillery saluted. When 
the eagerly awaited twenty-second arrived, and the veil 
was drawn, there stood revealed not only a life-like 
Washington on a life-like charger, with some of the heroes 
who had been his friends and associates forming a ring 
of bronze giants below and around him, but a work of art 
which has grown in fame with the years. In fame and 
in beauty, for the group is now mantled with the pale- 
green, moss-like mold which is time's gift to fine bronze. 
For the features and proportions of Washington, Craw- 



ford followed Houdon. The standing figures are Henry, 
Jefferson, Marshall, Nelson, Mason and Lewis. Crawford 
died before modelling all of them and the missing statues 
were added later by Randolph Rogers. 

After the unveiling there was a round of entertaining 
for the distinguished guests who had come from every 
part of the country — many states being represented by 
governor and staff in full regalia. The gala day was fol- 
lowed by a merry night. There were fireworks, illuminated 
arches and transparencies. At the taverns — now proudly 
called hotels — there were balls. Edwin Booth was play- 
ing Shakespeare at the theatre and there was plenty of 
time to see him and take in a ball afterward, if one liked. 
Skies frowned, winds sighed, streets were muddy rivulets, 
but save in a house here and there whose dim-lit silence 
was the sign of illness or death, the people ate and drank, 
laughed and chatted and (when floors had been cleared), 
danced. The stately minuet had gone out of fashion but 
the newly imported waltz alternated with quadrilles and 
the lancers, for which darkies with beaming, dreaming 
faces scraped their fiddles and called the figures. And 
of course, the evening ended with the rollicking 
Virginia reel. 

Long before the Washington Monument was placed 
Capitol Square had been changed from a crude, rugged 
area to a green isle in a sea of town activities. Its hills and 
dales were clothed with turf and shaded with trees, and 
walks were laid out. The year 1810 had seen the Gover- 
nor's Mansion built and 1824 the brick Bell Tower suc- 
ceeded the frame one on the same site. The tower bell was 
for generations the tocsin of Richmond — pealing for joy- 
ful events, tolling for funerals, and warning of fires and 
other alarms. In the wars of 1812 and 1861-5, it rang to 
rally the regular and volunteer soldiers to defend the city 



against expected attacks. In 1865, its bell was cracked and 
was removed. It has never been replaced, but the voiceless 
tower still stands in its corner of the Square exciting the 
Curiosity of passers-by and giving the old-world scene 
an added touch of quaintness. As time went on other 
statues were added. One of Henry Clay — erected by the 
" Whig ladies " of Virginia; one of Stonewall Jackson — 
the gift of some admirers in England; one of Governor 
William Smith; one of Doctor Hunter McGuire — 
Richmond's great physician. The remarkable taste dis- 
played in placing the buildings and statuary in the 
Square, which covers six city blocks, is an adornment 
in itself. The Capitol, the Governor's Mansion (with 
its embowering trees) and the Washington group each 
occupies the exact spot where it is most effective. 
South of them the hill falls away abruptly, giving this 
Richmond forum an impressive elevation, and seen from 
afar, before skyscrapers of neighboring streets began to 
stand in their light, the classic form and delicate columns 
of the Capitol, rising above a city of village-like air whose 
crudities kindly distance softened, made a charming pic- 
ture. This modest memorial of " the grandeur that was 
Rome " was doubtless an influence in the development of 
beauty-worship in Foe's poetic soul, for in childhood the 
Capitol was a short walk from his home in one direction, 
and from Shockoe Creek where he learned to swim in 
another, and immediately opposite was the home of his 
chum Robert Stanard, whose sympathetic mother inspired 
the poem beginning : " Helen, thy beauty is to me." Later 
he lived in full view of it with his child-bride and he and she 
must have often walked together under the trees in the 
Square. The Southern Literary Messenger building, where 
the foundations of his fame were laid, was just a little way 
down town from it, and the irm at which he oftenest made 


> c 

"H c 

2 E 



himself at home was at the sign of " The Swan " just 
around the corner. The Capitol was long the very heart 
of the city — both literally and figuratively. In pleasant 
weather its " square '' was a favorite place to stroll and 
chat in, its benches to rest upon. Children and their 
" Mammies " swarmed there to see and feed the squirrels. 
The Governor's house has always been a place of demo- 
cratic hospitality — especially during sessions of the 
Assembly. Then in the early times, a bowl of toddy stood 
on the sideboard every day for members who chose to 
drop in to partake of as they pleased. 

But most of all the Capitol itself has been, in a broad 
sense, a community centre. It was the Capitol of the state 
when many of those who helped to make Virginia famous 
as the mother of great men were babes at her breast. Dur- 
ing the Civil War it was the Capitol of the Confederate 
States as well as the Capitol of Virginia. But it has not 
only provided a stage for enactment of scenes which have 
become an important part of the history of Virginia and 
America, its chambers have provided gathering places for 
social, literary, patriotic and public-welfare groups. After 
over a century of service want of more room necessitated 
enlargement, and wings were thrown out from its north 
and south walls. While these have lessened the resemblance 
to the Maison Carree, they have been harmoniously 
designed, with pillars, pilasters and cornices like those of 
the main building. 

In earlier days Capitol Square had been filled with 
ruts and gullies and crossed by a road used as a short cut 
between Broad and Main Streets. Until about 1800, 
Broad Street ended at First Street. Lower down were 
Academy Square (with its theatre which was succeeded 
by Monumental Church), Swan Tavern, and a few other 
scattered houses, and at its western extremity two mer- 



chants, Bootright and Garthwright, on opposite comers, 
were friendly rivals in trade. At their stores the long, 
canvas-covered four or six horse wagons bringing prod- 
uce down from the Blue Ridge Mountains made a first 
stop as they emerged from Brook Road into the city. After 
supplying the enterprising merchants named with flour, 
butter, hemp, wax, tallow, flaxseed, feathers, deer and 
bearskins, furs, ginseng, snake-root and so on, they creaked 
on to Governor Street across whose deep gullies they made 
a difficult passage to Main Street, to dispose of the remain- 
der of their cargo to merchants there, around whose stores 
— it is written — " The fleets of wagons that would assemble 
in brisk times looked like the baggage train of a small 
army." Or perhaps the descent was made through the gul- 
ly-furrowed road across Capitol Square. Among unique 
wares brought in by these overland ships noted by the 
author of Richmond in By-Gone Days, was a bunch of 
dried rattlesnakes " to make viper broth for consumptive 
patients." Those early mountaineers were as clever in 
concealing money from possible robbers as some of their 
successors are in disguising " moonshine." A perfectly 
innocent looking bale of hemp or cask of wax or tallow 
might be found, on investigation, to contain a bag of gold 
or silver coin. 



The Capitol has served both Church and State. We 
have seen a political convention assembled in St. John's, 
let us see the congregation of St. John's on its knees in the 
Hall of the House of Delegates. Richmond early showed 
a tendency to grow westward, away from the church on 
the hill, instead of eastward, toward it. The answer is 
easy. The city said to have been built like Rome, on 
seven hills, really covered two principal heights, divided 
by the deep valley through which coursed Shockoe Creek. 
These were subdivided by ravines known as " gullies." 
Church Hill is steep, Shockoe is gradual. Settlement, fol- 
lowing the line of least resistance, spread over Shockoe 
Hill and long neglected the neighborhood of St. John's. 
To tell the whole truth, there was a spiritual Hill of Diffi- 
culties between the church and a large part of the people 
as steep as that of clay and gravel. Since the Revolution 
the Church of England, like everything else English, had 
fallen into disfavor. Enthusiasm for the French Revolu- 
tion and the influence of the writings of Paine, Godwin, 
Rousseau and Voltaire were widespread in Virginia, as 
elsewhere in America, and for a time in Richmond, now 
aptly called " The City of Churches ", atheism was rife, 
church-going unpopular, especially with the element most 
warmly attached to Jefferson. Anyone depressed over 
imagined falling off in church-going since those good old 
days is borrowing trouble. A handful of Methodists met 
in the old Capitol and in the Courthouse, until neighbors 
complained of being disturbed by their vociferous style of 



worship and they had to make a stable near Old Market 
serve as a place for a joyful noise until their church on 
Franklin and Nineteenth Streets was opened, with twenty- 
eight white and twenty-two colored members. In 1780, 
the Baptists made a beginning toward organizing a con- 
gregation, with fourteen members. In 18 10 their evange- 
list, John Courtney, was preaching to a small group in a 
frame house and after a while they built a brick " meeting 
house ", on Broad Street, two squares below the site of 
the present First Baptist Church building — with its huge 
membership whose automobiles fill the streets around it 
whenever its doors are open. There were Quakers in Rich- 
mond from very early times. In Richmond in By-Gone 
Days Samuel Mordecai gives a pen-picture of one of 
them (Mr. Lowndes), and says that many such figures had 
formerly been seen in the streets. He was " a fine type of 
the Quaker in personal appearance and in dress — with his 
broad-brimmed hat, drab suit, the coat of plainest cut with- 
out a superfluous button, waistcoat in same style, both of 
ample length and breadth, knee breeches, gray stockings, 
and silver knee- and shoe-buckles." His house (on top of 
a steep hill), and his " falling gardens", could be seen 
from the rear windows of Bowler's Tavern. 

In a tiny house near Mayo's Bridge lived the good and 
scholarly priest. Abbe Du Bois, who ministered to the 
spiritual needs of a little band of Roman Catholics. But 
with the people in general, church-going was at a low ebb. 

The " Two Parsons " changed all that. One of them, 
the Reverend John Buchanan, rector of St. John's, decided 
to bring Mahomet to the mountain. If the people would 
not come up the hill to the preacher he would go down the 
hill to the people and give them a service in the new Capitol 
every other Sunday. On alternate Sundays his chum, the 
Reverend John D. Blair, gave a Presbyterian service there 



to practically the same congregation, and later on preached 
at St. John's on the Sundays when Doctor Buchanan was 
at the Capitol. The choir (which sat in the gallery), was 
composed of " the sweet and harmonious voices of some 
of Richmond's favorite female vocalists ", with the tenor 
of " Nekervis " and the " mellow, deep-toned bass voices 
of old Blagrove and Southgate — men of character and 
note." Among the instruments which accompanied them 
were " Lynch's soul-inspiring fiute " and " Fitzwilson's 
huge bass viol, in front of which he could scarcely bring 
his arms to wield his immense bow on account of the 
rotundity of his person." Parson Buchanan had a beauti- 
ful voice to which a slight Scotch accent lent charm in 
speaking or in reading the Prayer Book Service. 

The two Parsons loved not only each other but every- 
body in Richmond, of every age, class, color and condi- 
tion. Their religion was sincere and their scholarship 
genuine, but their black coats made them none the less 
human and, at proper times, they could play as ardently 
as they could preach — for they also, were but grown-up 
boys. They were at home in all companies and without 
thought of offense or of causing a brother to offend, they 
enjoyed (as did many another devout parson of the time), 
a good dinner, a rubber of whist, a game of quoits or a 
glass of punch. Like wise men of the proverb, they 
relished " a little nonsense ", and were inveterate punsters. 
They punned in plain English, in Scotch dialect and in 
negro dialect. They even punned in Latin and in French — 
with each other and with the learned lawyers who gave 
distinction to Richmond society. Their benevolent acts 
and their humorous sayings and doings made them idols 
of the people and rendered their influence immense in their 
time, and they are among the happiest traditions of the old 
city today. They literally fill a book, for, fortunately, Mr. 



George Wythe Munford who was only a boy when they 
were old men, but in whose home they were intimate, has 
kept them alive in his quaint and now rare volume, The 
Two Parsons. Parson Buchanan was a confirmed old 
bachelor, but devoted to children, especially those of Parson 
Blair. See him as he passes along the street or under 
the trees in Capitol Square — hands clasped behind him. 
He wears a broad-brimmed hat and a wide-skirted black 
coat down to his knees, a high stock, knickerbockers and 
long stockings, silver knee-buckles and shoe-buckles. His 
big pockets contain confections, in case he should meet 
little folk. Parson Blair, strolling beside him, is tall and 
spare with a countenance whose gravity in repose gives 
no hint of what a jolly good fellow he is. His black dress 
is more modern than his friend's and he carries a stick. 
These two meet almost daily, but that does not check the 
flow between them of little notes in rhyme and in prose. 
Here is a sample : 

" Ad Reverendissime Johannem Buchanan. 
Dear Brother: — I received today as a marriage fee, an ele- 
gant turkey. You are so obstinate that you will not take unto 
yourself a rib. I know you cannot eat a whole turkey by 
yourself — come and eat it with me, and I will help you to a 
* side bone ' or a ' hug me close,' and this perhaps will remind 
you of your duty. 

Affectionately, J. D. B." 

Parson Buchanan, like many other Richmond 
gentlemen, had a farm near town — on the site of 
the earlier Bacon's Quarter, on which now stands the R. F. 
and P. freight depot. Buchanan's Spring, in a grove of 
old oaks, was a spot around which centred much recrea- 
tional life. It was Richmond's country club of the day. 
The Barbecue Club met there on pleasant Saturday after- 
noons and, in summer, the Two Parsons — its only honor- 



ary members — pitched quoits there, with John Marshall 
and other grown-up boys, as regularly as they preached 
in St. John's and the Capitol on Sundays. It was the 
resort of the volunteer military companies on festive occa- 
sions. Military service was encouraged in Virginia, for 
though the State had played so important a part in bring- 
ing about ratification of the United States Constitution, 
the Republican party, with Jefferson as its leader (which 
later became the Democratic party), was still uneasy lest 
the new government should become a new tyrant. It was 
watching every move of the Federalists and quietly putting 
the State in position to defend herself with arms, in case 
of inroads on her rights. In 1794, an Armory capable of 
equipping 100,000 men on short notice was erected between 
the canal and the river. Its central building boasted a 
cupola and was jflanked by commodious wings, and its 
parade ground was brave with long rows of cannon and 
pyramids of balls. The Richmond Light Infantry Blues 
— the first company of volunteers to organize — found it 
difficult to complete their ranks because their uniforms 
were too suggestive of British Red Coats ; so they turned 
out in dark blue with white facings and black stocks, with 
long black plumes tipped with white floating from tall 
black leather helmets — a uniform which with slight change, 
makes a gallant show today and has brought the Blues 
thunderous applause in many a parade. They took the 
town by storm and their ranks were quickly filled by the 
elite. Almost as dashing was the Independent Volunteer 
Company of Infantry — in their long blue coats faced with 
red, their white vests, breeches and stockings, their black 
stocks, knee-bands and spatterdashes, their jaunty cocked 
hats set off with black feathers tipped with red, and the 
cockade of the United States. Later on other companies 
were formed, and during the war-scare of 1807, there was a 



home-guard appropriately named the " Silver Greys ", 
composed of men too old for military duty. 

Let us see the Two Parsons making holiday with the 
soldier boys. It is a Fourth of July and the Blues are 
to have a great dinner at Buchanan Spring. The Parsons 
are invited and Captain Murphy calls for them in a carriage 
which is escorted by the company, marching in quick time 
to the place of rendezvous. Arrived there, they stack 
arms and line up, single file, while the Captain in his 
gay regalia, with a black-coated parson on each arm, passes 
down the line that the reverend guests of honor may shake 
hands with each of their hosts. Pretty sight, is it not? 
The Captain makes one more introduction — to the Blues' 
famous blue bowl, which is of India china and holds 
thirty-two gallons. It stands on a table near the spring, 
in the custody of Jasper Crouch, a negro pastmaster in 
mixing contents for such a vessel. After filling it with 
ice to one-third of its capacity, Jasper adds a mixture com- 
posed of four parts of old Cognac brandy to one part of 
Jamaica rum, " a dash of old Murdock Madeira ", some 
fresh lemons and sugar " to taste." Captain Murphy 
warns him that the Parsons "touch lightly" and must 
have something delicate. The Master of the Bowl dips 
each of them a glass, saying : " Mars' Blair, you is a judge, 
is de 'roma de proper flavor?" and "Mars' Buchanan, 
you knows what's good, what you say ? " 

" Couldn't be beat, Jasper," exclaim both, in unison. 

Soon dinner is served. It has been prepared by the first 
of two dusky John Dabneys, as fine artists in their line as 
Jasper Crouch is in his — and as much a part of the history 
of Richmond. The Parsons are seated on the right and 
left of the Captain. The popping of Champagne bottles 
is the signal for the Captain to rise. Ordering, " charge 
your glasses! " he gives the first toast: " The Reverend 



John D. Blair and the Reverend John Buchanan recruit- 
ing officers for a holy army. The bounty they offer for 
devoted service is a blissful future without money and 
without price." (Applause and calls for Parson Blair). 
He, rising, responds : " Gentlemen of the Blues, I glory 
in being a ' recruiting officer for a holy army.' The emblem 
of our flag is peace. In the language of the heavenly host 
at the birth of our Master I give you Peace. * Glory to 
God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward 
men.' And in the language of the Master Himself, I 
will say to the tempestuous waves of strife and sin, ' Peace, 
be still '." (Cheers and calls for Parson Buchanan). He, 
standing, and smiling down the long table into bright, eager 
faces, says, in his musical Scotch tones : " Blues, you 
know the perfect accord that exists between Brother Blair 
and myself, and yet on this occasion we are apparently 
sundered. He's for Peace, I'm for War. Yes, I give 
you War! Uncompromising War against the Devil and 
his hosts of iniquity! " (More cheers and a few bugle 
notes say Amen to this). Other toasts follow and the din- 
ner goes merrily to its end, when up canters Colonel Robert 
Gamble (of Gamble's Hill), at the head of a troop of 
cavalry which has celebrated the day at Goddin's Spring. 
The Governor rides beside him and the black bugler, old 
Fredrick, picturesquely heads the column, playing " Wash- 
ington's March." The newcomers are heartily welcomed. 
They help the Blues to empty their big bowl, then all return 
to town. The companies march to the Capitol Square 
where they fire their evening salute, and so comes " the 
end of a perfect day." 


And now for another side of the picture. Richmond 
was prospering. The population had grown to more than 
5,000 souls. Substantial homes were increasing. Among 
them was the sturdy John Marshall house, which gave 
Marshall Street its name. The Bank of Richmond, which 
gave Bank Street (bounding Capitol Square on the south) 
its name, had been incorporated, by leading citizens 
(including Marshall) — with its unique provision that 
whoever should offer it fraudulent money should " suffer 
death without benefit of clergy." The Mutual Assurance 
Association had opened in a yellow building near the 
Capitol, a few blocks from its present sky-scraper. 
Colonel John Mayo had spanned James River and con- 
nected Richmond with Manchester by a predecessor of the 
present stately Mayo's Bridge. The James River Canal 
had been built (during Washington's presidency) around 
The Falls, and furnished a means of bringing produce — 
including tobacco, upon which much of Richmond's 
present wealth was founded and still depends — down to 
market from the upper country. Later, when the canal 
was finished, it afforded a new means of travel which was 
long a picturesque feature of social life. 

The Penitentiary — suggested by Jefferson as a step 
toward prison reform — had been designed by the Baltimore 
architect, Latrobe, and was under way. Hitherto, from 
jail to gallows had been the rule with criminals convicted 
of serious offenses in Virginia, as in many other states. 
The Square on Franklin Street between First and Second 



Streets, later occupied by Linden Row, was first bought 
for the Penitentiary, but Colonel Thomas Rutherfoord, dis- 
turbed at the prospect of such a neighbor, arranged an 
exchange of the property for the present site of the State 
prison, and saved Richmond's finest residential street. 

In depicting scenes of the thriving town with its young- 
hearted people whose joy of living and satisfaction with 
themselves and one another were unspoiled by sophisti- 
cation or ennui, and among whom the genial Two Parsons 
went about doing good, it would be easy to confine one's 
brush to rose-colored pigments — but the story would be 
only half true. In lives of persons, cities, and nations 
there are often undercurrents of which the outward aspect 
gives no hint until something causes an explosion which 
brings them violently to the surface. In Richmond one 
such undercurrent was party strife. In the spring of 1798, 
Congress passed the Alien Act empowering the President 
to order out of the country " any foreigner whom he might 
believe to be dangerous to the peace and safety of the 
United States," and the " Sedition Act," making it a crime 
to " write, utter or publish " any " false, scandalous and 
malicious writing against Congress and the President " — 
an act regarded as an attempt of the government to destroy 
freedom of the press. These acts caused a tempest of 
hostility throughout the Union which nowhere raged more 
fiercely than in Virginia's capital. They made the fear 
that the new government might exceed its powers a fact 
in many minds, and crystallized political opinion into two 
bitterly antagonistic parties which broke up friendships, 
divided families and inaugurated a carnival of mud- 

The Assembly met in the new Capitol on December 21, 
1798, and, in a stormy session, passed resolutions declaring 
loyalty to the Union and the Constitution but most emphati- 



cally protesting against the objectionable Acts. The 
majority of the Assembly's members, and of the people of 
Virginia whom they represented, were sympathizers with 
the French Revolution and devoted to Jefferson's party, 
notwithstanding that Washington and Marshall were on 
the other side and that even Patrick Henry, who had so 
eloquently opposed the Constitution, had been won over 
by Washington. The resolutions caused intense excite- 
ment and bitter discussion throughout the United States. 
Party feeling rose higher and higher. Federalists and 
Republicans would not patronize the same taverns or walk 
on the same side of the street. Even such great men as 
Jefferson and Marshall developed a scorn of each other 
which lasted the rest of their lives. Jefferson expressed 
fear that the Federalists might create a monarchy by mak- 
ing Adams president for life and then fixing the succession 
in his family. When Monroe, who had become a strong 
Republican, was elected Governor, The Virginia Federalist 
(published in Richmond), declared the day to be one of 
" mourning" and announced : " Virginia's misfortune 
may be comprised in one short sentence — Monroe is elec- 
ted. " Republicans decorated themselves with the French 
tricolor as a badge of their party and increased the dis- 
gust of their opponents. A foul-mouthed, foul-minded 
creature by the name of John Thompson Callender — a 
Scotchman who had been obliged to fly his own country 
for political offenses — drifted to Richmond, and the 
Republicans unable to resist using his facility for calling 
names they were ashamed to call themselves, permitted his 
abusive articles to disgrace their organ — The Examiner. 
He was tried for libelling the President, found guilty and 
sent to jail — but continued to write his letters, which con- 
tinued to appear in The Examiner, dated " Richmond 
Jail." He also brought out while there a volume of his 



book The Prospect Before Us — aided, it was said, by a 
gift of a hundred dollars from Jefferson. Yet Jeffer- 
son, himself, on becoming President, furnished a 
new target for his darts. It is not surprising that so 
much bad feeling should have resulted in several duels, 
though it seems strange that in one of them the challenging 
party should have borne the name of William Penn — who 
slightly wounded his adversary, Colonel John Mayo. 

Bitter as the feeling was, there were sometimes tilts 
in jocular vein. The Two Parsons, though Federalists, 
kept out of active politics. One day they went " arm in 
arm " to dine with Mr. Munford's father, who was a 
Republican — or Democrat, which paradoxical as it sounds 
was then the same thing. Parson Blair's terrier went 
along and no sooner had the party arrived than the dog 
was pounced upon by the Munford cat, which had to be 
taken from the room in order to restore peace. 

" I know," said Parson Blair, "that cat is a Democrat !" 

" To be sure she is," said Mr. Munford " and she has 
had instinct enough to know that Towser was a Federalist. 
She couldn't stand that ! " 

Of course college students were fiery partisans. Those 
of William and Mary, many of whom were Richmond 
boys, debated as to whether or not they should wear mourn- 
ing for Washington's death, on December 14, 1799. A 
majority, though not all, voted for it. In Richmond all 
parties forgot petty quarrels and sorrowed together for 
the great chieftain. Marshall made an oration at the Capi- 
tol, Christmas gaieties were omitted and citizens went 
about in crepe sleeve-bands for thirty days. 

And now another undercurrent comes suddenly to the 
top and unites all factions in measures for preservation of 
li f e and property. As Buchanan's Spring provided a primi- 
tive country club for white folk, so Young's Spring and 

6 81 


the banks of the brook north of town which gave Brook 
Road and " Brook Hill " (the Stewart estate) their names, 
were out-door gathering places for colored folk. There 
they assembled on Sundays for " preachments ", barba- 
cfues, fishing, fish- fries, quoit-pitching and so on. To 
passers-by, hearing their musical chanting of spiritual 
songs, their care-free chatter and laughter, and witnessing 
their merry antics, they seemed the embodiment of con- 
tent and harmlessness, but now and then there were indica- 
tions to the contrary. As early as 1793, a letter from an 
itinerant negro preacher of Richmond, suggesting an in- 
surrection, was picked up in a Yorktown street, and 
one night in the same year, Mr. John Randolph heard some 
talk under his window which boded trouble. Nothing came 
of these mutterings, but as time went on signs that vague 
echoes of the French Revolution and of the insurrection 
at Haiti and San Domingo had reached Virginia negroes, 
and impressed them, caused uneasiness. 

On Saturday, August 30, 1800, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Sheppard's servant, Tom, told Mr. Mosby Sheppard, with 
great agitation, of a plot for an uprising and massacre of 
white people that night, and that Mr. William Mosby of 
The Brook neighborhood was one of three men picked out 
to be the first killed. Mr. Sheppard informed Mr. Mosby 
and they went at once to the Governor and Mayor, who 
arranged to have a troop of cavalry and as many volunteers 
as could be raised meet near The Brook after dark, and 
patrol the road. A terrific storm kept both whites and 
blacks indoors, and doubtless the negroes heard in the 
thunder-claps the voice of a wrathful Jehovah, and saw 
in the hghtning flashes of His anger. On Sunday, how- 
ever, the clouds had rolled away, and one of William 
Mosby's servant women informed him that the plot was 
to be caried out that night. The town was panic-stricken. 



The militia was increased and, guided by a list of names 
given by the widow Sheppard's Tom and her son Philip 
Sheppard's Pharoah, many suspects were captured and 
placed in the jail and penitentiary. When they were tried 
depositions of their own race laid bare the whole ghastly 
plot. " General " Gabriel, as the chief plotter called him- 
self was captured on a schooner in Norfolk Harbour, and 
he and other ring-leaders were publicly hanged. Some- 
of the others were acquitted; some pardoned. Governor 
Monroe rewarded Tom and Pharoah with their freedom — 
paying the Sheppards five hundred dollars apiece from the 
state treasury for the loss of such faithful servants. 

" General " Gabriel was the slave of Mr. Thomas 
Prosser of Brook Road. His plan, to carry out which 
he and others had been enlisting recruits at the Sunday 
gatherings, was made near Prosser's blacksmith shop, in 
the woods and his brother Solomon, the smith, reversing 
the order of prophecy, beat many scj^hes into swords — a 
scythe making two sword-blades. These and anything else 
resembling weapons they could lay hands on, were to be 
given the " soldiers" until they captured the arms at the 
Capitol and Penitentiary. A party of fifty was to set 
fire to the houses in Rocketts, at the east end of town. 
Of course the citizens would run from every direction to 
put the fire out, and Gabriel's army of 5000 negroes 
recruited from Richmond and plantations in neighboring 
counties, would rush on the unprotected homes and public 
buildings. They were ordered to attack first the Capitol, 
the Penitentiary, the Armory, the Governor's Mansion and 
the Governor's person. One of the ring-leaders, named 
John, who worked at the Penitentiary, promised (with the 
aid of recruits secured there), to kill the guards and seize 
the arms stored in the prison ; another, Jupiter, to let the 
" soldiers " into the Capitol by obtaining the key from its 



keeper, so that the arms there could be taken. Another 
engaged to " enHst the warehouse boys " and another sug- 
gested collecting enough negroes to fill Capitol Square and 
drive all of the white people into the river. One too old 
to fight was made happy when employed to mould bullets. 
There were to be both horse and foot soldiers but almost 
everyone's chief ambition (as brought out in the evi- 
dence) was to be a captain, mounted on his dead master's 
horse and kill as many white people as possible. Mr. 
Prosser's man, Will, was to kill his master and have his 
sorrel horse, but was not made a captain because he was 
undersized. Mr. Young's Albert agreed to be a captain 
but said someone under him would have to kill his master 
and mistress. He could not do it because they had 
" raised " him. According to one witness, Isham and 
George were at a Sunday barbecue where fishing below 
The Brook bridge and quoit pitching were going on. 
Asked by Gabriel to join his army, each shaking the 
other by the hand exclaimed : " Here are our hands and 
hearts, we will wade to our knees in blood sooner than 
fail in the attempt." On the other hand, Mr. Gregory's 
Martin had been heard to " curse the black people for the 
plot." Solomon testified that all the people of Richmond 
were to be massacred save those who begged for quarter 
or agreed to join the movement. All blacks who refused 
to join were to be killed. Another witness said that 
Frenchmen (who they hoped would help them), Quakers, 
Methodists and poor old women who had no slaves were 
to be spared. Gabriel was quoted as having declared that 
he would save Mrs. David Meade Randolph and make her 
his queen because she knew so much about cooking. Mrs. 
Randolph was a noted housekeeper and author of a popu- 
lar cookery book. 



" General " Gabriel's plan was (if his plot succeeded) 
to give all the homes of the dead Richmonders to negroes, 
fortify the town, and then carry his warfare throughout 
the state and beyond it. Though his plot failed, the dread 
undercurrent that it bore witness to caused uneasiness long 
afterward. Two years later night watches were appointed 
for each ward, and to any that lay awake shuddering at 
thought of dangers that might be lurking in the dark 
streets, their chant : " Oyez, Oyez, twelve o'clock and all's 
well " (or one, two or three o'clock, and so on), brought 
a comfortable sense of security. 


(1800 — 1820) 


Richmond rejoiced over the election of Jefferson as 
President and his inauguration on March 4, 1801, was cele- 
brated by a great public dinner in the Capitol which he had 
designed. Monroe, who as Governor of Virginia was 
living in the barnlike " palace " soon to be superseded by 
the present " mansion ", responded to a toast. One of 
the last official acts of President Adams had been the ap- 
pointment of John Marshall as Chief Justice of the United 
States, so Virginia had the satisfaction of seeing two of 
her own promoted at once to the seats of the mighty. 
Political views of the two were so opposed that we may 
be sure Gossip pricked up her ears and moistened her lips 
in expectation of interesting clashes. 

To take a glance backward, Richmond owed having 
John Marshall as a citizen to a girl. When he was a 
young veteran of the Revolution studying law at William 
and Mary, he met the daughters of Jacqueline Ambler, of 
Yorktown, at a ball and fell in love at once and forever 
with Mary (or Polly, as he called her), aged fourteen. 
Pages of his college note-book are scribbled over with her 
name bracketed with his — which shows the way his wits 
were wandering when they should have been concentrated 
on the learned Chancellor Wythe's lectures, and is encour- 
aging evidence that boys cannot escape being boys, no 
matter how liberally Nature may have endowed them with 
brains or how parents and teachers may plot to circum- 
vent them. When Richmond became Virginia's Capital 
and Mr. Ambler, as State Treasurer, went there to live, 



Marshall abandoned his plan of settling down in his native 
Fauquier County, as a country lawyer, and with the same 
ardor and constancy which had characterized the gift of 
his heart to Polly Ambler, he gave himself as citizen and 
servant to the city which had become her home. 

He and Polly did not wait to accumulate a competency. 
He had his profession and secured a license to practise it 
in Richmond — Jefferson, who was then governor, signing 
it on January 3, 1787. They had their love, the hopeful- 
ness of youth, and the will to wait for what they could 
not afford. John was a long-legged, broad-shouldered, 
loose-jointed young fellow of twenty-seven, with a supreme 
indifference as to the cut of his clothes or whether the 
long hair under his cocked hat was properly curled and 
queued, but with fine, strong features, luminous brown eyes 
which could be tender or merry or piercing as occasion de- 
manded, and a personality radiating magnetism. Polly was 
a frail, demure girl of seventeen, adoring and being adored 
by this John, when they began the new year and their new 
life of love in a cottage, tiny and plain. After the minister's 
fee had been paid John cheerfully announced that he had 
only " one guinea left." But he and Polly did not have to 
bother about tomorrow's dinner, as, of course, a round of 
entertaining followed the wedding. He was a member 
of the Assembly (then in session), and had his little salary, 
and fees soon came in fast enough for him to live gener- 
ously, not to say recklessly. For this great and good citi- 
zen was a man of the merry time he lived in. 

John Marshall's day began, like that of other Rich- 
mond gentlemen, with an early walk to market — basket 
on arm. It was a sociable practice, rendered more so by 
the hospitable coffee-pot of Mr. Darmstadt — a popular 
Market Square merchant — around which good morning 
greetings were exchanged and bits of news and opinion 



B\ Courtesy of The \'alentinc Museum 
From an old painting 
Photographed for the first time especially for Mrs, Stanard 


were gathered up by John and taken home to Polly along 
with the provender, which sometimes included a live tur- 
key carried in his free hand. And see him on a spring 
day, swinging along, bareheaded, with his cocked hat 
filled with cherries, which he is eating with boyish relish 
and freedom from consciousness of observation or com- 
ment. In the year of his marriage and following years, 
he frankly and indiscriminately entered into his account 
book prices of fuel, food and other housekeeping needs, 
of tickets to the theatre, subscriptions to dances, the Jockey 
Club, St. John's Church, " an Episcopal Meeting ", a " St. 
Taminy Society ", a corporation dinner, a barbecue, a 
Mason's ball, losses at whist, backgammon and the 
races. On a day when he spent twenty-four shillings for 
wood he lost eighteen pounds at whist and on another when 
he spent twenty-six shillings eight pence for beef he lost 
six pounds at backgammon. But he sometimes won, and 
matters were evened up. He was intimate with James 
Monroe — a fellow veteran of the Revolution also learning 
statesmanship in the Virginia Assembly. One entry reads : 
" Col. Monroe & self at the Play, i-io " and another " Pd. 
for Colo. Monroe £i6.i6. " His purse was always open 
and it is pleasant to know that there was enough left in 
it for Polly to have a fifteen dollar bonnet and a six dollar 
pair of silk stockings. But, indeed, the most frequent items 
of all are for her. " Given Polly ", " For Polly ", " sun- 
dries for Polly ", or specific items like " Gloves for Polly " 
are scattered over the pages. 

His salary as legislator could not have gone far. Dur- 
ing the same month (July, 1784), when the yellowed pages 
of his account book testify that he received for " service 
in the Assembly £34.4 " he " lost at whist £19 ", paid for 
" one quarter cask of wine £14 ", and about the same 



amount for expenses of birth of a child to the eighteen 
year old mother. 

Much of the wine mentioned was doubtless used at 
the christening party, six weeks later. Christening parties 
were jolly affairs. A contemporary of John Marshall's 
has handed down through a grandson living in Richmond 
a story of one held at " Summerville ", the home of Judge 
William Fleming, in Chesterfield County, a few miles above 
The Falls. The Fleming family carriage was sent to 
Richmond for the minister to perform the sacred rite and 
the fiddler to play for the dancing afterward, and the story- 
teller saw it return with Parson Buchanan inside and Sy 
Gilliat on the box with the driver. Sy was an important 
member of both white and colored high society. When 
he and his fiddle graced formal occasions he is said to have 
appeared in one of the fifty court costumes of Lord Bote- 
tourt who had in Sy's youth been his master. See him 
scraping away with his bow, in embroidered silk coat, 
waistcoat of faded lilac, small clothes, silk stockings and 
big shoe-buckles. A brown wig with side curls and a long 
queue frames the smiling dark face, propped on the 
singing fiddle. 

In 1788 the Marshall's moved to their new brick house 
at the corner of Marshall and Ninth Streets where their 
menage was for many years an integral part of the simple 
home and neighborhood life that was the foundation stone 
upon which the distinctive character of Richmond was 
builded. And who were the dwellers of the mansions and 
simpler houses — each with its grounds and gardens — who 
gradually formed a neighborhood known as the " Court 
End" of Richmond? Few of them were built as early 
as John Marshall's and, with the migration across Broad 
Street and to the West End, most of them were later 
supplanted by rows of tenements ; but enough of them have 



been saved by becoming homes of public institutions to 
suggest pictures of the rest. 

Across Ninth Street from the Marshalls, in what is 
now a Roman Catholic brotherhood house, lived Alexander 
McRae, and on the same square Benjamin Botts, whose 
part as one of the counsel in the Burr trial was to give his 
name, like that of McRae (of the prosecution) , nation wide 
prominence, and for whom his friends prophesied a bril- 
liant career — little dreaming that fate had written his name 
in the list of those doomed to perish in a burning theatre. 
His son, John Minor Botts, noted politician of a later gen- 
eration, was one of the boys to whom the streets and yards 
of the " Court End " were a playground. The rooftree of 
Polly Marshall's father, Jacqueline Ambler, was a white 
frame house in a green lawn on Tenth Street. On Clay 
Street, near Eleventh lived her sister, Mrs. Carrington, 
a bundle of whose sprightly letters, which have been pre- 
served, were published in the Atlantic Monthly in the 
eighteen-nineties. Her husband, Colonel Edward Carring- 
ton, was a distinguished officer of the Revolution, many 
of whose kinsfolk are helping to carry on the world's 
work in Richmond and elsewhere today. Opposite the 
Amblers, on grounds later occupied by the Baptist 
Woman's College, stood the home of Colonel John 
Harvie. His son. General Jacqueline B. Harvie, married 
a daughter of John Marshall and built for her the mansion 
at Clay and Tenth Streets remembered as the Purcell home, 
which long since fell to rise again as a tenement row. A 
house nearly opposite the Carrington's was the home first 
of the Lewis Burwells and later of the John Amblers. 

Tom Moore, the Irish poet (whose songs were sung 
to every guitar and harpsichord in Richmond), writing 
of a visit there in 1803, says that the most agreeable and 
cultivated men he met were " some Whig lawyers, one of 



whom, Mr. John Wickham, was fit to adorn any court." 
John Wickham came to Richmond from Long Island in 
the last year of the Revolution. He and his wife, whose 
flowerlike beauty has been made a matter of record by the 
artist, St. Memin, were intimate friends of the Marshalls, 
and their home, on Clay and Eleventh Streets, was one 
of Richmond's centres of hospitality. Bob, the butler and 
Bob's wife the cook, contributed handsomely to its reputa- 
tion. Long after Bob had been gathered to his fathers, 
a white-headed man of the colored aristocracy of the time 
— old family servants — was asked why he had stopped 
going to church. He replied that when he could sit beside 
" Marse Wickham's Bob an' Marse Marshall's Jack " he 
liked to " 'tend de meetin' ", but since " 'siety " had declined 
so that he could never know whom he "sot by " he was 
" better off at home." 

Moore was one of the many distinguished guests of 
the Wickham house, which has in later times — with a 
remnant of the charming old garden — been long identified 
with the name Valentine. Mr. Mann S. Valentine, and 
his family were its last occupants as a private home and 
it is by his will that it became The Valentine Museum. 
Among many interesting objects which it houses are some 
of the ideal works of Edward V. Valentine, Sculptor, the 
plaster model from which his famous recumbent statue 
of Lee was made, and the Valentine collection of Indian 
relics. On the square opposite the Wickhams lived Judge 
Philip Norborne Nicholas and Dr. James McClurg. Doctor 
McClurg's house became later the home of Benjamin 
Watkins Leigh, who, with Robert Stanard, Chapman 
Johnson and other lawyers of their time worthily filled the 
shoes of those whose talents and manners had impressed 
Moore. Marshall and Wickham were contemporaries of 
both generations. Mr. Leigh's third wife was Julia 



From the portrait by St. Memin 

. J. D. McCaiice 

Rear view from the garden adorned with lakelet and statuary 


Wickham, daughter of the Wickham house and grand- 
daughter of Doctor McClurg. 

The stately White House of the Confederacy (now 
the Confederate Museum), on Clay and Twelfth Streets 
is still sometimes called the Brockenbrough House by those 
who know that it was originally the home of Dr. John 
Brockenbrough, president of the Bank of Virginia, and 
his wife who was Gabriella Harvie, daughter of Colonel 
John Harvie, and sister of John Marshall's son-in-law, 
General Harvie. She was the widow of Thomas Randolph, 
of " Tuckahoe ", and her grandmother Mary Randolph, 
whom she and Doctor Brockenbrough adopted, was a 
beauty and belle of Richmond and beyond. The brilliant, 
though erratic John Randolph of " Roanoke ", and fair 
Maria Ward, the love of his life, were intimates in this 
house, and when their affair came to its mysterious and 
unhappy end it was to Mrs. Brockenbrough that the young 
girl entrusted her lover's letters, in a sealed packet, with the 
request that after her death it should be burned with its 
seal unbroken. 

The home of Doctor Brockenbrough's brother. Judge 
William Brockenbrough of the Court of Appeals, was a 
simpler house of red brick on Broad Street, across Ninth 
from the Swan Tavern, and on the site of the present 
Smithdeal College. 

Among other lawyers of the coterie admired by Moore 
were Governor Edmund Randolph (the site of whose house 
is now covered by the City Hall) ; U. S. District Attorney 
George Hay, whose house on Ninth Street, opposite Capitol 
Square, was later the home of Judge Stanard, husband 
of Poe's " Helen " ; Daniel Call, whose wife was another 
of " Polly " Marshall's sisters ; William Wirt, a familiar 
figure in the Court End of town, though he made his 
home in a different neighborhood ; witty Jack Baker ; and 



caustic Jock Warden, a Scotchman with features as fas- 
cinatingly grotesque as a battered marble Satyr in an old 
Richmond garden. A quaint story connecting him with 
Wickham, Hay and Wirt has been handed down. The old 
Roman custom of tying hay on the horns of cattle to give 
warning that they were vicious gave rise to an expression 
habet foenum in cornu (has hay on his horns), to describe 
a dangerous person. One day when Wickham and Hay 
were on opposite sides in a law case, Wickham, after an 
argument in which he had the better of his adversary, 
remarked : " You may take either horn of the dilemma 
you choose. " Mr. Warden, with a gleam of enjoyment 
lighting his comical face, leaned toward the equally enter- 
tained but contrastingly handsome Wirt, and whispered : 
Habet foemim in cornu. Mr. Wirt, smiling, scribbled on 
a piece of paper : 

" Wickham one day in open court, 
Was tossing Hay on his horns for sport; 
Jock, rich in wit and Latin too, 
Cried, Habet foenum in cornu." 

On Seventh Street between Clay and Leigh was the 
round-chimneyed, chateau-like house of the financier 
Albert Gallatin, whose marriage to Miss Allegre was one 
of the romances of the day. It later became the home 
of Dr. James D. McCaw, father of Dr. James B. McCaw, 
and later still passed to Mr. Conway Robinson, who built 
on the same lot the house long known as the Presbyterian 
and Methodist Home for Ladies. On Eighth and Leigh 
Streets was the beautiful Hayes-Green-McCance mansion 
and its garden, embellished not only by shrubberies and 
flowers but with a lakelet and statuary, some of which 
may be seen today in the Valentine Museum garden and 
in the garden of the Sculptor's studio — to which they add 
a touch of old-world atmosphere. 



Mr. Hay's home opposite Capitol Square, and its 
chatelaine, the first Mrs. Hay, became conspicuous during 
the " loo " craze which took the feminine half of Richmond 
society by storm in 1805. Mrs. Hay became its most ardent 
votary and her home its headquarters. Gentlemen acting 
as escorts of the ladies of the Court End and other select 
neighborhoods of Richmond joined them in a preliminary 
" dish " of tea and occasionally in their game, but oftener 
enjoyed a quiet rubber of whist, while waiting into the wee 
sma' hours to take the fair gamblers home. They would be- 
gin with a trifling stake, but according to Mordecai, in 
Richmond in Bygone Days, " The pool would sometimes 
accumulate a score or two of dollars and even three or 
four score." He neglects to say how much would be put 
up at the " quiet " game of whist in the next room, but 
continues : " As the contents of the pool increased, so 
did the excitement and anxiety of the players . . . Many 
a charming face would lose its sweetness, many a rosy 
cheek its hue ; many a bright eye would almost be dimmed 
by a rising tear, and many an apparently smooth and 
gentle temper would betray the indications of an approach- 
ing storm. Gentle accents would be changed to loud tones, 
and endearing epithets to harsh and insulting ones. " In 
June, 1806, the appearance in the papers of some satirical 
verses signed " Hickory Cornhill ", gave a sudden check 
to the craze. The ladies could not stand being laughed at. 
During the following year Mrs. Hay's death made a quiet 
season for the circle in which she moved and the game of 
loo was heard of no more. 


And now Richmond again becomes the theatre for a 
national drama, with all America as audience. Richmond 
and its neighborhood and visitors from all directions pack 
every point of vantage, while press and post broadcast 
each word and gesture of the actors as speedily as may be, 
so that, in town and country the continent over, men and 
women pore over their newspapers and letters, breath- 
lessly visualizing the scenes enacted in a pillared Capitol 
on a green hill overlooking a tumbling river — the scenes in 
the trial for high treason of Aaron Burr, late Vice-Presi- 
dent of the United States, and his accomplice in the 
crime of which he either is or is not guilty, Herman 
Blennerhassett. The man cast by Fortune for the princi- 
pal part in the play is of slight physique, distinguished 
bearing and magnetic address. See him make his entrance 
with perfect poise, theatrically attired in rich black silk, 
pains-takingly powdered and queued. His face is a white 
marble mask out of which look big, black, burning eyes 
into the equally brilliant and searching ones of Chief 
Justice Marshall who is to preside over the tribunal that 
will decide his fate. On each side is an impressive array 
of legal talent. For the prosecution there are George Hay, 
Alexander McRae and Csesar A. Rodney; for the defense, 
John Wickham, Edmund Randolph, William Wirt, Benja- 
min Botts, Jack Baker and Luther Martin. The quality 
of many of the host of witnesses is as notable as the 
legal talent. The indictment has been brought in by a 
grand jury with John Randolph of " Roanoke " as fore- 



man. Among clever reporters from far and near is the 
youthful Washington Irving, representing a New York 

Soon after the Burr-Hamilton duel a travelling show- 
man had brought a representation of it in wax works to 
Richmond. It had been exhibited at Washington Tavern, 
opposite Capitol Square, and seen by everybody who could 
raise fifty cents. Now, here was the survivor in person, 
on trial in the Capitol building! According to the stand- 
ards of the time, Alexander Hamilton had given Aaron 
Burr provocation to justify settlement upon " the field of 
honor." Yet in challenging this brilliant and idolized 
statesman, and in firing the fatal shot. Burr had ended his 
own career. His ambition was still alive, however, and 
he had gone west to find fresh means of gratifying it. 
Was his plan merely to settle new lands or was it to divide 
the Union and set up an empire over which he was to reign ? 
Who knows ? Who will ever know ? Whatever his intent, 
the scene of his planning, or plotting, was the island of 
the Irishman, Blennerhassett, in the Ohio River, and thus 
within the bounds of Virginia, so after a flight southward 
— in disguise — and after a dramatic capture, he was 
brought to Virginia's capital for trial. The well-known 
animosity between Judge Marshall, who was believed to 
have a leaning toward Burr, and President Thomas 
Jefferson, who hated him, added a dash of spice to the 
case. At a crucial point in it the Chief Justice summoned 
the President as a witness, but Mr. Jefferson made public 
service an excuse and Marshall did not press the point. 

While Burr and Blennerhassett were out on bail they 
were wined and dined like distinguished guests. One of 
the most interesting figures brought to Richmond by the 
trial was Burr's beautiful and beloved daughter, Theodosia, 
and father and daughter made friends everywhere. Mr. 



Wickham was one of those who gave a dinner to his pict- 
uresque dient. The Chief Justice was a guest and was 
severely criticised for the breach of his usual good judg- 
ment. Blennerhassett kept a diary in which he gossips 
genially of Richmond people, and of kindness he received 
from them, in prison and out of it. On the evening of 
August 6th, he was visited in the penitentiary by Mr. 
Wickham and Mr. Botts of the Burr counsel. He writes : 
" These and Mr. Randolph said all three considered them- 
selves voluntarily engaged as my counsel, without any 
expectation of pecuniary assistance from me. " Mrs. 
Robert Gamble, mother-in-law of William Wirt, took 
him under her wing. Her home on the Hill of the Grey 
Cross was not far from the penitentiary, and she, Mrs. 
Chevallie and Mrs. Edward Carrington sent delicacies to 
supplement his prison fare. When the heat of the dog 
days was at its height " a present of fruit and good butter 
and fine calves' feet jelly was sent, in ice, by Mrs. Gamble." 
When free, on bail, he " drank tea " at the Gamble Mansion 
and also in what was later known as the Allan House, with 
Mrs. David Meade Randolph, then its mistress. She was 
the same whose fame for housewifery caused " General " 
Gabriel to order that her life should be spared by his insur- 
rectionists. Blennerhassett found her a woman of 
" charming manners and masculine mind. " Of course, 
so notable a hostess and homemaker could not have been 
lacking in feminine charm, but as mentality was then 
regarded as peculiarly a man's attribute, masculine was 
the adjective with which to describe it. 

Blennerhassett was intimate, too, at the home of Doctor 
Brockenbrough — who had been a member of the grand 
jury. He says : " Mrs. Brockenbrough is regarded as 
the nearest approach in this town to a savante and bel 
esprit." He was a frequent guest at the Harmonic Society 



where he met — among other social favorites — beautiful 
Sally Conyers and heard her flutelike voice. One evening 
there he " took part in a symphony and a quartette by 

The spring of 1807 had been just opening in Richmond 
when, on March 24th, Burr had arrived under strong 
guard, on the stage from the South, On September 1st, 
after endless examination of evidence, endless battles 
between counsel, endless elaborate opinions of the Chief 
Justice, an ambiguous verdict was brought in : " We of 
the jury find that Aaron Burr is not proved to be guilty 
under the indictment by any evidence submitted to us. We 
therefore find him not guilty." That is to say the prisoner 
was acquitted, but not cleared. His counsel tried to have 
the verdict changed to a simple " not guilty ", but the 
jury was adamant. Not until seven weeks later — October 
20th — did the curtain fall on the final act of the drama, 
when, closing the trial for the second indictment (for " mis- 
demeanor ") brought in by the grand jury, John Marshall 
gave his last opinion in the case. To wit : that there was 
sufficient evidence to commit Burr and Blennerhassett, and 
that they be sent to the State of Ohio where the misde- 
meanor was committed and there be tried, if there should 
be an indictment. He then bade the prisoners goodbye, 
turned his back on the Capitol, and " galloped to the moun- 
tains " for a period of rest at his farm. The prisoners 
set out on their journey to Ohio, but the government there 
never took up their prosecution and to the end of time the 
verdict will stand : Acquitted, but not cleared. 


In the midst of the Burr trial a new excitement arose. 
Strained relations with England had continued to create 
uneasiness, and the outrageous attack in Virginia waters, 
of the British frigate Leopard on the American frigate 
Chesapeake, a number of whose crew were killed and 
wounded was bitterly resented throughout the country. 
In Virginia's Capital a committee of citizens draughted 
resolutions urging the government to avenge the insult, 
and offering their lives and fortunes for defense of the 
country. Virginia bestirred herself to raise her quota of 
the 100,000 troops called for by President Jefferson, and 
the participants in the Burr trial could look from the open 
windows of the Capitol at the soldiers drilling in 
the square. Upon refusal of the British war vessels to 
leave American waters, in accordance with the President's 
proclamation of July 2d, the American troops were ordered 
to Hampton Roads to prevent an invasion. Governor 
Cabell sent the Richmond Cavalry, Captain James 
Sheppard; the Richmond Light Infantry Blues, Captain 
William Richardson; and the Republican Blues, Captain 
Peyton Randolph, to Norfolk — where they remained until 
the ships sailed away, on July 28th. 

The war scare aroused Richmond to the importance 
of ceasing to depend on English goods and in the follow- 
ing June a meeting to encourage home manufactures was 
held in the Capitol, with James Monroe as chairman. The 
Fourth of July was celebrated with fresh enthusiasm that 
year, with a military parade, and a public dinner at Hay- 



market Garden, at which Governor Cabell and other citi- 
zens clad in homespun to show their independence of 
foreign goods, made patriotic toasts. Another benefit from 
the war scare was the bringing together of all political 
factions into one brotherhood of Americans who forgot 
for a time their party and personal dififerences. This was 
presidential-election year and both candidates — Madison 
and Monroe — were Virginians, and were familiar figures 
in the homes, the taverns, the Capitol, and on the streets 
of Richmond. The great Madison was elected. Monroe's 
time was not yet come. In January, 1811, he succeeded 
John Tyler as Governor of Virginia, but for a brief period, 
for in April, President Madison appointed him Secretary 
of State and Lieutenant Governor George William Smith 
became Governor. 


One of the pleasures of Richmond in the fall of i8i i, 
was afiforded by the Placide Stock Company of players 
in the new brick theatre, on Academy Square. A star 
of this company was the young widow, Elizabeth Arnold 
Poe, whose appearance on the street accompanied by her 
two pretty children heightened interest in her charming 
singing, dancing and acting. Her illness and death in 
her lodgings on Main Street removed her from the boards, 
and made Richmond, though not the birthplace, the place 
of earliest recollection and the first home of America's 
greatest literary genius. She was buried in St. John's 
Churchyard and her son Edgar, aged two years and ten 
months, was adopted by John Allan a prominent merchant, 
and his wife, Frances Valentine, whose beauty has been 
preserved by the brush of Sully. 

The Stock Company continued to appear and on Wed- 
nesday night, December 26th, the town was agog over a 
benefit performance for Mr. Placide. Society turned out 
in holiday mood and holiday attire and " all went merry as 
a marriage bell " until the curtain rose for the second act 
of the after piece. Then, instead of the expected lines, 
came the terrifying announcement: "The house is on 
fire ! " After an hour of pandemonium marked by deeds 
of the highest heroism of which human beings are capable 
— when self is forgotten in a passion for service and even 
the instinct for self-preservation is lost — the building was 
a smouldering ash-heap, nearly a hundred of Richmond's 
10,000 inhabitants had met a death of agony and many 



^ J ^2*;' 

2r ' 




From an old print 

Erected in 1814, as a memorial, on the site of the burned theatre 


others were seriously injured. The newly-elected Governor 
and U. S. Senator Abram B. Venable were among the vic- 
tims. Governor Smith was one of those who nobly lost 
his life in the struggle to save others, while Gilbert Hunt, 
negro blacksmith — after bearing a great part in the rescue 
work — escaped. The giant Gilbert and the almost equally 
powerful Dr. James D. McCaw worked together — Doctor 
McCaw seizing woman after woman and dropping her 
from a window to the brawny arms of Gilbert on the 
ground below. When the walls were about to fall Doctor 
McCaw dropped from the window himself, but was lamed 
for life by the fall. When the penitentiary was on fire 
some years later, Gilbert made a ladder of himself and 
assisted in rescuing the prisoners. Robert Greenhow, a 
survivor of the theatre fire left a graphic picture of it in 
a letter. He and his wife and small son were in a box. 
Her first words after the alarm was given, and the last 
he ever heard her speak were : " Save my child ! " Almost 
suffocated with smoke, but with the boy held tight in his 
arms, he was thrown down and trampled on by the crowd. 
Let him tell his own story : " When we were kicked to 
the head of the staircase, finding myself there still pros- 
trate, not being able to rise, I gave my body a sudden 
impulse that carried us over the dead and dying bodies 
and pieces of flaming wood that the steps were crowded 
with, and in that manner, with him in my arms, got 
to the lower floor, when reanimated by the air rushing in 
at the doors, I got up and most miraculously, and unhurt, 
placed myself and child out of danger." He rushed back 
into the burning building to look for his wife, whom his 
brother, Doctor Greenhow, had taken under his care, but 
it was too late. 

Another survivor tells of tearing the flaming garments 
from a woman, wrapping her nude, seared body in his cloak 



and taking her to a neighboring house and to safety. 
Lovely Sally Conyers and her fiance, Lieutenant James 
Gibbon, U. S. N. (son of Major Gibbon, hero of Stony 
Point), were in different boxes. Tradition says they had 
had a misunderstanding and that her escort for the evening 
was his rival but, at the first alarm Lieutenant Gibbon 
made his way to her, clasped her in his arms and tried to 
carry her out of the building. It was not to be, but who 
will dare say that that wild moment held not for them 
a wild joy as — reconciled — they perished together, heart on 
heart and lip on lip. 

The whole country mourned. The United States Sen- 
ate wore crepe arm-bands for a month. Resolutions of 
sympathy poured in from all directions and special ser- 
mons were preached in distant cities. Stricken Richmond 
held a mass-meeting in the Capitol on the day after the 
disaster. It appointed the next Wednesday as a day of 
fasting and prayer, requested the people to wear crepe for 
thirty days, and created a committee with Chief Justice 
Marshall as chairman to collect funds for a monument. 
The Common Hall, as the city council was called, closed 
business places for forty-eight hours, prohibited public 
shows and balls for four months, and ordered the purchase, 
by the city, of the theatre site, " to be consecrated as the 
sacred deposit of the ashes of the victims and enclosed 
within suitable walls of brick." Later, in joint session, 
the Monument Committee, a committee from the Common 
Hall and one from the " Association for the Building of a 
Church on Shockoe Hill ", decided that the Memorial 
should take the form of " a Monumental Church ... to 
be forever kept sacred for the purpose of Divine worship." 
The city appropriated $5,000 as its share of the expense and 
people generally subscribed. The corner-stone was laid 
on August 4, 1812, under direction of Robert Mills of 


Bv CmrteNV ol Mrs. Munlor.l 



Washington — the architect chosen — and the church was 
finished in the spring of 1814. On the monument in its 
porch were inscribed seventy-two names of those whose 
ashes were known to He beneath its floors. It was beheved 
that there were visitors to the city and others who could 
not be identified. The roll includes persons from every 
walk of life, but to Death all men are equals and the Fire 
Fiend is no respecter of persons. In that pyre the ashes 
of human beings of every rank commingled, and on the 
marble the names of all — of governor and " stranger ", of 
senator and carpenter, of brilliant lawyer and bootmaker, 
of author of the play and actress, of beauty dying in the 
arms of the lover striving frantically to save her, of slave 
woman and of free negress are written indiscriminately. 
There is no suggestion of precedence or of classification. 

In November, 181 3, Bushrod Washington, then living 
at Mt. Vernon, and Edmund J. Lee, of Alexandria, 
approached Rev. Richard Channing Moore, D. D., of New 
York, in regard to taking charge of the Episcopal church 
then building at Richmond, with intention of making him 
Bishop of Virginia. In May, 18 14, he was called by the 
Monumental Church and the Diocese, and was consecrated 
Bishop in Philadelphia. In him the circle of Judge 
Marshall acquired a new kindred spirit and Richmond a 
citizen whose influence in the development of what is high- 
est and best in her life was immeasurable. Among pews 
marked with names of their earliest owners are that in 
which Judge Marshall sat with his large family — unlatch- 
ing its door during prayers to enable his long' legs to pro- 
trude into the aisle, and that of John Allan from which 
Edgar Poe — a wistful-eyed lad with chestnut ringlets — 
spelled out the words, " Give Ear O Lord ", in big, golden 
letters above the chancel. Lafayette, from a seat in the 
Marshall pew, on the Sunday he spent in Richmond in 



1824, was one of a long procession of worshippers of every 
class and condition that have since read this legend, which 
still contributes to the atmosphere of solemnity with which 
all who visit Monumental Church are impressed. To 
appreciate the sacrifices which were brought into the fabric 
of this interesting memorial it must be remembered that it 
was erected during the hard times which always accompany 
war. Its construction was almost exactly coincident with 
the war of 181 2 — having been projected a short time 
before that war was declared and finished a short 
time before peace was proclaimed. 


THE WAR OF 1812 

In the summer of 1809 Mr. Thomas Rutherfoord, re- 
turning home to Richmond with his wife and daughter in 
their family carriage from the White Sulphur and Sweet 
Springs, spent a day at Monticello. Monroe was visiting 
there, and Mr. Rutherfoord heard Jefferson say to him: 
" We shall never be on good terms with England until 
we have had a brush with her." When, on June 18, 1812, 
war was, at last, declared, and President Madison asked 
for volunteers. Governor Barbour called for Richmond's 
quota and Richmond responded. On the Fourth of July 
the Governor, in uniform, read the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence and President Madison's message to a great 
gathering of the people, including the military companies, 
in Capitol Square, and that night every house in the 
intensely patriotic city was illuminated. The Twentieth 
Regiment, with two Richmond companies, was ordered to 
Albany to protect the northern and western frontiers and 
the Square became a busy scene with people preparing 
tents, knapsacks and so on, for the soldiers, in addition 
to the drilling. Outside of town the powder mills worked 
overtime. In December, news that the English fleet was 
threatening Norfolk and might come on to Richmond 
created great excitement. The Governor ordered the 
Nineteenth Regiment to Norfolk, many of whose citi- 
zens took refuge in Richmond. A committee was 
appointed to find them homes and a home guard consisting 
largely of Revolutionary veterans was formed. Rich- 
mond was the rendezvous for troops from the great west- 



ern section of Virginia marching toward Norfolk and the 
sea-coast, and the fields beyond town were covered 
with tents. 

In the midst of war time Richmond was gay. A year 
had gone by since the theatre fire and Mr. Rutherfoord 
noted in his diary that there never was a winter of greater 
festivities than that of 1812-13. And the city was going 
forward. A public library and a marine insurance com- 
pany were included in the new enterprises and the Com- 
piler — Richmond's earliest daily paper — was born, to 
die in infancy. The Virginia Bible Society, founded in 
July, 1 81 3, showed a more robust constitution, and is 
still active. Two new stage lines were started. Coaches 
over one of them left Richmond daily, each one arriving 
in Washington on the third day later. Others left Wash- 
ington daily, arriving in Richmond on the third day later 
— six days for the round trip. The line between Rich- 
mond and Lynchburg required a week for the round trip. 
The stages kept innumerable taverns going and many 
stories have been told of this informal kind of travel and 
of wayside hospitality. On the Lynchburg route, not far 
from Richmond, was " Midlothian " — the private resi- 
dence of Abraham S. Wooldridge, a major of the War of 
1812. His hospitality was so proverbial that occasionally 
a stage driver would suggest to his passengers to stop by 
" Midlothian " for a julep. A hearty welcome from the 
Major always added flavor to the fragrant refreshment. 

In June, 181 3, came the news that the British had 
attacked Craney Island at the mouth of Norfolk harbor 
and would come on to Richmond. The alarm rang out 
from the Bell Tower, and was boomed by cannon. Every 
citizen who could bear arms was called into service and 
" old men of sixty were seen stepping into the ranks." 
The Blues and Rifles overflowed with recruits and in four 


THE WAR OF 1812 

hours a company of Flying Artillery was organized, with 
William Wirt as Captain. A faded old letter says : " The 
ladies were busy sending good food to camp for the sol- 
diers and inviting all who could be spared to dine." (How 
history repeats itself !) Fort Powhatan and Fort Malvern 
Hill were garrisoned and Camp Holly Springs — Gen. J. 
H. Cocke, Commander — was established to defend 
Virginia's Capitol, if need be. The cloud passed over, 
but war times made hard times. The blockade made it 
impossible to ship tobacco, flour and other produce abroad, 
and they became a drug on the market. Dr. Thomas 
Massie, an army surgeon, with a bad case of blues, writing 
from Richmond to his father in Nelson County, says: 
" The best mode of disposing of any kind of grain at 
present is to distil it into whiskey, that liquor, I am in- 
formed being worth 90 cents per gallon. Wheat and 
flour are almost worth nothing at present. . . . Military 
service, rotting crops and heavy taxes will put their (the 
people's) democracy to the test." 

Depression in Richmond was increased by repeated 
successes of the British in the northwest, but publica- 
tion in the Enquirer of September 21, 1813, of the epi- 
grammatic message, " We have met the enemy and they 
are ours ", in which Commodore Perry announced his vic- 
tory at Lake Erie brought great rejoicing. Mayor 
Greenhow appointed a day of thanksgiving, when ser- 
mons were preached by Parson Blair at the Capitol and 
Parson Jacob Gregg at the Baptist " Meeting House." 

In March, 1814, the Enquirer announced the threat 
of Massachusetts to " secede and thus destroy the Union " 
because the war with England was not brought to an end. 
" How unlike Virginia ", exclaimed the shocked editor, 
" who flew to the aid of Massachusetts when, in '76, the 
British made their attack on Boston ! " 



In the summer of this year when the British entered 
Washington and burned the Capitol and the White House, 
and also did much damage in the neighborhood of the 
birthplaces of Washington and Lee, in the Northern Neck 
of Virginia, it was again rumored that they were on their 
way to Richmond. The Blues (under Captain Murphy, 
whom we have seen making holiday with the Two 
Parsons), Captain Stevenson's Artillery, and Captain 
Taylor's Rifles, were called into service, and Virginia's 
sons flocked from every direction to defend their beloved 
Capital. In companies and singly they came — " the moun- 
taineer with his rifle, the fisherman with his gun and the 
citizen with his arms." On horseback and on foot they 
journeyed through the blistering heat — some barefooted, 
with their shoes hanging over their guns. Many heads 
of families took their wives and children out of town — 
some of them to the Springs. On July i6th. Doctor 
Massie wrote : " I do not think it improbable that Rich- 
mond will be a pile of ashes before the fall." On Septem- 
ber 5th, he recorded : " The town is in consternation, most 
of the inhabitants gone." And on September 13th: 
" Money scarce. The country is almost in a state of desti- 
tution." Again the cloud passed over, but the militia 
and volunteer companies kept Richmond surrounded until 
December, when reports of peace negotiations at Ghent 
brought relief from the anxiety. News of Gen. Andrew 
Jackson's great victory at New Orleans (on January 8th), 
followed by the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent (on 
February 17th), and President Madison's proclamation 
of peace (on February 18, 1815), brought a succession of 
joys. At the order of Mayor Thomas Wilson, the Capitol 
and all the houses in town were illuminated on the night 
of March ist, and there was a mile-long procession of sol- 
diers and citizens carrying transparencies. There was 


THE^WAR OF 1812 

another demonstration, but of a social character, to wel- 
come Gen. Winfield Scott to the city in December 1817. 
During his visit the young general captured the heart of 
one of Richmond's belles — Maria Mayo, daughter of 
Col. John Mayo of " The Hermitage ", where their mar- 
riage in the early spring was a fashionable event. General 
Scott failed to hold Richmond's affection to the end of 
of his life — but that is another story. 

Among the first signs of progress to follow in the 
wake of peace was a steamboat on James River to ply 
between Richmond and Norfolk. She made a trial 
trip to Warwick, with a party of ladies and gentlemen 
aboard, on June 22, 1815. "With wind and tide, she 
moved at the rate of four miles an hour ", according to 
the newspaper account, but on the return trip against the 
tide — made only two miles. " She turns, she runs back- 
ward as well as forward with wonderful ease. All those 
who saw the splendid stranger hailed her with enthusi- 
asm ", announces the delighted paper. 

A forward movement of the following year was the 
beginning of the present public school system, when a 
" Lancasterian school ", named for the father of public 
schools in England, was established opposite the jail. In 
it " children of the wealthy were taught at the most reason- 
able rates and the children of the poor gratis." The 
city gave the lot with $5000 for a building, and an endow- 
ment of $600 a year, and the people added liberal sub- 






Now in Richmond, with a population of something 
over 12,000 people, nearly half of whom are negroes, fol- 
lows scene after scene telling a story of activity and devel- 
opment in business, civic and social life. There are 
set-backs, but the general tendency is toward growth. New 
mercantile enterprises are started to succeed or to fail, 
new discoveries and inventions are tried out, new churches 
and schools built. Meetings in behalf of public edu- 
cation and of organizations philanthropic, cultural and 
recreational are held. As time goes on, many whose faces 
have so long been familiar that they seem as much a part 
of the place as its houses and trees are missed, and the 
mournful pageant of hearse and hack announces that they 
have passed out forever. New actors fill their places and 
it would seem that every trace of those who have made 
their exit would soon be lost. But Memory persists in 
living on and entrusts to Tradition curiously indestructible 
stuff. Newspapers, fluttering in the grasp of eager readers 
one day to disappear the next, like yesterday's butterflies, 
come out of their hiding places in the course of time — 
limp, cafe-mi-lait colored, and perhaps dilapidated, but still 
decipherable, and persons and events buried in their col- 
umns come forth and live again. The attic of an old house 
about to be demolished gives up a small sole-leather trunk 
which holds a bundle of letters designed by those who 
penned them for prompt destruction. Their long since 
broken seals are crumbling, the faded and rotting ribbon 
which binds them breaks at a touch, they are carefully 
unfolded and smoothed out and their dim writing exposes 



all they have to tell to the eyes of a new generation. A 
panel between the pigeon-holes of an ancient desk is acci- 
dentally moved, revealing a secret drawer. Within lies 
a diary kept for the private perusal of its writer. Like 
the newspapers and the letters, it throws a flood of light 
on long forgotten scenes from real life, and raises from 
the dead the men and women who enacted them. 

Such sources, and others, show that more or less 
exciting incidents broke the normal routine of life in 
Richmond from time to time. In the summer of 1820, 
the city opened its hearts and homes to refugees from 
the Norfolk yellow fever scourge. Three years and a 
half later its ready compassion was touched by an appeal 
from much further away. Lord Byron was the poet of 
the hour. Stirred by his trumpet call : 

" The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece, 
Where burning Sappho loved and sung." 

and by other poems written to arouse interest in the 
struggle of the Greeks to free themselves from Turkish 
despotism, Richmond people gathered in the Capitol 
(where the General Assembly was in session), and with 
Linn Banks, Speaker of the House, as president of the 
meeting, and Thomas Ritchie, founder of the Enquirer, 
as secretary, passed resolutions of sympathy for the 
oppressed people and named a committee to raise money 
for their cause. 

The year was 1824, the month was October and the day 
(which had been eagerly awaited) was the 26th — a cold, 
grizzly, drizzly day, but the wooded river-banks and the 
embowering foliage within town glowed with autumnal 
color and smiling faces of home folk and visitors who 
packed every nook and corner testified that Richmond 
was filled with a kind of sunshine which did not depend 


s 2 

.i F 

r i. 

a 9 


on weather. Along Ninth Street from Main to Broad 
was a series of evergreen arches. In Capitol Square were 
other arches bearing the names of Washington, Lafayette, 
Nelson, Green, Morgan, Wayne and Mercer. One of 
them was at the Grace Street gate, one at the Tenth 
Street gate, another at the gate leading to the Governor's 
Mansion; the rest were in the middle of the Square. On 
either side of Lafayette's arch stood an obelisk inscribed 
with the names of his compatriots of the Revolution. 
Down on Main and Twelfth Streets the courtyard of 
Eagle Hotel had been floored over and canopied with can- 
vas, providing a huge ball room. Approach to it was 
under an arch, erected by " the Ladies." A suite of 
rooms for the city's guest of honor had been engaged in 
the hotel, and twenty additional rooms for other officers 
of the Revolution. Further down town " the military and 
an immense multitude " thronged the wharves and the 
heights overlooking them. 

The Norfolk steamer at last ! On deck a white-haired 
man of soldierly bearing, clad in cocked hat and shorts 
was the centre of a group of Richmond's best who had 
met and boarded the steamer a few miles down the river, 
and with whom he chatted with animation of expression 
and gesture characteristic of the French. As he stepped 
upon the landing and was escorted to a carriage drawn 
by four prancing white horses, the artillery saluted and 
the people cheered. In the carriage with him were Hon. 
John C. Calhoun and two of the welcoming committee. 
The Fayette Guard marched in front of the carriage and 
then came young George Washington Layafette — his car- 
riage drawn by " four splendid greys." Other carriages 
filled with dignitaries, officers of the Revolution, and so 
on, came next. The artillery followed and a " pretty- 
looking company of small boys dressed in hunting shirts 



and styling themselves the ' Morgan Legion' ", brought 
up the rear. 

The procession, followed by " a numerous mass " of 
people on horse or afoot halted at Union Hotel, under a 
double arch garlanded with evergreens, at each of whose 
four bases stood a living statue — a beautiful young girl. 
Then, on to the " Eagle " ! Here General Lafayette was 
greeted by forty officers of the American Revolution — 
his comrades in arms of forty-odd years before. 

At five o'clock the guests and their hosts sat down 
to a great public banquet — Benjamin Watkins Leigh pre- 
siding. It was a feast of sentiment as well as good food and 
drink. Reminiscence held full sway — now growing ten- 
der, now merry, as the company was led back through more 
than two score years. Rattling good stories made them 
hold their sides, thrilling bits of romance and flavorsome 
morsels of gossip were drawn from Memory's store- 
house. Toasts were drunk in mellow old wine. " Health 
to our great friend and beloved guest," was given with a 
shout. " The memory of Washington " in muffled tone — 
while all stood. Lafayette himself gave " The State of 
Virginia: The City of Richmond ", in his quaint, slightly 
broken English. Not until eleven o'clock did the diners 
rise after six hours at what was to go down in history 
as the most memorable and longest dinner ever given 
in Richmond. 

Next day there was a great parade of military, mem- 
bers of the Cincinnati, and citizens, including all of the 
local ministers. Two faces were missed — Parsons Blair 
and Buchanan had died within a few weeks of each other 
somewhat less than three years before. Sidewalks, porches 
and windows along the line of march were filled 
with happy faces. " Handkerchiefs and hats waved on 
all sides like the leaves of a forest in a gale of wind and 



the eager shouts of welcome filling the air rose high above 
martial music." At the City Hall, Mayor John Adams, 
on one side of whose seat hung a portrait of Washington 
on the other side one of Lafayette (which may be seen to- 
day in the present City Hall, on the same site) made an 
address of welcome. He saluted the hero of the hour as 
" a fellow citizen of Virginia and a brother by adoption." 
Lafayette's response was brief but eloquent. He was next 
taken across the street into the Capitol Square where many 
of his old comrades awaited him. Chief Justice Marshall 
was their spokesman. Lafayette replied : 

" My dear companions-in-arms, I had anticipated the 
pleasure to meet many of you in the Metropolis of 
Virginia, and I enjoy it with delight." He reminded them 
that " the four gallant Virginia Lines — Virginia Conti- 
nentals, riflemen, volunteer corps and militia " were his 
first command in the Army. Some of these old men, as 
well as many of the women and children who crowded 
about him were greeted with the picturesque French kiss 
first on one cheek then the other. The large number of 
ladies whom having been " kissed by Lafayette in '24, my 
dear!" surrounded with an aura of romance distinctly 
perceptible to themselves and almost visible to others, long 
contributed a sentimental tinge to Richmond's atmosphere. 

Lafayette and the other Revolutionary veterans were 
the dinner guests of Governor Pleasants, at the Mansion, 
and refreshments were brought out and distributed among 
the multitude in the Square. After dinner the General 
reviewed the troops from the porch of Mr. James Lyons 
and at night drove through a town brilliant with illu- 
minations and fireworks, to the theatre. The audience 
greeted him with thunders of applause and the orchestra 
played " Auld Lang Syne " with " thrilling effect." 

During the next morning he received about five hun- 



dred Sunday School children in the " Eagle's " big tent, 
smiling benignly into eyes soft with worshipful wonder 
and brushing pure cheeks with his lips, and afterward 
visited Harmony Hall School. Later in the day he drove 
in the carriage with its four white horses to the Tree Hill 
races, and dined with the Jockey Club. 

Dear to the heart of the early Virginian was horse- 
flesh — especially thoroughbred, racing horseflesh. Gentle- 
men of highest social standing and greatest wealth were 
proud owners of noted racers, and their rivalry as to the 
appearance and behavior of their fleet-footed darlings 
added to the excitement and fascination of this most popu- 
lar sport of the period. Racing was, indeed, the old time 
Virginian's base-ball, foot-ball and golf combined. It 
has been written that the death of the famous thorough- 
bred, " Diomed ", in 1808, caused almost as much mourn- 
ing as that of General Washington in 1799. During the 
first two or three decades of the nineteenth century Rich- 
mond was the greatest racing centre of the United 
States. To its three tracks — Tree Hill, Fairfield and 
Broadrock — came, in spring and fall the most famous 
horses from all parts of the country. Here ran " Sir 
Archy", "Florizel", "Wrangler", "Lady Lightfoot ", 
" Virginian ", " Sir Charles ", " Flirtilla ", " Sir 
Henry ", " Bonnets o' Blue ", " Boston " and many others 
of almost equal note. For years the most widely known 
and successful American turfman of his time was William 
R. Johnson, of Chesterfield County (across the river 
from Richmond) and his best horses were constantly 
seen on the Richmond tracks. 

The principal race — four mile heats — of the day on 
which Lafayette was at Tree Hill, was won by " Virginia ", 
one of Mr. Johnson's racers. According to a story handed 
down by an eye witness, the winner was, after the race, led 



up and put through her paces for the benefit of the dis- 
tinguished guest, who was told by her owner that hence- 
forth her name would be " Virginia Lafayette." 

That night the General was guest of honor at the 
ball in the Eagle's improvised ballroom, which floral and 
evergreen decorations, banners and twinkling lights had 
turned into a fairyland, and whose floor of 8000 square 
feet was crowded. On Friday, October 29th, Petersburg 
gave him a joyful reception. On Saturday he was back in 
Richmond, at a dinner given by the Masons of Richmond 
and Manchester — " Right Worshipful John Marshall " 
presiding. On Sunday, sitting in the Marshall pew at 
Monumental church, he heard Bishop Moore preach, and 
doubtless held a reception on the roomy church porch 

A few years later Richmond heard with delight that 
France had become a republic and that the Marquis de la 
Fayette was once more at the head of the French National 
Guards, and on September 11, 1831, gave vent to its satis- 
faction with (of course) a military parade and salute, 
an address at the Capitol (by Wyndham Robertson) and 
an illumination at night. 

None enjoyed the festivities in Lafayette's honor more 
than the ebon-skinned coachmen whose part it was to 
convey their " white folks " thither. The delightful phys- 
iognomy and genial smile of one of these at a later period 
in his life, has been preserved. On that memorable 28th 
of October 1824 " Uncle Henry " — then in his prime — 
drove his " ole Marster " and " Mistiss " — the Mann S. 
Valentines — to the races and ball, in the family carriage. 
In his old age his " young Marster " modelled a bust of 
him now to be seen in the Valentine Museum. 

It has been said of America's child-race, the negroes, 
that they will follow men marching to a band anywhere, 



at any time. The love of Richmond, white and black, for 
processions was doubtless evidence of its freshness of 
spirit — its unsophistication. On an August Friday of 
1827, its people lined Main Street to witness the most 
gruesome bit of pageantry in the city's history. Three 
mysterious figures, hooded and gowned in purple and with 
ropes around their necks were led from the county jail 
on lower Main Street to a wagon holding three coffins. 
They were Spanish pirates under sentence of death. Each 
seated upon the grim box in which his body was soon 
to lie, the purple-shrouded figures were driven, under mili- 
tary guard, through town to the penitentiary where the 
gallows waited, and where the encircling hills provided 
a gallery for a great throng of spectators. 


The Constitutional Convention was the absorbing 
event of the year 1829, and drew many visitors not only 
from the neighborhood and beyond, but from distant 
states, " on to Richmond." Newspapers had made the 
names of the delegates known to the whole country. 
Among them were two men who had been United States 
Presidents (Madison and Monroe) ; the great Chief Jus- 
tice; one who was to be a president, and others who had 
been, were, or were on the road to be members of the 
United States Senate and House of Representatives ; gov- 
ernors of Virginia; judges of the United States Supreme 
Court and of the Virginia Court of Appeals, and lawyers 
of national reputation. 

The spread of Virginia's population to the westward 
and the growing feeling of democracy had, almost from 
the time of the Revolution, caused demand for a conven- 
tion to bring the State Constitution into accord with new 
ideas. Its opening session was in the Hall of the House 
of Delegates, on October 8th, but most of its later ones 
were held in the old First African Church, at the corner 
below Monumental. There it sat while the soft winds 
of Indian summer stripped the trees leaf by leaf of their 
gay autumn vesture until they were black and bare, and 
through days of winter sunshine and winter rain and 
winter snow until January 14, 1830, when the new Con- 
stitution — ratified by the people at the spring elections — 
was adopted. There was present one man, and one only, 
who had helped to frame both Virginia's first Constitution, 
in 1776, and later, the Constitution of the United States 



— the snowy haired James Madison. He was now the 
first speaker — rising to nominate James Monroe to be 
President of the Convention. Monroe was unanimously 
elected and Madison and Marshall ceremoniously escorted 
him to the chair. Later, impaired health made it necessary 
for him to resign and Philip P. Barbour succeeded him. 
The graphic letter of an eye witness aids newspaper 
reports in letting us see, at this late day, the new Constitu- 
tion in the making. Madison was " a small man of ample 
forehead and some obliquity of vision . . . His dress 
was plain his overcoat a faded brown surtout." It is a 
healthy thing for a period which seems to think that 
only youth must be served, and to have forgotten how 
little true worth depends on externals, to read that " When 
he rose a great part of the members left their seats and 
clustered around the aged statesman like a swarm of bees." 
His voice was extremely low but when he spoke " a pin 
might have been heard to drop." Monroe — always a 
homely man — was " very wrinkled and weather-beaten, 
ungraceful in attitude and gesture ", but none the less 
revered. Judge Marshall, " tall, in a long surtout of blue 
and with an eye of fire ", appeared " revolutionary and 
patriarchal." He " possessed the rare faculty of con- 
densation; he distilled an argument down to its essence." 
Governor Giles " wore a crutch." His style of oratory 
was " conversational — no gestures — no effort, but . . . 
his words were like honey pouring from an eastern rock." 
The Convention was divided into two parties — the 
eastern or conservative, led by Benjamin Watkins Leigh, 
and the western, or radical, by Chapman Johnson — two 
of the most brilliant lawyers and orators of their time. 
Leigh was slight, graceful and handsome, Johnson of 
noble and commanding presence and strikingly benevo- 
lent countenance. The Constitution was taken up section 






By permission 


by section and the debates on the amendments were for 
the most part contests between the two parties — between 
East and West — between conservatism and advancing 

Hugh Rose Pleasants — a newspaper writer and man 
of letters of the day, and brother of John Hampden 
Pleasants — writing in the Sotithern Literary Messenger, 
calls John Randolph of " Roanoke " the " hero " of the 
Convention. " He was known to be an unrivalled orator ", 
but as yet, he had been heard by comparatively few Vir- 
ginians. His career had been national and he had never 
been in the State Legislature. " The anxiety to hear him 
among all classes of persons, strangers as well as citizens, 
amounted almost to phrenzy. . . It was expected that he 
would answer Chapman Johnson's first great speech and 
a crowd thronged the Capitol such as we never saw there 
before, and never expect to see again. Ladies were abso- 
lutely packed into the galleries and the spare seats in the 
Hall. There was no room even to breathe." But Randolph 
did not speak. At last, on a day when " nobody expected 
it — when the lobby and the galleries were almost deserted 
— Randolph rose slowly from his seat and pronounced 
the words, ' Mr. President ! ' . . . Where the crowd 
came from or how they got intelligence that Randolph had 
the floor we could never learn. But it poured in like the 
waters of the ocean when the dyke gives way. Persons 
who were on the streets, afterwards informed us that 
they saw persons running from all quarters, and not being 
able to find where they were running to, fell in with, and 
assisted to form the multitude that streamed to the Capitol 
.... The unaccountable brilliancy of Air. Randolph's 
eyes — their petrifying effect upon those on whom he chose 
to fix them, in anger or disdain, the melody of his inimi- 
table voice — his tall unearthly looking figure, and the 



shape of his bony finger have been described; but no man 
who never heard him and saw him speak can form the 
sHghtest conception of what he was." 

Among the group gathered about the reporters' table 
listening intently and scribbling busily, were two Richmond 
men widely known throughout Virginia and far beyond 
its borders — men of independent mind and interesting per- 
sonality. They were John Hampden Pleasants, editor of 
The Whig, and Thomas Ritchie, Sr., founder of the demo- 
cratic paper, The Enquirer. Both were prominent socially 
and powerful politically, both were stubbornly partizan — 
and of course they were natural enemies. As they sat at 
the same table making notes for their respective papers 
interest in them would have increased a thousand fold if 
any seer of the future could have arisen to foretell a day 
when one of them would die by the hand of a son of 
the other. 

On the night of St. Valentine's eve, 1830, a month less 
a day after adjournment of the Convention, an echo of 
the noise it made in its world was heard in the name of the 
packet boat Constitution, which arrived from Lynch- 
burg with twenty shivering but happy passengers. 
Richmond welcomed, warmed and fed them, and joyfully 
celebrated the successful beginning of canal transporta- 
tion between the two cities. Two years later the Legisla- 
ture granted to the James River and Kanawha Company 
a charter to connect the river James with the Ohio. A 
committee, with Chief Justice Marshall as chairman, was 
appointed to dispose of stock, and the Bank of Virginia, 
the Common Hall and citizens of Richmond, together sub- 
scribed to more than a million dollars worth. 

The canal tow-path was destined to become redolent 
of love's young dreams and doubtless of lover's quarrels, 
too. Lying between the river — dashing boisterously over 



rocks and swirling around green, willow- fringed islets (on 
the left) and (on the right) the untroubled waters of the 
canal, silently flowing beneath a bluff overhung by trees 
and festooned with a tangle of vines through which 
gleamed, in season, a profusion of wild violets, heartsease 
and blue-eyed periwinkles, it provided a picturesque and 
romantic walk. This was for many years as favorite a 
resort of Richmond's belles and beaux as the fashionable 
elm-shaded promenade along the elevated and grassy river- 
bank, for some distance down stream from Fifteenth 
Street — now in the heart of the busy wholesale and manu- 
facturing section — had been at the beginning of 
the century. 


Richmond had now grown to over 16,000 inhabitants, 
but more than half of them were negroes — a fact which 
contributed largely to the alarm created by the " Nat 
Turner Insurrection ", in Southampton County. Turner 
was a negro preacher under whose leadership sixty- four 
white people, for the most part women and children, were 
murdered by members of his race who had been to a camp 
meeting on a Sunday night in August, 1831. The whole 
State was thrown into a panic, for no one knew how gen- 
eral the plot might be. Richmond sent troops to South- 
ampton and organized a home guard to patrol the streets 
at night during the absence of the military. 

On December 29, 1831 — only four months after the 
insurrection — the Virginia Historical Society was formed 
in the Capitol (with a constitution drawn by George 
Tucker, and with John Marshall as president and Gover- 
nor Floyd vice-president) and the meeting may serve as 
a sign post that normal conditions had been estabUshed for 
the time being. 

But the Negro question had long been causing anxiety 
in Richmond and the end was not yet. The difficult ques- 
tion of abolition was being agitated and anti-slavery 
societies were sending their literature to the negroes. In 
1835, Richmond's uneasiness was increased by reports of a 
serious insurrection in Mississippi. " Incendiaries ", as 
northern abolitionists who urged the slaves to desperate 
deeds were called, were busy, but in Boston, New York 



and other northern cities meetings condemning their prac- 
tices were held. Richmonders made a bonfire of some of 
their pamphlets, on Main Street in front of the post-office. 
As early as 1824, a Colonization Society had been 
organized (with Chief Justice Marshall, president, and 
Governor James Pleasants, vice-president) as an auxil- 
iary to the American Society to provide homes on the 
eastern coast of Africa for free negroes who, strange as 
it may seem, were held in contempt by slaves, basking in 
reflected importance varying in degree according to the 
social prominence of their owners. At the time of the 
Nat Turner Insurrection nearly 2000 of Richmond's dark 
skinned population were free negroes. Many of these 
were finally settled in the land of their forefathers. In 
one year — 1853 — the Virginia Colonization Society sent 
243 of them to Liberia and raised $10,925 — the largest 
amount subscribed for the purpose in any state. 

In September of the year 1833, a cholera epidemic 
brought woe and death and paralyzed business. Those 
who could flee to safety did so, but all the physicians and 
clergymen remained at their posts in the suffering city, 
ministering to stricken humanity — a great majority of 
whom were of the dark race. 

In every home in Richmond two men, the family pas- 
tor and the family physician received into sympathetic 
ears all the joys and sorrows of the house and were on 
intimate terms with the skeletons in its closets. 

In them Democracy found its fullest expression. Since 
bodies stripped of finery were simply bodies, and souls with 
pretense laid by were simply souls, people were simply 
people, and the doctors and the parsons ministered to all 
alike — white and black. The sunshine they carried about 



with them was infectious. At the sight of their faces, 
the sound of their voices and their warm hand-pressure 
the sufferer took heart. If his pain was not at once les- 
sened it became, at least, easier to bear, and when at the 
end of the visit the little stories of which both doctor and 
minister had an inexhaustible supply, were brought out, 
the hearer, like " Tommy Grace " with the " pain in his 
face ", was sure to laugh and find himself growing better. 



In the year 1832 Richmond ceased to depend on wells 
and springs for its drinking water and saw the completion 
of a pumphouse and reservoir. True, the then unfiltered 
James River product looked more like wine than water, 
but having it piped into homes soon made possible in 
Richmond that interesting novelty and aid to comfort and 
civilization — the bath-tub. 

In November 1833, consternation caused by the great 
shower of stars which negroes picturesquely termed 
" snowing fire " was followed by the less spectacular 
financial panic which lasted through the following year. 
It was one of those periods when money — or the lack 
of it — was more discussed in homes and taverns than 
ailments or the weather. Relief came at length and a 
new but cheerful epidemic made its appearance — one of 
railroad building. Soon amazing iron horses came clang- 
ing their bells and shrieking and snorting demoniacally 
into town, with strings of stuffy little coaches clattering 
after them. 

Scene : A dark stairway in any house in Richmond, 
up which children light themselves to bed with sputtering 
candles in brass candle sticks, and singing: 

" Little Nan Etticoat, in a white petticoat, 
The longer she stands, the shorter she grows." 

Scene : Any thoroughfare in Richmond after night- 
fall. Enter citizens shouting: " Let us have light, now 
we grope in darkness through our rugged and dangerous 
streets. Let us have light ! " 



Not until 1846 did the City Council listen to the 
people's complaint. Plans were then set afoot for City 
Gas Works and the passing bell of " Nan Etticoat " began 
to toll. 

In the following year the first telegram ever received 
in Richmond came from Washington, and the city mar- 
velled almost as solemnly and as long as it would today 
if it should have a message from Mars. 

In 1838 Richmond indulged in a get-rich-quick dream. 
Everybody's spare cash (and much that could not be 
spared) was turned into mulberry trees and silk-worm 
eggs, with the certainty that a crop of silk-worms equal 
to a gold mine would be the result. Their gain was in 
wisdom instead of coin. The vaccination was not lasting 
enough, however, to give immunity from the real gold 
fever when Richmond (which had then a population of 
30,000) sent many " forty-niners ", as they were called, 
westward, ho ! to California — some of them equipped 
with pick, shovel and frying pan that they might lose 
no time in experiencing the thrilling sensation of digging 
and washing the sparkling ore. 

In the summer of 1850 the first of many, many made- 
in-Richmond locomotives shipped to various places, in 
both America and Europe, was built for the Richmond 
and Danville Railroad Company. 

But we go too fast. Let us turn back for a nearer 
view of some of the scenes that stand out clear against 
the background which has been hastily sketched. 


In 1834 appeared The Southern Literary Messenger 
— a magazine " devoted to every department of literature 
and the fine arts, published in Richmond by T. W. White, 
every fortnight, $5 per annum." 

Early in the year 1835, John P. Kennedy, of Baltimore, 
wrote to Mr. White calling his attention to " a remarkable 
young man by the name of Edgar Poe." 

Jefferson's dream of the University of Virginia had 
come true years before this time and Poe had been one of 
the Richmond boys to whom it promptly became Alma 
Mater. The seventeen-year-old genius suddenly freed 
from every restraint, at the weakest period of a boy's 
life, distinguished himself there as a student — but sowed 
some wild oats. The small amount of money with which 
his foster father believed it prudent to supply him caused 
gambling to be the most irresistible of the temptations 
which assailed him. Everybody knows the result. At 
the end of one term Poe was back in Richmond once more, 
at the Randolph mansion, on Main Street at Fifth (which 
the Allans had lately purchased), with all hope of com- 
pleting his education forfeited. For a short time his 
romantic face was seen about Richmond, but though he 
had a few devoted admirers, nobody recognized him as 
the world-poet-to-be and to many he was only that wild, 
bad boy whom Mr. Allan, in an hour of injudicious benev- 
olence made the mistake of adopting. Soon he became 
a wanderer. His little world lost sight of him and most 
Richmond people had forgotten him and his cranks and 



his pranks when stories and poems and critiques sounding 
an entirely new note began to appear in the Messenger. 
That magazine's circulation at once increased by leaps 
and bounds. Followed an invitation from Mr. White to 
Mr. Foe to become assistant editor. Older, dreamier — 
at times, " wilder " — slender, black-coated and wearing 
a tall top hat, he became a familiar figure about Richmond 
again, with a frail looking, gazelle-eyed, fourteen-year- 
old girl — his wife — hanging on his arm after the approved, 
clinging-vine fashion of the day. 

Years passed. Edgar Foe had no longer a part in the 
Richmond scene, but from Philadelphia — from New York 
— came echoes of his growing fame, and his work in 
newspapers, in magazines, in small bound volumes, was 
read in the city of his boyhood, as everywhere else. Some 
said : " Well, well ! So Edgar Foe wrote that ! Sounds 
like real poetry, but I can't forget how drunk he got that 
night at ' The Swan', " " No," said another, " nor how 
he gambled at the University. Such base ingratitude to 
Mr. Allan!" Others, wagging their heads, took up the 
censures — made a chorus of them. . Old friends raised 
defending voices : " Edgar wasn't the only college boy 
that ever gambled, nor the only Richmond boy that ever 
drank. Remember, it was at Mr. Allan's own table that 
he learned to drink ! He's going to pay back all he owes 
him in time — he's going to make the Allan name immor- 
tal." But The Crowd paid no attention. 

Again years passed. In 1849, toward the close of 
summer, Edgar Foe, the acknowledged literary artist, made 
holiday in Richmond. The elite of town crowded the 
assembly rooms of the Exchange Hotel to hear his lec- 
tures on " The Philosophy of Composition " and " The 
Poetic Principle ", and his recitations of " The Raven ", 
and sat spell-bound while he — erect and still and pale as 



Fisher took the portrait to Berlin, where he and Edward V. Valentine and his 
brother William Valentine studied art and lived in the same house, and where 
the Valentine brothers nursed him through an attack of smallpox. In appreci- 
ation, Fisher gave his Poe portrait to Edward V. Valentine who still owns it. 
It has never been reproduced until now, when Mr. Valentine has permitted it 
to be photographed especially for Mrs. Stanard 

Copyright by Edgar Allan Poe Shrine, Incorporatetl 

The oldest buildinsj in Richmond, now a museum of Poeana 


Copyright by Edgar Allan Poe Shrine, Incorporated 

The Loggia was built of material saved from the Southern Literary Messenger building 


a statue — filled their ears with music and their souls with 
wonder at the strangeness and the brilliancy of his thought 
and words. 

After Poe's time the Southern Literary Messenger 
continued its honorable career until the end of 1865. John 
R. Thompson, a less brilliant though worthy man of letters, 
was long its editor and — as a later editor, and one of its 
many notable contributors — the genial Dr. George W. 
Bagby, helped Richmond to laugh during years when she 
needed to laugh whenever she could. The Messenger 
building, on Main Street at Fifteenth, was an object of 
interest until a few years ago when it was condemned and 
torn down. Its seasoned timbers have been used to re- 
store the woodwork of the " Old Stone House " which 
in 1922 became the " Edgar Allan Poe Shrine ", and to 
make cases to hold the Poeana there, and the loggia in 
the " Shrine " garden was built of some of its bricks and 
stone. The desk at which Poe laid the foundations of his 
own fame as well as that of the Messenger occupies a place 
of honor within the " Shrine." 

Reference to Poe's child-wife naturally suggests the 
author of " David Copperfield." On the evening of 
March 17, 1842, the Washington train brought to Rich- 
mond " Mr. Charles Dickens and lady." His books 
had given Richmond a jolly good time and Richmond paid 
in kind its debt to the young author in snuff-colored suit 
and red cravat, and his rather drab and shy " lady ", dur- 
ing their three days' visit. Among quaint toasts at the 
supper for a hundred guests at the Exchange Plotel, was 
" Charles Dickens, the ' artful dodger ' ; he has dodged 
Philadelphia and Baltimore, but he could not dodge the 
Old Dominion." 

In the early spring of 1853 — ten years after Poe's 
last appearance in Richmond and three and a half after 



Dickens' visit — Thackeray was the feted guest of the city. 
For at least part of the time his hostess was Mrs. Robert 
C. Stanard (whose husband had been Foe's school- 
mate and chum) in the house which is now the Westmore- 
land Club. He stayed a week this time, during which he 
delivered to audiences which packed the Athenaeum on 
Marshall Street, near Eleventh, three lectures on literary 
subjects: "Swift"; " Congreve and Addison", and 
" Steele and the Times of Queen Anne." On March 3d, 
he wrote from Richmond to Mrs. Baxter, of New York, 
of being " Delighted with the comfortable, friendly, cheery 
little town — the picturesquest " he had " seen in America." 
Adding : " I am having a good time — pleasant people, 
good audiences, quiet, handsome, cheap, comfortable 
hotel " — evidently the " Exchange." 

Richmond was fascinated with the man and his lec- 
tures. John R. Thompson, then editor of the Southern 
Literary Messenger, said in that magazine that Thackeray's 
visit should be marked with a white stone in the city's 
history. He was invited to repeat his visit on his return 
from the South, and on March 12th, he wrote from 
Charleston : " From this I shall go to Richmond most 
probably, and say my say out there; if their enthusiasm 
lasts four weeks I am sure of a great welcome at that 
pretty little cheery place — such a welcome as is better 
than dollars." 

He stayed another week and lectured on " Prior, Gay, 
and Pope " ; " Hogarth, Smollet, and Fielding ", and 
" Sterne and Goldsmith." In January 1856, he spent 
still another week in Richmond, and gave three lectures 
on " The Georges of England; Court and Town Life dur- 
ing their Reigns." In February of that year he wrote to 
Mrs. Baxter from Savannah : 



" At Richmond I had a pleasant little time, a very 
pleasant little time." 

During this last stay in Richmond, Thackeray dropped 
in to see Thompson at his office in the Messenger building. 
While chatting together in that charmed language which 
men and women steeped in familiarity with books know, 
Thackeray drew a sheet of paper toward him and scribbled 
— probably on the desk which had been Poe's and was 
then Thompson's — the now famous verses — " The Sor- 
rows of Werther " — in which he comically and tersely 
summed up Goethe's most sentimental story — which was 
then being widely read. These satirical lines showing the 
author of " Vanity Fair " in merry mood appeared in the 
Messenger for November 1853, with an editorial note say- 
ing, *' They have afforded amusement to many friends who 
have read them in manuscript." 

Thackeray died at his home on Christmas Eve 1863, 
when Richmond, as Capital of the Confederacy, was in 
the dreadful grip of war. Indications of appreciation of 
him and his friendship for the South appear in the notice 
of his passing taken by the Messenger in those days of 
immediate and absorbing trouble. In the February ( 1 864) 
number, the great novelist's death was announced in a 
page and a half editorial. In the March number nearly 
four pages were given to an essay by Capt. W. Gordon 
McCabe who found time to write it in the midst of his 
arduous labors as a gallant officer in Lee's Army. The 
April number contained a two page " In Memoriam " by 
Dickens, reprinted from the Cornhill Magazine, of which 
Thackeray had been the founder. 

The hall in which Thackeray lectured in the Athen- 
aeum was adorned with paintings presented to it by Mr. 
Conway Robinson who brought them from London for 
that purpose. He also selected when there many choice 



books for the two public library rooms provided in the 
Athenaeum building by the City Council. These two rooms 
with their collections, were known as the City Library and 
the Historical Library. The Virginia Historical Society 
met at the Athenaeum, and in one of the smaller rooms of 
this centre of culture Alexander Gait the sculptor had his 
studio where his " Bacchante ", ** Psyche " and other 
works were on exhibition. In April and in December, 
1853, courses of lectures by leading lecturers of America 
and Europe were delivered at the Athenaeum. 



The bust was made from life in this studio in 1857. when Booth was twenty-five years old and 
Valentine twenty. Courtesy of Mr. Valentine 

Marble group by Edward V. Valentine. Courtesy of Mr. Valentine 

By courte^N ot Mr. \'alentine 


Bust of Jefferson Davis in foreground 


Richmond's Nodes Ambrosiancu were not confined to 
literary lectures. A few days before Christmas, 1850, 
when hoHday spirit filled the air, Virginia's Capital took 
into its warm heart Jenny Lind and her enthralling voice, 
described by one of the fortunates who heard it as 
" exquisitely soft, like the music of pearls in a golden 
basin." For her one concert Marshall Theatre at Broad 
and Seventh Streets was sold out at auction — the seats 
bringing from $8 to $105 apiece. 

To this old Marshall Theatre (named for John 
Marshall who, by the way, dearly loved a good play) came 
the leading actors of the time — including the Booths and 
lovable Joe Jefferson. In 1857, Jefferson was manager of 
the theatre as well as member of a stock company in which 
he played " Rip Van Winkle " and other roles. He lived 
with his family at Swan Tavern (where another distin- 
guished Jefferson had once been a familiar figure) and 
was popular in society. He believed that he would become 
better known as a painter than as an actor and affiliated 
with artists. In Richmond one of his favorite haunts was 
the studio of the twenty-year-old sculptor, Edward V. 
Valentine, in whom both he and the young Edwin Booth 
found a kindred spirit. An interesting memorial of this 
three cornered friendship (which continued throughout 
the lives of both actors and is today affectionately remem- 
bered by the venerable sculptor), is a photograph taken 
in the studio during Jefferson's last visit to Richmond, 
showing him as an old man gazing at a bust of Booth 
which " Ned " Valentine had made in 1857. 



When in Richmond during his later Hfe Jefferson 
used to recall both sad and happy memories of old days 
at the " Swan." One night when he was living there 
he was about to appear as " Touchstone ", in " As You 
Like It ", when a message came for him which made him 
instantly turn his cap and bells over to an understudy and 
hasten away to the death-bed of his infant son, Joseph, Jr. 

Booth, in those days, once played thirteen consecutive 
nights at the Marshall theatre. Perhaps it was then that 
he fell in love with Mary Devlin, a young actress of 
Jefferson's stock company, who became his adored wife. 

Throughout the dark days of Civil War the theatre 
helped those who could raise the small fee then asked for 
admission, to forget. 



Whatever happens or does not happen in Virginia's 
capital interest in politics is always lively. In 1840 there 
was bitter war of words between the Whigs and the Demo- 
crats, as the old Republicans were calling themselves. 
Richmond had become a Whig strong-hold and the party's 
nomination of Gen. William H. Harrison (born at 
" Berkeley ", on James River, a few miles below 
Richmond) for President of the United States, and John 
Tyler, of " Greenway Court ", in the same county, for 
Vice-President, was greeted with enthusiasm. Both can- 
didates had been familiar figures in Richmond in their 
youth and Tyler had lived there as Governor of Virginia. 
Henry Clay, the great Whig leader, who was also a 
native of the neighborhood, had been a member of Chan- 
cellor Wythe's law school and knew everybody in town, 
came from Kentucky to take part in the campaigning and 
the Whigs had the time of their lives. General Harrison's 
victory over the Indians of the Northwest in 181 1 had 
won for him the soubriquet of " Old Tippecanoe." So 
" Tippecanoe and Tyler Too " became the party slogan. 
As reminders of Harrison's pioneer experiences, buildings 
in which to hold campaign meetings took the form of log- 
cabins, decorated with coon skins, and sprouted up in every 
part of the country where Whig sentiment existed. On 
the site of the Eagle Hotel (which had been burned), 
Richmonders built such a cabin to hold 3000 persons, and 
night after night local and visiting orators almost raised 
its roof. Among home Whigs who played leading parts 



in these log-cabin scenes were Raleigh Travers Daniel, 
James Lyons, Wyndham Robertson, Benjamin Watkins 
Leigh, Sydney S. Baxter, William H. McFarland, Robert 
C. Standard, and John Minor Botts. One wet night 
when the orator was William C. Preston, of South Caro- 
lina, celebrated for his dramatic power and fascination on 
the platform, hundreds who could not get inside stood out 
in the rain, seeing and hearing what they could through 
windows and crevices between the logs. 

The interest taken in the campaign by all sorts and 
conditions of people is illustrated by a comical story. A 
Whig delegation from Culpeper County with coon skin 
decorated log-cabin, on wheels, attended a meeting in 
Richmond and marched into Capitol Square. One of the 
visitors recognized in the crowd which gathered around 
the Cabin his young cousin, William B. Wooldridge (in 
after years the gallant Colonel of the 4th Virginia Cavalry, 
C. S. A., and the teller of this story), whom he asked to 
hold the Culpeper flag, while the delegates sought refresh- 
ment at a tavern. Immediately afterward a thief was 
caught picking a pocket and was marched off to jail, fol- 
lowed by a throng, including the boy proudly carrying 
the Culpeper flag, with its device of a coiled rattlesnake 
and legend: " Don't tread on me." When the jail was 
reached the pick-pocket asked the constable to give him a 
few minutes and mounting a box proceeded to make a 
fiery " Tippecanoe and Tyler Too " speech. 

And now appears what looks like the first sign of 
division in political parties in regard to " wetness " or 
" dryness." Behold a Temperance Society is born in Rich- 
mond whose pledge seems to presage the death knell of 
the free punch-bowl at the Governor's Mansion. " We 
will not use intoxicating liquor as a beverage during the 
session of the Legislature of Virginia ", wisely, but doubt- 



less sadly in many cases, promise its members. Man was 
made to mourn. 

With the ringing in of a new leap year (which is, of 
course, the year for another presidential election), politics 
run high again. Who shall be elected — Clay or Polk? 
Bitterer than ever grows the contention. Even the voteless 
sex are arrayed on one side or the other, and the " Whig 
ladies " are busy collecting funds for a statue to their 
idol for Capitol Square. But this is not to be one of the 
times when Virginia will be mother of a president. . . . 

News comes that war with Mexico is declared. Again 
history repeats itself. Again Richmond mothers, wives 
and sweethearts send their boys off to serve their country 
on the battle field. Three companies of volunteers go to 
Old Point, where they will take ship for Mexico, and 
a great crowd gathers at the wharf to bid the soldiers 
goodbye. Again war is the all absorbing topic. Again 
women knit and sew for soldiers while they watch and 
wait for letters and newspapers. When news of the vic- 
tory of Vera Cruz comes everybody runs out to see the 
Fayette Artillery parade and follows them to Gamble's 
Hill — the Hill of the Grey Cross — where they unfurl a 
new flag and fire a salute. 

In the midst of wartimes a shipload of clothing and 
groceries is sent direct from sympathetic Richmond Town 
to famine-stricken Ireland, and later, a meeting is held 
in Odd Fellows Hall in the interest of Irish freedom. 



And in the midst of wartimes political discussion went 
on and on. Should slavery be abolished? If so how 
could it be accomplished? Ah, this was the hardest of all 
nuts to crack. 

On February 24, 1846, Thomas Ritchie, Jr., of the 
Enquirer, received from John Hampden Pleasants of the 
Whig, with whom he had a violent quarrel, a challenge to 
meet him on the Manchester side of the river, next morning 
at sunrise — " armed with sidearms, without rifle, shotgun 
or musket " and " accompanied by two friends similarly 
armed." Ritchie replied protesting against the challenge 
as " not in the form justified by men of honor, and to 
great extent upheld by public opinion ", and furthermore, 
" savage, sanguinary, and revolting to the taste and judg- 
ment ... of every man in the community." But con- 
cluding : " I shall be on the ground mentioned at sunrise." 

His protest bears witness to the tyranny of public 
opinion which made it impossible for a man to decline a 
challenge. In the peaceful, frosty, February dawn the 
antagonists met and, after a bloody encounter with dirks, 
sword-canes and pistols, Pleasants, the idol of his party 
and of a host of friends, was borne from the field mor- 
tally wounded. 

There continued to be occasional duels in Richmond 
until the eighteen-eighties when laws having utterly 
failed to put an end to the practice, the powerful remedy 
of ridicule came to the rescue, and the " affair of honor " 
was simply laughed out of existence. 



One of the most sensational duels in the city's history 
— and the last to prove fatal — was over a statuesque, gol- 
den-haired " Mary." Among her many devoted cavaliers 
were Page McCarty, clever editor, and his chum, John 
B. Mordecai, kinsman of the author of Richmond in 
By-Gone Days. At a ball on a spring night of 1878, at 
which all Richmond society was present, she showed 
Mordecai such marked favor and McCarty such con- 
spicuous indifference, that the editor soon left the ball- 
room in a rage. Subscribers to the Richmond Enquirer, 
unfolding their papers next morning, were regaled with 
this poetical tribute to "The First Figure in the German" : 

" When Mary's queenly form I press, 

In Strauss's latest waltz, 
I would as well her lips caress, 

Although those lips were false. 
For still with fire love tips his dart 

And kindles up anew 
The flame which once consumed my heart, 

When those dear lips were true." 

Gossip buzzed. There was no doubt about the identity 
of " Mary " — the bright, particular star of the Richmond 
German — and the anonymous rhymes were at once attrib- 
uted to her slighted lover. The wrathful Mordecai charged 
him with their authorship and later sent him a challenge. A 
remote and gruesomely suggestive spot was the scene of 
the meeting at sunset, on the ninth of May. It was back 
of Oakwood cemetery ! The seconds and surgeons on both 
sides were men of social prominence. They were Col. 
W. B. Tabb, John S. Meredith and Dr. J. S. D. Cullen— 
for McCarty — and William L. Royall, William R. Trigg 
and Dr. Hunter McGuire — for Mordecai. The weapons 
were Colts, navy revolvers with army balls, at ten paces. 

The antagonists — each twenty-seven years old — grimly 
faced each other and two shots rang out. No harm was 
done, but their pistols were still raised — with determined 



aim this time. Again two shots rang out. Both young 
lovers fell and quickly the green grass bloomed red with 
their life-blood. While the surgeons were binding up 
their wounds the police arrived and placed the whole party 
under arrest. The surgeons were excused on their plea 
that they had no part in the affair except to give profes- 
sional aid. The duelists and their seconds were bailed. 
Mordecai's death (after five days) threw the city into a 
fever of excitement. McCarty and the seconds were again 
placed under arrest. McCarty was too ill from his wound 
to be removed to prison and was kept under guard at his 
home, while the seconds were taken to jail and kept there 
for more than two months, when they were released on 
bail. McCarty was not well enough to stand trial until 
the following January, when he was convicted of man- 
slaughter, fined $500 (which was paid) and sentenced to 
prison. In February he was pardoned on account of his 
physical condition. 

In 1858 Richmond's taste for pageantry was gratified 
in unique fashion. The state legislature of that year had 
appropriated $2,000 for bringing to Virginia the body of 
President Monroe, who had died in New York and been 
buried there. He had died on July 4th, and his home-com- 
ing, twenty-seven years afterward, was made a Fourth 
of July celebration. The casket escorted by a regiment 
of New York volunteers was taken by steamer to Rich- 
mond. There it was met by two regiments of Virginia 
volunteers and the Richmond military, and was borne 
by pall-bearers appointed by the Governor to a hearse 
drawn by six snow-white horses, attended by six negro 
grooms, in white uniforms. The chief marshal for the 
occasion and his six assistants were mounted on spirited 
horses and clad in white uniforms with black sashes. All 
Richmond looked on in silent admiration. Flags were 


' ■; '^-rJSs^s.-'^-^ 


Tombs of President James Monroe (centre) and John Tyler ( left \. and of Commodore Matliew F. Maury 
and John Y. Mason. 


at half mast. " Boom — Boom — Boom," said the minute 
guns and tolHng church bells added a more solemn note 
still to the out-door drama of that long-ago summer's 
day. Softly the band began to play a dirge. Slowly the 
procession moved through town to Hollywood Cemetery 
on one of whose green hills had been erected — within a 
cage-like wrought-iron enclosure — a marble sarcophagus. 
In this the pall-bearers placed their burden. 

After the ceremonies the Virginia military escorted 
the New York regiment to a banquet at Gallego Mills. At 
night Capitol Square was illuminated, and again the sol- 
diers were feasted. 

In October of the following year the body of John 
Y. Mason, United States Minister to France, who had 
died in Paris, was laid to rest near that of Monroe, and 
a little more than two years later President John Tyler, 
who died in Richmond, found a last resting place in 
Hollywood, on this same hillock — now known as 
" Presidents' Hill " — on top of which also sleeps the 
great "pathfinder of the seas," Commodore Matthew 
F. Maury. 





October, 1859, found Richmond in a state of peace- 
ful activity. The population had reached nearly 38,000. 
Many new business ventures were being projected, and 
educational, religious and philanthropic works going 
ahead. During the year much company had enabled the 
people to indulge their social instincts. In May the 
Baptist General Association of Virginia had met in the 
First Baptist Church. Later in the same month the city, 
already bright with buttercups and newly put on verdure, 
blossomed gallantly with gold braid, long white plumes 
and embroidered sashes, when it entertained for three 
days the Knights Templar of Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island. And now when autumn's sun shone on the many- 
colored trees of hilltops beyond the city, and hill and dale 
within it, until it seemed that upon it " a rainbow from 
the firmament had surely fallen ", the General Conven- 
tion of the Episcopal Church in America was, for the 
first time, having its three weeks' session in Virginia — 
at (the then new) St. Paul's Church, opposite Capitol 
Square. Bishops, clergy and laymen from all over the 
Union filled every chink in Richmond's hospitable homes. 
The " comfortable, friendly, cheery little town " was fra- 
grant with cake and bread-baking, coffee-roasting and 
chicken-frying, and noisy with laughter and chatter. 
Morning, noon and night the bell in the lofty steeple rang 
and from the open windows sounds of psalm-chanting 
and hymn-singing floated out to the streets. 

On such a scene of peace-on-earth fell, on October 



17th, in the form of a telegram to Governor Wise, a 
thunderbolt out of season. 

More picturesque even, than The Falls of James River 
is Harper's Ferry, on the western border of the present 
State of Virginia, where, rising abruptly opposite each 
other, Virginia Heights and Maryland Heights look down 
upon the meeting of two rivers. Through this gate- 
beautiful of Nature's building the Kansas fanatic, John 
Brown encouraged by certain Northern abolitionists, and 
followed by his band of raiders, had passed and seized the 
United States Arsenal with the design of freeing the 
slaves and equipping them with arms. 

Richmond flamed with excitement. Nobody knew 
what death, destruction and chaos might be the result of 
such a plot. Governor Wise after telegraphing orders 
to the cavalry and infantry companies in the neighbor- 
hood of the trouble, left by the earliest train possible — 
taking with him some of the Richmond military. Of 
course a telegram had been sent from Harper's Ferry to 
President Buchanan, at Washington. He sent to the 
scene a battalion of marines commanded by Col. Robert 
E. Lee, who with his Aide, Lieut. J. E. B. Stuart, took 
charge of the situation and (with some bloodshed on each 
side) captured the Arsenal. John Brown was later tried 
and hanged. Contrary to his expectations, no slaves had 
joined his raid (though a few free negroes had) ; but 
after it no such thing as lying down in peace was possi- 
ble in Richmond, or elsewhere in the South. 

For years North and South had been moving — slowly 
but surely — toward a crisis, and more — toward a con- 
flagration, for which each section was piling up fagots — 
piling up fagots. Richmond had been a battleground for 
the earliest wars between white men and red men which 
gave the Anglo-Saxon race a foothold on American soil. 



Now th? home of the Virginia Historical Scciety 


Richmond had done its bit to save America for Americans 
in the wars of the Revolution and 1812, and in the war 
with Mexico. Soon Richmond was to become the centre of 
an amphitheatre about which would charge the four dread 
Horsemen — War, Pestilence, Famine, Death. North and 
South piled up the fagots. John Brown had applied the 
match. Immediately after his " raid " Virginia's Capital 
began busily preparing for war — if war should come. 
New military companies were organized. The students 
of Richmond College formed themselves into one. Two 
hundred and fifty odd Southern boys studying medicine 
in Philadelphia came home and entered the Medical Col- 
lege of Virginia. They were met by the home students, 
the military and many citizens, and escorted to Capitol 
Square where there was a demonstration in their honor. 

Yet Richmond was prospering. Progress and prepara- 
tions for possible war went side by side. Early in the 
new year the first steam fire engine ever seen in Richmond 
was built there for the Russian Government, and shipped 
— after home- folk had proudly inspected it and it had 
been exhibited in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia 
and New York. The Henry Clay statue unveiling was 
a gala occasion when there was a great banquet for home 
and visiting Whigs. 

The Richmond and York River Railroad was near- 
ing completion. The Richmond and Lynchburg Road 
was about to be started and the Street Railway would 
soon have horse cars running from Rocketts to Brook 
Road. Many houses were building. The hopeful sounds 
of hammer and saw were heard from sun-up to sundown, 
and mingling with them, the mellow voices of care-free 
negroes joking and laughing and singing as they worked, 
and the thinner tones of the white foremen as they cracked 
jokes after their fashion, whistled any tune that happened 



to run in their heads from a camp meeting melody to one 
learned from some darkie's flute or fiddle, or discussed 
politics — for i860 was presidential election year, remem- 
ber. Occasionally all other sounds were drowned by the 
rattle of a passing cart-load of bricks or the lusty cry 
of a huckster with his mule and covered cart : " F-e-e-sh, 
Fe-e-sh," or " Swe-e-e-t watermillions — Green rind, red 
meat, full of juice and so-0-0 sweet ", or other produce 
according to season. The doctor's gig, my lady's carriage, 
the slow-moving funeral hack, the lumbering dray, each 
added its distinct note to the deafening chorus of traffic 
over cobblestones of the few business streets, or the almost 
soundless rhythm in the residence streets — innocent of 
paving, dirty and dusty, but blissfully quiet. 

Sometimes all other sights and sounds were blotted 
out by interest (with little realization of its significance) 
in a parade of one of the new military companies on its 
way to drill. And with so many new enterprises going 
forward, the old Armory was aroused from its slumber 
and equipped with improved machinery for the manufac- 
ture of muskets and other arms. Many of those who 
were to use them were already learning the manual in 
Richmond and other places. Many others were boys play- 
ing in the streets with no dream of the weariness of long 
marches on empty stomachs, in ragged shoes or no shoes 
at all, of the thirst a bleeding wound could create or the 
anguish of amputation without anaesthetics. 

On Saturday, October 6, i860, the ordinary routine 
was agreeably broken by a visit of the Prince of Wales — 
many years later to be King Edward VII, of England. 
He arrived in Richmond with his suite, on a special train 
decorated with British and American colors, spent the 
night at the " Ballard House " and was given a banquet 
at the " Exchange." On Sunday he heard Doctor 


IS I HI- (11, 1) MAKKHI 



: ? 






Minnigerode preach at St. Paul's, visited St. John's and 
Hollywood, and on Monday morning — from the rear plat- 
form of his train, waved goodbye to the whole of Rich- 
mond, gathered at the station to see him off. Later in 
the month was held Virginia's most successful Agricul- 
tural Fair, so far. The crowds who in the daytime visited 
the Fair grounds (the present Monroe Park) had 
plenty of entertainment at night, for Adelina Patti — then 
a girl playing with dolls — sang three nights at Corinthian 
Hall, Joe Jefferson was appearing at Marshall Theatre 
and the Negro pianist " Blind Tom " was playing at the 
African Church. But the election was rapidly approach- 
ing and the minute the Fair was over the town was absorbed 
in politics again. 



Night after night political speeches packed the African 
Church and every other available auditorium. Night 
after night torchlight processions led by brass bands lit 
up the streets. The most vital and exciting subject dis- 
cussed was that of relations between North and South — re- 
lations resulting chiefly from inability of each section to 
understand the other. Richmond was filled with men 
devoted to the Union which their fathers had so large a 
part in constructing — to which Virginia had given the 
orator whose voice had hastened the Revolution into being, 
the author of the Declaration of Independence, the ex- 
pounder of the Constitution, seven of the fifteen Presi- 
dents, and other builders of the nation, many of whom 
had learned their first lessons in statecraft in Richmond's 
small, pillared capitol and had been (as Governors of Vir- 
ginia or members of the Assembly and Conventions) resi- 
dents of Richmond and familiar figures in its homes and 
streets. Yes, Richmond was devoted to the Union and 
had been shocked when Massachusetts twice in former 
times had threatened to secede — though believing that she 
would be within her rights in so doing if she should see 
fit. For Richmond believed the Union which it loved to 
be composed of independent states with right to solve their 
own problems. The problem regarded with greatest anx- 
iety by leaders of thought in Virginia and other southern 
states was the Negro. Virginia had declared by Act of 
Assembly, one year before Richmond became its capital, 
that " From and after the passing of this Act no slaves 



shall hereafter be imported into this commonwealth by sea 
or land, nor shall any slaves so imported be sold or bought 
by any person whatsoever." Yet slaves were already there 
in numbers which the natural increase of a race of such 
fecundity was adding to by leaps and bounds. All intelli- 
gent advocates of freeing them felt that it would have to 
be done gradually — a few at a time. These servants 
(Virginians rarely used the word slave) were dependent 
not only for food, raiment and shelter, but for guidance, 
upon their masters. What would become of them if 
turned loose upon the community? What would become 
of the community subject to the depredations certain to 
follow ? Many Virginia masters directed in their wills that 
their slaves be freed — generally, a few at a time. Many 
others saw differently. They had been born in a section 
where slavery had long existed. They believed in making 
the best of a difficult condition. Others still — among 
them — devout Christians — took slavery as a matter of 
course. They believed that it was the plan of the Creator 
for the black race to serve the white — the white to be pro- 
viders for and counsellors oi the black. A very great 
number were convinced that disapproval of slavery in the 
northern states had its origin in the undesirability of slave 
labor for northern industries and climate, increased by 
jealousy of the prosperity it might bring to cotton and 
other agricultural districts of the South. All believed 
that the South would solve her problem in the course of 
time, and resented dictation or coercion from sections un- 
familiar with that problem. 

The North, excited by exaggerated pictures of the evils 
of slavery painted by writers and speakers with little or 
no first-hand knowledge of the subject, forgetting that 
Washington, Marshall and many other southerners of as 
conspicuous rectitude were masters of slaves, believed it 



to be its duty to reform the wicked slave-holding states 
— a holier-than-thou attitude most irritating to the South. 
North and South — each with honest convictions — were 
looking at opposite sides of a shield — each, by reason of 
what it saw there, blindly and bitterly impaling the other. 
In Richmond, as in other cities, the great bulk of the popu- 
lation owned no slaves. The well-to-do owned only enough 
to supply their houses with servants and their business 
places with " hands ", porters, janitors and the like, with 
the exception of gentlemen who kept up country estates 
as well as city homes. 

Election day at last! After it men looked grave and 
spoke apprehensively in Richmond — as throughout the 
South. They feared that the election of a President of the 
United States without a single electoral vote from a 
southern state — a solid North for Abraham Lincoln, a 
solid South against him — would precipitate war and divide 
the Union. The South was not against the man personally. 
Of him it knew little. But though the Republican plat- 
form asserted " the right of each state to order and control 
its domestic institutions according to its own judgment 
exclusively ", the Capital of Virginia and the whole South 
saw the choice of the Republican candidate as President, 
not as an election by the people, for the people, but an elec- 
tion by one section of the people out of sympathy with and 
ignorant of the problems of the other, of a man of its own 
way of thinking and its own lack of knowledge of southern 
conditions to be President over the whole people. 

South Carolina had threatened to secede if the Republi- 
can candidate should be elected and hard upon the heels 
of the election came to Richmond the news that South 
Carolina had seceded and was calling for the establish- 
ment of a Southern Confederacy. Two days after Christ- 
mas a meeting of Richmond citizens which crowded the 



African Church adopted a resolution calHng for a State 
Convention to determine Virginia's rights within the 
Union or out of it, disapproving of any move toward coer- 
cion of seceding states and discouraging a beginning of 
hostiHties of any seceding state before the formation of 
a Southern Confederacy. 

Richmond's prosperity stopped Hke a clock which had 
had a jolt, and financial panic followed. The cheerful 
chorus of men singing at their work to the accompani- 
ment of hammer and saw and mill whistle and factory 
wheel, was stilled — and the stillness was oppressive. A 
bitter cold winter had set in and the eyes of the unem- 
ployed held the anguished question : Where are we to 
find bread for our children ? In the capital that had been 
so cheerful and gay the stage was set for the most tragic 
drama of all, and Governor Letcher appointed January 4th 
as a day of fasting and prayer. On January 19th, the 
Virginia Legislature, sitting in the Capitol, adopted reso- 
lutions inviting all of the states — slave-holding or free — 
to join Virginia in sending Commissioners to Washing- 
ton on February 4th, for a Peace Conference which should 
make plans to avert war and save the Union. Ex-Presi- 
dent John Tyler, William C. Rives, John W. Brocken- 
brough, George W. Summers and James A. Seddon were 
named as delegates to the conference from Virginia and 
John Robertson was chosen to visit the other states and 
urge them to appoint Commissioners. South Carolina 
declined because she had already seceded, had invited 
other Southern States to meet her in Convention in 
Montgomery, Alabama, and some of them had accepted. 
Virginia's Peace Conference met in Washington with 
thirteen Northern and seven Southern states represented 
— but it was too late. While it was in session a conven- 
tion of six Southern States at Montgomery, Alabama, was 

11 161 


in session too, and organized the Southern Confederacy, 
with Jefferson Davis as President and Alexander H. 
Stephens, Vice-President. On February 13th, the State 
Convention called for by the people of Richmond during 
Christmas week (and authorized by the Legislature), the 
Convention soon to pass into history as the Virginia 
Secession Convention, held its first session, with John 
Janney, of Loudoun County, as President and John L. 
Eubank, of Richmond, Secretary. It met in the Capitol (in 
the Hall of the House of Delegates), except when the 
Assembly was in session, when it used Mechanic's Hall. 
In either hall, all available space was crowded by men 
and women listening anxiously to argument as to what 
Virginia's course should be, while outside, ominous prep- 
arations went steadily, steadily on. At night the people 
swarmed to meetings held by secessionists impatient for 
Virginia to commit herself, and by their opponents plead- 
ing for preservation of the Union. 

The Convention was still in session when March 4th 
arrived and the people crowded about the bulletin boards 
to read reports of President Lincoln's inauguration flying 
over telegraph wires. It was still in session on April 
I2th, when news came of the bombardment of Fort Sum- 
ter, in Charleston Harbor, by Confederate troops, and its 
surrender by its Federal Commandant. Alas, America! 
Civil War was a fact ! Drunk with enthusiasm kindled by 
this first victory of Southern arms, Richmond people 
poured cheering into the streets. Some of them set a Con- 
federate flag fluttering from the top of the Capitol. An ar- 
tillery salute was fired. It is written (in the diary of young 
William S. White a member of the newly formed Rich- 
mond Howitzers) : " Nightfall, instead of quieting the 
excitement, seemed if possible, to add fresh fuel to the 
flame. The crowded streets and wild shouts of the people, 



together with the lurid glare of an hundred tar-barrels, 
torches steeped in rosin, and rockets whirling high above 
the houses, presented a spectacle rarely witnessed by our 
somewhat apathetic people of Richmond." 

Were these people moved by desire to preserve 
slavery? Most of them had never owned, never expected 
to own a slave. 

On that same historic April day, the Convention sent 
William Ballard Preston, Alexander H. H. Stuart and 
George Randolph to Washington, to ask the President 
what his attitude toward the seceding states would be. He 
replied (quoting his inaugural address): "The power 
confided in me will be used to hold, occupy and possess 
the property and places belonging to the government, and 
to collect the duties and imports ; but beyond what is neces- 
sary for these objects there will be no invasion, no using 
of force against or among the people anywhere." Before 
the Commissioners could present this answer to the Con- 
vention, eagerly awaiting it in Richmond, President 
Lincoln had called for 75,000 troops to reduce the seceding 
states, and asked Virginia for her quota. Governor 
Letcher declined to send a man from Virginia to make 
war on her sister states of the South. For once, party 
differences were forgotten in Richmond. People of every 
shade of opinion were bound together in a brotherhood 
to protect the rights of Southern States and defend 
Southern homes against an invading army. Virginia 
recognized in the President's call for troops a declaration 
of war. " The peacefulness and quiet of Richmond had 
now" (in the words of one who was there), "become 
a tradition. Fierce agitation replaced the old tranquillity 
and in the streets, the hotels, the drawing-rooms, nothing 
was heard but hot discussion. Men's pulses were feverish. 
Neighbors of opposite sides scowled fiercely at each other. 



Young ladies wore Southern colors and would turn their 
backs upon an admirer who was not for secession." 

The cockade of South Carolina was everywhere worn. 
Everything, even the social life of young folk, centred 
around the Capitol where the Convention was in session. 
It is written that " It was the habit of the young ladies 
to promenade with their gallants in the Capitol Square, 
in the evening, and enjoy the strains of a fine band sta- 
tioned on a rostrum opposite the City Hall " and over- 
looking the Square. 

The seriousness of the situation was reflected in the 
countenances and bearing of the Convention and in the 
grave debate which showed that many members who had 
been most earnest advocates of preserving the Union so 
long as it could be preserved with peace, were heart and 
soul with the South now that war was unavoidable. The 
spectators who had packed the hall were turned out and 
the Convention went into secret session, but instead of 
going home the people swarmed in the Square, waiting 
with intense anxiety to hear the fate of Virginia which 
they knew hung on the words that were being spoken 
within that building of many happenings, where the most 
solemn scene in Richmond's drama was there being en- 
acted. On April 17th, the final vote was taken and the 
Ordinance of Secession passed by 103 to 43 votes. The 
announcement made on the next morning was received 
with wildest joy by the people. The flag of the newly 
formed Southern Confederacy was run up on the staff 
on the roof of the Capitol. The crowd in the Square 
saluted it with cheers. The Custom House was taken in 
charge by military officers of the state and preparations 
to provide barracks for soldiers and commissary stores 
for their support begun. 

On the next night Richmond again blazed with bon- 



fires and fireworks and ten thousand hurrahing men and 
boys carried torches and transparencies in the longest and 
most enthusiastic torchhght procession the city had ever 
seen — to celebrate Virginia's secession from the Union of 
which this, her capital had been a stronghold. 

The invading army was already on its march south- 
ward, and Richmond soldier companies were ready for 
orders to " Fall in " at a moment's notice. On Sunday, 
April 2 1 St, services were going on in the churches and 
chatter of children, on their way home from Sunday 
school, sweet and clean in their Sunday clothes, mingled 
pleasantly with bird flutings and the distant roar of the 
falls floating in at windows opened to the spring morning. 
Suddenly, the bell in the Capitol tower sounded — ! One 
— two — three — silence. And again, one — two — three — 
silence. It was the signal agreed upon — the first command 
of the war! Immediately churches were emptied. The 
soldiers were the first to hurry out and to hear that the 
big United States steamer Pawnee — after having done 
great damage to Norfolk Navy Yard — was on its way up 
James River to bombard and capture Richmond. " With 
a shout the soldiers rushed to their rendezvous." The 
artillery and infantry were marched down either side of 
the river, the Governor's guard and cavalry sent out to 
reconnoitre. The remainder of the inhabitants — men, 
women, children — swarmed upon the bluffs overlooking 
the river to see the battle. But there was no battle. Hours 
passed and it finally developed that the visit of the 
Pawnee was a false alarm. " Pawnee Sunday " and 
the " Pawnee War " were soon subjects of merriment, 
but they stimulated enlistment and preparation for 
real war. 



The serious problem confronting " honest John " 
Letcher was choice of the right man to command Virgin- 
ia's troops. Soon his thoughts fixed themselves upon Col- 
onel Robert E. Lee, who represented all that birth and 
breeding could give toward making a gentleman, with the 
best that West Point training and the experience his 
brilliant record in the Mexican War could add in making 
a soldier and an officer. Colonel Lee, feeling that " though 
opposed to secession and deprecating war " he could take 
no part in an invasion of the Southern States ", had ten- 
dered General Scott his resignation as an officer in the 
United States Army (which he probably could have 
commanded if he had elected to remain in it) and 
returned to his home and family at " Arlington." 
At " Arlington " from whose portico he had so often 
looked with pride upon fair Washington — a mile away 
— Capital of the Union he had loved and fought for! 
Before deciding on his next step he would have a 
few days of domestic peace at " Arlington " whose 
stately groves and fruitful fields were at the height of 
spirit-resting beauty. At " Arlington ", so soon to lock its 
doors upon him — to be part of the price he would pay 
for loyalty to his native state and his South. It was at 
" Arlington " that " honest John's " invitation reached 
Robert E. Lee, and on Monday following " Pawnee Sun- 
day " he arrived in Richmond. At stations all along the 
road he had been sped on his way by cheering crowds and 
at Central Depot he found a welcoming multitude. He 
was not only believed to be the prize of the United States 


Copyright. Courtesy of the Confederate Memorial Institute 


Detail from Fresco by Hoffbauer, in the "Battle Abbey" 

Copyright. Courtesy of the Confederate Memorial Institute 



Armistice Day. 1921 


Fresco in "Battle Abbey" 
Copyright. Courtesy of the Confederate Memorial Institute 



Army, but there was something about this handsome, erect 
but not very tall, gentle, human, unostentatious man unani- 
mously described by those who knew him as " grandeur." 
Mary Johnston in her book, Cease Firing, introduces 
him dramatically with : " One rode ahead on a grey horse. 
Noble of form and noble of face, simple and courteous 
he came . . . and grandeur came with him." An old, 
old lady who was his neighbor in Richmond during the 
war, asked to describe him said : " He had a look of gran- 
deur. A man of a younger generation who (as a Virginia 
Military Institute student) saw him constantly in his 
after-the-war home, at Lexington said : " He was modest, 
approachable, gentle, indulging in flashes of quiet humor, 
but there was something about him which can only be 
expressed by the word grandeur." 

At the Spotswood Hotel he found another great crowd 
of people eager to greet him. They clamored for a speech 
and he delighted them with a few earnest words. 

On the same day Governor Letcher announced to the 
Secession Convention still sitting in the Capitol that (with 
their consent) he would appoint Colonel Lee commander 
of Virginia's military and naval forces. Next day, as the 
hand of the clock in the historic Hall of the House pointed 
to 12 there was a lull in the proceedings of the Convention. 
The door had opened and the man who moved modestly, 
but within an aura of grandeur, stood on its threshold, 
" on the arm " of Major Marmaduke Johnson. As one 
man, the Convention arose to its feet. Half way up the 
aisle Major Johnson, pausing, said: "Mr. President, I 
have the honor to present to you and to the Convention 
Major General Lee." Mr. Janney acknowledged the intro- 
duction eloquently. General Lee replied : " Mr. Presi- 
dent and Gentlemen of the Convention — Profoundly 
impressed with the solemnity of the occasion, for which I 



must say I was unprepared, I accept the position assigned 
me by your partiality. I would have much preferred had 
the choice fallen upon an abler man. Trusting in Almighty 
God, an approving conscience and the aid of my fellow 
citizens, I devote myself to the service of my native State, 
in whose behalf alone will I ever again draw my sword." 
To say that this great soldier was unsheathing his 
sword to preserve the institution of slavery would be 
absurd. The only slaves he had ever owned were a few 
inherited from his mother and he had freed them long 
before the war. In 1856 he had declared slavery to be 
" a greater evil to the white than to the black race ", adding, 
" while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the 
latter, my sympathies are strongly for the former." His 
wife was the daughter of Martha Washington's grandson, 
George Washington Parke Custis, who ordered in his will 
that his slaves be freed within five years. In 1862, General 
Lee, as executor, left his army long enough to carry out 
this direction of his father-in-law. 


On April 27, 1861, the Convention invited President 
Jefferson to make Richmond the seat of his government. 
The invitation was accepted by the Provisional Congress 
at Montgomery. On May 29th, the President arrived in 
Richmond, and the capital of Virginia became the capital 
of the Confederacy. The City Council had bought a 
worthy White House (the Brockenbrough Mansion, in 
the " Court End " of town), then the home of Mr. James 
A. Seddon and now the Confederate Museum. The Com- 
mittee from the Provisional Congress held that the Con- 
federacy, and no one city, should provide the President's 
house, and had the city reimbursed. 

Richmond's newest citizen had a national reputa- 
tion as one of the brilliant public men of his time. He, 
too, was a West Pointer and a distinguished veteran of 
the Mexican War. He had represented Mississippi in 
House and Senate and had been Secretary of War dur- 
ing Pierce's administration. Later he had returned to his 
seat in the Senate, where he remained until the secession 
of Mississippi, when he resigned and made his way back 
to his home in Dixie. He had not been an extreme seces- 
sionist, and his election was regarded as an attempt to 
meet the wishes of the conservative group of southerners. 
Curiously, the President in Washington and the President 
in Richmond were strikingly alike in person. Both were 
born in the year 1808, and in the same State — Kentucky. 
But — during early childhood Lincoln was taken by his 
parents to Indiana ; Davis to Mississippi. So it is probable 
that the attitude of these two men of destiny toward a 
question which was temporarily splitting the Union in two, 
and the part taken by each in deciding it, was largely a 
matter of geography. Suppose when the boys left Ken- 



tucky little Abe Lincoln had gone to Mississippi and been 
cuddled in the soft arms of a black mammy, and little Jeff 
Davis had gone to Indiana to be fed on tales of the mal- 
treatment of poor darkies by ogrous Southern masters? 
Well, suppose the moon were really made of green cheese ! 

President Davis was received with joy by the people 
who, over and over again, crowded about and stopped 
his carriage to shake his hand as he passed through the 
streets to Spotswood Hotel, where he, like General Lee, 
had to speak a few words to them to satisfy their clamor. 

Now Virginia's State House becomes the Capitol of 
the Confederacy — the meeting place of the Confederate 
Congress. The President's office was in the Custom 
House, on Main Street, the War Department in Mechanic's 
Hall on Ninth and Franklin, the Patent Office in Goddin's 
Building at Bank and Eleventh Streets. And now cap- 
ture of Richmond on the James becomes the chief object 
of the Government at Washington. " On to Richmond " 
shout the armies of the North on the march to attack Vir- 
ginia's Capital, and " On to Richmond " answer the armies 
of the South on the march to defend it. Hired negro labor- 
ers swing their picks throwing up barriers against the 
forces coming to free their race. Chanting of their " spirit- 
ual " melodies keeps time with the rhythmic movement of 
their bodies. Another sound breaks on the air. A train has 
come in bringing a company of rosy-cheeked, bright-eyed 
grey-clad boys, who are marching through town with fife 
and drum. People in the streets are clapping and yell- 
ing the weird " Ah-e-e-e, ah-e-e-e," to become known as the 
" Rebel yell." The negro laborers break off in the middle 
of some such song as : 

" There were ten virgins when the Bridegroom come," 
and take up the air the fife is playing — supplying the words : 

" Dixie Ian' whar I was born in, 
Early on one frosty mornin', 
Ahway, Ahway, Ahway down souf in Dixie 1" 

t ^X'i 

n. O 
1 H 

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i t 

1 :' 

I i 

i rv 



^jr^ A^ ^i^/^y^/,/^, '>•''"' (p////'(J'///rjy. 



From a drawing by Virginia A. Garber, by courtesy of the artist 


The whole town was busy with preparation for the 
conflict which everybody in it felt certain would soon be 
over, with victory for the Confederacy. Belle Isle Iron 
Works, Tredegar Iron Works, and the Armory were manu- 
facturing munitions; women made uniforms and tents; 
the Council and business men raised money to equip the 
volunteers who crowd to recruiting stations, and also to 
provide for the families of men whose only business now 
must be war, and to care for those who would be brought 
back sick and wounded. Children played soldier in the 
streets — brandishing broom-stick guns with avowed inten- 
tion to ** shoot all the Yankees." One little fellow soon 
to be fatherless closed his prayer at his mother's knee with : 
" Please God keep the Confederate flag on top of the 
Capitol." All trains brought troops from some part of 
Virginia or from other Southern states, who were marched 
to the camps — one at the Fair Grounds (the present Mon- 
roe Park), one at Richmond College, one at Howard's 
Grove (on Mechanicsville turnpike), one on Chimborazo 
Hill. Indeed, the whole town seemed to have suddenly 
turned into a military encampment. 

Inclination would draw a veil of forget fulness over 
the hatred that was breeding in Richmond against the 
North and in the North against Richmond, but such a 
veil would give history the lie, and history must be " the 
light of truth." Today, in five National Cemeteries in 
and about Richmond tens of thousands of tiny stone 
markers dot the grass above the ashes of those who sur- 
rounded the town in what many of them conscientiously 
believed to be a holy cause, and in Richmond's own ceme- 
teries similar bits of stone mark the spots where sleep the 
city's devoted defenders. Fifty-odd years after the strug- 
gle, interested tourists or sorrowful pilgrims are constantly 
visiting these pitiful graves. Annually, they are watered 



with tears and decorated with flowers. Each one of them 
represents a tragic break in some home circle of long 
ago — North or South. 

But more pathetic than the thought of their mangled 
young bodies — of their snuffed out lives, is that of the 
hate that brought these brave lads at grips. To kill one 
another, men must hate. To the North all Southern sol- 
diers were " damn Rebels ", in Richmond and throughout 
the Confederacy all Northerners were " damn Yankees." 

To add fuel to the fires of hatred of Yankees which 
the war itself was causing to wax hotter and hotter, Rich- 
mond people were reading in the newspapers and in the 
Southern Literary Messenger the most inflammatory arti- 
cles from the Northern press. Said the New York Courier 
and Examiner, of April 30, 1861 : " Let the levees on the 
Mississippi be at once prostrated in a hundred places while 
the water is high, and let the traitors and rebels living 
in the lower Mississippi be drowned out just as we would 
drown out rats infesting the hull of a ship." (It did not 
occur to the writer that such a procedure would be as dis- 
astrous to slaves as to masters). The New York Tribune 
of the same day suggested : " An allotment of land in 
Virginia will be a fitting reward for the brave fellows 
who have gone to fight their country's battles ", and the 
Philadelphia Sunday Transcript of May i8th advised, 
" Desolation from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. Let 
the traitor states be starved out by blockade and given 
to the swords and bayonets of stalwart freemen. If neces- 
sary myriads of Southern lives must be taken — Southern 
bodies given to the buzzards — Southern fields consigned 
to sterility, and Southern towns surrendered to the flames." 

This stuff and more like it was read and discussed 
on the porches and around tea tables of " cheer- 
ful Richmond." 


In the first field of battle of the war in Virginia, fought 
at Bethel Church, near Hampton, on June lo, 1861, and 
won by Confederates, under General Magruder, formerly 
of the United States Army, the Richmond Howitzers, 
which were first organized for the John Brown Raid, 
played a prominent part. Our youthful diarist, William 
White, was a member of the third company of this battal- 
ion. They left Chimborazo for the front " in splendid 
spirits ", at sunrise, on a June morning, all of the boys 
" eager to see service." When marching through Church 
Hill they passed White's home and he saw his old colored 
" mammy " in the yard. Let him tell it : 

" She rushed into the street, clasped me in her arms 
and whilst great tears of grief trickled down her dusky 
cheek, placed in my hands a huge loaf of bread, begged 
me to accept it, and humbly apologized because it was all 
she could give. Lives the Virginian whose soul does not 
melt into tenderness when he remembers the ever vener- 
ated ' mammy', whose name was perhaps the first ever 
articulated by his childish lips, whose snow-white kerchief 
and kindly heart will ever be in the memories of the happy 
past; whose ample lap was so often childhood's couch, 
when tiny feet were wearied in roaming over the green 
fields and joyously wading through the limpid streamlets of 
the old homestead ! And then at nightfall, when the candles 
were lighted, . . . how gently, tenderly, that old black 
* mammy ' raised him up in her great strong arms, carried 
him through the spacious hall, and up the wide winding 
stair-case ; then placing him carefully in his low trundle- 
bed, first taught his infant lips the hallowed words of the 
Lord's Prayer." 



News of the victory at Bethel Church — with sHght loss 
— was received with joy in Richmond and the work of 
preparation went forward with renewed zest. On July 
2 1 St, occurred that awful clash, the First Battle of Ma- 
nassas. All day long the frightful carnage went on. All 
day long Richmond people crowded around the bulletin 
board — nervously, anxiously, devouring the messages 
from the front as fast as they could be flashed over the 
wires. President Davis was on the field, and at last sent 
word to the breathlessly waiting city : 

" We have won a glorious but dear-bought victory." 
" Dear-bought! " It was a word South and North were 
to find described most victories. The shouting and the 
the tumult were hardly hushed when the lists of casualties 
began to be sent back. And now the fifes played funeral 
airs and muffled drums kept time as the dead came in on 
the trains and were borne to family sections or to the plots 
set apart for them in Oakwood and Hollywood. The 
wounded were carried to hospitals or to private homes. 
Blue-coated prisoners were brought in too, in great num- 
bers, and were taken to the huge, barnlike structure, for- 
merly a warehouse, but henceforth to be known as " Libby 
Prison" — and if wounded to Libby Prison Hospital. Two 
days after the battle of Manassas President Davis was 
welcomed home to Richmond by a cheering throng to 
whom he made a brief address praising the grey soldier 
boys and their commanders — General Beauregard and 
General Joseph E. Johnston — and lamenting the loss of 
General Bee, who just before his fall had rallied his men 
with the famous words : "There stands Jackson like a stone 
wall. Let us determine to die here and we will conquer." 

General Winfield Scott had been regarded as a sort of 
son-in-law by Richmond since his marriage to one of her 
charming daughters, but the people could not forgive him 



for remaining with the United States army, which had be- 
come " the enemy." They were glad that he was in com- 
mand of the defeated forces because they knew it would 
mean his displacement. This happened when General 
McClellan, known to Northerners as the "young Napoleon" 
of their army was given command. According to one of 
many stories of General Scott which have been handed 
down, President Lincoln asked him why, after his brilliant 
entrance into Mexico City, he could not get into Richmond. 
General Scott replied that the President must remember 
that many of the men who helped him to enter Mexico 
were the same who were keeping him out of Richmond. 

On November 6th, Jefferson Davis and Alexander H. 
Stephens were unanimously elected as permanent President 
and Vice-President of the Confederacy, and Richmond 
chose Ex-President John Tyler to represent her in the Con- 
federate Congress. The State Convention met again and 
adopted Virginia's new Constitution. The historic little 
white pillared building in Capitol Square was now housing 
the Provisional Confederate Congress, the Virginia Legis- 
lature and the Constitutional Convention at the same time. 
The first permanent Confederate Congress assembled in it 
on February i8, 1862. President Davis was inaugurated 
on Washington's birthday 1862, and the Square and streets 
leading into it were packed with people who stood in a 
pouring rain to see the ceremony. The President (with his 
Cabinet near him) stood on a platform at the base of 
Washington Monument with the bronze Washington 
immediately over his head, and the onlookers saw a 
good omen in the fact that the right hand of the 
great Revolutionary leader pointed dramatically south- 
ward. It is written that (after prayer by Bishop Johns) 
" Mr. Davis spoke like one inspired." That night the 
first of the fortnightly " levees " was held in the crowded 



rooms of the White House, when " The President looked 
weary and grave, but was all suavity and cordiality, and 
Mrs. Davis " — a beautiful and gracious young matron, by 
the way — " won all hearts by her usual unpretending kind- 
ness." These levees, were at once aristocratic and demo- 
cratic. " To them " wrote one who frequented them (T. 
C. De Leon, in his book. Belles, Beaux, and Brains of 
the Sixties) " flocked the world and his wife, in what 
holiday attire they possessed, in the earlier days marked 
by the dainty toilettes of really elegant women, the ' butter- 
nut ' of the private soldier and the stars and yellow sashes 
of many a general. . . 

"Mrs. Davis collected the more important of Rich- 
mond's society leaders, making of them, unawares, a sort 
of informal staff ... A military band was always in 
attendance. . . . Cabinet ministers, congressmen, heads 
of bureaus and departments, new generals and old admirals 
fresh- faced young recruits and distinctively foreign types 
from the coast South, all mingled together. . . . Here 
was seen the red beard of Ambrose P. Hill; Beauregard 
would sometimes glide through the rooms with his staff. 
Dashing Pierce Young attended and gallants from Mary- 
land, soft-voiced Carolinians and sturdy estrays from Ken- 
tucky and Missouri mingled with the home set and the 
dainty debutantes and belles. These assemblages were 
great amalgamators, and brought together people who 
had never met elsewhere." Mrs. Davis " never differen- 
tiated, and all were made to feel that they were present by 
right and not on suiferance. . . , The President himself 
unbent more at these levees — though they assuredly bored 
him — than anywhere else. He had that marvellous mem- 
ory which locates instantly a man not seen for years and 
his familiar inquiries so pleased the visitors that they were 
not aware of being gently, but speedily, passed along." 



The levees constituted the official entertaining of the 
White House. " State dinners, save in very rare neces- 
sities, as in case of important foreign visitors, were not 
given." Mrs. Davis was unofficially at home to visitors 
every evening when " only tea and talk were proffered to 
her guests." But, as " It was her husband's invariable 
custom to give one hour of each day ... to his family 
circle . . . the early caller was almost sure to meet the 
man of the hour ; to shake his courteously proffered hand ; 
to hear the voice upon . . . which hung the fate of 
the Cause." 

A Richmond girl (one of the lovely " three Fishers ") 
who attended the White House levees and was an ardent 
admirer of " our President ", still (as a matron of vener- 
able age) loves to recall him. She says: "He was a 
stately, elegant man ... I can see him now on his superb 
charger, riding through the streets unattended, and lifting 
his hat to all he met." 

Notwithstanding the absence of so many of its men, 
the city overflowed with all sorts of people. In addition 
to members of the Confederate Congress, and the State 
Legislature, people having business in connection with the 
war were coming and going all the time. There were sol- 
diers on leave and a swarm of refugees (whose homes 
had been captured or destroyed by the enemy) went from 
door to door seeking board and lodging in houses already 
crowded to the limit. Then there were more than enough 
pickpockets and other thieves and desperate characters 
of various and sundry sorts to keep Castles Thunder and 
Lightning filled — besides Northern spies and other 
undesirables. For sake of law and order President Davis 
proclaimed martial law in Richmond and for ten miles 
around it, forbade the distillation, selling, or giving away 
of liquor, and closed distilleries and saloons. 



News from Hampton Roads of the brilliant perform- 
ances of the Merrimac — iron-covered and rechristened 
Virginia — was received in Richmond, on March 8, 1862, 
with wonder and admiration. Council and citizens 
promptly bestirred themselves to have iron-clad boats 
for Richmond's defense. The women decided to present 
the city with one of them and formed the " Ladies' Defense 
Association " to raise the money. 

Before their plans could be carried out the Confeder- 
ates saw fit to blow up the supposedly invincible Vir- 
ginia, the enemy army was marching up the Peninsula 
and their gunboats were coming up the James. The gun- 
boats received a check on May 15th, when they were 
driven back, badly crippled by Confederate batteries on 
Drewry's Bluff, eight miles below Richmond — but Rich- 
mond was in a state of alarm approaching panic. Gover- 
nor Letcher called a mass-meeting that day to organize for 
stronger defense, and President Davis appointed the next 
as a day of fasting and prayer. Now all men over forty- 
five and boys between the ages of sixteen and eighteen 
were formed into a home guard, and the workers of the 
Tredegar Iron Works were formed into a battalion. And 
now all business was closed at two o'clock, that what was 
known as the " second class militia " might drill. By 
means of newspapers and bulletin boards success or failure 
of Southern arms in distant places was watched in Rich- 
mond with keenest joy or sorrow according to the nature 
of the tidings. But in Richmond itself, as Capital of the 



Confederacy and desire of the eyes of the Federal Govern- 
ment and armies, interest and anxiety throughout the South 
centred — for all knew that if Richmond should fall the 
Confederacy would fall. 

The gunboats knocking at one of Richmond's most 
important gates were being held in check, but General 
McClellan and his army were less than twelve miles away, 
overland, and were slowly, steadily coming " on to Rich- 
mond." Slowly and steadily, with march a little and dig 
a little, for they were throwing up earthworks as they 
came — making their defenses sure for deadly work — 
digging themselves in for a determined siege. There was 
but one barrier between McClellan's hosts and the coveted 
Capital and that was the Army of Northern Virginia 
under command of General Joseph E. Johnston. Within 
that Capital busy days were passing — busy with the round- 
ing up of stragglers and sending them back to their places, 
with the movement of baggage to the rear, with the equip- 
ment of hospitals soon to be needed, busy with reinforc- 
ing the army. Richmond watched regiment after regiment 
of men in grey marching through town to the music 
of " Dixie " and " Bonny Blue Flag ", to join the lines. 
Many of the people and of the soldiers were impatient for 
something more than occasional skirmishing to happen. At 
last, on May 30th, all was ready for the battle expected 
on the morrow. A violent thunder-storm during the after- 
noon was followed by an unusually brilliant rainbow which 
seemed to exactly arch the Confederate lines. Both the 
soldiers and the people in the city saw in it an emblem 
of hope. When the sun rose next morning it saw the 
grey host marching along to meet the blue. Marching 
along, marching along, colors flying, bands playing ; march- 
ing with light feet, with light hearts, gaily, gladly, as 
though there were no such thing in the world as screams 



of shot and shell, as tearing flesh and gushing blood, and 
faintness and pain and death. Roads were deep in mud, 
fields standing in water, but the men in grey were joyously 
marching along the Williamsburg road at last. Here and 
there through the tenderly green May woods gleamed 
spreading boughs of dogwood blossoms — like snow-white 
tents; here and there blushed splotches of bloom of the 
Judas tree — like freshly flowing wounds. But the sky was 
washed clean by the rain — clean of every cloud, and the 
morning sun glanced merrily on buttons and bayonets and 
on waving Confederate flags — red, white and blue like 
the Stars and Stripes, but different. And the men in 
grey were marching along, marching along to meet the 
men in blue. 

At noon began the Battle of Seven Pines. The boom- 
ing of cannon not far away filled Richmond with appre- 
hension. Its people knew that a battle was going on — 
that was all. That night they knew its location and of 
the terrible losses to the Federals and comparatively slight 
losses to the Confederates. General Lee and President 
Davis had both been present. Just after darkness had 
brought surcease to the carnage and General Johnston had 
ordered his now weary — very, very, weary — grey soldiers 
to sleep on the ground where they stood, and be ready 
to renew the battle in the morning, he had fallen badly 
wounded, and had to be borne from the field. Riding 
into town together that night the President told General 
Lee that he would be, on the next day, assigned to command 
of the forces defending the Capital, as Johnston's wound 
had deprived the army " in front of Richmond " of its 
immediate commander and made it necessary to interfere 
temporarily with Lee's duties in connection with the general 
service. Early Sunday morning the President was again 
at the front, directing in person the transfer of the Army 





Lee Statue and St. James Church Spire 

One of Richmond's "war-gardens", summer of 1919 

o - 


of Northern Virginia to Robert E. Lee. A comparatively 
mild degree of fighting continued that day. 

Today, in the National Cemetery at Seven Pines, 
monotonous row on row of small stone markers bear wit- 
ness to its tragedy, and children playing in the woods 
nearby sometimes wonderingly pick up bullets in the grass 
waving above long ridges which were McClellan's 

Reports of the victory were received in Richmond 
with joy tempered with grief for the South's losses. Vehi- 
cles of every description were used to bring in dead and 
wounded and the whole town gave itself to ministering to 
suffering. In the barracks-like Chimborazo Hospital alone 
there were several thousand patients, and stores, hotels, 
warehouses, factories and Richmond College were turned 
into hospitals. Women made mattresses and churches gave 
their cushions for the wounded to lie upon. Great num- 
bers of prisoners were brought in and many of them also, 
were sick and wounded. The blockade of Confederate 
ports and the seizure or destruction of food-stuffs from 
farms exposed to the depredations of Federal soldiers 
marching "on to Richmond" reduced the prisoners and 
patients in blue, as well as their captors, to slim rations. 


From First Manassas on, nursing in homes and hospi- 
tals had been the chief employment of a large part of 
Richmond's population. Of course there were no profes- 
sional nurses, but many girls and women were soon as pro- 
ficient as if they wore graduates' badges. 

Where so many performed valiant service it is possi- 
ble to name but few. Mrs. Arthur F. Hopkins (nee 
Juliet Ann Opie), of Mobile, was chosen by her State 
to go to Richmond and organize the Alabama Hospital, of 
which she became matron. She gave her fortune (of 
nearly $200,000) and herself to the Confederate cause. 
She was under fire at the battle of Seven Pines giving 
" first aid " to wounded men, was herself twice wounded 
and limped the rest of her days. General Johnston de- 
clared that she was more useful to his army than a new 
brigade. He was one of the line of officers, Grey and 
Blue, who followed her to her grave at Arlington, in 
1890. The splendid work of Mrs. Lucy Mason Webb, 
long matron of the officer's Hospital, and that of Miss 
Emily Mason and her sisters are matters of record. 

A commemorative tablet on a Main and Third Street 
house (once the residence of Judge John Robertson) marks 
for the passer-by of today the war-time " Sally Tompkins 
Hospital." Here a small, demure, young woman to 
become affectionately known as " Aunt Sally ", worked 
with her many aids — women and men, white and colored 
— throughout the war, giving, like Mrs. Hopkins, of her 
means as well as her time and energy — and everybody 
helped her in every way. Judge John Robertson provided 



her with a building — his own home ; hundreds of others 
gave money, provisions, themselves. Some gave her their 
family servants. Among these was Dr. Spotswood 
Wellford, who contributed his excellent cook. Soon after 
the battle of Manassas President Davis directed that only 
military hospitals be maintained and in order that little 
" Aunt Sally's " might be included in this class without 
losing its efficient head, he sent her a commission, with 
pay, as a Captain of Cavalry. She returned the pay to 
the Confederate Government, but accepted the title and 
" Captain Sally Tompkins " she remained for the rest of 
her long life. 

Among the many women who nursed regularly in 
" Captain Sally's " hospital was Mrs. Judith McGuire, who 
with her husband, Rev. John P. McGuire, principal of the 
Episcopal High School, had been compelled to leave her 
home near Alexandria at the beginning of the War. She 
was one of the many refugees who in the city of her youth 
(where her father had been president of the Court of Ap- 
peals) had to walk the streets for days in search of 
shelter. Like many other women, she not only nursed on 
regular days but filled a clerical position in one of the 
Government Departments. Her Diary of a Southern 
Refugee (a private journal which was, later, published) 
gives a vivid picture of life in Richmond during the war 
years. Many of her patients enjoyed having the Bible 
read to them. She advised some of them who were de- 
pressed by the superior numbers of the Northern armies 
to pray, " as the Israelites did ", during their wars against 
the Philistines. " But," replied a Georgia volunteer, 
"the Philistines didn't pray and the Yankees do; and 
though I can't bear the Yankees, I believe some of them 
are Christians and pray as hard as we do. I don't know 
what to think of our prayers clashing." Another patient 



hearing of one of the frequent days of fasting and prayer 
appointed by President Davis asked: " I wonder if Mars' 
Jeff himself fasts on these days? " And was informed 
that he did, and attended the services too. 

Ministers and Young Men's Christian Association 
men did splendid work for the soldiers — in hospitals and 
out of them. In January, 1863, Rev. Moses D. Hoge, 
D. D. was sent to England to solicit Bibles for them. He 
brought back 10,000 copies of the Bible, 50,000 of the 
New Testament and 25,000 of the Gospels and Psalms. 

Hard as times were many home-made delicacies — thin 
biscuits, broths, jellies and so on — which the people 
could not think of indulging in themselves, found their 
way to the bedsides of sick and wounded soldiers. Even 
the children did their bit toward making the patients com- 
fortable — fanning flies away from feverish faces with 
paper fans made in the spare moments of Rich- 
mond women. 

Hear Mrs. McGuire tell a story illustrating the atti- 
tude toward the war of the plain people who never had 
owned and never expected to own a slave, and surely 
would not have given their lives and their all rather than 
have the " upper ten " lose the right to own them. 

Seeing a woman of this class buying Confederate grey 
cloth at a fancy price in a store, Mrs. McGuire told her 
that she could get it much cheaper from the quartermaster. 
She replied : 

" I know all about that, for my three sons is in the 
army, and gets their clothes thar; but you see this is for 
my old man, and I don't think it would be fair to get 
his clothes from thar, because he ain't never done nothing 
for the country as yet. He's just gwine in the army . . . 
He says to me, says he, ' The country wants me ; I wonder 
if I could stand marching? ' . . . . Says I, ' Old man, 
I don't think you could, you would break down ; but . . . 



" 2; 

< -c 


you can drive a wagon in the place of a young man that's 
driving, and the young man can fight. ' . . . And he's 
agwine just as soon as I gits these clothes ready." " Did 
you want your sons to go? " " Want 'em to go? Yes; 
if they hadn't agone, they shouldn't a-staid whar I was. 
But they wanted to go, my sons did ! " She added : " Them 
Yankees must not come a-nigh to Richmond; if they does, 
I will fight them myself. The women must fight, for they 
shan't cross Mayo's Bridge ; they shan't git to Richmond ! " 

Many of the older men, besides being members of 
the home-guard and ambulance corps worked in the hospi- 
tals. From first to last 1,300 men nursed in the Sally 
Tompkins hospital. 

All life was strange, very, very strange in Richmond 
in those days. At St. Paul's Church, on a February Sun- 
day morning in 1862 the sermon was preached by Rev. 
Mr. Quintard, then a Chaplain in the army, who was Bishop 
Ouintard of a later period. He wore his surplice over 
his Chaplain's uniform. Says Mrs. McGuire: "It was 
strange to see the bright military buttons gleam beneath 
the canonicals. Everything is strange now ! " 

But all was not sadness and gloom, even in those 
times that tried men's souls. General Lee urged the pretty 
girls who flocked around him eager for a smile or a hand- 
clasp, to make their homes as gay as possible for the sol- 
diers on leave in Richmond. "Which" (in the words 
of one of "the three Fishers'") "we always tried 
to do. . . . 

" It was understood that young ladies were ready to 
receive in the afternoon and evening, and the soldier boys 
would call in great numbers. Frequently the girls would 
meet at one particular home. We would have music and 
dancing — cotillions and quadrilles, ending with the old 
Virginia reel. . . . Sometimes there would be one belle, 
who appeared in handsome velvet or satin, trimmed with 



point lace, that had been worn by an ancestress, while 
others in the room would feel very elegant in a wash 
muslin or a calico dress, costing, perhaps, fifteen dollars 
a yard (in Confederate money). On one occasion I wore 
an old tarleton dress, resurrected, rumpled and worn, from 
the depths of an antique trunk. I had no trimming for it, 
except rows of arbor vitae, which I plucked from a tree 
in the yard. ... As the war went on we had little but 
homespun dresses . . . which we wore with great pride 
over big hoop skirts. ... I remember a hat that I made 
out of an old broadcloth coat and it had a feather on it 
that came from the waving plume of a chanticleer." 

An answer to the question why was pain permitted 
to come into the world may never be found. Perhaps 
one reason was to give the human heart a chance to show 
its power to rebound. Happily, wartime youth is the same 
perennial as peacetime youth — under different circum- 
stances; and even war cannot make prigs and prudes of 
wholesome-minded young folk. As the war went on 
" starvation parties " were popular. Richmond boys and 
girls could make feasts of lemonade very nearly minus 
lemons and sugar, served with cakes minus almost any 
of the conventional ingredients. Richmond girls could be 
bewitching in straw hats plaited by their own fingers of 
blades of rye and in party frocks fashioned out of old 
lace curtains or any old furbelows found in attics. A 
girl who secured enough black alpaca to make herself a 
dress in the voluminous style of the time and enough 
bright colored skirt braid to trace upon it a " wall of 
Troy " design, with knots of the braid instead of ribbon 
at her throat and upon her hair, was admired by all of 
her chums. 

Not only for party finery were attics ransacked, but 
for materials of which to contrive costumes and stage 



properties for amateur theatricals and tableaux which 
served the double purpose of providing diversion and mak- 
ing money for charity. There were always women and girls 
enough for the feminine parts and any man — from a pri- 
vate to a general — who happened to be spending a night 
in Richmond, was in danger of being pressed into 
service for a masculine role. General " Jeb " Stuart 
was once captured for a star part in a tableau and 
appeared in full uniform. The McGuire Diary pauses 
in its record of anguish in 1863 to tell of the disap- 
pointment of Richmond girls because a brigade which 
had planned to give a tournament was ordered away. 
For the quiet and cultured set there were innumerable 
musicales and the unique literary and musical enter- 
tainments of the " Mosaic Club." There were also dinners 
and receptions for military heroes and others in many pri- 
vate homes. De Leon names as among especially host- 
tesses Mrs. Samuels, Mrs. Macfarland, Mrs. Ives and 
Mrs. Pegram. He adds : " What came nearest to a 
Salon in Richmond — and as far as I know in America — 
was held at Mrs. Robert C. Stanard's. ... At her fre- 
quent dinners, receptions and evenings, Mrs. Stanard col- 
lected most that was brilhant and brainiest in government, 
army and congress. . . . There, men met statesmen like 
Lamar, Benjamin, Soule and their peers ; jurists like John 
A. Campbell and Thomas J. Semmes; fighters like John- 
son, Hampton and Gordon; and the most polished and 
promising youth of the war. . . . And with these came 
the best of her own sex that the tact and experience of the 
hostess could select. . . . Her house was one unremittent 
Salon." This Mrs. Stanard was the same who had been 
Thackeray's hostess in the house which has been the home 
of the Westmoreland Club for more than a generation — 
the same whose husband had been Poe's playmate. 



After " Seven Pines ", the Grey army was more than 
ever determined to die rather than let the enemy at the gates 
of the Capital come in. People and soldiers were heartened 
by news of Stonewall Jackson's brilliant performance in 
the Valley of Virginia. He was keeping General McDowell 
too busy there for him to be sent to carry out the enemy's 
plan of reinforcing McClellan in his siege of Richmond. 
Lee knew that McClellan was strongly intrenched in front 
of him and on his left, and planned to attack his right 
wing so soon as he could be certain of its location. The 
intrepid cavalry leader, General J. E. B. Stuart, with 1,200 
cavalry and a battery of artillery, undertook to get him 
this information. To use General Lee's own words, Gen- 
eral Stuart with " part of the troops under his command 
. . . made a reconnoissance between the Pamunkey and 
Chickahominy Rivers and succeeded in passing around 
the rear of the whole Union Army, routing the enemy 
in a series of skirmishes, taking a number of prisoners, 
destroying and capturing stores to a large amount. Hav- 
ing most successfully accomplished its object, the expedi- 
tion recrossed the Chickahominy almost in the presence 
of the enemy, with the same coolness and address that 
marked every step of the progress and with the loss of 
but one man, the lamented Captain Latane, of the Ninth 
Virginia Cavalry, who fell leading a successful charge 
against a force of the enemy." With the information thus 
acquired in his hands. General Lee planned his next step. 
Jackson suddenly disappeared from the Valley — causing 



all sorts of wild guesses — but General Lee knew that he 
was quietly moving his forces southward, toward Rich- 
mond. On June 23d, he left his army at Fredericks Hall 
and rode on alone. That night he was in secret conference 
with Lee, Longstreet and the two Hills, " somewhere " 
near Richmond. On June 26th, Jackson's Army moved 
from Ashland, about fifteen miles north of Richmond, 
eastward toward Mechanicsville, to join General A. P. 
Hill. He had arrived in Ashland half a day later than was 
planned and General Hill had already crossed the Chicka- 
hominy at Meadow Bridge and moved on the tiny village 
of Mechanicsville, driving Federal forces before him. 

These actors in a great tragedy were all unconscious 
of the audience watching them from a gallery furnished by 
the hills and roofs of Richmond. Let Mrs. McGuire tell it : 
" Early in the morning it was whispered about that some 
great movement was on foot. Large numbers of troops 
were seen under arms. ... A. P. Hill's division occupied 
the range of hills near ' Strawberry Hill ' the cherished 
[summer] home of my childhood. About three o'clock 
in the morning the order to move . . . was given. . . . 
The gallant Fortieth followed by Pegram's Battery rushed 
across the bridge at double quick and with exultant shouts 
drove the enemy's pickets from their posts. The enemy 
was driven rapidly down the river to Mechanicsville [33^ 
miles east of Meadow Bridge and 8 miles north of Rich- 
mond] where the battle raged long and fiercely. At nine 
o'clock all was quiet. . . . Our victory is said to be glori- 
ous but not complete. . . . Our streets were thronged 
until a late hour to catch the last accounts from couriers 
and spectators. . . . The President and many others were 
on the surrounding hills during the fight, deeply interested 
spectators. The calmness of the people during the prog- 
ress of the battle was marvellous. The balloons of the 



enemy hovering over the battle field could be distinctly 
seen from the outskirts of the city, and the sound of 
musketry as distinctly heard, but none were alarmed for 
the safety of the city. From the firing of the first gun 
till the close of the battle every spot favorable for observa- 
tion was crowded. The tops of the Exchange and the 
Ballard House, the Capitol, and almost every other tall 
house were covered with human beings, and after night- 
fall the commanding hills from the President's house to 
the Alms House were covered like a vast amphitheatre with 
men, women and children witnessing the grand display of 
fireworks — beautiful, yet awful, and sending death 
amid those our hearts hold so dear. . . . The brilliant 
lights of bombs bursting in the air and the passing to the 
ground of innumerable lesser lights, emitted by the thou- 
sands and thousands of muskets with the roar of artillery 
and the rattling of small arms constituted a scene terrifi- 
cally grand." 

Finally, both Blue and Grey soldiers slept on their 
arms, awaiting daylight and renewal of the battle. The 
great war-stage north of Richmond had become a giant 
chess-board whose players moved their men back and 
forth in their effort to accomplish a checkmate. At dawn 
next day the battle was renewed, but during the night 
McClellan had retired from his strongly fortified position 
along Beaver Dam Creek to one greatly strengthened by 
breast works and abatis along Powhite Creek (another 
branch of the Chickahominy, five miles further east) and 
there the battles of Gaines' Mill and Cold Harbor were 
fought next day. At ten o'clock that night Mrs. McGuire 
jotted down in her Diary : " Another day of great excite- 
ment in our beleaguered city. From early dawn the cannon 
have been roaring around us. Our success has been 
glorious! The citizens — gentlemen as well as ladies — 



have been fully occupied in the hospitals. Kent, Paine & 
Co. have thrown open their spacious building for the use 
of the wounded. . . . General Jackson has joined General 
Lee and nearly the whole army on both sides were engaged. 
The enemy has retired before our troops to their strong 
works near Gaines' Mill. Brigade after brigade of our 
brave men were hurled against them, and repulsed in 
disorder. McClellan is said to be retreating. Praise the 
Lord, O my soul ! " 

On June 29th, the Grey force met with continued suc- 
cess at Savage Station ; on the next day at Frazier's Farm. 
On July 1st, Jackson in his pursuit, found McClellan 
splendidly fortified at historic " Malvern Hill ", the old 
Cocke home, on a high bluff overlooking James River, a 
few miles below Richmond. " The battle raged imtil 
late into the night, but all efforts to pierce the enemy's 
line failed — " wrote General Lee's adjutant. Col. Walter 
H. Taylor. During the night McClellan' s army folded 
their tents and stole away. It is written that they left 
" their dead unburied and their wounded as they fell," 
and that " the wheatfields about ' Shirley ' [the ancestral 
home of General Lee's mother] were all trampled down 
by the fugitives too impatient to follow the road. Arms, 
accoutrements, knapsacks and overcoats were strewn on 
the roadside and in the field." The McGuire Diary 
brings its record of the Seven Days' Battles to a close 
with : " Richmond is disenthralled and the only Yankees 
there are in the Libby and other prisons. McClellan and 
his ' Grand Army ' are on James River near ' Westover ', 
enjoying mosquitoes and bilious fevers." General Lee's 
report says in part : " The siege of Richmond was 
raised. The object of the campaign which had been 
prosecuted after months of preparation, at an enormous 
expenditure of men and money, completely frustrated." 



Prior to this time, General Lee had been intensely admired 
in Richmond and the South; after it he was adored. 

During the Seven Days' Battles, Richmond had its 
hands full caring for the wounded, burying the dead and 
providing for the prisoners. Hospitals and homes were 
overflowing. Libby Prison was so packed that many 
prisoners were taken to Belle Isle, opposite Gamble's Hill. 
Exchange of prisoners going on all the time brought relief 
to both Blue and Grey. The Blue soldiers did not spend 
July 4th in Richmond, as victors, as they had planned, but 
about that time Richmond gazed silently on three thousand 
of them who had been prisoners of war, being marched 
out of town. They were a homesick, heartsick, hungry 
lot, and were happy to shake the city's red clay dust from 
their feet, for they had seen little of its hospitality in 
those days of blockade, siege and detestation of blue uni- 

About two miles from the point where fell Captain 
William Latane — the only man lost by General Stuart in 
his passage around McClellan's army — were the adjoining 
Brockenbrough and Newton plantations, " Westwood " 
and " Summer Hill." Captain Latane's brother, giving his 
horse to a soldier whose own mount had been shot under 
him, remained beside the body, while his comrades swept 
on. Seeing the " Westwood " mill-cart on its way to the 
mill with sacks of corn to be ground, he hailed it. " Uncle 
Aaron," the old negro driver helped him to lift his dead 
brother into it and drove it back to " Westwood ", whose 
mistress Mrs. Catherine Brockenbrough, the only white 
person on the place, received it tenderly, promised to give 
it burial, and sped the brother on his way on a horse which 
the " Summer Hill " family had managed to hide from 
the enemy. 

Mrs. Brockenbrough, with the help of her niece, Mrs. 


From a steel engraving of the wartime painting by William D. Washington 



William B. Newton, mistress of " Summer Hill " and 
her sister-in-law, Mrs. Willoughby Newton, who was 
refugeeing there, prepared the body for burial and had 
a pine coffin made for it at " Westwood " Carpenter Shop. 
" Uncle Aaron " dug the grave in " Summer Hill " grave- 
yard and was sent to ask Rev. Mr. Caraway to read the 
funeral service ; but the blue-coat pickets would not per- 
mit the aged minister to pass, and so, next day, the ladies 
of the two households (which included the Misses Dab- 
ney, refugeeing at " Summer Hill ") with the aid of some 
of the family servants, buried him themselves. Mrs. Wil- 
loughby Newton read the service from the Prayer Book 
and Mrs. William Newton's little children (whose father 
was soon to be killed leading a cavalry charge) strewed 
flowers on the grave. John R. Thompson wrote a poem, 
which was published in the Southern Literary Messenger, 
describing the incident. William D. Washington read 
the poem and made the scene the subject of a much 
admired painting, which has been lost, but has become 
noted through reproduction. Many copies of a steel en- 
graving made from it may be seen in Richmond and 
other Southern homes today. Wartime Richmond belles 
posed for the figures. Mrs. Newton reading the burial 
service is represented by the beautiful Page Waller 
(later Mrs. Legh Page), and the other figures in the 
picture are Mattie Waller (Mrs. Ralph C. Johnson, of 
Washington), I,izzie Giles (Mrs. Samuel Robinson, of 
Washington), Jennie Pegram (Mrs. David Mcintosh of 
Baltimore), Mattie Paul (Mrs. William Myers, of Rich- 
mond) and Imogen Warwick and Annie Gibson, repre- 
senting the little Newton girls — Lucy and Kate. 

The youthful General Stuart was made forever fa- 
mous by his ride around McClellan. His flowing chestnut 
beard, floating white plume and the merry twinkle in his 

13 193 


eye were as familiar a part of him as his snugly fitting 
grey cloth and his gilt stars, buttons and spurs. He was 
as chivalrous in the drawing-room as he was dashing and 
fearless on the field, and to the girls, seemed as romantic 
a figure as any knight of old. He had his serious side — 
was a devoted Christian and never drank nor swore — but 
at the same time bubbled with fun and humor and had 
a boyish zest for a good time. When it was not necessary 
for him to fight, fight, fight, what he loved best was to 
dance, dance, dance, with the lightest footed girl he could 
fling his arm around to the music of a popular waltz. Soon 
after his dash around McClellan he was at a ball in 
Richmond at which pretty Lizzie Giles wore a " really and 
truly " party frock, made of tulle which had run the 
blockade. Of course General Stuart must whirl that fairy- 
like figure about whom floated yards upon yards of snowy 
thistle-down, around the ballroom floor. He danced in 
spurs and one of them caught in the airy stuff swirling 
after the dancer's twinkling slippers, tearing off streamers 
of it which wound themselves around and around the young 
general's cavalry boots; but in a trance of joy, he would 
not stop, nor let his partner stop. So they kept whirling, 
whirling, whirling until much of the tulle was in tatters. 
Scarce as tulle party frocks were, the fair wearer, if she 
could speak today, would say : " It was worth it ! " 

Magazine and newspaper jokes reflect the spirit of the 
time in Richmond in those years when the Confederacy 
was still full of hope. The Messenger for January, 1862, 
has a burlesque on an examination of a Federal soldier for 
a commission. " ' Are you famihar with the history of 
General Scott ? ' the applicant is supposed to be asked. 
' You can bet on it ' is the reply. ' General Scott was born in 
Virginia at an early age. He licked the British in 181 2, 
wrote the Waverly Novels and his son Whahae bled with 


^ z 


Wallace.' ' Pause, fair youth. What makes you think 
that General Scott had a son named Whahae ?' ' Ha ! . . . 
that's because you don't understand poickry. Why if you 
will just turn to Burns' works, you will learn that Scott's 
Wha'hae wi' Wallace bled.' 

" The Board was so pleased with Villiam's learning 
that it gave him his commission, presenting him with 
two gunboats and a cannon, and recommended him for 
President of the New York Historical Society." 

Stuart, on his raid around McClellan's Army, is des- 
cribed by the Richmond Examiner as " a circuit rider con- 
ducting a series of missionary meetings " and reporting 
his success to " Bishop " Robert E. Lee. " Even their 
wagons were converted and purified by fire. Some of 
them were constrained to come and abide with us, bring- 
ing with them their cattle." 

A writer in the Richmond Whig jocularly describes 
Jackson as a man dangerous to the peace of society and 
issues a mock proclamation signed " Jefferson Davison," 
offering $i,ooo reward "if the aforesaid Stonewall is 
taken in Washington, $5,000 if taken in Philadelphia, and 
$20,000 if taken in Portland, Maine." 

There never was a human being more ready for a 
bit of laugh-provoking nonsense than a tired, ragged, dirty, 
hungry Confederate soldier. 


On December 14, 1862, cannonading in the direction 
of Fredericksburg, heard in Ashland, announced that a 
new " on to Richmond " expedition under McClellan's suc- 
cessor, General Burnside, was being vigorously repulsed. 
Mrs. McGuire (who was then in Ashland) wrote : " The 
firing is very heavy and incessant. We hear it with terri- 
ble distinctness from our portico. God of Mercy be with 
our people and keep back the invaders! I ask not their 
destruction ; but that they be driven to their homes, never- 
more to set foot on our soil." The next day she wrote : 
" Trains have been constantly passing with the wounded 
for the Richmond hospitals. . . . Ladies were at every 
depot with refreshments." History repeats itself. 

Though frequent skirmishing kept the people uneasy 
and the news of battles far away and the coming in of 
the wounded and prisoners were depressing signs of the 
times, Richmond was not the centre of hostilities again 
for some time following the battle of Fredericksburg. 
But conditions in the city grew more and more distressing. 
Confederate money had become almost worthless and the 
problem of finding food to keep together souls and bodies 
of dwellers in homes, hospitals and prisons more and more 
difficult. On April 2, 1863, ^ ^^^ ^^ rough boys and 
women, armed with knives and hatchets entered the Con- 
federate Commissary and helped themselves from its 
meagre stores. The Mayor, the Governor and the Presi- 
dent each in turn remonstrated with them, but not until 
the Home Guard was called out and ordered to fire, was 
the " Bread Riot " quelled. 



After Burnside's failure at Fredericksburg General 
Hooker was put in his place and another " on to Rich- 
mond " march was made ; but he, too, found checkmate — 
this time, on May 31st, at Chancellorsville. But the vic- 
tory was the costliest yet, for Stonewall Jackson whom the 
South was beginning to regard as invincible — immortal, 
almost — was severely wounded and in Richmond the peace 
of taps-hour, on a fragrant May Sunday was broken by 
by the news of his death. Jackson dead? Jackson dead? 
The people repeated the question over and over again 
staring at one another with pallid faces. On the next 
afternoon, while all of the church bells which had not been 
melted to make cannon were tolling, the train bringing 
his coffin wrapped in a Confederate flag and covered with 
flowers placed upon it by Ashland people when it passed 
through, came into stricken Richmond and stopped at 
Broad and Sixth Streets. It was removed to a hearse and, 
while the band played a dirge, escorted by military and 
people to the Governor's house. Next day it lay in state in 
the Capitol where the great soldier's noble and beloved face 
was viewed by heart-broken thousands. On Wednesday 
they took him home to Lexington. 

Jackson dead? Yes, yet forever living, not only in 
the Beyond, but here — in History, and in the heart of 
each succeeding generation of Southerners. Today in 
Richmond, a sculptured figure stands on a pedestal in 
Capitol Square facing the white pillared house of many 
happenings. It was placed there long ago by English 
admirers of him it represents. Children tell one another 
it is Stonewall Jackson and grow up familiar with the 
look of him and with stories of his heroic deeds. And 
away toward the sunset in the middle of the finest street 
of the Richmond which has arisen on the ruins of the 
Confederacy's Capital, passersby may see him, in memo- 



rial bronze, on his favorite horse, " Sorrel." Rider and 
horse in perfect repose, looking serenely Northward — day 
after day, year in year out, he stands there like a stonewall. 

Richmond and the whole South fully realized the loss 
of General Jackson when the news came of the disastrous 
battle at Gettysburg on the first day of July, 1863, between 
the Grey army under General Lee and the Blue under 
General Meade — who had succeeded Hooker. Orders 
for Libby Prison to make ready for 6,000 prisoners were 
followed by the dreaded dead and missing list. The sor- 
rowing people told one another as they read it that if 
General Lee had only had the aid of Stonewall Jackson he 
would have won another great victory. 

The third year of the war dragged on in Richmond 
with war work given over more and more to women, as 
the need of men at the front became greater. There was 
of course endless knitting, lint-scraping and sewing, in 
addition to nursing, and many women filled places in the 
government departments. Meanwhile, news from the 
battlefields north, south and in Virginia, was breathlessly 
watched for and anxiously discussed. With the spring 
had come relief from the high tension under which sol- 
diers and people were living, in the form of a wartime 
" best seller." Notwithstanding the difificulty of carrying 
on any kind of business, " West and Johnston " had 
managed to bring out a number of eagerly read books — 
among them reprints of some of the novels of Wilkie 
Collins and a translation of Octave Fuillet's Romance 
of a Poor Young Man. The Messenger for February, 
1863, announced a translation of Les Miserahles, in 
five parts, at $2.00 a part. Copies of the first part — 
" Fantine " — in flimsy pamphlet form, were bought, passed 
along and read to tatters. A soldier who had seen it adver- 
tised went into a Richmond store and asked for " Lee's 



Miserables faintin'. " The story went the rounds and 
throughout the South " Lee's Miserables " became the 
jocular name for Victor Hugo's masterpiece. The July 
Messenger announced that " Fantine " was in its tenth 
thousand and that the second part of the book — " Cosette " 
— would be ready soon. The July Messenger also devoted 
thirteen closely printed pages to a review of " Fantine." 
The August number contained a fifteen page notice of 
" Cosette " and announced that the three other parts would 
be issued in one volume as soon as paper could be secured. 

The year 1864 opened with a little ripple of social life. 
President and Mrs. Davis held a New Year's Day recep- 
tion in honor of the inauguration of a new Governor of 
Virginia — " Extra Billy " Smith — and on January 9th, 
the people gave a ball at the Ballard House in honor of 
Gen. John B. Morgan, who had escaped from an Ohio 
prison and made his way to Richmond. 

On February 28th, the Bell in the Tower warned the 
city of the approach, by way of Brook Road, of General 
Kilpatrick with a column of cavalry detached from Meade's 
army — then near Orange, Virginia. All business stopped 
and every man who could bear arms marched out under 
General Wilcox, to the city's defense. Meantime, General 
Lee (who was in the neighborhood of Orange, hourly 
expecting a clash with Meade), was informed by wire of 
the impending raid and sent a detachment under General 
Wade Hampton to the rescue, with disastrous results to 
the enemy. A day or two later a second column of Kil- 
patrick's command, under Colonel Dahlgren, attempted a 
more daring raid. With himself and men clad in Con- 
federate uniforms, he came within three miles of Rich- 
mond, but was repulsed with loss of forty of his four 
hundred men. Some of the remaining forces went off to 
join Kilpatrick while the rest escaped with Dahlgren and 



entered King and Queen County. There, a home guard 
of old men of the county lay in wait for them in the woods, 
at a spot which has ever since been known as " Dahlgren's 
Corner ", and suddenly opened fire. Dahlgren fell dead, a 
number of his men were killed and ninety white men 
and thirty-five negroes were captured. His plans, dis- 
closed by written orders found on his person, were: 
" Release the prisoners from Belle Isle first and having 
seen them fairly started we will cross James River into 
Richmond, destroying the bridges after us, and exhorting 
the released prisoners to destroy and burn the hateful 
city, and do not allow the rebel leader, Davis, to escape 
.... Be prepared with oakum, turpentine and torpedoes. 
Destroy everything that can be used by the rebels. Shoot 
horses, cattle, destroy the railroads and the canal, burn 
the city, leave only the hospitals and kill Jeif Davis and 
his Cabinet." Dahlgren's body was sent to Richmond, 
and was buried by Confederate soldiers in Oakwood Ceme- 
tery. His father. Admiral Dahlgren, sent President 
Davis a hundred dollars in gold, with the request that 
his son's body be sent home, but the grave was empty. 
Miss Van Lew — the Federal spy — and some of her friends, 
had had the body taken up, placed in a metallic coffin and 
buried beyond the city. After the War it was again 
disinterred and sent to Admiral Dahlgren. General Meade 
emphatically disclaimed knowledge or approval of Dahl- 
gren's orders. 

In May, 1864, the whole Confederacy was thrilled by 
the gallantry of the Virginia Military Institute cadets at 
the Battle of New Market. Some of these young heroes 
were Richmond boys and years afterward their valor was 
commemorated with an impressive monument by another 
son of Virginia's capital, the famous sculptor, Sir 
Moses Ezekiel. 


Ulysses S. Grant (supplanting Meade) was the next 
general chosen to lead the Federal Army "on to Rich- 
mond." He opened his campaign May 4, 1864, by moving 
the great army raised for him across the Rapidan River 
and southward, but was checkmated with frightful loss, 
by General Lee, in the battles of the Wilderness and Spot- 
sylvania Court House. His dispatch to Washington, of 
May loth, said: " The enemy . . . evince a very strong 
purpose to interpose between us to the last." But General 
Grant was determined to bring to pass the fall of Rich- 
mond and the Confederacy if there should be no one left 
on either side to tell the tale. It is written in his official 
report : " The resources of the enemy and his numerical 
strength were far inferior to ours." With this knowledge 
of superior strength to make him certain of ultimate suc- 
cess, he called for and received reinforcement after rein- 
forcement, with abundant fresh supplies of ammunition 
and rations. To consider the value of human life was 
to fail, and he was determined not to fail ! He hurled 
his reinforcements upon the thinning ranks of Lee's men 
who gallantly rushed forward to meet them, with their 
" rebel yell " — weird and triumphant as the cry of the 
Valkyries — and (in the words of Col. Walter H. Taylor) 
" their earnest faces, their sparkling eyes, their cheeks, 
in many cases begrimed, their tattered clothing, their bright 

During the terrific carnage which went on for days 
at Spotsylvania (afterward fitly named " the Bloody 
Angle ") Grant sent Sheridan with 10,000 cavalry 



around Lee's right wing toward Richmond. Stuart, learn- 
ing of the plan, followed with three brigades, two of which 
were to hedge Sheridan off before he could reach Rich- 
mond and the third to attack him from the rear, Stuart, 
with his 3,000 reached Yellow Tavern (on Brook Road, 
six miles north of Richmond) on May nth, and held 
Sheridan's 10,000 men in check nearly all day (until Bragg 
had time to bring his troops from below Richmond to 
relieve him) after which Sheridan retreated back to Grant's 
Army. Thus, a second time, " Jeb " Stuart saved Rich- 
mond — but while leading the charge he received a mor- 
tal wound and died there next day. To President Davis 
who visited him a few hours before the end, this gay- 
hearted young warrior, known as the " eyes and ears of 
Lee's army ", said : " I am willing to die if God and 
my country think I have fulfilled my destiny and done 
my duty." 

Again Richmond hospitals and prisons were over- 
flowing, and with the purchasing power of Confederate 
money so low that flour was selling at $400 a barrel and 
other supplies at proportionate prices. General Grant with 
his large, well-equipped army was pushing " on to Rich- 
mond " — the now sorely harassed Richmond — from the 
northward, and General Butler, with his, from the south- 
ward. By the time June's first roses were blowing in 
the gardens and birds in the trees overhanging the river 
were — all unmindful of the horrors of war — singing to 
The Falls of the joys of summertime, Lee's army was 
strongly entrenched before Richmond. His inner line 
of breastworks to the westward are now covered by stately 
Monument Avenue, where, in bronze to which time 
is giving the greenish gray mold poetically suggestive of 
the tint of Confederate uniforms, sits Lee on faith- 
ful " Traveller." 






1 IS 
■ S 



^ a 

U o 


Facing the Grey army to the northward Grant's 
120,000 men formed a gHttering double and triple battle 
line over ground where Confederate forces had been vic- 
torious in the Seven Days' Battles two years before. And 
they were to be victorious again. On the afternoon of 
June 3d, Richmond people heard constant cannon-thunder 
for one hour during which twelve thousand of the boys in 
Blue who heroically obeyed the order that hurled them 
against the Grey wall standing between them and the 
city of their desire, joined the ranks of the dead 
and missing. " Theirs not to reason why." For the space 
of one hour two hundred men a minute killed or wounded 
for the sake of getting into Richmond! In the space of 
one hour the Second Battle of Cold Harbor had passed 
into history and notwithstanding the sacrifice of twelve 
thousand men Richmond was safe — as yet — as yet. Even 
the small percentage of Lee's thinning army which gal- 
lantly fell to keep Richmond safe a little longer was 
serious enough to the Confederates. 

While the Blue and Grey armies still faced each other 
the officers and men of the 26th Mississippi Regiment 
offered to divide their slim rations for the next two days 
with the starving women and children of besieged Rich- 
mond. Mayor Mayo thankfully accepted the offer. 

General Grant now requested a truce that he might 
bury the dead piled up before his lines, and care for his 
wounded. Then, after moving his forces off toward the 
east he gave up hope of capturing Richmond for a time, 
and crossed the river to lay siege to Petersburg. But the 
Grey wall whose look had become familiar stood between 
him and that city also — for Lee was there before him. The 
tug of war before Petersburg continued day after day, 
week after week, month after month. July 30th the Battle 
of the Crater was fought, with Federal loss of 4,000 to 



Confederate of only 800; but the Blue reinforcements 
seemed limitless while the Grey lines were gradually and 
permanently thinning — thinning — ^thinning. During the 
Petersburg siege futile, but alarming, raids on Richmond 
continued. Over and over again the Bell in the Tower 
closed up business and sent every man who could bear 
arms to the defense of the city. Under fire of Confederate 
batteries atop the bluff a few miles down the river, Ben 
Butler was making Confederate prisoners dig a canal across 
Dutch Gap to provide a short passage " on to Richmond ", 
for Federal gunboats — an enterprise for the purpose of 
destroying the city which was to fail, but which when 
(after the war) it was completed by United States Govern- 
ment Engineers, became, and still is, of great commercial 
benefit to Richmond and its neighborhood. 

News came to Richmond of disasters in the South; 
in Maryland; of General Early's defeat in the Valley of 
Virginia; of Sherman's ghastly march through Georgia. 
There were some successes still, but many discouragements. 
The people grew despondent. Winter came on, bringing 
Christmas — the darkest Christmas in Richmond's history. 
" Peace on Earth, good will to men," seemed mean- 
ingless phrases. Yet people strove to be cheerful. Con- 
federate money bought less than ever. Turkeys were from 
fifty to a hundred dollars apiece, but every home that could 
manage it had something in the way of a little feast — 
if only ginger cakes made with sorghum. The new year 
opened with besieged Petersburg still keeping the armies 
of Lee and Grant busy, while the people there and in 
Richmond waited and suffered, and depression deepened 
— deepened — deepened. Slowly, anxiously, miserably, 
January passed. Carpets which had covered big old- 
fashioned rooms, were cut up into squares, whipped around 
the edges to keep them from ravelling and used for bed 



coverings in the hospitals and in tents. Old men were 
sent around to gather up lead tops of preserving jars to 
be melted into bullets. Women gave their silver, their 
jewelry — anything that could be sold — to buy food for 
the soldiers. Men gave their watches. February came 
and went. In the midst of its anguish Richmond rejoiced 
that General Lee was made Commander-in-Chief of all 
the Southern armies. Early in March, through a letter 
to General Grant, he made an attempt to treat for peace, 
but President Lincoln refused a conference for that pur- 



Waiting Richmond knew that with ports open and 
means to buy suppHes and to hire troops from outside 
of the country, as well as power to draft those inside, 
the blue coats had the world to draw on, for both men 
and materials; and hope of saving the city grew dimmer 
and dimmer. Spring's pale green veil rested on grove 
and garden. Jonquils and hyacinths were blooming again ; 
birds singing again. All nature was prating of hope and 
renewal of life. But on Friday, the last day of March, 
Mrs. McGuire scribbled in her Diary : " Many persons 
think that Richmond . . . may be evacuated at any time." 
On the next day booming of cannon from the South- 
ward told of the Battle of " Five Forks " going on before 
Petersburg. The mournful sounds sent shivers of appre- 
hension through Richmond, for the weakness of the van- 
ishing Grey army was realized there. The next day was 
Sunday — a beautiful April Sunday. Half way up the 
middle aisle of St. Paul's sat the President of the Con- 
federacy, listening to the Rector's sermon. A messenger 
entered the church, walked up the aisle, stopped and 
whispered to Mr. Davis, who took up his hat and went 
quickly out. Richmond soon knew what it meant. The 
battered Grey wall before Petersburg had given way. 
The town had fallen. General Lee had ordered General 
Ewell in command of forces in and about Richmond to 
evacuate the city — to move all troops, artillery, infantry, 
cavalry and all military wagons, burning the bridges be- 
hind them. Cotton and tobacco were to be destroyed to 
prevent their capture, 



Consternation was followed by despair. People who 
could get themselves and their goods out of the doomed 
city did not wait for the military to leave. The bars 
were down and " the enemy " which had for four years 
clamored for entrance would soon rush in. President 
Davis and other officials made arrangements to be off 
before they were captured. " In the shortest time imagina- 
ble vehicles of all kinds were flying along bearing goods 
of all sorts and people of all ages and classes." At mid- 
night committees named by the City Council began their 
work of pouring into the gutters all the liquor in town, 
and before daybreak the torch was applied to cotton and 
tobacco in the warehouses. The soft spring night was 
still, and it was believed that the fires could be controlled, 
but as dawn approached a wind sprang up blowing from 
the wholesale district toward the heart of the business 
section. The flames leaped and crackled, licking hungrily 
at — devouring — building after building, and went laugh- 
ing and shouting on their ruinous way. Among homes 
threatened was that of General Lee, on which streams of 
water played all day. A lawless mob rushed ahead of 
the flames and carried away everything they could snatch 
— in carts, in wheelbarrows and in their arms. 

Soon after sunrise a brigade of Grey cavalry rode 
into the city with expectation of taking part in its defense. 
A white flag on a parapet by the roadside and the " dense 
smoke which seemed to be rising from every direction " 
told them of the fall of the Confederacy's Capital. " As 
our column moved slowly through the mob, using sabres 
to clear the way ", wrote Private Spottswood Bird, of this 
brigade, " this mass of every age, sex and color, wild with 
excitement, and many laden with plunder, would block our 
way at every turn. The streets and sidewalks were filled 
with boxes, barrels, timbers and goods of every kind and 



description. As barrels, boxes, etc., were rolled from the 
stores, the mob would burst them open and scramble wildly 
for the contents, apparently regardless of whether they 
became victims of the flames, were trampled beneath our 
horses' feet, or fell under the blows of our sabres, in 
their wild greed for loot. In one of the warehouses they 
found a quantity of whisky stored, and as the barrels 
were rolled into the street they were met by those outside, 
promptly burst open with clubs, the contents literally filling 
the gutters as from a shower of rain. Numbers of them 
grabbed up tubs and buckets, dipped to the brim the fiery 
liquid, which the more generous of them freely dispensed 
to our men with the tin cans, cups, etc., lying around. 
This served as the only breakfast we had; it was better 
than none, and in keeping with the surroundings." 

Immediately after the Confederate troops were gone 
Mayor Mayo with a special Committee carrying a flag of 
truce rode out to the fortifications beyond Tree Hill farm 
to surrender the Southern Capital. He delivered this 
letter : 

Richmond, Monday, April 3, 1865. 
To the General Commanding the United States Army in 
front of Richmond. 
General: — The Army of the Confederate Government 
having abandoned the City of Richmond,! respectfully request 
that you will take possession of it with an organized force, to 
preserve order and protect women and children and property. 

Joseph Mayo, Mayor. 

When the fire was at its height a cry of wild distress 
swept through town : " The Yankees ! The Yankees have 
taken our city! " 

General Weitzel at the head of triumphantly hurrahing 
Blue cavalry dashed through the streets. The big iron 
gates of Capitol Square swung wide to receive them and 



over the greensward they rode to the white-pillared Capi- 
tol. Some of them were hardly dismounted before they 
were flying up the steps. Past the halls of many con- 
ventions, past the Houdon Washington, they sped, to the 
top of the building. The Stars and Bars were hauled 
down; the Stars and Stripes flung to the breeze. The 
four years' dream of " On to Richmond " had come true 
at last! 

But it was a distressed and distracted Richmond which 
was entered. The military was for the most part courteous 
and the people gladly cooperated with them in their efforts 
to restore order. They succeeded in getting the fire under 
control by blowing up buildings in its path, but not until 
nine hundred houses (mills, factories, stores, dwellings and 
their contents) and four-fifths of the whole supply of food 
in the city — and also a church — had been destroyed. Half 
a mile of Main Street, with portions of intersecting streets, 
were smoking debris in the midst of which rose blackened 
walls with shutterless windows, like ghastly eyes staring 
upon the scene of desolation, and here and there a lonely 

Martial law was declared. General Shepley, Military 
Governor of the city, made the Capitol his headquarters. 
General Devers was given the Governor's Mansion and 
Major General Weitzel took the White House. Colonel 
Manning, the Provost Marshal, made his headquarters in 
the old City Hall and later in the Old Stone House. On 
that day and for several weeks afterward Richmond women 
would not show their faces at doors, windows or on 
the streets. 

On April 5th a stranger arrived from Old Point, by 
steamer, with a party consisting of a few marines and 
some friends. Accompanied by these President Lincoln 
rode from the wharf to what had been a few days before 

14 209 


the White House of the Confederacy, and partook of a 
collation there. As he passed through the streets most of 
the citizens held coldly aloof, though they offered him no 
disrespect on this his first and last visit to Richmond ; but 
a crowd composed largely of negroes gave him an en- 
thusiastic welcome. After spending several hours in 
consultation with General Weitzel he passed through the 
streets to his boat again, and away. Many other 
Northerners visited the distressed city, for many reasons. 
Some wished to see for themselves a place which had 
become so famous. Writers and artists were sent to 
make sketches for newspapers and magazines. Others 
hoped to find ways of making money there. Of course 
interest in the battlefields drew — and still draws — 
many tourists. 

On Sunday, April 9th, a long, miserable week after 
the message to President Davis in St. Paul's Church, 
General Lee surrendered to General Grant, at Appomattox. 
The news brought grief to the people of conquered Rich- 
mond, but to the Federal soldiers occupying it, exultation 
— which they expressed by firing two hundred guns in 
Capitol Square. 


War was over. Defeat was acknowledged, but defeat 
without dishonor. Poverty reigned, but poverty without 
shame. It was a sign of what Richmond had suffered in 
a defense of which it was proud. A large proportion of 
the young manhood on which Richmond set its highest 
hopes for the future lay dead, but courage was not dead. 
And without delay Richmond braced itself for the task 
of rebuilding. On April nth. President Lincoln raised 
the blockade of Virginia ports and business communica- 
tion with the outside world became possible — though no 
one could leave the city without an order from the Presi- 
dent, the Secretary of War, or General Grant. 

The apparently conciliatory attitude of President 
Lincoln when he issued his first amnesty proclamation 
was harshly criticized by Northern extremists. The call 
for a meeting of the State Legislature, which filled 
Virginians with hope was promptly countermanded by 
the new Federal commander, General Ord. Though war 
was over, real peace was not yet. The old building with 
the sign " L. Libby and Son, Ship Chandlers," was still 
a prison — but it now housed a great number of Confeder- 
ates. In the burnt district, property owners were seen 
cleaning* bricks, preparatory to rebuilding, and young men 
of prominent families hired themselves out for this work. 

General Ord's reports to the Secretary of War give 
a grim picture of the Richmond scene, with its thousands 
of paroled soldiers of General Lee's Army unable to get 
to their homes, and 26,000 people " of all classes without 
money or food." He was opening shops where women 



could be employed by the Quartermaster's Department. 
A number of well known Confederate Generals and " many 
prominent and formerly wealthy citizens were asking what 
they could do to earn their bread." General Ord helped 
conditions by furnishing transportation home for families 
who had refugeed in Richmond. A Relief Commission 
formed to take care of the starving people, divided the 
city into thirty districts and organized house-to-house 
visiting. Where need was foimd, ration tickets were 
issued which entitled the bearer to pork, or fish, or beef 
and corn meal, or flour ; sugar, and tea. In the seventeen 
days from the entrance of the Federal army into Rich- 
mond, to April 2 1 St, no less than 128,132 rations 
were issued. 

On the second of May, General Dent (who had become 
Military Governor of Riclimond) wrote to his brother-in- 
law, General Grant : " There is a starving multitude here." 
Some had money to buy food, but there was no food for 
sale. Twenty thousand negroes " mostly idle and desti- 
tute " were in the town. On June 22d, General Halleck 
said that they had increased to thirty or thirty-five thou- 
sand. They were free, but as yet they did not know what 
to do with freedom. Many of them thought that it meant 
freedom to live in idleness and to commit crime. 

Even amid such dark scenes as have been pictured 
there were colorful bits of by-play. On a day soon after 
Richmond's occupation by the Blue army, a troop of 
cavalry jogging along Grace Street (doubtless on their 
way to camp for fresh rations) passed a group of children 
with their nurses. Some of the cavalrymen hailed " Bub " 
and " Sis " — titles strange to the ears of Richmond young- 
sters — and asked if they would like to have some cakes. 
Though coming from the dreaded Yankees, the prospect 
of such a treat was welcome, and children and nurses 



joyfully snatched up the hard, dry sugar-cakes which 
the soldiers took from their haversacks and tossed to the 
sidewalk. In the memory of at least one man still living 
in Richmond, who was one of those fortunate wee rebels, 
the incident is a bright spot ; for it was — so far as he can 
recall — his earliest acquaintance with cakes. 

On what a few years ago was one of the quietest 
of down-town blocks in Richmond stands a plain, sub- 
stantial brick house which was in its prime a typical home 
for a Richmond gentleman of comfortable means, with a 
family of cheerful size and enough servants to make life 
easy. This was the war residence of General Lee, and 
is now the home of the Virginia Historical Society. Of 
late, tides of business have eaten their way into this quiet 
cove. Newness and progress press it hard, but it serenely 
watches the world go by. It was to this home that, on 
April 15th, General Lee returned from Appomattox. A 
now venerable lady who from her porch nearby witnessed 
his return says of it: 

" He rode Traveller, and was, as usual a commanding 
figure, though his grey coat was dingy from hard service, 
and both he and the horse looked tired and dispirited. His 
expression, though calm, was unutterably sad. With him 
came some of his staff, gaunt and pallid, in ragged uni- 
forms, on bony, weary old horses. Dilapidated army 
wagons creaked after them. One of these was covered 
with an old quilt in place of the customary canvas. Not 
a very inspiring cavalcade, it would seem, yet when the 
blue-coated soldiers of the winning side, who then occu- 
pied the city recognized the defeated hero, the air rang 
with cheers, loud and prolonged. General Lee acknowl- 
edged this tribute by gravely lifting his hat. Again and 
again the cheers rang out. Again and again they were 
acknowledged in the same manner, until he reached his 



home. Here he dismounted and still acknowledging the 
vociferous greetings of the men in blue, backed up the stone 
steps of his house and through its door, which closed 
behind him." 

Soon after that door had shut General Lee in with 
his family a friend went to him with the news of Presi- 
dent Lincoln's assassination. Deeply shocked, he ex- 
claimed : " This is the hardest blow the South has yet 
received." Prophetic words, the hardships of the recon- 
struction was to prove them ! Yet, for the present, no 
one realized how prophetic they were. The new President, 
Andrew Johnson, seemed inclined to carry out the moderate 
policies of his predecessor and the conciliatory spirit of 
Governor Pierpont filled the people with hope, when (with 
the so-called government of Virginia which had been set 
up in Alexandria) he was transferred to Richmond. And 
now soldiers from Northern prisons began to stream into 
Richmond. Homeless, penniless, hungry, ragged, almost 
— or quite — barefoot, they came; but still singing the old 
Southern melodies, fighting battles over again in reminis- 
cent talk, sparkling with quip and jest, whenever two or 
more of them came together, and laughingly telling one 
another how they had " worn themselves out whipping 
Yankees." Numbers of them wore Confederate uniforms 
— their only clothes. The military guards would cut off 
the buttons and let them pass; for in the Capital of the 
Confederacy, Confederate buttons — like Confederate flags 
— were banned by law. Richmond women did everything 
they could for the veterans' comfort, and (poor as the 
people were now that Confederate money was entirely 
worthless, and they had little else) they held a mass- 
meeting and raised funds to help the soldiers on their 
way to their families. 

And what of the President of the Confederacy? As 
the murdered Abraham Lincoln was the martyr of the 



war, the living Jefferson Davis was its scapegoat. Presi- 
dent Johnson had offered $100,000 for his capture and 
Richmond learned with distress that he had been taken 
prisoner by Federal soldiers, in Georgia, and with 
his family, the Confederate Vice-President, Postmaster 
General and others, was confined at Fortress Monroe. The 
dignity and patience with which he bore the humiliations 
of his life there and the confiscation of his Mississippi 
home — " Beauvoir " — and his denial of citizenship in the 
reunited country, endeared him to the people of Richmond 
and the South. His home was restored to him in his 
old age and there he died — but still a man without a 
country, save one which was only a memory of a four- 
years-long dream. Its erstwhile Capital — Richmond — 
received his dead body with profound respect and affec- 
tion and gave it a statesman's burial in Hollywood — in a 
spot overlooking the Falls of James River. Members of 
his family sleep near him — including " Winnie " born 
at the " White House " and always known as " the 
Daughter of the Confederacy." An idealized portrait 
of her may be seen in the marble angel by Zolnay, upon 
her grave, and her father's monument is a bronze statue 
of himself. 

Though the treatment of the people of Richmond by 
some of the military officers was (as has been shown) 
humane, there was intense bitterness in Washington against 
the " rebels." Under an order of the United States Attor- 
ney General, Richmond men who owned any considerable 
amount of property were forbidden to raise money on it 
— even for the rebuilding of their city. Later, less dis- 
couraging measures were adopted. In the fall of 1865, 
local judges prepared to open court, but were forbidden 
to do so by the military authorities. However, in Decem- 
ber, met a legislature really representing the people — the 
last such which was permitted for several years. It 



planned many things for the welfare of the state and Rich- 
mond rejoiced in the belief that the New Year would 
usher in a brighter era, and that a civil government was 
about to take the place of a military one. This hope was 
short-lived. As the year 1866 progressed negroes crowded 
into the city from the country, and incendiary speeches 
of Wardwell, Hunnicutt and other Northern " carpet bag- 
gers " of their stripe stirred up trouble among the worst 
elements. The radicals in Congress were bent on a recon- 
struction of the South which would have placed all intelli- 
gence under dominance of ignorance and hatred. 

On March 13th, 1867, every semblance of local civil 
government in Richmond and the state disappeared and 
military government was given absolute control. Virginia 
lost even her time-honored and beautiful name and became 
" District Number One." Fortunately, her first com- 
mander. General Schofield, was a fair-minded and gener- 
ous-hearted man. John C, Underwood, the United States 
District Judge, seemed to think that his function was to be 
an instrument of oppression to the conquered Confeder- 
ates. Such bitter and abusive language had never before 
disgraced the bench in Virginia and quotation from it 
shall not besmirch the pages of this chronicle of Virginia's 
Capital. It was in this man's court that Jefferson Davis 
was indicted. When the distinguished prisoner was 
brought into Richmond the people who crowded the 
streets could only look upon him in silent sympathy. When 
however, he was granted bail, and Judge Underwood had 
to say : " The Marshal will discharge the prisoner ", the 
crowded courtroom and its surroundings rang with cheers 
which the waiting people in the Square and the streets took 
up and echoed and re-echoed. 

The distress of the people was increased for a time by 
extravagantly high rents, but as business improved condi- 
tions became better. Notwithstanding all difficulties and 



the rigor of military rule the upbuilding of the city con- 
tinued and by the middle of 1867 eleven banks were open. 

Though so intent upon their city's restoration, mem- 
ories of the " late war " and devotion to those who had 
fallen in it were ever present, and when Memorial Days 
came round Richmond flocked to Oakwood and Holly- 
wood to care for and decorate with flowers graves of the 
men who had died in the Confederate service. When the 
sun was setting, young surviving comrades of these were 
seen streaming back into town in a long column, many 
carrying picks and spades on their shoulders and all sing- 
ing loved old songs. 

On December 3d, 1867, a Constitutional Convention 
which contained many negroes, carpet-baggers, and scala- 
wags, and was known as the " black and tan " Convention, 
met in the storied Hall of the House of Delegates. Their 
Constitution was grudgingly accepted by the people, but 
a combination of such Virginians as were enfranchised 
with the better class of Republicans, elected, as " Conser- 
vative " governor, Gilbert C. Walker, of New York. He 
had been a Colonel in the Federal Army, but the people 
had enough confidence in the fairness of his intentions 
toward Virginia and her Capital to give him an old time 
ovation when he arrived in Richmond in July, 1869. 

On January 24th, 1870, a welcome sound rang out in 
Richmond's streets. A sound as cheerful as New Year's 
bells ringing out the old, ringing in the new. Small black 
" newsies " with papers under their arms were crying an 
extra: " All 'bout Virginny back in de Union." 

It was true! Congress had passed the bill admitting 
her. A hundred guns were fired from Capitol Square next 
day at twelve o'clock, for though many and serious tasks 
yet lay ahead of Richmond, the long agony of War and 
Reconstruction was in the past. 



Now see the remnant of Richmond men who went with 
a shout to defend their city turn with a will to restore it. 
Beside them are the women who stoutened their hearts 
for battle; who strengthen their arms for the rebuilding. 
And, half a century later, see Richmond after its baptism 
in blood, in tears and in fire — after a long, long travail, 
born again into a new city. Its many scars are gone, but 
reminders that it is a city with a story are scattered through 
it, not only in such old houses as remain, but in monu- 
ments in marble, in stone and in bronze; in the names 
of streets, of parks, of schools, and of public buildings and 
institutions. The " Court End " of the city has gone. 
The modern Juggernaut, Business, is riding relentlessly 
up homelike Grace and Franklin Streets, but here and 
there throughout the city quaintness peeps engagingly over 
the shoulder or under the nose of newness — as where the 
ancient iron railing still encloses quiet Capitol Square (and 
its hundreds of unafraid squirrels) from the traffic-filled 
street above which towers the Reserve Bank. On midsum- 
mer days the watermelon vendor, with his small canopied 
cart, his mule, and his switch with its leaves left on for 
a combination fly-brush and whip, cries his wares through 
the long new as he did through the little old streets. Yon- 
der grey-beard, in faded Confederate uniform sunning 
himself on a green bench, with his crutch beside him, on 
the green velvet of William Byrd Park is a member of 
the dwindling family in the Soldiers' Home nearby. The 
very name of this park conjures up a picture quainter than 
the veteran — a picture of a figure in the curling locks and 
gallant dress of the i8th Century, planning the founda- 
tion of Richmond and writing in his journal : " Thus did 
we build not castles only, but cities in the air," 


Seen from within Capitol Square 




The year 1870, which brought to Richmond the end 
of the Reconstruction era brought also its share of trouble. 
The giving way of a floor in an overcrowded courtroom 
in the Capitol caused many deaths and injuries — when 
some of the foremost men in the State lost their lives. A 
widely destructive freshet and the burning of Spotswood 
Hotel were among the year's sad events. But such disas- 
ters had only a temporary effect on a city whose business 
quarter was being diligently rebuilt, whose business itself 
was being determinedly revived — often with the aid of 
Northern Capital. Growth from a population of 51,000 
in 1870 to 180,000 in 1922 sometimes slowed down, but 
never halted. The James River and Kanawha Canal had 
to be again made navigable, railroads rebuilt, and extended 
before Richmond could expand satisfactorily. After a 
while the canal boats, like the old stages, disappeared en- 
tirely. They had served their purpose — had their day. 
Now life was adding to its comforts and losing its pict- 
uresqueness. People went travelling in the less leisurely, 
less sociable railway cars. Through lines north and south, 
west and southwest were opened; for a time easy rail 
communication with Virginia seaports made river navi- 
gation of less importance than in earlier days, though the 
river is now coming into its own again and attracting more 
and more attention from new Richmond business men. 

Filling in vacant spots, building up trade, amassing 
capital, attracting new settlers, Richmond grew and grew 
and grew. One does not have to be old to remember 
when the city ended, to the westward, in old fields and 
small farms at the present site of Stuart Monument and 
Circle, and when there was an outcry against placing Lee 
Statue " outside of town, in a mudhole." But this was 
gradually hushed as wide, tree-lined streets were laid out 
and homes, churches and schools sprang up around and 
beyond the " old field " (used as a drillground by the 



Virginia volunteers assembled in Richmond for the war 
with Spain) where Lee on " Traveller " rides, and stretched 
away until the inner line of Confederate earthworks, now 
marked by a cannon mounted on the greensward in the 
middle of Monument Avenue, was left far behind. Seven 
miles of electric railway — the first successful trolley line 
in the world — was Richmond's earliest agent for expan- 
sion. Later, automobiles have scattered Richmond fami- 
lies through what would have been hitherto considered 
distant country localities, until in every direction may be 
seen houses and gardens of people with business in Rich- 
mond who come to town by local train, trolley or automo- 
bile. Along the River Road, passing " Tuckahoe ", the 
old Randolph plantation where Jefferson lived as a child ; 
along with the Three Chopt and Broad Street Roads they 
lie, and on Brook Road — where formerly the huge canvas- 
covered wagons whose owners drove them by day and slept 
in them or put up at some wayside inn or farm house at 
night, hauled produce from distant counties and moun- 
tain regions, and over which stages brought passengers 
and mail from Northern cities. Southward they are 
scattered along the Buckingham Road (locally known as 
the Midlothian Pike), which was the stage route to Lynch- 
burg and over which much tobacco was rolled and coal 
hauled ; and on the Petersburg Turnpike beginning in the 
old town of Manchester (now part of Richmond), cross- 
ing Falling Creek near the site of the first American Iron 
Works, to the great tobacco growing counties of the 
Southside. Eastward, north of the river, on the Osborne 
Road, and the road by which historic " Shirley ", 
"Berkeley" and " Westover " may be reached; on the 
Williamsburg Road, the Mechancisville Turnpike, and 
other roads up and down which moved blue and grey 
armies in 1861-65, these homes of every description — 
cottage, bungalow and mansion — bask in peace. 


The home of Mr. and Mrs. John Stewart Bryan 

By courtesy of Mrs. Bryan 


The home of Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Crutchfield 

By courtesy of Mrs. Crutchfield 

By courtesy of Mrs. Williams 

The home of Mr. and Mrs. John Skelton Williams 

[turtes> of Mrs, Dooley 

The home of Mrs. James H. Dooley 


Suburban parks and country clubs with their play- 
grounds and swimming pools have given Richmond people 
new recreational life. 

Richmond has had in the past many private schools 
and teachers of more than local note — teachers whose per- 
sonality has been a force in the life and character of 
their pupils. By many Richmond parents of today the 
precepts of Mr. McGuire, Captain McCabe, Mr. Norwood, 
Miss Gussie Daniel, Miss Jessie Gordon, Miss Maria Blair, 
Mr. Powell and others of as ripe scholarship, as pure 
character, as gentle breeding and as great personal charm 
are still cherished, and are quoted to boys and girls at the 
feet of the able successors of those and other school 
masters and mistresses whose work though laid down 
is still, subtly, going on. A general system of public schools 
for white and colored children which began in a crude way 
immediately after the Reconstruction, has developed and 
expanded far beyond the dreams of its founders. Insti- 
tutions for higher education of men and women have 
progressed in the same degree. The Medical College of 
Virginia still uses for some of its purposes the unique 
" haunted " house around which have grown up stories 
weird enough to have originated in the brain of Poe, but 
most of the work is done in the more commodious modern 
building. This College and many hospitals scattered about 
town make Richmond a centre of medical, surgical and 
pharmaceutical teaching and a resort of people in and far 
beyond Virginia, seeking recovery of health. Richmond 
College (which has removed several miles into the country 
and expanded into a university with a co-ordinate college 
for women) now occupies a harmonious group of build- 
ings, in charming groimds, equipped for athletic events. 

Northward, Union Theological Seminary (Presby- 
terian) makes another village-like cluster of buildings — 



deep red brick in a setting of deep green foliage. Still 
another impressive north-side group (in massive grey 
stone) is that of Virginia Union University, for negro 
students, vv^ith Hartshorn Memorial College — also for 
negroes — on a pretty campus not far away. 

While sociability and fondness for social pleasure is, 
as it has ever been, perhaps the leading characteristic of 
Richmond people, the various circles of its society are 
still distinguished for culture, and for the large percentage 
of people identified with them who enjoy intellectual pur- 
suits. Since Richmond people have been able to spare time 
from the distinctly practical ways of bread-winning which 
absorbed the population after the War and Reconstruc- 
tion periods, the city has produced quite a galaxy of 
authors of national and some of international note, and 
some artists and musicians to be proud of. If the nature 
of their work has made it necessary for some of these 
to become citizens of the world, it has not kept them from 
continuing to call Richmond " home." 

Notable among them was Thomas Nelson Page, who, 
when a young Richmond lawyer in 1883, waked to find 
himself famous as the author of " Marse Chan." After 
a literary career — much of which was spent in Washing- 
ton — and six years as Ambassador to Italy, he had a 
few weeks before his death, come home to Virginia and 
planted a new roof -tree in Richmond. To James Branch 
Cabell, Richmond is emphatically home though he lives 
at " Dumbarton Lodge," in a suburb. 

Long after the last Confederate has answered the final 
roll call his appearance in camp and on battlefield will be 
vividly familiar through the drawings and paintings of 
William L. Sheppard, the artist who saw service through- 
out the war in the Richmond Howitzers, and his friend 
John Elder, who also painted the Confederate soldier from 
intimate personal knowledge. 

D^ 222 


Richmond has always been a Sunday-keeping com- 
munity. New Richmond has many new Churches for white 
and for colored people, but those which architecturally and 
historically belong to other days and contribute to sugges- 
tions of mellow background, which stimulate memory and 
imagination, have never been permitted to decay. 

Of course New Richmond, like every other city of 
today, has a growing number of apartment houses equip- 
ped with every luxury save the sense of permanency and 
peace given by long association (sometimes inherited asso- 
ciation) and that seclusion which one's very own walls and 
shrubbery and one's own problems of plumbers and proven- 
der impart. And of course there are more and more 
people who decide that the real way to secure peace is to 
avoid these very problems. Many of rejuvenated Rich- 
mond's newest homes flaunt a fanlight, a brass knocker 
or white columns — doubtless from a sense of what is 
becoming in an old and storied city. Inside of them too, 
are reminders of the past in mantel and cornice, in door- 
frame or window seat and some of them are rich in heir- 
looms — in Sheraton tables and Chippendale chairs, in 
grandmother's cupboards and grandfather's clocks, in 
portraits in oil by early American painters and portraits 
in crayon and pastel by St. Memin and Sharpies, 
in Wedgwood and luster, in silver and china. Within some 
of these too, may still be found a few perfect specimens 
of a rapidly vanishing type — the genuine old lady. En- 
throned in a " wing " chair, beside a wood fire, looking 
like a twin sister of " Whistler's Mother ", she makes an 
alluring picture of serenity personified. 

" Way down town ", in the Old Market district the 
ghost of old Richmond walks in broad daylight for the 
delectation of anyone who will wend his devious way 
through the cobblestoned streets that lead to it. If he 



will keep his eyes open he may have a glimpse of an 
original fanlight — grimy, but graceful — above some 
battered door, or a finely patterned iron balcony still cling- 
ing to a sagging wall. It is in the Old Market that the 
covered cart with its darky and its mule still flourishes 
in goodly number, and there women with ebon skins and 
snow-white, sparkling teeth laugh and chatter or croon 
old melodies as they shell blackeye peas or make up nose- 
gays that charm coin from the most canny of purses. 
From gardens of vague regions " somewhere " in the 
country whence the covered carts have come, they bring, 
in season, sweet violets and sprays of lilac and bridal- 
wreath which are the spirit of spring made tangible, and 
wreaths and bunches of holly which create warmth and 
cheer on the bleakest day hoary winter can show. 

Way down town, too, are those unique institutions 
upon which the fortunes of early Richmond were in great 
part founded, and many of those of new Richmond still 
thrive — tobacco factories. These (including the cigar and 
cigarette factories) today give means of bread-winning 
to thousands of persons — men and women, old and young, 
white and colored — and carry the solace of pipe-dreams 
from Richmond into every town and hamlet in the world. 
Long before their barnlike walls are sighted a pungent 
odor with a quality of enchantment peculiar to these fac- 
tories and their product greets the nostrils. As the visitor 
draws near enough to hear the chanting of negro " stem- 
mers " he might well wonder if he is not approaching 
an old plantation, instead of a modern factory. But these 
are not the only factories in the new-old city. " Way down 
town ", which in 1865 was an ash-heap, which, even now, 
is sometimes spoken of as " the burnt district ", business 
buzzes, traffic roars, sky-scrapers soar to heaven and num- 
berless smokestacks proclaim that everything in the world, 
from matches to locomotives is made in Richmond. 


African Church, First (Rebuilt), 125, 161 

Allan House, Site of, 135 

"Ampthill," 24 

Baptist Church, First, 153 

Bell Tower in Capitol Square, 67, 68 

Belle Isle, 171 

" Berkeley," 220 

" Bremo," 24 

Cabell, James Branch, home of, 222 

Capitol, The, Z7, 53, 65, 66, 69, 71-73, 79-89, 99, loi, 125, 158, 

161-163, 170, 175 
Capitol Square, 54, 65-70, no, 119, 175 
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Illustration), 175 
Cemeteries, National, 171 
Chimborazo Hill, 171, 173 
Chimborazo Park, 9 
City Hall (Illustration), 36 
Cold Harbor (Battlefield), 190, 203 
Confederate Earthworks, Inner Line, 220 
Confederate Memorial Institute (" Battle Abbey ") (Illustration), 

Confederate Monument, Monument Avenue (Illustration), 183 
Confederate Museum, 95, 169 
Confederate Soldiers' Home, 218 

Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument (Illustration), XIX 
Country Club of Virginia, Westhampton (Illustration), 218 
Cross on Gamble's Hill, XVIII, 5 
" Curies," 24 

Customs House, The, 170 
Davis, Jefferson, Tomb in Hollywood, 215 
Drewry's Bluff (Battlefield), 178 
Dutch Gap, 7 
Federal Reserve Bank, 218 
Frazier's Farm (Battlefield), 191 
Gaines' Mill (Battlefield), 190 
Gamble's Hill, XIX 



Glasgow, Ellen, Home of (Illustration), i6i 

Governor's Mansion, 67, 68, 121 

Hollywood Cemetery, 149, 174 

House of Delegates, Old Hall of, 125 

Iron Works, Site of First American, at Falling Creek, 7 

Jackson, Stonewall, Statues in Capitol Square and on Monument 

Avenue, 197, 198 
Johnston, Mary, Home of (Illustration), 140 
Joseph Bryan Park (Illustration), 191 
Lee Statue, 202, 220 

Lee, General, Wartime Home of, 213, 214 
Libby Hill Park (Illustration), XIX 
Libby Prison, Site of, 174, 211 
"Malvern Hill" (Battlefield), 42, 191 
Market, Old, 223, 224 
Marshall John, Home of, 78, 92, 93 
Masonic Hall, The Old, 65 
Mayo's Bridge, 78 
Maury, Commodore, Tomb of, 149 
Mechanicsville (Battlefield), 189 
Medical College, Old (Egyptian Architecture), 221 
Monroe Park, 157 

Monroe, President, Tomb of, 148, 149 
Monumental Church, 57, 69, 106-108, 123 
National Cemeteries, 171 
Oakwood Cemetery, 174 
Poe, Edgar Allan, Shrine, 137 
St. John's Church, 20, 30-35 
St. Paul's Church, 153, 157, 185, 206 
Savage Station (Battlefield), 191 
Seven Pines (Battlefield), 178 etc. 
" Shirley," 220 

Southern Literary Messenger Building, Site of, 135, 136, 137 
Stone House, Old, 137 
Stuart, General, Statue of, 219 
Swan Tavern, 61, 69, 141, 142 
Synagogue of Beth Ahaba (Illustration), 176 
Tredegar Iron Works, 171, 178 
" Tuckahoe," 25 

Tyler, President, Tomb of, 149, 
" Westover," 220 

White House of the Confederacy, 95, 169, 176, 177 
Wickham House, 94 


William Byrd Park, 218 
"Wilton," 24 

Woman's Club (Illustration), 154 
Yellow Tavern (Battlefield), 202 
Union Theological Seminary (Presbyterian), 221 
University of Richmond, 221 
Valentine Museum, 94, 123 
Virginia Historical Society, 130, 213 
Virginia State Library in Capitol Square, vii 
Virginia Union University (Negro), 222 
Washington, Houdon Statute of, 65, 66 
Washington Monument in Capitol Square, 66, 67 
Westmoreland Club, 138, 187 

Wji;he, George, site of home of (Illustration, Munford House, 
bearing bronze tablet), 106 





Archer House and Garden: Sixth and Franklin Streets. 

Brockenbrough House (White House of the Confederacy, now Con- 
federate Museum) : Clay and Twelfth Streets. 

Caskie House : Fifth and Main Streets. 

Coles House (now part of Monte Maria Convent). 

" Columbia " : Lombardy and Grace Streets. 

Craig House (birthplace of Poe's " Helen ") : Grace Street, between 
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Streets. 

Jarvis House and Studio: Broad Street, near Monumental Church. 

John Marshall House (now headquarters of the Association for the 
Preservation of Virginia Antiquities) : Marshall and Ninth 

McRae House : Ninth and Marshall Streets. 

Old Stone House : Main and Nineteenth Streets. 

Wickham House and Garden (now Valentine Museum, filled with 
objects of interest, including large collection of Indian relics) : 
Clay and Eleventh Streets. 

Woodbridge House: Grace and Seventh Streets. 

Many modern houses bear tablets marking historic sites — as that 
on Main and Third Streets, showing the location of the Sally 
Tompkins Hospital. 

In Hollywood, memorials of a host of notables besides those 
named (including John Randolph and General Stuart) attract the 
pilgrim, while in the earlier Shockoe Hills Cemetery lie hundreds of 
the makers of old Richmond. There, Chief Justice Marshall and his 
friend, Parson Blair, are neighbours, and near them sleeps " Poe's 
Helen," with a stanza celebrating his devotion, on a bronze tablet at the 
base of her monument. Poe's mother rests under the sod of St. John's 
churchyard, which is filled with mossy marbles bearing quaint epi- 
graphs. A group composed largely of Alumni of the University and 
members of the theatrical profession are about to place a stone over 
her grave. 


" Abbington," 20 

Academy, The, 56-59, 61 ; Square, 

57, 69, 104 
Adams, President, 89; John, 121. 

Richard, 21, 36; Street, 21 
African Church, First, 125, 157, 

158, 161 
Agricuhural Fair, 157 
Alabama Hospital, 182 
Albemarle County, 21 
Alexandria, Va., 107, 183 
Allan, John, 104, 107, 135, 136; 

House, 100 
Allegre, Miss, 96 
Ambler, Jacqueline,. 89, 93 ; John, 

93; Polly, 89 et seq. 
American Iron Works, First, 220 
"Ampthill," 24, 39 
Amusements and Entertainments, 

22, 45, 49, 53, 55, 56, 74, 75- 

91-94, 97, 120-123, 138, 139 
Anburey's Travels, 39 
Anderson's Tavern, 50, 55 
Appomattox, 21a, 213 
Archer, Gabriel, XVHI, 4, 5 
"Arling' 1," 166 
Armor J 'he, 75, 83, 171 
Arnold enedict, 39 et seq. 
Ashlan 189, 196, 197 
Associs on for the Preservation 

of "" .rginia Antiquities, 13, 

54, Illustration, 55 
Athenaeum, The, 130, 138, 140 
Atkinson, Nicholas, 55 
Austin, Capt. John, 54 
Aylett, William, 36 


Bacon, Elizabeth, 12; Nathaniel, 
12, 13, 24; Thomas, 12; — 's 
Quarter, 12, 74; — 's Rebellion; 
12, 13 

Bagby, George, 137 

Baker, Jack, 95, 98 

Ballard House, 156, 190, 199 

Banister, John, 18 

Bank Street, 78 

Bank of Virginia, 95, 128; of 
Richmond, 78 

Banks, Linn, 118 

Banks, 50 

Baptist Church, First, 72, 153; 
Second, Illustration, 168; 
Church, 72; General Associa- 
tion of Virginia, 153; Woman's 
College, 93 

Barbecue Club, 74 

Barbour, James, 109; Philip P., 

Barret, John, 52 

"Battle Abbey" (Illustrations), 

Baxter, Mrs., 138; Sydney S., 

Beaver Dam Creek, 190 

Beauregard, P., 97, 174 

" Beauvoir," 215 

Bee, General, 174 

" Belinda," 31 

Bell Tavern, 49 

Bell Tower, 67, 165, no. Illustra- 
tion, 71 

Belle Isle, 192 ; Iron Works, 171 

Belles, Beaux, and Brains of the 
Sixties, 176 

" Belvidere," 39 

Benge, 54 

Benjamin, J. P., 187 

Bently, 54 

Berkeley, Sir William, 10, 12 

" Berkeley," 61, 143 

Beth Ahabah Synagogue (Illus- 
tration), 176 

Bethel Church, Battle of, 173, 174 

Beveridge, Senator, 61 

Beverley, Robert, 15; William, 16 

Binkheim, Meyer, 54 

Bird, Spottswood, 207 

Blagrove, 73 

Blair, John D., 72, 74 et seq., 81 
III, 120; Maria, 221 

Bland, Richard, ,30 

"Blandfield," 16 

Blennerhassett, Herman, 98, 99 


" Blind Tom," 157 

Bloody Angle, 201 ; Run, 9 

Blue Ridge Mountains, 70 

"Bonnets o' Blue" (horse), 122 

" Bonny Blue Flag," 179 

Books, 51, 52, 53, 56, 140 

Booth, Edwin, 67, 142; Bust 
of (Illustration), loi ; Junius 
Brutus, 141 

Bootright, 70 

"Boston" (horse), 122 

Botetourt, Lord, 92 

Botts, Benjamin, 93, 98, 100; 
John Minor, 93, 144 

Bowler's Tavern, 72 

" Brandon," 25 

Braxton, Carter, 30 

" Bremo," 24 

Broadrock Race Track, 122 

Broad Street, 20, 35, 69, 72, 92, 
95, 141, 197; in 1865 (illustra- 
tion), 141; Road, 220; Station, 
Illustration, 218 

Brockenbrough, Mrs. Catherine, 
192 ; John, 92, 95 ; Mrs. John, 
95, 100; John W., 161; House, 
95, 169 

Brook, Road, 82, 155, 199, 220; 
Bridge, 84; "Hill," 82, Illus- 
tration, 27 

Brown, James, 55 ; John, Raid, 
153 et seq., 173 

Buchanan, James, 154; John, 72, 
72, 74 et seq., 81, 92, 120; — 's 
Spring, 74, 76, 81 

Buckingham Road, 220 

Burke, Gov., of N. C, 43 

Burned District in 1923 (Illustra- 
tion), 134 

Burnside, General, 196, 197 

Burr, Aaron, 98 et seq; Trial of, 
98 et seq; Theodosia, 99 

Burwell, Lewis, 93 

Busselot, 54 

Butler, B. F., 202, 204 

Byrd, Mary, 10, 11; Susan, 15; 
Ursula, 15, 16; William (I), 
10-15, 17, 19; William (II) 
II, 15, 16, 17 et seq; 21, 23, 
Portrait, 10; William (III) 23, 
24; — 's Warehouse, 55 

Byron, Lord, 118 

Cabell, James Branch, 122; 
William H., 102, 103 

Calhoun, John C, 119 

Calisch, Edward N. (Illustra- 
tion), 176 

Calender, John Thompson, 80 

Call, Daniel, 95 

Campbell, John A., 187 

Camp Holly Springs, iii 

Capitol, The, 53, 54, 65, 70, 71, 
73, 75, 78, 79, 81, 83, 89, 99, 
loi, 102, 106, 118, 123, 127, 
162, 164, 170, 175, 197, 209, 
219, Illustrations, 18, 36; (The 
Old), 37; Square, 37, 54, 66- 
70, 74, 77, 84, 97, 99, 109, 119, 
121, 144, 145 164, 175, 197, 208, 
210, 217, 218 

Carrington, Edward, 93 ; Mrs. 
Edward, 93, 100 

Carter, Charles, 24; Doctors 
William and Thomas, 54 

Cary, Archibald, 30, 39; Family, 
24; Street, 20, 37 

Castle Lightning, 177 

Castle Thunder, 177 

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart 
(Illustration), 175 

Catholic Church, The, 72, 223 

Cease Firing, 167 

Cemetaries, National, 172 

Cemetary, National, at Seven 
Pines, 181 

Chamber of Commerce (See 
Frontispiece and Illustrations), 
126, 134 

Chesapeake, Ship, 102 

Chesterfield County, 25, 39, 122 

Chevallie, Mrs., 100 

Chickahominy River, 188, 189, 

Chimborazo Hill, 40, 173 ; 
Hospital, 181 ; Park, 9 

Church Hill, 21, 38, 71, 173 

Cincinnati, Society of, 120 

City Hall, 95, 121, 164, 209; 
present, Illustration, 36 

Claiborne, Richard, 44 

Clay, Henry, 155; Statue of, 68; 
Street, 93, 94, 96 

Coal, 25 


Cocke family, 24, 191 ; J. H., in ; 
Thomas, 23 

Cohen, 54 

Coke, Dr. Thomas, 53 

Cold Harbour, First Battle of, 
190; Second Battle of, 203 

Coles, John, 21 

Compiler, The, no 

Conand, Dr. J. F., 54 

Confederate, Congress, 155, 157; 
Memorial Institute, Illustration, 
199; Museum, 169, Illustra- 
tions, 108, 109; Soldiers Home, 

Connor, 51 

Convention of March 1775, 29 
et seq; of 1788, 58 ct seq; of 
1829, 125 et seq; Secession 

Conyers, Sally, loi, 106 

Corinthian Hall, 157 

Cornwallis, 43 

Country Club of Virginia (Illus- 
tration), 218 

" Court End " of Richmond, 92, 
93, 169, 218 

Courtney, John, 72 

Coxendale, 43 

Craney Island, no 

Crater, Battle of the, 203 

Crawford, Thomas, 66, 67 

Crouch, Jasper, 76 

Cullen, J. S. D., 147 

Culpeper County, 144 

" Curies," 24 

Currie, James, 35 

Custis, George Washington 
Parke, 168; Mrs. 31 

Custom House, 164, 170 


D. Street, 20 

Dabney, John, 76 

Dancing, 49, 53, 55, 56, 57, 67, 

92, 124, 185, 186, 194 
Daniel, Augusta, 221 ; Raleigh, 

7, 144 

Dahlgren, Colonel Ulric, 199, 
200 ; — 's Corner," 200 ; Admiral, 

Darmstadt, Joseph, 51 

Darmstadt, Wm., 90 

Dashiell, Margaret (See Illustra- 
tion), 140; Searing, 140 

Davis, Jefferson, 162, 169 et seq; 
174, 175, 176, 178, 180, 183, 
184, 189, 199, 200, 202, 206, 
207, 210, 214, 215, 216; Trial 
of, 216; Mrs. Jefferson, 176, 
^77, 199; Winnie, 215 

de Grasse, Count, 43 

Delegates, House of. Hall, 71, 
162, 167 

Democrats, 143 

De Leon, T. C, 176, 187 

Dent, General, 212 

Dentists, 54 

Devers, General, 209 

Devilin, Mary, 142 

Diary of a Southern Refugee, 

Dicken's Charles, 137, 138, XX; 
Mrs. 137 

"Diomed" (horse), 122 

Discovery (ship), 4 

Disney, James T. (See Illustra- 
tion). 141 

" Dixie," 170, 179 

Dooley, Mrs. J. H., Home of 
(Illustration), 207 

Dress in Richmond, 1785-86, 50- 

Drewry's Bluff, Battle at, 178 
Drinkel, 54 
Du Bois, Abbe, 72 
Ducking Stool, 4, (Illustration) 
Duelling, 81, 146 et seq. 
Duke, Elizabeth, 12; Sir Edward, 

" Dumbarton Lodge," 122 
Dutch Gap, 7, 204 


Eagle Hotel, 119, 123, 143 

Education, 7, 15, 56, 57, 113, 221, 
222 ■ 

Ege, Jacob, 21 

Eppes, Francis, 13 

Episcopal Church, General Con- 
vention of, I5j; High School, 

Elder, John, 122 

Eubank, John L., 162 

Evacuation and Burning of 
Richmond, 1865 (Illustration), 

Ewell, General, 206 



Examiner, The, 80 

Exchange Hotel, 136, 137, 138, 

156, 190 
Ezekiel, Sir Moses, 122 

Fairfield Race Track, 122 

Fair Grounds, 157, 169, 171 

Fairs, 22 

Falling Creek, 7, 24, 220 

Falls, The, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 
13, 17, 21, 23, 24, 29, 30 

Fauquier County, 90 

Federalist, The Virginia, 80 

Federal Army Entering Rich- 
mond (Illustration), 133 

Fires and Fire Protection, 54, 55 

First National Bank (Illustra- 
tions), 13,3 

Fisher, 177, 185; T. J., Illus- 
tration, 86 

Fitzwilson, 73 

Five Forks, Battle of, 206 

Fleming, William, 41, 92 

" Flirtilla," (horse), 122 

" Florizel " (horse), 122 

Fontaine, William, 44 

Fort Charles, 7; Powhatan, 7, 
11; Sumter, 162; Malvern 
Hill, III 

Fortress Monroe, 215 

Four Mile Creek, 40 

Foushee, William, 34, 39, 45 ; 
Street, 35 

" Frankfort " 20 

Franklin, Benjamin, 17; Street, 
65, 72, 78, 218 

Frazier's Farm, Battle of, 191 

Fredericksburg, 42, 196, 197 

Fredericks Hall, 189 

French Revolution, 71, 82 

Freshets in James River, 14-15, 

Gabriel's Insurrection, 81 et seq; 

Gaines' Mill, Battle of, 190, 191 
Gallego Mills, 149 
Gallatin, Albert, 96 
Gait, 53; Alexander, 140; James, 


Gamble, Robert, 77; Mrs Robert, 
100; Mansion, 100; — 's Hill, 
XIX, 77, 100, 14s, 192 

Ganot, Lewis, 50 

Garber, Virginia A., Illustrations, 
108, 109 

Garthwright, 70 

Gas Works, 13, 134 

Gernon, 51 

Gettysburg, 198 

Ghent, 112 

Gibbon, James, 106 

Gibson, Annie, 193 ; Doctor, 54 

Giles, Lizzie, 194; William B., 

Gilliat, Sy, 92 

Glasgow, Ellen, Home of (Illus- 
tration), 161 

Goddins Hall, 170; — 's Spring 

Godspeed (Ship), 4 

Godwin, 71 

Good Intent, ship, 35 

Goode, Robert, 39 

Gordon, Jessie, 221 

Governor Street, 70 

Governor's Mansion, 67, 69, 71, 
(Illustration), 83, 119, 144 

Grace Street, 119, 212, 218 

Grant, Ulysses S., 201 et seq; 
210, 211 

Gregory, M., 84 

Gregg, Jacob, iii 

Greene. Nathaniel, 44, 45, 119 

Greenhow, Doctor, 105; Robert, 
105; Mayor, in 


Hacknev School, London, 15 
Haiti, 82 
Hallain, 57 

Halleck, General, 212 
Hamilton, Alexander, 99 
Hampton, 173 ; Roads, 102 
Hampton, Wade, 187, 199 
" Hampstead," 20 
Hanover, C. H., 46 
Hardyman, William, 22 
Harmonic Society, 100 
Harmony Hall School, 122 
Harper's Ferry, 154 
Harris, Eldridge, 56; Thomas, 
8; William, 13 


Harrison, Benjamin, 25, 30, 60; 

William H., 143 
Hartshorn College, 122 
Harvie, Gabriella, 95 ; Jacqueline 

B., 93, 95 ; John, 95 
Hay, George, 95, 96, 97, 98; Mrs. 

George, 97; William, 45 
Hayes - Green - McCance House, 

96, and Illustration 
Haymarket Garden, 103; Stables, 

55 . 
Henrico County, 7, 9, 21, 23 
Henry, 57 ; John and Joseph, 

52; Patrick, 13, 30, 2,2, Zi, 34, 

38, 49, 59, 61, 62, 80 
Hill, Ambrose P., 176, 189; D. 

H., 189; Edward, 8 
Hoflfbauer (See Illustration), 

Hoge, Moses D., 184 
Hogg's Tavern, ,37 
Hollingsworth, 52 
Hollywood Cemetery, 149, 157, 

174, 215 
Hooker, Joseph, 197, 198 
Hopkins, Mrs. Arthur F., 182 
Horsmanden, Warham, 10, 14 
Hospital, Sally Tompkins, 182 
Houdon, 65, 66, 67, 209 
Howard's Grove, 171 
Howlett's, 12 
Humphreys, John, 53 
Hunnicutt, 216 
Hunt, Gilbert, 105 

Indian Trading, 10, 11 

Indians, 5, 13, 14, 16, 18 

Independent Gazetteer, 59 

" Inglesby," 20 

Inman, Artist, 54, Illustration 

Innes, James, 61 

Iron Works, First in America, 7 

Irving, Washington, 99 

Isaacs, 54 

Israel, Levi, 54 

Ives, Mrs. 187 

Jackson, Andrew, 112; T. J. 
(Stonewall), 68, 174, 188, 195, 
197, 198; Statue of, 68 

James River and Kanawha Canal, 
128, 219 ; James River Canal, 

Jamestown, 3, 4, 7, 10, 15, 24 

Janney, John, 162, 667 

Jefferson, Joseph, XX, 141, 142, 
157; Illustration, loi ; Thomas, 
24, 25, 30, 31, 33, 27, 38, 61, 
65, 67, 75, 78, 80, 81, 89, 90, 
99, 102, 13s, 220; Street, 21 

Jews, 223 

Jockey Club, 91, 122 

Johns, John, 175 

Johnson, Andrew, 214, 215; 
Chapman, 94, 126, 127; 
Edward, 187; Marmaduke, 167; 
Mrs. Ralph C. (Mattie Waller), 
193 ; William R., 122 

Johnston, Mary, 167; Joseph E., 
174, 179, 180, 182 

Jones, Peter, 18 

Jordan's Point, 12 

Joseph Bryan Park (Illustra- 
tion), 191 


Kennedy, John P., 135 
Kent, Paine and Co., 191 
Kilpatrick, General, 199 
King and Queen County, 200 

" Laburnum " Garden, Illustra- 
tion, 208 

"Lady Lightfoot" (horse), 122 

Lafayette, 41, 42, 43, 49, 107, 117 
et seq; George Washington, 

Ladies' Defence Association, 178 

Lamar, 187 

Lancaster, R. A. Jr., Illustration, 


" Lancasterian School," 113 

Latane, William, 118, 192; 
Burial of, 192, 193, (Illustra- 
iton), 118 

Latrobe, B. H., 78, (Illustra- 
tion), 27 

Lee, Edmond J., 107; Henry, 61 ; 
R. H., 30; Robert E., XX, 
66, 154, 166 et seq., 180, 181, 
185, 188, 189, 191, 192, 195, 198, 
199, 201, 202, 205, 206, 210, 211, 


Lee, Robert E., cont. — 213, 214; 
Home of (Illustration), 117; 
Statue, 202, 219, 220 (Illus- 
tration) 182; Recumbent 
Statue of, 94 

Leigh, Benj. Watkins, 94, 120, 
126, 144; Street, 96 

Le Mayeur, Dr., 54 

Leopard (ship), 102 

Les Miscrables, 198 

Letcher, John, 161, 163, 166, 167, 

Lewis, Andrew, 30, 67 

Lexington, 167, 197 

Libby Hill, Illustration, XIX; 
Prison, 174, 191, 193, 198, 211 

Liberia, 131 

Library, City, 40 ; Va. Histori- 
cal Society, 40; Richmond, 56 

Lincoln, Abraham, 160, 162, 163, 
169, 170, 17s, 205, 211, 214; 
Visit to Richmond, 209, 210 

Lind, Jenny, 141 

Linden Row, 79 (Illustration), 

Liquor, 51, 53 

Longstreet, General, 189 

Lottery, Byrd's, 23-24 

Loudoun County, 162 

Lowell, James, 54 

Lowndes, James, 72 

Lynch, 73 

Lynchburg, no, 112, 155; Rail- 
road, 155 

Lyons, James, 121, 144 


Macfarland, William H., 144; 

Mrs., 187 
Madison, James, XX, 49, 60, 103, 

109, 112, 125, 126 
Magruder, J. B., 173 
Main Street, 14, 21, 35, 40, 41, 

45. 65, 69, 70, 104, 119, 124, 

131, 1.35, 137, I/O, 182 
" Malvern Hill," Battle of, 191 
Manassas, First Battle of, 174, 

182, 183 
Manchester, 8, 41, 42, 44, 123, 146, 

Manning, Provost Marshal, 209 
Market, Old, 37, 72, 223, 224 
Market Square, 90 

Marshall, John, 61, 65, 66, 67, 
75, 80, 81, 89 et seq; 95, 98, 99, 
100, loi, 106, 107, 121, 123, 125, 
128, 131, 141, 159; Home of, 
13, 78 

Marshall Street, 78, 92, 138; 
Theatre, 141 

Martin, Luther, 98 

Mason, Emily, 182; George, 30, 
61, 67; John T., 49, Illustra- 
tion, 94 

Masonic Hall, 65 

Masons, 57, 123, 153 

Massie, Thomas, in, 112 

Mayo, John, 78, 81, 113; Joseph, 
203, 208; Maria, 11^; William, 
II, 18, 20, 21; — 's Bridge, 72, 
78 (Illustration), 125, 126, 185 

" Maymont " Garden, Illustra- 
tion, 207 

Maury, Matthew F., 149 ; Tomb, 
of. Illustration, 94 

McCabe, W. Gordon, 139, 221 

McCarty, Page, 147, 148 

McCaw, James B., 96; James D., 
96, 105 

McClellan, General, 175, 179, 181, 
188, 190-196 

McClurg, James, 94 

McDowell, General, 188 

McGuire, Hunter, 68, 147 ; Rev. 
John P., 183; Mrs. John P., 
Diary of, 183, 189, 196, 206; 
John P. (Richmond), 221 

Mcintosh, Mrs, David (Jennie 
Pegram), 193 

McKeand, 54 

McRae, Alexander, 93, 98 

Meadow Bridge, 189 

Aieade, David, 24; General, 198, 

Mechanics Hall, 162, 170 

Mechanicsville, 189; Turnpike, 
171, 220 

Medical College of Virginia, 155, 
221 ; Old, 222 

Meredith, John S., 147 

Mcrrimac (ship), 178 

Methodists, 53, 84 

Michaell, Capt., 56 

Michel, Lewis, 24 

"Midlothian," no; Pike, 220 


Military Organizations, 66, 67, 
75-77, 102, 1 09- 1 12, 119, 120, 
14s, 154, 156, 173, 178, 196 

Mills, Robert, 106 

Minnigerode, Charles, 157 

Monroe, James, XX, 61, 80, 83, 
89, 91, 102, 103, 109, 125, 126, 
148, 149; Tomb of (illustra- 
tion), 94; Park, 157, 169, 175 
(Illustrations), 171 

Monte Maria Convent, 21 

Monticello, 109 

Montgomery, Charles, (Frontis- 

Monumental Church, 57, 69, 70, 
106, 107, 108, 125, 182, 183 

Monument Avenue, 220 

Moore, Richard Channing, 107 ; 
Thomas, 93, 94 

Mordecai, John B., 147, 148; 
Samuel, 72, 97 

Morgan, Daniel, 119; John, 199 

Morris, R., 57 ; Gouveneur, 59 ; 
Robert, 59 

" Mosaic Club," 187 

Mosby, William, 82 

Mt. Vernon, 61, 65, 107 

Munford, Mrs. B. B., Home of 
(Illustration), 154; George 
Wythe, 74; James, 18, 
William, 81 

Murphy, Captain, 76, 112 

Music and Musical Instruments, 
52, 56, 93, 100, loi, 157 

Mutual Assurance Association, 78 

Myers, Mrs. William (Mattie 
Paul), 193 


" Nancy Wilton," 24 

Naviraus, 5 

Negroes, 15, 18, ,39, 45, 48, 8r- 
85, 92, 94, 105, 130 et seq., 
158 et seq., 170, 173, 183, 192, 
193, 210, 212, 222-224 

Nekervis, 7Z 

Nelson, Thomas, 30, 41, 43, 44, 
67, 119 

New Market, Battle of, 122 

Nevi'port, Christopher, XVIII, 

4, 5 
Nevi^ton, William B,, 193 ; Mrs. 
Willoughby, 193 

Nicholas, George, 60; Philip N., 

94; R. C, 30 
" None Such," 7 
Norfolk, 27, 83, 102, 109, 1 10, 

113, 118, 119 
Northern Neck of Va., 112 
Norwood, Thomas, 221 

Oakwood Cemetery, 147, 174, 

200, 217 
Odd Fellows Hall, 145 
Old Point, 145 
Opie, Juliet Ann, 182 
Orange, Va., 199 
Ord, General, 211, 212 
Osborne Road, 220 
Oswald, 59 
Overton's Mill, .;i6 

Pace Memorial Church (Illus- 
tration), 169 

Page, John, 24, 25 ; Mrs Legh, 
193; Thomas Nelson, 122 

Paine, 71 

Pamunkey Indians, 8; Queen of, 
13 ; River, 188 

Park, Catherine, 2>3 

Patti Adelina, 157 

Paimiee (ship), 165 

" Paxton " (Illustration), 207 

Peace Ball, 1783, 49 

Pegram, Mrs., 187 

Pegram's Battery, 189 

Pendleton, Edmond, 30, 59, 60 

Penitentiary, The, 78, 79, 83 

Penn, William, 81 

Pennock, 54 

Pennsylvania Troops, 42, 43 

Percy, George, XVIII, 4, 6 

Perry, Commodore, iii 

Petersburgh, 18, 42, 123, 202, 
204, 206; Academy, 56; Turn- 
pike, 220 

Phillips, General, 42 

Physicians, 35, 54, 131, 132 

Pierce, John, 44 

Pierpont, Governor, 214 

Pittsylvania County, 21 

Placide, Mr., 104; — 's Stock 
Company, 104 



Pleasants, Artist, 27 (Illustra- 
tion) ; James, 121, 131 ; Hugh 
Rose, 127; John Hampden, 
127, 128 

Poe, Edgar Allan, 68, 86 (por- 
trait), 104, 107, 1^5, 136, 137. 
138, 187; Shrine, 21, 87 (Illus- 
trations), 137; Elizabeth 
Arnold, 104; " Poe's Helen," 


Polk, James K. Polk, 145 

Post Office, 50 

Powell, John, 221 

Powhatan, Great and Little, 4, 5 ; 
River, 3 

Powhite Creek, 190 

Presbyterian Church, The, 72, 
221 ; Spire of, First (Illustra- 
tion), 71; And Methodist 
Home for Ladies, 96 

Preston, William Ballard, 163; 
William C, 144 

Prince of Wales, 156 

Prospect Before Us, The, 81 

Prosser, Thomas, 83, 84 

Pryor, John, 45, 55 

Purcell House, 93 

Quakers, 53, 72, 84 
Quarrier, Alexander, 55 
Quesney, Monsieur, 56, 57 
Quintard, Rev. Mr., 185 

Racing, 22, 53, 55, 59, 122, 123 

Railroad Company, The Rich- 
mond and Danville, 134 

Randolph, Edmond, 60, 95, 
100; Mrs. David Meade, 84 
100; George W., 163; John 
82; John of Roanoke, 95, 9? 
127; Mary, 95; Nancy, 38 
Peyton, 24, 30; Capt. Peyton 
102; T. M., 39, 95; Richard 
Jr., 24; William, 24; Mansion, 
35 ; Family, 201 

Rapidan River, 201 

Ratcliffe, John, 7 

"Rebel Yell," 170 

Reilly, John, 53 

Religion, 53, 54, 71 et seq; 106 
et seq; 121, 122, 131, 132, 185 

Republican Blues, 102 
Republicans, 143 
Reserve Bank, 218 
Resolutions of 1798-9, 79, 80 
" Reveille " Garden (Illustra- 
tion), 208 
Revolution, The American, 34- 


Ricahecrian Indians, 8 

Richardson, William, 102 

Richmond, Business in, 25, 35, 36, 
SO-S3. 69, 70, 219, 220 223, 
224; Cavalry, 102; College, 
155, 171, 181, 221 ; Fredericks- 
burg and Potomac Railway 
(Illustration), 141; Hill, 20; 
Howitzers, 162, 173; Light 
Infantry Blues, 75 et seq; 102; 
South, 8, 12; Enquirer, 128, 
146, III, 118, 147; Whig, 128, 
146; Town Founded, 20-22; 
Chartered as City, 45; In By- 
Gone Days, 70, 72, 97 

Ritchie, Thomas, 118, 128, 146 

River Road, 220 

Rives, William C, 161 

" Roanoke," 95 

Robertson, John, 121, 182; Wynd- 
ham, 123, 144 

Robinson, Conway, 96, 139 

Rocketts, 155 

Rocky Ridge, 8 

Rodney, Caesar, A., 98 

Rogers, Randolph, 67 

" Rosewell," 25 

Ross, David, 45 

Rousseau, 71 

Royall, William L., 147 

Russell, Charles, 44 

Rutherfoord, Thomas, 79, 109 

Ryan, Mr., 45 

St. John's Church (Illustration), 
II (Illustration), 17, 20, 29 
et seq; 40, 71-75, 9i, I57; 
Churchyard, 104 

St. Paul's Church, 153, 157..185, 
206, 210; Spire (illustration), 

St. Memin, 62, 94 

" St. Taminy Society," 91 

Samuels, Mrs., 187 


Savage Station, Battle of, 191 

Schoepf, Johann, 46 

Schofield, General, 216 

Scott, 54; Winfield, 113, 166, 
174. 175, 194, 195 

Seabrook, Nicholas B., 33 

Secession Convention, 162 et seq; 

Seddon, James A., 161, 169 

Semmes, Thomas J., 187 

Seneca Indians, 8 

Seven Pines, Battle of, 178 et 
seq; 182 

Seven Days Battles, 203 

Shakespeare, 67 

Shepley, General, 209 

Sheppard, Elizabeth, 82; James, 
102; Mosby, 82; Philip, 83; 
William L., 122 

Sheridan, Philip, 201, 202 

" Shirley," 8, 191, 220 

Shockoe Creek, 20, 24, 68, 71 ; 
Hill, 24, 38, 54, 57, 106; Ware- 
house, 21 

Simcoe, Colonel, 40 

"Sir Archy " (horse), 122 

"Sir Charles" (horse), 122 

"Sir Henry" (horse), 122 

" Silver Greys," Volunteer Com- 
pany, 76 

Skelton, Mrs., 31 

Skipwith, 54 

Small-pox, 42 

Smith, Geo. William, 105; Gov- 
ernor William, 199; John 
XIX, (Illustration), 4, 6, 7 

"Sorrel" (horse), 198 

Soule, 187 

Southampton County, 1,30 

Southern Literary Messenger, 
VII, 68, 127, 135 ct seq., 172, 
193, 194, 198, 199 

Southgate, 51, 73 

Spain, War with, 220 

Springs, Visits to the, 55 

Springs, Sweet, 109; White Sul- 
phur, 109 

Spotsylvania C. H., Battle of, 

Spotswood Hotel, 167, 170, 219 

Stage Coaches, 50 

Stanard, Mrs. Jane Stith, 95 ; 
Robert, 68, 94, 95; Robert C, 
144; Mrs. Robert C, 138, 187; 
William G., VII; House, 
(Illustration), 155 

Steamboats, 113 

Stegg, Thomas, 10 

Stephens, Alexander H., 162, 175 

Steuben, Baron, 41 

Stewart, Misses, 27 (Illustra- 

Stone House, Old, XX, 21 (Ill- 
ustration), 87, 137, 209 

Stores and their Contents, 50- 

Stores, Joshua, 35 
" Strawberry Hill " 
Stuart Alexander, H. H., 163; 

J. E. B., 154, 187, 188, 191, 192, 

193. 194. 195. 202; Monument, 

Sully, Thomas, 104 
" Summer Hill," 192, 193 
" Summerville," 92 
Summers, George W., 161 
Susan Constant (ship), 4 
Swan Tavern, XX, 61, 69, 95, 

136, 141, 142 
Sweet Springs, 55 
" Sy Gilliat" (Illustration), 77 

Tabb, W. B., 147 

Tarleton, 42 

Taverns and Hotels, XX, 22, 

37, 46, 49, 50, 55, 61, 136, 137, 

167, 170 
Taylor, Walter H., 191, 201 
Temperance Society, 144 
Thackeray, W. M., XX, 138, 

139, 187 
Theatre, The, 45, 57, 67, 91, 104 

et seq; 121, 141, et seq., 142, 

157; Burning of (Illustration), 

Theatre, Alarshall, 141, 142 
Thompson, John R., 137, 138, 

139, 193 
Thornton, Presley, 24 
Three Chopt Road, 220 
Tobacco, 25, 39, 41, 42, 47, so, 

78, 206;' .(Illustration), 1821; 

Factory (Illustration), 148 


Tompkins, Sally, 182, 183 
Totopotomoi, 8 
"Traveller" (horse), 202 
Tredegar Iron Works, 171, 178 
Tree Hill Farm, 208 ; Race Track, 

Trigg, William R., 147 
"Tuckahoe," 25, 38, 39, 40, 220 
Tucker, George, 130 
Turnbull, Charles, 24 
Turner, Nat, Insurrection, 130, 

Two Parsons, The, 74 
Tyler, John, I, 61, 103; II, 143 

ct seq; 149, 161, 175 ; President, 

tomb of (Illustration), 94 


"Uncle Henry" (Illustration), 

Underwood, John C, 216 
Union Hotel, 120; University, 

University of Richmond, 221 ; of 

Virginia, 136 
Union Theological Seminary, 221 

Valentine, Edward V., 86, 141, 
100 (Illustration), loi ; Frances, 
104; Mann S., 94, 123; William, 
86 ; Museum, 94, 96, 123 ; 
Studio, 141 

Van Lew, Elizabeth, 200 

Venable, Abram B., 105 

Virginia (ship), 178 

Virginia Bible Society, no; 
Colonization Society, 131 ; 
Gazette, VII, 22, 34, 39, 50; 
Historical Society, VII, 130, 
(Illustration), 117, 213; Mili- 
tary Institute, 122, 167; State 
Library, VII 

"Virginian" (horse), 122 

Voltaire, 71 


Waddell, William, 50 

Walker, Gilbert C, 217; Hugh, 

Ward, Maria, 95 
Warden, John, 96 
Wardwell, 216 

Warrenton, James, 52 
Warwick, 113; Imogen, 193; 

House (Illustration), 154 
Washington, Bushrod, 107 ; 
George, XX, 30, 31, 33, 35, 
41, 43, 49, 53, 58, 61, 80, 81, 
112, 1 15^122, 159; Monument 
(Illustration), 18, 66, 67, 68 
175; Statue by Houdon (Illus- 
tration), 27; Martha, 168; 
William D., 109, 193 ; Tavern, 
Water Supply, 133 
Wayne, Anthony, 42, 43, 119 
Webb, Mrs. Lucy Mason, 182 
Weisiger, Daniel, 20 
Weitzel, General, 208, 210 
Wellford, Spotswood, 183 
West, Francis, 7 
West Fort, 7 
West and Johnston, 198 
Westham Foundry, 40, 43, 44 
Westhampton College (women), 

Westmorland Club, 138 (Illus- 
tration), 155, 187 
"Westover," 15, 17, 41, 191 
" Westwood," 192, 193 
Whigparty, 143 et seq: 155 
White, T. W., 136; William H., 

173; William S., 162 
White House of Confederacy, 

95, 108, 109, 169, 176, 177, 215, 
(Illustration), 108 

Wickham, John (portrait), 62, 

96, 98, 100; Mrs. John (por- 
trait) 62; Julia, 94 

Wilderness, Battle of, 201 

William Byrd Park, 218 

William Byrd Park, Boulevard 
Approaching (Illustration), loi 

William and Mary College, 38, 
81, 89 

Williamsburg, 24, 29, .34, 37, 39, 
59; Road. 180, 220 

Williams, Mr. and Mrs. John 
Skelton, Home of (Illustra- 
tion), 207 

Wilson, Thomas, 112 

"Wilton," 24, 38 

Wirt, William, 95, 96, 98, 100, 

Wise, Henry A., 154 


Woman's Club, The (Illustra- Y 

tion), 154 

Wooldridge, Abraham S., iio; Yellow Tavern, 202 

William B., 144 Yorktown, 43, 82, 89 

Worn, W. v., 56 Young, Wm., 84; Pierce, 176; 

"Wrangler" (horse), 122 — 's Spring, 81 

Wright, 51 ; Matthew, 54 Young Men's Christian Associa- 

Wythe, George, 30, 60, 89, 141 tion, 184 






Alfl2DD EED172 

Virginia Beach 
Public Library