According to a 19th century newspaper article published in a Georgia newspaper, "Mrs. Eiza Garfield was the only woman who saw her son inaugurated President of the United States. Washington's mother was living in Fredericksburg Virginia when the father of his country was inaugurated but she did not witness the ceremony which took place in New York." Generally speaking, old newspapers published foreign and National news on the front pages, followed by local news, gossip and tidbits of information. Source:The Jones Headlight, Gray's Station, Georgia March 17, 1888. List of Traced Virginia Families on this website
Great Patriots of the Revolutionary War: "Hugh Mercer will Serve his Adopted Country and the cause of Liberty"
Dr. Hugh Mercer was born 1725 in Aberdeen, Scotland and joined the Pretender's army as assistant surgeon to engage the cause of the Stuart pretender to the throne. When that cause was lost, he left Leitch in 1746 to go to America and settled first in Greencastle (now Mercersburg, Pennsylvania) where he practiced medicine and acted as the local apothecary. He served on the expedition of Braddock where he was severely wounded, and was left for dead by his own army. Wounded and tramping through the woods, he managed to catch up with his comrades. Afterwards, he was appointed captain in one of the military organizations formed to protect the colony against the Indians. Then, in 1756 he commanded the Pennsylvania territory at McDowell's Fort. In another fight with the Indians, he was severely wounded and again abandoned by his comrades. He hid in the hollow trunk of a tree and heard the Indians searching for him as well as discussing plans to scalp him. When he was not discovered, he began his march of over one hundred miles through the woods, eating roots and herbs. He has occasion to make a soup of a rattlesnake. The wounded Mercer recovered from this ordeal. In 1757 he held the rank of major, commanding the forces of Pennsylvania west of the Susquehanna, and joined General Forbes at Fort Duquesne. It was at this fort that he made the acquaintance of General Washington who suggested that he come to Fredericksburg, which he did. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Mercer enrolled as a minuteman and when Governor Dunmore removed the colonial store of powder from the magazine in Williamsurg to the British man of war Magdalen, Mercer was made colonel and offered his services to the Virginia Convention in these words:
"Hugh Mercer will serve his adopted country and the cause of Liberty in any rank or station to which he may be assigned."
Hugh went to Williamsburg the following year as Brigadier-General and Washington appointed him to take charge of the troops at Paulus Hook, New Jersey. He was severely wounded during the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777 and while lying there was beaten in the head and died on January 12th. Source: Historic Houses of Early America by Lathrop. Great Patriots of the Revolutionary War
A Silver Beaker from the Past
How do you think of an old family relic or treasure? Is it something which you would very much like to pass down to your children while telling them a story? If so, your thoughts are consistent with those of your ancestors. From the very beginning, colonists to the American Continent carried their treasures from Europe across the seas. As a matter of fact, there was a good store of silver in many of the homes of planters, either brought from the old country, inherited from English relations or imported. Such was the instance of Margaret Cheesman, of Bermondseam who, in 1679, bequeathed a great silver beaker and tankard with other plate to the children of Lemuel Mason of Virginia. Much care was taken in furnishings the home with imports from London. If we really want to know more about our ancestors, the inventory of their estate details such items as clothing, furnishings, and often items as precious as Mrs. Chessman's silver beaker. What happened to the family treasures over the years as they were passed on? If you have an unidentified antique in your family, the last will and testament, inventory, and sales of an estate might provide answers. These documents are generally found at the local county court house where your ancestor resided. Further back in time, Virginia Pioneers has a vast collection of old wills and estates dating from the 17th to 19th centuries. Sources: Leah and Rachel, p. 16; New England Historical and Genealogical Register, April 1693, p. 250.
Gabriel Jones, the King's Attorney
Gabriel Jones of Wales came to Virginia in 1720 but returned to England to study the law. Following his admission to the bar and the death of his mother in 1745, Jones was persuaded by either Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the landowner of the Northern Neck Proprietary, or his relative Hugh Mercer to return to Virginia. On March 1, 1747, he acquired a tract of land along Opequon Creek near present-day Kernstown in 1747 and became the private secretary to Lord Fairfax. During April of 1746 he was appointed to serve as the King's attorney as a young man 22 years of age, duty which also included Augusta County. He was a member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia in 1748, and he was subsequently re-elected to his seat during the 1749 Legislative session. Jones was again elected to represent Frederick County in the House of Burgesses in 1752, but resigned the following to serve as the coroner of Fairfax County. In 1753, Jones relocated from Kernstown in Frederick County to his estate "Bogota" in Augusta County (present-day Rockingham County near Port Republic.
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1734 Survey Map of Marlborough
1728 Fredericksburg Map
Prisoners from Southern Naval Ships made at Fredericksburg
Very little is known concerning the Southern Navy during the
Revolutionary War. Each State had her own small navy, and many unfortunately fell into the hands of the enemy.
Yet, the infant navy of Virginia had many small and extremely fleet vessels. The names of some of the Virginia ships, built at Gosport,Fredericksburg, and other Virginia towns, were the: Tartar, Oxford, Thetis, Virginia, Industry, Cormorant, Loyalist (which appears to have been captured from the British), Pocohontas, Dragon, Washington,Tempest, Defiance, Oliver Cromwell, Renown, Apollo, and the Marquis Lafayette. Virginia also owned a prisonship called the Gloucester. Brigs and brigantines owned by the State were called the Raleigh, Jefferson, Sallie Norton, Northampton, Hampton, Greyhound, Dolphin, Liberty, Mosquito, Rochester, Willing Lass, Wilkes, American Fabius, Morning Star, and Mars. Schooners were the Adventure, Hornet,Speedwell, Lewis, Nicholson, Experiment, Harrison, Mayflower, Revenge,Peace and Plenty, Patriot, Liberty, and the Betsy. Sloops were the Virginia, Rattlesnake, Scorpion, Congress, Liberty, Eminence,Game-Cock, and the American Congress. Some of the galleys were the Accomac, Diligence, Hero, Gloucester, Safeguard, Manly, Henry,Norfolk, Revenge, Caswell, Protector, Washington, Page, Lewis, Dragon,and Dasher. There were two armed pilot boats named Molly and Fly. Barges were the York and Richmond. The Oxford, Cormorant, and Loyalist were prizes. The two latter were taken from the English by the French and sold to Virginia. Unfortunately, too many Americans fell into the hands of the enemy during the Revolutionary War and their crews languished out the remainder of their days in foul dungeons where famine and disease made short work of them. Little remains now except the names of the vessels.
The Virginia was built at Gosport. The Dragon and some others were built at Fredericksburg. Many were built at Norfolk.
The Hermit was captured early in the war by the British. The gallant little Mosquito was taken by the Ariadne and her crew was confined in a loathsome jail at Barbadoes. But her officers were sent to England where they were confined in Fortune jail at Gosport. Ultimately, these officers escaped and made their way to France. Their nameswere: Captain John Harris; Lieutenant Chamberlayne; Midshipman Alexander Moore; Alexander Dock, Captain of Marines; and George Catlett, Lieutenant of Marines.
The Raleigh was captured by the British frigate Thames. Her crew was so shamefully maltreated that upon representations made to the Council of State upon their condition, it was recommended that by way of retaliation the crew of the Solebay, a sloop of war which had fallen into the hands of the Americans, should be visited with the like severe treatment. Source: American Prisoners by Danske Dandridge. Loss of the DasherConstructing the Deliverance and the PatienceSprinkle Vinegar about the CabinThe Flower de Luce
William Peake signed a memorial to Her Majesty, Queen Anne, in regard to the death of her late brother-in-law, from King William County, Virginia. Peake was several times vestryman for Truro Parish and a member of the Fairfax County Militia in 1756. It is said that Peake was with General Washington at Braddock's Defeat during the summer of 1755 when the British attempted to capture the French Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War. The defeat occurred at the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9th and the survivors retreated.
Frederick County, Virginia Genealogy, Wills, Estates
Frederick County was named for Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales and the eldest son of George II. It was created from Orange County in 1738; part of Augusta County was added later. The county seat is Winchester.