From the compilation of Joseph Martin we obtain some interesting statistics for this period. In 1830 the population of Albemarle was 22,618. In 1832 there were 6439 slaves, the taxes on them being $1,609.75. There were also 5276 horses, 16 studs, 96 coaches, 43 carry-aIls and 47 gigs, or 186 taxable vehicles for about 23000 people-a total which suggests how almost universal must have been the saddle.
In 1835 there were twenty-seven postoffices in the County, the principal ones being as follows BATESVILLE, generally called Oliver's Old Store. Population 70, with one physician.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, (see next page).
COVESVILLE, (on stage road to Lynchburg.) Several dwellings, I general store, 1 house of entertainment, 1 tan yard, 1 milliner and mantua maker, and a Presbyterian house of worship. Population 30.
EARLYSVILLF, contained 7 dwellings, 1 tavern, 1 tailor. Population 35.
MONTICELLO as Jefferson's residence, had office.
MILTON had already lost river trade. Population 60 whites and 10 free blacks.
NEW YORK,1 situated in western part of County, between Brooksville and Afton, on Old Road. 15 houses, 2 general stores, 1 tan yard, 1 jackscrew manufacturer. Population 70.
SCOTTSVILLE, formerly Scott's Ferry. 120 houses, chiefly of brick, 2 houses of worship, a male and female school, 14 stores, I apothecary's shop. Principal manufactures were clothing, leather shoes, cabinet work and earthenware. An extensive trade was carried on in flour, bacon, etc. "The market was ready and tempting to the producer, the only fault of its enterprising merchants being that they paid prices too liberal for their own prosperity." There was a savings institution, 2 resident attorneys, 4 regular physicians. Population about 600.
SHADWELL MILLS, erected by Jefferson. Carried on extensive business. (See next page.)
THE UNIVERSITY had about 200 students and its own postoffice.
WARREN had declined since '23. Population 50, 2 physicians.
Charlottesville, at this time, contained, besides the County buildings About 200 handsome and comfortable dwellings, generally of brick, 4 houses of worship, 3 large and commodious hotels, 1 tavern, 2 bookstores, 2 druggists' stores, and about 20 general Mercantile establishments. Mechanical occupations were as follows: 1 printing office issuing a weekly paper, 4 tailoring establishments which employed a number of hands, 3 tan yards, 3 saddlers, 1 tin plate worker, 2 cabinet makers, 3 wheelwrights, 1 chair maker, a house and sign painter, 2 coach and gig manufactories, 2 jewelers, 2 boot and shoe factories which employed a number of hands, 1 hatter, 2 confectioners, 1 brick yard, 2 book binders. Professional men were 6 attorneys at law, 6 physicians and 3 surgeon dentists. Population 957; viz: whites 550, free blacks 59-slaves 348.
The village was provided with a circulating library,2 and a fire engine with company attached. Several lines of daily stages passed through, and the navigation of the Rivanna had recently been opened, allowing boats with their lading to ascend to Piraeus, within a mile and a quarter of Charlottesville.
Shadwell was still a village of importance, rivaling Milton on the south side. Mr. Mead tells us that
"In 1835 it contained a large carding factory employing nearly a hundred operatives, a large merchant mill under the management of Messers. John Timberlake and Son, a saw-mill, aud several general stores. shops and dwellings, all stretching along the north bank of the river. The river was then navigable to this point, and here were shipped the grain, tobacco, and products of the surrounding country, including large quantities of flour and cotton-yarns, which would be floated down the river in long bateaux. Until 1850 it continued quite a commercial place. Then the carding factory was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. After the railroad, Shadwell rapidly declined. The great highway for stage travel then followed the river and passed through Shadwell, crossing at Secretary's Ford,3 near tile present iron railroad bridge at the Woolen Mills."
Of Scottsville in 1832, Dr. White says:
"A turnpike had recently been constructed, extending to Rockfish Gap, and inviting the trade of the Valley of Virginia in that direction. The result was that so small a village rarely ever commanded so active a trade. A hundred large Valley wagons have been seen unloading their rich freight of flour, bacon, venison hams, butter, cheese, beeswax, etc., in one day."
Benjamin Franklin also had built, at his own expense a macadam road from Charlottesville to Scottsville and operated a stage between the two places; Scottsville then being the point where a majority of the students arrived by boat for the University. The road did not follow the present route, but kept to the ridge.
The old Kanawha Canal, which connected the mountain counties with Richmond, and which was one of the great trade arteries of the State, passed through Scottsville4. It is of interest to know that the first reaper made by the McCormick Brothers in Rockbridge County was taken to Scottsville, and shipped into the world on a canal freight boat.
Town life was now beginning to acquire dignity, and to offer substantial advantages to tile citizens. The occupants of the pleasant residences of Charlottesville lived in easy comfort, and though the streets were generally dark, unpaved and without sidewalks, there was much social intercourse and private entertaining, the bobbing of lanterns along a street being a common token of approaching festivity.
For public gatherings, there were the churches with their frequent services, and the taverns, or hotels, as it bad become the fashion to call them. Of these the chief were the Central Hotel, still standing near the C. & O. station, the Midway Tavern, located at tlie bead of Vinegar Hill,5 where the school of the same name now stands, and Fitch's Hotel (formerly the Eagle Tavern6), now the site of The Monticello. In these old structures the community celebrated their political victories with great public dinners, accompanied by endless toasts and speeches. Here, too, tlie students gave dances, though the bar, which was a usual feature of such establishments, frequently contributed an undue gaiety to the evening.7 As nearly as 1831, a public theatre was provided, and bands of strolling actors gave infrequent entertainment. Circuses, too, came through. and gave their shows in a vacant space between Mrs. John Kelly's garden (now 506 Park St.) and tbe Cemetery.8
Music was a source of social pleasure in the community. In early years, as the fiddle, not always too correctly played, was the usual instrument, it became the habit for those blessed with good voices to render their solos unaccompanied. Among the families which followed this fashion, it was felt that there was something peculiarly unaffected and modest in the sight of a lady singing in her chair, with crossed hands and feet, and it was mentioned with approbation in letters. It is said that Lafayette, on his visit, was entertained in this way by Miss Mary Carr of The Retreat9 Pianos, however, came into general use in the thirties. (About 1830, pianos were bought for their young daughters by Dr. Charles Carter and Mr. Opie Norris, and the belief lingers that they were the first in the town.)
In the fifties a weekly singing school was taught in the building of Dr. White's Academy by Professor Deems, who also gave lessons on the piano. This musician had received thorough training abroad, and was an earnest and inspiring teacher. Associated with him was a M. D'Alphonse.10 athletic instructor at the University, who taught French at the Academy, and pronunciation of French and Italian in the Singing School. He had himself a beautiful voice. A number of fine voices were developed under their tuition, by which the village choirs-and in especial that of the Baptist Church-were greatly benefitted.
As is well known, among the moral questions of the period the ownership of slaves was one which occupied the thoughts of many men throughout the South. Until the stirrings of sectional intolerance darkened the issue, there was an influential element in favor of gradual emancipation, and in Albemarle, where Jefferson's strong anti-slavery feeling must have been felt, the manumission of slaves by will was not uncommon. Many of these efforts at adjusting an almost insoluble problem have doubtless been forgotten, as it was most frequently the childless man who felt at liberty so to dispose of his property, but a few names have escaped oblivion.
Jefferson himself, though overwhelmed with debts, freed five of his servants. Some of the provisions of his will are of interest:
"I give to my good, affectionate and faithful servant Burwell his freedom and the sum of three hundred dollars to buy necessaries to commence his trade of painter and glasier, or to use otherwise as he pleases. I give also to my good servants John Hemings and Joe Fosset their freedom at the end of one year after my death, and to each of them respectively all the tools of their respective shops or callings, and it is my will that a comfortable log house be built for each of the three servants so emancipated, on some part of my lands convenient to them with respect to the residence of their wives arid to Charlottesville arid the University, where they will be mostly employed.-1 give the use of an acre of land to each during his life.-I humbly and earnestly request of the legislature of Virginia a confirmation of the bequest of freedom to these servants with permission to remain in this State where their families and connections are, as an additional instance of favor, of which I have received so many manifestations in the course of my life and for which I now give them my last solemn and dutiful thanks." (Two boys were to receive their freedom upon coming of age.)
Dr. Woods records the following emancipators:
John White: a native of Scotland, who lived on the west side of the Southwest Mountains, and married a daughter of Henry Shelton. He died childless in 1807, and manumitted 47 slaves, making provision for their removal to a free State.
Charles Goodman: did not free his slaves, but required his children to pay them annually a proportion of the value of their labor. His home where Edward Wingfield later lived. Died 1827. "A notably upright man."
Edward Coles: son of the first John Coles of the Green Mountain neighborhood. He was private secretary to Madison. In 1818 he removed to Illinois (a free State), taking with him all his slaves and settling them by families on fartus near Edwardsville. Was twice Governor of that State. Later lived in Philadelphia. His son was a Captain in the Confederate army, arid is buried in tlie Coles cemetery at Enniscorthy
Dr. Charles D. Everett: of Belmont, near Keswick. Physician to Jefferson, private secretary to Monroe. Died 1848, freeing his slaves, and providing for their settlement in Pennsylvania.
John Terrell: near Israel's Gap. Died without children in 1857, and directed his nephew arid heir, Reuben Wood, to send the slaves to Liberia.
Martin Dawson: the well-known merchant of Milton, and the benefactor of the University. Directed that his slaves should be freed, and either sent to Liberia or comfortably settled in America.
Miss Mattie Duke: sister to Col. R. T. W. Duke, freed her slaves, and sent them to the West.
James Hunter Terrell: of Music Hall. A childless man, it was his pleasure ot gather the young beneath his roof. His home twelve miles east of Charlottesville, was during his long life the constant scene of country frolicking. By his will, 1856, he manumitted all his slaves, and devoted his Ducking Hole estate in Louisa to settling them in Liberia. Dr. James H. Minor, his adopted son, and Mr. Francis K. Nelson of Clover Fields, were his executors. Eighty-three negroes were sent to Liberia in the spring of 1857, this number including a few bought to accompany their wives. A clause in the will read: "Should any of my slaves prefer to remain with their families when the time of departure arrives, it is my will that they may, if they prefer it, be allowed to select their own masters to whom they shall be sold for a mere nominal sum." They had a splendid outfit, passage and $300 each in money.
It was rumored that some of them became discontented and returned to Virginia to enter into voluntary slavery, but this was disproved. Most of them died in a short time. One of them, Wm. Douglas, a bright mulatto, head man at Music Hall, made sugar and coffee, prospered, and sent back after the war for his children and grand-children at Castle Hill.
John Magruder: ancestor of the Magruders of Glenmore. Though his home, Union Hall, was across the Fluvanna line, his wide business interests within Albemarle entitle him to a place in her history. Coming to Virginia from Maryland, he conducted large mills at Union Mills and also at Shadwell. He was conspicuously successful, having left tacli of twelve children the sum of $25,000 in those days a good fortune. His slaves at his death in 1812 were freed.
A weekly paper entitled the Central Gazette was founded in Charlottesville in 1820, and was followed by the Virginia Advocate and the Jeffersonian Republican, which ran simultaneously until the Civil War. These were often supplemented by subscriptions to a Richmond or Staunton paper, as political news was of the first importance to the respectable man of that day.
The most prominent politicians of the State, at this time, were still resident in Albemarle, as is shown by the names which head this chapter.
Andrew Stevenson was born in Culpeper in 1784, but by his marriage with Miss Sarah Coles of Enniscorthy in 1816, he became a resident of the County, having bought land in it the next year. In 1836 he bought the old Carter place, Blenheim, and made it his home for the rest of his life. Mr. Stevenson served in the House of Delegates nine and a half sessions, and was in Congress thirteen, having acted as Speaker of the House for seven sessions. With Clay, he was largely responsible in forming the traditions of that office. As minister to England, 1836-'41, he witnessed the coronation of Queen Victoria, and became popular with the British. The following extract from the letters of his wife gives an account of his introduction of the Albemarle pippin into that country:
"Feb. 1838. And to you, my dear and precious friends on the Green Mountain I must offer our united thanks for your kind remembrance of us. Never did a barrel of apples obtain such a reputation for the fruits of our country. They were eaten and praised by royal lips, and swallowed by many aristocratic throats. Mr. Stevenson proposed sending two dozen to the Queen. Accordingly they were put into a beautiful basket he had given me, and one of the maids of honor presented them. In a day or two I received through the Countess of Durham the royal acknowledgements, and the assurance of their having been much admired; and dining with Lord Durham soon after, he told me my apples had created a great sensation at the palace; that I had been feared they would have been the death of the premier, Lord Melbourne, who, after the Queen retired, had actually eaten two of immense size, and that all who had seen him perpetrate the rash act had considered him as a dead man. But lo! He liveth unharmed. I said. 'So much for their being Virginia apples.' We sent also two dozen to tile Duke of Sussex, one to Lord and Lady Slierbourne, one-half dozen to Lord Palinersoti, and six to a score of other people, not forgetting my friend and poet, Rogers.-I must not fail, however, to tell you that the Duchess of Kent took such a fancy to my nice little basket that she asked permission to keep it, thinking it American manufacture."11
As is weIl known, the Albemarle pippin from this time became the favorite fruit of Queen and Court, and was expressly exempted from tariff.
Upon the close of his political career, Mr. Stevenson retired to Blenheim and farmed. In these last years he served on the Board of Visitors of the University, and was made Rector a year before his death in 1857.
William Cabell Rives, whose career was almost contemporaneous with that Stevenson, was born in Nelson County, 1793, but came to live at Castle Hill in 1816, and in 1819 was married to Judith Page Walker, a daughter of that home, who inherited Castle Hill as her portion of her father's estate. Here Mr. Rives had as preceptors Jefferson, Madison and Monroe; as neighbors and political associates, the Randolphs, Pages, Carters, Cabells, Nelsons, Lewises, Walkers and Gilmers.
Following the accustomed political path, he represented Albemarle in the State Legislature for three terms, served in Congress from 1823 to 1829, and was three times United States Senator. A power in local politics, he formed, along with Ritchie, Dronigoole, Goode and Mason, the strongest ring that had ever been in Virginia. As a diplomat his career was successful, having served as Minister to France, l829-'32, and again from 1849 to 1853. In token of his popularity with the Court, Queen Amelie stood godmother for his daughter, named Amelie in her honor. (A similar honor was paid to Monroe, his granddaughter being the godchild and namesake of Queen Hortense.)
Mrs. Rives was a gifted and charming woman, widely known for her charitable works and her writings. An old lady describes with animation the impression made by the Rives ladies upon their return from France-the gliding, bending walk, the very low tones of voice, and the elaborately braided hair, which at night was not unloosed, but was smoothly covered with a white silk handkerchief. It is probable that at this time the belles of Albemarle had the Paris fashions earlier than their city rivals, through the Riveses, the Monroes and the Stevensons. We read in an old letter of a visit of Mrs. Monroe's to Edgehill, 1807, and the sensation caused by the appearance of her five-year-old daughter in the first pantalettes seen in Virginia.
Upon the approach of the Civil War, Mr. Rives exerted all his powers for the preservation of peace.
He served as delegate to the Peace Congress,12 1861, and as member of the first and second Confederate Congresses, 1861 and 1863. As late as April 26 he hoped for "settlement without collision," but when the die was cast he at once gave ardent support to the Confederacy. However, his health failing, he was forced to retire to Castle Hill, where he died in 1868.
With the outbreak of this war our narrative ends. The convulsions of this period, its tragedies and the resultant growth of a new social order, belong to the modern world, and have no place in The Albemarle of Other Days.
Martin Matin and Brockenbrough; Edward Mead, Historic Homes of the Southwest Mountains; Bruce, History of the University of Virginia; Woods' History of Albemarle; Minor Meriwether, Lineage of the Meriwethers and Minors Wm. S. White, D.D., His Life and Times; Richmond College Historical Papers; Jos. Everett in Tyler's Genealogical Quarterly.