The Clopton Chronicles

A Project of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society









The Honorable John Clopton


By Suellen Clopton Blanton,[1] [email protected]




Three Cheers for Clopton


A barrel of whisky with the head knocked in, free for everybody,

stood beneath a tree; and the majority took it straight[2]


Politics today, is at best, child’s play compared to elections of the past.  In 1799 an election was held in Richmond which has been described as, “animated,”[3] and the “most pugnacious election day Richmond had ever seen.”[4]  Of course, a Clopton was right in the middle of it.  But first we must set the stage.

John Clopton[5] was a staunch supporter of his kinsman, Thomas Jefferson.[6]  He was elected as a Republican[7] to the United States Congress for the Richmond District, in 1795[8].  By 1799, American commerce was suffering greatly because trade between both France and England had been virtually suspended thanks to the war raging between Napoleon and Great Britain.  First Britain declared the ports of Europe, under the control of France, in a state of blockage, and authorized the capture of American vessels bound to those ports.  The French countered by declaring Britain to be in a state of blockade, commerce suspended, and just for good measure, forbid the introduction of any English goods into Europe.  The English retaliated by declaring the entire coast of Europe in a state of blockage, and prohibited all neutral countries from trading with the Continent.  Not to be outdone, Napoleon issued his Milan Decree which confiscated not only the vessels belonging to neutral countries which dared to land at any English port, their captains must permit their ships to be searched.[9]

This caused much excitement throughout the land, giving all the politicians an excuse to jump down each other’s throat.[10]  The coming election represented a huge struggle of the first American political machine to come into being.  Thomas Jefferson, chieftain of those who today are known as Democrats,[11] with John Clopton one of his leading lieutenants, was its master mind.  George Washington[12], was determined to stop this from happening.[13]

A reluctant John Marshall[14], a member of the Federalist Party and former Minister to France, was browbeaten for four days by George Washington into running against John Clopton for the 6th Congress in 1799.[15] The campaign, characterized as “one of the most acrimonious,” generated  heated debates in gazettes, pamphlets, and private letters intended to be passed from hand to hand.  Every tavern and social event was dominated with talk of the Clopton-Marshall campaign.  Marshall was never too hopeful he would win.  He wrote to his brother, James Markham Marshall that the fate of his election was extremely uncertain.[16]

There were no precinct elections at that time.  All eligible voters within a county assembled at the court house, and the crowds were often large.[17]


                Late in April the election was held.  A witness of that event in Richmond tells of the incidents of the voting which were stirring even for that period of turbulent politics.  A long, broad table or bench was placed on the Court-House Green, and upon it the local magistrates, acting as election judges, took their seats, their clerks before them.  By the side of the judges sat the two candidates for Congress; an when an elector declared his preference for either, the favored one rose, bowing, and thanked his supporter.

                Nobody but freeholders could then exercise the suffrage in Virginia.  Any one owning one hundred acres of land or more in any county could vote, and this landowner could declare his choice in every county in which he possessed the necessary real estate.  The voter did not cast a printed or written ballot, but merely stated, in the presence of the two candidates, the election officials, and the assembled gathering, the name of the candidate of his preference.  There was no specified form for this announcement. [This method of electing public officials was continued until the Civil War.][18]

                “I vote for John Marshall.”

                “Thank you sir,” said the lank, easy-mannered Federalist candidate.

                “Hurrah for Marshall!” shouted the compact band of Federalists.

                “And I vote for Clopton,” cried another freeholder.

                “May you live a thousand years, my friend,” said Marshall’s competitor.

                “Three cheers for Clopton!” roared the crowd of Republican enthusiasts.

                Both Republican and Federalist leaders had seen to it that nothing was left undone which might bring victory to their respective candidates.  The two political parties had been carefully “drilled to move together in a body.”  Each party had a business committee which attended to every practical detail of the election.  Not a voter was overlooked.  “Sick men were taken in their beds to the polls; the halt, the lame, and the blind were hunted up and every mode of conveyance was mustered into service.”  Time and again the vote was a tie.  No sooner did one freeholder announce his preference for Marshall than another gave his suffrage to Clopton.

                “A barrel of whisky with the head knocked in,” free for everybody, stood beneath a tree, and “the majority took it straight,” runs a narrative of a witness of the scene.  So hot became the contest that fist-fights were frequent.  During the afternoon, knock-down and drag-out affrays became so general that the county justices had hard work to quell the raging partisans.  Throughout the day the shouting and huzzaing rose in volume as the whiskey sank in the barrel.  At times the uproar was “perfectly deafening; men were shaking fists at each other, rolling up their sleeves, cursing and swearing. . . .  Some became wild with agitation.”  When a tie was broken by a new voter shouting that he was for Marshall or for Clopton, insults were hurled at his devoted head.

                “You sir, ought to have your mouth smashed,” cried an enraged Republican when Thomas Rutherford voted for Marshall; and smashing of mouths, blacking of eyes, and breaking of heads there were in plenty.[19]


Many ministers felt it was their duty to preach politics in and out of the pulpit, and threw themselves into the fray with much enthusiasm.  But two Richmond ministers, the Rev. Buchanan, an Episcopal priest, and the Rev. Blair, a Presbyterian, shared the opinion that men of the cloth should refrain from publicly discussing political controversies.

As the hours dragged on, and first Mr. Marshall leading by a vote or two, and then John Clopton making up the gap, the committees examined their lists to find those who had not yet voted.  It was soon discovered that our good pastors had not appeared to vote, despite hourly pleas to do so.  Desperate, some of the most influential members of the Federal committee found them together at Pastor Blair’s home, and proceeded to beg them to vote; that the “salvation of the party depended upon it, and the great interests of the party depended upon it.”

Eventually the two were worn down and escorted to the court house, were elbowed and squeezed through an increasingly wild and agitated crowd, up to the polls.


                The crowd rolled to and fro like a surging wave.  Parson Blair came forward.  A swaggering fellow just above him said, “Here comes two preachers, dead shot for Marshall.”  Both candidates knew them intimately, and rose from their seats, and the shout was terrific.

                “Mr. Blair,” said the sheriff, “who do you vote for?”  “John Marshall,” said he.  Mr. Marshall replied, “your vote is appreciated, Mr. Blair.”

                … The whole Federal party thought this vote was certain, beyond the possibility of a doubt, for Marshall.  “Who do you vote for, Mr. Buchanan?”  “For John Clopton,” said the good man.  “Mr. Clopton said, “Mr. Buchanan, I shall treasure that vote in my memory.  It will be regarded as a feather in my cap for ever.”  The shouts were astounding. Hurrah for Marshall!  Hurrah for Clopton!

                … (when they had returned home), Parson Buchanan said, “Brother Blair, we might as well have staid at home.  When I was forced against my will to go, I simply determined to balance your vote, and now we shall hear no complaints of the clergy interfering in elections.”[20]


Never before and seldom, if ever, since, in the history of Virginia, was any election so fiercely contested.  When this ‘democratic’ struggle was over, it was found that Marshall had been elected by the slender majority of 108.[21]

George Washington was overjoyed at the Federalist success, Jefferson was depressed, and the Federalist leaders were “none too sure of their Virginia congressional recruit,” who was “entirely too independent to suit the party organization.[22]




Unostentatious Virtue


                Mr. Clopton was unostentations & unobtrusive –

                Rarely occupying the time of the House,

And never, but on questions of great importance.



During his brief “retirement” from the national political arena, John Clopton served on the privy council for the State of Virginia.  He reclaimed his Congressional seat on March 4, 1801 with a resounding majority,[23] placing Republicans in firm control of the executive and legislative branches.[24]  Throughout his political career, he was an ardent defender of republicanism.  He vigorously resisted federal encroachment on state and individual rights, narrow interpretation of the Constitution, and cast a suspicious eye on the wealthy aristocrats who would rule the nation just as they did in Britain.[25]

Firmly entrenched in Congress until his death, he was an fervent supporter of westward expansion, favoring the admission of Ohio to the Union and the Louisiana Purchase.[26]  He championed the belief that public officials “ought ever to be a complete expression of the public will,” proposing constitutional amendments to change the selection of presidential electors and to enable state legislatures to recall senators who violated instructions from home.

Of all the controversies of the day, the one that most infuriated him was the struggle concerning the Bank of the United States, based, he felt, on congressional power not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.  He cautioned against the “strong propensity existing in human nature to grasp at unwarrantable power.”[27]  The charter was allowed to expire in 1811, and he enthusiastically opposed the creation of the Second Bank of the United States in 1816.[28]

Suffering from a “tedious illness,” he died at his beloved “Roslyn.”  His death was noted in many newspapers, including the Daily National Intelligencer.




                At his residence in Virginia, on the 11th inst. The Hon. JOHN CLOPTON, for more than 20 years a Representative in Congress from the State of Virginia.  In discharging his public duties, though a man of talents and erudition, Mr. Clopton was unostentations & unobtrusive – rarely occupying the time of the House, and never, but on questions of great importance.  He was a professor of Christianity and highly esteemed for his private worth, as well as for his undeviating firmness and sincerity as a politician.



His son, John Bacon Clopton, also professing a “firm and inflexible” brand of republicanism, tried unsuccessfully to gain election to his father’s vacated House seat.[29]

                1.  John19 Clopton, Esq. of "Roslyn"  (William18, William17, William16, William15, Walter14, William13, Richard12, William11, John10, William9, Thomas8, Walter7, William6, Walter5, William4, Walter3, William2, Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham)1 was born February 7, 1756 at "Roslyn " New Kent County, Virginia2, and died September 11, 1816 at "Roslyn"  New Kent County, Virginia3.  He married Sarah Bacon, of Charles City County4 May 15, 1784 at St. Peter's Parish, New Kent County,Virginia5, daughter of Edmund Bacon and Elizabeth Edloe.  She was born April 17, 1769 at New Kent County, Virginia6, and died 1808 at New Kent County, Virginia7.

        He was a graduate of William & Mary College and graduated from the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1776.    He served in the Revolutionary War as a Captain and was wounded at Brandywine Creek in September 1777.  Through the 1780s Mr. Clopton practiced law in New Kent County.  As a member of the Virginia House of Delegates fro 1789 to 1791, he gained an introduction to legislative politics.

        The John Clopton Papers, 1629 (1775-1897) 1915, Collection Number 1115, 11,890 items and 26 volumes, is located in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Manuscript Department, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina and includes:  Family correspondence and miscellaneous papers of four generations of the Clopton family and three generations of the Wallace family. The papers from 1629 to 1732 are genealogical records, much of it inaccurate. Papers of John Clopton (1756-1816), Virginia legislator and U.S. Representative, 1795-1799, 1801-1816, contain comments on the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress, Jay's Treaty, the Alien and Sedition Acts, politics in the Jeffersonian Republican Party, the Embargo Act, American relations with France, and the fear of a slave insurrection. Letters to a son, John Bacon Clopton (b. 1785), Virginia judge, pertain to the operation of a plantation in New Kent County. Correspondence of Charles Montriou Wallace, Sr. (1825-1910), Richmond merchant, includes accounts of an overland journey to California, 1849, and subsequent residence there; Confederate trade with Nassau and England; Reconstruction in the South; the writer's early life in Richmond; politics in Richmond and Virginia; travels in England, Scotland, and the South; literary pursuits, especially book collection, and other matters. Also of interest are letters of William Manson Wallace, Jr., describing life in the U.S. Navy, 1845; letters of Jefferson Wallace (1823-1864) describing a journey to California by way of Panama, and from St. George, Bermuda, concerning a secret mission for the Confederate government; Civil War letters from William Izard Clopton, and others from his mother, Maria (Foster) Clopton, wife of John B. Clopton; letters from the Crenshaw commission firm in Richmond concerning wartime and postwar business conditions; letters of Jefferson Wallace (b. 1864), concerning the publishing, fertilizer, and insurance businesses; letters of Adelaide Clopton, a teacher who was a granddaughter of John Clopton, relating to the Chesapeake Female College; and letters from Wallace relatives in Scotland and England. Volumes include financial record books, 1861-1865, of Adelaide Clopton, containing lists of students, tuition accounts, and the minutes and the constitution of the Keecoughton Literary Society at Chesapeake Female College; housekeeping accounts, ca. 1857-1885; a poetry scrapbook, and an essay on "Knitting in Virginia as a Fine Art," 1898-1899, by Joyce Wilkinson (Clopton) Wallace; legal case book, 1820, of John B. Clopton; lists of books belonging to Charles M. Wallace, Sr.; diaries and journals, 1865-1910, of Charles M. Wallace, including accounts of his travels in England, Scotland, and the American South; the record book of the Black Creek Temperance Society of Hanover County, Virginia, 1830-1831; account books of Jefferson Wallace; and a daybook and ledger, 1860-1867, of William Wallace & Sons, grocers and liquor dealers.



Children of John Clopton and Sarah Bacon are:

        2                 i.    Izard20 Clopton, of "Roslyn", born at "Roslyn " New Kent County, Virginia.

        3                ii.    Maria Louise Adelaide Miliote St. de la Croix Gernon Clopton, born at "Roslyn" New Kent County, Virginia.  She married Zachary Lewis, M.D., of Lewisville & Croton8 Abt. May 6, 1831 at Richmond City, Virginia, by Elder John Kerr9


The Clopton Family Archives contains copies of two bill of sales.


GS Film 7566 pt. 18 (031808) Book 32, page 462-3

BILL OF SALE September 28, 1830

Richmond, $1,000 received of MARIA L. A.M.S.D.C.G. CLOPTON, in full purchase of seven negro slaves:  Suckey about forty three years of age and her six children, Katy about thirteen, Tom about eleven, Norman about eight, Augusta "of the same age (being twins)," Patty about four and Phill about eighteen months.


BILL OF SALE October 9, 1830

Richmond, $800 received of MARIA L.A.M.S.D.C.G. CLOPTON in full purchase of four negro slaves:  Lissy and her child Jenetta, Polly and Betty.

Both transactions witnessed by James Smith and H. B. Whitlock, Signed Jn. H. Foster


        4               iii.    John Bacon Clopton, Sr.,  of "Roslyn", born February 12, 1789 at "Roslyn" New Kent County, Virginia; died March 1860 in Old Point Comfort, Virginia and buried at "Roslyn"10.  He married Maria Gaitskell Foster, of Manchester, Virginia May 4, 1820 at Virginia11; born February 9, 1799 at Manchester, Virginia; died November 23, 1873 at Manchester, Virginia and buried Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond12.

        5               iv.    William Edmund Clopton, Sr., Esq. War 181213, born March 17, 1791 at Richmond, Virginia14; died June 2, 1848 at Stewart County, Tennessee15.  He married (1) Elizabeth H. Crump, of New Kent County, Virginia February 28, 181416; died Bef. 1816.  He married (2) Mary Ann Apperson, of Virginia17 January 4, 1816 at New Kent County, Virginia18; born July 13, 1796 at New Kent County, Virginia19; died December 31, 1861 at Manchester, Virginia20.


The Clopton Family Archives contains copies of the following indentures:


GS Film 7566 pt 19 (031809) Book 36 pages 31-34

INDENTURE February 5, 1834

Between WILLIAM E. CLOPTON of Richmond of the first part, JOHN B. CLOPTON of the second, & MARY ANN CLOPTON, wife of William E. Clopton of the third.  Mary Ann is conjointly with her husband land to Nathaniel A(?) Savage, whereby relinquishing all right of dower.  William E. Clopton is giving to her in exchange four slaves who are named.  Then William E. Clopton gives John B. Clopton $5.00.  John will hold in trust these four slaves on behalf of Mary Ann, permitting her to use and employ them and that he shall sell the slaves at her request.


INDENTURE February 5, 1834

Between WILLIAM E. CLOPTON of the first part, Herbert A. Claiborne and Robert B. Waller of the second, and Thomas Hill of the third.   Refers to the sale of four slaves to Claiborne and Waller.  Thomas Hill is to sell the slaves before the front door of the Bell Tavern in the City at Public Auction.  Refers also to John B. Clopton.


        6                v.    Sarah Ann Elizabeth Churchhill Clopton, born 1804 at "Roslyn" New Kent County, Virginia; died 1843 at Virginia.  She married John Henry Foster, of Richmond April 6, 1824 at New Kent County, Virginia by the Rev. William Talley21; died 1868.

GS Film 7566 pt. 16 (031806) Book 28, page 594

Copy of Original Located in the Clopton Family Archives

BILL OF SALE September 14,  1826

[Very poor copy, difficult to read.]  Between SARAH A. C. FOSTER who is wife of John H. Foster who has her power of attorney, of the first part, and MARIA L.A.M.S.D.C.G. CLOPTON of the second.  On behalf of his wife, John is selling to Maria for the sum of $350 by bond for two Negro girl slaves names Polly and Betty.




1.  The Clopton Family Archives contains copies of several legal documents involving John Clopton and his wife, Sarah.

2.  Virginia Historical Society Microfilm and Manuscript Collections, Additional references may be found in the Ambler Family Papers 1772-1852, MSS1 AM167 c 155-159; the Preston Family Papers 1727-1896, MSSI P9267 f fa; the Pollard Family Papers, MSS1 P7637 b4-94.

3.  Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C., September 17, 1816, Volume IV, Number 1152, Obituary located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.  Broderbund, NGS Quarterly, "CD-ROM," Volume XXVIII, 1940, No. 1, p. 68., "Vital Records from the National Intelligencer (D.C.), 1815, 1816," by Frank Johnson Metcalf (Continued from Quarterly, June, 1940, Page 52).  CLOPTON, John, for more than twenty years a Representative in Congress from Virginia, died Sep. 11, 1816, at his residence in Virginia.  (He was a captain in the Revolutionary War).Also, his obituary appeared the September 18, 1816, issue of the "Richmond Enquirer," the September 21, 1816 issue, "Virginia Argus (Richmond), "American Beacon (Norfolk), September 20, 1816, "Virginia Herald (Fredricksburg)," September 18, 1816, as well as numerous other newspapers.  Microfilm containing the above located Virginia Historical Society.

4.  Harris, Old New Kent County History, p. 176, Cites the Valentine Papers.

5.  Erwin, Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, p. 152.

6.  Harris, A History of Louisa County, p. 286.

7.  Pamela Ellen Pitney Crumb, Application to the DAR & Magna Charta Dames & Barons

8.  Harris, Old New Kent County History, p. 229.

9.  Religious Herald (Richmond, Virginia) Marriage Notices,  (Copy located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Darlene Slater, Research Assistant Virginia Baptist Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia), May 6, 1831 Issue, Bond was made May 4, according to Reddy's "Richmond City, Virginia Marriage Bonds, 1797-1853, p. 45.

10.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, John Bacon Clopton was buried at Roslyn March 20, 1860.

11.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, John Bacon Clopton and Marie G. Foster were married Thursday, May 4th 1820 by Rev. John Buchanon.

12.  Hollywood Cemetery, Courtesy Carroll (Taylor) Everette and Patsy Ann (Clopton) Wheeler, No grave marker was found.  Section L, Lot 94, Foilio 198, date of interment, November 25, 1873.  She was aged 74 years, 9 months and 14 days at death.

13.  Gayle Williams Newton, Pauline (Hill) Tripp, and Pearl (Cromell)  Glasco provided the information regarding this family unless otherwise noted.

14.  William Edmund Clopton Family Records Declaration for Widow of deceased Officer or Soldier, First Declaration dated June 30, 1853 by Mary A. Clopton of New Kent County, states she is aged 56 years and a resident of New Kent County, Virginia.  She is the widow of William E. Clopton, deceased, who was an officer in the company commanded by Captain Richard Graves at Norfolk, Virginia.

15.  William Edmund Clopton Family Records Declaration for Widow of deceased Officer or Soldier, States her husband died June 2, 1848 and that she is still a widow.  In second Declaration dated March 29, 1855, she gives his place of death as Stewart County, Tennessee and she gives her age as 58.  Also, see the July 13, 1848 issue of the "Religious Herald."

16.  Richmond (Virginia) Enquirer,  (Microfilm MSS10:no.296, located Virginia State Library and Archives), March 5, 1814, States he married "the amiable Miss Eliza H. Crump," and that both were from New Kent County.

17.  William Edmund Clopton Family Records Declaration for Widow of deceased Officer or Soldier, States her name before marriage was Mary A. Apperson.

18.  William Edmund Clopton Family Records Declaration for Widow of deceased Officer or Soldier, States she was married to William E. Clopton January 4, 1816 by the Rev. Willis.  In her second declaration dated March 3, 1855, she states Rev. Willis was a Methodist and that they were married in New Kent County.

19.  Pamela Ellen Pitney Crumb, Application to the DAR & Magna Charta Dames & Barons

20.  Pamela Ellen Pitney Crumb, Application to the DAR & Magna Charta Dames & Barons

21.  Richmond (Virginia) Enquirer,  (Microfilm MSS10:no.296, located Virginia State Library and Archives), April 20, 1824, p. 3, States John H. Foster "of this city."





Comments?  Questions?  Corrections?

Contact [email protected]

[1] May You Live A Thousand Years, My Friend, is an excerpt from The Clopton Chronicles, the Ancestors and Descendants of Sir Thomas Clopton, Knight & Dame Katherine Mylde, and is the property of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society which holds the copyright on this material.  Permission is granted to quote or reprint articles for noncommercial use provided credit is given to the CFGS and to the author.  Prior written permission must be obtained from the Society for commercial use.

Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton is Founder and Executive Director of The Clopton Family Genealogical Society & Clopton Family Archives.

The Society wishes to thank the staff of Princeton University’s Firestone Library, especially Sally W. Burkman, Documents Librarian, Social Science Reference Center; and, Susan B. White, United Nations Librarian and Social Science Online Coordinator; Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.;  Paul Connor, Reference Librarian, Library of Congress, Local History & Genealogy Room, LJ G 42, Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D. C.; the Fauquier Heritage Society;  and, Jane P. Guiliano, Volunteer Archival Technician, Archives of the United States of America, Washington, D. C., for their assistance in preparing this article.

Thanks also to Clopton descendants, Carroll (Taylor) Everette; Pearl (Cromell) Glasco; Gayle Williams Newton; Carole Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D.; Pauline (Hill) Tripp; and, Patsy Ann (Clopton) Wheeler.

[2] Albert J. Beveridge, The Life of John Marshall, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, The Riverside Press, Cambridge, England, 1916 by Albert J. Beveridge, 1919, by Houghton Mifflin Company, Volume II, p 415

[3] George Wythe Munford, The Two Parsons; Cupid’s Sports; The Dream; and The Jewels of Virginia, J.D.K. Sleight, Richmond, 1884, p. 207.

[4] Frances Norton Mason, My dearest Polly, Letters of Chief Justice John Marshall to His Wife, with Their Background, Political and Domestic, 1779-1831, Garrett & Massie, Inc., Richmond, 1961, p. 129.

[5] John Clopton was the son of William Clopton, III., and his wife, Elizabeth Darroll Ford.  An abbreviated genealogy follows.  For a complete genealogy of this Clopton line, see The Descendants of William Clopton of St. Paul’s Parish & His Wife Joyce Wilkinson

[6] The men are 11th cousins once removed.

[7] Now known as the Democratic party.

[8] Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1996,  Joel D. Treese, Editor, CQ Staff Directories, Inc., A Congressional Quarterly Company, Alexandria, Virginia, 1997, p 832.

[9] Munford, The Two Parsons, p. 205.

[10] This proved disastrous to American commerce, and Congress, during Thomas Jefferson’s administration, declared that American ships could not leave their ports.  The fact that the young country did not have a navy of sufficient strength to enforce the embargo kept some goods flowing into the beleaguered countries.  The Federalists denounced the measures as “unmitigated tyranny.”

[11] Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, served in office from March 4, 1801 until March 3, 1809.

[12] George Washington’s wife, Martha (Dandridge) Custis (1731-1802), was the niece of Lane Jones (1707-1750).  Mr. Jones married Elizabeth Darroll Ford (-1785), and they had one child, a son, William (1746).  Following the death of Mr. Jones, Elizabeth married in 1752, William Clopton, III. (1721/22-1796), son of William Clopton of St. Paul’s Parish and his wife, Joyce Wilkinson of Black Creek.  In 1761, William Clopton is named as guardian of William Jones in a suit in York County).

Mrs. Washington’s father, Major John Dandridge served as a churchwarden and vestryman of St. Peter’s Parish Church, the American ancestral church of the Clopton Family.  She would have been about 10 years old when William Clopton, III., was baptized at that church.  Records show that George Washington purchased at least one slave from a William Clopton.

[13] Mason, My dearest Polly, p. 124.

[14] John Marshall was born September 24,1755, near Germantown, Virginia and died July 6, 1835.  He spent his formative years between ages 10 and 18, living at “The Hollow,” in Fauquier County, Virginia.  He was he principal founder of the U.S. system of constitutional law, including the doctrine of judicial review.

[15]Ibid., John Marshall, like so many politicians of that day, had severe financial  concerns, and wished to return to his law practice.  He was especially concerned about losing his Fairfax lands.  They argued for four days.  “Finally they haughtily bade each other good night.  Before dawn Marshall crept down from his bedroom all booted and spurred now clad in his wrinkled riding clothes, ready to fetch his horse and ride off toward Richmond before a friendship would be shattered by hardheadedness.  But the wily General who had captured Lord Cornwallis was not to be circumvented by a subordinate.  He was waiting on the doorstep.  When Marshall reached Richmond he declared himself for Congress.” P. 123.

[16] Ibid., p. 125, 128.

[17] Munford, Two Parsons, p. 208.

[18] Beveridge, The Life of John Marshall., note, p. 414.

[19] Ibid., p. 413-416.  Beveridge quotes George Wythe Munford in this rather colorful account of election day in the Clopton-Marshall contest and tells the story better than Munford!

[20] Munford, Two Parsons, p. 207-211.

[21] Munford mistakenly stated John Clopton won.

[22] Beveridge, The Life of John Marshall, p 416-419.

[23] This election was referred to as Thomas Jefferson’s “Revolution of 1800.”

[24] John Clopton did not defeat Marshall, rather, Marshall was nominated to be Chief Justice of the United States.  Elections for the next Congress were held, and Clopton was returned to the House.  This event distressed Marshall, who wrote:  “Ill news from Virginia.  To succeed me has been elected by an immense majority one of the most decided democrats in the union.”  This in an era when the word “democrat” was used by the Federalists as a term of extreme condemnation, and Jefferson’s Republicans concurrently and similarly resented the appellation “democrat.”

[25] Although the Clopton family was well respected in Virginia, its members were never incredibly wealthy.  In 1810, John Clopton owned 450 acres and twenty-nine slaves.  The number of slaves indicates he was financially successful.  American National Biography, John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, General Editors, Published under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies by Oxford University Press, New York, 1999, Volume 5, p. 84, described his social ranking “among the lesser Virginia gentry.”

[26] The Library of Congress has digitized many valuable records and placed them in the National Digital Library.  Among those records which may be viewed is the House of Representative Journal and the Annals of Congress & Index, which include 349 references to John Clopton.

[27] Dr. Carole Elizabeth Scott, a Professor of Economics states, “the stock [in the Bank of the United States] was purchased both by private investors and the U.S. Government.  Each was short lived.  The charter of the first was allowed to lapse prior to the War of 1812. Problems in financing it led to the recreation of the Bank. Andrew Jackson vetoed the rechartering of the second Bank of the United States. It did not cease to exist; it just became a Pennsylvania bank under a different name.  Hostility to the centralization of power, particularly financial power, led to the demise of these banks. The Banks of the United States were semi central banks. We have a central bank today.  It is the Federal Reserve System created by the Federal Reserve Act signed by Pres. Wilson in December 1913. We were the last major country to create a central bank. (Great Britain's is the Bank of England.) The Federal Reserve System (Fed) acts as the federal government's fiscal agent. The Banks of the U.S. did this too, but they also operated like regular banks, which the Fed doesn't. The fact the Banks of the U.S. competed with other banks--the Fed doesn't--also created opposition to them. The Bank of the U.S. had several branches, including one in Savannah, Georgia and another in Charleston, South Carolina. Both became major state banks after the Bank of the U.S. ceased to exist. The one in Charleston became the largest bank in the region: the Bank of Charleston.  Leroy Wiley was a director of the Bank of Charleston. (He was the very wealthy brother of my ancestor, Dr. John Wiley.) If I recall correctly, the Savannah bank became the Bank of the State of Georgia--despite its name, it wasn't state owned. The short-lived state-owned bank was called the Central Bank”

[28] American National Biography, p. 85.

[29] See In Praise of Mint Juleps.  For additional information regarding The Honorable John Clopton see the John Clopton Papers, preserved at Duke University, Special Collections, Duke University Library, Durham, North Carolina; Joseph Gailes and William W. Seaton, Annals of Congress, 1789-1824 (42 Volumes, 1834-1856);  Volume 3, The Papers of John Marshall, Charles T. Cullen, Editor;  Noble E. Cunningham Jr., The Jeffersonian Republicans; The Formation of Party Organization, 1789-1801 and Circular Letters of Congressmen to Their Constituents, 1789-1829.