The Clopton Chronicles

A Project of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society









The Honorable John Bacon Clopton &

His Wife Maria Gaitskell Foster


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



A Man of Distinction


Judge Clopton[2] was a man of fine native abilities which he had

Brightened and adorned by profound study and research.[3]



Sometimes we are blessed with an abundance of material relating to our ancestors.  So much material relating to John Bacon Clopton and his family has survived that it is unnecessary to burden their story with copious amounts of narrative text.  We shall stand aside and let their story unfold as they lead us through years of peace into the horrors of war.

One of the most remarkable women who ever married into the Clopton family was Maria Gaitskell Foster.  Affectionately known as Mrs. Judge Clopton, she was once described as “a lady of rare graces of mind and person, and who became as her mind and talents developed and matured, one of the most highly cultured and intellectual ladies of the State.”  But those words do not do justice to this woman.  She confronted first financial difficulties with great dignity and grace and then, widowed, faced the Civil War with courage and determination. [4]

Her husband Judge John Bacon Clopton’s father, John Bacon[5] died in 1816, and it became his responsibility to settle his father’s Estate.  After their marriage, the couple established their home at Roslyn, his ancestral home, and they became the parents of at least thirteen children[6]:



The Honorable John Bacon Clopton


Judge Clopton attended William and Mary College and studied law under Edmund Randolph.  He served in the Virginia militia in the War of 1812.  He was a member of the Virginia Senate and served until 1830.  On February 27, 1834 he was elected by the General Assembly Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, and he served on the bench of the General Court until July 1851. He was considered one of Virginia’s most prominent Jurists and was serving on the Bench of the Supreme Court of Virginia at the time of his death in 1860.  His portrait hangs in the Capitol at Richmond.

Judge Clopton, was a founding member of The Virginia Historical Society. He held the honor of being the Society’s first Corresponding Secretary and Librarian. Almost without exception, persons nominated for founding membership derived from Virginia’s social, political and intellectual elite. First President of the Society was John Marshall, the eminent Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Former U.S. President, James Madison was elected as an honorary member of the Society.  In The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography[7], the statement is made:



As corresponding secretary the members elected John Bacon Clopton, of New Kent. A former state senator, later a judge, Clopton was stately of mien, yet a person who “loved company, loved to play whist and loo, bought lottery tickets, was an authority on the pedigree of race horses, and a good chess player.



He was distinguished not only for the honors he had “thrust upon him,” but for the distinction he missed by a single vote.[8].  The Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, Virginia[9] relates the following story of how a Clopton almost became President of the United States:


At the Whig Convention of 1840, after Gen. William Henry Harrison had been nominated for the presidency and a recess was taken, the party leaders gave the Virginia delegation to understand that whomever they might nominate for Vice President would receive the vote of the convention.  In a caucus held during the recess two names were considered, those of Judge John Bacon Clopton and John Tyler. [10]  Tyler having a majority of one vote, Clopton thus narrowly missed becoming the Vice President, and on the death of President Harrison two months after his inauguration, President of the United States.  Judge Clopton did not know he was considered for this office until his friends, returning from the Convention, told him.




The Clopton House


…the chief attractiveness of this old place is not centered in this physical garniture of beauty, its principal interest arising from the character, ability and social graces and rare hospitality of the personages that have adorned it by their lives and associations with it and its memories.  Especially is this true of John Bacon Clopton and his family.




The noted Virginia historian, Benjamin B. Weisiger, III., took this photograph of the somewhat dilapidated and much altered Clopton House, on Clopton Hill, which stood at 1007 McDonald Street.  The house, which was demolished some time after 1940, was built circa 1817 and for a short period belonged to Judge John Bacon Clopton.  Judge Clopton and his wife sold it to their daughter and son-in-law, Sarah Jane Clopton and David Mosby Pulliam, Esq., in 1849 when redistricting forced him to move to Henrico County.  An 1876 map of Manchester shows their son, William St. Paul Pulliam owned the house until he sold it in 1881.  Old Manchester & Its Environs, 1769-1910 by Benjamin B. Weisiger, III.



The family lived at Roslyn until he became Judge of the Circuit Court necessitating a move to the Richmond area[11].  In 1847 they were living in a magnificent home in Manchester.  Manchester was a town on the south side of the James River across from Richmond and was for many years the county seat of Chesterfield County before it was annexed to Richmond in 1910.[12]  A lengthy article[13] appeared in a Richmond newspaper describing the Manchester home of Judge and Mrs. Judge.  The author, David L. Pulliam[14], called it “a fine old mansion[15].  Beautifully located[16] and commanding a most extensive view of the James River.  One of the oldest in the state.”  The Cloptons filled the home with lovely furniture and boasted a magnificent library containing over 15,000 volumes.  The gardens took up over an acre of land.  The “veritable paradise of wilding loveliness, greenery and blossoming shrubs and trailing vines,” were the result of Mrs. Clopton’s efforts.  The family named their estate, “Clopton Hill.”[17]  The following is excerpted from that article.



This old mansion at once elegant and attractive, is one of the most prominent features of the landscape of this city, and in olden times, ere the beautiful hill upon which it is built, had been mutilated by the pick and shovel, was one of the most beautiful.  The house is a large one, and though there are only nine rooms in it, most of them are of immense size.  The house was constructed differently from most of the colonial homes, though this old building traces its existence to pre-Revolutionary times, and is, therefore, unique and picturesque.  It has a basement built of brick but which is not sunken in the earth, the floors being on a level with the surface of the yard which surrounds it.  The basement constitutes the first story of the edifice, while above it are two stories of very lofty pitch.  The front door is distinctive and ornate, and adds very greatly to the charm of the building.  It is reached by lofty steps.  The large double doors, sixteen feet wide, with the arched transom over them, opened into an immense hallway which extends the entire front of the house, which is about 50 feet in width.  There is a door at each end of this hall, which used to open into capacious and lovely porticos which were ever shaded and breeze wooing.  The lovely antique stairway is in this splendid hall.  Charming paneled doors, garnished with huge brass locks, hinges and knobs, open from this hall into the parlor and library, which are huge apartments, and are superb in their appointments and finish.

The Mantels were very lovely and exquisite specimens of woodwork, and highly ornamented masterpieces of beauty and elegance.  They were very tall and reached almost to the lofty ceiling and were topped by large and finely carved cornices.  Festoons of flowers were carved most daintily upon the panels in these antique mantle pieces.  The windows are large and numerous.  The hall, in the old days of the mansion, was exquisitely papered, as were the lovely parlor and library.  The side walls in the hall were frescoed in panels, with fine design.  The ceiling was in panels.  The color scheme was violet, with brown fringes on inside, and a warm background of delicate tint of the same color, from which lovely flowers, in accordant coloring, seemed to group in graceful guise and beauty.  The ceiling in the parlor was even more beautiful – being divided into sections to afford variety, and each section being ornamented in the corners by wreaths of flowers while in the middle of each section was a center piece of beautiful floral design, which was surrounded by a field in violet color, from which gleamed golden starts.  The porticoes were most attractive.  They were most convenient and tasteful accessories to the great hallway, and were reached by massive and broad doorways over which were huge transoms, glazed with diamond-shaped panes of glass.  The beauty and elegance of the old dwelling may be well pictured from this outline of its attractions and finishings.

Nor were the outdoor accessories of this charming place less interesting and attractive than the interior of the house…..  [On] July 6th 1848 the fine old house passed [to] the Hon. John Bacon Clopton, from whom it took the name of the “Clopton House” which it has borne ever since that time.




Hard Times


Such a collection should be kept intact for a

State or city library.



Regrettable, the family seems to have labored under rather serious financial difficulties.  According to family tradition, Judge Clopton lent a friend a great deal of money but was never paid back, although a very lavish lifestyle certainly didn’t help their situation.[18]

His wife did her part to amend the family purse.  As early as 1849, newly installed in her spectacular “Clopton House,” she was advertising her willingness to accept up to eight boarders.[19]  While her husband was serving as Judge of the Sixth Circuit and living, presumably, in Richmond, she evidently had charge of a Female Academy in Williamsburg[20].  She opened a school for girls in the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg.  The Virginia Gazette[21] carried a notice in the July 27, 1854 issue remarking on the new school.


MRS. MARIAH G. CLOPTON having resigned the charge of the Female Academy in this place, has been invited by her friends to preside over a new school, the Raleigh Institute, to be opened on the first of October next -?-

We hope there will be ‘room and verge enough’ in the Old Metropolis for the various instructions of learning already existing here, and for any new ones that may be started.  Mrs. Clopton has many friends in this place and through the country.  We are sure of this much, that no one would treat the pupils placed under their charge with more gentleness and kindness than Mrs. Clopton and her amiable daughters.

The Old Raleigh has been purchased by a few Gentlemen[22], and is to be converted into a Seminary of learning. It is now undergoing repair and will be ready by the first of October next.  ‘Apollo Hall,’ famous in American History will be the School Room, and whilst conning their lessons in this consecrated ‘Hall,’ may our fair girls think of their noble ancestors, and so cultivate their minds, manners and morals, as to befit them for the duties of life.


There appeared in the same issue[23]a notice advertising the “Raleigh Institute.”



WILLIAMSBURG FEMALE ACADEMY Will commence its scholastic -?- the 1st of October next, ending on the -?- two half sessions of 4  -?- months each.

                The course of study will embrace all the -?- pertaining to a thorough English education together with Ancient and Modern Languages and Music.

                The Institution is provided with a very extensive Philosophical and Chemical apparatus.


Board, lodging, fuel, lights, tuition in all English branches,---$75.00

Washing------------------------------------------------- ------   ------     9.00

French and other Modern Languages,-----------------   ----------     7.50

Music – Piano,----------------------------------------------   -------     30.00

            Guitar,----------------------------------   -------------------     15.00

Drawing and Painting,-------------------------   -------------------      5.00

For all English branches:

Day scholars under 10 years,--------------------   ------------------    10.00

                          13            ------------------- ---------------------   15.00

                 over   13…        ----------------------  ------------------    20.00

Books, Stationary and sheet Music at city prices.

                                                MARIA G. CLOPTON



Col. Robert M. Candish(?), President

Dr. Robert P. Waller   Rev. James F. Jo-?-

                                                    -?-                            -?-

W. R. C. Douglas, Esq. James P. Custis, Esq.

W.W. -?-                    Dr. John N. G(?)alt

All letters must be addressed to the Principal at Williamsburg.


On July 26, 1855, The Virginia Gazette[24] commented:


The Raleigh Institute, of which Mrs. Judge CLOPTON, is Principal, is in a flourishing condition.  The number of students during the last session was 75, and during the approaching session there will, doubtless, be many more.  The late examination reflected credit upon this lady as a teacher.  Indeed, it is generally conceded that Mrs. CLOPTON has few superiors as an instructor of female pupils.

            The next session of the Institute will commence on the first day of Oct.  See advertisement.








The Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, circa 1991.  In the eighteenth century, the Raleigh was Williamsburg’s most famous tavern.  It became not only a social, economic, and communications center but frequently the colony’s political heart as well.




Fortunately, an album[25] has survived from their time in Williamsburg in which daughter Joyce Wilkinson Clopton recounts an evening at the Raleigh in great detail.


An Evening at the Raleigh[26]

Wed Mar 6, 1856

The parlor at the Old Raleigh and its recent occupants must need be described so; on second thought we deem that needful [or needless], for the long, lofty room, with its drooping curtains of crimson, its tables filled with books, its Piano, guitar, and various articles of furniture scattered in careless, but graceful confusion, may easily be imagined while its occupants may well speak for themselves, for a wealth of thoughts on the freshness of that dark-haired girl sitting in the shadow of the crimson curtains, deeply absorbed in a book, her face shaded from the candle, while on it flickers a few festive gleams of firelight – which seem to love to linger on her pale, intellectual, brow:  and the sole speaks plainly in the laughing eyes of the one, who sits next [to] her, carelessly twisting her dark brown curls, a pleasant smile lighting her features.  The group on the opposite side of the fireplace- a tall, grave, elegant girl, reclining in a large arm chair, a brilliant brunette, with rather a pensive cast of features, thrown in careless grace on the floor by her side, repeating love poetry, and a gentle blond whose thoughts – as yet – dare not soar beyond the schoolroom, kneeling before them – seem intent on passing a pleasant hour.  The laughing, joyous – hearted girl at the Piano, over whose head scarce sixteen summers have shed their fragrance and bloom [,] is thinking, we daresay, of the times when she will be emancipated from the cares of school-life and reign belle of the Ball Room; while the mind of the brother, whose age seems to have touched so lighted as scarcely to leave a -?- behind, is busy over the contents of the Days paper, and the thoughts of the one sitting beside her, whose lofty brow is marked with lines of intense thought, seem to have wandered far away, from the earnest and abstracted air with which she is gazing in this glowing grate.  The student sitting apart from the others is buried in “Greek and Latin lore”, and seems to have no idea of what is passing around him, Memories of old are crowding around the heart of her, who sits at the table, busily writing, scenes of the Past are rising to her view, and tho’ among them are some on which she loves to dwell, because enacted by dearly loved ones, some will bring in after years more pleasant thoughts than the one of this evening, for few friends are more loved than those here now.

                By Joyce Clopton[27] in Wms burg, Va.


 Some classes were taught in the Apollo Room.  It was entered from one end, and opposite was the fireplace between two doors; over the fireplace was a mantel-piece about six feet high, around the ceiling was a wooden cornice; over the mantel-piece, and near the cornice was a Latin motto.  Many years later, William Izard was asked if he remembered the Apollo Room at the Raleigh and the motto over the mantle, Hilaritas Sapientiae et bonae vitae proles [Jollity the offspring of wisdom and good life.].  Without hesitation he replied, “I reckon I do remember it, as I sat in front of it for years when my mother kept school in that room.”[28]




The Apollo Room at the Raleigh Tavern, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia features a fireplace and mantel with the carved motto Hilaritas Sapientiae et bonae vitae proles (Jollity the offspring of wisdom and good life}.  Although completely destroyed by fire, the tavern has been meticulously restored by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  Today it serves as one of the more elegant restaurants in Williamsburg.



Judge Clopton’s death provoked an outpouring of lavish obituaries including the following from the Friday morning, March 30, 1860 Richmond Dispatch.



Judge Clopton Actually Dead.


We regret to learn that the Hon. John B. Clopton died at his residence, near Hampton, yesterday morning. There is, unfortunately, no mistake this time. The intelligence comes too direct not to be certain.

                It is hardly necessary to repeat what we said the other day of Judge Clopton. He was one of the most universally popular men, wherever he was known, it was ever our fortune to meet with. His amiability, and the kindness of his manner, forced its way irresistibly to the heart. As a Judge he had few superiors on the bench in the United States, as a man of acquirements fewer still, as a man of genius not one. He was unambitious, somewhat too indolent, and greatly too prone to indulge in a natural taste for general literature. Otherwise he would have been one of the first lawyers that ever practiced at the bar in this country. Few of those who have risen to the very summit of the profession had more talent than he, or a greater right to expect, in youth, that he would attain to such a height. What he lacked in professional knowledge, however (and with all his want of application he still possessed more than most of the bar,) he made up in general information. Of this he possessed a store which literally seemed unbounded. It was impossible to launch upon any subject which he did not have at his fingers' ends. He had been personally acquainted with more men than any person we ever knew, and it seemed to us that every one of them, from Gen. Lafayette down to the eccentric waiter of a hotel, had made the same impression on him. Mention whom you might, and he could tell you all about him, let his situation in life have been as high or as low as it might, and with the same accuracy in either case. Nothing escaped his notice or faded from his memory. Of that memory wonders have been told, but not half as much as remains to be told. He delighted in conversation, and would sit up talking all night, if he could find any one of the same inclination with himself. His conversation did not consist in preaching, as that of great conversationalists too often does. It was a constant flow of easy, unpremeditated, yet sensible talk, full of anecdote, racy, yet unstudied, delightful, without being gotten up for the occasion. He was too well bred, and too little of an egotist to monopolize all the talk. He talked himself, and expected and encouraged others to talk in their turn. A constant flow of ideas was kept in circulation, never stagnating into dullness.

                In private life, Judge Clopton was warmly and justly esteemed and beloved. No warmer heart ever beat in the bosom of man. There never was a more affectionate husband or parent, or a kinder master, or a better neighbor. In him the State has lost a most valuable servant, and society one of its most valuable ornaments. He was a true representative of the Old Virginia gentleman, and he has left few of his like behind him.



So desperate was the need for money following Judge Clopton’s death, his family sold at auction in 1861, what was considered one of the largest private libraries in America. [29]  The Richmond Daily Whig, in a prominent editorial, was outraged by the sale, and quoted a description of the collection’s sale catalogue reprinted from an unidentified New York newspaper which read in part:


The catalogue of the late Hon. John B. Clopton of Virginia, comprises a greater assemblage of literature than perhaps of any other sale that has taken place in this country.  The specialty of Judge Clopton seems to have been the political history of this country as shown in the ephemeral literature of the period.  Among these tracts (there are three) referring to Lord Howe, Aaron Burr, Sir Guy Carleton as especially rare.  One entitled, ‘Remarks occasioned by the late conduct of Mr. Washington as President of the United States, ‘The Coffee Scuttle.’  Tracts by Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, various orations on Washington; in all over three thousand separate tracts and pamphlets of great value.  Such a collection should be kept intact for a state or city library.



Little Name Me


The parents were a little slow

in naming their seventh child.



With the exception of Sarah Jane Clopton, who had married in 1850, it is probable all the other daughters lived with their mother in Williamsburg, including Namee.  Family tradition[30] holds that the parents were slow in selecting a name for this seventh child.  In a somewhat joking manner, the family called the baby “Little Name Me.”  Eventually the name Namee was adopted for the baby, although she shared the fate of all who bare an unusual name; it was constantly misspelled.

The 22 year old Namee was courted and wooed by one of the students at William and Mary College, John Calhoun Nichols.[31]  He was from Brunswick, Georgia[32] and received his law degree in 1855.[33]  They were married in Williamsburg September 25, 1855 by William M. Young, a Baptist minister.[34]  A Baptist Church was being built during the fall of 1855 near the Powder Magazine in town, but it wasn’t completed until after October 1855.[35]  Although the marriage could have been performed at Bruton Parish Church, home weddings were still the custom in Virginia[36]  Because the marriage took place in Williamsburg,[37] it may well have taken place at The Raleigh Institute.[38]

The young bride left everything and everyone she had ever known and went to live at his father’s plantation, “Roselawn,” near Magnolia, Clinch (then Ware) County, Georgia.  He served in the Confederate Army and was a member of the State Constitutional Congress.



Foreshadows of War

                We have fallen on evil times.  The day of doom

                For the great model Republic is at hand.  Madness

                Rules the hour….I sigh over the degeneracy of the times.

                                                John Tyler, November 1860[39]



President John Tyler was an old friend, neighbor and political rival.[40] Ralph Hardee Rives recounts a story[41] of the 1857 celebration by residents of the Jamestown/Williamsburg, Virginia area of the first colonists’ landing on Jamestown Island in 1607.  This event, held every fifty years, featured speeches by prominent citizens, an elaborate military review, dancing, and free flowing champaign.  On May 13th, “a large fleet of bright winged craft of all sized and characters, jubilant with gay streamers, booming guns and sonorous music was afloat off Jamestown Island.”  Judge Clopton was there that day as the representative of the Society.  The speaker was President John Tyler.


… ex-President John Tyler, having two and a half centuries of history to cover, felt that he needed two and a half hours for his oration.  (An elderly) Judge John B. Clopton, arriving after a hot walk through rough fields, became exhausted and repeatedly asked his son, William to take him “to the stand.”  When, after having been led through the crowd to a point immediately below the rostrum he reiterated the request, William remarked in some confusion, “Father, we are at the stand where President Tyler is speaking.”  “Oh,” said the old gentleman, “I don’t want to hear John Tyler now, take me to the stand where the mint julep is.”


In a few years, however, there was little time to enjoy mint juleps and little to celebrate.  The War actually began October 16, 1859, although shots would not be exchanged until 1861.  John Brown led a group of desperate men who seized the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.  He called for an armed insurrection of all Virginia slaves.  The South recoiled at the thought of hundreds of thousands of slaves rising up in armed revolt.  Although the men were quickly caught, tried, convicted, and hanged,  the Nation would never be the same again.

                The Northern abolitionists “wept and screamed and gnashed their teeth in frustrated anguish.”[42]  They demanded an immediate end to slavery.  Tyler wrote:


                I feel great concern about the present condition of things in the Country.  Matters have arrived at such a pass disunion must soon come.  A few years ago a man to have dared to utter such treasonable discourses as proceed from so many lips at the North now would have been at once mobbed, stoned, and put down instead of listened to – and they would have been pointed at as objects of disgust – but how is it now?  They are lions, and soon they will have followers enough to overthrow the government or create more terrible mischief.[43]


                Slaves in the Tidewater area generally outnumbered whites more than two to one, and it was the fear of slaves murdering, raping, and blundering, that was of paramount concern, all other issued were subordinate to this.  Alarmed, Virginians began to organize armed mounted patrols under the guidance of Governor Wise.  President Tyler and Judge Clopton gave Dr. Wise their complete support.  It was Wise who deployed several units to Charles Town during the trial and execution of Brown.

                At this point, Virginians were deeply divided on the complicated, and sometimes subtle, political issues surrounding the Brown incident.  Once incident clearly illustrates the explosive nature of the subject.



                In March 1860, (the) drawing room at Sherwood Forest very nearly became the scene of a fist fight when two of Tyler’s neighbors, the Reverend Dr. Wade, the local Episcopal clergyman, and planter John Clopton angrily exchanged words on Governor Wise’s handling of the Brown affair.  Wade, an outspoken Whig and unionist, argued that Wise had over-reacted to the Harpers Ferry incident, needlessly contributing to the tension by placing Virginia on a virtual war footing.  The governor had, Wade charged, misrepresented the relative calm prevailing at Harpers Ferry after Brown’s capture in order to whip up support throughout the state for a militant policy of anti-abolitionism.  At this point Clopton sprang from his chair, fists clenched, shouting:  “I have no opinion of clergymen coming from the pulpit to make themselves Sunday evening politicians and slander and accuse of perjury such a man as Governor Wise whose honor and word I have never heard doubted by his bitterest political opponents.”  Fortunately, no blows were struck.  Tyler and his wife clearly sided with Clopton, however.  Julia[44]  thought he [Clopton] had acted with “a spirit and independence truly becoming,” while Tyler dismissed the thrust of Wade’s arguments with the observation that the clergyman was a fuzzy-minded Federalist who had “married for his second wife one of the granddaughters of Chief Justice Marshall.”  Obviously a bad sort.[45]




The Blessings of Her Wisdom


Her skill and art were enjoyed by many who were

healed by her remedies and nursing.

Notably were those excellent talents brought

into use during the Civil War.


When the war came Mrs. Judge left  her home at Old Point and relocated to Richmond.  She chaired the newly formed Ladies Defense Society, which was formed in 1862 at the Broad Street Methodist Church following the battle of the Merrimac and the Monitor.  The new society’s aim was to raise funds to construct a new ship.



Mrs. Clopton[46]



                The Ladies of the Aid Society of this County, wish to aid you in the noble enterprise, of the Gunboat association:  during the past few days, we have collected many articles of silver plate together with one hundred and fifty-dollars, several gold watches, chains, etc – As the President of this Society I would like to know, what disposal is best, and will thank you to inform me at your earliest convenience, what arrangements we shall make of this contribution.

                With Sincere wishes for the success of this work I remain

                                Very respectfully yours


                                Cornelia A. Berkeley


                                Aid Society

                                                Prince Edward Co. House




They were successful in this drive and soon construction of the Fredricksburg began.[47]

Meanwhile, the wounded were pouring into the city, and she “a good woman, and ever carried charity and the blessings of her wisdom to all within her reach, (and) a fine doctor,”[48] opened a hospital.[49]  It was to be for the exclusive use of officers of the Confederate Army and funded entirely by Mrs. Judge.[50]  Her skill would be “enjoyed by many who were healed by her remedies and nursing.  Notably were those excellent talents brought into use during the Civil War.”[51]



Franklin St. 4th house from

Corner of 4th & Franklin Sts.

Richmond, Va.


                On Wednesday, 28th May 1862 the sick soldiers at Ashland were brought to Richmond and Capt. Jackson Warner opened this house on Franklin Street between 3d and 4th and one between 4th & 5th and placed 290 men in them, where they remained until Saturday morning 31st when by order of Genl. Winder they were transferred to the St. Charles Hospital.  Since the 31st of May the following patients have been received and treated in this hospital.


                Dr. H. A. Tatum appointed Post Surgeon[52]

                Mr. Brook, Steward

                Dr. P. Brown has kindly given gratuitous advice and

                                Very efficiently aided in the organization of the Hospital.


                                                                                (signed) Maria G. Clopton



There were hospitals set up all over the area as battles in Virginia continued to grow in intensity.  They were found everywhere.  In Richmond alone there were more than forty hospital, not counting the many private homes that accommodated the wounded.[53]

Dr. Henry Augustus Tatum, of Richmond, Virginia was a skilled surgeon, and he saved many wounded men from losing a limb.  The Clopton Hospital was publicly complimented by the Confederate Congress for its small percentage of deaths in comparison with all the other hospitals.    One day 1,268 men were accepted into the care of the staff.

“The low mortality at Clopton and Robertson Hospitals, conducted by patriotic women,” was cited as an argument that women made the best nurses for the soldiers,” when the First Confederate Congress met in September 1862.  The Clopton Hospital had a mortality of rate of two per cent.  On average, where males were in charge, the mortality averaged ten percent, and with females in charge, only five per cent.[54]


Where Mercy Dwelt


The Old Clopton Hospital Franklin Street

And the War-time Angel Who Directed It

Recalled in Newly Found Letters from

Grateful Confederate Families




During the bloody summer of 1862 the Clopton Hospital near the northwest corner of Fourth and Franklin Streets was opened on May 28 as an emergency unit by Captain Is[rael] Warner.  Two hundred and eighty men were brought from Ashland on May 31 by order of General Winder, according to old records now in possession of the Clopton descendants.  All were retained with the exception of 12.

                This hospital was opened exclusively for wounded officers[57] of the Confederate Army and was established by the patriotic philanthropy of the widow of Judge John Bacon Clopton, who was Maria Gatesgill(sic.) Foster of England.[58]  It was located between Third and Fourth Streets in Mrs. Clopton’s home in the center then of the most fashionable neighborhood.  The beauties and belles of the Confederate capital, many of them refugees from Maryland, flocked to it and tenderly administered to the suffering and wounded.

                Among the volunteers was the brilliant Constance Cary who later was won by President Davis’ private secretary.  In a magazine article she alluded to her experiences and told how when the wounded were taken to the receiving hospital downtown the soldiers would beg to be taken to the Clopton Hospital, for the fame of the practice of the surgeon in charge, Dr. Henry Augustus Tatum of Richmond, Va., was widespread.  His assistant was young Dr. Patterson.  The reputation he gained was that he saved the limbs which others would have amputated as a quicker method of healing.  This reputation he gained the previous year in his practice at the Warm Springs Hospital.

                The officers were as soon as practicable, transferred to the roomy cool and clean old house and carefully restored to health.  Among those was a young officer, the nephew of Dr. Tatum whose right arm was shattered between the shoulder and elbow; it had gone forth that it must come off.  He implored to be taken to his uncle'’ hospital to be created.  This was done and the pieces of shattered bone were reunited as in nature and healed beautifully and in good time the gallant youth was on his horse, a volunteer on Stuart'’ staff.  This indomitable spirit was Charles Augustus Boyd, son of James Magruder Boyd, of the well known firm of Boyd, Edmonds and Davenporrt.



A surviving register[59] for the month of August lists the names of each patient, their company and rank, admission date, complaint, and sometimes medications given.  Surprisingly, at least two of the names are connected to the Clopton family.  Her son, William, was admitted July 2 with a fever, and returned to duty July 10.  Another entry notes that Private J. R. Godkin,[60] of Company G, 4th Georgia Regiment, was transferred from another private hospital to Clopton Hospital July 11 suffering from Typhoid fever and “contused” in battle.




Envelope addressed “To the Medical Director in charge of the clopton hospital Richmond, va” from “T. H. Wyatt, geo vol[un]teers, G.A. artilery.”  The poem printed on the front reads:  To arms!  To arms! Quick, be ready, Think of what the South has been:  Onward, onward! Strong and steady – Drive the vandals to their den.  On, and let the watch-word be:  Country, home, and liberty!



Winchester Va  Sept 23trd 1862[61]

To the Sergent in charge of the clopton hospital.  Dear Sir I write you a few lines on business.  I have a brother in the hospital.  I want to here from him he was quite sick when I left.  His name is George F. Wyatt.  I want you to write if he is their or not or whether he is gone home or if he is living or not and you will oblige me.  Write as soon as you get this and let me here from him.  So I remain yours with respect.


When you write your letter to winchester in the care of Major Richardsond commanding


Doctor you must excuse me for not paying the postage on this letter.  I have no money or stamps.  Yours servant






                                                                Mt. Lebanon Sept 26th ’62[62]


Mrs Clopton.

                Dear Madam.  I have an opportunity of sending letters through to Richmond by a friend and cannot let it pass without expressing my sincere thanks to you for your kind attentions to my son whilst he was sick in your City.  He wrote us that you took him to your house and cared for him so kindly that he owed his recovery probably to the circumstances.  Let me assure you dear Madam, that such tender treatment to a stranger falls as gratefully on the mothers heart as it does upon the senses of the poor sick soldiers – and I am certain I shall always remember your kindnesses with as much gratitude as my son will himself.

His name was Walter Randle.  Perhaps you remember him – tho his name and face will be far easier for you to forget (situated as you are, with so many around you and maybe in your house.) than it will be for us to forget the charitable kindness you bestowed upon him, when he was far away from his mother and sisters – sick – and with no kind female friend near him, when your generous care found him out.  Again, receive the thanks of his whole family for the kindness.

                I hear that one article we have in abundance here is very scare and high priced in Richmond.  We were wishing yesterday we could send you a barrel of sugar, thereby supplying your household of the above mentioned article, if you happen to be one of the unsupplied.  But the Yankees watch the Mississippi River so closely that it would be a very uncertain venture to start anything of the kind across.

Capt. Randle (my husband) is over on the River with a Company of Partisan Rangers guarding the country from “Yankee raids” which have been numerous and destructive since the fleet came down.  If he should be sick I only hope he will meet with as much kindness as Walter did at your hands.

Hoping this letter will find you enjoying health and all the blessings life confers on the good.  I will close by sending you the regards of my whole family.

                Truly and gratefully yours.

                                                                Elizabeth Randle

                To Mrs. Clopton.





                                                Mount Albion Jan the 6th 1863



Mrs. M. Clopton[63]

                Dear Madame:

It is now over 2 months since I have left Richmond, and since which time I improved but slowly.  The riding on the Cars set me a back a great deal and I am now no better than I have been when I left your kind care last October.

Dear Madame:  I shall never forget the kindness with which I have been treated whilst under your care.  There I know that only your close attention to me – (with the assistance of a few of your Friends) saved me from the Clutches of Cold Death.

I cannot find words to express my feeling of gratitude which is due to you.

May God bless you for it.

Times are very exciting here at present.  People are leaving Town fast to get out of the reach of the Yankee gunboat which are laying at Anchor 12 miles above Vicksburg.

I have left Vicksburg about a week agoe and stah now with a Mrs. Dart a Friend of myn at Mount Albion, about 12 miles from Vicksburg.

I wish you a happy New year and I hope that with Gods blessing you may live to see a many more with Health and Happyness this are the Sincere wishes of yours with Sentiments of the highest Regard

                                                Frank Phister

                                Mount Albion Miss.



Alas, the Confederate government, as governments have always done, wasn’t happy until it had everything organized and regulated and documented.



Richmond October 5th 1862[64]

Medical Director E. S. Gaillard

                I have the honor to report that by your direction I inspected on Saturday October 4th the Clopton Hospital, Main near 4th Street.  It is situated in a thickly settled neighborhood and the wealth and patriotism of the inhabitants has caused the Hospital to receive a much larger amount of contribution in comforts for the sick and appropriate nursing than most others.  The lot 927 ft by 120) is occupied by the Hospital building and kitchen.  The yard is small and hence the patients have exercised in the Streets.  Six rooms each 17 by 21/2 feet) are occupied by patients and according to established and well tested rules of Hygiene afford accommodations for only about 45 patients.  Several verandahs might be used and increase its capacity in emergencies.  Three small rooms used as office, apothecary shop and for accommodation of physicians and nurses, add to its efficiency.  A laundry and kitchen are attached – no bath-room exists – a privy with only one sink and in very offensive condition is entirely insufficient for patients and attendants when probably many cases of Diarrhea exist.  Of attendants – The surgeon in charge contract physician H A Tatum died on the 3.  Contract physician R W Patterson is now constantly on duty – They were contracted with by Surgeon General S. P. Moore from July 1st & July 9th respectively at $80 per month.  Two acting Stewards (one probably acting as ward master) one clerk and 8 nurses are not agreeable to allowance of attendant (Reg. 45) but in except -?-.  Two cooks and three laundresses are not in except of allowance.  Fifty eight (58) patients are in the Hospital and 36 in private quarters.  The food is well prepared and though provisions are drawn, I could find no account of provisions returned and Hospital fund which must exist as some part of the rations must manifestly be commuted.  Gas is used and never has been paid for, no Hospital Records other than the Register[65] have been kept.  Copies of requisitions, Returns of property, Orders and letterbook, and copies of monthly and quarterly reports were not kept.  The persons of the patients their clothing, the beds and bedding and the floors of the wards, corridors and verandahs were in a most commendable condition of neatness.  The wards well lighted and ventilated, and order, quiet and discipline (without restraint) seemed to exist.  The medicines have not, except in small quantities, been drawn from the Purveyor, but prescriptions compounded by a neighbouring Apothecary and paid for by order of the Surgeon Genl.  Hospital Stores have been drawn in moderate quantities – Eight gallons of Stimulants supplied in the last two months.  By reference to the report of the Surgeon Gent made up to Sept 17th 1862, I find that the Death rate has been far smaller in this Hospital than any other, it being 11 in 565 or about 1 in 51; less than two per cent, whereas in the other Genl Hospitals it is generally from one in 9 to one in 20.  This is partly and -?- accounted for by the nature of the cases – the severely wounded comprising the majority of the patients.  But it must partly be explained by the excellent sanitary measures made use of which more than compensated for the disadvantages mentioned.  The distinguished lady superintendent whose name it bears has been indefatigable in zeal and patient care, and has with her many other lady assistants acquired skill and tact in dressing wounds and Hospital management.  Their presence alone has been able to produce order, decorum and discipline and to do away with sentinels and the necessity of rules and regulations which are voluntarily observed without enforcing.  The neighbours are most anxious that the Hospital should be broken up and considering (1) the building is not sufficient for the accommodation of more than very few patients, (2) That conveniences will have to be supplied at some expense (3) That several thousand vacancies exist in the organized Hospitals of this City where proper attention may be given to the patients at less expense I recommend that this be done gradually if you should think best (according to your late regulations, sending the convalescent to Camp Winder), or immediately transferring all inmates to some organized institution and requesting Mrs. Judge Clopton to allow the Hospital or ward to which they are transferred to receive her name and to continue to them there the benefit of her devoted labors and skill;

Very Respectfully,

                Your obedient servant

                                Wm A Carrington Surgeon &

                                                Inspector of Hosps



A report[66] written by someone, it appears to be Mrs. Clopton’s handwriting, show the good ladies were not going to close the hospital without a fight.  The apologetic, and sometimes begging tone of the report seems, in hindsight, insulting, however, it must be remembered this was still early in the War, and ideas of the proper role of Southern women was still in full antebellum mode.  And, as Dr. Carrington wrote, there were several thousand vacancies in the large area hospitals.  Certainly Richmond had far more beds than would ever be needed for the few months it would take to whip the Yankees.


The Hospital now called “Clopton Hospital” was opened on 28 May 1862 by Capt. Israel Warner and 270 men placed in it who were brought from Ashland – One 31 May by orders of Gen Winder they were all with the exception of twelve removed to the Charles Hospital.  On the night of the 31 the wounded were brought in; at that time there were two houses one between 3 & 4 and one 4 & 5 both on Franklin Street.  The two houses continued under the joint care of some twelve or fifteen ladies until it was thought advisable to separate the care of them; when Mrs. Joseph Jackson assumed the management of the one between 4 & 5 and Mrs. Clopton between 3 & 4.  At the time the houses were opened, Capt Warner provided the Hospital [with plenty of food] with sugar, coffee, salt, rice, flour, Bacon & dried fruit.  Also with thirty dollars ($30) for the purchase of fresh meat, milk, vegetables [enough to provide both houses for ten days].  After that Capt W sent three days rations at a time for some two or three times, after that he was absent from Richmond, and we were without rations of any kind for eighteen days (18):  we were also without rations of coffee, sugar and molasses several times.  When we drew other rations:  Our steward Mr. Brock upon enquiring found we were privileged to make ten days acquisitions for -?- since when (sometime in July) we have drawn them regularly but not being advised – as is our right to commute the Steward failed to have it entered when any of the rations were not sent, and we have never received any communication for the 18 days rations & for the other articles nor -?-.  We have received forty dollars (40) through Mrs. Maury from ladies in Fredricksburg ten dollars (10) from I. D. De-?- ten ($10) from Mrs. S. J. Pulliam[67] five from a lady from Alabama five ($5) from a Baltimore lady one dollar ($1) from Mrs. Joshua Fry – We were of aware until 1 Aug that the officers who were patients were to be charged for board since [then] we charged them one dollar per diem; we have also sold the rations of Bacon, candles & flour that have been left and this has enabled us to purchase the milk, eggs & repair locks, white wash & pay the deficiency in hires of nurses, in one instance the difference between $18.50 and $45 per month for two months.  I refer to the remarks of Dr. C. report of the [location] of the Hospital.  It is in a thickly settled and most pleasant part of the City and no doubt may be a source of annoyance to some, but he has made a mistake with regard to the supplies from this neighborhood, with one or two exceptions and those only on the first week of the wounded being brought in, we have derived no assistance what ever [from our neighborhood] our delicacies having been sent from more distant neighborhoods, and from the country; and they ceased early in July -?-.  The ladies of Buckingham through Mrs. Col. Fuqua and the Young Mens Christian Ass; - One box of vegetables from the Ladies of Greenville Aid Soc; but in consequence of its detention on the road nothing arrived safe but the butter – within the past two weeks we have received some vegetables and flour, bottles of wine from the -?-.  Also one or two shirts & drawers from some Institute -?-.  Until some time in Aug we had no clerk but myself and the many duties developing enabling me only to keep a mere day book – this will account for the want of various books of entry & also [the responsibility of keeping the books] was only to be a temporary effort. -?- I have a memo of our outlays -?- [but I am satisfied] that we have no debts and that our patients have had all the comforts that they have needed and that the failures we have made have been in consequence of our ignorance of how to proceed, as we have never had an experienced person in the house & no one to call on us to point out our duties and our anxiety was more for the welfare of our patients.  The following sentence is difficult to read and is incomplete.  There is no signature.



Congress voted to close the small, mostly female managed hospitals in private homes so that the doctors might be more efficiently used, money would be saved, all those empty beds would be filled, and the paperwork would be completed.  The Clopton Hospital was closed October 11, 1862 by order of Dr. Carrington, the men were transferred to large hospitals where the wounded and sick died like flies.



Steele Magnolias


…It was [a] coffin within a coffin yet the

corruption came Thro’ and fell on the floor…



The Clopton daughters were raised as ladies in the strict environment of the Antebellum South, well educated and sheltered all their lives.  Like all Southern women, the War left them without the protection of young able bodied men.[68]  The following letter illustrates just how quickly people adapt to even the most horrible circumstances.  Note the seamless transition from topic to topic.


Dear Namee[69],

                Your letter posted the 4th July, came yesterday the 9th July. We are glad you are beginning even to talk about coming on.  Tell my niece[70] I shall be pleased to see her, and still more pleased to see her a refined, docile little lady.  When do you think it probably may come on?

                I have had no fear of the Yankees getting to Richmond.  McClellan[71] has been so heavily reinforced, our army has fallen back and now the people from Charles City are crowding into Richmond.  I suppose in four or five [days] after they have entrenched themselves, we will have another bloody encounter.  How many useless, profitless battles we have had!

                Overcoming the enemy and not pursuing the advantage gained, allowing the Yankees to recuperate their forces after every encounter.  Miss Lyles is in a low state of health_ her servants have gone off, taking with them her clothes and jewelry.  She had the same fever the President died with and I suppose has never recovered.

                Mr. Curries died after an illness of two hours and a half.  His health has been indifferent for a long time.  Mrs. Currie was in Buckingham.

Mr. Curry[72] died after an illness of two hours and a half.[73]  His health has been indifferent for a long time.  Mrs. Curry was in Buckingham and he was on a visit to her when his death occurred.  I was over for a few days visit to Mary Ann, and so you see I was compelled to be in the midst of the worry and distress.  Mrs. Curry brought the body down, it was in a very advanced stage of decay; it was [a] coffin within a coffin yet the corruption came thro’ and  fell on the floor, we had to put sand around the coffin and next morning early when the coffin was moved, it just ran as if poured from an open vessel, the house was like a charnel-house[74], and kept me sick all the time.  Of course they are all in a great state of distress.

Since Sunday, is the only summer weather we have yet had, but it is hot enough now to suit my salamander, even I am satisfied.

Tell John[75] his promise is so engaging I shall have to take it under consideration if he will accept an amendment, (or Rider?) to his bill, with regard to a change in locality.  I do not think I can stand ch—c-, even without pigs, chickens, and horses being kept [in] their own places.  I should decidedly prefer my health’s being drank in the clear well water of -?- to -?-.  We get along quite well in the culinary department, notwithstanding the scarcity and the prices.  We had a barrel of black-eye peas, and that is just a little over half gone, our dried butter beans are not yet used up, and we get a few vegetables from market.  You know our family are moderate eaters, and what would not suffice for two or three ordinary eaters abundantly supplies us.  We have no staying company, and that has always been the cause for the necessity of such a profuse table as we always have had.  Kate[76] and I have let people know pretty generally that our house is not a wayside inn where no charges were made, and that we expected to wait for an invitation before they visit us.

I do not think another location would be so desirable for a school but I hope we will be able to arrange so as not to have such a house rent to pay, but Richmond is so rapidly filling with refugees, who want houses, that I expect house rent will remain nearly the same.

I am glad the Parsonage has been so much improved.

Have the Kings reached Wa[y]nesboro yet?  In passing the Yankee Prison the other day Paul[77] pointed out one to me with a remark, I put his hand down and told him it was not proper or kind to point so at them; the Yankee smiled as if pleased, and by his appreciation of the act showed some degree of refinement.  I am glad Dr. Young has gone home as Sarah will now take a rest.  Ma works, works, works, all the time at the Hospital.  Frank and Wm Izard[78] are both here, Wms not very well, and Frank waiting for a decision from government as to his locality.  Jimmy Royals is on ---- list, Charlie is getting on admirably with his two wounded arms.  I think if the war promises to continue a long time I shall quit the U. S. and C. S.[79] and go somewhere else; say, to France and open an English School.


Charlotte is over at Albert’s.


Good-bye, Love to all,

Adelaide Clopton

July, 10th, 1862.

I have directed some letters and papers to Wa[y]nesboro – Let me know your exact address.



Curious Letters


If I had any male members in family

except Mr. Davis, I could readily clothe

Lyttleton, but everything I could furnish

him should have to be bought quite new

at the inflated prices



Two interesting letters[80] have survived from Mrs. Jefferson Davis[81] to Mrs. Judge Clopton.  Mrs. Clopton permitted Mrs. Davis to hire one of her slaves who was named Lyttleton[82] as a house servant.  Evidently there was some difficulty regarding him between the two women.  The letters are undated, and unfortunately, Mrs. Davis’ handwriting is every bit as bad as Mrs. Clopton’s, making them very difficult to read.


My dear Mrs Clopton

                When your note came a few days since I felt too unwell to think of a future arrangement about any thing – Please excuse now this pencil note as I cannot sit up yet to do more than sign my name in ink-

I sent to find out the price of shoes such as Lyttleton wears - $150 is the minimum – Three hundred is the best I can get a suit of genteel livery clothes for – that makes four hundred and fifty which added to the two hundred hire makes six hundred and fifty fox six months – since Lyttleton has been with us he has -?- first four weeks.  I find him a very attentive and valuable servant, and would give cheerfully more for him than for another man servant, but am now forced to dismiss many of my men servants because of our inability to live upon the salary and keep the requisite number of servants – If I had any male members in family except Mr. Davis, I could readily clothe Lyttleton, but everything I could furnish him should have to be bought quite new at the inflated prices – will you please think over the matter, and suggest what can be done to make your necessities, and mine minister to each other in some manner – I give to my carriage driver $50 a month and he clothes himself – also to one of my dining room servants – I discuss this matter with you more as a friend than in a business point of view – and am sorry that necessity me to demure to anything you feel obliged to ask.  Have you a boy twelve or thirteen who has been taught -?- in house work?  When I dismiss my menservants I think I shall be forced to have such a [as one?]

Please except my thanks dear Madam for your kind offer of service, and for inquiries for me and believe me.

                                                Very sincerely Your friend

                                                                V. Davis


My dear Mrs Clopton

                Lyttleton tells me I was so unfortunate as to miss you this evening when you called – I am really sorry not to have been at home as well as account of the pleasure of which I was deprived, and that he says you came to see me on business.

                Lyttleton says that he intends leaving us the first of the month and that he thinks you came to announce to me that you had found a place for him and would let him do so.  After our explicit conversation upon the subject I must think he is mistaken – It is so far advanced now in the year that I do not know where I could procure another man, and I am sure you would have given me warning if you had changed your mind since I saw you long before this late hour in the month, therefore  I send my housekeeper to you to talk to you of it, and -?- your wishes as I am not able to see you in person.

                Believe me dear Madam

                                Very respectfully yours

                                                V. Davis





Front and back of a pass issued to “Mrs. Clopton & family.”  The pass is for the Turnpike and Osborne Road, Confederate States of America, War Department, Richmond, July 7, 1864, stating “Permission is granted Mrs. Clopton & family to visit Chasins farm upon honor not to communicate in writing or verbally, for publication, any fact ascertained, which, if known to the enemy, might be injurious to the Confederate States of America.  (Subject to the discretion of the military authorities).”  The signature of the Provost Marshall has almost completely faded.  The description given of Mrs. Clopton is that she is aged 65, has blue eyes, dark hair, is 4 feet, 11 inches tall, and has a fair complexion.  On the fact Mrs. Clopton swears, “I, Mrs. Clopton & family, do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will bear true faith and yield obedience to the Confederate States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against their enem[i]es.”



Richmond on Fire!!![83]


Mrs. Clopton… was one woman who showed the reverse of fear...

When the first of the Federals came in view, Mrs. Clopton

Stationed herself in front of her home and demanded

Protection.  The next day General Jefferson C. Davis[84] pitched

His tent at the front gate.



Mrs. Judge was once again living at “Clopton House” in Manchester.  Her daughter, Sarah Jane, and her husband having acquired the property from her parents.[85]  In April of 1865, as the City of Richmond burned[86], wounded and sick Confederate soldiers were placed in trains and taken to the Manchester side of the James River.  The bridge was then destroyed to slow the progress of the Union Troops into Richmond.  The men lay helpless.  The women, children, and wounded men had been deserted.  And the enemy would be upon them soon.


Mrs. Clopton,[87] seeing their condition, though the Northern Army was expected to enter the town at any moment, went with her daughters and a few ladies of the town and female slaves, and bore these disabled men to the house at the corner of McDonough and Eleventh streets, and tenderly nursed and cared for them.  Just as this had been accomplished, Mrs. Clopton perceiving the “Yankees” approaching, made her daughters and the other ladies go into the house, and boldly marched out to meet the enemy, though they were negro troops.

As they approached her, she said to the foremost, “Boys – stop!  I wish to speak to you.” And so commanding was her presence and voice that they stopped and took off their hats.  She then told them that she wished them to protect the solders in her hospital, which they readily assented to do, until the Colonel commanding came up, when he took charge, permitting her and the other ladies to care for the wounded and sick Confederates.

The fields around her place were covered by the encampment of the Federal forces, who continued to pour into the town; but they respected her premises.  Later on a large force from Sherman’s army arrived and the commanding officer, General Jefferson C. Davis, caused his tent to be pitched at the front gate of the yard, so that the gate would be the rear of the tent.  This officer was not very gracious, and was rather overbearing, but in a short time General Ord arrived, and Mrs. Clopton had known him while she lived at Old Point and he was at Fortress Monroe, he treated the family with courtesy and consideration and protected them and the place


Rude though General Davis may have been, it was well the women and wounded men had protection.  President Lincoln himself toured the flame ravaged city on April 4.  Before the evacuation, the Mayor of Richmond, Joseph Mayo had ordered all liquor to be destroyed.  The contents of barrels and bottles were emptied into the streets but enough whisky had gone undestroyed in the confusion of evacuation.  Lincoln was met by drunken troops and hoodlums roaming the streets unfettered by civil authority.[88]

                While Judge Clopton’s wife and daughters bravely endured the devastating war, his son, William Izzard, gained fame on the battle field.



A Fair Field of Battle


                These blended qualities of mind and heart

                Made him most accomplished and eminent

                As an attorney, a statesman, a judge and a gentleman. [89]



Like his father and his grandfather, William Izzard Clopton served his beloved Virginia his entire life.  The following excerpt of a dispatch highlighting one battle in which William participated was written during the earliest months of the Civil War.  Enthusiasm was still very high and the officers and enlisted men were filled with confidence.



No. 66

Report of Brig. Gen. R. H. Anderson, C. S. Army, commanding Second




Camp near Christian’s Mill, May 10, 1862

CAPTAIN:  Under the instructions which I received on the evening of the 4th instant I occupied at about dark the redoubt near Williamsburg with the troops of General Pryor’s and my own brigade, to which Captain Macon’s battery, under command of Lieut. William I. Clopton, two guns of Captain Garrett’s battery, and a section of Capt. Edward McCarthy’s batter, of the Richmond Howitzers, were temporarily attached.

…At 6 o’clock in the morning of the 5th (of May)…A very warm encounter immediately ensured.  The enemy had the advantage of entire concealment in the thickets until our troops were within a very close range, and from his hiding places he poured tremendous volleys upon our men, but nothing could check their ardor.  As soon as the fire of the enemy disclosed his position they rushed upon him and compelled him to retire.  General Pickett arrived with his brigade and took a position on the extreme right.  That part of Pryor’s brigade which had been left in the redoubts was brought up and the fight grew hot.

                …On the right the enemy was steadily driven from the woods to the fallen timber, in which he endeavored to make a stand, but the spirit of our men was fully aroused.  Step by step and hour by hour they continued steadily to advance and to compel the enemy to give ground.  All his cannon except one were silenced or captured, and victory seemed almost within our grasp, when night came on and put an end to the conflict.

                Of the results of the engagement I cannot at present give an accurate account.  Commanders of brigades have had neither the time nor opportunity to make their reports.  …The evidences left upon the ground show that the advantage lay largely on our side in the numbers of killed and wounded.  The woods were literally strewn with the dead and wounded of the enemy and with his arms and equipments.

…With the imperfect information which I at present possess I can only point out the gallant conduct of the commanders of brigades and batteries, and express my warmest admiration for their zeal and alacrity.  The noble courage shown by the men generally needs only a fair field to secure its most precious rewards and to bring freedom and peace to our country…

                                                I am very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Provisional Army.


                A.A.G., Second Division, Central Forces, Army of the Potomac.[90]



A letter[91] written in 1864 to his mother strikes a relaxed tone.  Like his sister’s 1862 letter, it serves as a marvelous example of how humans manage to maintain their sanity by finding momentary pleasure in the midst of chaos and terror.


                                                                                Plymouth N.C.

                                                                                    April 21st ’64

My Dear Mother & Sisters;

                Yesterday this place was taken after a desperate fight.  Our company behaved splendidly & received great praise.  I got hereon Tuesday morning & was in two days fighting.  We have two men killed Rourke, & Benton, & many horses, & nine men wounded.  [They have obtained provisions of “richest description”]  . . . preseved peaches, pears, Apples, figs, tomattoes, sardines, Syrups, jellies, -?-, wines . . . beyound description.  Such a prize confederate soldiers never got before.  I will write again & give the details.  Give my love to all inquiring friends . . .

                                As Ever

                                   Most aff. Yours

                                                Wm I Clopton


When Peace Returns


            And when again, in Southern bowers

                The ray of peace is shining,

                Her maidens gather fairest flowers,

                And honor’s wreaths are twining,

                To bind the brows victorious

                On many a field so gory,

                Whose names renouwned and glorious,

                Shall live in song and story.[92]



The last we hear of Mrs. Judge Clopton it is May 1872.  She has buried a husband and at least four of her children.  She endured the War while two of her sons and one son-in-law served the Confederacy.  The intervening years she traveled often to visit her beloved daughter, Namee. As she writes this letter[93] she does not know her daughter, Sarah Jane[94], will die the following November, but obviously she senses her own life will soon come to an end.



                                                                                Blackshear 1 May 1872


My dear Kate[95]

                I am inexpressibly grieved to leave Georgia without seeing you once more.  I have only two granddaughters yourself and Maria[96] and it disheartens me to think I am so widely separated from both, but I trust you will both be Christians and meet me in God’s good time in that Heavenly Jerusalem where there will be no more separation and where we shall live forever in the presence of our blessed Lord & Savior Jesus Christ –    Your Aunt Charlotte has been busy from early dawn, piecing the leaves [for the] wreaths for the May Celebration, and the girls generally are like busy bees.  I wish you were here to assist them.

                I send you this, a Dolly Varden hat and although you may be able to procure them in Atlanta, yet.  I wanted you to have one as my gift.  I sent to Savannah for it, and it came last night.

                We shall leave for Savannah on tomorrows train, and hope to eat breakfast at home Saturday morning.

                Present me kindly to Capt. & Mrs. Fore-?-; I have a very pleasant recollection of both.

                                                                Your Affectionate & loving


                                                                                Maria G. Clopton



To Walk In Peace


            Like One who Wraps the Drapery of His Couch

                About him, and Lies down to Please Dreams




As reported in the May 25, 1908 edition of the Richmond Times Dispatch reads:  “In conjunction with the regular meeting of the board of supervisors here to-day there was held . . .  a mass-meeting of the citizens to unveil the portrait of Judge William I. Clopton in the courthouse.  . . .  The unveiling of Judge Clopton’s portrait occasioned much enthusiasm in the crowded courtroom.  Dr. Chas. M. Hazen, who was introduced by Hon. P. V. Cogbill, chairman of the citizens’ mass-meeting, made the presentation speech, recounting the judge’s courageous acts as soldier, citizen and jurist, pointing as a matter of county pride to his splendid record.  The speech of acceptance on behalf of the board of supervisors and the county at large was made by Judge J. M. Gregory, Commonwealth’s attorney, who was followed by Mr. Ben P. Owne, Jr., both of whom were heard with pleasure.  The picture is considered a fine likeness of Judge Clopton as he appeared in his younger days, as perhaps most of the county people remember him as judge of the old County Court.”  The portrait is displayed at the Old Chesterfield County Courthouse.




With the fall of the Confederacy, William Izard Clopton returned “to the walks of peace and the labors of his profession.”[97]  In 1868 he married Alice Baird, the daughter of Douglas Baird, a native of Scotland.  A directory in 1877 lists Mr. Baird’s occupation as superintendent of an iron works.  She grew up in a lovely Manchester estate located at 416 West Twelfth Street.  Her sister, Jennie,[98] was an accomplished singer.  In the November 13, 1880 edition of the Richmond Whig, her recital the night before was proclaimed “An Artistic Triumph.”  The article continued, “our sister city over the water [Manchester] is to be congratulated on the possession of so rare a treasure.”[99]  Possibly influenced by his sister-in-law, in June 1878, the Manchester Musical Association was organized, with Judge Clopton as its first president.[100]

Alas, no children would bless this marriage, and she would die in 1893.  The grieving William buried her in Maury Cemetery.




The lovely “Red Queen” memorial to Judge Clopton’s first wife, Alice Baird, at Maury Cemetery, South Richmond.  The inscriptions reads:  “In memory of Alice wife of Judge William Clopton.  Born March 31, 1848, Died January 2, 1893.  Hers was a pure and gentle spirit yet brave and heroic and absolutely without fear when occasion demanded.  Passing from the joys and sorrows of this transitory life she now rests in eternal bliss with her savior.  Her chief delight was to contribute to the happiness of her loved ones.”  In this 2001 photograph, the well preserved monument features delicate carvings.



A second, brief marriage to Minnie Vaden, of “Buck Hill,” Chesterfield County, also failed to produce an heir.  In addition to the law, he was a passionate Mason.  Both he and his brother, Francis Bacon Clopton, were members of Manchester Lodge Number 14.  Judge Clopton was elected Worshipful Master of the Lodge in June 1881 and then served as District Deputy Grand Master in 1887.  On November 20, 1886 Manchester Lodge had its Centennial Celebration at the old Bon Air Hotel in Bon Air and he delivered the Centennial address.[101]

The Mason Apron he wore on special Masonic events was presented to him by William A. Weisiger, M.D.  Dr. Weisiger wore the apron at the laying of the cornerstone of Washington’s statue in Capital Square in 1850.  Judge Clopton presented this apron to the lodge in 1900.[102]

He maintained strong family ties with his sisters, Joyce, Charlotte and Catherine.  Charlotte and Kate, as she was called, never married, and operated a private school into the early 1890’s near his home at 14th and Porter streets.[103]  He would outlive them all.

When he died in 1909, the Richmond Times Dispatch[104] carried a lengthy obituary.







End Came at Crockett Springs,

Where He had Gone on Ad-

Vice of Physician




News of His Death Cast Gloom

Over Manchester – Sketch

of His Career.


Judge William I. Clopton, of the Corporation Court of the city of Manchester, died yesterday morning at 5 o’clock at Crockett Springs, after an illness of three weeks.  He was seventy years old in June.

Although it was realized that his condition was serious, it was thought that a change for the better had taken place on Wednesday, and physicians in attendance were hopeful of his recovery.  At the hour of his death Judge Clopton was attended at his bedside by his wife, he brother-in-law, B. P. Vaden, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Laura A. Vaden

Judge Clopton had been in ill health for some months, and, in fact, for the past year he had almost been incapacitated.  His death was due to Bright’s disease and other complications.


Funeral To-Morrow


The news of his death reached Manchester shortly after 9 o’clock, and by noon it was known throughout the city.  It cast a gloom over the entire community.  His remains will arrive here this morning at 7 o’clock over the Norfolk and Western Railway, and will be met at the Richmond depot by a committee of officers and citizens, who will escort the body to Judge Clopton’s home, at Fourteenth and Porter Streets.  Those who will act as escort are J. R. Perdue, S. R. Owens, J. C. Snellings, H. A. Maurice, H. E. DuVal, W. C. Pulliam, E. H. Wells, and T. J. Smith.

The hour of the funeral has not been decided upon, and the arrangements will not be completed until some time to-day.  It is more than probable that the funeral will take place to-morrow.

Judge Clopton is survived by his wife and two nephews, Charles and Jefferson Wallace, both of Richmond.  He also leaves a nephew, Paul Pulliam, of Prince George county.

In speaking of his death, Commissioner S. R. Owens said yesterday:  “Judge Clopton was perhaps the most intimate friend I ever had, and in his death I feel that I have lost a brother.  He was a splendid type of the Christian gentleman, and in public affairs was most economical.

“During his administration as judge of Chesterfield and Manchester, he saved both the city and county large sums of money.  In his death this community suffers a great loss.”

His last official act before leaving for Crockett Springs four weeks ago, on the morning of his departure, was to appoint S. R. Owen’s to succeed himself as Commissioner of Revenue for the city of Manchester.


Sketch of His Career


Judge Clopton was born in Henrico county, May 27, 1839.  He was the son of Judge John Bacon Clopton, a distinguished lawyer and jurist of Virginia, who died in 1860.  He graduated from William and Mary College in 1857, and he immediately began the study of law with his father, and at twenty years of age was admitted to the bar and entered upon the practice of his profession in Richmond.  In the spring of 1861, he entered the service of the Confederate army as second lieutenant of the Richmond Fayette Artillery.  He served throughout the whole war, and participated in thirty different engagements, but was not wounded.  In October, 1861, he was promoted to first lieutenant, and to a captaincy in March, 1865.  He had, however, commanded his battery almost continuously since April 1862.

He was in the battles of Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Mechanicsville, Gaine’s Mill, Frazier’s Farm, Malvern Hill, Second Manassas, Crampton’s Gap, Antietam, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Plymouth, N.C.; Second Cold Harbor and Petersburg; also Ream’s Station, Hatcher’s Run, and Fort Harrison.

In 1865 he resumed the practice of law in Richmond, his home, however, being in Manchester.  He was elected City Attorney of Manchester in 1866, and held the office constantly until 1874.  In 1871 he was elected a member of the lower house of the State Legislature, and served one term.  He was elected judge of Chesterfield county in the fall of 1873; and in the same fall was elected judge of the Corporation Court of the city of Manchester.  He served in that dual capacity for a term of six years.  In 1884 Judge Clopton was re-elected City Attorney of Manchester, and held the position until 1903.


Succeeded Judge Ingram.


In 1885 he was re-elected judge of Chesterfield county, and also held that position until October, 1903, when he was appointed judge of the Corporation Court of Manchester, to succeed Judge John H. Ingram, who was appointed judge of the Law and Equity Court of Richmond.  At the expiration of the term he was elected by the Legislature to serve two years, and the last Legislature elected him to succeed himself for a term of six years, which began on February 1, 1909.

Judge Clopton was an active and prominent figure at the bar in Virginia, and was a member of the State Bar Association, and took great interest in the annual meetings of that organization.

While not acting in an official capacity, he practiced law chiefly in Manchester, during the past forty years.  He was an official member of Central Methodist Episcopal Church, a Democrat in politics, a Royal Arch Mason, and deputy grandmaster of the Thirty-First Virginia District.  He was a member of Manchester Lodge No. 14.

Judge Clopton was married to Miss Alice Baird, daughter of Douglas Baird, of Richmond, in April 1868.  She died some years later, and he then married Miss Minnie Vaden, daughter of Mrs. Laura A. Vaden, who survives him.  There were no children from either of these unions.

Judge Clopton was descended from William Clopton, who came from England to Virginia in the seventeenth century.




At the time of his death William Izard Clopton was a member of Central Methodist Episcopal Church, now Central United Methodist Church, at 1211 Porter Street, just one block east of his home on the northeast corner of 14th and Porter Streets.  The house is no longer standing.  His funeral service was conducted from the church, and Manchester Lodge No. 14 accompanied his body to Maury Cemetery where he was laid to rest with Masonic Honors.



The resolution passed at the time of his death eloquently commented on his wisdom and character:


Judge Clopton was profoundly learned in letters and the principles of jurisprudence, and the practice of the law.  He was a proficient and enthusiastic student of history, and was devoted to researches in science, botany, and literature.  He possessed a brilliant mind, a clear and sound judgement and a most retentive memory, which attributes enabled him to master and perform with unusual ability and acumen the functions and duties of Lawyer, Legislator, and Jurist.  His performance of these varied duties was distinguished by independence, firmness, impartiality courtesy and justice.  These blended qualities of mind and heart made him most accomplished an eminent as an attorney, a statesman, a judge and a gentleman, and won for him the love and esteem of all who came in contact with him.

He was a Christian of staunch and implicit faith in the Word of God and its Holy Teachings, and in salvation through Jesus Christ; and for the last twenty years of his life was a faithful and beloved  communicant of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and a member of the Central Methodist Church of this City.  He died in the full communion and fellowship of the Church; and on July 25th, 1909 fell asleep.

“Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch

About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.”

In all the relations of life he obtained and retained the love, the esteem and the admiration of the people, and his memory will live as an enduring fragrance and benediction among them, and an inspiration in the years that are to come.

Animated by these considerations, and that we, the Bar of the City of Manchester, and Citizens, assembled, may place upon record a suitable and enduring tribute to the Honorable William Izzard Clopton, we hereby declare:

1.        That, we, in his death, deplore the loss of a true friend, learned and exalted Judge, a pure and patriotic citizen, and a devout Christian;

2.        That we extend to his bereaved widow out sincere sympathy and affectionate consideration.

3.        That we request the Judges of the Corporation Court of this City, the Circuit Court of the County of Chesterfield and the Circuit Court, the Law & Equity Court, the Chancery Court, the Hustings Court of Richmond, Virginia and the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, to cause this memorial to be spread upon the records of their respective courts:

4.        That we request the papers of this City and of the City of Richmond, Virginia, to publish these resolutions; and

5.        That a copy hereof be engrossed and sent to his Widow.


Respectfully reported


John H. Ingram Chairman

Samuel B. Whitt

Chas L Page                           Committee

E. H. Wells

David L Pulliam



A Prince and A Great Man Is Fallen This Day



Whereas the



DEPARTED THIS LIFE ON THE 25TH DAY OF July, 1909:  and, Whereas this Board Of Supervisors, representative of the people of the County of Chesterfield, deems it to be its duty to the people of the county to place upon record a memorial of their appreciation of his high character and of the great and valuable public services by him, therefore it doth hereby enter upon record a brief history of his life and distinguished career.


William Izzard Clopton was born in Henrico County May 27th, 1830, a son of Judge John Bacon Clopton, a distinguished jurist of Virginia, and a descendant of Nathaniel Bacon, so-called The Rebel; was educated at William and Mary College and was admitted to the bar at twenty years of age.  In April, 1861, he entered the Confederate Army as Second Lieutenant of the Richmond Fayette Artillery; was promoted to First Lieutenancy in 1861, and to Captaincy in March, 1865, though he had commanded his battery almost continuously since April, 1862.  He was in more than thirty engagements, among them the battles of Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Mechanicsville, Gaines’ Mill, Frazier’s Farm, Malvern Hill, Second Manassas, Drewry’s Bluff, Crampton’s Gap, Antietam or Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Plymouth, N.C., Second Cold Harbour, Ream’s Station, Hatcher’s Run, Fort Harrison, Suffolk, and the defense of Petersburg.


He was Attorney for the town of Manchester from 1866 to 1874; represented Chesterfield and Manchester in the House of Delegates in 1871-2; was Chesterfield County Judge and Judge of the Hustings Court of Manchester from 1874 to 1880, and again County Judge from 1886 to October, 1903, when he resigned to accept the Judgeship of the Hustings Court of Manchester, which office he held until his death.  He was also City Attorney of Manchester from 1884 to 1903.


Judge Clopton was learned in letters and in law, possessed a fine judicial mind and was imbued with the principles of justice and equity.  He was distinguished as a Judge, and his decisions were often quoted as authority not only within but beyond the jurisdiction of his courts, and in some instances, by approval of the Supreme Court of Appeals, became law of the land.


He was justly held in highest esteem by the people of Chesterfield County, and in return he loved them and was greatly interested in the welfare of the County though he was not a residence thereof.  He was a leader in the movement which erected the monument to the Confederate Soldiers on the Courthouse Green, and himself induced the planting of the young shade trees now beautifully adorning the Court Green, personally directing the planting and afterwards the care and cultivation of them.


He felt much interest in the improvement of the public roads, and contributed largely in material to that end.


He had implicit faith in the Christian religion, and for the past twenty years was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.  He died full of the faith, entering into the rest that remaineth for the people of God.


Truly a ‘prince and a great man is fallen this day in Israel.’


By 2001, a few of the trees planted and cared for so lovingly by Judge Clopton still stand as does the Confederate Monument which he dedicated September 23, 1903.





The twenty foot tall monument to William Izard Clopton at Maury Cemetery, South Richmond was, in 2001, in good condition.  The cemetery is just west of Jeff Davis Highway off Maury Street.  Inscriptions around the monument read: “William Izard Clopton Captain of Richmond Fayette Artillery Cabell’s Battalion Pickett’s Division, A.M.V. He served his country with signal gallantry and devotion throughout the War, from April 1861 to April 1865 and surrendered at Appomattox.  Born May 27, 1839, Died July 25, 1909.  He sleeps the sleep of the brave and just and “His Rest Shall Be Glorious.”  Lawyer.  Legislator.  Judge.  Friend. And Christian Gentleman.”  His grave and that of his first wife, Alice Baird, are the only two in the large plot.



                1.  John Bacon20 Clopton, Sr., War of 1812 Veteran  (John19, 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 12, 1789 in "Roslyn" New Kent County, Virginia and possibly baptized at Black Creek Baptist Church, and died March 29, 1860 in Old Point Comfort, Virginia and buried at "Roslyn"2.  He married Maria Gaitskell Foster May 4, 1820 in Henrico County, Virginia by the Rev. John Buchanon.  Bentley Anderson gives surety on April 22, 18203, daughter of John Foster and Jane Gandy.  She was born February 9, 1799 in Manchester, Chesterfield County, Virginia, now Richmond, Virginia, and died November 23, 1873 in Manchester, Virginia and buried Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond4.

        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 Maria Foster are:

        2                 i.    John Bacon21 Clopton, Jr., born March 7, 1821 in "Roslyn," New Kent County, Virginia5; died July 30, 18216.

        3                ii.    Sarah Jane Clopton, of Manchester, born December 17, 1822 in "Roslyn," New Kent County, Virginia7; died November 22, 1872 in "Clopton House" Manchester, Chesterfield County, Virginia, now Richmond8.  She married David Mosby Pulliam, Esq. December 19, 1850 in Chesterfield County, Virginia, at the residence of Timothy Rives, Esq. by Rev. J. S. Reynoldson with the consent of her father, Judge John B. Clopton.  William L. Cheatham, witness9,10; born November 19, 1814 in Manchester, Chesterfield County, Virginia, possibly, now Richmond11; died in Manchester, Virginia, possibly.

               The Sarah Jane Clopton Pulliam Account Book, 1859-1861, One Volume, 68 pages, Collection, Number 4346, is located in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Manuscript Department, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

        4               iii.    Maria Adelaide M. St.G. de la Croix Clopton, born June 14, 1825 in "Roslyn," New Kent County, Virginia12; died Abt. July 1862 in Virginia and buried Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond13,13.

Her complete name is Marie Louise Adelaide Miliote St. de la Croix Gernon Clopton. 

        5               iv.    Catherine Flood McCall "Kate" Clopton, born February 22, 1827 in "Roslyn," New Kent County, Virginia14,15; died December 1895 in Washington, D.C. and buried Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond16.

        6                v.    Ann Churchill Clopton, born June 1, 1828 in "Roslyn," New Kent County, Virginia17; died July 4, 1829 in "Roslyn," New Kent County, Virginia18.

        7               vi.    Francis Bacon Clopton, Sr., C.S.A., born May 18, 1830 in "Roslyn," New Kent County, Virginia19; died October 22, 1865 in Chesterfield County, Virginia and, following a funeral service held at "Clopton House," buried Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond with Masonic Rites20,21.  He married Mary C. Boyd December 17, 1858 in Virginia by the Rev. W. H. Kinckle22,23; born December 4, 1834 in Lynchburg, Virginia24; died October 16, 1910 in Portland, Oregon and buried Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond25.

        8              vii.    Namee Clopton, of "Roslyn", born April 8, 1833 in "Roslyn," New Kent County, Virginia26; died March 20, 1881 in Blackshear, Pierce County, Georgia27.  She married John Calhoun Nichols, Esq., C.S.A. of "Roselawn" September 20, 1855 in Virginia, by the Rev. William M. Young27; born April 26, 1833 in Clinton, Jones County, Georgia28; died December 25, 1893 in Blackshear, Pierce County, Georgia28.

        9             viii.    Joyce Wilkinson Clopton29, born August 28, 1835 in "Clopton Hill" Manchester, Virginia; died December 30, 1906.  She married Charles Montriou Wallace, Sr.; born February 24, 1825; died April 10, 1910.

        10              ix.    John Carew Clopton29, born Abt. 1837 in Virginia; died 1845 in Virginia by drowning in the James River30.

        11               x.    William Izard Clopton, C.S.A.31, born May 27, 1839 in Henrico County, Virginia32; died July 25, 1909 in Crockett Springs, Virginia of Bright's disease.  His service was conducted from Central Methodist Church near his Manchester homee,  and he was buried at Maury Cemetery, Chesterfield County, now the City of Richmond, with Masonic Honors33.  He married (1) Alice Baird April 14, 186834; born March 31, 1848 in Richmond, Virginia, probably35; died January 2, 1893 in Virginia, probably, and buried at Maury Cemetery, Chesterfield, Virginia, now the City of Richmond.  She was buried July 2536.  He married (2) Minnie Vaden, of "Buck Hill"37 Aft. 1893; died in Virginia, probably.  She must have remarried because she is not buried in the large cemetery plot with her husband and his first wife.

        12              xi.    Walter Churchill Clopton, born 1841.

        13             xii.    Charlotte Septimia Devereux Clopton, born Abt. 184238; died Abt. May 1903 in Manchester, Chesterfield County, now Richmond, Virginia and buried Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond39.





1.  War of 1812 Pay Rolls and Muster Rolls available on microfilm through the Library of Virginia, Pay Rolls of Militia Entitled to Land Bounty Under the Act of Congress of September 28, 1850 (Richmond, 1851) & Muster Rolls of the Virginia Militia,  (Courtesy of Virginia Gale "Jenny" (Snyder) DeBardeleben Polzin).

2.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, John Bacon Clopton was buried at Roslyn March 30, 1860.

3.  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.  The Virginia Marriage Index, 1740-1850 notes bond was made April 22, 1820 at Henrico County, courtesy of Leonard Alton Wood.

4.  Hollywood Cemetery, Courtesy Carroll (Taylor) Everette and Patsy Ann (Clopton) Wheeler with special thanks to Woodrow C. Harper, Assistant General Manager, Hollywood Cemetery Company, 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.

5.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, John Bacon Clopton Junr, son of John Bacon Clopton and Marie F. Foster, was born on Friday at 4 o'clock P.M. March 7, 1821.  Because the family did not move to the Richmond area until 1834, it is presumed all of the children born prior to that date were born at Roslyn.

6.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, John Bacon Clopton, Jun. departed this life on Monday, July 30, 1821, at 10:45 A.M., age 4 months 21 days.

7.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, Sarah Jane Clopton, first daughter of John Bacon Clopton and Marie G. Foster, was born on Monday the 17th December 1822 about 6 o'clock in the morning.

8.  "Richmond (Virginia) Dispatch," Microfilm located Virginia State Library and Archives.  Courtesy of Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr., Saturday, September 23, 1872..

9.  Marriage Notices from Richmond Newspapers, 1841-1853,  (Copy located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), p. 208, Notice appeared in both "Richmond Enquirers," December 24, 1850, p. 2.  Virginia Marriage Index, 1740-1850, notes bond was made December 11, 1850 at Chesterfield County, Virginia, courtesy of Leonard Alton Wood.

10.  Weisiger, Marriage Bonds & Ministers' Returns of Chesterfield County, Virginia 1816-1853,  (Courtesy Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia), p. 114, Marriage Book page 356.  Bond given December 11, 1850.

11.  Richmond (Virginia) Enquirer,  (Microfilm MSS10:no.296, located Virginia State Library and Archives.  Courtesy of Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.), December 25, 1850, p. 2, column 5, In marriage announcement states he is "of Manchester."

12.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, Marie Louise Adelaide M. St. Croix German Clopton, second daughter of John Bacon Clopton and Marie G. Foster, was born in New Kent on Friday, June 14th 1825 about 5 o'clock P.M.

13.  Hollywood Cemetery, Courtesy Carroll (Taylor) Everette and Patsy Ann (Clopton) Wheeler with special thanks to Woodrow C. Harper, Assistant General Manager, Hollywood Cemetery Company.

14.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, Catherine McCall Clopton, third daughter of John Bacon Clopton and Marie G. Foster, was born Feb. 22, 1827 about daylight.

15.  Weisiger, Old Manchester and Its Environs, 1769-1910,  (Copy located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia), p. 39, Refers to a private school "Misses Kate and Charlotte Clopton" operated at 14th and Porter streets in Manchester.

16.  Hollywood Cemetery, Courtesy Carroll (Taylor) Everette and Patsy Ann (Clopton) Wheeler with special thanks to Woodrow C. Harper, Assistant General Manager, Hollywood Cemetery Company.

17.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, Ann Churchill Clopton, fourth daughter of John Bacon Clopton and Marie G. Foster, was born on Sunday the first day of June 1828 between 9 and 10 O'clock in the morning.

18.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, Ann Churchill Clopton departed this life 10 o'clock, Saturday evening July 4th 1829.  Age 13 months 8 days.

19.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible, Francis Bacon Clopton, second son of John Bacon Clopton and Marie G. Foster, was born on Tuesday 18th day of May 1830 about 10 o'clock in the morning.

20.  Hollywood Cemetery, Courtesy Carroll (Taylor) Everette and Patsy Ann (Clopton) Wheeler with special thanks to Woodrow C. Harper, Assistant General Manager, Hollywood Cemetery Company, Tombstone, loc. cit. Section L, Lot 94.  A eulogy to his brother, William Izard Clopton, states Francis' funeral took place at Clopton Hill, the name of the estate.  It goes on to say that it was the home of his mother, but by this date it was owned by his sister, Sarah Jane and her husband

21.  Petersburg (Virginia) Daily Express,  (Courtesy of Virginia Gale "Jenny" (Snyder) DeBardeleben Polzin), October 25, 1865.

22.  The Southern Churchman, 1835-1941,  (Abstract located Virginia Historical Society, courtesy of Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton), December 17, 1858, States she is the daughter of the late James M. Boyd of Lynchburg.

23.  Petersburg (Virginia) Daily Express,  (Courtesy of Virginia Gale "Jenny" (Snyder) DeBardeleben Polzin), November 20, 1858, States he is Frank B. Clopton of Richmond and that Mary C. Boyd is of Lynchburg.  They were married on the 17th.

24.  Hollywood Cemetery, Courtesy Carroll (Taylor) Everette and Patsy Ann (Clopton) Wheeler with special thanks to Woodrow C. Harper, Assistant General Manager, Hollywood Cemetery Company.

25.  Hollywood Cemetery, Courtesy Carroll (Taylor) Everette and Patsy Ann (Clopton) Wheeler with special thanks to Woodrow C. Harper, Assistant General Manager, Hollywood Cemetery Company, Section L, Lot 94.  States date of interment March 27, 1911 and place of birth, Portland, Oregon.  Their names and dates of birth and death are on the same stone, and the stone is in excellent condition.

26.  Pulliam, The News, "The Clopton House",  (Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society), "Lanham's Biographical Annals  2nd Edition, Page 363.

27.  Pulliam, The News, "The Clopton House",  (Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society), Lanham's Biographical Annals, 2nd Edition, p 363.

28.  Huxford, History of Clinch County, Georgia,  (Courtesy of Diana Sjoberg).

29.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible.

30.  Erwin, Ancestry of William Clopton of York County,  (Copy located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of William Purcell Clopton), p. 112., She lists his name simply as "Jack."

31.  John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Family Bible.

32.  Tombstone, loc. cit.

33.  Free Lance (Fredericksburg, Virginia) 1885-1926,  (Microfilm located Rappahannock County Regional Library, Fredericksburg.  Courtesy of Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.), July 27, 1909.

34.  Tribute to the Rt. Worshipful William Izard Clopton upon his death, Manchester Number 14.

35.  Tombstone.

36.  Tombstone, loc. cit.

37.  Virginia Historical Society Microfilm and Manuscript Collections, For additional references see the Gregory Family Papers 1900-1962, MSS1 G8626 b 1-39.

38.  Hollywood Cemetery, Courtesy Carroll (Taylor) Everette and Patsy Ann (Clopton) Wheeler with special thanks to Woodrow C. Harper, Assistant General Manager, Hollywood Cemetery Company.

39.  Hollywood Cemetery, Courtesy Carroll (Taylor) Everette and Patsy Ann (Clopton) Wheeler with special thanks to Woodrow C. Harper, Assistant General Manager, Hollywood Cemetery Company, Section L, Lot 94.






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[1]In Praise of Mint Juleps is an excerpt from The Clopton Chronicles, the Ancestors and Descendants of Sir Thomas Clopton, Knt., & 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.

[2]In 1961, Louise Adelaide (Henderson) Brodie, began to seek information on her maternal grandparents, Namee Clopton and William George Henderson.  The Society has obtained a collection of correspondence with attachments relating to her search dating from November 7, 1961 through December 8, 1971.  This correspondence constitutes much of the John Bacon Clopton & Maria Gaitskell Foster Collection in the Clopton Family Archives.  Mrs. Rutherfoord Goodwin, Research Associate, Colonial Williamsburg, Henrietta Runyon Winfrey (Mrs. Hermon Winfrey), Richmond, and Eleanor S. Brockenbrough, Assistant Director, Confederate Museum, Richmond were her primary correspondents.

The Society wishes to thank the following who contributed many of these documents from their files: Laura Arnett, Visual Resources Assistant, Juleigh Clark, Public Services Librarian, Gail Greve, Special Collections Librarian, and Cathy Grosfils, Visual Resources Editorial Librarian, the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Library of Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia;  Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.; Emma G. Caley and Ann Schultz, Central United Methodist Church, Richmond, Virginia; John M. Coski, Historian, The Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia;  Ley Diller and Tamara Puster, Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia, Chesterfield, Virginia; Gloucester County Historical Society; Woodrow C. Harper, Assistant General Manager, Hollywood Cemetery Company, Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Historical Society, Richmond;  Dr. E. Reginald Van Driest, II; The Honorable Frank A. S. Wright, Judge, The Circuit Court of the City of Richmond; and, Mr. Sam Hodges, Washington Correspondent, for The Mobile Press Register and The Mississippi Press, Newhouse News Service, Washington, D.C..  Also thanks to James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of History at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and author of Stonewall Jackson:  the Man, the Soldier, the Legend, which won the Douglas Southall Freeman Award and seven other national awards; Eric G. Ackermann, Special Collections, University Libraries, Virginia Tech; and, Leonard Alton Wood for their assistance in the preparation of In Praise of Mint Juleps.

Also thanks to Clopton descendants Cecilia Clopton Brown; John Henry Knowlton, Jr.; Carole Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D.; Francie Lucile (Graham) Smith.

[3] News, February 16, 1901, courtesy Virginia Historical Society.  The News and the Leader combined in 1903 to become the News Leader.

[4] News, February 16, 1901.

[5] See May You Live A Thousand Years, My Friend!

[6]An abbreviated genealogy follows.  For a complete genealogy of this Clopton line, see The Descendants of William Clopton of St. Paul’s Parish and his wife Joyce Wilkinson.

[7] The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, p. 8.

[8]The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, p. 8.

[9]Lucy Lane Erwin (Mrs. William Whitehead Erwin), The Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, Virginia, p. 162-163

[10] John Tyler was the tenth President of the United States.  He was born March 29, 1790, Charles City County, Virginia, and died January 18, 1862, Richmond Virginia.  Following the death of John Bacon Clopton’s father, John Bacon, Tyler beat his opponent, Andrew Stevenson, who was at that time Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, for Clopton’s seat.  He became President when  Clopton kinsman, President William Henry Harrison died.  He was considered very independent  and was rejected by both his party, the Democrats, and the Whigs.  His entire political career was marked by unwavering support of states’ rights and strict construction of the Constitution.  He was again nominated for the presidency in 1844 but withdrew in favor of James K. Polk.  He opposed secession, and strove to preserve the Union and presided over the Washington Peace Conference.  However, when the Civil War did break out, he served the Confederacy as a member of the Confederate House of Representatives.  A number of fine Tyler biographies,  including Edwin P. Hoyt’s, John Tyler, The Tenth President of the United States, Abeland-Schuman, New York, 1969 and Oliver Perry Chitwood’s, John Tyler Champion of the Old South, Russell & Russell, Inc., New York, 1964 are available at the Virginia Tech library, which boasts the largest collection of civil war material in the United States outside of the Library of Congress.

[11] Dr. Malcolm H Harris,. Old New Kent County Some Account of The Planters, Plantations, and Places in New Kent County West Point, Virginia, 1977. Volume I, p. 230.  A photograph of Roslyn, which is no longer standing, is also included in this work.

[12] Dr. Benjamin Weisiger, III., Old Manchester and Its Environs, 1769-1910, William Byrd Press, Fine Books Division, Richmond, 1993.

[13] Richmond Virginia News, February 16, 1901.

[14] Richmond Virginia News, February 16, 1901, Mr. Pulliam interviewed Joyce Wilkinson Clopton for this story.  “Mrs. Joyce Wilkinson Clopton Wallace, of Richmond, the wife of Charles M. Wallace, both so broadly and favorably known throughout, [supplied the] data from which this article is written – and who so graciously narrated the story of the old mansion and the families whose memories cluster round its history and give zest to its past.”

[15] Richmond Virginia News, February 16, 1901, “The house was owned in the latter part of the eighteenth century by Robert Graham, who was a most elegant gentleman, but who was accidentally killed by being thrown from his horse in a foxchase, in the county of Chesterfield, which was then the most favored sport of Virginians.  He had greatly beautified the house and the yards and gardens surrounding it after acquiring the property, and had lavishly expended his means in enhancing its beautify.  He had terraced the hillside, the rear of the building and also the declivity toward the garden, north of the mansion.  After his death, the property had been acquired, first by a Mr. Moody who in a short time sold it to Mrs. Sarah Hewlett, who occupied the house for many years, and in 1826 sold the property to Mr. Alexander Archer of Manchester.  Mr. Archer died about 1847 and [it passed to John Bacon Clopton.].

[16] Richmond Virginia News, February 16, 1901, “The Seventh Circuit which comprised the county of Chesterfield, and other counties of the State, was changed, and Richmond City was made the Seventh Circuit; and the Sixth was made up of the counties of Elizabeth City, Warwick, York, Gloucester, Mathews, Middlesex, Henrico, New Kent, Charles City, James City, and by the change in the Circuits, the town of Manchester, where Judge Clopton then resided at the “Clopton House.”

[17] Historical Review of:  Rt. Worshipful William Izard Clopton, Prepared and written by Worshipful Garland L. Wells and presented to Manchester Lodge No. 14, May 19, 1986,  p. 2.

[18] Richmond Virginia News, February 16, 1901, stated:  [their] doors were ever open to the young and old.  The gay and serious.  The society of the town and Richmond and in fact, of the Commonwealth, found here congenial spirits and a hospitable reception and courteous entertainment.  The beautiful house was made more beautiful under their regime by the extended improvements they carried into effect and the elegant furnishings of its splendid apartments.  …Mrs. Clopton was the presiding genius of the domestic realm.  She was a most generous and hospitable entertainer and the queen of housewives.  Her locker was ever overflowing with dainties and substantials for her guests.

[19] Frances Earle Lutz, Chesterfield, An Old Virginia County, William Byrd Press, p. 206.

[20] Possibly the Female Academy erected n the site of the Old Capitol in 1839.  See A Handbook for the Exhibition Buildings of Colonial Williamsburg, published by the City of Williamsburg, 1947, p. 19.

[21] The Virginia Gazette, Thomas Martin, editor, July 27, 1854, p. 2, column 3, courtesy John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Library, Colonial Williamsburg.

[22] Letter dated November 7, 1961 to Mrs. Ralph Brodie from Mrs. Rutherford Goodwin, Research Associate, Colonial Williamsburg, courtesy John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Library, Colonial Williamsburg. states The Virginia Gazette ran an advertisement for the “Old Raleigh Tavern,” signed by Parkes Slater, Proprietor, in the December 15, 1853 through issue August 3, 1854.  Mrs. Goodwin further noted that the school evidently school was disbanded by 1857, citing The Weekly Williamsburg Gazette, J. Hervey Ewing, editor.  An announcement appeared on June 17, 1857 that the “Old Raleigh is offered for sale by Mr. Barlow…. J. H. Barlow being one of the backers of the Raleigh Institute.”  On August 12, 1857, this same paper noted that the “Old Raleigh Tavern, in this city was recently sold by Mr. J. H. Barlow to Mr. Robert Blassingham.  It brought a pretty good price we are informed..”

[23] The Virginia Gazette, p. 2, column 6, courtesy  of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library

[24] The Virginia Gazette, Ewing, courtesy John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library.

[25] Keepsake Album, Lippincott, Grambo & Company, Philadelphia, 1856, courtesy  of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library.  John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library has in its Special Manuscript Collections this album. It is described as containing 102 leave; 20 cm., source unknown, having alternating blue and white pages with gilt edges.  Engravings scattered throughout the volume including one as a front piece.  Joyce’s essay was transcribed in June 1998, by Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton and Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.  The curator of the Special Collections Department would not, unfortunately, permit a photocopy of the pages to be made.

[26] The album contains a page with the autographs of some of the students.  Dated Monday, December 22, 1856, the classmates who signed her book were:  Virginia J. Griffin, Norfolk County; Anna Gambol, Warwick; Mary Lou Garrett, Hampton; Annie M. Cox, Fairview Farm, Norfolk County; Charlotte S. D. Clopton, Williamsburg; and, Betty Vaughn, Hampton.   With the exception of one brief line of poetry and one color pencil drawing of some flowers, Joyce had made no more entries.

[27] Joyce Wilkinson Clopton.

[28] William and Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine, first series, Volume XV (1907), pp. 53-54.  Photograph of the Apollo Room courtesy Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, see

[29] The Richmond Daily Whig, April 19, 1861, p. 2.  The newspaper was published daily with the exception of Sunday, between November 11, 1828 and December 27, 1888.  The title varied and was called Daily Richmond Whig, Richmond Whig and Commercial Journal, Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser (RWPA); published weekly from December 1842 to December 27, 1888, suspended from 1862 to April 30, 1867.

[30] Letter from Louise Adelaide (Henderson) Brodie to Mrs. Rutherfoord Goodwin, November 26, 1971, courtesy John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library.

[31] Biographical Directory of the American Congress, Revised Edition, Washington, D.C., October 1928, lists him as John C. Nicholls.  He was born John Randolph Nichols but changed his name.  He was born at Clinton, Jones County, Georgia August 25, 1834, the son of Simon W. Nichols and Argaret Waver.  He was about ten when the family moved to Magnolia.  His brother, William M., served in the Georgia State Senate and the Inferior Court.  William’s wife was Miriam Lumpkin, daughter of Governor Wilson Lumpkin.

[32] Biographical Directory

[33] Biographical Directory

[34] City of Williamsburg, Register of Marriages, courtesy the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library.  A copy located Clopton Family Archives.  Her name is misspelled, which often happened.  She is listed as Mamie.

[35] Letter from Mrs. Rutherfoord Goodwin to Louise Adelaide (Henderson) Brodie, November 23, 1971, courtesy John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library.  Mrs. Goodwin notes the October 11, 1855 issue of The Virginia Gazette mentions the church as being “in process of erection.”

[36] Letter from Mrs. Rutherfoord Goodwin to Louise Adelaide (Henderson) Brodie, December 8, 1971, courtesy John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library.

[37] City of Williamsburg Register of Marriages

[38] City of Williamsburg Register of Marriages

[39]Robert Seager, II. Ph.D., and Tyler too, a Biography of John & Julia Gardiner Tyler, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1963, LCCCN: 63-14259, p. 417.

[40] The lives of the Tylers and Cloptons intertwined for many years.  See A Beast Comes Calling.

[41] Virginia Magazine, 1960, Volume 68, p. 267, refers to this story  written by Ralph Hardee Rives which first appeared in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, July 1958 issue.  Also see James City County, Keystone of the Commonwealth, by Martha W. McCartney, Published by the Donning Company for the James City Board of Supervisors, James City County, Virginia, 1997, p. 282-283.

[42] Virginia Magazine, 1960, Volume 68, p. 428.

[43] Virginia Magazine, 1960, Volume 68,  p. 429.

[44] Julia Gardiner Tyler, President Tyler’s wife.  Julia (1844-1862) of Gardiner’s Island, New York, married as his second wife, June 26, 1844.  He was first married to Letitia Christian (1790-1842), March 29, 1813.  The following is an excerpt from the White House web page devoted to the First Ladies.  Mrs. Tyler’s biography may be found at  She was a great beauty as known as the “Rose of Long Island.”  She was the daughter of Juliana McLachland and David Gardiner, descendant of a prominent and wealthy New York family.  Late in 1842 the Gardiners went to Washington for the winter social season and Julia became the undisputed darling of the capital..  Julia and her sister Margaret along with her father joined a Presidential excursion on the new steam frigate Princeton; and David Gardiner lost his life in the explosion of a huge naval gun.  Julia had seven children.

[45] Seager, and Tyler too, p. 431.

[46] The original one page letter is located Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library , The Museum of the Confederacy.  A copy is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.  It is in excellent condition.

[47] Earle Lutz, A Richmond Album, Garrett & Massie, Richmond, 1937, p. 66.

[48]News, February 16, 1901.  A notation in the typed transcript quotes an unidentified daughter as stating her mother was the first woman physician in Virginia and the first woman member of the Virginia Society of Medicine.  This claim must be view with suspicion until more evidence is found to back up this assertion.

[49]This inscription is found at the beginning of her Registry Book.  The original document is located at the Confederate Museum, Richmond.  A typed copy was made in July 1963 by Miss Eleanor S. Brockenbrough, Assistant Director of the Museum for Louise H. Brodie.  A copy of this transcript is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.  Michael D. Gorman created and maintains a website, “Civil War Richmond,” at  which includes additional information relating to the Clopton Hospital.  The index to this material is found at

[50] Lutz, Earle, A Richmond Album, p. 60.

[51] News, February 16, 1901.

[52] Dr. Henry Augustus Tatum of Richmond.

[53] Lutz, A Richmond Album, p. 60.

[54] Southern Historical Society Papers, New Series, Number VIII, Whole Number XLVI, “Memoir  of Colonel William H. Palmer,” Proceedings of First Confederate Congress, Second Session in Part, January, 1929, page 237, courtesy Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond.

[55] Charlotte Clopton Pulliam, the wife of C. L. deVany

[56] A copy of the first page of this article from an unnamed Richmond newspaper is located Clopton Family Archives, courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library, The Museum of the Confederacy.  It features a photograph of the hospital and a photograph of a woman, believed to be Mrs. “Judge” Clopton, however, it is misidentified as “Mrs. Charlotte Clopton, for whom the hospital was named.”

[57] The surviving register, however, shows entries for non-commissioned officers, although the original intent may have been to serve only officers.

[58] It is believed she was born in Virginia.

[59] The original register is located Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library , The Museum of the Confederacy.  It is in excellent condition, however, the entries made by Mrs. Clopton are very difficult to read.  A copy of four of the pages is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.

[60] John R. Godkin was married to Sarah Elizabeth  “Miz Lizzie” Clopton, of Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia, November 6, 1856.  Following the war he styled himself a physician.  To learn more about the charming Miz Lizzie and Dr. Godkin, refer to the chapter, “Dr. Thom.”

[61] The original one page letter and envelope is located Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library , The Museum of the Confederacy.  A copy of both is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.

[62] The original one page letter is located Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library , The Museum of the Confederacy.  A copy is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.  It is in excellent condition and beautifully penned.

[63] The original one page letter is located Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library , The Museum of the Confederacy.  A copy is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.  It is in excellent condition and beautifully penned.

[64] The original letter is located Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library, The Museum of the Confederacy.  A copy is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.

[65] The original register is located Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library, The Museum of the Confederacy.  A copy of a few of the pages is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.

[66] The original 4 page report is located Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library, The Museum of the Confederacy.  A copy is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.  It is very difficult to read.  The paper is very thin and the writing shows through.  It was obviously written in haste and was possibly meant as a rough draft.

[67] Her daughter, Sarah Jane (Clopton) Pulliam, wife of David Mosby Pulliam, Esq.

[68] Both William Izard and his brother, Francis Bacon Clopton, Sr., served in the C.S.A.

[69] Adelaide’s sister, Namee (Clopton) Nichols.  Letter courtesy John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library.  A copy is located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.  Letter transcribed July 1998 by Suellen (Clopton) DeLoach Blanton and her husband, Bert Hampton Blanton, Jr.

[70] Katherine Simons (Nichols) Henderson.

[71] John W. Stepp and I. William Hill, Editors, Mirror of War, The Washington Star Reports the Civil War, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1961.  Wheeler, Richard, Sword Over Richmond, An Eyewitness History of McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign,  Harper & Row, New York, 1986.  George B. McClellan’s plan for taking Richmond was to enter the city by crossing to the south side of the James River and moving up through Petersburg.  McClellan graduated second in his class at West Point and had served with distinction in the Mexican War, but the Lincoln administration was losing patience as it became clear McClellan was not an aggressive field commander.  The brilliant but overcautious McClellan, failed in his attempt to take Richmond dashing all hopes of bringing a quick end to the conflict and making General Robert E. Lee a hero.

[72] A Mrs. John Curry was a member of the Ladies Defense Association.

[73] Although the phrase “an illness of two hours and a half,” could mean he fell ill and quickly died, however, it is the opinion of Dr. Robertson that Mr. Curry may have been ill for some time and took a turn for the worse, possibly involving convulsions.  One need only visit Richmond in the summer to understand why a body would decompose quickly, especially, as Dr. Robertson noted, the body had not been embalmed.

[74] Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Inc., Publishers, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1990, p. 228.A building or chamber in which bodies or bones are deposited. 

[75] Colonel John C. Nichols, Esq., Namee’s husband.

[76] Adelaide’s sister, Catherine Flood McCall Clopton.

[77] Possibly William St. Paul Pulliam, Adelaide’s nephew and the son of her sister, Sarah Jane (Clopton) Pulliam.

[78] Francis Bacon Clopton and William Izard Clopton, Adelaide’s brothers.  Frank would be killed October 22, 1865

[79] The United States and the Confederate States.

[80] The original letters are part of the Jefferson Davis Collection at the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library, The Museum of the Confederacy.  They are in good condition, however, the print is very light and difficult to read, especially considering her penmanship.  The sentences are somewhat disjointed, indicating she was in a hurry when she penned the letters.  Copies of the letters are located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.

[81] Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederacy.  Mrs. Davis was his second wife, Varina Howell, a Natchez aristocrat who was 18 years his junior.  The Confederate capital moved from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond in June 1861.

[82] Following the war he moved to Washington and took the surname, Lewis.  He was a house servant before being hired to work for Mrs. Davis.

[83] Mirror of War, The Washington Star Reports the Civil War, p. 335.   Portion of headline from “The Washington Star,” April 3, 1865.

[84]Stewart Sifakis, Who Was Who In The Civil War, Facts on File Publications, New York, 1988, p. 172, lists a Jefferson Columbus Davis (1828-1879) as serving with the Union Army but does not specifically place him in Richmond, Virginia.

[85] News,  February 16, 1901.

[86] Mirror of War, The Washington Star Reports the Civil War, p. 334-335.  Before evacuating Richmond, the rebel army set fire to the city of Richmond, burning warehouses and ammunition stores over the protests of the municipal government and some officers.  A stiff wind spread the fires.  “We took Richmond at 8.15 this morning.  I captured many guns.  The enemy left in great haste.  They city is on fire in one place, am making every effort to put it out.”  Major General Godrey Weitzel’s telegraph to the Honorable Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, April 3, 1865, 11 a.m.

[87] Mirror of War,  p. 335

[88] A vivid and exciting essay regarding the fate of Richmond may be found at Fire, Fear and Death:  The Fall of Richmond.

[89] In the Matter of The Honorable William Izzard Clopton, a resolution passed at a meeting of the Bar and the citizens of the City of Manchester (now Richmond), held September 20, 1909.  An attested copy is in the possession of the Clopton Family Archives.  The members of the Committee were:  John H. Ingram, Judge of the Law and Equity Court of Richmond and formerly Judge of the Hustings Court of Manchester; Samuel B. Witt, Judge of the Hustings Court of the City of Richmond and once a political associate of Judge Cloptons during the reconstruction period; Charles L. Page was Commonwealth’s Attorney of Manchester; Ernest H. Wells, a prominent lawyer and Judge Clopton’s successor as Judge of the Manchester Court; and David L. Pulliam, a prominent lawyer, Superintendent of the public schools and a kinsman of Judge Clopton’s.

[90] The War of the Rebellion A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Published under the Director of the Honorable Elihu Root, Secretary of Wary, by Brig. General Fred C. Ainsworth and Joseph W. Kirkley, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1901 contains several dispatches mentioning William I Clopton.  Most large city libraries have at least one set.  Very few university libraries would not have a set.  The entire set has recently become available in CD format.

[91] The original letter is located Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library, the Museum of the Confederacy, and a copy at the Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.

[92] “When Peace Returns,” by Olivia Tully Thomas from War Songs and Poems of the Southern Confederacy, 1861-1865, Collected and Retold with Personal Reminiscences of the War by H. M. Wharton, D.D.

[93] The original letter is located Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library, The Museum of the Confederacy.  It is in very good condition, however, her penmanship has not improved making it difficult to read.  A copy located Clopton Family Archives courtesy of the Eleanor S. Brockenbrough Library.

[94] "Died at her residence in Manchester at 8 P.M. Friday November 22, 1872 Mrs. Sarah Jane Pulliam, widow of the late David M. Pulliam, and eldest daughter of Judge John Bacon Clopton, in the 51st year of her age.  Her funeral will take place from her late residence on Sunday the 24th instant, at half past 2 o'clock P.M.  The friends and acquaintances of the family are invited to attend.  (The papers of Savannah Georgia and Portland, Oregon please copy.)  "Richmond Dispatch," Saturday, November 23, 1872.

[95] Katherine Simons “Kate” (Nichols) Henderson.  The letter is addressed Miss Kate C. Nichols at Atlanta.  She would marry William George Henderson.

[96] Maria Clopton, the daughter of Francis Bacon Clopton, Sr. and his wife, Mary Boyd.  Maria would marry Samuel Charles Jackson.

[97] Resolution in Honor of William Izzard Clopton, p. 1-2.

[98] Jennie would marry George Scott McRae, son of Dr. Algernon S. McRae and grandson of Manchester merchant, Colin McRae.

[99] Weisiger, Old Manchester & Its Environs, p. 73.

[100] Weisiger, Old Manchester & Its Environs, p. 23.

[101] Benjamin P. Owen, Jr. Historical Sketch of Manchester Lodge No. 14, A.F. & A.M., Read at the Celebration of the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, December 27th, 1906 by Right Worshipful Ben. P. Owen, Jr., and by him prepared for publication at the request of the Lodge, November 20th, 1907, Charles E. Picot Printing Company, Richmond, 1907.  Includes portrait of an older William I. Clopton.  The book is dedicated to him and to John H. Ingram. 

[102] Historical Review of:  Rt. Worshipful William I. Clopton, p. 4.

[103] Weisiger, Old Manchester & Its Environs, p. 39.

[104] Copy located Clopton Family Archives courtesy Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia.