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Authorities say in broad daylight a man shot and killed his long-time girlfriend, then turned the gun on himself Monday afternoon. What looked like a bad afternoon wreck on a rainy day in Fort Gaines was much more. There was extensive damage done after authorities say year-old Eddie Heard Junior rammed his truck head on into year-old Angela Sands' car. Sands was hit in the chest and head with bullets from a revolver. The couple apparently had a history of domestic disturbances. The family and friends of the victim and the man who took her life are in our thoughts and prayers, especially the children the couple left behind.
In the title of the story "Man kills girlfriend, then kills himself" , the blame is placed exactly where it belongs. Many domestic violence story titles imply that the victim is somehow responsible, for instance that cheating was the cause of the violence.
This title recognizes that the perpetrator is to blame. Secondly, the article recognizes that this was a case of domestic violence, and that the murderer has a history of such violence against his partner.
So often media outlets treat these homicides as isolated incidents, and we are glad that WALB pointed out that this was an escalation of the violence that was already happening in the relationship. The couple had a history of domestic violence documented by the police. If the batterer had been arrested and prosecuted, the victim in this case might still be alive.
The quotes selected for a story can do a lot to tell us about community beliefs about domestic violence, but they can also be misleading about its nature. Sheriff Shivers states, "If you can't get along, there's easier ways to handle it than this. Another troublesome quote is this one: Perhaps that could have been followed up with comments explaining how batterers are often good community members and hide their violent natures with everyone except their partner.
This could be an important teaching moment. Batterers can seem like great guys and may be your brother, your boss, your friend, the pastor at your church, or anyone else you would never suspect. There is good and bad reporting in this story. Posted by Women's Resource Center at Georgia , local news , media , murder , violence against women. Newer Post Older Post Home.
I have read with diligence the minute books of the county court from its organization in down to ; and can assert with complete candor that no known resource which I thought might afford information as to the past has been neglected.
Name after name of places and people once locally historic has passed into oblivion and beyond the reach of the investigator. Regret is vain, and can not restore what is lost; my effort has been to save what is left, and to perpetuate it for posterity.
Fortunately the county records are in excellent preservation, and the order books of the county court contain the history of the county, in the main, so far as it may now be written. I have been advised by judicious and well meaning friends to omit some of the more shocking details, such as the burning of Eve at the stake, the beheading of Peter, the cutting off of ears, burning in the hands, etc.
I have not been able to take this view, deeming it but a sorry attempt at writing history to suppress the truth. Indeed I think these so-called. The sequence of the chapters, though far from being chronological which is the ideal sequence is the best I could devise.
Facts, far apart in time but relating to the same general subject, have to be grouped in the chapter treating of that subject. Otherwise there could be no orderly narration of them. I have gone but little into the deed and will books, fearing that there is already too much detail, which, for the benefit of the antiquarian, has generally been put into appendices of which there are so many that I look for the criticism that " the book has appendicitis: Grateful acknowledgements are extended to Mr.
Kemper, of Staunton, himself a historian of excellent fame; to Mr. Stanard, the well known antiquarian and editor of the Virginia Historical Magazine; and to our courteous and obliging clerk, Mr.
I submit the book to the public with the assurance that it is the truth as far as I have been able to ascertain it after diligent seeking; the simple truth, unwarped by fear,. It has been written with no sordid motive, but I hope a sufficient number of copies may be sold to reimburse the cost of publication, and, perhaps with too much vanity, I look to the appreciation of my friends and of posterity for my main and enduring reward.
As sundry archaic terms are unavoidably employed in this work the following definitions are deemed necessary. The grades appear to have been servants, yeomen, planters, who appear to have been " gentlemen " or not, according to their property and family connections. To become a justice, sheriff, vestryman, etc. The chief authorities relied on are the order books of the county court and other county records, Hening's Statutes at Large, manuscript records in the State Library, the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, and other publications of the Virginia Historical Society.
A brief sketch of the beginnings of Virginia seems a necessary introduction to a history of Orange. For though this history will be mainly confined to the present narrow limits of the County, it ought to be known to those who may read it that Orange was once a principality in extent, embracing in her limits five prosperous states of the Union, and parts of two others. All of North America between Florida and Nova Scotia was known as Virginia for a number of years; Queen Elizabeth having been so charmed by Sir Walter Raleigh's sea captains' accounts of the coasts of the Carolinas in that she named the country Virginia in honor of herself, the " Virgin Queen.
Unfortunately all of Raleigh's attempts to found a colony on these shores failed, and the unknown fate of the one at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, remains a pathetic mystery.
It was not until , in the reign of James I, that a settlement was made in Virginia proper. The charter of to the "Virginia Company of London" granted the right to found a colony one hundred miles square anywhere between the thirty-fourth and forty-first degrees of north latitude; that is, between the mouths of Cape Fear river in North Carolina and Hudson river in New York; and to the "Virginia Company of Plymouth " a similar right between the thirty-eighth and forty-fifth degrees; that is, between the Potomac river and Nova Scotia.
Either company might occupy in the overlapping region, but neither should make a settlement within one hundred miles of the other. Of course these boundaries were never actually attained. To this latter part, known subsequently as the Northwest Territory, Virginia claimed title' under the charter. She also acquired title to it later, by conquest of her own soldiers under George Rogers Clark, under orders from Patrick Henry, the then governor, during the Revolutionary War.
But to quiet dissension, she ceded it to the federal government in , only reserving land therein sufficient to fulfil her promise of land grants to her soldiers in the Revolutionary and Indian wars. It was probably all of a hundred years fro the settlement at Jamestown before a white man, unless simply as a hunter or Indian trader, set his foot anywhere in Orange.
Thornton deposed that in there were but two settlements above his house on the lower side of Snow Creek, which is about fifteen miles below Fredericksburg, the uppermost of which was about four miles below the Falls, that is Falmouth: Taliaferro, that in there were but three settlements above his house on Snow Creek, on the south side of the Rappahannock.
Indeed the settlement at Jamestown languished till towards , though soon afterwards the Colony began to grow and prosper. In the population numbered 4, persons, and though from 1 hog to 16io, after John Smith's return to England, there had been a period known as the "Starving Time" when many people were famishing or barely subsisting on roots, herbs, acorns, berries, walnuts and even on skins and snakes, in there was great abundance of grain, fruit, and vegetables; wine and silk were made in considerable quantities, sixty thousand pounds of tobacco was grown, and cattle had increased rapidly.
Women were imported and sold to the colonists, and the price of a wife rose from one hundred and twenty to a hundred and fifty pounds of tobacco. In that year, , occurred the great massacre, incited by Opechancanough, when hundreds of men, women, and children were treacherously slain, and all the cattle were driven off.
It was long before the colony recovered from this blow, and the extension of the frontiers toward the mountains was greatly delayed by it and by the general hostile attitude of the Indians. In , just one hundred years before the formation of Orange, "the country was divided into eight ,shires which are to be governed as the shires in England. And lieutenants to be appointed the same as in England, and in a more especial manner to take care of the war against Indians. Sheriffs shall be elected as in England, to have the same powers as there; and sergeants and bailiffs, where need requires.
Of these original shires one was named Charles River; so called after the river as named by the colonists in honor of King Charles. The Indian name of the whole river had been Pamaunkee spelled Pomunkey by Hening which means, according to Campbell the historian, "where we took a sweat. It is not known when these political divisions ceased to be called shires and became known as counties, but in the name of the shire Charles River, then called County, was changed to York, and the river below the confluence of the Mattaponi was called York River.
The boundaries of these counties were not defined towards the frontiers, and it is assumed that, like Spotsylvania, they extended as far "as might be convenient. The genesis here becomes somewhat confused.
Lancaster County is first mentioned by Hening in , when it had two representatives at a session of the House of Burgesses. It is included because subsequent formations relate back to it and seem to constitute it a link in the line. Old Rappahannock from Lancaster in , ceasing to be a county name in , when two counties, Richmond and Essex, were formed from it. And thus Orange, as will be seen later, furnishes the paradox of being alike the daughter and the mother of a Rappahannock County.
This is believed to be the genealogy of Orange, direct and collateral. To complete its geography, its dismemberment and line of descent is here added. Augusta and Frederick, embracing all the territory of Orange lying north and west of the top of the Blue Ridge, were formed in ,. Greene, named in honor of Gen. Nathaniel Greene, was formed from Orange in , the last dismemberment.
While it might be interesting, it would be beyond the scope of this book to attempt even an outline history of the many counties named in this genesis. Spotsylvania, as the immediate territory from which Orange was formed, must be briefly considered. In , the seat of government being at Williamsburg, the following Act "for erecting the counties of Spotsylvania and Brunswick" was passed by the "General Assembly, " for so the law-making power was called even at that early date:.
Enacted, Spotsylvania County bounds upon Snow Creek up to the Mill, thence by a southwest line to the river North Anna, thence up the said river as far as convenient, and thence by a line to be run over the high mountains to the river on the northwest side thereof, so as to include the northern passage through the said mountains, thence down the said river until it comes against the head of Rappahannock, thence by a line to the head of Rappahannock river, and down that river to the mouth of Snow Creek; which tract of land from the first of May, , shall become a county, by the name of Spotsylvania County.
Without the help of boundaries subsequently established and maintained to this time, it would be difficult to define the lines laid down in the statute. Interpreted by these it may be safely affirmed that on the east and south the County was bounded as now; "Snow Creek, " the line with Caroline County, empties into the Rappahannock ten or fifteen miles below Fredericksburg: The ultimate source of this river is a spring on the Johnson place, near the top of the Southwest mountains, and but a few feet from the turnpike leading from Gordonsville to Harrisonburg.
Taking this spring, which is not far from the Albemarle line, as the starting point for the "line over the high mountains to the river on the northwest side thereof so as to include the northern passage through the said mountains, " we have approximately the present lines of Orange and Greene counties with Albemarle to the top of the Blue Ridge. This about forces the conclusion that the "northern passage " means Swift Run Gap, through which this same 'pike crosses the Blue Ridge.
At the time the County was formed the only passage across the mountains had been made by Governor Spotswood in , known as the "Expedition of the Knights of the Horseshoe.
These boundaries can be easily traced on any modern map of Virginia. By the same Act fifteen hundred pounds was appropriated, to be paid to the Governor, of which five hundred for a church, courthouse, prison, pillory and stocks where the governor shall appoint them in Spotsylvania, he to employ workmen, provide material, etc.: The arms appropriated to the defence of the County, and both the real and personal estate of the persons taking them made liable to their forthcoming in good order; and to be stamped with the name of the County, and liable to seizure of any militia officer if found without the bounds.
Inhabitants made free of public levies for ten years, and the whole County made one parish by the name of St. Because foreign Protestants may not understand English readily, they and their titheables made free for ten years if any such shall entertain a minister of their own.
This last clause was for the benefit of the Germans settled at Germanna. While Orange was yet a part of Spotsylvania, and, indeed, before Spotsylvania itself was formed, thousands and thousands of acres of land to the westward, even as far as to the Mississippi, had been granted to individuals by the Crown, acting mainly through the Governors of the Colony; and titles to much land in Orange of today are traced back to Spotsylvania, King and Queen, and the land office at Richmond.
The Madison Grant, " for example, was made while the grantee was still a resident of King and Queen. Prince of Orange one of England's most worthy kings: Next to "good Queen Anne" he appears to have been the best beloved by the colonists of all their kings; King William, King and Queen, Williamsburg, and William and Mary College were all named in his honor, two of them in honor of him and his Queen. In colonial times it was not uncommon for parishes to be formed before the counties which afterwards con: Such was the case with Orange, and the boundaries of the County can only be stated in connection with those of the parish of St.
The Act defining St. Mark is as follows:. Enacted, Whereas many inconveniences attend the parishioners of St. George parish, in the county of Spotsylvania, by reason of the great length thereof, that from January 1 , the said parish be divided into two distinct parishes: From the mouth of the Rapidan to the mouth of Wilderness Run; thence up the said Run to the bridge; and thence southwest to Pamunkey River: George Parish, and all that other part which lies above the said bounds be known as St.
The freeholders were required to meet at Germanna on that day and there " elect and choose twelve of the most able and discreet persons of their parish to be vestrymen.
It is manifest that Orange never touched the Pamunkey River as we now know that river, and the conclusion is unavoidable that we must understand some point on the North Anna, which probably, at that time, was called the Pamunkey, because it was the main branch of that stream; which point is the present corner of Spotsylvania with Orange on the North Anna. The Act establishing the County was passed at the August session, Leaving out unnecessary words it reads:.
Whereas divers inconveniences attend the upper inhabitants of Spotsylvania County, by reason of their great distance from the Courthouse and other places usually appointed for public meetings: Be it therefore enacted, by the Lieutenant-governor.
Council and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same; That from and immediately after the first day of January now next ensuing, the said County of Spotsylvania be divided by the dividing line between the parish of St. George and the parish of St. Mark; and that that part of the said county which is now the parish of St. George remain and be called and known by the name of Spotsylvania County; and all that territory of land adjoining to and above the said line, bounded southerly by the line of Hanover County, northerly by the grant of the Lord Fairfax, and westerly by the utmost limits of Virginia, be thenceforth erected into one distinct county, to be called and known by the name of the county of Orange.
A Court for the County was directed to be constantly held by the justices thereof on the third Tuesday in every month. For the encouragement of the inhabitants already settled and which shall speedily settle on the westward of the Sherrendo River, it was further enacted that they should be free and exempt from the payment of public, county and parish levies for three years next following, and that all who might settle there in the next three years should be so exempt for the remainder of that time.
The terms of the statute need explanation in this, "southerly by the line of Hanover. As then understood, Lord Fairfax's southern limit was the Rappahannock River, as it is known to-day.
There was much and long continued contention and litigation about this line, however, between Fairfax and the colonial authorities, but it was finally settled that the Fairfax grant embraced all the land lying between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers up to the head springs of each river, and that the head spring of the Rappahannock was the source of what is now known as Conway or Middle River, which source is near the corner of Greene and Madison counties, near the crest of the Blue Ridge.
As this contention was not settled till long afterwards, the northerly boundary of Orange continued to be the present Rappahannock River until Culpeper was cut off in , and it remains the boundary of Culpeper to this day. A map showing a " survey according to order in the years and of the Northern Neck of Virginia, being the lands belonging to Lord Fairfax, " is published in the report of the commissioners appointed to settle the boundaries between Maryland and Virginia in It must be borne in mind that "Old Style" was yet in effect in the Mother Country and her colonies when Orange was established: Thus, though the first court was held in January , there were yet two months to elapse before the year began: This will make plain the otherwise apparently curious date of the appointment of Col.
Henry Willis, the first county clerk. At a Court held for the County of Orange on the twenty-first day of January, , Present Augustine Smith, John Taliaferro, and the justices to whom they had just administered the oaths:. A Commission to Henry Willis, Gent. This Henry Willis was the same gentleman mentioned by Colonel Byrd as the "top man of Fredericksburg.
October was then really the eighth month and January was the eleventh month of the calendar year. He was the ancestor of Col.
George Willis of Woodpark ; of Mr. Henry Willis and of Mrs. Ambrose Madison, of Woodbury Forest. Why a person not a citizen of the County should have been made clerk does not appear, but he continued to be such until his death, in the summer of William Robertson's house, on Black Walnut Run, was designated as the place where court should be held, by the Governor's order, till the court could agree upon a place and have the Governor's approbation. Zachary Lewis and Robert Turner were sworn as attorneys to practise in the County.
The court unanimously recommended John Mercer to the Governor for appointment to prosecute the King's causes in their court. James Coward and John Snow were named as overseers of the highway. A number of the justices were desired to view the Rapidan above and below Germanna for a convenient place to keep a ferry, and to wait on Colonel Spotswood to know on what terms he would let such a place. Later he agreed that he would let his land for a ferry there for pounds of tobacco, with sufficient land for two hands to work, but debarred the keeping of tippling houses and hogs running at large, and public notice was ordered of the letting of the ferry and plantation at a subsequent term, and that advertisements be set up at the churches.
Similarly, they always endorsed indictments found, Vera Billa , a true bill. Three justices, who afterwards became famous in Frederick and Augusta, qualified at this term: A rowling road was one over which tobacco hogsheads were rolled to market. At June term, John Mercer, Gent. William Gooch, his Majesty's lieutenant-governor, which was approved by the Court, and the said Mercer admitted accordingly. The first jury ever impanelled in the County was at the August term following, to try an action for assault and battery between James Porteus and Jonathan Fennell, alias Fenney, as follows: The verdict was for fifteen shillings damages.
The following minutes seem worthy of notice: This was effective the same year, when Augusta and Frederick counties were formed, embracing all of Virginia lying beyond the Blue Ridge. But Augusta, though formed in , did not really organize as a separate county until about In a road was ordered to be opened from Evan Watkins's ferry by a course of marked trees to the head of Falling Spring and over the Tuscarora branch, thence to Opequon Creek, thence to Spout Run, by the King's road leading by joist Hite's to a fall in the same near the Sherrando ford, and that all tithables from the Potomac between Opequon and the mountain this side the little Cape Capon, and many others, proceed to work the same.
Two more roads, to show the dimensions of the County: In August of the same year: In Culpeper, including all of Orange lying between the whole length of the Rapidan and the Rappahannock rivers, was cut off, and our former " principality" is reduced to the dimensions of Orange and Greene of to-day. And to dispose of Greene once for all, it may be said here that there was angry contention about this dismemberment, with numerous petitions and counter petitions and protests, but the separatists finally prevailed in The old County, though shorn of her territory, has never been shorn of her good name; and her illustrious offspring who have made her famous and historic, were born and reared in the limits of the Orange of to-day!
William Robertson's house, on Black Walnut Run, was designated as the place where court should be held, by the Governor's order, till the Court could agree upon a place, and have the Governor's approbation, and there the first term was held on the gist of January, , Old Style.
At the same term the sheriff, Thomas Chew, was ordered to build a prison at his plantation, " a logg house, seven and a half feet pitch, sixteen long and ten wide, of loggs six by eight at least, close laid at top and bottom, with a sufficient plank door, strong hinges and a good lock, and that two hundred pounds of tobacco and cask be paid him for building the said house. A debate was had as to the most convenient place to build a courthouse.
The Court divided, one party for the centre of the County and the other for the Raccoon Ford, then some distance higher up the river than now, eight for the former and six for the latter. The question was whether the mouth of the Robertson or Raccoon Ford was nearer the centre, justices Smith, Taliaferro, Chew, Barbour and Taylor favoring a point just below the mouth.
Lightfoot agreed that this was nearest the centre, but insisted on the north side of the Rapidan. Robert Slaughter was in favor of the centre, when the same should be ascertained. Field, Green, Finlason, Ball, Pollard, and Francis Slaughter declined to answer the last question, as to the centre, but insisted on Raccoon Ford, or thereabouts, and the north side of the river.
All which the Court ordered should be particularly represented to the Governor. At the March term ensuing there was an order from the Governor that some of the justices attend the general court and have a hearing about placing the courthouse, and they agree to go at their own charges.
Whereas I have been desired to declare upon what terms I will admit the Courthouse of Orange County to be built upon my land in case the Commissioners for placing the same should judge the most convenient situation thereof to be within the bounds of my Patent.
And forasmuch as I am not only willing to satisfy such commissioners that no obstruction in that point will arise on my part, but am also disposed to make those terms as easie to the County, as can well be expected; I do therefore hereby declare that consent to the building of a courthouse, prison, pillory and stocks on any part of my lands not already leased or appropriated; and that I will convey in the form and manner which the justices of the County can in reason require such a quantity of land as may be sufficient for setting the said buildings on, with a convenient courtyard thereto, for the yearly acknowledgment of one pound of tobacco.
And moreover, that I will allow to be taken gratis off my land all the timber or stone which shall be wanted for erecting and repairing the said buildings. The date of this letter would indicate that negotiations had been begun with Colonel Spotswood before the formal organization of the County.
The records disclose no appointment by the court of commissioners to confer with him. At the June term, , Charles Carter and William Beverley reported as to the agreement they had been ordered to make with Colonel Spotswood for land to set the courthouse on, but nothing appears to have come of it, for in Ocober, , a proposal being made where to build it, the Court, after debate, agreed that it be built at the place appointed by the commissioners " near the Governor's Ford on the south side of the Rapidan.
Bramham's house in December next, "it being near where the courthouse is, with all expedition, going to be built, " and notice was given that workmen meet at the November term to undertake the building. At November, after debate where to build, the Court agreed with John Bramham that he lease twenty acres of land to build it on for pounds of tobacco per annum, and that the plot should" include the convenientest spring to Cedar Island ford.
Thomas Chew and William Russell were appointed to lay off the land and designate the location of the Courthouse. The next term was accordingly held at Bramham's house, and it was at this location of the courthouse that Peter was decapitated and his head stuck on a pole, and that Eve was burned at the stake, as appears from the orders published in the text.
In July, , notice was given that at the next term the Court would agree with workmen to finish the courthouse, and at the February term following Peter Russell was employed to keep the building clean, and " provide candles and small beer for the Justices;" so it appears that it had taken nearly two years to complete it after work was actually begun.
And it seems certain that the first real courthouse owned by the County was located near the present Somerville's Ford, and on land now belonging to the Hume family. Henry Willis was paid 13, pounds of tobacco for building the prison, and 3, pounds for finishing the courthouse. He took out license to keep an ordinary there November, Ordered, that the sheriff cause the lock provided for the justices' room to be put to the door; that he provide glass for the windows of the said room, and cause the windows to be glassed; and that he cause the tops of the chimneys to be pulled down and amended to prevent it from smoking.
Taylor, Taverner Beale, Wm. Taliaferro, John Willis, Francis Moore and Henry Downs, or any five of them, to meet and agree on the most convenient place for a courthouse, with power to agree on the manner thereof, and with workmen to erect a prison, pillory, and stocks. No doubt the occasion of this removal was the fact that Culpeper, then embracing Madison and Rappahannock, had been cut off from Orange the year before, leaving the courthouse absurdly near the very edge of the County.
A proclamation under the hand of Hon. And it was ordered, that Thomas Chew, Geo. Taylor, and Joseph Thomas provide deeds for two acres of land from Timothy Crosthwait to build a courthouse on, and that they lay off the " prison bounds. Ordered, that workmen be engaged to build an addition to the courthouse for the justices' room, sixteen feet by twelve.
Crosthwait agreed to make a deed for the two acres whereon the courthouse and prison are now built, for five shillings. Note that now the year begins on January 1st, and not March 25th as heretofore. The first term of the court in this building was held July 6th, , and this was the building next preceding the "old courthouse" standing to-day, and remodeled into the storerooms occupied as drug and hardware stores, facing the railroad.
An addition ordered to the courthouse twenty feet long, same pitch and width as the building, "to have a brick chimney, " and be according to dimensions to be indicated by Thos. Taliaferro, and James Madison. Court received prison on the undertaker's double ceiling the walls with one and a half inch oak plank inside, to be nailed on with a proportion of penny nails.
Ordered that the sheriff make known by advertisement and proclamation that proposals will be received by the Court for building a new courthouse where the present one stands.
Taylor, Francis Cowherd, Robt. Moore, and John Taylor appointed commissioners to let building of an office 16 wide, 20 long, and 10 pitch, of brick. The three last named, with Dabney Minor and William Quarles, appointed commissioners to have laid off by Pierce Sandford two acres of ground at this place on which to erect the public buildings, and that Robt. Taylor be appointed to let the building of the office formerly ordered, 24 feet long, 16 wide, and 10 feet pitch.
This was probably the old clerk's office in rear of the Bank of Orange. Ordered, that the building of the courthouse and office be let at the same time, and either publicly or privately.
Commissioners appointed to view courthouse and office, and receive or condemn same, or make any compromise as to deductions which the undertakers may be willing to agree to. At the April term this item appears in the County levy: Commissioners appointed to sell the old court house and office and apply proceeds to enclosing the public lot with post and rail fence in a strong and neat manner, and to building pillory, stocks, and whipping post. Jail ordered built, and probably completed within the year.
This jail stood nearly in front of the old courthouse as it now is, and just across the railroad from it. In the Legislature authorized the County Court to sell all or a part of the then public lot, and apply the proceeds of sale to the purchase of another lot, on which to erect a new courthouse and any building proper to be attached thereto.
The site on which the present courthouse stands, known as the"Old Tavern lot"was obtained by exchange, and the edifice constructed thereon after the plans of a paid architect, is not a very good one. The clerk's office remained for many years on the old lot, the Board of Supervisors neglecting all appeals for a fireproof building.
Finally, on the motion of the writer, a rule was issued against them by the Court to shew cause for not complying with the statute requiring a fireproof building for the public records, and they proceeded at once to build the little structure now known as the clerk's office, which if fireproof is also convenience proof, and a reproach to the County.
It was completed in The present jail was built, nearly on the site of the first Baptist church in the town, in Moore, Joseph Hiden, Lewis B. Page, John Woolfolk, Philip S. Chapman, Peyton Grymes, John H. Lee, and many others. The Act authorizing the lottery was duly passed, and Messrs.
Blakey named therein as commissioners to conduct the same. Nothing appears to have come of it, and the streets were first paved, or macadamized, by the Army of Northern Virginia in the winter of , as a military necessity. The charter was repealed some years later, the petitioners for the repeal asserting that it had remained a dead letter. It was again incorporated in 18 5 5, but seems not to have assumed any special municipal functions until the present charter of was passed by the Legislature.
There appear to have been four State Churches in Orange in colonial times, the first at Germanna, built under the direction of Governor Spotswood about with the fund of five hundred pounds appropriated for that and other purposes when Spotsylvania was formed. The next oldest was in the Brooking neighborhood near old Cave's ford, about three miles northwest of Somerset, and was later removed to the vicinity of Ruckersville. May Burton, a Revolutionary officer, was long a lay reader there. Joseph Earnest, who was for some years rector of the church at Orange, about the early churches in the County.
While his information was not exact, this chapter is the most valuable account of them now obtainable. He narrates that he had been told that the second oldest church was frequented as a place of worship as early as , which is manifestly an error. Most probably it was built about when St. Thomas Parish was cut off from St. It was built between and of durable materials, and as late as time had made little impression on it.
One of the first effects of the " freedom of worship " and the practical confiscation of the glebes and church properties was, that the people's consciences became very " free " also to do as they pleased with the church belongings. This church was actually and literally destroyed, the very bricks carried off and the altar pieces torn from the altar and attached to pieces of household furniture.
The ancient communion plate, a massive silver cup and paten, with the name of the parish engraved on it, came to be regarded as common property. Fortunately by the exercise of vigilance the plate was rescued, and is now in possession of St. Thomas Church at Orange. Nor did the despoilers overlook the churchyard when the work of destruction began. Tombstones were broken down and carried off to be appropriated to unhallowed uses.
Mungo Marshall, of hallowed memory, rector from to , was buried there, but his grave was left unmarked. Years afterward a connection of his bequeathed a sum of money upon condition that the legatee should not receive it until he had placed a tombstone over Mr. Marshall's grave, which condition was soon fulfilled. That slab was taken away and used first to grind paints upon, and afterwards in a tannery on which to dress hides! What an injury was done to the history of the County in the destruction of the many tombstones there!
At a meeting of the vestry of the parish Sept. In the congregation in Orange, there being no Episcopal clergyman in the County, engaged the services of James Waddel, the blind Presbyterian minister, to preach for them two years. Forty pounds were subscribed, and the subscription was expected to reach sixty pounds. He not only preached for them but also administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
The Pine Stake Church, supposed to have been built about the same time as the last, was several miles below " Hawfield, " and about a mile and a half east of Everona, near the road to old Verdiersville. It was standing in During the Revolution" Parson" Leland, as he was called, a Baptist preacher who is referred to at length elsewhere, asked to preach there, which the vestry declined to permit, James Madison, the elder, writing the letter for them.
In John Becket, clerk, a synonym for clergyman. The presentment was dismissed. Richard Hartswell of the Parish of St. Thomas, lately cut off from St. Mark, was presented for being drunk on the information of one Tully Joice who had been presented the same day for swearing an oath, thus indicating spite work, as the presentment was promptly dismissed. As early as , on motion of James Madison, the loss of two duplicate bills of exchange was ordered recorded. These bills represented a subscription of twenty-five pounds sterling to the "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," and show how soon missionary work was begun in Orange.
In a County where so many denominations exist, prudence impels strict adherence to the records in narrating their history. When the County was formed and until the end of the Revolution, the Church of England was the Established or State Church, and church matters were regulated by laws passed by the "General Assembly" or law-making power. Thus it was the civil authorities, mostly composed of State Churchmen, however, not the church authorities, which enforced the law; and if this fact had always been borne in mind it is likely that much polemical asperity and recrimination might have been avoided.
The ecclesiastical regulations of those days would be deemed tyrannical and oppressive in these, but they applied alike to all citizens. The laws compelled everybody to attend religious worship, and numerous were the fines imposed with great impartiality on persons for absenting themselves from the parish church; Churchmen as well as dissenters. At one period, 1 69o to , the law was that if the fine was not paid, the offender should be imprisoned and even receive corporal punishment; so it seems that it was not dissenters only who were "persecuted.
A special chapter has been devoted to the colonial churches of the establishment: It was constituted in , by the "Separate Baptists," Elijah Craig being the first pastor. Since the war, the old wooden edifice, still in excellent preservation, has been turned over to the negroes, the Baptist congregation having erected a new building near Somerset. It is not known when the Presbyterian Church of the blind preacher, rendered memorable by William Wirt, in the "British Spy," Alas built, but it was certainly one of the earlier churches of the county.
It stood on the north side of the Orange highway, about a half mile northeast of Gordonsville: In the heyday of the "Sons of Temperance," , the historic old building was taken down and the lumber used to build a temperance hall at Gordonsville, which after the war was used for some years as a schoolhouse. Finally it was condemned that a street might be opened, and the material was bought by a negro preacher, who reconverted in into another structure, a fate as pathetic as that of old Blue Run; for so we treat our historic treasures, having so many!
And it may as well be recorded here that an old Baptist church known as "Zion Meeting House," which stood about two miles south of Orange courthouse, on the Gordonsville road, was abandoned for a new church at Toddsberth shortly before the war, the lumber of which was sold and put into new buildings at the courthouse, one of which was for years used as a barroom!
North Pamunkey is another Baptist church edifice of historic association. It was organized in by Aaron Bledsoe and E.
Craig with twenty members. Aaron Bledsoe was its first pastor and its original name was North Fork of Pamunkey, from the stream nearby. In the membership was about three hundred and fifty, and it was used as a place of worship for thirty- seven years before being heated in any way. The present edifice, practically on the site of the old log structure, the fourth on the same site, was completed in Modern churches abound, almost to the impoverishment of preachers.
At Gordonsville the whites have six churches and a chapel, the negroes several; the whites have four at Orange; at and near Somerset there are three, at Barboursville three; at and near Unionville several; and the county is dotted with them from end to end, the whites having thirty-two in all, the negroes seventeen. Saint Thomas, at the Courthouse, was frequently attended during the war by Generals Lee, Stuart, and other Confederate officers of distinction; and New Zion, at Toddsberth, was occupied as a shoe shop in the winter of General Mahone bought up all the leather that he could, detailed all the shoemakers of his division, and took possession of the church.
To his and their credit, no injury was done to the church, and when the campaign opened in the spring, his command was well shod. The following items are condensed from the order books. In William Williams, Gent. Subsequent records show him to have been very litigious and at odds with very many people for sundry years. He brought suit atone time against nearly one hundred persons, for damages for a certain scandalous paper reflecting on him, but recovered nothing, though some of the signers did retract.
In Joseph Spencer, being brought before the court by a warrant under the hand of Rowland Thomas, Gent. Bond was required in a penalty of one hundred pounds, and he was allowed the liberty of the prison bounds on giving security. At the next term leave was given him to live in the courthouse, he indemnifying the County against loss, and on his petition, his bond was reduced to twenty pounds, and William Morton and Jonathan Davis became his sureties for his good behavior.
In Elijah Craig and Nathaniel Sanders, dissenting Baptist ministers recommended by the elders of their society, were licensed to perform the marriage ceremony. There is a notable Indian Mound near the Greene line. The following description of it is condensed from a special report of the United States Bureau of Ethnology in They probably migrated westward and united with tribes beyond the Ohio whose names they took. They and the Monacan were allied against the Powhatan. Originally it was elliptical in form, with the longer axis nearly east and west; but the river in shifting its channel some years ago, undermined and carried away the eastern portion, probably from one-half to two-thirds of the entire structure.
For several years, some of the earth fell in at every freshet, thus keeping a vertical section exposed to view. The different strata of bone were plainly visible, and when the water was low fragments of human bones were strewn along the shore beneath. The river shifted again, and the mound soon assumed its natural shape. At present the base measures 42 by 48 feet, with the longer axis nearly north and south.
A considerable part of it has been hauled away, leaving a depression at the middle fully 20 feet across and extending almost to the bottom of the mound. As a result, the interior was very muddy, the bones extremely soft and fragmentary, and excavation difficult. If the statements concerning its original form and extent be correct, the apex was at least twelve feet above the base, the latter being not less than 50 by 75 feet.
At seven feet was found the outer edge of a bone deposit measuring 6 by 15 feet. There were indications in several places that skeletons had been compactly bundled, but most of the bones were scattered promiscuously, as if they had been collected from some place of previous interment and carelessly thrown in, there being no evidence of an attempt to place them in proper order.
In the mass were two small deposits of calcined human bones, and beneath it were graves or burial pits. Two feet above it, and four feet within its outer margin, was another, much smaller; and numerous others were found in all the portion removed.
There was no attempt at regularity in position or extent; in some places only such a trace as may have resulted from the decomposition of a few bones; in others, as many as fifteen or twenty skeletons may- have been deposited.
They occurred at all levels below a foot from the upper surface of the mound, but no section showed more than four layers above the original surface of the ground, though it was reported that six strata had been found near the central portion, which would indicate that the burials were carried nearly to the top of the mound.
The bones in some of the graves appeared to have been placed in their proper position, but it was impossible to ascertain this with certainty. One of the deeper pits had its bottom lined with charcoal; none of the others had even this slight evidence of care or respect. That no stated intervals elapsed between consecutive deposits is shown by the varying position and size among the different bone beds, and by the overlapping of many of the graves beneath. A party of Indians passing about where this barrow is, near Charlottesville, went through the woods directly to it, without any instructions or inquiry, and having staid about it some time, with expressions construed to be those of sorrow, returned to the high road, which they had left about six miles to pay this visit, and pursued their journey.
For a fuller account the reader is referred to a pamphlet of the Smithsonian Institution, entitled, " Archaeologic Investigations in the James and Potomac Valleys.
As so little is known about the Indians who once inhabitated this section, it has been thought worthwhile to transcribe the few orders relating to them made by the county court. In , "William Bohannon came into court and made oath that about twenty-six of the Sapony Indians that inhabit Colonel Spotswood's land in Fox's neck go about and do a great deal of mischief by firing the woods; more especially on the 17th day of April last whereby several farrows of pigs were burnt in their beds, and that he verily believes that one of the Indians shot at him the same day, the bullet entering a tree within four feet of him; that he saw the Indian about one hundred yards from him, and no game of any sort between them; that the Indian after firing his gun stood in a stooping manner very studdy [steady] so that he could hardly discern him from a stump, that he has lost more of his pigs than usual since the coming of the said Indians; which is ordered to be certified to the General Assembly.
Sundry Indians, among them Manincassa, Captain Tom, Blind Tom, Foolish Zack, and Little Zack, were before Court for "terrifying" one Lawrence Strother, who testified that one of them shot at him, that they tried to surround him, that he turned his horse and rid off, but they gained on him till he crossed the run. Ordered, that the Indians be taken into custody by the sheriff until they give peace bonds with security, and that their guns be taken from them until they are ready to depart out of this Colony, they having declared their intention to depart within a week.
There is no record extant of any Indian massacre, large or small, in the original limits of the County east of the Blue Ridge. The Tomahawk branch, which crosses the Gordonsville road about a mile and a half south of the courthouse, is a preserved Indian name, one of the very few in the County. It was here that the organization known as the " Culpeper Minute Men " camped when first on their way to join the army of the Revolution.
If Orange as a County ever sent an organized command to any of the French and Indian Wars no record of it has been found. The records do disclose that sundry of her citizens participated in these wars, but in every instance in a company or regiment from some other county; the names of but few appear in the record, among them that of Ambrose Powell, ancestor of Gen.
Hill-who rose to the dignity of a commission during all the years that these wars were waged. Therefore, any detailed account of these wars would be out of place here, and only such facts will be narrated as may throw some light on the services of citizens who did participate in them. In an expedition, the second one, was set on foot for the capture of Fort Duquesne, the modern Pittsburg, then believed to be in the limits of Augusta County , under General Forbes, a British officer.
Washington was commander of the Virginia troops which consisted of two regiments, his own and Col. William Byrd's, about two thousand men in all.
A Colonel Bouquet, of Pennsylvania, commanded the advanced division of the army, and Captain Hogg, of Augusta, had a company in Washington's regiment. The fort was finally captured, but the loss in Washington's regiment alone was 6 officers and 62 privates.
Colonel Byrd was of the " Westover " family, an ancestor of the Willises of Orange. The Captain Overton referred to in the extracts following, was from Hanover, but he was in an earlier expedition in His company was the first organized in Virginia after Braddock's defeat, and the great Presbyterian preacher, Rev.
Samuel Davies, addressed it by request on the eve of its departure for the frontiers. The history of these wars is narrated at large in Waddell's " Annals of Augusta County, " second edition, and in Withers's " Chronicles of Border Warfare. Daniel McClayland, Colonel Byrd's regiment, William Brock, in Colonel Stephen's regiment, In Thwaites's edition of Withers it is said that Col. William Russell, at one time high sheriff of Orange, did some frontier service in the early part of these wars, and in was sent as a commissioner to the Indians in the region where Pittsburg now stands.
His son, of the same name, was at the battle of Point Pleasant; was second in command at King's Mountain, and retired at the end of the Revolution as brevet brigadier-general. The records in the Land Office at Richmond show that the following Orange people received bounty land for service in these wars. Their names are also listed in Crozier's " Virginia Colonial Militia: Francis Cowherd, long known as Major Cowherd, who was a justice of the peace and high sheriff of Orange after the Revolution and who attained the rank of captain in the Revolutionary army, was a soldier in Colonel Field's regiment at the battle of Point Pleasant.
His home, " Oak Hill, " is about two miles northeast of Gordonsville, and is still owned by his descendants. Just before the battle he and a comrade named Clay were out hunting, a little distance apart, and came near to where two Indians were concealed. Seeing Clay only, and supposing him to be alone, one of them fired at him; and running up to scalp him as he fell, was himself shot by Cowherd, who was about a hundred yards off.
The other Indian ran off. Another anecdote related by his contemporaries is, that in the battle of Point Pleasant Cowherd was behind a tree, fighting in Indian warfare fashion, when Colonel Field ran up to the same tree. He offered to seek another, but the Colonel commanded him to remain where he was, saying it was his tree, and that he would go to another.
In making his way to it he was killed by the Indians, greatly lamented by the army. He was of the Culpeper family of Field, was a lieutenant of a company from that county at Braddock's defeat, and was greatly distinguished as an Indian fighter. See again Withers's Chronicles. There is a so-called " patriotic " association, known as the " Society of Colonial Wars, " and descendants of those who participated in the French and Indian wars are eligible to membership therein.
The part the County took in the Revolution must be exhibited rather in details than by a connected narrative. Fast-moving nor'easter bringing heavy rain, gusty winds to Northeast The storm will be cleared out by Sunday.
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We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. WLDX Presents Guy Penrod, Christmas & More Tour! By WLDX. Sunday, December 17th, , 3pm at the Earl McDonald Auditorium on the campus of Bevill State Community College, Fayette, AL. A History of Orange County, Virginia By W. W. Scott State Law Librarian, Member of the State Historical Society, and for ten years State Librarian of Virginia.