James W. (James William) Head.

History and comprehensive description of Loudoun County, Virginia [electronic resource] online

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on a gibbet." His connection with the army thus abruptly,
though honorably, severed, with no little regret we are to sup-
pose, he straightway repaired to his home near Leesburg.

In after years, when General Washington was called by


President Adams to the command of the army organized to
defend the country from French hostility, he inquired for
Champe, with the avowed purpose of placing him at the head
of a company of infantry. Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, through
whom the inquiry had been made, dispatched a courier to
Loudoun County in search of Champe. There he learned
that the intrepid soldier and daring adventurer had removed
to Kentucky, where he soon afterward died.

Some interesting anecdotes concerning Champe are related
in a portion of Captain Cameron's private journal, published
in the British United Service Journal. Champe was assigned
to his company, a part of Arnold's British legion, upon his
arrival in New York.

Army Recommendations,

The following list of militia officers were "recommended
by the gentlemen justices of the county Court for Loudoun
County, Virginia, to the Governor for appointments from
March, 1778, to December, 1782:"

*"March, 1778: James Whaley, Jr., second lieutenant; William Car-
nan, ensign; Daniel Ivcwis, second lieutenant; Josias Miles and Thomas
King, lieutenants; Hugh Douglass, ensign; Isaac Vandevanter, lieuten-
ant; John Dodd, ensign. May, 1778: George Summers and Charles G.
Eskridge, colonels; William McClellan, Robert McClain and John
Henry, captains; Samuel Cox, major; Frans Russell, James Beavers,
Scarlet Burkley, Moses Thomas, Henry Farnsworth, John Russell, Gus-
tavus Elgin, John Miller, Samuel Butcher, Joshua Botts, John Williams,
George Tyler, Nathaniel Adams and George Mason, lieutenants; Isaac
Grant, John Thatcher, William Elliott, Richard Shore and Peter Ben-
ham, ensigns. 1778, August: Thomas Marks, William Robison, Joseph
Butler and John Linton, lieutenants; Joseph Wildman and George
Asbury, ensigns. 1778, September: Francis Russell, lieutenant, and
George Shrieve, ensign. 1779, May: Joseph Wildman, lieutenant, and
Francis Elgin, Jr., ensign. 1779, June 14: George Kilgour, lieutenant,
and Jacob Caton, ensign. 1779, July 12: John Debell, lieutenant, and
William Hutchison, ensign. 1779, October 11: Francis Russell,
captain. 1779, November 8: James Cleveland, captain; Thomas Millan,
ensign. 1780, February 14: Thomas Williams, ensign. 1780, March:
John Benham, ensign. 1780, June: Wethers Smith and William

♦Abstract from Court Order Book G., pages 517-522.


Debell, second lieutenants; Francis Adams and Joel White, ensigns.
1780, August: Robert Russell, ensign. 1780, October: John Spitzfathem,
first lieutenant; Thomas Thomas and Matthew Rust, second lieu-
tenants; Nicholas Minor, Jr., David Hopkins, William McGeath
and Samuel Oliphant, ensigns; Charles Bennett, captain. 1780, Novem-
ber: James Coleman, Esq., colonel; George West, lieutenant- colonel;
James McLlhaney, major. 1781, February: Simon Triplett, colonel;
John Alexander, lieutenant-colonel; Jacob Reed, major; John Linton,
captain; William Debell and Joel White, lieutenants; Thomas Minor,
ensign; Thomas Shores, captain; John Tayler and Thomas Beaty, lieu-
tenants; John McClain, ensign. 1781, March: John McGeath, captain;
Ignatius Burnes, captain; Hugh Douglass, first lieutenant; John Corne-
lison. second lieutenant; Joseph Butler and Conn Oneale, lieutenants;
John Jones, Jr., ensign; William Taylor, major first battalion; James
Coleman, colonel; George West, lieutenant- colonel; Josiah Maffett,
captain; John Binns, first lieutenant; Charles Binns, Jr., second lieu-
tenant, and Joseph Hough, ensign. 1781, April: Samson Trammel!,
captain; Spence Wiggington and Smith King, lieutenants. 1781, May:
Thomas Respass, Esq., major; Hugh Douglass, Gent, captain; Thomas
King, lieutenant; William T. Mason, ensign; Samuel Noland, captain;
Abraham Dehaven and Enoch Thomas, lieutenants; Isaac Dehaven and
Thomas Vince, ensigns; James McLlhaney, captain; Thomas Kennan,
captain; John Bagley, first lieutenant. 1781, June: Enoch Furr and
George Rust, lieutenants; Withers Berry and William Hutchison (son
of Benjamin), ensign. 1781, September: Gustavus Elgin, captain; John
Littleton, ensign. 1782, January: William McClellan, captain. Feb-
ruary, 1782: William George, Timothy Hixon, and Joseph Butler, cap-
tains. 1782, March: James McLlhaney, captain; George West, colonel;
Thomas Respass, lieutenant-colonel. 1782, July: Samuel Noland, major;
James Lewin Gibbs, second lieutenant, and Giles Turley, ensign, 1782,
August: Enoch Thomas, captain; Samuel Smith, lieutenant; Matthias
Smitley, first lieutenant; Charles Tyler and David Beaty, ensigns.
1782, December: Thomas King, captain; William Mason, first lieuten-
ant, and Silas Gilbert, ensign."

Court Orders and Reimbursements.

Needy families of the Revolutionary soldiers of Loudoun
were supplied with the necesssaries of life as per the following
orders :

"1778, November 9th: John Alexander to furnish Elizabeth Welch,
her husband being in the army.

"1778, Nov. ISth: George Emrey to furnish the child of Jacob


Rhodes, said Jacob being in the Continental army. William Douglass
to furnish Mary Rhodes, her husband being in the army. George
Summers to furnish William Gilmore, his son being in the army.

"1778, Dec. 14: Ivcven Powell to furnish Andrew LaswcU.

"1779, Feb. 8th: Samuel Triplett to furnish the wife of Hugh Hen-
derson. Josias Clapham to furnish Ann Philips.

"1779, March 8th: Farling Ball to furnish the widow of Joseph Col-
lens and the wife of William Baton. William Stanhope to furnish Ann

"1779, April: John Lewis, Gent, to furnish the wife of Shadrack
Reeder. Hardage Lane to furnish Sarah Gilmore, wife of William,
whose son is in the army. William BUzey to furnish wife of Shadrack
Reeder. Josias Clapham appointed to apply to the Treasurer for 500
pounds to be placed in the hands of John Lewis, Gent, to supply the
necessaries of life for those who have husbands or children in the Con-
tinental army.

"1779, May: Farling Ball to furnish Edward McGinnis and William
Means. John Alexander to furnish Ann Bartan. (William Stanhope to
furnish Ann Barton, July 1779-)

"1779, August: Robert Jamison to furnish Conard Shanks, whose son
is in the army. Jonathan Davis to furnish Mary Stoker. Pierce Bayly
do. wife of Joel Coleman.

"1780, March: John Tyler do. Jemima Coleman.

"1780, July: Simon Triplett to furnish Jemima Coleman, wife of Joel,
not exceeding two barrels of flour and 200 pounds of Pork.

"1780, September: John Alexander to furnish Ann Barton one barrel
of corn and fifty pounds of Pork. Josias Clapham do. Catherine Hen-
derson, widow of Adam Henderson. William Cavans to furnish Ann
Richards, her husband being in the army, and Isabella Collens, widow
of Joseph.

'•1780, November: Wm. Bronough do. Sarah Russell, wife of Samuel.

"1781, April: William Owsley to supply Hannah Rice & two chil-
dren, the family of James Rice, who died in the Continental army.

"1781, May: Adam Vincel to supply Mary Tritipoe, wife of Conrad,
her husband being in the army.

"1781, Sept.: Joseph Thomas to supply the widow of David Hamilton
(a soldier who was killed in the Continental army).

"1782, Jan.: John Tyler, Gent, to furnish the family of Cornelius
Slacht (he being an 18 months' draft).

"1782, Feb.: John Lewis, Gent, to furnish Eleanor Wilcox (a soldier's

"1782, March: William Douglass to furnish Eleanor Wilcox, agree-
able to an order of the last Court directed to John Lewis, Gent, the said
Lewis declining."


"Treasurer to pay sundry persons for furnishing supplies as per their
several accounts:

•'1778, May 12: William Ellzey, Esq., £3 8s. 9d., on account of wife
of John Stoker and £2 10s. ditto for wife of Shadrack Reeder. Wm.
Douglass, ;^50 14s. 6d. as per acct.

"1778, June 9: Andrew Adam, j^\3 5d., for Margaret Hill (service).

"1778, Aug. 10: Farling Ball, ^4 I6s. 9d. John Alexander, ;^5.

"1778, Sept. 14: Iveveu Powell, Gent, ^6, Is. William Douglass,
Gent, /47 7s. John Tyler, £3 19s. 6d.

"1778, Sept. 15: Farling Ball, Gent, /I 17s. 6d.

"1778, Nov. 9: Andrew Adam, j^i6 15s.

"1778, Nov. 15: Daniel Losh, /24 6s. 9d. Geo. West, Gent, ;^3 10s.
Farling Ball, ditto, /2.

"1778, Dec. 14: Joshua Daniel, Gent, /9 ISs. John Orr, /7, l6s.

"1779, Feb. 9, Farling Ball, /18 13s. 9d. Wm. Douglass, £S3 9s. id.
Chas. Binns, £3 on acct. of widow of Hamilton.

"1779, April: John Alexander, ;^68 15s. Daniel Ivosh, ;^10 37s. Will-
iam Douglass, Gent, ;^28 l6s. Andrew Adam, ^17 13s. Wm. Ellzey,
;^24 2s.

"1779, May: Geo. West, Gent, ;^42 14s.

"1779, Jnne: Andrew Adam, ;^12 38. 6d. John Orr, /43 l6s. Wm.
Douglass, ^18 I6s. Farling Ball, Gent, /175 5s.

"1779, July: John Alexander, /18.

"1779, August: Jacob Tracey, ;^20 for nursing and burying Sophia
Harris, the wife of a continental soldier.

"1779, Oct. Pierce Bayly, Gent, /lO. Simon Triplett, ;^43, 9s. lOd.
Robert Jamison, ;^30. Jonathan Davis, ;^32 lOs. Farling Ball, /6l 10s.
6d. Wm. Douglass, Gent, ;^51 15s.

"1779, John Orr, Gent, ;^93 8s. 3d. Ivcven Powell, Gent, /69 lOi.
Wm. Stanhope, Gent, /4 4s.

"1780, Jan. : Jonathan Davis, Gent, ^50. Wm. Stanhope, Gent, ;^4 4s.

"1780, February: Thomas George, /206. Israel Thompson, j^U9
2s. George Emrey, £46 19s.

"1780, March: Hardage Lane, Gent, /83 8s.

"1780, April: Thomas George, ;^15. Farling Ball, Gent, /■99 6s.
Wm. Douglass, Gent, /69 10s.

" 1780, June: John Tyler, Gent, ^40. Pierce Bayly, Gent, /20.

" 1780, August: John Orr, Gent, /500. Wm. Douglass, Gent, ^^44.

" 1780, November: Thomas George, /221. Farling Ball, £$0. George
Tyler, Gent, ^8. George Emrey, Gent, /163 12s.

" 1781, March: John Orr, Gent, ;^431 I6s. Wm. Cavans, /■120.

" 1782, Feb.: John Orr, as per acct., for furnishing Mary Butler, a
soldier's wife, with necessaries."


Close of the Struggle.

On the 25tli of November, I783, the British army evacuated
New York. The independence of the United States had been
acknowledged by the British Government and the war was
ended. During the following month most of the Continental
troops from lyoudoun returned to their homes, many of them
to spend the remainder of their days in hard-earned peace.

WAR OF 1812.

The Compelling Cause.

Following the Revolution, a number of new towns sprang
into being, educational institutions multiplied, the population
of the County steadily increased, and the people were indus-
trious, enterprising, and happy.

A second difiSculty, however, soon interrupted this tran-
quillity, and the quarrel between the two governments was
referred to the arbitrament of the War of 1812, fought by the
United States against England for maritime independence.

The honor of the new republic was assailed on the high
seas by the insistence of Great Britain of a right to search
American vessels for fugitive British subjects. A doctrine
which America regarded as established by the Revolution,
to wit, that a citizen of a foreign country could voluntarily
surrender his native citizenship and swear allegiance to
another government, was disputed by Great Britain, who held
that "once an Englishman was to be an Englishman always."
Upon this ground American vessels were held up on the ocean
by English men-of-war and searched to such an extent that
within the eight years of forbearance over 6,000 men were
taken from the ships of the United States and forced into the
British navy.

This audacious conduct thoroughly aroused, the indignation
of the American people, in which resentment it is supposed
the people of lyoudoun warmly concurred. Seeing that blood-
shed was necessary in order to maintain the national honor,


and spurred by urgent petitions, President Madison recom-
mended to Congress a declaration of war, which was accord-
ingly promulgated June 18, 1812.

State Archives at Leesburg.^

When the British were on their way from Bladensburg to
Washington, in August, 1814, James Monroe, then Secretary
of State, had been for several days with General Winder, recon-
noitering the enemy, and watching the movements of both
armies. Knowing the weakness of the American forces, he
biliev^ed Washington to be in great peril. He dispatched a
letter to President Madison, advising the removal of the of-
ficial records. Stephen Pleasanton, then a clerk in the State
Department, made immediate preparation for the removal of
the books and papers in that department. He had linen bags
hastily made and placed in them the State archives, which
were then loaded in wagons and hauled across the chain
bridge, over the Potomac, to the grist mill of Edgar Patter-
son, two miles above Georgetown. Not feeling sure of their
safety there, he had them reloaded on wagons and con-
veyed to Leesburg, where they were placed in an unoccupied
building, t the key of which was given to a recently ordained
clergyman, named I^ittlejohn. There they remained until the
last hostile Briton had reached Baltimore, when they were
carefully hauled back to Washington. t Thus we saved the
precious documents of the revolutionary war, as well as our
state archives, and thus does Leesburg boast, with abstract
truthfulness, that for a little more than two weeks it was the
Capital of the United States.


fPerhaps the most precious of these documents was the Declaration
of Independence, which it has been asserted, was deposited here.

JMrs. A. H. Throckmorton, in an interesting narrative to which allu-
sion is made elsewhere in this volume, differs with the authority here
quoted as to the disposition of these important papers. She says: "For
one night they remained in the court-house here (Leesburg) and were
then carried several miles out in the country to the estate of "Rockeby, "
now owned by Mr. H. B. Nalle, . . . and securely locked within
the old vault and remained out of reach of the enemy for two weeks,"



The duel, February 6, 1819, between Armistead T. Mason
and John M. McCarty, both residents of I^oudoun County, was
the second "affair of honor" to be settled on the now famous
field of Bladensburg. They were cousins, who became enemies
during Mason's brief term in the United States Senate.
Mason, known as "The Chief of Selma," was a graduate of
William and Mary College and the commander of a cavalry
regiment* in the war of 1812. He later became brigadier
general of the Virginia militia. He married and took up his
residence at Selma plantation , four miles north of Leesburg.
Wishing to make it possible for the Quakers of Loudoun to
contribute their share toward the support of the army,
Mason introduced in the Senate a bill to permit, in case of
draft, the furnishing of substitutes on payment of |500 each.
For this McCarty branded him a coward, and thence sprung
a succession of bitter quarrels, the real basis of which was a
difference of political opinions. The details of both sides of
the feud were published weekly in the Leesburg ' * Genius of
Liberty," and later were issued in pamphlet form as campaign

Mason's side was defeated. He earnestly wished to avoid
a duel, but McCarty continued to provoke him, with the hope
of compelling him to fight. This he finally decided to do.
He left his home without revealing his intentions and on
reaching Washington made his final preparations with great
deliberation. " The Chief of Selma" fell February 6, I8l9,
his heart pierced by the ball of his antagonist. He was but
32 years of age. His body was borne to Leesburg, where it
was buried in the Episcopal churchyard, with an imposing
Masonic ritual. The grief of his slaves was painful to witness.
His only child became an officer in the United States army,
and was mortally wounded in the battle of Cerro Gordo.

*Many of the Germans of lyoudoun served in this regiment which
participated in the Battle of Baltimore.



**Oak Hill," the country seat of James Monroe, ex-Presi-
dent of the United States and author of the world-famed
Monroe Doctrine, is situated near Aldie, in Loudoun County,
on the turnpike running south from Leesburg to Aldie, about
nine miles from the former and three from the latter place.

The main building, with an imposing Grecian facade, was
planned by Monroe while in the presidential chair, and its con-
struction superintended by William Benton, an Englishman,
who served him in the triple capacity of steward, counselor,
and friend. The dimensions are about 50 by 90 feet; it is
built of brick in a most substantial manner, and handsomely
finished; has three stories (including basement), a wide
portico fronting south, with massive Doric columns thirty feet
in height, and is surrounded by a grove of magnificent oaks,
locusts, and poplars, covering several acres. It has been said
that prior to his inauguration he occupied a wooden dwelling
of humble pretensions standing wdthin a stone's throw^ of its
palatial progeny. Monroe's term of oflBce expired March 4,
1825, and soon after the inauguration of his successor he re-
tired to *' Oak Hill," which immediately became, like Monti-
cello and Montpelier, although to a lesser degree, a center of
social and political pilgrimages.

The financial affairs of its owner were seriously embarrassed
from the first, and he labored in vain to obtain justice from the
country he had served so long and so well, at heavy pecuniary
cost and loss. His old friend, Lafayette, now once more
prosperous, sent an offer of assistance with a delicacy and
generosity which did him honor. A little was done at last
by Congress, but not enough, and the day came when ' ' Oak
Hill ' ' was offered for sale.

While residing here, the post of regent of the University of
Virginia, which was instituted in 1826, was accepted by Mr.
Monroe as not inconsistent with his view of the entire retire-
ment from public life becoming an ex-President. Associated
with him in the discharge of his duties as regent, as in so


many long years of patriotic toil, were Jeiferson and Madison.

When the State of Virginia called a convention for the revision
of her constitution, Mr. Monroe consented to become a mem-
ber. He took an active interest in the affairs of his. own
neighborhood, discharging the duties of a local magistrate.

Mrs. Monroe died at *' Oak Hill" on September 23d, I83O,
and after her departure the old man found his lonely farm
life insupportable. He had previously visited much with his
daughters, and he now went to live with Mrs. Gouverneur,
in New York. He wrote to Mr. Madison, April 11, I83I:

" It is very distressing to me to sell my property in lyou-
doun, for besides parting with all I have in the State, I
indulged a hope, if I could retain it, that I might be able
occasionally to visit it, and meet my friends, or many of them,
there. But ill health and advanced years prescribe a course
which we must pursue. . . ."


The greatest social event in the history of Leesburg was the
visit of General I^afayette, August 9, 1825. The great
Frenchman, accompanied by President John Quincy Adams,
had visited ex-President Monroe at ''Oak Hill," from which
place the august procession, headed by two troops of cavalry,
made the eleven mile journey to I^eesburg. I^afayette, the
President, the ex-President and the chairman of the Town
Council, rode in the first carriage, drawn by four white
horses. On reaching I^eesburg, they were greeted by six
companies of militia, among them a few old soldiers of the
Revolution. At the firing of the national salute, Lafayette
descended from his carriage and shook hands with those
veterans and heroes.

*This account of General lyafayette's visit, save for a few minor altera-
tions and one or two supplementary facts, is from the pen of Mrs. A. H.
Throckmorton, of this County, having formed part of an historical
sketch of Leesburg contributed by her to the old Richmond Times^
July 19, 1902.


Standing on his front porch, Dr. McCabe, the town's
Mayor, delivered an address of welcome to which Lafayette
responded. Across the street at Osborne's Hotel* a reception
was tendered him, after which the distinguished visitor was
driven through the principal streets of the town. On reach-
ing the court-house square, then, as now, a large inclosure
shaded by giant trees, Lafayette, on alighting from the coach,
kissed a tiny maiden upheld in the arms of her negro nurse.
The little girl was Mrs. Wildman, who after reaching a
venerable age departed this life in the summer of 1901.

Lafayette passed up an avenue formed on the right by
boys and girls and the young ladies of Leesburg Female
Academy, and on the left by the youths of the Leesburg
Institute. The former wore white, with blue sashes, and their
heads were tastefully adorned with evergreens. They held
sprigs of laurel with which they strewed the great guest's
pathway. The lads wore red sashes and white and black

One of them pronounced an address of welcome, and was
amply rewarded by a grasp of the hero's hand. As Lafayette
ascended the portico of the court-house a little girl stepped
forward, holding a wreath of laurel, and said:

Hail Patriot, Statesman, Hero, Sage!

Hail Freedom's friend, hail Gallia's son.
Whose laurels greener grow in age,

Plucked by the side of Washington.
Hail, champion in a holy cause,

When hostile bands our shores beset;
Whose valor made the oppressor pause,

Hail, holy warrior, Lafayette?

She, too, was honored by a grasp of Lafayette's hand as
well as a kiss. After an oration by Ludwell Lee, the distin-
guished party returned to the hotel where they were enter-
tained by a delegation of the ladies of the village, while an-
other delegation superintended the spreading of a banquet on
court-house square. Two hundred persons participated in

*A fine stone mansion, still standing, and the residence of the late
Colonel John H. Alexander, during his lifetime one of the foremost
lawyers of the State.


this banquet. The numerous toasts were remarkable for lofti-
ness of thought and elegance of diction. President Adams
launched the following sentiment:

"The living records of the war of Independence like. the
prophetic books of the Sibyl, increasing in value as they
diminish in numbers."

I^afayette toasted General Bolivar, "who has felt true
patriotism, and understood true glory." Another toast was
"To the memory of Washington, fresh as the passing moment,
lasting as eternity. ' '

It is estimated that 10,000 persons witnessed the festivities.
Lafayette, after a brief sojourn at the plantation of Ludwell
Lee, departed for a visit to Madison at "Montpelier," and
Jefferson, at "Monticello."


Scarcely a generation had passed, during which the whole
country passed through several years of financial distress,
when the United States became involved in a brief successful
war with Mexico, caused chiefly by the resistance of that
country to the "annexation of Texas." But it is not within
the scope of this sketch to follow the history of that foreign
struggle. It is suflBcient to say that the people of Loudoun
favored most heartily the annexation of Texas, and responded,
indirectly of course, to the small quota of men and money
required by the Government.

The entire United States force employed in the invasion of
Mexico was composed of 26,690 regulars and 56,926 volun-
teers, not including those serving in the navy. The losses of
men by death from disease and wounds were about 11,000,
and the number killed in battle, about 1,500. The cost in
money amounted to $150,000,000. The gain consisted of the
cession of extensive territory stretching to the Pacific Ocean,
several thousand miles of valuable sea coast and an immense
bound of the United States into international power. In the
accomplishment of this general result Loudoun sent many of
her sturdiest sons, who served from the State in various bodies
throughout the war.



Loudou7i County in the Secession Movement.

The election of Lincoln and attendant success of the
Republican party revived the determination of the South to
secede from the Union.

Just ac this juncture the prosperity of Loudoun was unpre-
cedented, and the threatened dissolution was a serious menace
to her progress. General trade had recently been greatly

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