Archive for the 'Great Lives' Category

James Farmer, Civil Rights Leader E-113

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James Leonard Farmer was born in Texas on 12 Jan. 1920. In 1942, he and other Civil Rights leaders founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in Chicago. CORE used Gandhi-inspired tactics of nonviolent civil disobedience to protest discriminatory practices against blacks. Under Farmer’s leadership, in the spring of 1961, CORE organized “Freedom Riders” to desegregate interstate transportation in the Deep South. He was an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (1969-1970). Farmer taught at Mary Washington College (1985-1999) and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. Farmer died on 9 July 1999. His house stands east of here. [2000]
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Gaspar Tochman JJ-25

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A mile south is the unmarked grave of Gaspar Tochman (1797-1880), a major in the Polish army who participated in the failed 1830 revolt against Russia. Exiled, in 1837 he immigrated to the United States, where he practiced law, wrote, and lectured. During the Civil War he recruited the Polish Brigade (14th and 15th Louisiana regiments) of Jackson’s Corps. A colonel in the Confederate army, he sought unsuccessfully the rank of brigadier general. Tochman settled here in 1866 and served as the European agent for the Virginia Board of Immigration. [1992]

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Moncure Daniel Conway N-36

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Nearby to the northwest is the childhood home of renowned abolitionist, writer, and lecturer Moncure Daniel Conway (1832-1907). In 1838 his family moved into this Federal-style house. Conway graduated from Dickinson College in 1849 and Harvard Divinity School in 1854 and became outspoken in the abolitionist movement. During the Civil War, Conway lived in Cincinnati, Ohio and traveled east in 1862 to lead his family’s slaves to freedom in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Conway moved to London in 1863 and spent a number of years abroad, writing for English and American periodicals. He also wrote biographies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Thomas Paine. Conway died in Paris on 15 Nov. 1907. [2004]

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Asbury’s Deathplace EH-8

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A short distance southeast is the site of the George Arnold House where Bishop Francis Asbury died, March 31, 1816. Asbury, born in England in 1745, came to America in 1771 and labored here until his death. He was ordained one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America at the Baltimore Conference of December, 1784. [1982]

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Brig. Gen. John Minor N-32

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Hazel Hill, the home of John Minor (13 May 1761-8 June 1816), a close friend of President James Monroe, once occupied this site. Minor served as a soldier in the American Revolution, as a colonel of the Spotsylvania County militia, and as a brigadier general of militia from 1804 through the War of 1812. Minor also was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1805 to 1807. In 1783, as a private citizen, Minor unsuccessfully urged the General Assembly to pass a bill to emancipate Virginia’s slaves. [1995]
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Amoroleck Encounters John Smith N-38

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In August 1608, the first meeting between the Mannahoac Indian people of the Piedmont and the English colonists at Jamestown occurred at the falls of the Rappahannock River. Men from the upriver town of Hasinninga were hunting here at the eastern edge of their territory when they encountered John Smith and a party of Jamestown colonists. Following a brief skirmish, a Mannahoac man, Amoroleck, told Smith about the world beyond the falls, which included the Mannahoac, the Monacan, and the Massawomeck. Amoroleck explained that the Mannahoac resisted the English because they heard that the colonists were a people who came to “take their world from them.”

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The Gallant Pelham N-3

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Here Major John Pelham, commanding Stuart’s Horse Artillery, executed a stunning flank attack on advancing Union troops during the Battle of Fredericksburg on 13 December 1862. Reduced to one cannon, the 24-year-old Pelham halted the Federals for almost two hours by employing the flying artillery tactics that he had perfected. Observing from a nearby hilltop, Lee exclaimed, “It is glorious to see such courage in one so young!” Lee’s battle report commended the “gallant Pelham.” The Alabamian was fatally wounded three months later at Kelly’s Ford on the upper Rappahannock River. (1992)

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Jackson’s Amputation J-37

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Near here stood the hospital tent to which the wounded “Stonewall” Jackson was brought during the Battle of Chancellorsville. In that tent his left arm was amputated on May 3, 1863. He died seven days later at Guinea. [1983]

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The Wounding of Jackson J-39

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Just 1.7 miles west, on this road (then the Orange Plank Road), Lt. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was wounded by “friendly fire” about 9:30 P.M. on 2 May 1863 during the Battle of Chancellorsville. Having brilliantly executed a flanking maneuver against the Federals, Jackson, with eight aides, was returning from a reconnaissance between the lines. When skirmishing erupted, they were mistaken for Federals in the darkness and fired on by the 18th N.C. Infantry, killing four and wounding Jackson. After a battlefield amputation of his left arm, Jackson was taken 17 miles southeast to Guinea Station, where he died on 10 May from infection. Department of Historic Resources, 1997. [1997]

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