In Louisa County, at the site where the Cuckoo Tavern once stood, is two historical markers depicting Jack Jouett’s ride from Cuckoo to Charlottesville, which was made to warn Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia General Assembly members of the British advance towards Charlottesville. May historians consider Captain Jack Jouett, Junior to be the “Paul Revere” of Virginia.
On October 15th, 1836, Major General Thomas Lafayette Rosser was born in Campbell County, Virginia. The Rosser family would later move to the the Texas, the state from where Thomas Lafayette Rosser would apply to join the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. While attending West Point, Rosser was roommates with future General George Armstrong Custer. Custer, who was from Ohio, nicknamed Rosser “Tex” since his family was from Texas.
After West Point, Major General Rosser served in the Confederacy and later for the United States Army during the Spanish-American War. Between those two wars, Major General Rosser was the Chief Engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad and for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. On March 29th, 1910, Major General Rosser died in Charlottesville, Virginia and was buried in the Riverview Cemetery, that had been established eighteen years prior.
From January to June 2022, the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia hosted the special exhibit “The Taking of the Land” on their ground floor.
In March 1865, a year after the Battle of Rio Hill, forces under General Armstrong Custer Accidently burnt down the textile mills, that produced uniforms for the Confederacy, at the Woolen Mills within Charlottesville, Virginia.
Locust Hill was the birthplace of explorer Meriwether Lewis, whom lived there until the age of six, at the time his family moved to Georgia. Before joining the United States Army, Meriwether Lewis did manage the Locust Hill estate, and resided on the land for a second time during his adulthood.
In 1925, the Albemarle Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution erected a place dedicated to Locust Hill.
In 1828, General John Hartfield Cocke, a War of 1812 Veteran who was a friend of then deceased United States President Thomas Jefferson, built the Delevan building, which was also known as “Mudwall”, in Charlottesville, Virginia. That same year General Cocke was also building a new Fluvanna County Courthouse and a stone jail, currently called the “Old Stone Jail” in Palmyra, Virginia.
During the United States Civil War, also referred to as the “War Between the States”, the Delevan building became part of Charlottesville General Hospital, that the Confederate government established after the Battle of First Manassas. In addition, the Albemarle Courthouse, the Charlottesville Townhall, the anatomical theatre and the Rotundra at the University of Virginia, various homes and hotels were all part of the makeshift Charlottesville General Hospital. After the Battle of First Manassas, the Delevan Hospital, also called the Mudwall Hospital, received the first wounded troops from a nearby Virginia Center Railroad station. On March 3rd, 1865, Union General Philip Henry Sheridan, and his calvary, occupied the town of Charlottesville. At the time, the Charlottesville mayor, Charlottesville town council members and University of Virginia professors asked the Union for protection as the Charlottesville General Hospital fell under Union control. During the occupation, the Union accidently burnt down a textile mill, owned by the Charlottesville Manufacturing Company, while attempting to burn down a Virginia Center Railroad trestle in the Woolen Mills District. However, no other buildings were burnt down, during the occupation, and General George Armstrong Custer temporarily in a Charlottesville historic home called, “The Farm”.
In 1864, before the Union occupation of Charlottesville, the Charlottesville African Church Congregation was organized. In 1868, that congregation bought the property, where the Delevan Hospital had once stood, in order to erect a house of worship. In 1877 construction began on the Delevan Baptist Church, which was also known as the First Baptist Church. In 1883, construction of the baptist church was completed and it has been a place for Christians to worship ever since.
A historical marker for the Charlottesville General Hospital is posted on the grounds of the University of Virginia, in an area formerly known as Monument Square, next to where the George Roger’s Clark Monument used to be until the university relocated that historical statue to storage on July 11th, 2021.
John West, a former slave who later worked as a barber, was a resident of Charlottesville, Virginia. As a member of the Four Hundreds Club, John West and others would purchase plots of land in Charlottesville for $400. As a property owner, John West lobbied the Charlottesville City Council to create a high school for Black children. The City Council eventually agreed to fund to create a new school, which is presently called the Jefferson High School.
In 1896, artist Harold Warren Billing was born in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout his life he crafted various murals of landscapes in both the states of New York and in Virginia.
Harold Warren Billing created a mural of Charlottesville with one piece dedicated to the local mountain scapes, another to the view of the city from afar, and his last piece the view of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello from the mountains. In 1955, Harold Warren Billing’s three piece mural of Charlottesville was donated by Mrs. Inez Duff Bishop.
On Saint Valentine’s Day, in 1826, Edgar Allan Poe registered to attend undergraduate classes, in Ancient and Modern Languages, at the University of Virginia. As a student he wrote the short story, “A Tale Of The Ragged Mountains”, which was about his prospective of the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Charlottesville. John Allan, his adoptive father, refused to pay any of the debts that Edgar Allan Poe accumulated while pursuing higher education. Therefore, Edgar Allan Poe dropped out of the prestigious school, after a single semester, due to not having the funds to continue his enrollment.
A mere two years after Edgar Allen Poe dropped out of the University of Virginia, he enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Monroe, a military installation named after President James Monroe.
Former United States President Thomas Jefferson designed a Rotundra, which was structurally based on the ancient Greek Pantheon, to be built on the lawn of the University of Virginia that he founded in 1819. Construction of the Rotundra began in 1822 and it was not completed until two years after Thomas Jefferson’s death in 1828. The Rotundra was the last of the original buildings to be built on the lawn, in an area which Jefferson deemed to the “Academical Village”.
In 1827, a year after the passing of President Thomas Jefferson, the Maplewood Cemetery was established within a plot of land granted to Nicholas Meriwether II, by King George II, in 1725. War of 1812 veterans, Confederate veterans, Spanish American War veterans, Philanthropist Paul Goodloe McIntire, former slave and Civil Rights activist Fairfax Taylor, and many other members of the Charlottesville community are buried within the grounds of the Maplewood Cemetery.
In 1735, Nicholas Meriwether II added used part of his land grant, which he added 1,900 acres to, for the foundation for “The Farm”.
While visiting the Piedmont Virginia Community College, I got to see a “Vanguard of Freedom Historical Marker” that was erected, in honor of the United States Army in 1975, on the campus grounds during the United States Bicentennial. The plaque, near the foothill within the college’s entrance, discusses Revolutionary War Patriots, Thomas Jefferson’s friends Captain Meriwether Lewis, whose relative Phil Anderson still lives in Charlottesville, and Lieutenant William Clark, President Zachary Taylor, Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert Edward Lee, Confederate Colonel John Mosby, the Confederate soldiers, from Albemarle County, who served in Gettysburg during Pickett’s Charge, Charlottesville author Stephen McDowell is related to one of the few Albemarle County Confederates who survived Pickett’s Charge, Union General Winfield Scott, who was a native Virginian, Virginia Spanish American War veterans, Virginian World War I and World War II veterans.
Next to the “Vanguard of Freedom Historical Marker” is a secondary marker, attributed to the United States Bicentennial, which is dedicated to the Irishmen and Irishwomen who settled in Virginia and in other parts of the United States of America.
Paul Goodloe McIntire donated four monuments to the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. On Monday June 7th, 2021 the Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the General Robert Edward Lee and the Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson Monuments. On July 10th, 2021, the same day that the General Lee and the General Jackson Monuments were being removed, the Charlottesville City Council voted, during a mid day Zoom meeting, to remove the Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea Monument to the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center in Charlottesville.
In 1795, a grist mill, a mile from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, was established in the area around Moore’s Creek and the Rivanna River. In the early 1800s, locks and dams were built around the grist mill and the area became known as the “Athens of the South” and as the “Port of Piraeus”. After a textile mill was established by the Farish, Jones and Company, near the existing grist mill, the area later became known as the Charlottesville Woolen Mills. In 1852, John A. Marchant retained ownership of Farish, Jones and Company and renamed it to the Charlottesville Manufacturing Company.
During the course of the United States Civil War, the textiles produced uniforms for the Confederate military. In 1864, Henry Clay Marchant, the son of John A. Marchant, bought the Charlottesville Manufacturing Company. Towards the end of the war, during General Philip Henry Sheridan’s occupation of the city, the Union accidently burnt down the textile mill while attempting to burn down a railroad trestle, that had been built a few yards away from the mill for the Virginia Center Railroad in 1850. The same month that General Sheridan occupied Charlottesville, General George Armstrong Custer established a headquarters at a historic home known as, “The Farm”.
In 1867, a new brick textile mill was created, by the Charlottesville Manufacturing Company, and uniforms continued to be processed until the closure of the mill in 1964.
On May 5th, 2021, I toured Monticello, the former home of President Thomas Jefferson, for my first time since 2013.
The General Robert Edward Lee Monument was the last of four monuments dedicated by McIntire in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. New York Sculptor Henry Merwin Shrady, whom also created the General Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, which is currently in front of the United States Capital, designed and began the initial work on the General Robert Edward Lee Monument. In 1922, Henry Merwin Shrady died two weeks before the General Ulysses S. Grant Memorial was unveiled to the public.
After Henry Merwin Shrady’s death, the General Lee monument was completed by the Italian-American artist Leo Lentelli and transported from New York to Charlottesville, Virginia.
On April 20th, 1966, the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, a project of the Charlottesville Dogwood Festival, became the first ever memorial dedicated to veterans of the Vietnam War in the United States of America. The idea of the memorial was proposed after the public was notified that the first soldier to die from Vietnam was from the area surrounding Albemarle County. A total of 26 Vietnam Veterans, who were from Albemarle County, are honored at the war memorial established in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In 1752, George Rogers Clark, the son of John Clark and Ann Rogers Clark, was born in the town of Charlottesville, within Albemarle County, Virginia. After leaving Charlottesville, George Rogers Clark grew up in Caroline County, Virginia. George Clark was the older brother of William Clark, whom was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition sanctioned by former President Thomas Jefferson.
On August 8, 2019, at the The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, California, former Virginia Governor Terence “Terry” Richard McAuliffe held a forum regarding the “Unite the Right” rally that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 12, 2017, as a response to the Charlottesville City Council’s decision to remove the Robert Edward Lee statue. McAuliffe mentioned that one of the pilots that died, from a patrolling aircraft crash during the “Unite The Right” rally, was one of his former pilots during his term as Virginia Governor.
This event was one of several held as part of s book tour of McAuliffe’s new book, “Beyond Charlottesville”.
In 1788, James Monroe purchased farmland, within the present day limits of the City of Charlottesville, to live closer to his friend Thomas Jefferson. In 1799, James Monroe sold his first farm and established his Highland plantation within proximity of Monticello.
In 1816, the Virginia General Assembly established a charter for Central College within Albemarle County. That same year Thomas Jefferson is elected to Central College’s Board of Visitors and to be the Rector of the College. In 1817, the Board of Visitors, for Central College, purchased the land within James Monroe’s first farm. On October 6, 1817, Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe were present when the cornerstone was laid for Central College in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On February 21, 1818, the Virginia General Assembly approves funding for a publicly funded university that was to be called the, University of Virginia but does not determine a location for that institution. On January 26th, 1819, the Virginia General Assembly votes to establish the Univeristy of Virginia within the site of Central College. Thomas Jefferson is elected to be the Rector for the newly formed Univeristy of Virginia.