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May 7, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

 Buckingham Houses: Mount Pleasant


Courtesy Historic Buckingham 

Sue A. Miles’ new book, Glenmore: Memories of My Youth, inspired an investigation into the early years at Mount Pleasant, the home of Major David Patteson (1758-1846).

In 1936, Rosa Garnett surveyed “Mt. Pleasant” for the Virginia Historical Inventory, describing the large brick building in some detail and noting the historical significance of the house:

Major David Patterson (sic) was a private in the American Revolution, and received his commission as Major in the State Militia in 1803, under Governor Page. He was a personal friend of Thomas Jefferson and often when the latter was President of the United States, he would spend the night with his friend, Major David Patterson (sic), in this house.

Connections to Thomas Jefferson are often exaggerated, misleading, or even false. In this case, a visit to Mount Pleasant by the former president is documented in Jefferson’s memoranda book. On August 22, 1821, he noted:

Mrs. Gibson’s lodgg. 2. Mr. Patterson’s (sic) vales [gratuity to the servants] .25

Mrs. Flood’s brkft. 2. Hunter’s lodgg. 6.50

In Jefferson’s Memorandum Books, Volume II, the entry’s footnote reads:

On 21 Aug. TJ’s party evidently split up for the night’s lodging, with part staying at Mrs. Gibson’s ordinary and part nearby at Mount Pleasant, the home of Major David Patteson, on Route 602 about seven miles north of Buckingham.

For more about Sue Miles’ book and Glenmore, pick up the current issue of the Buckingham Beacon or click here to download the PDF: Glenmore: Memories of My Youth.


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  1. Eric Grundset / May 7 2015 7:56 am

    It was nice to see Mt. Pleasant presented this morning. Those of us who are Patteson descendants still lament its burning a number of years ago. (One of my great, great grandmothers, Olivia Elizabeth Patteson Spencer is my connection to the house).

    Back in the late 1970s, I was fortunate to be able to go inside twice to visit with Miss Janie Christian who lived there with her male Patteson cousins. It was a beautiful place inside, although in need of upkeep. I wish I had taken photos, but I was in someone else’s house and that didn’t seem right at the time — kicking myself now of course. It had a long center hallway with a large staircase. Miss Janie was in the back right room both times I visited and told me various stories about the place including that Jefferson had stayed there a number of times. She told me I could look around, but she didn’t accompany me. I gingerly walked up the stairs to get an idea of the second floor, but I didn’t go into any of the rooms

    Miss Janie also talked about the soldiers returning to their homes who walked by the house after the surrender at Appomattox in April 1865 and how the Pattesons tried to give them some food to eat from what they had available.

    Thank goodness for the Virginia Historical Inventory photos and floor plan, because apparently little survives of this 1799 structure. Fortunately, the Patteson Family Papers were deposited at the Library of Virginia many years ago and fill about 11 manuscript boxes.

    I wish I had gotten to study the house more and to have learned more about its history from this elderly cousin.

    • Joanne Yeck / May 7 2015 1:50 pm

      Eric, Many thanks for your memories of a visit to Mt. Pleasant. I especially liked the vivid image of tired and hungry soldiers walking home from the surrender at Appomattox. What a sight that must have been! The Patteson family collection at the Library of Virginia is a Buckingham County treasure. It’s wonderful that so much was saved about this important family. More about the Pattesons to follow very soon at Slate River Ramblings. Joanne


  1. Buckingham Notables: Patteson Family | slate river ramblings . . . .
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