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May 25, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: Annexation of Texas


John C. Calhoun by George Peter Alexander Healy

Historic newspapers frequently contain peculiar tidbits and attitudes of the past, including this unusual declaration made at Buckingham Court in 1847:

“Honor to whom honor.”

Dr. C.R. Fontaine, of Buckingham, puts in his claim for the somewhat doubtful honor of having been the first to suggest the annexation of Texas: and, it will be seen, by the annexed certificate, that his claim is supported by strong testimony:

We hereby certify that Dr. C.R. Fontaine was the first person we ever heard speak or write of the propriety of annexing Texas to this Union – let him have been in public or private life. This was many years ago, and we thought strange of the position he took in public or private conversation on the subject.
Yet it appears to be about to be falsified by the destiny of the nation, strange as we then thought it.
(A Copy,) signed,


June Buckingham Court, 1847.

P.S. – So you see Mr. Calhoun or no other person can claim credit of the above origin. C.R.F.

The press of Richmond, the Union in Washington, and other papers will please copy through the U. States. C.R.F.

E.G. Jefferson was Rev. Elbridge Gerry Jefferson, grandson of Randolph Jefferson.

Recognize any other of Dr. Fontaine’s friends and neighbors? If so, please comment.


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  1. Nancy / Jun 10 2015 9:57 am

    Hal Coleman would love to converse with you on my Word family and your relation to them. George Washington Word is my ancestor, don’t know a thing about his wife’s family Frances Gregory daughter of Thomas Gregory who married Frances Sample, or should it be Semple?

    Thomas Harrison Word son of George and Frances Word married his first cousin Caroline Word, also my ancestors. Wilmer Kerns and Pauline Peters Word exchanged family information for his book, and Pauline shared some with me. It is still questionable who she is the child of and which family.

    Perhaps Hal you may have some answers to my mysterys? 🙂

    Hal would love to hear more about my Hackett/Word family. 🙂 My grandmother Nettie Hackett left Buckingham when she married, she died young and the family information died with her.

  2. Hal Coleman / May 27 2015 11:28 am

    The original Word home place is across the road from our farm and is now part of the Horsepen lake wildlife area. Not much remains except foundation and chimney stones. “Hunter’s Road” (911 name) close by which all locals call “Word’s” road leads to their descendant’s farms, Ben and John Word. Since the initials are not matching, I suppose there could be another Word family in the county but may be a “typo”????

    Benjamin Harrison Word, son of Thomas and Lockey (Harrison) Word, was born circa 1778 in Buckingham County, VA, and died circa 1816.Note that he died in the same year as his father. Benjamin H. married Sally Jones, daughter of Robert Jones of Buckingham County on March 14, 1803,in Buckingham County. Sally Jones was born in 1779 and died in December 1853, near Maysville, Buckingham County.

    William Harrison Word was born Dec. 25, 1804, and died Nov. 25, 1885 in Buckingham County, VA.He was a merchant, and a well-respected man in the county. William’s place of business was on Lot #17 (Davidson House) in Buckingham Court House. He married Joanna Branch Garnett, daughter of William and Mary “Polly” Branch (Cook) Garnett. Joanna was born in 1813 and died June 17, 1896. His home was called Tall Oaks, which was owned earlier by his father, Benjamin H. Word. After William’s death, the property fell into the hands of his son John W. Word in 1868, and to Mrs. Benjamin Gilliam in 1917. Joseph Love is the current owner, according to Pauline P. Word, who cites the history of ownership on the authority of the WPA books that are maintained in the County Library.

    Thomas Harrison Word, son of George W. and Frances (Gregory) Word, was born in 1814 in Buckingham County, Virginia, and died before 1870. He married his first cousin, Miss Caroline Word, probable daughter of John F. and Elizabeth Word, on Feb. 10, 1846 in Buckingham County.The Rev. J. H. Fitzgerald was the officiating minister. Caroline was born circa 1817, and was alive when the census was taken in 1880. Thomas and his family were members of Mt. Tabor (Enon) Baptist Church in Buckingham County. He was an active churchman, serving as a delegate to the James River Baptist Association in 1836.

    George Washington Word, son of Thomas and Lockey (Harrison) Word, was born on Feb. 22, 1785, in Buckingham County, and died in 1853 in Buckingham County.The 1850 census suggests that he was born in 1779, an error. George W. served in the War of 1812, with Holcomb’s 1st Regiment (Cavalry), Virginia Militia. His military rifle went to Alabama with descendants, and has recently been returned to a new home in the Buckingham County Museum, courtesy of Mrs. Pauline P. Word.

    • Joanne Yeck / May 27 2015 12:29 pm

      Hal, Thanks for all this information about the Words of Buckingham. The 1850 census has a Thomas H. Word (36, Carpenter), a Benjamin F. Word (31. Coachmaker), a Benjamin H. Word (30, Farmer) and no head of household to match A.G. Word. Benjamin F. Word has several younger coachmakers living with him, as well as a blacksmith. The entry indicates he has a coachmaking business. Interesting! Joanne

      • Hal Coleman / May 27 2015 12:54 pm

        The Ben H. Word (1896-1985) that I knew was also a carpenter and craftsman (known for his beautiful steamer trunks). His second marriage was to Pauline Peters who was a guidance counselor at the school, writer for the Farmville Hearld, and one of the founders of Historic Buckingham (if memory serves,and perhaps the museum). His brother, John, was married to my aunt, King Coleman. They both had large farms but the older “Words Place” (as dad referred to it) was across the road from us.

      • Hal Coleman / May 27 2015 2:17 pm

        I can find a couple of references for Albert C. Word, Sr. (son of William C. Word (1819-1892) buried at Buckingham Baptist) but not sure if that is same person noted in your blog.

    • Joanne Yeck / May 27 2015 5:43 pm

      Hal, The Word family is new to me. Thanks for all your comments. Joanne

    • burlabraham5657 / May 17 2023 5:31 pm

      i have a family Bible page Pauline sent me years ago. It has Benjamin H. Word married to Sally Jones, by Jacob Levi Abraham my 3 great grandfather. original name Mordecai crossed out. contact me

      • Joanne Yeck / May 18 2023 3:38 am

        Many thanks for adding your information to the conversational.


  3. Jeremy Winfrey / May 25 2015 8:55 am

    I haven’t worked with Brown or Word in the county. Possibly they are from the Hunt’s Creek and/or Hunt’s Creek areas. There are some land transactions between Word and James Brown, as well as between Benjamin Word and John Hill.

  4. Joanne Yeck / May 25 2015 8:51 am

    Thanks, Jeremy, for all of this good background on W.H. Tapscott. Do you know if the John Jones mentioned here is the J.P. Jones who purchased Diana Mills with J.M. Dunkum and E.G. Jefferson?

    • Jeremy Winfrey / May 25 2015 8:59 am

      I would think not. That John Peter Jones, son of Peter Randolph Jones, wasn’t born until 1838, too young to be commenting on this matter in 1847.

      • Joanne Yeck / May 25 2015 9:11 am


  5. Jeremy Winfrey / May 25 2015 8:46 am

    John Hill may be a son of Isaac Hill, grandson of Costello Hill. Born in 1796, he would be a contemporary of CR Fontaine. This Hill line stemmed out of Lancaster/Northumberland before several came to Buckingham in the late 18th century. This John’s aunt was the Sarah Hill who married George Tapscott (previous comment). If this is the correct John Hill, he was a 1st cousin of the well-known Hull C Hill, who lived immediately to the south of Diana Mills, where present day Rt 671 crosses the Slate River.

  6. Jeremy Winfrey / May 25 2015 8:33 am

    William Hill Tapscott (1784-1850) was an old timer from the neighborhood. He was a son of George Tapscott and Sarah Hill, the first Tapscott couple to settle in Buckingham County. William married Eliza Ann Carr Childress of Nelson County in 1823, and raised seven children along Sharps Creek. One of their daughters, Pocahontas Caroline, married William James Fontaine, son of Clement Fontaine. We know Fontaine’s association with the early years of Diana Mills, which, of course, was very near the Sharps Creek ‘neighborhood’.

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