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March 17, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Austin Family, Part III


Virginia State Capitol

Archibald Austin, deceased

The obituary for Archibald Austin, which ran in the Richmond newspapers in October of 1837, is one of the longest I have found from this era for a citizen of Buckingham County. His political service, not only locally but also to the state and the nation, was significant.


The spirit of the true Israelite without guile has departed this life; ARCHIBALD AUSTIN, Esq., of the county of Buckingham, aged about sixty-five years. He labored under a chronic breast affliction [?], greatly aggravated by a residence in Richmond the last two winters as a member of the Legislature; and it may be truly said, that he lessened the number of his days from his patriotic devotion to stand to his post in the service of his country, when he had neither health nor physical power to do so. It is true, that the Court of Buckingham, at whose bar he stood about forty years as a worthy and successful advocate, has adopted resolutions honorable to his virtuous and well-spent life – yet the author of these lines, an old and devoted friend of the deceased, would reproach himself to be longer silent in adding his small tribute of respect and high regard to so much departed worth. As a husband, he was loving and kind; as a father, tender and affectionate; as a friend and neighbor, the bewailings of his neighbors and friends far and near speak forth his claims; as a master, he was humane an uncommonly indulgent– more than thirty years a worthy number of the Anabaptist Church, fellowshipping with the virtuous of every denomination, denouncing none, his walk in all the great Christian duties is a bright example for others to imitate and to pursue. Mr. Austin is favorably known to the public, having represented this District in Congress, and several years a member of the State Legislature. With the origins of the two great parties, Republican and Federalist, Mr. A. attached himself to the former party; believing they were the true friends of free, representative Government, to be administered within the prescribed limits of the Constitution; from which principles he never deviated to the day of his death one jot or tittle, steadfastly opposed to a National Bank, a protective Tariff, and public improvements on the part of Congress as so many usurpations of power on their part.

Let friendship’s faithful heart his bier attend,

Heave the sad sigh and imitate his latter end.

He died near Buckingham on October 16, 1837 and was interred on his estate, on the family cemetery, with his wife, Grace.

Coming Next: For Sale: Estate of Archibald Austin


Leave a Comment
  1. John Jones / Mar 17 2016 7:03 pm

    FYI. An Archibald Austin was a witness to a very distant uncle(?)’s will — Josias Jones, probated Nov. 1815.

    • Joanne Yeck / Mar 18 2016 9:21 am

      Thanks. Archibald Austin’s name appears on many surviving documents. Clearly, an important and admired citizen of Buckingham County.


  1. Buckingham County Obituaries, Part I | slate river ramblings . . . .

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