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April 3, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: David Patteson



In the early 19th century, Mount Pleasant in Buckingham County was the home of Major David Patterson and family.  According to Rosa Garnett Williams’ survey for the Virginia Historical Inventory, the brick house was built in 1758. Major. Patterson died, at his residence, in his 89th year, and was buried in the cemetery at Mount Pleasant: Major David Patteson (15 August 1758–22 October 1846).

His obituary in the Richmond Whig & Public Advertiser was exceptionally long, saluting one of the last of his generation:


                Another Patriot and Soldier of the Revolution is gone! While but few remain to drop a tear of sympathy for the departed, or to bear the tidings of our Revolutionary struggles to later and succeeding generations.

                Died, at his residence, Mount Pleasant, in the county of Buckingham, on 22d October, 1846, at 12 o’clock, Major DAVID PATTESON, in the 89th year of his age. And to mourn their great and irreparable loss, he left only an aged brother and an extensive line of family descent to the fourth generation. In all the relations which man sustains to his fellow beings through life, he has been one who had but few equals, perhaps no superiors. As a husband, he was constant, kind, affable and indulgent. As a father, he was strict, persuasive, affectionate and instructive. As a brother, he cherished those fond of affections which grew close around the heart, and are ever nourished by its warmest current. As a son, he was reared in that golden age which knew no other than honor and obedience to parental injunctions. As a neighbor, his door was ever unlocked, his purse strings untied, to administer with a lavish hand and an open heart to the alleviation of the suffering and destitute widow and the orphaned babe. And as a kind and provident master, he was ever vigilant in those things which made the comfort of those under his control; while at the same time he strove to keep them within the pale of that discipline which was their good, his comfort, and the public safety. In the early years of his age, he was called to the defense of his country against the hostile invasions of a foreign foe. Into that service he carried with him a heart burning with consummate love and patriotic zeal for the welfare of his country – with an arm nerved for the conflict of battle – with a spirit and courage as illimitable as that cause of freedom was just; and it was in that cause that he had enlisted to stem the iron storms of battle, and to roll back its devastating tide ragged and broken to its native atmosphere – and in this service he continued until his most earnest wishes and sanguine expectations were made delightful realities, when called to witness the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at York Town. The subject of this obituary was the member of the Court of his county from early life to the period of his death. He was called by his countrymen to serve them in the Legislature of his native State, which he did for several years, with the firmness and fidelity worthy of his charge. He was also acting Sheriff of his county for a number of years; in all relations to his county and his fellowmen, he acted as became a true, faithful, brave and honest man, – thereby fully satisfying every demand and duty of his earthly station: and now that his fleshy tabernacle has been consigned to the cold gloom of the grave, his immortal and deathless spirit has flown, as on angels’ wings, and has soared aloft to meet the Heaven-born spirit of his faithful, constant, and earthly companion – who but a short time since was called to give an account of her stewardship – and with that spirit of hers, united by angels and the spirits of just men made perfect, to shout the triumphs of redeeming love around the throne of a Just, Holy, and Eternal God. The writer of this tribute of respect for the memory of the deceased, is one who has known him long, has known him well, and known him intimately.

Click here for more about Mount Pleasant.

Coming next: “An Ode to David Patteson”


Leave a Comment
  1. johnposen / Apr 3 2017 10:49 am

    …wow! What a tribute and one of the best obits, I’ve read!

    Sent from my iPad

    • Joanne Yeck / Apr 3 2017 11:35 am

      Coming soon, Mrs. David Patteson. Equally mind-blowing tribute. This one will be signed and we know who wrote it. I suspect he may have written Major Patteson’s as well. Joanne

  2. Susan Shames / Apr 3 2017 10:23 am

    Patteson was my maiden name, and I’m a direct descendant of Maj. David Patteson of Mt. Pleasant. One branch of his descendants was reputed to have gotten tired of correcting everyone who wanted to spell the name with an “r,” so they voluntarily changed the spelling themselves. Otherwise, the spelling without the “r” usually indicates the family who moved out of New Kent County into the Piedmont in the mid-eighteenth century.

    • Joanne Yeck / Apr 3 2017 11:36 am

      Susan, Thanks for sharing this history of your Patteson/Patterson surname evolution. More coming in the next few posts about the Pattesons of Mount Pleasant. Joanne

  3. Mary Roy Dawson Edward / Apr 3 2017 8:22 am

    Dear Joanne, You have spelled Patterson with an “r” and without (Patteson). Which is correct? There are many Pattersons associated with Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Esmont, VA, so I would appreciate a clarification. Thanks ever so much! – Mary Roy Dawson Edwards

    • Joanne Yeck / Apr 3 2017 8:48 am

      Hello Mary Roy, In Buckingham County there are families who spell their surname Patteson and some who spell it Patterson. The family who lived at Mount Pleasant were “Pattesons,” as was Miss Lulie Patteson, one of the subjects in my book, “At a Place Called Buckingham” (Volume One). I can’t say how or if these Buckingham County families are related to the Pattersons at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Esmont. Perhaps another Slate River Ramblings reader will comment. Joanne


  1. Buckingham Notables: Mrs. David Patteson | slate river ramblings . . . .
  2. An Ode to Major David Patteson | slate river ramblings . . . .

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