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April 5, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Peter V. Foland, Part I

Mount Walla c. 2000. Home of Peter V. Foland and family.

Courtesy Virginia Department of Historic Resources

When researching a life story as complex as Peter Field Jefferson: Dark Prince of Scottsville, there is inevitably material, often fascinating, that does not end up in the final draft. This was the case of the life story of Jefferson’s grandson, Peter Valentine Foland, who upon his grandfather’s death inherited a significant fortune and eventually became Mayor of Scottsville, Virginia.

It is highly probable that the two men never met, however, Jefferson was determined to provide for his deceased daughter’s only child and did so in his last will written in 1854. At that time Peter was not yet ten years old. He would not come into his inheritance until he was twenty-one.

Peter Foland was born away from Scottsville and grew to manhood in Jefferson County, Tennessee. It is not known precisely when his mother, born Frances Ann Jefferson, died, though Peter was likely quite young. In 1860, he was living with his father, Valentine Foland; his stepmother; and three half-brothers. Sixteen years old, he was bound to serve in the coming Civil War. His father was a Virginia-born cabinetmaker, who had likely never been a slaveholder. Whether or not Valentine Foland sided with the Union or the Confederacy is unknown.

When Peter Field Jefferson died in 1861, his executors in Scottsville, Virginia were obligated to locate Peter Foland and inform him of his inheritance. How and when they finally found him remains a mystery.  It seems likely that was either prior to 1863 or after the end of the war. By 1866, Peter had turned twenty-one, claimed his inheritance, was residing in Scottsville, and had married a local girl.

Learn more about Peter Foland’s inheritance in my newest book: Peter Field Jefferson: Dark Prince of Scottsville & Lost Jeffersons.

Coming next: Peter V. Foland, Part II


Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / Apr 5 2018 2:26 pm

    Ted, Thanks for your interest in Peter V. Foland. Over the next four posts, various aspects of his service records will be discussed, including some of the points you made. Joanne

  2. Ted Kinker / Apr 5 2018 11:22 am

    I found in the Confederate Army, Peter V. Foland as a Private in Co G, 43rd Tennessee Infantry (5th East Tennessee Volunteers Gillespie’s Regiment). He volunteered 19 October 1861, was appointed Fifer 1 January 1862 and was discharged 1 November 1862. His discharge paper shows him born in Richmond County, Virginia, 17 years old, 5 feet 3 inches tall, fair complexion, grey eyes and light hair. Occupation: Farmer.
    I hope this helps.


  1.  The Foland Family of Scottsville: Part I | slate river ramblings . . . .
  2. Peter V. Foland, Part V | slate river ramblings . . . .
  3. Peter V. Foland, Part IV | slate river ramblings . . . .
  4. Peter V. Foland, Part III | slate river ramblings . . . .
  5. Peter V. Foland, Part II | slate river ramblings . . . .

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