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April 11, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County Notables: The Bolling Brothers, Part II

James Madison  

Need to catch up, click here: Buckingham County Notables: The Bolling Brothers, Part I


In stark contrast to Powhatan Bolling, Robert T. Hubard described at length his maternal uncle and father-in-law, Lenaeus Bolling (1763–1849):

Lenaeus Bolling

Lenaeus had none of the eccentricities or excesses of his brother Powhatan. He possessed much more discretion, sounder judgement, and more respect for public opinion. He was educated at William and Mary College, married at the early age of 21 years, studied no profession, became a farmer and planter, was devoted to his wife and children, had a good library, was fond of reading works on politics, history, and science.

His constitution was not very robust and his health never good. On this account he was not a gentleman of great activity and energy of body. He lived at his ease because his fortune was ample for support of his family, his tastes were plain and he was entirely exempt from avarice. He loved and he practiced economy, not because he loved money, but because he loved independence and abhorred debt. He had no fondness for ostentation or show in dress, or equipage, fine houses, fine furniture, fine dinners, and etc. All these things he held in contempt.

He was a man of fine sense, fond of the company of intelligent people, dignified and graceful in his manners, tall and fine looking, candid, independent and honest in expressing his views, as patriotic as Washington himself and as thoroughly honest in all things as any man I ever heard of. I never knew any man more devoted to truth.

He indulged in no familiarity with others and allowed [none] to be familiar with him. He was an affectionate husband and father, and a kind master. He cared but little about acquiring more property for his children, thinking that he had enough to make them independent and that more probably might prove injurious to them. He served as a member of the House of Delegates from Buckingham (when quite young) during the memorable session of 1799–1800, when Madison’s report was discussed and adopted. He then retired from public life; but was elected again and served in the House of Delegates during the session of 1811–12 and afterwards, he served in the House of Delegates during the session of 1819–20. Becoming somewhat deaf and his health being delicate, he declined being a candidate afterwards, although he took great interest in all public concerns up to the period of his last illness.

Coming Next: Buckingham County Notables: The Bolling Brothers, Part III

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