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October 21, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Nicholas Maynard, Part II

Swem Library, William & Mary.  Photo by Joel Pattison.

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Notable: Nicholas Maynard, Part I

Nicholas Maynard, formerly of Buckingham County, died in Mecklenberg County circa 1785. His last will survives and Slate River Ramblings follower Karen Williams shared the following transcription based on a copy found in the Austin-Twyman Papers — a treasure trove of Buckingham County records housed at William & Mary. Click here to learn more: Austin-Twyman Papers.

Here is Nicholas Maynard’s last will:

In the name of God Amen I Nicholas Maynard of Saint James’s Parish and Mecklenburg County being of perfect sence and memory praise be to God for the same and do dispose of all my worldly Goods and estate in the manner and form as followeth (to wit)

Imprimis  I lend to my beloved wife Elizabeth Maynard two hundred Acres  of land with the plantation I now live on with half my Stock and Household Goods and Chattels during her natural life. 

Imprimis  I give to my son Wagstaff Maynard three hundred and ninety eight acres Land more or less lying on the east side of Island Creek to him and his Heirs forever.

Imprimis  I give and bequeath to my son John Maynard the land and plantation whereon I now live containing three hundred and fifty six acres more or less to him and his Heirs forever.

Imprimis  I give to my daughter Mary Maynard one negro Girl named Philis to her and her Heirs forever

Imprimis  I give to my daughter Judah Maynard one negro girl named Amu to her and her Heirs forever.

Imprimis  I give to my daughter Frances Maynard one negro Girl named Lucy to her & her Heirs forever.

Imprimis  I give to my daughter Ann Maynard one negro Girl named Creasy to her and her Heirs forever

Imprimis  I give to my daughter Prudence Maynard forty pounds specie to be paid to her at age or marriage by my Executors.

I also lend to my wife Elizabeth six negros, Viz, Ben, James, Sarah, Fann, Milly and Nann provided she lends a grown negro to each of my sons or daughters when they marry or go for themselves during their life.  I also give to my wife Elizabeth Maynard the remainder half of my Stock and Household goods and Chattels to be at her own disposal for reason I have so made this my will and Testament is that my wife has sixteen negros left her during her life by her father Francis Wagstaff deced., and the same reason for not giving any Land to my son William Maynard as he has a Tract of land given him by his Grandfather the sd. Francis Wagstaff deced.  It is my will & desire is for my Executor to pay all my Just debts with the debts due me and the Crop of Tobacco and if there is any balance still due for my executor to sell any part of the lent estate and after the death of my wife Elizabeth Maynard it is my desire for all my said lent estate to be equally divided between my eight children, Viz, William Maynard, Wagstaff Maynard, John Maynard, Mary

Maynard, Judah Maynard, Frances Maynard, Ann Maynard & Prudence Maynard to them and their Heirs forever.  And I do appoint my wife Elizabeth Maynard executrix and William & Wagstaff Maynard executors to this my last Will and Testament  In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Twenty second day of October one thousand seven hundred and eighty three

Sig’d & acknowledged to be his last will & Testament in presence of us . . . . . . . . .    

Nicholas Maynard (seal)

David Royster

(blank) Royster

Martha (her x mark) Royster

Baxter Davis

At a Court held for Mecklenburg County the 8th day of August 1785 This Will was proved by the Oaths of Davis Royster (blank) Royster and Baxter Davis Witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded, And on the motion of Elizabeth Maynard, William Maynard, and Wagstaff Maynard the executors therein named who made oath thereto and together with Henry Walker and George Tarry Gent their securities entered into & acknowledged trier Bond in the penalty of five thousand pounds conditioned as the Law directs certificate was granted them for obtaining a probat [sic] of the said Will in due form.

Teste, John Brown, Ct. Clerk


Many thanks to Karen Williams for illuminating the life and relations of Nicholas Maynard, the mystery man behind Maynards Church in Tillotson Parish, Buckingham County.

October 17, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Nicholas Maynard, Part I

Deed Maps for Nicholas Maynard’s Land. Courtesy Les Campbell.

In August of 2019, a post about Maynards Church (one of Buckingham County’s original four parish churches) and the location of John Patteson’s land resulted in a lively and fruitful exchange among Slate River Ramblings readers.  Follow these links to learn more:

Buckingham Mysteries: Maynards Church

Buckingham Mysteries: Maynards Church, Part II

Buckingham Mysteries: Maynards Church, Part III


Karen Williams also shared information about Nicholas Maynard, almost assuredly the man behind the church’s name.  The church may have sat at a spot called Maynard’s Corner, possibly indicating a crossroads. Did he donate land for the building of the Anglican Church in the newly established Tillotson Parish in Colonial Buckingham County?

Karen sent the following land records for Nicholas Maynard.  The acres in Albemarle County lay in what would become Buckingham County in 1761.

12 May 1759   400 acres Albemarle/ bs Davids Creek

27 Aug 1770   177 acres Buckingham/ on Kings Branch

According to Karen’s research, Nicholas Maynard (b. circa 1732) emigrated from Cornwall, England to Virginia, living in Charles City County, Albemarle County (later Buckingham), and left a will in Mecklenburg County.  Sometime before 1758, he married Elizabeth Wagstaff, possibly in Lunenburg County, Virginia.

What brought the Maynards west to Albemarle County? Karen offers a clue. In 1754, James Freeland’s will was recorded in Albemarle County, stating: “My wife and my son James FREELAND to be the executors, and they are to make a good deed to Francis WAGSTAFF for certain lands on David’s Creek.” Francis Wagstaff was the father of Elizabeth (Wagstaff) Maynard.  Nicholas Maynard’s will offers another clue, which will be revealed in the next post.

During the Revolutionary War, Nicholas Maynard was a patriot, contributing 650 lbs of beef, 61 lbs bacon, 100 lbs of fodder, 2 bushels of corn, 14 lbs of fodder, and 2 head of cattle to the cause. By 1782, the Maynard had removed to Mecklenberg County, where he was taxed on 11 whites and 25 blacks. He died there and his will was recorded in Mecklenberg in 1785.

Coming next: Buckingham Notable: Nicholas Maynard, Part II

October 14, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: White Sulphur Springs

Buckingham Springs. Courtesy Historic Buckingham.

In the 1840s, the “White Sulphur Springs” of Buckingham County was a well-known, popular spa destination in Central Virginia. In November of 1850, founder Samuel Morris died, dividing his land equally among his ten children. A decade later, the main hotel was destroyed by fire and, following the Civil War, it was never rebuilt.

In the summer of 1876, Mrs. John G. Morris of Curdsville, ran this advertisement, letting the readers of the Richmond Dispatch know that she was open for business.


This celebrated watering place and resort for health (after having been closed for about twenty years) will be re-opened for the redemption of invalids on the 1st of July next under the supervision of the undersigned. These springs are situated in the county of Buckingham, twelve miles from the court-house, three miles from Willis’s mountain, and twelve miles from the town of Farmville, of easy access from the latter place by good country roads, where comfortable conveyances can always be procured upon reasonable terms.

TERMS: Board and lodging per month of four weeks, $25; board and lodging per week, $7; board and lodging per day, $1.50.


Curdsville, Va.

Business was revived and visitors continued to visit Buckingham’s White Sulphur Springs for many years to come.

For much more about healing waters in Buckingham County, consult my essay “’Going to the Springs’ in Buckingham County,” At a Place Called Buckingham,” Volume Two.



October 10, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute: A Reminiscence

 Brown’s Chapel. Photo by Joanne Yeck.

In 1902, The Richmond Dispatch published the following reminiscence of the once remarkable Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute:


Reminiscences of Buckingham Female Institute and Its Teachers.

GRAVEL HILL, BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, VA., November 29. — (Special.) — But few are now left to tell of the good old times seen at the old Buckingham Female Institute at this place.

The war broke the school up and the buildings have all been torn down with the exception of the president’s house, and the central portion of the main school building. The property is now owned by Mr. John Chandler, formerly of Maryland.

Your correspondent saw a binder cutting wheat over what was, in the days before the war, the flower garden and the promenade grounds. Just across the public road, in front of the Institute, is Brown’s Chapel, Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the same old bell that was used at the Institute is hung in the belfry, and sounds as well now as it ever did.

Dr. John C. Blackwell was the last president the school had, and Major Garland B. Haines [sic], of “Humanity Hall,” near Eldridge’s Mill Post-office, was business manager and one of the teachers. At one time over two hundred and fifty young ladies attended school at this place. Dr. Blackwell is buried on a hill west of the institute. His grave is enclosed by a very neat iron railing. Major Haines is buried at “Humanity Hall.”

Stonewall Lodge, No. 200, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, at one time met in a room in the old institute building. The same gavel now used by this lodge at Arvonia was used at that time. It was at this place that the Buckingham Institute Guards were mustered into the service of the Confederacy. Captain James C. Haines, the captain of the company, and Mr. Jacob A. West, the first lieutenant, are still living in the county.


For much more about Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, consult my essay, “A Noble Idea: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute,” in At a Place Called Buckingham.”

To learn more about Humanity Hall, see my essay “Elijah G. Hanes and Humanity Hall Academy,” in At a Place Called Buckingham,” Volume Two.


October 7, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute 1856, Part III

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute.

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute 1856, Part I


Caroline’s was a quick visit to Buckingham County but doubtless a satisfying one. She wrote:

Thursday, 10th July, 1856

The young ladies are getting ready for the commencement at nine o’clk. Saw Baker dressed before I started & took the stage for New Canton at nine o’clk. Arrived there at twelve. Left the stage & took a hack & rode a short distance to a hotel to dinner. We travelled over the rocks & dined at Mr. Stones; we thought it right funny. – – We all enjoyed our dinner, for we were hungry. We then took the hack to the canal, & took the packet boat John Early for Richmond at three o’clk. We have few passengers, & they are very agreeable. The ladies set upon deck this evening & it is so pleasant. Ellen & her Ma remain below, on account of the health of the former.


Following Caroline’s visit, financial troubles continued at Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute. During late 1856, they were cutting their faculty.

Click here to learn more: 1856: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute


If you enjoyed these journal entries by Caroline Littlepage, consider following Bibb Edwards’ blog: Caroline’s Journal.

Coming Next: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, A Reminiscence

October 3, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute 1856, Part II

Caroline Baker (Ellett) Littlepage with Lucy Littlepage, by John Toole (1815-1860)

Courtesy Louise Eichhorn Schroede and Virginia Historical Society.

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute 1856, Part I

Caroline Littlepage continued to document her trip west on the James River. Like many before and after her, she enjoy viewing the countryside from the canal. Once she arrived at the Institute, she joined her daughter, Baker, and heard the opening remarks given by the esteemed Dr. John C. Blackwell.

Tuesday, 8th July, 1856

Feel as well this morning as I could expect. Enjoy the beautiful scenery a great deal. The farms & crops of corn, wheat, & tobacco are splendid, the most beautiful hills & deep ravines. ½ past six making preparations for breakfast, took breakfast seven o’clk, five miles below New Canton & sixty-six miles above Richmond. Arrived at New Canton, 9 o’clk where we took the stage for the Institute, arrived there at ½ past one. Baker is very agreeably surprised. Good many arriving at the Institute. Formed many acquaintances, heard the grades read in the Chapel by the professors this evening. Prayer & preliminary by President Blackwell.

Wednesday, 9th July, 1856

The weather has been cloudy for several days, which is favorable for the performance. The young ladies are getting ready to commence at ten o’clk. A nice dinner is prepared, dine at three, commence again at eight, & retire at ten.


Click here to read about commencement exercises two years earlier:

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, 1854

Coming next: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute 1856, Part III

September 30, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute 1856, Part I

In the mid-1800s Caroline Baker [Ellett] Littlepage of Woodbury in King William County, Virginia, kept a journal, which filled eight or more volumes. Three survive and are available to the public.

Since June 11, 2014, Bibb Edwards has been posting Caroline’s almost daily entries at his website Caroline’s Journal. The first entry was written on June 11, 1864, 150 years earlier to the day.

Click here to learn more: Caroline’s Journal

In addition to Caroline’s journal entries, there is supporting information about the Littlepage family and their home at Woodbury. Bibb also created a companion site for the journal of Caroline’s daughter, Rose. Click here to learn more: The Journal of Rose Littlepage.


In 1856, Caroline and her husband, Major Lewis Littlepage, enrolled their daughter, Caroline Baker, called Baker or “Bake,” in Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute. In July of 1856, Caroline took a packet boat from Richmond to Buckingham County for commencement exercises, recording her experiences.

Monday, 7th July, 1856

We arose quite early this morning took breakfast & started to Richmond in Mr. Hanes’ buggy. At ½ past five, stopped at the Monticello house, left Nannie quite lively this morning. Mr. Hanes is better. – – Never spent such a lovely day in my life, the Maj. & I went out twice before dinner shopping. He then went out, ie after we had taken dinner, & met with some acquaintances & didn’t return ’till near five o’clk. I then got ready & took the packet boat for Buckingham. Mrs. Cox & Akin had given me a horrid [description] of a packet boat, but I was very agreeably disappointed. We have such a nice company on board & the travelling so pleasant, I enjoy it very much. The scenery too is so beautiful. We have passed two locks & now passing the third. They are now preparing supper. Six o’clk, we enjoyed the meal very much. It was nicely prepared. Now comes the disagreeable part, the preparation for sleeping. Well I couldn’t persuade myself to take a berth, as the rest did, so I fixed myself in the rocking chair as I thought for the night. But Miss McCoole, who got off at Cedar Point about one o’clk said she had lain very pleasantly & insisted on my lying down on her berth.3 & for fear of the consequences of setting up all night, I accepted her offer & tried to sleep. But was too much disturbed, to take any refreshing sleep. – – Gave Mary eight nice hanks of bacon & a trundle bedstead for Rose.

Coming next: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute 1856, Part II

September 26, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, 1854

Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute.

On July 18, 1854, a lengthy article appeared in Richmond’s The Daily Dispatch detailing the commencement exercises at Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute.  It read as follows:

Messers. Editors: — The interesting commencement exercises of this flourishing institution, came off on the 12th and 13th of July, and I have concluded to give you a brief sketch of what transpired on that occasion. The audience in attendance were entertained on the first day by an able and eloquent address delivered by the Rev. Thomas V. Moore, D. D., of Richmond city. It would be a useless expenditure of time to attempt to give you the outlines of his speech, suffice it to say, his theme was “Woman” and with such a theme few orators could have delivered a more appropriate, pleasing and instructive address. Dr. Moore stands forth in the literary world, and able divine, accomplished scholar and an eloquent orator. In the evening the young ladies engaged in a musical concert and their performance reflects credit upon the unsurpassed qualifications of their instructor and their own tested docility. I never was more sensibly “moved by the concord of sweet sounds” and felt such melting “music in my soul.” The young ladies seemed to rival each other in the melody of song.

On the second day Professor E. M. Hooke of Bethany College addressed the Pocahontas Literary Society, after which Essays of the following graduates were read, viz: Misses Lucie Winston, Mary Jones, Emma Haskins, Mary Blackwell, Fannie Irby, Ellen Stegar, Emily Aimend, Virginia Parham, Eudora Pettus and Susan Darling. All of these Essays were well written and exhibited thorough mental training. The young ladies were fortunate in the selection of their subjects, which they treated in a popular style. There was not a tiresome monotony in the Essays, for while a vein of serious thought ran through some of them a sparkling stream of animation and humor found its way through others.

The president, Mr. Blackwell, accompanied the presentation of the diplomas with very feeling and appropriate remarks. The presidential supervision of Mr. Blackwell, bearing in its relation the striking resemblance of a parent, in connection with the high grade of scholarship, strongly recommend Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute to those who have daughters to educate. May the goddess of propriety and the goddess of beauty, in peaceful harmony, continue to reign over this Institution which stands pre-eminent among Female Colleges for thorough mental and moral discipline.


September 23, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

For Sale: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute


Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute. Brick House.

Sketch by Margaret Pennington. Courtesy Historic Buckingham.


In 1843, the Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute was up for sale, advertising it in the Richmond newspapers.


By the virtue of a decree of the circuit superior court of law in Chancery for the County of Buckingham, pronounced the nineteenth day of September, 1843, the case of Theod. C. Gannaway and others against the Trustees of the Female Collegiate Institute, A. J. Huestis, R. G. Loving, B. B. Brown and others; and Harod E. Scott and others, vs the said Trustees, Huestis, Loving, Thompson, Brown and others. We the Commissioners therein named, will, the 12th day of January next, on the premises, sell at public auction to the highest bidder that very valuable property known as the Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, a most extensive building, designed for the purposes of a Female Academy, containing 50 rooms, including a Chapel, Lecture Rooms and a commodious Dining Room, with all the needful buildings and improvements of brick, recently erected and in good condition, to which is attached about 120 [?] Acres of Land enclosed handsomely for Gardens, &c.; constituting in all respects the best and largest establishment of the kind, known in the State — located 15 miles from Buckingham Court House, 12 miles from Cumberland Court House, and 12 miles from New Canton, in a remarkably healthy region.

The terms will be, $3000 in cash; time will be given for the balance of the purchase money — on the credit payments good security will be required and the title to the property retained until they are made.




Following this financial crisis, the Institute reopened in August of 1848 under the guidance of a new president, the Methodist Episcopal minister Dr. John C. Blackwell, and reestablished its reputation as a preeminent female academy in Virginia.

For much more about Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, consult my essay, “A Noble Idea: Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute,” in At a Place Called Buckingham.”

September 19, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

 Buckingham Notables: William B. Phillips

In the nineteenth century, lengthy obituaries were rare for Buckingham County residents, though, they occasionally appeared in the Richmond newspapers. This one for William B. Phillips was especially rich in detail. Unfortunately the obituary is difficult to read, the ending is illegible, and I do not have a source for the clipping. If a Slate River Ramblings reader knows more about William B. Phillips please comment.


Departed this life, on 29 April 1861, at his residence in Buckingham co., Va., Brother Wm. B. Phillips, formerly of Charlottesville, Alb. co., to which place his mortal remains were brought for internment by the side of those of his excellent wife, who had only some few years, preceded him to the world of spirits.

Brother Phillips was about seventy-one years of age, and was in the enjoyment of a large portion of health and strength, and bid fair to live to be very old, when he was attacked by typhoid pneumonia, which, in a few days, closed his earthly existence.

Being accustomed to prescribe for himself and slightly unwell, and being unaware of the nature of the disease under which he was laboring, he neglected to call the physician, until it was too late to afford him any relief.

Brother Phillips was one of the most candid, sincere, honest and kindhearted man that I have ever known. It was refreshing to meet occasionally with one so unsophisticated and unselfish, who seems never to have entertained the thought of injuring a human being, but he was always ready to extend a helping hand to those who were needy. Upright in his intentions, and transparent in his character, he seemed to be unable to comprehend the mystery of deceit and dishonesty by which the conduct of too many are influenced and directed; and therefore by reposing too much confidence in man, he suffered pecuniary to some extent, but such was his diligence and energy that he accumulated considerable property, which after spending much on the education of his children, he left to be equitably divided among them.

Brother Phillips, though a sober, moral and useful member of society, did not confess the Lord Jesus Christ in baptism, until after the death of his wife. After his connexion with the church, he was unwavering in his fidelity and liberal and his contributions.

A short time before his death, he declared that he had never doubted his acceptance by the Lord, since he was baptized; and that he had no more fear of dying; then he had of retiring to his bed to sleep. Entreating his children not to [grieve] for him, he peacefully, and without a groan, passed away from earth.

Mark the perfect (or sincere) man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace Psalm xxxviiI: 37th. . . .

R. L. C.