Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 18:45:46
Part 1 of a series titled Nottoway This is an excerpt with Pryor92s places listed. The entire file is very large with many Pryor related names.
OLD HOMES AND FAMILIES IN NOTTOWAY By W. R. Turner By W. R. TURNER Printed in the U. S. A. the Nottoway Publishing Co., Inc. Blackstone, Va. Transcribed by Thomas Walter Duda 17 Dec 1997 This transcription is based on the first edition of the work, available in the collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, located in Madison WI. A later edition, published in 1950, is available on microfiche from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and may be found in their Family History Library Catalog as number 6101829. This later edition expands on some families.
OLD HOMES AND FAMILIES IN NOTTOWAY
The period between the close of the Revolutionary War in 1781, and the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, was the golden age in Virginia. Especially was this true of Nottoway and the Southside. This section being predominately agricultural, the large plantation was the rule. Here was the stronghold of slavery, and here perhaps slavery wore its kindliest aspect. The planter had time to cultivate the elegancies of life, to engage much in social intercourse, and to become familiar with all current political topics. Consequently it was during this period that Virginia produced many of her greatest men, and from this system, there arose that hospitality for whic h her people were noted. Nowhere were the wishes and wants of the guest more regarded, and nowhere was the character of a true gentleman held more sac red. No people had a clearer sense of honor nor higher regard for womankind.
Dr. Wm. S. White, a noted Presbyterian Divine who served the people of Nottoway for some years during this time, says in his book, "Dr. Wm. S. W hite and His Times", "My life in Nottoway may be characterized as one of inces sant but delightful labor. That county had long been celebrated for the polite ness, refinement, and hospitality of its inhabitants. Card playing, horse racin g and wine drinking were almost universal among the higher classes." Then came the War Between the States. The people of Nottoway responded nobly both in me n and means, made a record during this period too well known to be recorded her e. Suffice it to say the county furnished five Companies to the Confederate cause. Co. G the 18th Virginia, "The Nottoway Grays." Co. C the 18th Virg inia, "The Nottoway Rifle Guards." Co. E the 3rd Virginia, "The Nottoway Cavalr y" Jeffress Battery and the Nottoway Reserves. Pickett's Division was recrui ted largely from this and adjoining counties. The Nottoway Grays in Pickett's immortal charge at the battle of Getty sburg had only six men left who were not killed, wounded or captured, and Richa rd Ferguson, a member of the Company and adjutant of the Regiment, was captu red beyond the stone wall. Being removed from the scene of the conflict, Nottoway's soil suffered little from the invading armies. However, on June 23rd, 1864, "The Grove" was the scene of a battle between the Union raiders, Kautz and Wilson, and Ge neral W. H. F. Lee, in which the raiders were driven back. Later the retreating and conquered armies passed through her borders only a few days before the en d at Appomattox. Then came the surrender and reconstruction, and with the people there followed a struggle for existence and a fight with poverty for years thereafter. Their State had now a tyrant's heel upon her neck and was called Milit ary District Number One, a conquered province. Military satraps filled the se ats of judges and magistrates, and the ignorant slave was often shown more deference than his former master. Even through all of this the old customs and manners persisted -- the same courtesy, the same high sense of honor, and the same hospitality. In Nottoway for the most part, after the war and even as late as the e arly years of the present century, the old plantations were the homes of famil ies who had owned them for generations. This is not the case today, for chang ing economic conditions have forced them to sell or rent their lands, and few estates are now in the hands of those who possessed them a generation ago. A home was worthy of a name in those days, and it is to preserve the n ames of some of these old homes and families of a past generation that this effort is made.
continued in part 2
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