Memoirs of Letitia Preston Floyd
written Feb. 22, 1843.


Cairo, Feb'y 22, 1843

My Dear Rush:

From the extreme rigor of the winter and diminished vision I have postponed answering your letter of Dec. 30, enclosing one from Mr. Lyman C. Draper of Buffalo, N. York. The object of Mr. Draper's letter is to collect materials for a work "Sketches of the Pioneers". Would it be irrelevant in reply to repeat the tradition I have so often interested your childhood with, on the facts of the life and death of Col. James Patton, Dec’d.

He was born in the north of Ireland in the town of Newton, Lenawaddy in the year of our Lord 1690. He was bred to the sea, and in the wars of England with the low countries served as an officer in the Royal Navy. After the treaty of Utrecht he procured a "Passenger Ship" and traded to the Colony of Virginia at Robbes Hole on the Tappahannock. He penetrated the then wilderness of the State as far as Orange County, thence across the Blue Ridge and commenced a settlement near Waynesborough in Augusta County. He crossed the Atlantic twenty-three or twenty-five times - his traffic was paltries and tobacco -- his return cargo was what was then termed "Redemptionary" poor families of Irish who served a given time for the price of the passage. In this way the greater part of the country of Augusta was settled. The descendants of these emigrants have furnished the West with many of its Governors, Senators, Judges, and distinguished literary men, and even intermarried with the "Imperial Family of, Virginia" as the historian Burke terms the Pocahontas descendants of our state.

Gov. Patton had two sisters who married men of "quality" as the nieces termed them. This state of things kept the two other sisters unmarried.

The youngest sister, Elizabeth, crossing the river Shannon in a boat was very much attracted by the beauty and deportment of a young man whose name was John Preston. On inquiry he was found to be a ship carpenter. Nothing daunted by his humble pursuit, and understanding took place and Miss Patton consented to a runaway match. This step placed her out of the pale of her family. Her brother, Col. James Patton, had by this time obtained governmental distinction in Virginia, as well as a grant of land from Governor Dinwiddie of two or three hundred thousand acres. Col Patton determined to remove his family from White Haven to his then residence in Augusta County. He proposed to John Preston, his brother-in-law, to accompany him to America, and for his services as a ship-wright he would secure him four thousand acres of land. Preston did not hesitate. He embarked with his three daughters and his only son, William Preston, who was then eight years old.

In the summer of 1737 both families settled in Augusta - Mr. Preston seven miles below Staunton, and Patton at Spring Hill. As Preston had left the seaboard, his pursuits were changed, and he worked at the cabinet trade. A silly augury of a native Irish woman's to-wit; that William Preston would get his uncle's fortune, so impressed Mrs. Patton (who was a proud, haughty lady) that no intercourse was allowed of in the two families.

Seven years after their landing John Preston died at "Gibson's Old place", eight miles below Staunton. Mrs. Preston's situation was then a straightened one, she sent her son to her brothers with a message; the youngest daughter of Col. Patton knew her cousin, but her mother did not. Peggy, (afterwards Mrs. Buchanan) passed William Preston off as a neighbor's son to prevent her mother from turning him out of doors. By this time William Preston was 15 or 16 years of age. Mrs. Patton's dread of his getting the fortune by a marriage with one of her daughters urged their early marriage with a kinsman of hers by the name of Thompson, who was a rich man, and the youngest to Col. Buchanan. Shortly after their marriage Mrs. Patton died. This event lead her husband to look into the situation of his sister's family. Col. Patton placed his nephew with the Rev. Mr. Craig, pastor of Tinkling Spring congregation, A classical education was not attempted, because William Preston was thought to be too much grown; however, an excellent course of history, mathematics, and penmanship was afforded. Col. Patton had the affairs of the then mountain region of the colony entrusted to him by Gov. Dinwiddie; His sister, Mrs. Preston, was induced to remove to Hargiss, Judge Baldwin's seat, for the purpose of affording her son the opportunity of posting merchant's books, and doing whatever writing her brother needed.

Col. Patton left his seat and removed to Staunton, and lived at his sister's house. Shortly after that he was sent to Logstown somewhere near Pittsburg to make a treaty with the northwestern Indians. Mr. Preston, then eighteen years of age, was made his private secretary.

I remember to have read Col. Patton's journal written by himself, with the speeches of Oconestots, the old Miago chief. After peace was made, Col. Patton came up to the extreme western country, now of this state. He located all the fine lands of upper James river, Catawba and the Amsterdam lands in Botetourt County. He then came to North Roanoke, Strouble's Creek embracing the Blackburg Lands and Smithfield, the present seat of Gov. James Patton Preston. After that he came to Burk's Garden and the rich valley on the Holston in which the celebrated Salt Works of Mrs. Sally Preston and Mr. William King are situated.

Col. Patton tried to rally the settlers to defend the country from the inroads of the Indians on the frontier of Virginia. This he was unable to effect. All the settlers from South Holston to South Roanoke left the country and went below Blue Ridge. Patton maintained his ground as did Col. William Ingles, Phillip Barger and Phillip Lybrook, on Sinking Creek. On the 8th of July, 1755, it being Sunday, a party of Indians came up the Kanawha, thence to Sinking Creek, thence to Strouble Creek. Ingles and Draper, brothers-in-law, were living at Solitude, the present residence of Cot. Robt. P. Preston, Barger half a mile nearer to the mountains. The Indians came to Barger's, cut his head off, put it in a bag (Barger was a very old man) then came to Ingles and Draper's killed old Mrs. Draper, two children of Col. Ingles, by knocking their brains out on the ends of the cabin logs, took Mrs. Ingles and her son Thomas, a boy of ten years of age, prisoners, as her sister-in-taw, Mrs. Draper, who was trying to make her escape with her infant in her arms, but was shot at by the Indians who broke her arm, by which means the infant was dropped the Indians caught it up and dashed its brains out on the end of the cabin logs.

Col. Patton that morning after having dressed himself in his uniform and getting his nephew to sew up in the fold of his small clothes thirty English guineas, told him to go to Sinking Creek to get Lybrook to help take off a harvest which was then ready to cut. Preston went very early after breakfast; Col. Patton had sat down to his table to write. The Indian war-whoop was heard and some five or six of them surrounded the cabin to set it on fire. The Colonel always kept his sword on the table. He rushed to the door with it in his hand and encountered two of them (Patton was almost gigantic in size) he cut two of them down. In the meantime another warrior had leveled his gun, fired and killed the brave old pioneer. The Indians then ran off in the thicket and made their escape; before any pursuers could be brought together. Lybrook and Preston came through the mountains by an unfrequented route, arrived at Smithfield (then called Draper’s meadows) where they found Patton, Mrs. Draper, the mother of Mrs. Ingles, and the children buried. The whole settlement was destroyed.

The Indians on their retreat back stopped at Lybrook's told the old Mrs. Lybrook they had killed two men, one woman and three children. She immediately recognized the head of Philip Barger, who was then aged and very gray. Mrs. Ingles, her oldest son, a boy of ten years of age, Mrs. Draper, her sister-in-taw, were taken to the Indian towns on the other side of the Ohio River; they traveled down the Kanawha, or, as it is sometimes called, "New River", went through the northeastern part of Kentucky. Mrs. Ingles in three months after her capture gave birth to a daughter. Her sister-in-law had been traded off to another tribe of Indians, as was her son. Three months after the birth of her child, she determined to run off from the Indians, who were dreadfully barbarous to her; another strong impulse to return to her husband made her undertake a journey unparalleled in the incidents of pioneer life. She and a Dutch woman, who was taken from the upper part of the Ohio, determined to run away from the Indians. Mrs. Ingles left her child in a bark cradle asleep, knowing as soon as she was missed, the Indians would kill the infant. A series of remarkable events occurred to them on the route. Mrs. Ingles keeping up the watercourses, when she got to the Ohio River, she and the Dutch woman tied logs together with a grape-vine made a raft and crossed the stream, they were near perishing of hunger living on blackberries, sassafras leaves, frogs and in one instance eating a buck they found dead, then a raccoon in a great state of decomposition.

All means failing, a proposition was made that lots should be cast, which of them was to be eaten by the other; the lot fell on Mrs. Ingles, who, understanding her traveling companion's temper, promised her a sum of money if she would refrain from killing her. Col. Ingles was a rich man; this had the desired effect; the Dutch woman forebore; Mrs. Ingles, however, slipped off, leaving the woman to find her way as she could. After many weeks travel, Mrs. Ingles arrived at Ingles' Ferry on New River, the residence of Col. Ingles. She was afterwards the mother of a highly respectable family, who have always been distinguished for bravery and honesty. Her grand-children live on the place she made such wonderful efforts to return to. These transactions took place the year of Braddock's defeat. Mrs. Ingles lived to a very great age. I remember to have seen her fifty years ago at a large Baptist Association, thirty miles from her home, she was then eighty years old looked florid and erect.

Mr. Draper desires to know whatever particulars of my father, Col. William Preston, I may have a knowledge of.

He was the only son of John Preston and Elizabeth Patton; was born in Ireland, in the town of Newton, Linawaddy, on the 25th of December, 1729. When he was seven or eight years of age his father emigrated to the colony of Virginia.

His father was remarkable for fine personal appearance, great industry, and unabated piety. The mother's qualities were masculine understanding, great ambition and impetuosity of humble fortunes, which she brought on herself by marrying a ship carpenter were powerfully resisted. She was, however, left a widow with a family of four daughters and an only son, who was but a stripling at his father's death.

The forest was to conquer; this her young son did by daily labor in cutting down trees and making fences. After Mr. Preston's death, Mrs. Preston removed to Barger's near Staunton. Her daughters were skillful needlewomen; it was the age of cross-stitch, embroider, etc. They wrought diligently at the business, obtained a sufficiency of money to purchase a negro woman.

A little while afterwards a young Presbyterian clergyman from Ireland, by the name of John Brown, settled in Staunton, became attracted to Margaret, Mrs. Preston's second daughter, married her, went to Rockbridge County, took charge of a congregation and preached fifty years in New Providence meeting house.

The eldest daughter, Lettice Preston, married Col. Robert Breckenridge, a man of some wealth, who had been married before, and had two sons by that marriage.

The third sister, Ann Preston was then married to a young gentleman by the name of Francis Smith.

During this period Col. Wm. Preston was employed by Wallace Estill, the high Sheriff of Augusta, to ride as deputy-sheriff. The year after, Preston and Col. John Buchanan were elected Burgesses to the House of Burgesses. Preston was required by the congregation of Episcopalians in Staunton to procure a carpenter to undertake the building of a church in town. A carpenter and undertaker living near Hanover Court-House, by the name of Francis Smith, who kept a tavern a short distance from the Court House, was applied to by Col. Preston to attend to the building. Mr. Smith was a rich old man, had an extremely beautiful daughter by the name of Susanna, who was educated by the Rev. Patrick Henry. Col. Preston was soon attracted by her beauty and manners; he addressed her, and was married the 17th day of July, 1761.

The summer of 1757, Col. Preston had been appointed Commissioner to hold a treaty with the Shawnee and Delaware Indians at the mouth of Big Sandy River, a branch of the Ohio. Col. Thomas Lewis, of Rockingham County was likewise a Commissioner. Lewis, I believe did not accompany the party. The treaty was made, I think with Oconostoto who was now very old, and a chief called Cornstalk. Col. Preston endured singular hardships in the expedition; he had tied his moccasin somewhat too tight; the string chafed the instep of one of his feet, which produced partial mortification. The skill of a physician by the name of Dr. Thomas Lloyd saved his life. Lloyd had been purchased by Preston a year or two previously: found him a man of fine education, with great knowledge of medicine; the Dr. was made the companion, and died very many years thereafter the firm friend of Preston's family.

On their return from the south of Sandy, they took up a fork of the river, which was through a very rugged region, got so entirely out of food as to be compelled to eat the buffalo tugs which tied on their packs, and hence the stream was named by Col. Preston the "Tug Fork of Sandy"

The county of Fincastle was taken off Rockbridge Botetourt County about the year 1764 1772. Col Preston obtained the surveyor's place, which determined him to leave Staunton. He settled on Greenfield, near Amsterdam, a valuable estate yet in the possession of his granddaughters. Having some business to transact in Augusta Court in the month of May, he left his family at Greenfield, early in the morning

Mrs. Preston was startled by the firing of two guns in quick succession at a neighbor's house within a half mile of her. Very shortly afterwards Mr. Joseph Cloyd rode up on his plough-horse with the gears on, telling Mrs. Preston that the Indians had killed his brother John, shot at him; but missed him, although his shirt was powder-burnt; they had gone to the house, and he expected had killed his mother. Mrs. Preston sent a young man living at her house to Captain Francis Smith, who commanded a small fort on Craig s Creek, to bring his troops to pursue the Indians. She wrote a letter to him, which was free from tremor or trepidation. She then sent a white man and two negro men to Mr. Cloyd's, where they found Mrs. Cloyd tomahawked in three places, all the household destroyed and the money carried off (Mr. Cloyd had a large sum of gold stowed away). Mrs. Cloyd was perfectly in her senses, told all the circumstances of the savage revelry in getting drunk, ripping up the featherbeds, and one of them taking a corn cob and wiping off the blood from her temples, exclaiming "Poor old woman". She died the next morning. After this irruption of the Indians, there appeared to be a pause in their deprivations.

I think, about the year 1765, and expedition was ordered by the then governor of Virginia, Lord Botetourt, and the command given to Col. Byrd, who penetrated as far as the Tennessee line. What his success was I am not able to state; I think, however, the settlements were insecure. In 1773, Col Preston became possessed of Draper's Meadows (now Smithfield). The county of Botetourt was divided and Col. Preston determined to follow the surveyor s office.

Whilst Col. Preston lived at Greenfield, John Buchanan determined to leave his residence near Pattonsburg and remove to Reed Creek to settle at Anchor and Rope, a splendid estate Col. Patton had given his daughter Margaret. On his journey he stopped at Greenfield, took sick and died after several weeks illness. Whilst on his death bed he desired Mrs. Preston to take care of his daughter, Jane, then ten years old; this was done. Col. Buchanan made Col. Preston the executor of his immense estate, a long and unbroken friendship existed between them. Buchanan is favorably mentioned by Gen. Washington in Spark's Life of Washington.

During Col. Preston's residence at Greenfield in the year 1770 a young gentleman by the name of John Floyd was introduced to him by Col. Joseph Cabell, of Buckingham County, as very well qualified to assist as a deputy in the Surveyor's office. It was always a rule with Cot. Preston to require of every young man who was employed in his office to teach school six months at least, thereby finding out his temper, diligence, habits and trustworthiness. Mr. Breckenridge's, Smith's children and my sisters and brothers conducted FLoyd's school; when my father removed to Smithfield in 1773. Col. Floyd accompanied him.

In the Autumn of that year Col. Preston with Col. Nathaniel Gist, were appointed to make a treaty with the Cherokees, and I think the Chickamauga Indians at Long Island, on the Holstein River, in the State of Tennessee. The treaty was made, and the Southern Indians were perfectly quiet. In the March of 1774 Col. Preston removed my mother and her children to Smithfield. There was a fort or stockade around the house; several of the neighbors' families came into it for safety, because the Northwestern Indians made constant attempts on the settlements. Major John Taylor, who had married a niece of Col. Buchanan's was one of the families, Mr. Robert Preston, Captain James Charlton, his brother Frank, and Capt. John Lucas were mainly the persons who defended the fort.

In the year of '74 my brother, Gov. James Patton Preston was born at Smithfield. Mrs. Preston's confinement was so protracted from typhus that a nurse for her infant was procured by the kindness of Mrs. Van Lear, who affectionately took upon herself that office; she was the mother of the Rev. John Van Lear.

During the summer and autumn of '74 the entire region of the Northwest of the mountains of Virginia was put in commotion by the movements of the Indians on her borders. The governor of the State, Lord Dunmore, made a visit as far as Fincastle, in Botetourt County, to organize an expedition against the Shawnees, Wuyandottes and Delaware Indians. Gen. Andrew Lewis, who had served in Braddock's War as a Coronet, and in the old French war as a major, was appointed to be commander of the expedition; his youngest brother Col. Charles Lewis of Bath County, Gen. Lewis' sons Samuel and Thomas Lewis, his nephew Thomas Lewis of Rockingham County, and nephew John Lewis and his nephew-in-law Captain Trigg, and Captain John McClannahan, were all in his army. I think Col. William Christian, Col. William Hemming, his brother-in-law, Col. John Stewart and Col. John Floyd, were also in the campaign. The battle of "Point Pleasant" was fought on the 10th of October, 1774; Col. Chas. Lewis was killed. Col. Sam'l Lewis wounded, Capt. John Lewis of Rockingham was killed, Capt. Trigg killed, and Capt. McClannahan as was Capt. Morrow, the brother-in-law of Col. Charles Lewis. Col. Floyd was sent on a foraging expedition and did not arrive until the day after the battle. I remember distinctly to have a letter from Col. Thomas Lewis, of Rockingham County, to my father giving a detailed account of that battle. Col. Preston was detained by the illness of Mrs. Preston, who was not expected to survive.

The year after this battle the country of Kentucky attracted much attention. Col. Preston's surveyor's office comprehended all that beautiful state, he, Col. Preston, sent Col. Floyd out on an exploring expedition, with advice to take up the lands for the benefit of Floyd and himself. For a long time it was supposed Floyd was killed by the Indians, however, he returned to Smithfield by the route of Guyandotte, Coal River, etc., having endured hardships which few men could have survived.

In the summer of 1776 the American Revolution fairly commenced; all plans for a settlement West was suspended; Col. Preston found himself surrounded by a neighborhood of Tories that kept him continually on the alert to prevent their murdering himself and family, as well as every other Whig in the Country. Gen. William Campbell, of Washington County, Col. Arthur Campbell, of the same county, a brother-in-law of General Campbell's, Col. Patrick Lockhart, of Botetourt County, William Madison, the son-in-law of Col. Preston, were all good Whigs and kept the Tories in check. Col. Preston was intently engaged educating his family and improving the valuable estates he had by this time acquired; the effect the first-named purpose; he had purchased a gentleman by the name of Mr. Aaron Palfreman; this person was a poet and a scholar; he was the correspondent and friend of the celebrated Miss Carter, the poetess.

Mr. Palfreman had in a drunken frolic consented to be married to a beautiful woman, who was represented to him as a lady by his companions; next morning, finding he was made a dupe of, and that his wife was a woman of the town, he embarked in a few hours for America. On landing at Williamsburg, Col. Preston met with him, purchased him, and ever afterwards kept him in his family as a teacher.

Col. Preston, Col. Thomas Lewis, of Rockingham, Gen. Andrew Lewis, of Botetourt, Mr. John Madison, of Augusta, and Col. Fleming engaged Mr. Gabriel Jones, an Englishman, to select for them libraries in London. This Mr. Jones was Mr. Jefferson's first partner in the practice of law. A good selection of the classics, ancient history, the distinguished poets of England, "The Dictionary of Arts and Science" a sort of encyclopedia, with much polemic and religious production constituted the libraries. I would observe that the use of these books gave to each family possessing them a station which outranked, very many wealthier families than the above-named.

The multiplicity of business growing out of the surveyor's office, organizing the counties and their civil policy seemed to require all of Col. Preston's energies. In addition, he held extensive correspondence with many of the then active Whig partisans of Revolution, and in this business he was greatly assisted by his nephew, Mr. John Breckenridge, who was undergoing the ordeal of teaching school at Smithfield, Mr. Breckenridge studied law at William & Mary College, married Miss Polly Cabell, the second daughter of Col. Joseph Cabell, received a large fortune with her. In 1793 removed to Kentucky, acquired great celebrity as a lawyer, presented the famous Kentucky resolutions on the Alien and Sedition Laws, was elected to the senate of the United States where he made a great display of political knowledge and an oratory that was not equaled even by Governor Morris who was in the Senate at that time.

Mr. Breckenridge was made attorney of the U. States by Mr. Jefferson, in which office he died, leaving four sons of distinguished talents. His eldest daughter, Letitia, married General P. B. Porter, Secretary of War in Mr. John Q. Adams' administration. After Mr. Breckenridge's leaving Smithfield, his brother, Gen'l James Breckenridge, took his place as teacher, and assistant. Previous to this period there was a company formed called the "Loyal Company" for the purpose of entering lands in the western counties of Virginia -- Dr. Thomas Walker of Albemarle, Judge Edmund Pendleton, and one or two others, and much surveying was required Col. Preston was employed, which still increased his estate. Col. Preston planned many of the military movements of that period. He was a man of consummate judgment and unremitting industry. He planned the campaign which made the demonstration in North Carolina that led to the battles of Guilford and King's Mountain. His health had greatly declined from frequent apoplectic premonitions -- yet he undertook as Commandant of his county to march at the head of his regiment into North Carolina, to join Gen'l Green at Guilford. You will see an account of this matter in Lee's Memoirs of the Revolution.

A skirmish had taken place between the Americans and British at Whitsell's Mills, a short distance from the main battle. Col. Preston was riding a large fiery young horse that took fright at the report of guns, dashed through the mill -pond threw Col. Preston off who was likely to be cut down by the British light horse.

At the critical moment Col. Joseph Cloyd dismounted, put Col. Preston on his horse and thereby saved his friend and officer's life. This signal service was always held in memory by Col. Preston, and a sincere friendship continued during Preston's life. Cloyd was the young man who escaped when his brother and mother were killed near Greenfield. Cloyd married an excellent worthy lady without any fortune, which so displeased his father that he was banished from the paternal roof. Preston furnished money to Cloyd which enabled him to purchase the estate his son, David Cloyd lived on.

After Col. Preston's return from N. Carolina, his health continued to decline. In the month of June, 1783, he had spent the evening with his intimate friend, Gen'l Even Shelby (the father of Governor Isaac Shelby) on the morning of the 28th he prepared to attend a regiment muster at Michael Prince's three miles from Smithfield. His eldest son, Gen'l John Preston then a youth, accompanied him, as did Gen'l Shelby. The day was exceedingly hot; after being on the field for a few hours, he beckoned his son John to him, complained of pain in his head, desired to lie down on Prince's bed. A short time afterwards requested his son to help him on his horse - he wanted to go home. When the horse was brought to the door, he made an attempt to put his foot in the stirrup, sank down, was caught by his son, laid on the bed again, by this time he had lost his speech, but took his son's hand, rolled up his shirt sleeve, and made a sign for his son to bleed him. This John Preston could not do. Mrs. Preston was sent for, who immediately, reached the place. Col. Preston's reason had not been staggered in this conflict. He caught his wife s hand, kissed it, shed tears, and made a motion to be bled; this could not be effected from consternation and ignorance. Soon after, the stertonous breathing of apoplexy came on and about midnight he breathed his last.

Col John Floyd was killed on the 12th day of April, 1783; when the news reached Col. Preston, such was the feeling produced by it that Preston was never seen to smile afterwards.

Col. Preston was above the ordinary height of men, five feet eleven inches, he was large - inclined to corpulency, was ruddy, had fair hair and hazel eyes his manners were easy and graceful. He had a well cultivated intellect and a fine taste for poetry. I remember reading several beautiful productions of his addressed to my mother in praise of her domestic virtues.

On the 18th day of June, 1823, this excellent lady expired, after having lived a widow forty years. She desired to be buried in the same grave with her husband; this was done; a tombstone was placed over the graves by their second son, Gen'l Francis Preston. No portrait of either was ever taken. Col. Preston and wife had twelve children.

The oldest was Mrs. Elizabeth Madison, who married the second son of Mr. John Madison the father of Bishop James Madison, the learned President of William & Mary College. Likewise Mr. Thomas Madison who married the youngest sister of Patrick Henry. Also Governor George Madison of Kentucky, who married Miss Jane Smith, the niece of Col. Preston.

The next child was Gen'l John Preston, who married Miss Polly Radford the daughter of Col. William Radford, an officer of the Revolutionary army.

The third child was Gen'l Francis Preston, who married the only daughter and heiress of Gen'l William Campbell of King's Mountain memory, her mother was the third sister of Patrick Henry.

The fourth child was Mrs. Sarah McDowell, the wife of Col. James McDowell of Rockbridge; she was the mother of Mrs. Susan Taylor, Mrs. Benton, and her only son is Governor James McDowell of this state.

The fifth child, Anne, died at 13 years of age.

The sixth child was Major William Preston who was a captain in Gen'l Wayne's army; he married Col. George Hancock's second daughter. Hancock was a Revolutionary officer.

The seventh child was Mrs. Susanna Hart, who married Mr. Nathaniel Hart of Kentucky, whose father was killed at the siege of Boonesborough.

The eighth child was Governor James Patton Preston; he married the second daughter of Mr. Robert Taylor, a merchant of Norfolk Borough. Governor Preston was wounded at the battle of Christler's Field in Canada during the last war. He is yet living at Smithfield, is a pensioner, a gentleman of exceedingly graceful manners, greatly beloved by his neighbors and relations.

The ninth child was Mrs. Mary Lewis, she was the wife of Captain John Lewis, an officer of the Revolution; he was entitled to half pay during life. He was proprietor of the celebrated Sweet Springs of Virginia.

The tenth child is Mrs. Letitia Floyd, who married General John Floyd of Virginia; the youngest son of Col. John Floyd and Jane Buchanan.

The eleventh child is Thomas Lewis Preston, who married Miss Edmonia Randolph, the second daughter of. Col. Edmund Randolph of Williamsburg. Col. Randolph was at one period the aid of General Washington, the Attorney General of the United States, then Secretary of State under Washington 's administration. Thomas Preston was a lawyer of great popularity, and a fine orator.

The twelfth child was Mrs. Peggy Brown Preston, the wife of Col. John Preston of Washington County, his father was Mr. Robert Preston, surveyor of that county. Mr. John Preston, the father of Robert and Mr. Walter Preston, emigrated to Virginia in the year 1770, he was a distant relative of Col. William Preston. In the year 1790 Mr. Robert Preston made a voyage to Ireland, on his return he brought the coat of arms of the Preston family. I remember to have seen it, there was a fox passant, the other armorials I do not recollect. The motto was, "sans tache". Mr. Robert Preston claimed descent from the family of Preston from Lancashire in England, stating that there were some belated knights that fought at the siege of Londonderry in 1688. Mr. Robert Preston's father was a shoemaker. He (Mr. Robert Preston) acquired great wealth by the Surveyor's Office; he married Miss Margaret Rhea, the oldest daughter of the Rev. Rhea, likewise the father of the Hon. Johnny Rhea of Tennessee. Their only child, Col. John Preston of Washington, was the heir to his fathers' wealth.

This concludes the chapter of my father's family.

I will add that Mrs. Brown was the mother of Mr. John Brown who was the first member of Congress from the State of Kentucky. He was afterwards Senator to the United States, then minister to France under Mr. J. Q. Adams, Dr. Samuel Brown was President of the Transylvania University in Kentucky. Dr. Preston Brown was a skillful physician and a wealthy man. Mr. John Brown married a Miss Margaretta Mason of the City of New York, the daughter of a seceding clergyman. Mr. James Brown married Miss Nancy Hart, the daughter of Col. Thomas Hart, and sister of Mrs. Henry Clay. Dr. Preston Brown married Miss Elizabeth Watts, the eldest sister of General Edward Watts of Roanoke - she was exceedingly rich. Miss Elizabeth Brown married the Rev. Thomas Craighead, Miss Mary Brown married Dr. Alexander Humphreys of Staunton, a distinguished physician. Dr. Samuel Brown married a Miss Percy of the State of Mississippi.

Mrs. Letitia Breckenridge's sons were William Breckenridge who married a Miss Gilham of Augusta, Mr. John Breckenridge, the distinguished lawyer of Kentucky, who married Miss Mary Cabell, General James Breckenridge, who married Miss Nancy Leloch of Hampton, Virginia, Preston Breckenridge married Miss Betsy Trigg, the daughter of Col. Stephen Trigg, who was killed at the battle of Blue Licks in Kentucky. Mrs. Smith, Ann Preston, was the mother of Mrs. F.P. BLair, Sr., whose son is the distinguished editor of "The Glove".

Mrs. Smith's second daughter married Major William Trigg, the son of Col Stephen Trigg. The third daughter Mrs. Jane Madison, was the wife of Governor George Madison of Kentucky. The youngest daughter, Agatha, married Dr. Louis Marshall, the brother of Chief-Justice Marshall. He is the father of Mr. Thomas F. Marshall, now in the Congress of the United States. Mrs. Smith had two sons only, the oldest, Mr. John Smith, married Miss Chenoe Hart, the daughter of Col. Nathaniel Hart. William was a Major in the army and died at Baton Rogue.

Mrs. Mary Howard was the youngest sister of Col. Preston; she was born in Augusta County in the year 1740; she married Mr. John Howard, a young gentleman of great patrimonial wealth and superior education. She was the mother of Gen'l Benjamin Howard, who died governor of Missouri. Her youngest daughter married Mr. Robert Wickliffe, of Lexington, Kentucky. Mr. Wickliffe became possessed of those immensely valuable lands in Fayette County which accrued to his first wife from the death of her sister, Miss Howard, and her brother, Governor Howard, of Missouri.

I will now give you an account of your grandfather Floyd’s family. Early in the last century his ancestors came from Wales and settled on the eastern shore of Virginia. Mr. William Floyd, the father of Colonel John Floyd, had two brothers, one named John who went north and whose family (if he ever had any) is lost sight of. Chas. the youngest son, went to Georgia, and is the ancestor or Gen. John Floyd in that state.

William Floyd left the eastern shore went up the country as far as Amherst County, which was then a very wild region; he met with a family by the name of Davis whose ancestors had come from Wales. They had traded with the Catawba Indians and got much property in that way. The father of Robert Davis had married a half-breed Indian girl, Nickette. This Robert Davis was the father of Miss Abidiah Davis whom Mr. William Floyd married. Davis owned many of the rich lands of Amherst. His other daughters married a Mr. Venable and Gen'l Even Shelby of Maryland. His oldest son, Robert Davis, emigrated even at that early day to Natchez where many of his descendants lived. John Floyd, the oldest son of William Floyd and Abidiah Davis, his wife, was born in 1750 in Amherst County, Virginia. At the age of eighteen he married a Miss Burwell Barfoot; in twelve months after their marriage Mrs. Floyd died leaving a daughter a few days old. The mother of Mrs. Floyd took charge of the child. Shortly afterwards Col. Floyd came to Botetourt and engaged in the business of teaching school and writing in the Surveyor's office. He remained at Col. Preston's until the year 1773. Whilst at Smithfield his duties were arduous. Whenever the business of the surveyor's office did not require his personal attention, he rode as deputy sheriff with Col. Daniel Trigg, both being employed by Col. William Christian, the High Sheriff. In the year 1775, Col. Floyd went to Kentucky where he made many surveys of all the best lands on Elkhorn Creek, many in Clark County, in Woodford County, Shelby County, and Jefferson County. He returned to Smithfield after unparalleled sufferings.

The Declaration of Independence had been made at this time. Dr. Thomas Walker, Edmund Pendleton, Col. Preston, and one or two other gentlemen purchased a schooner, had it fitted up as a privateer, and gave the command to Col. Floyd. I remember to have read a Letter from Col. Floyd to my father, dated "On board the Privateer Phoenix".

He sailed to the West Indies, obtained a very rich prize. Amongst the articles on board the merchant-man was a very fine suit of wedding clothes for a lady. Col. Floyd was at that time engaged to Miss Jane Buchanan to be married. He thought his fortune was made in the rich cargo he had taken. On his return whilst nearly in sight of the capes of Virginia he was overhauled by a British vessel of war, captured, taken to England, put in irons, and imprisoned; whether it was in London or on the coast of England, I do not recollect. Whilst he was there, Col. Radford was brought to the same prison, they were nearly a year confined. The jailer had a daughter to whom Col. Floyd appealed so successfully that she obtained the keys and let him out. Col. Radford told me when Floyd left them, all the prisoners shed tears, so great a favorite had he made himself. Floyd begged his way to Dover, where he found a clergyman who was in the habit of concealing all American fugitives and procuring a passage for them to France. It was in the season of the vintage. The French gave him grapes and sometimes bread; in this way he got to Paris, applied to Dr. Franklin, who him with money and instructions to return to the United States. Whilst in Paris, Col. Floyd was attacked with the small-pox which nearly cost him his life. During his sojourn he obtained his wedding clothes, a rich and beautiful pair of brilliant shoe buckles, for his intended bride - a scarlet coat for himself. No intelligence of the privateer or its crew had reached the United States - the inference was that all was at the bottom of the sea. A year after Col. Robert Sawyer, a distant kinsman of Miss Buchanan's, an officer in the army, and a rich man, addressed this young lady. Sawyer had requested her to walk with him in the garden, to which she consented, and whilst there agreed to marry him. In an hour thereafter Col. Floyd arrived at Smithfield, much to the surprise and joy of his friends. Miss Buchanan's last engagement was immediately cancelled and in the month of November, 1778, she married Col. Floyd.

Soon afterwards they went to John's Creek and settled there. Col Floyd's father and family had left Amherst and were living on John's Creek. He remained a year there, and then determined to move to Kentucky. By this time their eldest son, William Preston Floyd was born.

In the month of October, 1779, Col. Floyd, his brothers Robert, Charles and Isham, with his brothers in law, Le Master and Sturges, the husbands of his sisters; one married a Mr. Pryor, the other a Mr. Alexander. The two oldest sisters, Mrs. Powell of Lynchburg and Mrs. Tulley, remained in Virginia; When the latter moved to Kentucky the autumn after their brother's death, Col. Floyd went to his fine estate on Bear-Grass Creek, six miles from Louisville. He commenced building a fort, got the houses completed in a short time and a good stockade was made. The place was called Floyd s station. As soon as his family was secure, he commenced organizing the county. Mr. John Howard, Col. Robert Todd, I think Benjamin Sebastian, and perhaps Judge Muter, Judge Samuel McDowell, endeavored to arrange or enact laws for the better regulation of the people. When they convened to do so, Floyd made an address to them, saying, "he felt he had placed his foot upon the threshold of an empire". This expression was looked upon as the boast of an ardent-tempered man. Time has proved that it was prophetic.

Much unity existed amongst the first settlers of Kentucky. Every one sought to bring to them some agreeable friend whose fortunes might be advanced by the opening prospects of that rich country. In accordance with this feeling, Col. Floyd invited Mr. John Brown of Rockbridge, who had completed his collegiate studies at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I forget who was Mr. Brown's preceptor in the study of law. A very cordial friendship ensued. Brown was a sensible well poised man, of great application, consequently successful, Col. Floyd was frequently engaged in skirmishes with the Indians. Going one day to Louisville he encountered a huge Indian within half a mile of the fort, killed, took all his ornaments of medals, brooches, and rifle. The Indian had silver enough in his ornaments to make a dozen of table-spoons. Some little time after this matter Floyd rallied a company of eighteen or nineteen men, went about ten miles from the Fort, met a company of Indians, I think sixteen in number. The attack was made by Floyd; they fought for several hours; there were fourteen of the whites killed, and thirteen of the Indians. Floyd, who was wounded in the foot made his escape through the generosity of Samuel Wells, who dismounted from his horse and gave him to Floyd.

In the spring of 1801, I passed by the battle ground. Governor Madison was my escort; he showed me a large beech tree with the names of fourteen soldiers carved on it, but it had so grown out that few of the names could be read. The bodies of the whites and Indians were collected, placed in a sink-hole near the field of battle, and covered with stones and limbs of trees. This reencounter took place on a fork of Salt River, which has ever since been called Floyd's Fork of Salt River. What is the date of this incident, I do not recollect - I think it was in September, 1781.

In that year Col. Floyd had learned a party of thirty Indians had assembled to cross the Ohio and destroy settlements on Beargrass during the night. Floyd forthwith sent a runner and collected all the men the neighborhood could furnish, twenty in number, crossed the river above the falls, marched to the encampment of the Indians, who were asleep, commenced the work of death - only three Indians escaped - two of Floyd's men were killed. Haptonstall, who was alive in '44 living near Shelbyville, killed with his tomahawk and butcher-knife 14 of the Indians. Such was the conflict for the possession of the "Dark and Bloody Land". You will find a statement of it in Mr. Humphrey Marshall's history of Kentucky.

Gen. George Rogers Clark was in Jefferson County about this time; he was commissioned by the State of Virginia to raise troops for the defense of Kentucky. The constant depredations of the Indians kept every man under arms. The Indians were instigated by the British governor Hamilton to destroy the whites finding they would not be driven out. He made a proposition to Clark and Floyd if they would give up the country to the British they should have as much boundary of land on the west bank of the Ohio as they might wish, and any titles under that of Duke. Each gentleman had received the proposition at the same time, but was afraid to divulge it. Floyd having less caution than Clark, communicated the fact to Clark. They agreed to keep it concealed from the troops, who were so famished and discontented that if they had known how, they would have gone to any help to be fed and saved from the tomahawk of the ruthless savages. This incident was communicated to Mr. Charles Preston Mercer upwards of thirty years ago by Mrs. Croghan, the sister of General Clark and mother of Col. George C. Croghan, of Sandusky memory.

Mr. Breckenridge had at the same time corroborated the fact. In 1788 Mrs. Floyd, gave birth to a son which her husband named George Rogers Clark, after his friend and fellow soldier. About this time Isham Floyd was killed on the west bank of the Ohio. The Indians scalped him - cut off his ears, fingers and toes, after torturing him for three days, they cut out his heart and threw it to their dogs.

Col. Floyd had invited Mr. William Breckenridge and his stepbrother, Mr. Alexander Breckenridge, to make his house their home in the year 1783; during the winter they assisted in writing in the surveyor's office, and surveying many of the fine lands Floyd located in now Gallatin County for Col. Preston and Mr. Howard.

There was six thousand acres in one body on the banks of the Ohio for Mr. or rather Mrs. Howard. These lands with all their great appreciation mainly fell into the hands of Mr. Robert Wickliffe, the husband of Miss Margaret Howard. The land on which a part of the city of Louisville and Lexington stands was located and surveyed by Col. Floyd for Col. Preston. Likewise the land in Woodford County on which Mr. Nathaniel Hart resides containing two thousand acres and upward. Mr. Joseph Drake, the husband of Miss Margaret Buchanan, her brother William, and sister Ann settled in Kentucky. All were sustained by Floyd's princely generosity, he never received the gratuity of one cent for all his personal trouble. How much wealth he procured for others!

Mr. Alexander Breckenridge and his brother Robert were the sons of Col. Robert Breckenridge by his first wife, Miss Poage of Augusta County. After his marriage with Miss Lettice Preston, much disagreement existed between the children and stepmother. Col. Preston to relieve his sister, proposed to Col. Breckenridge to apprentice his sons to Mr. Francis Smith, the brother-in-law of Col. Preston, to learn the carpenter trade. This proposition was assented to by Breckenridge. The lads were sent to Hanover County and soon became excellent workmen. After their apprenticeship was covered, Col. Preston employed them to build Smithfield houses. This was done so well the first roof lasted forty years, being painted when the covering and weatherboarding was done.

Both the young men decided to enter the Revolutionary Army. Alexander got an Ensign's commission, and Robert enlisted as a Sergeant, the latter served in the South and was taken prisoner in Charleston. When peace was concluded Col. Floyd invited them to Kentucky to promote their fortunes.

On the 12th of April, 1783, Col. Floyd, his brother, Charles Floyd, and Alexander Breckenridge were going to Salt River about 20 miles from Floyd's Station. Floyd wore his scarlet coat. On their return a party of Indians attacked them, shot Floyd through the arm, the ball entered his body. Floyd reeled off his horse, which his brother observing, dismounted from his, jumped on his brothers', caught him around the body and rode off in full speed, to a house about five miles distant. By this time Col. Floyd was so exhausted from the loss of blood that he appeared to be dying. Nevertheless he lived that night, talked much to his brother, expressed unmitigated sorrow for his young wife, the unborn infant, and his two Little sons. He desired to be buried at his Station on an eminence he had chosen for a graveyard. All this was fulfilled. On the 28th day of April, Mrs. Floyd gave birth to a son, whom she named John after his father. Col. Floyd had bequeathed his wife the beautiful estate he lived on, also a child s part in all his lands (seventy thousand acres which he owned in Shelby County) made her executrix and his friend Col. Pope executor. He gave his daughter, Miss Mourning Floyd a fine estate on Beargass, his oldest son William P. Floyd a superior tract of land on Beargrass called the Dutch Station. George Floyd's estate was in Fayette and Clark counties. One thousand acres was bequeathed to his youngest son on Creek, Oldham County. Half of this land was lost by an older entry.

In the course of the year 1783 William P. Floyd died of small-pox; his lands accrued to his brother George in right of primogeniture. Soon after Col. Floyd's death. Captain Alexander Breckenridge obtained the Surveyor's place in Jefferson County.

One year only had elapsed when three brothers of the Breckenridge s made suit for the hand of the beautiful, rich relict of Col. Floyd, Alexander, Robert and William. The preference was given to Robert an engagement took place. Robert went to Virginia to settle some business he had there, failed to write, or at least his letters never reached Mrs. Floyd. Meanwhile Capt. Alexander Breckenridge urged his suit, was successful, and became the husband of Mrs. Floyd. This union was not a happy one; Capt. Breckenridge had contracted habits of intemperance whilst in the army. He was a kind tempered man and always treated his stepsons with the same affection he bestowed on his own children. There were six sons from this marriage; four lived to manhood; the oldest one, Mr. James Breckenridge is yet living; he was educated at Williamsburg. The sons of Col. Floyd had been sent to the neighborhood schools.

In the year 1796 Mr. John Brown proposed to take his son John Floyd and place him at Dickinson College. Mr. Brown was in Congress which at that time met in Philadelphia. An arrangement was made with Robert Breckenridge, the guardian of the Floyds, to pay the cost of John Floyd's education, by supplying and paying some workmen who were building a very large house in Frankfort for Mr. Brown, who promised to advance the money for young Floyd at college. Breckenridge failed to pay the workmen, Brown ceased his advances, and the young student was left to shift for himself.

In this state of destitution he was induced by the suggestions of Dr. Pendergrass to return to Kentucky. Such was his situation that he was obliged to borrow a pair of panteloons from a boatman. Nevertheless, through the whole of Governor Floyd's life he always felt grateful to Mr. Brown for removing him out of the reach of his guardian. That guardian disposed of all the Shelby lands to Colonels Lynch and Blanton for the sum of sixteen thousand dollars. Breckenridge had given all her estate in trust to General Robert Breckenridge for the benefit of her husband. In the month of February 1801, Capt. Breckenridge died at the house of Mr. John Breckenridge, in Fayette County. The entire arrangement of the family devolved on General Breckenridge. Young Floyd returned to Carlisle, pursued his studies which were arrested by a violent illness, which so impaired his health that his brother George determined to bring him home; this happened in 1802. Gen. Breckenridge proposed to John Floyd to study medicine with Dr. Richard Ferguson of Louisville; this Floyd consented to, being yet in the hands of his guardian. In the May of 1804, Mr. Floyd was married. He went to the leading city of Pennsylvania in the month of October pursued his medical studies. In the month of October of 1805 he returned to Philadelphia

In the month of April, 1806, graduated as a Doctor of Medicine. Matters had taken such a turn in Kentucky by this time Dr. Floyd determined to settle in Virginia.

George Floyd had married Miss Maupin, the daughter of Col. Gabriel Maupin of Williamsburg. She died in the June of 1807. This event determined George Floyd to enter the army of the United States.

During this year young Mr. Robert Breckenridge was sent to Williamsburg. By this time, General Robert Breckenridge had amassed great wealth. He sold the land he obtained near Floyd s Station (then known by the name of Woodville) for twenty-five thousand dollars; he built a good house on it and occasionally lived in it.

On the evening of the 13th of May 1812, some young ladies, the daughters of Dr. Grant, who visited at the house formerly owned by Gen. Breckenridge came to Woodville and spent it with Mrs. Breckenridge. After supper they returned home. There was no white person at Woodville but General Breckenridge. About midnight he said he heard an unusual sound in Mrs. Breckenridge's room; he went to the kitchen, waked the servants, got a candle, went into the room and found her in convulsions. Next morning he went to Louisville for a physician and Col. George Floyd, who was living there at that time; when Col. Floyd arrived she was speechless, and died that evening.

No clue has ever been furnished for, this sudden and unaccountable death. Mrs. Breckenridge had always desired that Col. Floyd s wedding coat and the scarlet coat he was killed in, both of which she had carefully preserved, should be put in her coffin; this was done, by Mrs. Beale, the sister of Miss Maupin. Mrs. Breckenridge's grave is near that of Col. Floyd. There is a plain stone placed over the remains of Col. Floyd without any inscription. There is no portrait of him. Col. Floyd was six feet high, somewhat slender, formed symmetrically; his complexion dark, brilliant black eyes, very black straight hair, fine white teeth, he was remarkable for his great beauty, generosity of temper, kindness, and undaunted courage.

There was in my father's possession a great number of letters from Col. Floyd giving details of nearly all the striking incidents of the early settlements in Kentucky. Col. Preston's papers fell into the hands of his oldest son and executor, General John Preston. A family arrangement had been made that all the undevised lands belonging to Col. Wm. Preston should be divided among his children. Mr. Nathaniel Hart and Major William Preston were made agents for the Kentucky interests. Gen'l. Preston put all Col. Floyd's letters into Mr. Hart's hands. Dr. Floyd had often expressed a wish to obtain these letters for the purpose at some future day to write a history of the early times of his native State.

For some reason of Gen'l. Preston's they were withheld. Mrs. Susanna Radford, of Greenfield, Botetourt County, has all the letters and papers that are extant belonging to her grandfather, Col. William Preston.

Col. George Floyd continued in the army; he had married a second time; the young lady was Miss Sally Fountain of Louisville. At the battle of Tippecanoe Col. Floyd manifested the same undaunted courage his ancestors had been conspicuous for. He was perfectly versed in Indian warfare; expressed to Gen'l. Harrison the day before the battle "that the movements of the Indians argued some treachery". However, no heed was given to the expression. The whole army lay down to sleep on the night of the attack. Floyd was in his tent, when the war whoop was heard; he jumped up, seized his sword, and at the door of the tent cut down an Indian, who was succeeded by a warrior with an uplifted tomahawk; Floyd seized it, struck an Indian with it and killed him. All this was done in the Colonel's shirt-tail, because he had not time to put on his pantaloons.

When Floyd returned to Louisville, all the surviving friends of his father, met him with great cordiality. In the official report of the battle of Tippecanoe Col. Floyd thought himself overlooked. He retired from service. In June of 1823, he died at Woodville and was buried near his father. There is a tombstone placed over him by his widow. He left three children, John G. Floyd the son of his first wife, who was the cadet at West Point. From his fine attainments whilst there was made principal engineer to the State of Indiana. He resides at Terra Haute in that state. He married a Miss Hager, formerly of Baltimore.

In 1823, the Breckenridge's became the proprietors of Woodville. Gen Robert Breckenridge gave it to his nephew, Capt. Henry Breckenridge, whose family inherited it after his death. I have since heard that Mrs. Cohen, their grandmother is the present proprietor. Gen'l Robert Breckenridge gave his great estate to his grand-niece. Eliza Caldwell the daughter of Mr. James D. Breckenridge. Col. John Floyd, his brother Isham, his brother-in-law LeMaster, Sturgis, Pryor, Joseph Drake, William Buchanan and John Buchanan were all killed during the Revolution.

From the year 1755 to the battle of New Orleans, your paternal ancestors unsheathed the sword and poured out their blood for this country. The "Last of the Mohicans" you will remember is your grand-uncle, Nathaniel Floyd, whose old age did not deter him from service at New Orleans.

You recollect the utter destitution of that old age. I will add a fact - in all this service given, not one cent of public money was ever received by an individual of the whole race, except their daily compensation.

I have done, my dear son. May this faithful history teach you to look more to individual interest than ever your ancestors have. Should you transcribe this you will find many errors to correct from feeble hand and imperfect vision.

Ever your affectionate mother,


Letitia Floyd.



Anne Baker – Lexington, Ky. May 25, 2001

I was given this typed copy back in the 1970’s by a friend who knew of my fascination with early Kentucky History. I am aware that what I have is a copy typed from a copy, typed from a copy etc. Thus possibility of typist errors is certain. This document was created was created by scanning .

The original memoir can be found - Manuscripts Dept. Library of the University of N. C. at Chapel Hill,Letitia_Preston


Abstract: Volume containing memoirs of Letitia Preston Floyd, daughter of Colonel William Preston Floyd and wife of John B. Floyd, governor of Virginia, 1830- 1834. The memoirs are in the form of a letter to her son, Rush Floyd, dated 22 February 1843. Included are reminiscences about 18th-century pioneers of western Virginia and Kentucky, especially Colonel James Patton and her father; genealogical information about the Preston, Floyd, Breckenridge, and Ingles families of Virginia; and description of warfare and other incidents with Indians originally written for a projected book to be called "Sketches of the Pioneers."

It has been written that this Francis Smith was the brother of Susanna Smith of Hanover Co., Va. wife of William Preston. However, this narrative states later – "Col. Preston to relieve his sister, proposed to Col. Breckenridge to apprentice his sons to Mr. Francis Smith, the brother-in-law of Col. Preston, to learn the carpenter trade. This proposition was assented to by Breckenridge. The lads were sent to Hanover County." Therefore, it seems they are not the same person.

Marriage Records of Henrico Co., Va.

John Preston - Mary Radford.....11 Jun 1798

William Radford consents for Mary. Sur: William Temple

Wit: George Prosser & Augustine Ellis

Marriage Notice - Richmond Newspaper - Married on Monday last (June 11) Col. John Preston of Botetourt to Miss Polly Radford, eldest daughter of William Radford, Esq of this city. (issue of 14 Jun 1798)

DIED: Mrs. Preston, consort of Gen. John Preston, Treasurer of this Commonwealth on Mon last ( March 26) RE: issue of 30 Mar 1810 & Visitor: issue of 31 Mar 1810

John Preston’s obit states he died near Fincastle, Va. 27 Mar 1827 - late Treasurer of Va., a magistrate, delegate, and senator. His obits appeared in the Fincastle Mirrow & several Richmond, Va. newspapers.

Virginia Gazette & General Advertiser: Francis Preston, Esq. Atty at Law of Montgomery Co., married Miss Sally B. Campbell, only daughter of the late William Campbell dec’d of Washington Co. 10 Jan 1793 (issue of 30 Jan 1793)

Col Radford was Col. Wiliam Radford who died in Richmond, Henrico Co., Va. on 3 Apr 1803, his wife was Rebecca Winston (1761-1820), daughter of Geddes & Mary Jordan Winston. They were the parents of Mary Winston Radford "Polly" (1781-1810) – the 1st wife of John Preston, brother of Letitia.

This papers have been donated to: Special Collections Department - University Libraries - Virginia Tech. This URL for this collection gives a detailed list of each item:

Preston Family Papers (Didier Collection), 1747-1897 - ca. 180 items - Ms85-020



Original 5/28/01
Last updated 4/10/2007
Page by F. L. Preston