Historical Figure of the Week

James Carter (1697-1743)

James Carter (1697-1743) lived at Palace Green just to the north of Aquia Harbour subdivision.  James was the son of Thomas Carter (1632-1700) and Katherine Dale (1652-1703) of Lancaster County, Virginia.  Researchers believe there may have been a kinship between Thomas Carter and Robert "King" Carter (1663-1732) of Lancaster, though this has yet to be proved.  James married first in 1715 Hannah Neale (c.1695-1722), the daughter of Daniel Neale of Lancaster.  He married secondly in Stafford in 1724 Mary Brent (c.1686-after 1743), the daughter of Hugh Brent (II) (c.1659-1716), also of Lancaster.  During the 1720s, James was employed as the compiler of quit rents for this region of the Northern Neck, thus the reason he moved to Stafford from Lancaster.  He served as a magistrate in Stafford in the 1730s.  His house stood on the top of a high… Continue reading

Charles Carter (1738-1796)

Charles Carter (1738-1796) was known as "Charles Carter of Ludlow," which was the name of his plantation in Stafford County.  He was the son of Charles Carter (1707-1764) of Stanstead and Cleve and Mary Walker (died 1742).  He was also the grandson of Robert "King" Carter (1663-1732) of Lancaster County.  Around 1755 the younger Charles married Elizabeth Chiswell (1737-1804), the daughter of Col. John Chiswell (c.1715-1766) and Elizabeth Randolph (1715-1776).  From his father Charles, Jr. inherited several thousand acres in Stafford and lived on or very near that part of it that is now Seven Lakes subdivision.  Charles was a notoriously poor money manager and by the mid-1770s he'd turned over his real estate to a group of administrators who divided and sold it to pay his creditors.  By coincidence, the sale of this property coincided with the arrival of a number of Quakers… Continue reading

Capt. George Burroughs (c.1750-c.1827)

Capt. George Burroughs (c.1750-c.1827) served as a vestryman for Aquia Church in 1785, 1816, and possibly other years, as well.  He was commissioner of the revenue for Stafford from at least 1797-1805 and operated a store in the village of Aquia from at least 1804-1806.  He and other members of his immediate family seem to have been involved in the local freestone industry.  George was a veteran of the War of 1812.

Harry Selah Brown (c.1884-1967)

Harry Selah Brown (c.1884-1967) was a native of New York City.  In 1909 he opened one of Fredericksburg's first movie theaters.  An accomplished musician, he played the piano while the silent movies were being shown.  In 1927 he founded Brown's Motel, one of the early motels and tourist camps that were built after U. S. Route 1 was paved between Richmond and Washington.  Some of the buildings still stand across U. S. Route 1 from Drew Middle School.  His home is still standing about a quarter-mile south of there, though it's recently been refurbished and converted into a business.  Harry S. Brown retired as a foreman of the FMC Avisco plan in Spotsylvania.  He may also have worked as secretary of the Austin Run Mining Company in 1910.

Dixon Brown

Dixon Brown (dates unknown) was the son of John Brown and employed himself as a blacksmith and wheelwright in Stafford.  In 1814 he rented James Horton's "old plantation" in the northern part of Stafford.  In 1809 the Stafford court granted Dixon a license to keep a house of "private entertainment" (legal gambling) and in 1833 he was a constable in Stafford.

Daniel Carroll Brent (1759-1815)

Daniel Carroll Brent (1759-1815) was the son of William Brent (1733-1782) and Eleanor Carroll (1733-1804).  He was born and resided at Richland in the Wide Water area of Stafford.  In 1782 he married Anne Fenton Lee (1754-1803), the daughter of Thomas Ludwell Lee (1730-1778) and Mary Aylett (c.1738-after 1806) of Bell View and Berry Hill, Stafford County.  Anne died and Daniel married Mrs. Euphan Wallace Washington (1765-1845), the widow of Bailey Washington, Jr. (1753-1813) of Windsor Forest in Stafford.  For many years Daniel C. Brent was in partnership with his neighbor and dear friend Col. John Cooke (1755-1819) of West Farm on the Potomac River.  The two men operated various businesses under the firm names of Brent & Cooke and Cooke & Brent.  From 1791-1795 Brent and Cooke were paid by the U. S. Government to manage the quarry on Brent's Island, now… Continue reading

Thornton Weldon Berrey (1868-1906)

Thornton Weldon Berrey (1868-1906) was born in Madison County, Virginia and graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in law.  He married Caroline Stewart Bryan (1875-1962), the daughter of Stafford's Clerk of Court Charles Adams Bryan.  T. Weldon Berrey practiced law in Stafford and, for the last three years of his life, operated a fishery on the Marlborough peninsula.

Robert Beaty (died 1826)

In 1811 Robert Beaty (died 1826) was a second lieutenant of cavalry in the 45th regiment of Virginia militia (Stafford County).  Prior to 1806 he was a member of Hartwood Baptist Church, but that year was dismissed to join Rock Hill Baptist Church.  He was a resident of Prince William County in 1810 when he purchased 130 acres on Aquia Run, now part of the Marine Crops reservation.

William Churchill Beale (1791-1850)

William Churchill Beale (1791-1850) was the son of William Beale (c.1755-1821) and Hannah Gordon (1758-c.1820) of Fauquier County.  His first wife was Susan Vowles (1772-before 1834) of Falmouth.  In 1834 he married secondly in Fredericksburg Jane Briggs Howison (1815-1882). William and Jane spent their first five years of marriage in what is now known as the Conway House in Falmouth before moving to Fredericksburg.  In 1825 Beale purchased from James Vass (1770-1837), a Scottish merchant and mill owner in Falmouth, a half-interest in the Thistle Flour Mill that Vass had built next to the Rappahannock River around 1812.  This was the most technologically advanced of the several flour mills in Falmouth and was described in a newspaper advertisement as "a large and commodious mill…to which is annexed every description of machinery eligible, convenient, useful, or essential to the complete and perfect operation of the said mill"… Continue reading

William Pierce Bayly (1773-1842)

William Pierce Bayly (1773-1842) was the son of Pierce Bayly (1742-1801) and Mary Payne (1754-1826) of Loudoun County, Virginia.  Prior to 1800 William and his father operated a general merchandise store in the village of Aquia in Stafford.  This site was lost to the development of Aquia Harbour subdivision.  After his father's death in 1801, William and his brother, John Bayly, kept the store at Aquia.  William married Mary Lester Grymes, the daughter of Benjamin Grymes (1744-1805) of Orange County, Virginia.  William P. Bayly owned Auburn, a farm that's now part of the Marine Corps reservation.