Historical Figure of the Week

Henry Peyton (1744-1814)

Henry Peyton (1744-1814) was the son of Yelverton Peyton (1735-c.1782) of Stafford County.  Yelverton operated Peyton's Ordinary, which stood on or near the site of modern St. William of York Catholic Church on U. S. Route 1.  Henry spent part of his adult life in Prince William County where he served as sheriff.  From 1796 to 1804 he was one of the inspectors at the Aquia/Woodstock tobacco warehouse on Aquia Creek.

Fountain Peyton (1861-1951)

Many slaves lived in Stafford, but the names of most have been lost to history. A number of those who were able to leave the county and get to Washington or elsewhere became successful. Fountain Peyton was one such man. Born a slave in Stafford, he became a successful attorney in Washington, DC. This article is based upon material fond in The Washington Bee, a newspaper that served Washington’s Negro population during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The author has supplemented the material contained therein.

Fountain Peyton was born a slave in Stafford County, the son of Wingfield Peyton and Mary (Whiting) Peyton (born c.1838). Mary was born and raised in the Clift and Moncure families. When she was bout twenty years of age, a death in her owner’s family resulted in her being sold to a slave trader who sent her to Richmond preparatory to shipping her… Continue reading

John Peden (1820-1892)

John Peden (1820-1892) was the son of David Peden of Baltimore County, Maryland.  He was a millwright by profession and lived on Warrenton Road (U. S. Route 17) north of Falmouth.  He married Louisa E. Curtis (1829-1915), the daughter of Fielding Curtis (1793-1844) and Anne C. Leach (c.1798-after 1860).  Following the War Between the States, John Peden submitted a claim to the Southern Claims Commission asking to be reimbursed for $1,970.87 worth of fuel taken from him by the Union army.  He was granted $987.50.  John was one of the original commissioners appointed to oversee the building of a free bridge across the Rappahannock River at Falmouth.  He served as a bridge commissioner from at least 1872 to 1891, much of that time as president.  He was buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  John Peden's son, William H. Peden… Continue reading

William Matthew Norman (c.1838-1918)

William M. Norman (c.1838-1918) was the son of Thomas Norman (c.1790-1846) and Mildred Ficklen Hill (1804-1886) of Edge Hill in the Wide Water area of Stafford County, Virginia.  During the War Between the States, William served with the 9th Virginia Cavalry.  In April 1862 he was held in Falmouth as a prisoner of war.  For a few years after the war, Norman partnered with James Edward Schooler (c.1833-1898) in a general merchandise store near Stafford Courthouse.  In 1870 he was working at a sawmill but, according to his obituary, was an invalid for the last forty years of his life.  William M. Norman was the last of the Norman family to live at their family homeplace, Edge Hill.  He died unmarried.

Thomas Norman (c.1790-1846)

Thomas Norman (c.1790-1846) was the son of Edward Norman (1752-1814) and Jane Stewart (c.1756-1814) and resided at Edge Hill in Wide Water.  Edward and Jane Norman died during the winter epidemic of 1814/1815.  Thomas' first wife was Paulina Ficklen (c.1800-1830).  He married secondly Mildred Ficklen Hill (1804-1886).  All are buried at Edge Hill.  In 1816 Thomas was Second Captain of the Flying Artillery of the 45th regiment of Virginia militia.  In addition to farming, the Norman family was involved with the Aquia Creek freestone quarries.  From 1839 to 1840 Thomas Norman served as Stafford County Commissioner of the Revenue.

Isaac Newton (c.1745-1838)

Isaac Newton (c.1745-1838) was the son of William Newton (1705-1787).  He married Peggy Strother and resided at Little Falls on the Rappahannock River.  This tract had been patented by the immigrant John Newton, Sr. and was in King George County until the boundary change of 1777 placed it in Stafford.  Little Falls is about 2 1/2 miles east of Fredericksburg on U. S. Route 3.  From his father Isaac inherited the westernmost 250 acres with the dwelling house.  He also inherited the four-acre freestone quarry on the river and the adjoining ten-acre mill and lot.  Isaac Newton purchased other parcels of the property from his siblings.  A 1796 Mutual Assurance Society policy described the house as 46 feet long by 18 feet wide, 1 1/2 stories high, built of wood, and covered with wooden shingles.

William Mountjoy (1711-1777)

William Mountjoy (1711-1777) was the son of Edward Mountjoy (c.1660-1712), the immigrant.  William lived at Locust Hill near what's now known as Brooke.  The Mountjoys built a stone gristmill that was later known as Brooke's Mill.  In 1929 the stone from this building was sold and transported to the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and was used in the Bishop's Garden there.  The Locust Hill tract extended eastward along Brooke Road (Route 608) towards Aquia Landing.  A patriot, William Mountjoy signed the Leedstown Resolutions.  He was a magistrate in Stafford during the 1770s and was a tobacco inspector at Cave's Warehouse on Potomac Creek from at least 1742 to 1773.

John Mountjoy (1741-1825)

John Mountjoy (1741-1825) was the son of William Mountjoy (1711-1777) of Stafford County, Virginia.  He and his father were signers of the Leedstown Resolutions.  In September 1776 the Continental Army was formed to provide a common defense against a British invasion.  Virginia was authorized to create fifteen district battalions, later designated as regiments.  Each district battalion was ordered to raise companies commanded by local patriots.

Stafford organized a company of about eighty men under the command of Capt. John Mountjoy.  Initially known as the Caroline District Minute Battalion, it was later renamed the 10th Virginia of Foot, 9th Company.  This company included men from Caroline, Spotsylvania, and King George Counties as well as from Stafford.  Mountjoy's troops fought at the Second New Jersey Campaign (January to June 1777), Brandywine (Sept. 11, 1777), and Monmouth (June 28, 1778).  On June 15, 1818… Continue reading

James Morton (1793-1859)

James Morton (1793-1859) was the son of Richard Morton (1771-1812) and Margaret Ursula Waller (1771-c.1826) of Spring Hill, Stafford County.  He was also the grandson of Ursula (Brightwell) Morton (c.1725-c.1826) of Maryland and Stafford.  After the death of her husband and just after the Revolution, Ursula came to Stafford from Maryland.  According to her granddaughter, Mrs. Annie (Morton) Dix (c.1842-1922), Ursula didn't plan on staying in Stafford, but one of her children became ill while in the vicinity of the courthouse.  She liked the people here and took up residence on the old Waller farm, Spring Hill.  Part of this is now occupied by Vestavia Woods subdivision on Courthouse Road (Route 630).  Here she remained until her death.  James Morton inherited Spring Hill and resided there.  As a young man he and his cousin, Withers Waller (1785-1827), used their sailing vessel to… Continue reading

Arthur Morson (1734-1798)

Arthur Morson (1734-1798) of Greenock, County Renfrew, Scotland, sailed for Virginia in 1751 on the Greenock Snow and landed somewhere on the Rappahannock River.  A merchant in the town of Falmouth, Virginia, he served as a justice for King George County in 1766 and in 1770 as his home, Hartwood, was then in that county.  A county boundary change in 1777 placed his property in Stafford.  Morson married Marion Andrew (c.1724-1808) at Hartwood.  He served as a magistrate in Stafford from at least 1781 to 1786.  He served as a trustee of Falmouth from at least 1769 to 1789.  Arthur Morson and other members of his family are buried at Hartwood Presbyterian Church in Stafford County, Virginia.