John Floyd (1783 - 1837) MP

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Birthplace: Floyds Station, Jefferson County (Present Bullitt County), Virginia (Present Kentucky), United States
Death: Died in Sweet Springs, Monroe County, Virginia (Present West Virginia), United States
Managed by: Sarah Hornsby
Last Updated:

About John Floyd

From the Find A Grave page for John Floyd:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7382922

John Floyd

  • Birth: Apr. 24, 1783
  • Death: Aug. 17, 1837

US Congressman, Virginia Governor. Served in the War of 1812 as a Major and surgeon in the Virginia Militia. Elected to represent two different Virginia Districts in the United States House of Representatives (5th District from 1817 to 1821, 20th District from 1821 to 1829) serving from 1817 to 1829. Served as Governor of Virginia from 1830 to 1834. In 1832 he ran for President, receiving 11 Electoral Votes, and carrying the state of South Carolina. His father was Revolutionary War Militia officer and Frontiersman John Floyd, and his son was Virginia Governor and Civil War Confederate General John Buchanan Floyd. (bio by: Russ Dodge)


Family links:

Parents:

  • John Floyd (1750 - 1783)
  • Sallie Jane Buchanan Floyd (1759 - 1812)

Children:

  • Nicketti Buchanan Floyd Johnston*
  • John Buchanan Floyd (1806 - 1863)*

Spouse:

  • Letitia Preston Floyd (1779 - 1852)

Burial: Lewis Family Cemetery, Sweet Springs, Monroe County, West Virginia, USA [unmarked]


Maintained by: Find A Grave

  • Originally Created by: Russ Dodge
  • Record added: Apr 24, 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 7382922

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From the Virginia Department of Historical Resources historical marker KH1: Governor John Floyd's Grave (2000):

Just over the state line in West Virginia is the grave of physician and politician John Floyd. He was born in Jefferson County, Virginia (now Kentucky) on 24 April 1783. He married Laetitia Preston in 1804 and received a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1806. After serving in the War of 1812, he was elected to Virginia's General Assembly in 1814. In 1817, he was voted into Congress and remained their until 1829. An advocate of westward expansion, Floyd in 1821 introduced the first bill to organize the Oregon Territory. He served as Virginia's governor from 1830 to 1834. Floyd died in 1837.

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From the English Wikipedia page on John Floyd (Virginia Politician):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Floyd_(Virginia_politician)

John Floyd (April 24, 1783 – August 17, 1837) was a Virginia politician and soldier. He represented Virginia in the United States House of Representatives and later served as the 25th Governor of Virginia.

During his career in the House of Representatives, Floyd was an advocate of settling the Oregon Territory, unsuccessfully arguing on its behalf from 1820 until he left Congress in 1829; the area did not become a territory of the United States until 1848.

In 1832, Floyd received votes for the Presidency of the United States, running as a National Republican, a precursor of the Whig Party. He carried South Carolina and its 11 electoral votes.

While governor of Virginia, the Nat Turner slave rebellion occurred and Floyd initially supported emancipation of slavery, but eventually went with the majority. His term as governor saw economic prosperity for the state.

Family and early life

Floyd was born at Floyds Station, Virginia, near what is now Louisville, Kentucky.[1] His parents were pioneer John Floyd, who was killed by Native Americans 12 days before his son's birth,[2] and Jane Buchanan. His first cousin was Charles Floyd, the only member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to die.

Floyd was educated at home and at a nearby log schoolhouse before enrolling in Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania at the age of 13.[2] He became a member of the Union Philosophical Society in 1797.[3]

Although he matriculated with the class of 1798, he had to withdraw due to financial troubles.[2] His guardian had failed in his payments and family accounts relate Floyd was so poor that "he was obliged to borrow a pair of panteloons from a boatman" to return to his home in Kentucky.[4]

When his step-father, Alexander Breckinridge, died in 1801, he was able to return, but had to withdraw again due to a lung illness.[2][5] He moved to Philadelphia and was placed under the care of Dr. Benjamin Rush, an experience that influenced his decision to pursue a medical career.[2]

After an apprenticeship in Louisville, Kentucky, Floyd enrolled in the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1804 and became an honorary member of the Philadelphia Medical Society and a member of the Philadelphia Medical Lyceum.[6] Floyd was graduated in 1806 and his graduating dissertation was entitled An Enquiry into the Medical Properties of the Magnolia Tripetala and Magnolia Acuminata.[1][2][7]

He moved to Lexington, Virginia and then to the town of Christiansburg, Virginia.[1][2] Floyd also served as a Justice of the Peace in 1807.

In 1804 Floyd married Letitia Preston, who came from a prominent southwest Virginian family. She was the daughter of William Preston and Susannah Smith, and sister of Francis Preston, of Abingdon, Washington County Virginia. They had 12 children, including:

  • John Buchanan Floyd, (1806–1863), Governor of Virginia, and Secretary of War under President Buchanan.
  • Nicketti Buchanan Floyd, married United States Senator John Warfield Johnston.
  • George Rogers Clark Floyd, Secretary of Wisconsin Territory and later a member of the West Virginia Legislature
  • Eliza Lavalette Floyd, married professor George Frederick Holmes

Floyd was a surgeon with the rank of major in the Virginia State Militia from 1807 to 1812. At the outbreak of the War of 1812, Floyd moved his family to a new home near present-day Virginia Tech to be near friends and entered the regular army.[8]

On July 13, 1813, he was appointed surgeon of Lt. Col. James McDowell's Flying Camp in the Virginia militia.[9] When he returned from a leave of absence, he discovered someone else had been appointed to replace him, and so his service in this role ended on November 16, 1813.[9] Floyd was then commissioned as major of the militia on April 20, 1814 and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general of the 17th Brigade of Virginia militia.[10]

He served until he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1814.[1] During this time, he moved his family again, this time to Thorn Spring, a large plantation in Montgomery County, Virginia.[8] Thornspring (Pulaski) (Thornspring Golf Course) was inherited by Letitia Preston Floyd from her father William Preston and was located near her older brother, Virginia Treasurer, Gen John Preston, and his Horseshoe Bottoms Plantation (Radford Army Ammunition Plant). They both were near the Prestons Smithfield home (Virginia Tech) that their father had completed in Montgomery county for their mother, Susannah Smith Preston, before he died. John Floyd use to keep Bears chained to the tree on the lawns of the Thornspring Plantation (Pulaski, VA).

Political career

From 1814 to 1815, Floyd was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and established a record as a strong nationalist.[1][8] He supported a joint resolution to coordinate Virginia's defense with the Federal government as opposed to the contending resolution to "authorize the governor to 'communicate' with the 'Government of the United States'".[11] In addition, Floyd supported a bill that authorized Virginia to raise troops and place them at the order of the federal government, as well as supporting a resolution to condemn the terms of peace proposed by the British commissioners at Ghent.[11] He was also an opponent of the tactics of the Federalist leader, Charles F. Mercer, who questioned whether the United States was a sovereign country.[11]

In 1816, Floyd was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the United States House of Representatives, and served from March 4, 1817 to March 3, 1829.[1] When Henry Clay's proposition to send a minister to Buenos Aires and therefore recognize Argentina in its bid for independence from Spain, Floyd was in support and urged recognition as a matter of national self-interest and justice.[12]

As Floyd's biographer noted: This proposed recognition meant more to Floyd even than trade advantages and justice; it was another step in the disenthrallment of America. It would afford relief from that political plexus which had made it impossible for one European nation to move, even in matters relating to America, without creating a corresponding movement in each of the others. He was tired of negotiating the things which related exclusively to America in London, Paris, and Madrid.[13]

When General Andrew Jackson tried and executed two British agents during the First Seminole War in Spanish-held Florida, it precipitated the Great Seminole Debate of 1818–1819 in Congress, with some claiming he exceeded his orders from President James Monroe and demanding his censure. Floyd, however, supported Jackson's actions, maintaining he had acted according to precedent and his orders.[14] He also denied the sovereignty of the Seminole tribes.[14]

When Missouri sought statehood in 1820, it sparked a heated debate that eventually ended with the Missouri Compromise, which allowed it to be a slave state with the admission of Maine as a free state. Prior to this compromise, various proposals were floated all swirling around allowing or prohibiting slavery in the new state.

A majority of Virginia's representatives in Congress desired the retention of slavery in Missouri at any price, however Floyd was silent, and his biographer, Ambler, has inferred from various statements made by Floyd, that he preferred immediate statehood to an extension of slavery, though admits there is "little evidence to show that he opposed the latter on general principles."[15] However, when anti-slavery forces in Congress tried to expunge a clause in Missouri's state constitution that would have prevented free blacks from settling in the state, Floyd opposed on the principal of state's rights to decide its own matters and also because he was opposed to the growing Federal power.[16]

He stated: If gentlemen would only expunge from their memories the progress of European liberty and institutions, they would find in America a number of states, or separate, independent, and distinct nations, confederated for common safety, and mutual protection, taught wisdom by the eternal feuds of Spain, England, France, and Germany, now consolidated into large empires. These states before the confederation could make war and peace, raise armies, or build a navy, coin money, pass bankrupt laws, naturalize foreigners, or regulate commerce... Informed by Europe they knew Jealousies would arise, and constant strife render armies in every nation necessary to their defence, which would endanger their liberties and homes. These states then, in their sovereign and independent characters, were willing to enter into a compact, by which the power of making war and peace, and regulating commerce, possessed alike by all, should be transferred to a congress of the states, to be exercised with uniformity, for their mutual benefit; thus avoiding the evils of "superanuated and enslaved" Europe. These two were the only powers ever intended to be granted by the states. All other powers conferred by the compact are necessary to carry these two into execution.[17]

Floyd's position was that Congress had allowed Missouri to become a sovereign state and that now its only choice was whether or not to admit it into the Union.[18] Missouri came up again during the Presidential election of 1820. At issue was whether its electoral votes were valid, since it was still awaiting final approval of its constitution by the Congress. Floyd argued for counting its votes and the "debate which followed precipitated one of the liveliest 'scenes' ever witnessed...".[19]

Disorder followed, and both Floyd and John Randolph were "so persistent in their interruptions as to necessitate an adjournment of the joint session".[19] A compromise was brought forward to count it as "so many with the vote of Missouri and so many without it", but both Randolph and Floyd opposed this, which later prompted John Quincy Adams to describe their action as "an effort to bring Missouri into the Union 'by storm.'"[20]

Oregon Territory

Since the end of the War of 1812, the Oregon Territory was claimed by both Britain and the United States, but neither side pressed their claim. Floyd wanted to pursue America's interests there more aggressively and so on December 20, 1820, he brought this question, the first person to do so, to the attention of Congress with a resolution to appoint a committee and "inquire into the situation of the settlements upon the Pacific Ocean and the expediency of occupying the Columbia River."[21]

The resolution passed and the committee was formed with Floyd as the chairman, and Thomas Metcalfe of Kentucky and Thomas Van Swearingen of Virginia as members.[21] Floyd presented the committee's report on January 21, 1821, along with a bill to authorize the occupation of the Columbia River area.[22] Nothing happened with the bill, and John Quincy Adams criticized Floyd and characterized him as "a 'flaunting' canvasser and a politician seeking to win prestige and patronage, particularly the latter, by a vigorous opposition to the party in power" and attributed his motives for occupation by "a desire to provide a retreat for a defaulting relative and possibly for himself."[23]

Floyd then brought forth a resolution on December 10, 1821, to inquire into the expediency of occupying the area, and a week later presented another resolution to have the Secretary of the Navy give an estimate for a survey of harbors on the Pacific Coast.[24]

On January 18, 1822, he introduced a bill to authorize and require the president to occupy "the territory of the United States" on the waters of the Columbia River and to organize the territory north of the 42d parallel of latitude and west of the Rocky Mountains as the "Territory of Oregon" as soon as the population reached 2000.[24] Floyd then asked that all the correspondence relating to the Treaty of Ghent be presented to the House, which was possibly done in an attempt to damage John Quincy Adams' political ambitions by intimating that his negotiation neglected the United States' interests in the West.[25] However, Floyd's bill was unsuccessful, as was possible attempt to discredit Adams.[25]

Floyd next capitalized on the fear of Russia's claims of sovereignty in the area and succeeded in having a resolution adopted asking the president to inform the House whether any foreign government had communicated any claims to the territory, but the information was then deemed too sensitive to disclose to the House.[26]

Not deterred in his attempt to discredit Adams, Floyd learned of a letter written by Jonathan Russell to James Monroe on December 15, 1814 that contained "proof positive" of Adams' neglect of the West in the treaty negotiations and he was successful in passing a resolution of inquiry that gave him the letter, but his actions backfired when the press attacked Floyd and forced him to defend his conduct.[27] Adams certainly saw it as an attempt to damage his chances for the presidency.[27]

When President Monroe acknowledged that it was time to consider the rights of the United States in this area in December 1822, Floyd reintroduced his bill, and argued for its passage.[28] When a vote was taken on January 27, 1823, it failed to pass by a tally of 61-100.[29] Throughout the rest of 1823 and 1824, Floyd continued in his pursuit, and when President Monroe suggested that the second session of the 18th United States Congress look into establishing a military base at the mouth of the Columbia River, Floyd reintroduced his bill.[30] He argued:

I ... appeal to the House to consider well our interests in the Western Ocean, on our western coast, and the trade to China and India; and the ease with which it can be brought down the Missouri. What is this commerce? Thousands of years have passed by, and, year after year, all the nations of the earth have, each year, sought the rich commerce of that country; all have enjoyed the riches of the East. That trade was sought by King Solomon, by Tyre, Sidon; this wealth found its way to Egypt, and at last to Rome, to France, Portugal, Spain, Holland, England, and finally to this Republic. How vast and incomparably rich must be that country and commerce, which has never ceased, one day, from the highest point of Jewish splendor to the instant that I am speaking, to supply the whole globe with all the busy imagination of man can desire for his ease, comfort, and enjoyment! Whilst we Rave so fair an opportunity offered to participate so largely in all this wealth and enjoyment, if not to govern and direct the whole, can it be possible that doubt, or mere points of speculation, will weigh with the House and cause us to lose forever the brightest prospect ever presented to the eyes of a nation?"[31]

His bill passed this time, with a vote of 115-57, but if failed in the Senate.[32] He continued to argue for settling Oregon throughout the rest of his term in Congress.[33]

Role in Presidential elections

In the period leading up to the 1824 presidential election, a leading candidate was William H. Crawford. However, malfeasance charges were brought up against Crawford and a select committee was formed to investigate the charges, the chairman of which was Floyd.[34] Crawford rivals were determined to remove Floyd, as it was known he favored Crawford's candidacy, but their efforts failed.[34] The committee acquitted Crawford of the charges.[35]

The 1828 presidential election did not have a clear front runner at first for the southern politicians. They were united in their determination to unseat Adams, but thought at first that Andrew Jackson's time had passed after his unsuccessful bid in 1824. However, his popularity had grown, and convinced that Jackson could serve as a figure head only, while the cabinet ran things, an alliance was formed between northern "plain republicans", with Martin Van Buren as their spokesperson, and southern "planters", with Senator Littleton Waller Tazewell of Virginia, an intimate friend of Floyd, as their spokesperson, to put Jackson in the White House.[36] Floyd later wrote:

"At this moment [1828] came the direful struggle between the great parties in Congress founded upon the claim which the majority ... from the north of the Potomac made to the right to lay any tax upon the importations into the United States which was intended to act as a protection to northern manufacturers by excluding foreign fabrics of the same kind. Hence all the states to the south of the Potomac became dependent upon the Northern States for a supply of whatever thing they might want, and in this way the South was compelled to sell its products low and buy from the North all articles it needed from 25 to 125 per cent higher than from France to England ... At this juncture the southern party brought out Jackson."[37]

Floyd worked hard on Jackson's behalf and considered his efforts sufficient for a post in the new cabinet, and so declined to run again for Congress. However, he did not receive this post.[38]

Governor of Virginia

Floyd was Governor of Virginia from 1830 to 1834.[1] A rift was already forming between Floyd and other Southern politicians, as Jackson failed to act of the tariff issue and other matters. On December 27, 1830, Floyd wrote to a friend:

                                              

As you long ago wrote me, and told me personally, nay predicted, Jackson has thrown me overboard; he is not only unwilling to give me employment, as he promised after I declined a reelection to Congress, but has in every single instance refused office to my friends, and even respectful consideration to my letters of recommendation to others. Nor does he stop here. I am at this moment enduring the whole weight of the opposition to him, his friends, and the power and patronage of his government to break down myself and my friends in Virginia, and to prevent my reelection to the office I now fill. Without having much reputation for political matters, I have read those folks at Washington thoroughly ... I am not of a temper to pocket insult, neglect, or injury. I have, my dear friend, determined on my course. I can be as silent and patient as any of my aboriginal ancestors,[a] and like them I feel that vengeance would be sweet, but when the day of retribution shall come, it will be marked by the effects of the tomahawk. You must know that notwithstanding all efforts to prevent it I calculate on a reelection. Then I will begin to formulate a message in which, as you know, my own principles will be maintained.[39]

In January 1831, Floyd was successful in his bid for re-election as governor, this time for three years, and as the first governor under the new state constitution enacted in 1830. Virginia's economy had seen an upswing under his stewardship and in his December address he wanted to see this continue.[40] He unveiled a "bold economic program" that included a network of state-subsidized internal improvements designed to make Virginia a "commercial empire".[40]

The success of his plan and Virginia's future, however, depended on national politics and who captured the White House in 1832.[40] His preoccupation with economic growth for Virginia, and how the Jackson plans were threatening this, made him different from other southern "nullifiers", whose main fear was the abolition of slavery.[41] Floyd opposed slavery, but purely for economic reasons as he viewed it as inefficient. "Though an implacable Southern-rights man, the governor was a foe of the peculiar institution."[41]

The presidential election of 1832 was approaching, and Floyd was torn: He wanted to see Vice President Calhoun as the presidential candidate, but wondered if he should first be proposed as the vice presidential candidate for the second term. He felt Calhoun had a better chance to beat Jackson than Clay, and he wrote to Calhoun in April 1831 to know his opinion: "Under all these views I really do not know which course to take; whether to announce you a candidate for the presidency and take the hazard of war, or wait the fate of Clay. We would be glad to know your opinion about these things."[42]

Floyd, along with Tazewell and Tyler, were considered the leaders of the Virginians that had become disaffected with Jackson and had turned to Calhoun.[43] They felt that Jackson had repudiated "virtue and ability as well as Old Republican tenets."[43] According to historian Stephen Oates, "In Floyd's opinion, the federal government under "King Andrew" had usurped power left and right, thus allowing the majority to run roughshod over the minority."[44]

Clay, however, did not agree to postpone his bid for presidency in favor of Calhoun, and Calhoun did not put himself forward. At some point, Floyd went home to rest for a time, and then returned to in time to witness his political friends courting the Anti-Masonic party and their candidate for president, William Wirt. Floyd "refused absolutely to have anything to do with one of Wirt's 'laxity in morals' and 'opportune' political thinking; with one who would turn the federal government over to 'fanatics, knaves, and religious bigots.'"[45]

Floyd however, ceased his objections against Jackson for a time.[46]

It was at this time, that the Nat Turner slave rebellion occurred on August 21, 1831.[2] In November, he decided to recommend to the General Assembly gradual abolition of slavery, either for the whole state, or for the counties west of the Blue Ridge Mountains if the former could not be attained, but with a goal for abolition for the whole state in time.

However, something caused him to change his mind, for his annual message did not contain this recommendation. Instead he encouraged delegates from the western counties to introduce its discussion. However, the debate became heated and Floyd and others "became alarmed" and eastern delegates talked of splitting the state. As Floyd observed: "a sensation had been engendered which required great delicacy and caution in touching."

As a result, a vote was instead put forth on whether the state should legislate this issue. The pro-slavery party narrowly won 67-60.[47] During Floyd's address to the General Assembly, he did, however, touch upon the national issues swirling around the country.

As Floyd's biographer noted: In clear and forceful language Floyd reasserted the state sovereignty theory of government, as guaranteed by the 'Compact or Constitution,' holding the Federal Government to be merely the 'Agent of the States' entrusted only with such powers as were originally intended to operate 'externally' and 'upon nations foreign to those composing the Confederacy.' He called attention to the disregard with which 'an unrestrained majority' had received the memorials and protests of some of the 'sovereign states,' justifying their acts by precedent and expediency and thus melting away 'the solder of the Federal chain;' also to the fact that it was then 'strongly insinuated' that the states could not 'interpose to arrest an unconstitutional measure.' Such a course, he was certain, could result only in nullifying the federal constitution and in a complete failure in our experiment in government.[48]

When the Democratic Party announced that Van Buren would be their vice presidential candidate, Floyd was not happy. He renewed his antagonism with Jackson accordingly. Floyd felt that Van Buren's would inject "Northern principles" into the government and would "lead with a rapidity of lightening [sic] to the sudden and immediate emancipation of slavery".[49]

Virginians led the movement to prevent Van Buren's election.[49] Philip P. Barbour was brought forward as a running mate on a Jackson-Barbour ticket. "In this way Floyd expected to throw the choice of the vice-president into the Senate, where, it was thought, Van Buren's election could be prevented."[50]

As historian William J. Cooper noted, "For the Calhounites in Virginia, replacing Van Buren with Barbour would achieve two desired goals: eliminate the man they designated as the great enemy both of Calhoun and of the Virginia doctrine as well as symbolize the political resurgence of Virginia."[51] Barbour, however, later withdrew his candidacy to accept Jackson's appointment as judge of the United States Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Van Buren became Vice President.[52]

The Nullification Crisis had been ongoing since 1828, and in December 1832, Jackson came down squarely against "the nullifiers" in his proclamation. However, in the presidential election of 1832, Jackson confirmed his power in the South by winning his re-election.[53] Jackson had skillfully neutralized Barbour's movement, and Clay did not even appear on several southern tickets.[53] It was only in Calhoun's stronghold of South Carolina that Jackson did not fare well: they put all their electoral votes (11) for Floyd, their ally, for President of the United States.[1][53]

Floyd's biographer commented that despite advocating moderation in his annual message in December 1832, he was "secretly counting the costs and horrors of war" and that Floyd characterized Jackson's Proclamation in response to South Carolina's Nullification Ordinance as an "outrage upon our institutions" and a "satire upon the revolution" making war inevitable.[52] A letter to Tazewell at this time called Jackson the "tyrant usurper" and feared a civil war would be the result.[54]

When Floyd learned that Clay was willing to compromise on the tariff and that South Carolina would submit her issues to a "convention of the states", he supported both.[55] The crisis averted, he toned down his opposition to Jackson, but was unwilling to return to the Democratic Party while Van Buren was the leader. As a result, he turned to Clay, and attempted to bring him and John C. Calhoun together in a new political party to support these views.[2][56]

"... the elimination of both Clay and Calhoun from the list of eligibles for the presidency had become temporarily imperative. Accordingly Floyd set himself to the task of working out a fighting alliance between all the factions opposed to the administration. To this end he encouraged discord within the Democratic party, while scrupulously keeping the conflicting ambitions of his own friends in the background."[57] This was the beginnings of the Whig Party.

Floyd suffered a stroke in 1834 while still in office, but was able to serve out his term.[2] He approached Littleton Waller Tazewell to be his successor, who was ultimately successful. "Believing that 'great events are in the gale' he urged Tazewell to hasten to Richmond and to be prepared to lay down his share in the power of the state as he had lain [sic] it down for the 'Confederacy,' 'uninjured and undiminished.'"[58] On April 16, 1834, he left Richmond for his home, escorted by Bigger's Blues, Richardson's Artillery, Myer's Cavalry, and Richardson's Riflemen, Richmond's volunteer companies.[58]

Catholicism and death

In 1832, Floyd's daughter, Mrs Letitia Floyd Lewis, converted to Catholicism, and "owing to her prominence, caused a sensation throughout the state" of Virginia. Then followed other family members, including Floyd himself after he left office as governor. "The conversion of the Floyd and Johnston families led into the Catholic Church other members of the most distinguished families of the South".[59]

Floyd suffered a stroke and died on August 17, 1837, near Sweet Springs in Monroe County, Virginia (now West Virginia), where he was buried in an unmarked grave.[1]

On January 15, 1831, the General Assembly of Virginia passed an act creating the present county of Floyd out of Montgomery County, named after Floyd, who was governor at the time.

Notes

  • a,^ Floyd was a descendant of the Powhatan tribe.

Citations

  • 1. ^"FLOYD, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 6, 2005.
  • 2. ^ "John Floyd (1783-1837)". Dickinson College. Retrieved 2006-09-05.
  • 3. ^ Dorman, 68
  • 4. ^ "Memoirs of Letitia Preston Floyd, written February 22, 1843". Archived from the original on June 20, 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-07.
  • 5. ^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 31.
  • 6. ^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 31-32.
  • 7. ^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 32.
  • 8. ^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 34.
  • 9. ^ Dorman, 69
  • 10.^ Dorman, 69, 70
  • 11.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 35.
  • 12.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 38, 41
  • 13.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 41
  • 14.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 44
  • 15.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 47
  • 16.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 47-48
  • 17.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 48-49
  • 18.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 49
  • 19.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 50
  • 20.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 50-51
  • 21.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 54
  • 22.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 55
  • 23.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 60
  • 24.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 61
  • 25.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 62
  • 26.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 62-63
  • 27.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 64
  • 28.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 65
  • 29.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 68-69
  • 30.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 70
  • 31.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 72
  • 32.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 72-73
  • 33.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 73-75
  • 34.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 76
  • 35.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 77
  • 36.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 78-79
  • 37.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 96
  • 38.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 78-79, 97, 101
  • 39.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 101
  • 40.^ Oates, Fires of Jubilee, 62
  • 41.^ Oates, Fires of Jubilee, 64
  • 42.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 105
  • 43.^ Cooper, The South and the Politics of Slavery, 12
  • 44.^ Oates, Fires of Jubilee, 63
  • 45.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 108
  • 46.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 109
  • 47.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 91-92
  • 48.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 109-110
  • 49.^ Cooper, The South and the Politics of Slavery, 16
  • 50.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 111
  • 51.^ Cooper, The South and the Politics of Slavery, 17
  • 52.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 113
  • 53.^ Cooper, The South and the Politics of Slavery, 43
  • 54.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 114-115
  • 55.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 116-117
  • 56.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 117; Cooper, The South and the Politics of Slavery, 55
  • 57.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 117
  • 58.^ Ambler, Life and Diary of John Floyd, 93
  • 59.^ "Virginia". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2006-09-12.

References

Ambler, Charles H. (1918). The Life and Diary of John Floyd Governor of Virginia, an Apostle of Secession, and the Father of the Oregon Country. Richmond, Virginia: Richmond Press.

Cooper, William J. (1978). The South and the Politics of Slavery, 1828-56. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press.

Dorman, John Frederick (1982). The Prestons of Smithfield and Greenfield in Virginia. Louisville, Kentucky: The Filson Club. ISBN 0-9601072-1-5.

Oates, Stephen B. (1975). The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers.

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From Descendants of John Floyd

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/s/t/e/Pat-M-Stevens-iv/GENE6-0019.html

36. GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA JOHN6 FLOYD (JOHN5, WILLIAM4, JOHN3, CHARLES2, JOHN1)

  • was born 24 April 1783 in Floyd's Station, Jefferson Co., KY, and
  • died 16 August 1837 in Sweetsprings, Monroe County, VA, or, some say, Oak Hill, Oglethorpe Co., GA [394],[395],[396].
  • He married LETITIA PRESTON [396] 13 May 1804 in Franklin Co., KY [397],[398],
    • daughter of WILLIAM PRESTON and SUSANNA SMITH. She was born 29 September 1779 in "Smithfield, " Montgomery Co., VA [399],[400], and
    • died 12 December 1852 in Cavan, Burke's Garden, Tazewell Co., VA [401],[402].

Notes for GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA JOHN FLOYD: ~~These are my notes (or I credit others) which I have seen copied without reference to me. I am happy for you to use them but please note the origin~~

The Biographical Directory of the US Congress has this:

"FLOYD, John, a Representative from Virginia;

  • born at Floyds Station, near the present city of Louisville, Jefferson County, Ky. (then a part of Virginia), April 24, 1783;
  • pursued an academic course; attended Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., and was graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1806;
  • settled in Lexington, Va., the same year, and soon thereafter moved to Christiansburg, Montgomery County, Va., where he practiced his profession;
  • justice of the peace in 1807;
  • major of Virginia State Militia 1807-1812;
  • served as surgeon with rank of major in the War of 1812; subsequently became brigadier general of militia;
  • member of the State house of delegates in 1814 and 1815;
  • elected as a Republican to the Fifteenth through the Seventeenth Congresses,
  • elected as a Crawford Republican to the Eighteenth Congress, and
  • reelected as a Jacksonian to the Nineteenth and Twentieth Congresses (March 4, 1817-March 3, 1829);
  • was not a candidate for renomination in 1828;
  • Governor of Virginia 1830-1834;
  • received the electoral vote of South Carolina for President in 1833;
  • died near Sweetsprings, Monroe County, Va. (now West Virginia), August 17, 1837;
  • interment in an unmarked grave in the cemetery at Sweetsprings."
    • Cites: Ambler, Charles Henry. The Life and Diary of John Floyd, Governor of Virginia, An Apostle of Secession, and the Father of the Oregon Country. Richmond: Richmond Press, 1918.

<p> <img src="http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/s/t/e/Pat-M-Stevens-iv/PHOTO/0109photo.jpg"> </p>

Portrait in crayon of Col John Floyd, the father of John born in 1783, or perhaps the son, this John. It is disputed that it is the father, although many have for years said it is. This copy was in my grandfather's collection at Oak Hill for many years, and the original is in the Filson Collections, Louisville.

--

Charles H. Ambler, The Life and Diary of John Floyd...., Richmond, 1918, notes that:

"The ... child of the frontier... was the unborn infant for whom Colonel Floyd manifested concern on his death-bed. He was named John for his father. He learned to read and write at his mother's knee and in the log schoolhouse that stood near the grave of his father. When he was thirteen, John Brown, then a Senator from Kentucky, placed him in Dickinson College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Here he remained until financial troubles necessitated his return to Kentucky. But fortune soon took a favorable turn; his dissipated step-father, Captain Alexander Breckenridge, dying in 1801, young Floyd was again permitted to resume his college course. A severe illness kept him from carrying out his plans for graduation."

John Floyd, a surgeon, US Congressman and governor of Virginia, was the third child of John and Jenny and was born at Floyd Station, Kentucky just two weeks after his father was killed by Indians. He was well educated: I have an original letter he wrote to my great great great uncle John Berrien Stewart in a beautiful script. His home schooling was sufficient enough that he was admitted to Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. at 13 in the class of 1798. Sickness prevented his graduation. He left Dickinson to be treated by Dr. Benjamin Rush in Philadelphia, and a web page by Dickinson College notes that "this experience influenced his choice of career and he began a medical apprenticeship under Richard Ferguson of Louisville, Kentucky, after which he entered the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, graduating in April 1806." He married in 1804 while at medical college. He practised in both Lexington and Christiansburg, and was very successful. (See Dr. Samuel Brown in these notes for another touched by Dr. Benjamin Rush.)

The DAB, 1943, continues "He served as a surgeon with the rank of major in the War of 1812 until he was elected as a nationalist to the General Assembly in 1814. Here he voted for all resolutions giving power to the federal government. In 1817 he was elected to Congress from the "Abingdon District" and was continuously reelected for twelve years. He supported Clay's proposition for sending a minister to Buenos Aires; favored the immediate recognition of Argentina; defended Andrew Jackson's policy in Florida and opposed his censure; and was one of the four Virginia representatives who voted for the Missouri Compromise. He has been given the credit for first proposing in Congress, Jan. 25, 1821, the occupation and territorial organization of the Oregon country. His identification with the interests of the frontier may be attributed to his boyhood life and his intimate association with William Clark, with Thomas H. Benton, and with George Rogers Clark, for whom both a brother and a son were named in his family. His Oregon Bill was introduced and defeated several times, and when he retired from Congress in 1829 he was best known as its sponsor. He took an active part in the election of Jackson and was disappointed in not being recognized in the cabinet. (ed.: I am also informed he broke with Jackson and declined appointment.) From 1829 to 1830 he engaged in the practise of his profession and gave much attention to scientific grazing, in anticipation of the future of his section of the state."

He became governor in 1830 "as the choice of the state-rights element," and in 1831 was reelected. He is recalled for his work in pushing the development of transportation--- roads, canals and the like-- into the west. The Nat Turner insurrection was during his term. He remained in sympathy with the western members of Va. who wanted abolition, although for issues of sovereignty "accepted the pro-slavery doctrines of Prof. Thomas R. Dew, of the College of William and Mary." He was supported by South Carolina for the presidency in 1832 and received 11 electoral votes.

After retiring he had a paralytic stroke and died Aug. 16, 1837. His son John was later also the governor. He is called the father of the Oregon Territory, and some say he designed the flag of Virginia. (Adapted with annotations and notes from the Dictionary of American Biography, 1943, Vol VI.)

He is buried in Sweetsprings in an unmarked grave.

--

We also have this, from the Gale Group service (see note at end):

"Floyd, John (Apr. 24, 1783 - Aug. 16, 1837), surgeon and governor of Virginia, was of Old Dominion ancestry. William Floyd of Accomac County, Va., settled in Amherst County and married Abadiah Davis, said to be a great-granddaughter of Powhatan. John Floyd, the elder, one of twelve children of William, was married to Jane Buchanan, niece and ward of Col. William Preston. The third and youngest child of this marriage, John Floyd, was born at Floyd Station, Ky., two weeks after his father had been killed by Indians. He learned to read and write at his mother's knee and attended school in the neighboring log school-house till he was thirteen years old, when he entered Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. A serious illness prevented his graduation. In May 1804, he married Letitia Preston, daughter of his father's friend, Col. William Preston, and then spent two years in the study of medicine in the University of Pennsylvania, graduating at the end of this time. After a brief practice at Lexington, Va., he removed to Christiansburg, and soon became widely known as a successful physician.

"He served as a surgeon with the rank of major in the War of 1812 until he was elected as a nationalist to the General Assembly in 1814. Here he voted for all resolutions giving power to the federal government. In 1817 he was elected to Congress from the "Abingdon District" and was continuously reėlected for twelve years. He supported Clay's proposition for sending a minister to Buenos Aires; favored the immediate recognition of Argentina; defended Andrew Jackson's policy in Florida and opposed his censure; and was one of the four Virginia representatives who voted for the Missouri Compromise. He has been given the credit for first proposing in Congress, Jan. 25, 1821, the occupation and territorial organization of the Oregon country. His identification with the interests of the frontier may be attributed to his boyhood life and to his intimate association with William Clark, with Thomas H. Benton, and with George Rogers Clark, for whom both a brother and a son were named in his family. His Oregon Bill was introduced and defeated several times, and when he retired from Congress in 1829 he was best known as its sponsor. He took an active part in the election of Jackson and was disappointed in not being recognized in the cabinet. From 1829 to 1830 he engaged in the practice of his profession and gave much attention to scientific grazing, in anticipation of the future of his section of the state.

"On Jan. 9, 1830, he was elected governor of the state by the legislature, as the choice of the state-rights element, and in 1831 was reėlected for a three-year term. Without committing himself on the question of a white or a mixed basis of representation then agitating the state, he accepted heartily the compromise constitution of 1830, and exerted himself to promote the development of transportation facilities for the western part of the state. After the Nat Turner insurrection he was in sympathy with the western members who were working for abolition. Later he accepted the pro-slavery doctrines of Prof. Thomas R. Dew, of the College of William and Mary, and gave himself to the defense of state sovereignty. This resulted in a complicated struggle against Jackson and Ritchie, later against Van Buren, and attempts to unite Clay and Calhoun as leaders of a new party. Floyd himself was supported by South Carolina for the presidency.

"Soon after retiring from office in 1834 he suffered a stroke of paralysis and died Aug. 16, 1837. He was the father of nine children, one of whom was John Buchanan Floyd [q.v.]. -- James Elliott Walmsley [C. H. Ambler, The Life and Diary of John Floyd ... (1918); N. J. Floyd, Biog. Geneal. of the Va.-Ky. Floyd Families (1912), pp. 75-80; Hist. of Va. (6 vols., 1924), II, 462-65; sketch by J. E. Walmsley in the Memorial Volume of Va. Hist. Portraiture (1930); the Floyd Manuscripts in the Lib. of Cong., and manuscripts in the possession of Robt. M. Hughes of Norfolk, Va., Richmond Enquirer, Jan. 12, 1830, Feb. 12, 1831.] See also: John Floyd: Dictionary of American Biography Base Set. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936.

Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: The Gale Group. 2004. <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC> "

--

I mention elsewhere the Inaugural celebrations 4 March 1829 hosted by President Andrew Jackson, attended by both John Floyd, then a US Representative and supporter of Jackson and his cousin, General John Floyd of Georgia. The Baltimore Sun reported that

"...the scene inside and outside the house soon reached riot proportions. One spectator was reminded of the Paris mob marching on Versailles at the start of the French Revolution. Representative and Mrs. George Gilmer of Georgia got in the door only by clutching the coattails of Representative and Mrs. John Floyd, whose two stout sons clove a patch for them." (With thanks to Anna Cartlidge.)

(Gilmer was a friend of John Floyd's sister Mourning and her husband Gen. John Stewart in Oglethorpe County, also Gilmer's home. He later was governor, and I have his book, the "Georgians" signed by him. For whatever reason, Floyd refused an appointment to head the Arkansas Territory.) His wife Letitia wrote her nephew Capt. Benjamin Howard Peyton on March 13, 1829 "...I can only say that I wished every friend I have had been present at the Inauguration. Never could I have imagined such a spectacle. The interchange of feeling between the people and President surpassed description. The old Hero was appalled at the majesty of the multitude. We followed in the train to the President's house. Gen Jackson received me kindly -- he has offered your Uncle the Government of Arkansas which Dr. Floyd has declined accepting." (W&M Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 1, June 1913, pp 30-31)

--

A family tale is that Governor Floyd died while visiting his sister Mourning in Georgia. There is nothing supporting that in any written record, although we know he desired to see Mourning as he says in an 1820 letter, unpublished, from my family papers, to John B. Stewart. This letter is transcribed in these notes under John Berrien Stewart.

The Preston Family Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia has this entry: "John Floyd departed this life August 16, 1837 at sunrise on Thursday at the Sweet Springs in Virginia where he was buried on the Hill in the graveyard of Mrs. William Lewis, Sen.... his sister-in-law." My guess is that this death and burial away from home might have led to the Ga. rumor....

In the archives of the Library of Virginia is a faded, ink-run folded letter from the then-29 year old Floyd to his brother-in-law, my 3d great grandfather in Georgia, General John Stewart, who was married to Floyd's half-sister, Mourning. I have transcribed it below as best I could. Where there is the word in caps "blot," the writing is indecipherable; where a question mark, I doubt I got the word right and would welcome suggestions!

The letter is remarkable for the light it sheds on young Floyd: his unhappiness in Kentucky, his view of "the old" Breckinridges, his sorrow at Thomas Preston's death, the sparsity of friends yet in Virginia (when he was only two years from holding elected office!), his appointment as military surgeon, his decision not to return to Kentucky, and his potential removal to Nashville, Tenn. As to who Major Floyd is, the easy choice is his own brother GRC Floyd whom we know was a major. But could it be Davis Floyd, his cousin? I think Davis is the more likely, for surely Floyd would call his brother George, not Major? Gen. Hull was the commander of the army in the northwest, succeeded by Gen. William Henry Harrison. Stewart was born in Amherst Co., married Mourning, and moved to north Georgia where he raised a large family and was appointed a brigadier general in 1796. His effects were destroyed in about 1825 when his home Cherry Hill burned, so it is wonderful this letter somehow survived.... Benjamin Sebastian sold 400 acres of "Muddy fork Bear Grass" land in 1816 to Henry Massie for $4000.

--

Dear Sir,

I cannot make any apology for not writing sooner tho' your letter has been a week or two in the house and am extremely sorry say something more agreeable to you on this score of your removal to Kentucky. I did not formally live very happily in that country but the company of my sister and brother with their families would have made me cheerful & contented any where. Many very many occurrences transpired to make me leave Ky.

But after the death of my poor old mother which took place last May just before I arrived there, would I had expected cause my removal but as I had to administer, my brother having gone to the Army, I found that I in all likelihood would have had some contest with the Breckenridges (some of them), the old ones, I made arrangements with Major Floyd so he was permitted by Gen. Hull to return from the Miami of the Lakes after that, so that I gave up the administration and my land and claims in that country to him, likewise all my bonds for large amounts on my mother, expecting to remain here permanently with my friends.

But oh! What a double double misfortune was awaiting me! My very best beloved friend, my dearest relation, whose company and life could only have rendered any place of earth agreeable where my sister and brother were not, took a malignant fever in Norfolk and died at his own house in Rockbridge before my return home. Wherever in this country without my dear friend Thomas Preston, ardent, aspiring, amiable man! I have no tie since this last worst of all misfortunes to me.

I have been thinking very seriously of going and establishing myself in Nashville, Tennessee. I have been much flattered and much solicited by many there and my uncle Col. Anderson of the 8th R. U. S. Inf. has for years been well acquainted with that country says the finest of lands can now be had very cheap, and as to soil I know it myself not to be inferior to Ky. He says it is not more unhealthy than Ky. It is not in the winter more than 5 or 6 days ride from Lexington, Ky., 200 miles to where my mother lived. What think you of that country?

Major Floyd would perhaps give you more accurate information than myself who has not for many years been much acquainted, though as to the lands in which you are now interested are census claims on Bourbon Shelby County. Likewise the location part of Smith's 5000 in the same place, part of Madison's 5000 BLOT one fourth of 1200 at G Town, part of 400 acres on the Muddy fork of Bear Grass Sebastians, a part of Lenapes(?) entries a part of the legators part of Jos De La Ports (Posts?) 4000 on the Ohio adjoining Hendersons grave, these with perhaps a claim to all Col. Prestons treasury warrant lands and Howard-- Comps(?) lands &c belonging to the estate is 7000 acres we have sold ours to Lynch & Blanton, that is our part.

We are well, my wife joins in love to you and my dear sister and family whom may God preserve for many years…

  • Your friend
  • John Floyd
  • Christiansburgh, Va
  • October 2nd 1812

PS Let me hear from you-- I am detailed as Surgeon to the forces which are expected to march to the coast in November so you see we are busy.

--

(This is a folded letter addressed on the outside with a 25 indicating postage)

Montg Cty Va

Octo 6 1812

Genl John Stewart

  • Lexington
  • Oglethorpe County
  • Georgia

More About GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA JOHN FLOYD:

  • Burial: 21 August 1837, Lynnside or Lewis Family Cemetery, Sweet Springs, Monroe Co., WV

--

Notes for LETITIA PRESTON:

  • Letitia signed her 1843 letter to her son Benjamin Rush Floyd, quoted throughout extensively, as Latitia, rather than the more conventional Letitia.

--

Her bible end notes were published in the August/September 1973 DAR Magazine. She says:

  • Letitia Preston married Dr. John Floyd in Franklin Co. Ky. May 13, 1804.
  • The parents of Dr. John Floyd were John Floyd and Jane Buchanan of Bot. Co. Va.
  • The grandparents of Dr. John Floyd were William Floyd and Abadiah Davis of Amherst Co. Va. and James Patton of of Augusta Co. Va. and his wife Jane Lochrie of Northumberland Co. Penn.
  • Mrs. Buchanan moved to Rockbridge Co. Va. where she died and was buried near Providence Rectory.

Children of Dr. John Floyd and Letitia Preston:

  • 1. Susanna Smith Floyd b. 1805 Smithfield, Mont. Co. Va. Died 1806
  • 2. Gov. John B. (ed. says Patton? should be Floyd!) Patton b. 1806 Smithfield
  • 3. George Rogers Clark Floyd 1807 at the home of Eliza Madison in Roanoke, Va. He died at Christianburg Va. in 1808.
  • 4. William Preston Floyd was b. at Christianburg Va. 1809 (Jan. 15th)
  • 5. George Rogers Clark Floyd was born 1809 (Jan. 15th)
  • 6. Benjamin Rush Floyd was b.1811 at Smithfield, Mont Co. Va.
  • 7. Letitia Preston Floyd was born June 6, 1814 at or near Blacksburg Va.
  • 8. Eliza Lavelette Madison Floyd was was born 1816 at Thorn Springs, Va.
  • 9. Nicketti Buchanan Floyd was born June 6, 1819 at Thorn Springs Va.
  • 10. Coraly Patton Floyd born Jan. 26, 1822 at Thorn Springs Va. departed this life 1833.
  • 11. Thomas Lewis Preston Floyd born 1824 at Thorn Springs Va., died 1824.

--

A very interesting sidelight on the Floyds is this found by B. Franklin Reinauer III on the web, August 2001:

THE FLOYD FAMILY (see Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, 1850-2000, Sesquicentennial Celebration Resource Manual http://www.dwc.org/resource/snapshots.htm )

The family, or domestic church, has always played a central role in the sustaining of the faith. The Floyds of Virginia are just one example of the many families whose commitment to the Church helped to establish a Catholic presence in the Diocese. Bishop Whelan was introduced to John and Letitia Preston Floyd shortly after his arrival in Richmond in 1841. (Editor: note that Governor Floyd was dead by 1837....)

The Floyds were a prominent family in Virginia's political and social establishment. John Floyd was Governor of Virginia and Letitia was the daughter of General Francis Preston. A friendship soon developed and Bishop Whelan became their spiritual adviser, eventually bringing into the Church the female members of the Floyd family. The Floyds went on to play an important role in the establishment of the Catholic Church in southwestern Virginia. Niketti Floyd Johnston, Lavalette Floyd Holmes,and Letitia Floyd Lewis all built chapels on their estates in Tazewell and Monroe Counties, which became the centers of Catholic activity in the region. St. John's Chapel, Sweet Springs, was built in the 1850s by Letitia Floyd Lewis and her husband William. It stands today as a testament to their faith.

And the Catholic Encyclopedia at <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15451a.htm> on the web notes this:

"The conversion to the Faith about 1832 of Mrs. Letitia Floyd Lewis, daughter of Governor John Floyd, which, owing to her prominence, caused a sensation throughout the state, was followed by that of her two sisters, Mrs. Lavalette Floyd Holmes, wife of the erudite Professor George F. Holmes of the University of Virginia; Mrs. Nicotai Floyd Johnston, wife of Senator John W. Johnston, and of three of her brothers, Hon. Benjamin Rush Floyd (a formidable opponent of Knownothingism), Dr. William Preston Floyd, and Colonel George Rogers Floyd. Then followed the conversion of her father, John Floyd, when ex-governor, and of her mother, Mrs. Letitia Preston Floyd, their son, John B. Floyd, like the father, becoming governor of the state, and also later secretary of war under President Buchanan. Mrs. Letitia Preston Floyd was herself the sister of General Francis Preston, who valiantly served his country in the War of 1812, and in the halls of Congress. The conversion of the Floyd and Johnston families led into the Catholic Church other members of the most distinguished families of the South. "

--

At eBay auction on the Web, December 1st, 2001 was an 1837 letter as described here, and the punctuation and spelling are courtesy of the lister:

QUOTE: This stampless letter has a blue circular date stamp for NEW ORLEANS La. JAN 31, a handwritten 25 cent rate, and is addressed to Miss Sarah E. Lewis, Charlottesville, Albemarle county, Virginia, to the care of Mr. John Cochran. It's a three page letter on a single sheet of folded paper, written by Letitia Floyd. The headline is New Orleans, Jany 30" 1837....

Some abstracts: "I have waited so long for the arrival of Letitia and Lavalette, whom I expected would write to you, that I am out of patience.

"We have been nearly two months at this place...

"We left our two oldest daughters at Louisville the first of December, they promising to join us here by Christmas.

"I should have been entirely content here but for the unfortunate notion, my poor old gentleman took in his head of going to Cuba. This desire has harrassed me.

"We hope to be at the Thorn Spring in May.

"Nothing short of one of Gov Benton's most gorgeous smiles could give you an idea of it [the country]. The river so vast, the soil so fertile, the climate so delicious. The people so numerous, such variety of colors and notions, their great wealth, their incredible industry, their striking want of education and cultiviation, their recklessness and want of humane feelings for each other.

"The city [New Orleans] abounds with well dressed fine looking gentlemen, very few ladies. The theatres are very splendid and much resorted to. Nicketti has spent much of her time in the town with Mrs. Grayson, the wife of John Breckinridge Grayson, a kinsman of ours." End of excerpts. END QUOTE

John Floyd died in 1837, so the climate change must not have helped. Did he go to to Cuba?

Letitia's will: information courtesy of Alex Luken: LETITIA FLOYD. Will probated March, 1853. Will Book 3, p. 89. Devises her property as follows: to her sons, George, John, Ben Rush, and William; to her daughters, Lavalette, Letitia and Nicketti. Vol. I, p. 285.

--

From Alex Luken in response to a List query at Amherst County on Rootsweb:

The Indian heritage in the line of William Floyd through his wife, Abadiah Davis. Of the direct descendants, only that of John and Letitia Preston Floyd seemed to openly acknowledge the heritage during that time period; this is the line that the "Nicketti" name appears in, and in the Diary of John Floyd, there is the following entry for November 1831:

Fourth Day. This day my wife arrived and her children, John and his wife, William, Lavalette, Nicketti, Coralie and Woushippakniga.

According to the birth order, "Woushippakniga" would appear to be a nickname for George Rogers Clark Floyd. Also, in the 1850 census, Letitia Preston Floyd is listed in Sweet Springs with her daughter's household, but in the Burke's Garden property, there is a woman, age 70, listed as Nicati Floyd, as head of household, that is the same age as Letitia Floyd. Not sure what to make of it. Alex

--

More About LETITIA PRESTON:

  • Burial: Lewis Family Cemetery, Sweet Springs, Monroe Co., VA, now WV403
     

Children of JOHN FLOYD and LETITIA PRESTON are:

  • 1. i. SAVANNA SMITH7 FLOYD [404],[405],
    • b. 14 March 1805, Smithfield, Montgomery Co., VA [406],[407];
    • d. 29 August 1806, Smithfield, Montgomery Co., VA [407].
      • Notes for SAVANNA SMITH FLOYD: The family bible says Susanna which fits with family tradition. She might have been called Savannah... which I like.
  • 2. ii. GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA JOHN BUCHANAN FLOYD [408],
    • b. 01 June 1806, Smithfield, the Preston home, Montgomery Co., VA[409];
    • d. 26 August 1863, The Hughes home near Abingdon, VA;
    • m. SALLY BUCHANAN PRESTON [410], 1830;
      • b. 14 February 1802, Smithfield, Montgomery Co., VA [410],[411],[412];
      • d. 07 May 1879, Abingdon, VA [413].
        • Notes for GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA JOHN BUCHANAN FLOYD:--These are my notes (or I credit others) which I have seen copied without reference to me. Please use them, but cite me!--
          • His mother entered in her family bible "John Floyd was born at Smithfield on Sunday June the 1st, 1806."
          • Graduated South Carolina College, 1829. Cotton planter, Helena, AR. Virginia lawyer, Abingdon, VA, 1837. Gen Assy VA 1847-48, Governor, 1849-52. US Secretary of War, 6 Mar 1857- 29 Dec 1860. Promoted to MG by VA Assembly, 1863, died at Abingdon, Aug 63. See the DAB, 1943, for a good biography.
          • John B. Floyd and his first cousin, his wife Sally Buchanan Preston, had no children. But see the note under the father of Julia Ann French's children.
          • The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IV
          • "FLOYD, John Buchanan, statesman, was born near Blacksburg, Va., June 1, 1807 (or 1806, better); son of John and Letitia (Preston) Floyd. He was graduated at South Carolina college in 1826 and became a lawyer. He resided near Helena, Ark., 1836-39, and practised law in Washington county, Va., 1839-57. He was a representative in the general assembly, 1847-49 and 1853; governor of the state, 1849-52; Democratic elector in 1856, and secretary of war under President Buchanan, 1857-60. He resigned his cabinet office in December, 1860, on account of the President sending reinforcements to the U.S. forces in Charleston harbor. Having been accused of exercising his privilege while in office in favor of a prearranged plan for the secession of the southern states, and of providing an anticipated demand for arms and ammunition by overstocking southern arsenals he demanded from congress an investigation and speedy trial. A special committee of the house investigated the charges and declared them totally unfounded. After his departure from Washington he was indicted as privy to a defalcation which had occurred in his department. Hearing of it at Abingdon, Va., he returned to Washington, gave bail and demanded a trial, whereupon the prosecution was dropped. On the secession of Virginia he joined the Confederate army, was commissioned brigadier-general, and saw his first service at Carnifex Ferry, Va., Sept. 10, 1861, where he was wounded. He was then transferred to the west, and at Fort Donelson, Feb. 14, 1862, reached the field after the engagement had begun. He declared the position untenable and recommended continuous bard fighting with preparation to retreat if necessary. He directed the battle for two days, which resulted in driving back the Federal right and opening the road to retreat, but General Pillow, second in command, ordered his own division back to their original position, leaving General Floyd's brigade unsupported, and compelling it to return to the lines. He turned over the command to Buckner and withdrew his brigade, the bulk of the Confederate forces being left under General Buckner, who capitulated to General Grant, Feb. 16, 1862. President Davis relieved both Floyd and Pillow of their commands, whereupon the state of Virginia conferred upon Floyd the commission of major general which he held till the failure of his health, due to the hardships of the service. He was married in his early manhood to his cousin, Sally Buchanan (1802-1879)."
          • And then this note from Alex Luken in Louisville: "I am sending you the letter from the Filson Club from a descendant of Henry Crosby Floyd, which mentions that HCF and John Buchanan Floyd attended school together here in Louisville, and that they maintained a lifelong correspondence, in which they referred to each other as "cousin." Who is Henry C. Floyd? (Editor: later, I do not think a relative of any close degree...)
          • Floyd is much disparaged in some history's of his term as Secretary of War and later as a general. (For an example, see the 1911 Ed. of the Britannica Encyclopaedia.) However, a new book is out about John B. Floyd, "Brand of Infamy : a Biography of John Buchanan Floyd," by Charles Pinnegar, Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn., 2002, 235 pp, maps, ISBN 0313321337. It has little on his personal life, concentrating rather on his public life and the infamy that Pinnegar believes was undeservedly heaped on him.
    • More About GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA JOHN BUCHANAN FLOYD:
      • Burial: Sinking Spring Cemetery, Abingdon, Virginia414
        • Notes for SALLY BUCHANAN PRESTON:
          • A cousin of John B. Floyd's, through the Buchanans, Sally Buchanan was a daughter of Gen. Francis Preston, sister of Senator William C. and Gen. John S. Preston of South Carolina, niece of Patrick Henry of Virginia, and granddaughter of Gen. William Campbell, the hero of King's Mountain. They had no children, but adopted Eliza M. Johnston, a relative, who became the wife of Robert William Hughes of Norfolk, Va., judge of the U.S. district court. General Floyd died at Mrs. Hughes's home near Abingdon, Va., Aug. 26, 1863.
          • There are extensive Robert M. Hughes (their son) papers in the Old Dominion University collections concerning Floyds, Johnstons, Prestons, and others. <http://www.lib.odu.edu/aboutlib/spccol/hughescontlist.htm>
  • 3. iii. GEORGE ROGERS CLARK FLOYD [415],
    • b. 20 November 1807, the home of Eliza Madison in Roanoke, Montgomery Co., VA [416],[417];
    • d. 15 August 1808, Christianburg, VA [418].
  • 4. 83. iv. DR. WILLIAM PRESTON FLOYD,
    • b. 15 June 1809, Christianburg, VA;
    • d. Aft. 1870, Tazewell Co., VA.
  • 5. 84. v. MAJOR GEORGE ROGERS CLARK FLOYD,
    • b. 13 September 1810, Christianburg, Montgomery Co., VA;
    • d. 07 May 1895, his daughter's (Mrs. Kelly) residence, Hardee, Logan Co., WV.
  • 6. 85. vi. BENJAMIN RUSH FLOYD,
    • b. 10 December 1811, Smithfield, Montgomery Co., VA;
    • d. 15 February 1860, Washington, DC.
  • 7. 86. vii. LETITIA PRESTON FLOYD,
    • b. 14 November 1814, near Blacksburg, VA;
    • d. 1886.
  • 8. 87. viii. ELIZA LAVALETTE MADISON FLOYD,
    • b. 16 December 1816, Thorn Springs, Montgomery Co., VA;
    • d. 12 September 1887, Sweet Springs, WV.
  • 9. 88. ix. NICKETTI BUCHANAN FLOYD,
    • b. 06 June 1819, Thorn Springs, Montgomery Co., VA;
    • d. 09 June 1908, Richmond, VA.
  • 10. x. NANETTE BUCHANAN FLOYD,
    • b. 06 June 1819.
  • 11. xi. CAROLYN PATTON FLOYD [419],
    • b. 26 January 1822, Thorn Springs, VA;
    • d. 14 July 1833 [420],[421],[422].
      • Notes for CAROLYN PATTON FLOYD: In her mother's bible, she called Coraly Patton Floyd. She is also seen as Coralie Preston Floyd. Her father called her that, eg, see this entry in his diary:
        • Chapter VI. Diary Of John Floyd - Part B, Page 160
        • "Fourth day. This day my wife arrived and her children, John and his wife, William, Lavalette, Nicketti, Coralie, and Woushippakniga." (as to the last, you have me there!)
  • 12. xii. THOMAS LEWIS PRESTON FLOYD,
    • b. 16 August 1824, Thorn Spring, VA [422];
    • d. 04 September 1824, Thorn Spring, VA [423],[424].
  • 13. xiii. MARY MOURNING LEWIS FLOYD [425],
    • b. 10 March 1827, Thorn Spring, VA [425];
    • d. 26 July 1833, VA [426].

Footnotes:

  • 394. See posting by Bonnie Davis on March 14, 1999 on the GenForum Web Page for the Floyd Family: from "Children and Grandchildren of William and Abadiah (Davis) Floyd," compiled by Anna Margaret Cartlidge, 1966. See: the VA State Library Class CS 71, Book F63, 1966, Cop. 2. " (John Floyd) d. 8/21/1837 at sunrise on Thursday at Sweet Springs, VA., where he was visiting his daughter. Buried in Lynnside Cemetary; Sweet Springs, WVA."
  • 395. The Floyd Bible..Letitia Floyd writes in the bible that this was a special Legacy from my devoted mother Mrs. Susanna Smith Preston, of Montgomery Co. Va. This day September 29, 1838 completes my 59th year. " I have obtained these records for the benefit of my children".
  • 396. Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002.
  • 397. Floyd Bible Record in 1973 DAR Magazine. Letitia Floyd writes in the bible that this was a special Legacy from my devoted mother Mrs. Susanna Smith Preston, of Montgomery Co. Va. This day September 29, 1838 completes my 59th year. " I have obtained these records for the benefit of my children".
  • 398. Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002.
  • 399. B. Franklin Reinauer III <bfr3@optonline.net >, op. cit..
  • 400. Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002.
  • 401. B. Franklin Reinauer III <bfr3@optonline.net >, op. cit..
  • 402. There are various spellings of Burke's: Burks, Berks, and so on....
  • 403. B. Franklin Reinauer III <bfr3@optonline.net >, op. cit..
  • 404. Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002.
  • 405. In the Preston bible she is Susanna Smith Floyd.
  • 406. Floyd Bible Record in Aug./Sep.1973 DAR Magazine.
  • 407. Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002.
  • 408. Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IV.
  • 409. Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002.
  • 410. Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IV.
  • 411. Linda's Family File, Linda LaMonte Knopke <lindallk@aol.com>.
  • 412. John Frederick Dorman, "The Prestons...," Filson Club, 1982, says she was born at The Salt Works, Washington Co., VA.
  • 413. John Frederick Dorman, "The Prestons...," Filson Club, 1982, which cites many valuable sources.
  • 414. Linda's Family File, Linda LaMonte Knopke <lindallk@aol.com>.
  • 415. Letitia's Bible.
  • 416. Letitia's bible..
  • 417. Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002.
  • 418. Letitia's Bible.
  • 419. Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002.
  • 420. Family records.
  • 421. F. L. Preston, <fpreston@lcc.net> on his web site.
  • 422. Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002.
  • 423. Family records.
  • 424. F. L. Preston, <fpreston@lcc.net> on his web site.
  • 425. Preston/Floyd Bible preserved in the Library of Virginia, from the Web courtesy Alex Luken, April 2002.
  • 426. Family records.
view all 17

John Floyd, 25th U.S. Governor of Virginia's Timeline

1783
April 24, 1783
Floyds Station, Jefferson County (Present Bullitt County), Virginia (Present Kentucky), United States
1804
May 13, 1804
Age 21
Franklin County, KY, USA
1805
March 14, 1805
Age 21
Smithfield, Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
1806
June 1, 1806
Age 23
West of Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
1807
November 20, 1807
Age 24
Roanoke, Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
1809
January 15, 1809
Age 25
Christiansburg, Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
1810
December 13, 1810
Age 27
Christiansburg, Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
1811
December 10, 1811
Age 28
Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
1814
March 13, 1814
Age 30
Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
1816
December 16, 1816
Age 33
Montgomery County, Virginia, United States