Letitia Preston Lewis (Floyd) (1814 - 1887) MP

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Birthplace: Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Monroe County, West Virginia, United States
Managed by: Jason Floyd
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About Letitia Preston Lewis (Floyd)

From the research of Lynn Spellman:


Letitia Floyd Lewis’ Conversion to the Catholic Church and St. John’s Chapel

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. "

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Letitia Lewis's Timeline

March 13, 1814
Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia, United States
June 14, 1844
Age 30
February 16, 1887
Age 72
Monroe County, West Virginia, United States
March 19, 1897
Age 72