John T. Anderson

Last updated
John T. Anderson
Member of the VirginiaHouseofDelegates
from the Botetourt district
In office
December 3, 1827 December 4, 1831
Servingwith Fleming B. Miller, Thomas Shanks
Preceded by James L. Allen
Succeeded by William Anderson
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the Allegheny, Bath, Botetourt, Pocahontas district
In office
December 1, 1834 December 4, 1842
Preceded by Charles Beale
Succeeded by John McCauley
Member of the VirginiaHouseofDelegates
from the Botetourt and Craig district
In office
December 5, 1859 March 15, 1865
Servingwith James McDowell, Green James
Preceded by F.H. Mays
Succeeded by William Anderson
Personal details
Born 1804 (1804)
Botetourt County, Virginia, U.S.
Died 1879 (aged 7475)
Virginia, U.S.
Alma mater Washington College
Occupation Lawyer, industrialist

John Thomas Anderson (April 5, 1804 – August 27, 1879) was a nineteenth-century American lawyer, iron manufacturer and politician who served in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly, representing Botetourt and nearby counties.

Virginia General Assembly legislative body of Virginia, United States

The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World, established on July 30, 1619. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates, with 100 members, and an upper house, the Senate of Virginia, with 40 members. Combined together, the General Assembly consists of 140 elected representatives from an equal number of constituent districts across the commonwealth. The House of Delegates is presided over by the Speaker of the House, while the Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. The House and Senate each elect a clerk and sergeant-at-arms. The Senate of Virginia's clerk is known as the "Clerk of the Senate".

Botetourt County, Virginia County in the United States

Botetourt County is a United States county that lies in the Roanoke Region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Located in the mountainous portion of the state, the county is bordered by two major ranges, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains.

Contents

Early life

Anderson was born in 1804 at Walnut Hill plantation in Botetourt County, Virginia to William Anderson (1764-1839) and his wife, the former Anne Thomas (1779-1848). His father had moved into the Appalachian mountains from Delaware to mine and manufacture iron, and also operated the Walnut Hill plantation using enslaved labor. The family included ten children, including six sons, of which John and his brothers Gen. Joseph Reid Anderson and Judge Francis Thomas Anderson would become prominent. Like his father, John Anderson was active in the local Presbyterian church, serving on the vestry for more than 25 years, as well as on the board of the Fincastle Academy. [1] He was educated at Washington College 1845-53. [2]

Joseph R. Anderson American civil engineer, industrialist, and soldier

Joseph Reid Anderson was an American civil engineer, industrialist, politician and soldier. During the American Civil War he served as a Confederate general, and his Tredegar Iron Company was a major source of munitions and ordnance for the Confederate States Army. Starting with a small forge and rolling mill in the mid-1830s, It was a flourishing operation by 1843 when he leased it. He eventually bought the company outright in 1848 and forcefully and aggressively built Tredegar Iron Works into the South's largest and most significant iron works. When the Civil War broke out he entered the Army as a Brigadier General in 1861. Shortly after he was wounded and then resigned from the Army returning to the iron works. It was the Confederacy's major source of cannons and munitions, employing some 900 workers, most of whom were slaves. His plant was confiscated by the Union army at the end of the war, but returned to him in 1867 and he remained president until his death. Anderson was very active in local civic and political affairs.

Francis Thomas Anderson was born in Botetourt County, Virginia. He received his education at first from his mother and then at the school of Curtis Alderson at Ben Salem in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Later he attended the Fincastle Classical School for several years before enrolling in Washington College, from which he graduated at the age of nineteen. He studied law under Fleming B. Miller and Chancellor Creed Taylor and was admitted to the bar at the age of twenty-one. For a few years, he taught a small class of law students, but because of his law practice, he had to give that up. In 1855, he moved to Rockbridge County where he lived until 1866. According to a statement found in the archive of the Virginia Military Institute, "Judge F. T. Anderson was to give an oration and raise the US flag at the court house, but when he learned that Virginia had seceded he announced that the flag now "was in the hands of the enemy and would not be raised in Lexington."" He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1861 but owing to impaired health, declined re-election in 1863. In 1869, he resumed the practice of law and, in 1870, was appointed to the Supreme Court of Appeals. Here, he remained until 1883 when he retired and returned to private practice. From 1879 until his death, he was rector of Washington and Lee University.

Washington and Lee University private liberal arts university in Lexington, Virginia, United States

Washington and Lee University is a private liberal arts university in Lexington, Virginia. Established in 1749, the university is a colonial-era college and the ninth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

Despite a fiery temper, Anderson married widow Cassandra Shanks Patton, and helped raise her three sons as well as at least two Shanks nephews. However, their only child to reach adulthood, Joseph Washington Anderson (1836-1863), enlisted in the Confederate States Army, became an artillery officer and died in Mississippi in May 1863, although not before he married Miss Anna Morris of Louisa County and sired children who would survive their grandparents. [3]

Career

The Virginia Capitol at Richmond VA
where 19th century Conventions met View of Capitol, Richmond, Va. April,1865 - NARA - 529087.tif
The Virginia Capitol at Richmond VA
where 19th century Conventions met

As an adult, Anderson began his law practice in Fincastle, the county seat of Botetourt County. It and the family's ironworks were successful, so that Anderson was able to purchase a plantation, Mt. Joy, near Buchanan, Virginia around 1840, shortly after their father's death. [4] After his brother Joseph moved to Richmond in 1841 and introduced slave labor at the Tredegar Ironworks (buying the corporation several years later), John Anderson sent semi-processed iron ingots from Botetourt county to supply that early factory, which became the most important ironworks in the south. In the 1850 federal census, John T. Anderson owned 31 enslaved people in Botetourt County's Western District. [5] Another brother, Francis Anderson, moved to Rockbridge County and likewise established an ironworks there circa 1850.

Fincastle, Virginia Town in Virginia, United States

Fincastle is a town in Botetourt County, Virginia, United States. The population was 353 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Botetourt County.

Buchanan, Virginia Town in Virginia, United States

Buchanan is a town in Botetourt County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,178 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was the western terminus of the James River and Kanawha Canal when construction on the canal ended.

Tredegar Iron Works

The Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, Virginia, was the biggest ironworks in the Confederacy during the American Civil War, and a significant factor in the decision to make Richmond its capital.

Botetourt County's voters several times selected John Anderson as one of their representatives. Despite losing some elections as well, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate for more than two decades. [6] In 1834, voters from Botetourt as well as nearby Allegheny, Bath and Pocahontas Counties elected him to the state senate, with Roanoke County being added to the list of included counties in 1839, as he won re-election. [7] However, he failed to win re-election to the state Senate in 1843, but in 1850, Botetourt's voters (along with those of neighboring Roanoke, Alleghany and Bath Counties elected Anderson as one of their three delegates to the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1850, alongside Fleming B. Miller and William Watts. [8] He again won election to the House of Delegates representing Botetourt and Craig Counties in 1859, serving alongside James McDowell [9]

Roanoke County, Virginia County in the United States

Roanoke County is a county located in the U.S. state of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 92,376. Its county seat is Salem.

Alleghany County, Virginia County in the United States

Alleghany County is an American county located on the far western edge of Commonwealth of Virginia. It is bordered by the Allegheny Mountains, from which the county derives its name, and it is the northernmost part of the Roanoke Region. The county seat is Covington.

Bath County, Virginia County in the United States

Bath County is a United States county located on the central western border of the Commonwealth of Virginia, on the West Virginia state line. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,731; in 2015, the population was estimated at 4,470, it the second-least populous county in Virginia. Bath's county seat is Warm Springs.

In the months preceding the American Civil War, unlike his brother Francis, John Anderson became a prominent secessionist, and as a member of the Committee on Military Affairs from 1860 to 1861 prepared for hostilities. [10] He also represented Botetourt and Craig Counties in the House of Delegates throughout the war, alongside Green James. [11] Union General David Hunter raided Botetourt County in mid-1863 and burned this Anderson's manor house, Mt. Joy, to the ground, but allowed Anderson's wife an hour to gather her most important possessions and leave. Their only son Joseph would join the Confederate Army after graduating from the Virginia Military Institute, as would Francis' son William. Joseph Anderson died in Mississippi and William Anderson would be discharged because of his war wounds in 1863 -- but then studied at the University of Virginia, and became a lawyer who led efforts against Congressional Reconstruction in Lynchburg, Virginia, helped rebuild the Democratic party and would serve in the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1901 which stripped African American and poor Virginians of many rights. Ironically, the son of the Mt. Joy overseer, William Nace, who enlisted in the 22nd Virginia Infantry and who missed the Battle of Gettysburg to attend to his dying father, would become one of the last surviving Confederate veterans in that area, and his modern descendants would revisit the rebuilt Mt. Joy estate. [12]

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

David Hunter Union Army general

David Hunter was a Union general during the American Civil War. He achieved fame by his unauthorized 1862 order emancipating slaves in three Southern states, for his leadership of United States troops during the Valley Campaigns of 1864, and as the president of the military commission trying the conspirators involved with the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

Virginia Military Institute state-supported military college in Lexington, Virginia, USA

Founded 11 November 1839 in Lexington, Virginia, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is the oldest state-supported military college and the first public Senior Military College in the United States. In keeping with its founding principles and unlike any other Senior Military College in the United States, VMI enrolls cadets only and awards baccalaureate degrees exclusively. VMI offers its students, all of whom are cadets, strict military discipline combined with a physically and academically demanding environment. The Institute grants degrees in 14 disciplines in engineering, the sciences and liberal arts, and all VMI students are required to participate in one of the four ROTC programs.

Death

John T. Anderson died in Virginia in August, 1879. He is buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery in Fincastle. [13] The University of Virginia library maintains the Anderson family papers in its special collections. [14]

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References

  1. http://mindrumfamilyhistory.com/getperson.php?personID=I28113&tree=mindrum
  2. Pulliam 1901, p. 101
  3. http://mindrumfamilyhistory.com/getperson.php?personID=I28113&tree=mindrum
  4. http://mindrumfamilyhistory.com/getperson.php?personID=I28113&tree=mindrum
  5. 1850 U.S. Federal Census--slave schedules for , Western District, Botetourt County, Virginia (John T. Anderson entry split between 2 pages. The 1860 census may have indexing problems, for a quick search failed to locate a John Anderson in Botetourt county, only John T. Anderson in Hanover County, much nearer Richmond, and John W. Anderson in Bedford County near Lynchburg.
  6. Cynthia Miller Leonard, The Virginia General Assembly 1619-1978 (Richmond: Library of Virginia 1978) pp. 338, 343, 348, 355,
  7. Leonard pp. 374, 378, 383, 387, 391, 395, 399, 403, 469, 478, 483
  8. Leonard p. 441
  9. Leonard pp. 469
  10. Pulliam 1901, p. 101
  11. Leonard pp, 478, 483
  12. http://nacelithia.blogspot.com/2010/08/nace-family-introduction.html
  13. Findagrave.com No. 5494626
  14. https://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=uva-sc/viu03869.xml

Bibliography