The front elevation of the main house in 2010
|Nearest city||Forkland, Alabama|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|NRHP reference #||84000618|
|Added to NRHP||May 10, 1984|
Thornhill is a historic plantation near Forkland, Alabama. The Greek Revival main house was built in 1833 by James Innes Thornton.The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 10, 1984.
Plantations are an important aspect of the history of the American South, particularly the antebellum era. The mild subtropical climate, plentiful rainfall, and fertile soils of the southeastern United States allowed the flourishing of large plantations, where large numbers of workers, usually Africans held captive for slave labor, were required for agricultural production.
Forkland is a town in Greene County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 649. It was incorporated around 1974.
Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.
James Innes Thornton was born October 28, 1800, at the Thornton family plantation known as Fall Hill, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was educated at Washington and Lee University and then emigrated to Huntsville, Alabama. He began to practice law there in 1820. He was elected as Alabama's third secretary of state in 1824 and remained in that position until 1834. After this he retired from public life and became a planter in Greene County. Thornton married Mary Amelia Glover in 1825, daughter of Allen and Sarah Norwood Glover of Demopolis.They had two children. Her brother, Williamson Allen Glover, developed the neighboring plantation known as Rosemount. Mary died after only a few years. In 1831, Thornton remarried to Anne Amelia Smith of Dumfries, Virginia. Anne died in 1864. He then remarried in 1870 for a third and final time to Mrs. Sarah Williams Gould Gowdy, daughter of William Proctor and Eliza Chotard Gould of the Hill of Howth in Boligee. Thornton died at Thornhill on September 13, 1877.
James Innes Thornton was a prominent Alabama, USA, planter and politician.
Fall Hill is a plantation located near the falls on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Though the Thornton family has lived at Fall Hill since the early 18th century, the present house was built in 1790 for Francis Thornton V (1760–1836). The land on which Fall Hill is located is part of an 8,000 acres (3,200 ha) land patent obtained by Francis Thornton I (1657–1727) around 1720. The present-day town of Fredericksburg, Virginia is located on that original patent.
Fredericksburg is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,286, up from 19,279 at the 2000 census. The city population was estimated at 28,360 in 2017. The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the United States Department of Commerce combines the city of Fredericksburg with neighboring Spotsylvania County for statistical purposes.
Regarding the Thornton connection to George Washington, Mildred Washington Gregory, George Washington's paternal aunt and godmother, had three daughters who married three Thornton brothers. Mildred Gregory's daughter Frances (circ. 1720-1790)(first cousin of George Washington) married Col. Francis Thornton III (circ. 1711-1748) of Fall Hill. They were the great-grandparents of James Innes Thornton.
Thornhill Plantation was developed as a cotton plantation in the early 1830s and extended over 2,600 acres (11 km2). It utilized the labor of 156 slaves by 1860. About a third of the slaves lived in quarters behind the plantation house. According to the diary of Josiah Gorgas, in talking with Thornton at Thornhill on Tuesday, June 6, 1865, less than two months after the end of the Civil War, Thornton "oppos(ed) ... the doctrine of secession and necessary deduction that we fought so valiantly (in the War) and bled so freely in a cause radically wrong." Gorgas pointed out however, "He has, I learn however, done his share to sustain the war, & perhaps that consciousness makes him talk the more freely of his former views"
Josiah Gorgas was one of the few Northern-born Confederate generals and was later president of the University of Alabama.
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.
In the context of the United States, secession primarily refers to the voluntary withdrawal of one or more states from the Union that constitutes the United States; but may loosely refer to leaving a state or territory to form a separate territory or new state, or to the severing of an area from a city or county within a state.
William Nichols is believed to be the architect of the main house at Thornhill. Nichols became the state architect of Alabama in 1827. He is known for designing the now-destroyed Alabama State Capitol building at Tuscaloosa and the former Mississippi State Capitol building in Jackson, Mississippi. The house at Thornhill was completed by 1833. The monumental two-story portico with six Ionic columns was added circa 1850. David Rinehart Anthony, of Eutaw, is believed to be the builder who made the portico addition and second story balcony (crisscrossed lattice railing). The house measures 55 feet (17 m) wide. Inside is a 14 ft (4.3 m) wide by 40 ft (12 m) long central hall with a spiral staircase at the back. There are two rooms to either side. The left front room was the parlor, with the dining room behind it. On the front right was the master bedroom with the plantation office behind it. Upstairs is a matching hall and four bedrooms. All eight rooms are 19.5 feet (5.9 m) square. The downstairs rooms have 12-foot (3.7 m) ceilings. The upstairs ceilings are 11 feet (3.4 m).
William Nichols, Sr. was an English-born architect who emigrated to the United States and became most famous for his early Neoclassical-style buildings in the American South. He is best known for designing early statehouses for North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 100,287 in 2017.
The Old Mississippi State Capitol, also known as Old Capitol Museum or Old State Capitol, served as the Mississippi statehouse from 1839 until 1903. The old state capitol was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. In 1986, the structure was designated a Mississippi Landmark and became a National Historic Landmark in 1990.
Originally there was a brick kitchen behind the house, it later burned. Additions were made to the original structure from circa 1890 to 1949. They were razed in 1994 and rebuilt to better match the original intent of the house. The house and grounds were extensively recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1934.The plantation schoolhouse was constructed circa 1845. The Thornton children, as well as neighboring plantation children, were taught there. Surrounding the schoolhouse are 230-year-old post oaks.
Quercus stellata, the post oak or iron oak, is a North American species of oak in the white oak section. It is a slow-growing oak that lives in dry, poor soils, and is resistant to rot, fire, and drought. Interbreeding occurs among white oaks, thus many hybrid species combinations occur.
Buried in the family cemetery, located a few hundred feet east of the main house, are:
Grandson James Innes Thornton (March 10, 1873 - July 23, 1951) was re-interred in Eutaw's Mesopotamia Cemetery, next to his second wife, Helen Williamson Allison Thornton (February 15, 1890 – December 12, 1963). His first wife, Betty Woolf Thornton (April 23, 1887 – September 22, 1932), was re-interred in the Dayton Cemetery.
Thornton's first wife, Mary Amelia Glover Thornton, is buried in the Glover Mausoleum at Riverside Cemetery, Demopolis. His third wife, Sarah Williams Gould Gowdy Thornton (June 11, 1824 – August 23, 1885), is buried in the Bethsalem Cemetery, Boligee.
Thornhill may refer to:
Joseph Eggleston was an American planter, soldier, and politician from Amelia County, Virginia. He represented Virginia in the U.S. Congress from 1798 until 1801. He was the uncle of William S. Archer.
Charles Hays was a U.S. Representative from Alabama.
The Glover Mausoleum, also known as the Glover Vault, is a Greek Revival mausoleum located within the Riverside Cemetery in Demopolis, Marengo County, Alabama. It houses the remains of local plantation owner, Allen Glover, his first wife (Danny) and second wife (Donald), along with many of their descendants.
The Foscue–Whitfield House, best known as the Foscue House, is a historic Federal style plantation house just outside the city limits of Demopolis, Alabama, United States.
Rosemount is a historic plantation house near Forkland, Alabama. The Greek Revival style house was built in stages between 1832 and the 1850s by the Glover family. The house has been called the "Grand Mansion of Alabama." The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 27, 1971.
St. John's-In-The-Prairie, now known as St. John's Episcopal Church, is a historic Episcopal church in Forkland, Alabama.
Boligee Hill, now known as Myrtle Hill, is a historic plantation house near Boligee, Alabama. The Boligee Hill plantation was established in 1835 by Dr. John David Means. He had migrated to Alabama from Newberry, South Carolina. Dr. Means had 110 slaves according to the 1850 Greene County census. The house was built in 1840. It was acquired by the Hays family in 1869 and renamed Myrtle Hall for the sweet myrtle growing around it. The property was restored in 2007 by the Beeker family and renamed Myrtle Hill. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 19, 1982 due to its architectural significance.
Kirkwood is a historic plantation house in Eutaw, Alabama. The house was recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1934 and by Carol M. Highsmith in 2010. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 17, 1976, due to its architectural significance.
The John Coleman House, also known as Grassdale, is a historic plantation house in Eutaw, Alabama, United States. The two-story wood-frame I-house was built by John Coleman from Edgefield, South Carolina, on property that he settled in 1819. Coleman held 75 slaves during the 1840 United States Census of Greene County. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Antebellum Homes in Eutaw Thematic Resource on December 6, 1982, due to its architectural significance. Coleman family members, as well as many slaves, are buried in a cemetery close to the house. The house is currently used as a hunting lodge.
The Old Greene County Courthouse is a historic courthouse in Eutaw, Alabama, United States. It housed the seat of government for Greene County from 1869 until 1993. The building is a two-story masonry structure in the Greek Revival style with Italianate influences. Architect Clay Lancaster proposed that it may be the last Greek Revival public building to be built in Alabama. It replaced an earlier wooden courthouse on the same site that was built in 1838. The prior courthouse was burned in 1868, in what is considered by most historians to have been a deliberate act of arson that was executed to destroy indictments brought by the recently installed Radical Reconstruction government against local citizens. The fire destroyed paperwork pertaining to some 1,800 suits by freedmen against planters which were about to be acted on. The courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 24, 1971, due to its architectural significance.
Stephen F. Hale was an American politician who served as a Deputy from Alabama to the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1862. In July 1862, he died of wounds received at the Battle of Gaines' Farm, in Virginia.
Coleman House may refer to:
Mordecai Barbour was a Culpeper County Militia officer during the American Revolutionary War and a prominent Virginia statesman, planter, and businessperson. Barbour was the father of John Strode Barbour, Sr., member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia's 15th congressional district; and the grandfather of John Strode Barbour, Jr., member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia's 8th congressional district and United States Senator; James Barbour, prominent Virginia statesman and planter; and Alfred Madison Barbour, Superintendent of the Harpers Ferry Armory during John Brown's raid.
William Thornton was a prominent planter and Colonist in 17th–century Virginia. He was one of approximately thirty early Virginia colonists to progenerate descendants that through intermarriage would establish themselves as a political and social 'aristocracy' in America. Among his most notable descendants are U.S. Presidents James Madison and Zachary Taylor.
Abram Penn, also known as "Abraham Penn" was a noted landowner and Revolutionary War officer from Virginia.