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NOTES FOR CHAPTER 2

In the Green Mountain season--William B. Coles, ed., The Coles Family of Virginia, New York, 1931, p. 108. Back

called the Green Mountain--I was told by the late Roberts Coles that the Green Mountain got its name from the many poplar trees that turned green early in the spring, thus turning the mountain green while the hills around it were still brown. Back

destroyed by fire in 1839 and rebuilt in 1850--Coles, pp. 643-644.

Just a few examples of this concentration of political power--Edward Coles, governor of Illinois from 1822-1826; John Rutherfoord, acting governor of Virginia from 1841-1842; Isaac Coles, secretary to Presidents Jefferson and Madison from 1805-1809; Edward Coles, secretary to President Madison from 1810-1815; Andrew Stevenson, member of Congress from 1823-1834, Speaker of the House from 1827-1834, and ambassador to England from 1836-1841; Tucker Coles, Isaac Coles, and Andrew Stevenson--all members of the Virginia legislature. Back

Personal friends and relatives of Coles' father--Thomas Jefferson, James Madison (whose wife, Dolley, was a Coles cousin), and James Monroe were the Presidents. Jefferson and Monroe were also Virginia governors, as well as Patrick Henry (also a Coles cousin), Wilson Cary Nicholas (with whom Edward was educated as a young boy), and John Rutherfoord, mentioned above. Back

In Coles' class of about sixty at William and Mary College--Clarence Alvord, Governor Edward Coles, Illinois Historical Society Library, 1920, p. 18. Back

like hogs to market--Isaac Coles to David Watson, November 29, 1797, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, XXX (1922), 230-232. Back

It was a tight, close-knit, and exclusive group--A more detailed discussion of this view can be found in Louis Morton, Robert Carter of Nomini Hall: A Virginian Tobacco Planter of the Eighteenth Century, Williamsburg, 1941, pp. 22-23. Back

five thousand acres worked by close to two hundred slaves--The acreage of Enniscorthy is given in William B. Coles, p. 643. The number of slaves can be estimated in two ways which yield a slight discrepancy. Edward's brother John writes to his uncle John Tucker that the Coles children, exclusive of sister Mary Carter, who had already inherited hers, own between 160 and 170 slaves (John Coles III to John Tucker, July 6, 1808, in the Roberts Coles Collection). Since there were nine children exclusive of Edward's sister Mary, that gave each child about 17 slaves. Adding Mary's portion gives us a bit under two hundred. The other way to estimate the number of slaves on the Enniscorthy plantation is to multiply the number inherited by Edward Coles (20) by the number of ways the estate was divided (ten). For a more general look at the size and character of estates in Albemarle County see Charles Wilder Watts, "Land Grants and Aristocracy in Albemarle County, 1727-1775," Albemarle County Historical Society Papers, VIII (1947-1948), 5-26. Back

Tobacco was the money-maker--See Herbert S. Klein, Slavery in the Americas: A Comparative Study of Virginia and Cuba, Chicago, 1967, pp. 178-179. Back

it tended to push out the small operator--In the early days of tobacco production in Virginia, as in the early days of nearly any industry, the combination of high demand and low production enabled the less efficient small producers to flourish alongside the agricultural giants. But as increased production drove prices down, it became more and more difficult for the small farmer to survive, and by the eighteenth century the large plantation, served by slaves, was well entrenched. See Morton, pp. 118-124 for a description of the process. Back

The earliest known Coles--Information on the genealogy of the Coles family is taken from William B. Coles, op. cit. Some of this material was written by Edward Coles. Back

Robert "King" Carter--Morton, pp. 15 and 19. Back

Two generations later--The information on the branch of the Carter line that was related by marriage to the Coleses is taken from William B. Coles, pp. 92-93 (Edward Carter), 212-213 (Robert Carter), and 711-740 (the children of Robert and Mary Carter). Back

Jefferson's bill abolishing primogeniture--See Merrill Peterson, Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation, New York, 1970, pp. 113-116. Back

Edward's father, John Coles II--I have for convenience dubbed Edward's grandfather John Coles I, his father John Coles II, and his brother John Coles III. Back

In 1769 he married Rebecca Elizabeth Tucker--In the 1844 autobiography Coles writes: My mother's maiden name was Tucker. Her father was a native of Bermuda, and removed to and settled as a merchant in Norfolk, Va., and was a relative of Judge Tucker, the commentator of Blackstone, and of T.T. Tucker, so long Treasurer of the United States, both of whom were also natives of that Island. My mother's maternal ancestors were among the first and most respectable settlers at old Jamestown. Her grandmother was a Huguenot. On April 6, 1857, Coles wrote to Henry Tucker Parrish that St. George Tucker, the famous jurist, was teaching at William and Mary while he was there, and that St. George and his brother Thomas Tucker had treated Edward as a relation (Princeton University Library). Back

British troops commanded by General Tarleton swooped down on Charlottesville--See United States Works Projects Administration, Jefferson's Albemarle: A Guide to Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville, Virginia, 1941, p. 90. Back

Helen Skipwith Coles--Helen Coles to Selina Skipwith, June 5, 1810, Roberts Coles Collection. Back

Edward's brother John writes to his mother--John Coles III to Rebecca Coles, April 27, 1790, Roberts Coles Collection. Back

I wish my dear boy for you--John Coles II to Edward Coles, December 14, 1805, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

We were all disappointed--John Coles II to Edward Coles, December 17, 1806, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

he knew that he could leave his farm safely in his brothers' hands--1827 autobiography, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

his brother Walter bought it from him--Edward Coles to John Coles III, June 2, 1813, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

Edward's brother John entered into a bond--Edward Coles to John Coles III, May 23, 1820, Roberts Coles Collection. Back

Edward's son Roberts (the "s" belongs) decided to come back to Virginia--William B. Coles, pp. 225. Back

At such establishments--Letitia Burwell, A Girl's Life in Virginia before the War, New York, 1895, p. 6. Back

For the ease and self-indulgence--Edward Coles, 1844 autobiography, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

Edward Coles

Chapter 2

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