The following sketch was received inthe 1890Â’s by my ancestor, S. Bassett
French, as a contribution to his proposed book, Â“Annals of Prominent
Virginians of the 19th Century.Â” Sarah Lyle Johnson
Some Briefs of the life of John Wm. Yancey of Rappahannock County, Va.
Who was born the 7th of March 1803.
Raised to farm life with advantages of school instruction during the war of 12
and several years thereafter in the English branches, together with elements
of Mathematics as taught in the schools of that day. In early life devoted six
of seven years to school teaching. Has a vivid recollection of the burning of
the theatre in Richmond in 1811. and likewise that of the battle of New
Orleans by Gen. Jackson.
During his residence in the County of Orange 24 was present at a reception
given to Gen. Lafayette & suite in company with Hon. James Barbour and Gen.
Lawrence T. Dade etc en route to Fredericksburg.
Was a member of the Cavalry company of escort to Gen. Lafayette & suite in
company with . . . Munroe thro Culpeper in 1825 en route to Washington City.
Was resident in Georgia from 25 to 29, was intimately acquainted with many of
the near relations of the philanthropist and statesman Her H. Stephens, then a
sprightly, diminutive orphan of 10 or 12 yrs of age.
During the years Â‘30 to Â‘34 was engaged as partner & storekeeper in a country
place. The last named year settled permanently for life on farm in his adopted
Since that time during these intervening years he has not sought the suffrage
of his countrymen but was appointed and served his county at different periods
in the different appointments of Magistrate, Coroner, Commissioner Elections &
Schools &c overseer of the poor.
Has served his political party. The Whig convention of 1840 in nominating for
President Wm Henry Harrison at Richmond. Likewise in the same city W. L.
Goggin for Gov. of Virginia.
Has served as Exc of two large estates, one in Culpeper in which he gave a
bond for Fifty Thousand Dollars with approved security and another in the
County of Orange in a bond of Thirty Thousand for the faithful performance
thereof.Was never a politician, but voted uniformly with the Whig party.
Has for the past half century attended the services of the Baptist Church.
The above are some of the recollections of a long life, should any of them be
unsuitable for your purpose please discard them.Your Humble ServantJ. W. Yancey
Jan. 3 1893