Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic
biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biographyplease
submit a rewritten biography in text form.
If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century
Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor
Virtual American Biographies
Over 30,000 personalities
with thousands of 19th Century illustrations, signatures, and exceptional life
welcomes editing and additions to the
biographies. To become this site's editor or a contributor
or e-mail Virtualology here.
RUTHERFOORD, Thomas, merchant, born in Glasgow, Scotland, 7 January, 1766; died in Richmond, Virginia, 31 January, 1852. He was designed by his family for the church, but at the age of fifteen years entered the counting-house of Hawkesley and Rutherfoord, Dublin, Ireland, at the head of which was his eldest brother, John. In 1784 he was sent to Virginia in charge of two vessels with valuable cargoes, and went to Richmond, where he established a warehouse. In 1788 he returned to Dublin and became a partner in the firm, but he came again to Richmond in 1789, made that city his home, and married there in I790. Beginning with a capital of £600, he accumulated a handsome fortune. He was successful both in the shipping and milling business, was public-spirited, and exercised great liberality. He gave to the city of Richmond the ground on which the penitentiary now stands, and made other gifts of city property to private citizens. When too old to continue in active business, he collected around him his many friends and relatives and was the centre of a charming circle, whom he entertained by his bright conversation and witty sayings. He left a manuscript autobiography in his own handwriting, which is preserved by his descendants. During the congressional session of 1820 the question of a protective tariff was raised for the first time. The merchants of Richmond, in September, 1820, adopted a memorial protesting against a course so injurious to their interests, and Mr. Rutherfoord was selected to draft it. It was presented in their behalf by John Tyler; and in after-years, when ex-President Tyler was invited to lecture in Richmond, he selected for his subject "Richmond and its Memories"--one of those memories being "Thomas Rutherfoord, his Anti-Tariff Memorial and other Political Writings."== His eldest son, John, born in Richmond, Virginia, 6 December, 1792; died at Richmond., Virginia, in July, 1866, received his education at Princeton, and studied law, but practised his profession only a short time. He was for many years president of the Virginia mutual assurance society, the first institution of this kind in the state, and held this post until his death. He was the first captain of the Richmond Fayette artillery and became colonel of the regiment, and was known thenceforth as " Colonel John." Colonel Rutherfoord became lieutenant-governor of Virginia in 1840, and, upon the death of Governor Thomas Gilmer in 1841, succeeded him as governor, which place he filled for more than a year. During this period he conducted a correspondence with Governor William H. Seward, of New York, concerning a demand that he had made, as governor of Virginia, upon the latter for the rendition of fugitives, which discussion of constitutional obligations won him reputation as a statesman and as a writer. For years he was associated in intimate correspondence with the first public men of the day, among them ex-President John Tyler and his relatives, William C. Rives, and President Madison. He was always active in public affairs and of proverbial integrity, and won friends by his courteous manners and profuse and elegant hospitality, ills portrait is in the capitol at Richmond with those of the other governors and distinguished men of Virginia. At an entertainment at his house General Winfield Scott; pronounced his eulogy upon Robert E. Lee, saying that "he was a head and shoulders above any man in the army of the United States, and that in case of war on the Canada question he would be worth millions to his country." This expression of opinion had great influence in Lee's being called by Virginia to assume command of the state forces at the opening of the civil war.-John's only son, John Coles, born in Richmond, Virginia, 20 November, 1825; died at Rock Castle, Gooehland County, Virginia. in August, 1866, received a good education, studied one year at Washington college, Virginia, and was graduated at the University of Virginia in 1842. Subsequently he studied law, and practised with success in Goochland and the adjoining counties. At the age of twenty-seven he was elected to the house of delegates, and he represented his county for twelve consecutive years. He was at different times chairman of the most important committees of the house, and was favorably known as a debater and writer. He contributed, under the signature of "Sidney," some able articles to the press ; one, on "Banking," published in pamphlet-form, especially gained him literary reputation. He possessed great popularity both as a public man and as a private citizen. He died within the week after his father's death.
This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected,
associated with or authorized by the individual, family,
friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or
the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated
sites that are related to this subject will be hyper
linked below upon submission
and Evisum, Inc. review.
Please join us in our mission to incorporate America's Four United Republics discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The
People. Click Here