WPA Burnt Quarter | Gilliams of Virginia

WPA Administration of Virginia Historical Inventory
Relics at “Burnt Quarter”

Dorothy G. Pilout
January 4, 1937
Updated March 13, 2016

Relics at "Burnt Quarter".
The John W. Gilliam Family Bible
Deed from John Fraser and wife to Joseph Lewis
An agreement between Susan Gilliam and Thomas Wilson
Letter written by Joseph G. King to John W. Gilliam, Esq.
Books found at "Burnt Quarter".
Maps and harp music found at "Burnt Quarter."

3.1 miles south of Church Road Post Office, Virginia, on Route #621, thence .3 of a mile west on Route #613, thence .4 of a mile south of Route #613 by private land.

3. DATE:
1809 – 1849

Mrs. H. G. Wheeler, Church Road, Virginia, present owner.

A. This is The Comprehensive Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments according to the authorized version with the various readings and marginal notes usually printed therewith; a general introduction; introductory and concluding remarks to each book; the parallel passages philological and explanatory notes; a table of contents arranged in order; an analysis and compendium of the Holy Scripture; a chronological index, interspersed with synchronisms of the most important epochs and events in profane history; an index of the subjects contained in Old and New Testaments; an index to the notes, introductory and concluding remarks; third edition corrected, published by Judd, Loomis and Company, Hartford, 1837.
This Bible is bound in brown leather and is about the same size of all old Bibles; the back and front both are torn off. The following is written in ink in the front of the Bible: John William and Mary E. C. Gilliam - July 12th, 1838, John and Mary Gilliam.

C. This agreement is written on a long double sheet of paper which is discolored from age, and it is written by hand with pen.

D. The letter is folded to form an envelope, and was sealed with sealing wax. The letter was addressed to John W. Gilliam Esqr. Brunswick County, Virginia, Kennedy's Post Office. In the corner where the stamp ordinarily would be (now), is written twenty-five and in the left hand corner is Covington March 2

Family Register

Marriages: John William The only son of Samuel and Susan Gilliam married Mary Elizabeth Coleman. The only Daughter of Col. Joseph and Mary Goodwyn on the 24th day of April 1832.

Robert Nathaniel the second son of Dr. Sterlin and Ann Neblett married Mary Eliza the oldest daughter of John William and Mary Elizabeth Coleman Gilliam on the 22nd day of December 1852 at Burnt Quarter in Dinwiddie.

Edmund Osborne eldest son of Dr. George and Susan F. Fitzgerald married Susan B. second daughter of John W. and Mary E. G. Gilliam on the3d of April 1855 at Burnt Quarter Dinwiddie, Virginia.

John Arthur Johnston only son of John Arthur and Zeline Johnston married Albenia J. Gilliam daughter of M. E. C. and J. W. Gilliam April 23d, 1867.

Samuel Yates youngest son of John William and Mary Elizabeth Coleman Gilliam married on the 12th day of April 1898, Martha Page only daughter of James Piper and Emma D. Cox, Trinity, Chesterfield Co. (After Samuel Y. Gilliam's death Martha Cox Gilliam married Harry G. Wheeler.)

Births: John William Gilliam the only son of Samuel and Susan Gilliam was born at Poplar Hill in the County of Brunswick on the 10th day of June 1810.

Mary Elizabeth Coleman. The only Daughter of Col. Joseph and Mary Goodwyn was Born at Burnt Quarter In the County of Dinwiddie on the 25th day of December 1812.

Mary Eliza the Daughter of John William and Mary E. C. Gilliam was Born at Mayfield" on the 18th of March 1833.

Susan the Daughter of John William and Mary E. C. Gilliam was Born at Mayfield on the 18th Feb. 1835.

Joseph Peterson the son of John William and Mary E. C. Gilliam was Born at Red Hill on 22nd of February 1837.

Albinia Jacketta the Daughter of John William and Mary E. C. Gilliam was Born at Bothwick on the 12th March 1839.

Daughter of John W. and Mary E. C. Gilliam was Born at Burnt Quarter 12th December 1844.

John William Henry son of John William and Mary E. C. Gilliam was born at Burnt Quarter on 17th April 1842.

Samuel the son of John W. and Mary E. C. Gilliam was born at Burnt Quarter on the 11th July 1845.

Samuel Yates the son of John W. and Mary E. C. Gilliam was Born at Burnt Quarter on the 18th Jan. 1849.

Eliza Goodwyn the daughter of Robert N. and Mary E. Neblett was born at Burnt Quarter on 2 of February 1854.

Infant son of Robert N. and Mary E. Neblett was born at Norborne Hill on the 11 on November 1855. (The other births recorded here were after 1865.)

Deaths: Infant Daughter of John W. and Mary E. C. Gilliam died at Burnt Quarter
on the 20 December 1841.

Samuel the son of John W. and Mary E. C. Gilliam died at Burnt Quarter on the 4th day of December 1847. Was ever sorrow, like mine - J. W. G.

Infant son of Robert N. and Mary E. Neblett died at Norborn Hill on the 28 of November 1855 - his age being 17 days.

Mary Eliza Neblett Daughter of Col. J. W. and M. E. C. Gilliam and wife of R. N. Neblett died at Norborne Hill Nottoway County on the 2nd of June 1865 and was buried at Poplar Hill in Brunswick County aged 32 years 2 months and 14 days.
Susan Fitzgerald second daughter of John William and Mary E. C. Gilliam and wife of Edmund O. Fitzgerald died at Richmond on the 9th day of December 1907 at 4 A. M.

Col. John W. Gilliam the only son of Susan and Samuel Gilliam was born at Poplar Hill in the county of Brunswick on the 10 of June 1810 – and died at his residence ("Bumt Quarter") in the county of Dinwiddie on Tuesday night the 15 day of November at 15 minutes past 1 o'clock 1853 - His age being 43 years 5 months 1 week and 1 day.

Mary Elizabeth Coleman Gilliam daughter of Col. 'Joseph' and Mary Goodwyn and wife of Col. J. W. Gilliam was born at, "Burnt Quarter" their residence on the 25 day of December 1812 and died at "Burnt Quarter" his residence in the County of Dinwiddie on Monday morning June 16th at 17 minutes to 4 o'clock 1884. Her age being 71 years 5 months and 22 days and Was buried at Sweden in Dinwiddie County - Written by her son S. Y. Gilliam.

Died May 22, 1908 in the City of Petersburg Va. Samuel Yates son of Col. Jno. W. and Mary E. C. Gilliam.

Died in Chesterfield County at his residence near Winterpock, Virginia Dr. Joseph Peterson Gilliam son of J. W. and M. E. C. Gilliam on the _____ of April 1912. (Born in 1837)

B. Deed from John Fraser and wife to Joseph Lewis.
[Not included]

C. An agreement between Susan Gilliam and Thomas Wilson

An Agreement made and entered into the 26 day of December one thousand eight hundred and thirty five by and between Susanna Gilliam of the county of Brunswick, on the one part, and Thomas Wilson late of the county of Amelia, on the other part, witnesseth - That the said Susanna Gilliam has rented to the said Thomas Wilson, for and during the term of twelve months, commencing the first day of January 1836, the plantation on which she the said Susanna Gilliam now resides, with every thing on the plantation as ft now stands" except two negroes, Joe and Milly; and two carriage horses; for which the said Thomas Wilson is pay the said Susanna Gilliam the sum of three hundred dollars on the first day of January 1837, to beard the said Susanna Gilliam with her two servants Joe and Milly and two carriage horses, during the year 1836, to pay all the taxes, medical fees and every other expense attending the property during the year 1836, including the, expenses of Joe and Milly and the carriage horses, to keep the plantation in good repair during the year, and to return the same with every thing now on it, (except the crops) including the, increases in as good condition as he received it, and to' replace the present corps, with an equal portion of every kind of the next years growth.

It is further agreed between the parties that the said Thomas Wilson shall have the plantation belonging to the children of Edwd. Anderson and which had been previously rented by the said Susanna Gilliam and that for the use thereof, for the ensuing year, he shall pay to the said Susanna Gilliam one half of the crop of wheat that shall be made thereon.

And the contracting parties bind themselves to the other to comply with this agreement:

In witness whereof they hereto subscribe their names and affix their seals, the day and year first within written.

Thos. C. Wilson Seal Susan Gilliam Seal

Inventory of the property on the before mentioned plantation which comes into my possession 11th the same on the 1st day of January 1836 and for which I am, to account to the within named Susanna Gilliam, agreeably to the foregoing contract viz: 8 stacks of blade fodder supposed to weigh 7200 lbs. A crib of the following dimensions filled with corn in the ears, viz., 14 feet long, 11 feet wide, 7 feet 3 inches high in the body, with a roof of 5 feet (or 6 feet) perpendicular height.

2345 lbs. of pork,
8 Sows
29 Shoats 7 Pigs
3 pair old Traces
2 Db._____
5 Grubing Hoes
5 Cast Steel Axes
3 old Axes
25 Hilling Hoes 2 Small Do
1 Buck clivis and Pin
2 Small clivis and pins
2 ox chains
2 yoke oxen and yokes 1 ox cart
3 pair wedges?
1 Db. ox wheels

D. Letter written by Joseph G. King to John W. Gilliam, Esquire

Kingston (Near Covington) 1st March 1833

Dear Sir:

Your letter dated 13th December ult. came to hand in due course of mail, and my reason for not answering that letter before this was because other letters came in turn, to be answered before yours, which letters also were received from the family and as your letter expressed a desire not to be "formal" I inferred you would rather wait patiently a short time so as to enable me to write a full family social letter _______than for me to write hastily a short business like note, particularly to be ________ and wrote at the hour of Bedtime an excuse for being brief. In affairs of business short letters are certainly proper and discreet· but when two friends particularly relations separate themselves from one another by removal or otherwise and a correspondence ensues between them it is only reasonable to expect as they write on the various occurrences of the day both interesting or amusing that their letters should be filled to the fullest extent, In the Theory of the and propriety of these remarks I confidently believe you will coincide with me and also have no doubt but what you are as sincerely disposed to fulfill it's principles in practice With these assurances I will dismiss all further remarks "on formality" and give you a short history of "!y experience ,in this country - On my arrival the 5th July I found a crop of corn planted but not cultivated also a crop of Hay on hand not only not harvested but dayly [sic] diminishing by drought. I immediately secured my crop of hay about 7 tons. I then turned my attention to the field of corn and gave it a proper ploughing and "hand hoe working" which was the only cultivation it received during the season the result Was about 150 barrels of good corn from 18 acres of land, after leaving the corn field commenced collecting together the necessary materials for my Building improvements as the plantation Was found more destitute of those necessaries, likewise fences, than even your great Creek plantation. I completed in a short time a very commodious and comfortable Kitchen, also a snug chamber, with a closet adjoining so indispensable you know to family comfort, I then about the first November commenced fallowing some land that was sowed about ten years (10 yrs) ago in Timothy. That crop having “run out" to use the Farmers Phrase in consequence of the-original roots of that kind of grass being decayed etc. This land together with the same I made my crop of corn off last year I intend to sow down the ensuing spring in a crop of orchard and meadow oat grass seed equally mixed as it has been satisfactorily ascertained that these two grasses grow and thrive together very kindly and congenially in this climate and soil affording two mowings and a first rate grazing particularly if the summer is the, least seasonable and admitting a. remarkable drought occurs in July August and September the ,farmer here can reap one good crop and have the benefit of good full pasturage. I shall sow about 40 acres this spring in those grass seeds. I enclose some few of the meadow pat grass seed for your inspection and if you have, any desire ever to become a farmer I would advise you to try the experiment by sowing a small patch of those kind of seed in your low grounds on great Creek, to ascertain whether this kind of grass will succeed on your kind of soil to any sort of advantage if so it would be a most invaluable acquisition, it is highly spoken of by old practical farmer as succeeding best on rich miry or moist low grounds, if you desire 1/2 pint or a pint I can send that quantity in small parcels packed in different newspapers so that you will only pay newspaper postage for it but you must first especially instruct your post master to be particular and not suffer those newspapers to be broken open and your seed wasted the ground ought to be put in fine condition and seeded about the first of April, therefore you can govern your self according to your own inclination in this matter. I have been engaged during the winter in repairing and collecting a large quantity of rails and in a few days hence I expect to have some fences equal to any of uncle Bobs. If I live I hope in one more year to be so far advanced in improvement and crops as to remove all those inconveniences which I now labour under and like wise by pursuing an ______ course which would be fully recommended by prudence and discretion I flatter myself in the successful result of my efforts to introduce a profitable systern and establish the necessary buildings which are indispensable on a new settled farm before any thing like uniform comfort and prosperity can be enjoyed by the occupants and ultimately to rejoice in the wisdom and propriety of the removal of my family to a soil more worthy of human labour than the one they were born in, and to see their attachments to their adopted home “grow with their growths and strengthen with their strengths." I am truly happy to inform you that Eliza's health and spirits at present is as good as I ever saw her enjoy in Brunswick altho her health from the time of my arrival till 1st November occasionally interrupted by symptoms somewhat similar to the prevailing Epidemic' (Cholera) but since the first Nobr. she has been gradually improving both in health and cheerfulness, insomuch that it is a remarkable fact that I would have doubted any person who might have predicted to me at the time I departed from Va. that Eliza would have become so early reconciled to this country. Also our children enjoy unusual good health and have rosy, mountain complexion in fact I have but one objection to this country and that is the uncertainity of retaining our slaves in the vicinity of so large a city as Cincinnati in a free state the difficulty is chiefly with those slaves who are ambitious, obstinate, or untractable, I think I only have two of this description, Wesly (or Westly) and Manning. Wesly who has been hired out about Covington before my arrival long enough to learn some of the Kentucky negro insolvence together with a share of their lofty notions, from fear restrained himself until: a few days ago, when he, thought he would try a small experiment of insolvence and then run off before my face, he was very quickly overcome by superior force and tied hands and heels of course I gave him one of my damndest which so disabled him as to be rendered totally unfit for work for several days after, at present to understand his sphere better, I have no doubt if we live himself and Manning? will be a couple of candidates in the Natchez Market before next fall; we have had, some consolation recently in finding out that provided the master will immediately offer a large Reward not one can possibly escape entirely, (with the exception of such are remarkable artful and cunning and have the advantage of a large sum of money in hand to pay pilots). It is a fact proven by my' Brothers last year's experience that even the free negroes in Cincinnati are the most active to find them and to give their masters the information for the sake of "Judas” Silver Bait" if it is any ways liberal. Give my respects to Uncle Bob and inform I addressed a long letter to him in the fore part of January. Give my respects to your mama and state to her that Eliza received the letter dated 23rd January at present Eliza sends her love to her mama, Cousin Mary and all the family, you can also give my love to Cousin Mary and state to her that Eliza and myself is very anxious to know whether there is any prospect of a B__y. You can inform your mama, that the Scarlet Fever is very mild in its symptoms in this country and is seldom fatal neither my family or my brother's have so far experienced it. Brother has not arrived at Home from New Orleans yet, but is daily expected. In the course of the last 24 hours we had one of the deepest snows to fall we have seen this winter I suppose it is about 1 foot deep, however the winter has been remarkable mild and open, I have sold wood at $2.25 to $2.50 pr. cord a price much lower than ever has been known to sell at since the mild winter of 1828. The glut of wood the present winter has been carried to a great extreme in consequence of the high price it commanded last winter (from 5¢ to 89¢ pro cord) which price a great many speculators, who are now most damnably disappointed and will quit ______most generally with much less. I will make from 75¢ to $1 pro cord clear money after deducting the expense of chopping and hauling which is considered very discouraging. I only prepared 375 cords for market as the low price will back out speculators and glutters. I expect to make something by the business in future. I must now close my letter dear John by begging that you will as soon as possible write me a letter chock full of all sorts of news - one of those kind of letters is richlv worth 25 cents but a Blank one "Nothing·

As ever I remain yours sincerely with respect,
Joseph G. King

E. The following are books found at "Burnt Quarter" published one hundred years ago or more. All of these books are now the property of Mrs. Harry G. Wheeler.

F. Mrs. Harry G. Wheeler, the present owner of "Burnt Quarter" showed me several very old maps. Some of these maps pertain to the War Between the States, and one was made during a court enquiry. There is a map of Five Forks and Petersburg

I found several sheets of harp music while searching through this old house. It is thought that this old music is much over a hundred years old, but no date appeared any whereon it.

7. ART:


Mrs. H. G. Wheeler, Church Road, Virginia, owner, and relics themselves.

  • Hooper, Kathryn Sawyer. “Burnt Quarter.” Southside Virginian. Volume 13, Number 2, page 76.
  • Pilout, Dorothy G. WPA Administration of Virginia Historical Inventory. Relics at “Burnt Quarter”