Westmoreland News

Follow Us On:

Hungerford makes his mark

Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 6:01 am

Stuart Butler, with master of ceremony Charles Belfield looking on, discusses the life of John Hungerford.

A muggy, rainy, insect-filled morning on the banks of the Rappahannock River in Leedstown greeted the crowd gathered to honor John Pratt Hungerford. The weather did not dampen the enthusiasm of anyone. At the entrance to the campground, a new historical marker was unveiled by the James Monroe Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Society of the War of 1812 in Virginia.

Stuart Butler, author and historian, went over the highlights of Hungerford’s life as part of the ceremony. Brigadier General Hungerford served in the Westmoreland County militia during the War of 1812. He was born in Leeds, what is know known as Leedstown, on January 2, 1761. He lived his life within a one-mile range of his birthplace and passed away at Twiford Plantation on December 21, 1833. He is buried in the Hungerford cemetery in Leedstown.

Hungerford also served during the Revolutionary War as a Captain in the Virginia State Regiment in 1779 and 1780.

Hungerford served in the Virginia House of Delegates (House) several times. The first term was 1797-1801, then for months until his election was overturned in 1811, he was then elected for a term in the U.S. Senate from 1813-1817.

He returned to the House in 1823 until he finished his final term in 1830. He also spent eight years in the State Senate from 1801-1809.

He never married and had no children, however, he did practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

According to the Journal of the House of Delegates of the State of Virginia Hungerford was a slaveowner who petitioned the House for payment over the loss of a slave while jailed. The slave, named Looney, was arrested for a felony, became severely frost bitten while jailed and later died.

Read more of this story in the August 16 issue of the Westmoreland News.