Interesting Facts

  • The Alum Springs mentioned in this 1847 book are not that of New London, but were in Rockbridge County, north of Lexington (New London was not listed on the included map): Moorman, John Jennings. The Virginia springs: with their analysis: and some remarks on their character, together with a directory for the use of the white sulphur water, and an account of the diseases to which it is applicable : to which is added, a review of a portion of Wm. Burke’s book on The mineral springs of western Virginia, etc. … Philadelphia:  Lindsay & Blakiston, 1847. Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 (accessed November 29, 2018).
  • In Moorman’s 1851 book on the Virginia Springs, New London is only mentioned as a place to pass through from Lynchburg to Liberty to the spring towns beyond (pp. 72, 124). Moorman, John Jennings. A guide to the Virginia springs: giving, in addition to the routes and distances, a description of the springs, and also of the natural curiosities of the state. Staunton, VA: Cowan, 1851.
  • The three books listed by Moorman in the Bibliography are nearly all direct quotations of each other. It seems that Moorman reused material without much rewording.
  • According to Daisy Read (p. 3), Thomas Jefferson’s grandson, Francis Epps, attended the New London Academy (no date given). Jefferson directed the Poplar Forest overseer to create a “truckle-bed” for Francis to sleep by himself so that he would not catch the itch, which was going around. Founders Online has letters from Francis Eppes and his cousin John Wayles Baker to Thomas Jefferson indicating that they were going to school in Lynchburg in April 1813 ( and
  • James Steptoe was a close friend of Thomas Jefferson, having met in college at William and Mary. They visited each other when Jefferson was at Poplar Forest. It is possible that James’ son, William Steptoe, and grandson, Edward J. Steptoe, met Thomas Jefferson or some of Jefferson’s grandchildren on one of these visits. Edward would have been a small boy, having been born in 1815.
  • Wikipedia ( has Jubal A. Early’s great-grandfather as Jeremiah Early of Bedford County, who is mentioned in Martin’s Buying into the World of Goods. Wikipedia has Jeremiah Early purchasing an iron furnace in Rocky Mount (in what would become Franklin County) with his son-in-law Col. James Calloway. This is corroborated by Martin’s Buying into the World of Goods.
  • Martin’s Buying into the World of Goods has the Franklin County Courthouse being established near James Callaway’s ironworks, but states that no town grew up there because he refused to sell lots. Martin also states that James Callaway owned or co-owned Washington Iron Works and Carron Forge. Whether these are the same place, I do not know.
  • Martin’s Buying into the World of Goods has that “Toward the end of the war [American Revolution] Thomas Jefferson claimed that James Callaway’s Washington Iron Works forge supplied almost a quarter of the bar iron and the furnace about 14 percent of the pig iron manufactured in Virginia.”
  • Read’s New London Today and Yesterday has the tradition of Thomas Jefferson visiting Col. James Callaway’s home at Royal Forest and playing the fiddle at a dinner or dance.
  • The Edmund Randolph listed by Martin’s Buying into the World of Goods as Hook’s lawyer in the Ross-Hook Case may be Thomas Jefferson’s cousin Edmund Jennings Randolph, Virginia attorney and politician during the early United States Founding era. However, this is just speculation.
  • According to Duke University’s Guide to the John Hook papers, after sequestration proceedings began against him in 1791 in the Ross v. Hook case, Hook hired several different lawyers in Richmond, including James Innes, Edmund Randolph, Philip Norbonne Nicholas, John Marshall, and Patrick Henry. His heirs hired William Wirt and Benjamin Watkins Leigh. Of note is that Patrick Henry argued against Hook in the Hook v. Venable case in 1789.
  • Anyone researching the Arsenal at New London should check the information on the W.W. Driskill General Store and the Alum Springs Hotel, for they are on the same properties that the Arsenal is believed to have occupied.
  • Anyone researching either the New London Academy or the New London Church (at the Academy)/the Academy Church should also look at the information for the other one.