Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871


to show that Mrs. Mathews could not have returned to Georgia, on account of the condition of her health. Among the witnesses was Mrs. Ann Nelson, a daughter of Sampson Mathews, and niece of General Mathews, who testified that she had heard her cousin, Ann Blackburn, declare that her step-mother was “capable of any wickedness.” On the other hand, a paper was filed, signed by thirty persons, including all the Presbyterian  ministers in the county, testifying that Mrs. Mathews was, and always had been, eminently respectable. The ministers were, Archibald Scott, John McCue, William Wilson and John Brown, each of whom appended to his signature the initials V. D. M. (Verbi Dei Minister.) {Latin: Preacher of God’s Word}. Among other signers were Mr. St. Clair, Judge Stuart, Jacob Kinney and Samuel Clarke, the last of whom married a daughter of Sampson Mathews. Evidently, the sympathy of the community was in behalf of the lady. But as far as the correspondence goes, General Mathews cannot be convicted of wrong-doing. She misconstrued some of his expressions, and in one or two instances unjustly accused him. He charged that she had excited the hostility of his servants against him, and yet, strangely, wished her to return and resume her proper relations with him.

It would seem that General Mathews did not defend the suit. At any rate, a judgment or decree was entered in her favor, in 1796. She resumed her former name and lived till 1827, her will being proved in the County Court at December term of that year. She resided in a long wooden house, one and a half stories high, on the south side of Beverley street, near Water street, where the “Crowle Building” now stands (1892).

No one was more respected by the best people of Staunton than Mrs. Reed. Many persons not related to her testified their respect and affection by called her “Aunt Reed.”



In former times this name was often written Stewart, in accordance with the original Scotch mode.

Five or more persons of the name were among the early settlers of Augusta county. One of these (James Stuart) died intestate in 1758. He was probably the father of John Stuart, “of the Middle River of Shenandoe,” whose will was admitted to record August 21, 1771, whose wife was Mary, and whose children were John, James,

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