Cash Wizard R. D. Shepherd and His Fabled Making – McMurran Hall, Shepherdstown, WV by Jim Surkamp
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Patriarch R. D. Shepherd’s Homecoming 1859
1_About how a young boy from Shepherdstown
About how a young boy from Shepherdstown created a significant fortune through do the job, smarts and an act of his have heroism for yet another then, turns about and offers considerably of it back as McMurran Hall, an Almshouse in New Orleans and other gifts.
2_R. D. Shepherd had a demanding, flinty way
R. D. Shepherd had a demanding, flinty way, but on paper and in the globe at huge did his big generosities stand tall, pervade the landscape and enrich the hearts of humanity.
3_Seventy-5-calendar year-old Rezin
Seventy-5-calendar year-old Rezin Davis Shepherd, explained by the New Orleans Picayune as owning “the biggest and most successful estate which has ever been held by one person in this city and State” – commenced the building Thursday, Oct sixth, 1859 of a reward to his property town, this time correct on large amount no. 1 in Shepherdstown, the very large amount the place he was born in August 1, 1784.
four_Who understood that in 10 fleeting day
Who understood that in 10 fleeting days – Oct sixteenth – background would be blown off its hinges by the John Brown raiders’ assault fifteen miles absent at Harpers Ferry, the match that lit the simmering fever of division in between
5_North and South over slavery
North and South over slavery and claimed rights to secede from the Union. The tempest raged back and forth over the county and the town for 1300 hundred days of pitiless strife and war ahead of settling back into staying a barren, alien landscape.
RD’s (“RD” henceforth for “Rezin Davis Shepherd”) creating – wonderful as were being all his buildings remains a Greek Revival model, with a two-story-portico and Corinthian flourishes. But in the 1860s, it would bear witness to all that was rent asunder and alone narrowly stay clear of destruction, not like a considerably less blessed altruistic juggernaut challenge of Shepherd’s in New Orleans – the palatial Almshouse. But this, RD’s Town Hall, first named, would ultimately stay a “long, satisfied life” first as the County Courtroom, then into its present-day majesty as the signature creating of Shepherd University.
Escalating Up – RD Learns the Trade:
seven_When he was just 9 many years old
eight_placed him in the shop and counting household
When he was just 9 many years old, RD’s father, Abraham, placed him in the shop and counting household in Baltimore of William Taylor,
9_an formidable importer and ship-operator
an formidable importer and ship-operator. RD’s incredible gifts surfaced when he – just eighteen – was despatched to New Orleans to guarantee a good return on a big shipment of British goods his agency had procured for New Orleans’ consumers. Then his first massive “killing” was with yet another clean-faced, tricky-driving Taylor colleague, James McDonough. Wrote the Picayune: In Oct, 1803, it was well recognised during the state that Louisiana had been procured by the United States. Mr. Taylor was the only service provider who appeared to comprehend the profit from one consequence of the this fantastic political event.
ten_in getting a state
11_all sugar imports thereafter
twelve_cornered 1800 of people hogsheads
The agency recognized that in getting a state, a responsibility of 2.5 cents would be extra to the price of all sugar imports thereafter. So Shepherd and McDonough – when all the sugar produced in the state was in between 2100-2200 hogsheads – cornered 1800 of people hogsheads, offering young RD “a handsome cash for a young guy to start off in mercantile existence.” He quickly designed a new agency shared with Taylor, then in time through age and retirement turned RD’s by yourself.
thirteen_Coming into his have
Coming into his have, he married Lucy Taylor Gorham of Barnstable, Massachusetts in 1808, who was “a niece and adopted daughter” of Taylor. On August twenty second, 1809, their only kid, Ellen Shepherd, was born in Louisiana. (Lucy would die in 1814).
14_the penchant of RD
It was at this juncture the penchant of RD for frequent, publicity-averse benefactions took root, in the second of his willed defiance towards a immediate military services order to do the job, instead, to conserve one particular wounded guy, still left for lifeless in war, a guy who himself would stay on to develop into the epitome of the proverbial Fantastic Male, albeit
15_His name was Judah Touro
extraordinarily rich. His name was Judah Touro, a top-hatted, but humble Jewish businessman who thought in regard for all religions and day by day applications of the code of good works. He was beloved during his circles and area as “the Israelite without having guile.”
Wrote Creator Colyar:
16_Wrote Creator Colyar
17_carrying ammunition on the fight subject
Whilst carrying ammunition on the fight subject Jan. 1, 1815 Mr. Touro was struck by a twelve-pound shot which tore
19_a huge mass of flesh from the thigh
a huge mass of flesh from the thigh and prostrated him among the the lifeless and dying. Mr. Rezin Shepherd, was carrying a unique order from Commodore Patterson throughout the river to the primary army. On reaching the bank he satisfied a buddy, who told him his buddy Touro was lifeless. Inquiring the place he was, Shepherd was educated that he had been taken to
an old creating in the rear of Jackson’s headquarters. Forgetting his orders, Mr. Shepherd went promptly to the place and located he was not lifeless, but, as the surgeon said, in a dying issue. Disregarding what the surgeon said, Shepherd received a cart, set him in it, administered stimulants, and took Touro to his have household. He then procured nurses, and by the closest consideration, Mr. Touro’s existence was saved. Mr. Shepherd returned late in the day,
21_Commodore Patterson in a lousy humor
owning done his mission, to discover Commodore Patterson in a lousy humor, and, talking seriously to him, the latter said: “Commodore, you can cling or shoot me, and it will be all correct, but my ideal buddy wanted my guidance, and practically nothing on earth could have induced me to neglect him.”
RD’s businesses ongoing to expand exponentially and his brother, James Hervey Shepherd, was summoned from Shepherdstown to assist.
22_Shepherd, was summoned from Shepherdstown to assist.
1817-1837 – RD travels to Europe, settles in Boston doting on his daughter’s education.
23_1822 – RD maintained his businesses
24_at 5 Pearl Street and close by 28 Indian Wharf household.
1822 – RD maintained his businesses and shipping and delivery problems at 5 Pearl Street and close by 28 Indian Wharf household.
twenty five_her portrait painted by Thomas Sully
26_Gilbert Stuart is commissioned to paint his have portrait
He has her portrait painted by Thomas Sully in 1831, a couple of many years immediately after Gilbert Stuart is commissioned to paint his have portrait. (Stuart died in 1828).
1829, April 20 – Ellen Shepherd marries Gorham Brooks of Medford, Massachusetts.
1834 – RD commissions Samuel Fuller to develop the 480-ton service provider ship in Medford, named immediately after his daughter, the “Ellen Brooks.”
27_James Hervey Shepherd dies
1837 – James Hervey Shepherd dies. RD returns to operate businesses in New Orleans.
1837, July 23 – Ellen (Shepherd) Brooks and her husband, usually in Boston or Medford, temporarily reside in Baltimore.
28_nephew, Henry Shepherd Jr.
1837-1865 – RD’s nephew, Henry Shepherd Jr., who was introduced up in his uncle’s counting home, progressively assumes the position as RD’s agent in New Orleans.
29_portray of the ship the “Ellen Brooks” is concluded
1839 – RD’s commissioned portray of the ship the “Ellen Brooks” is concluded, attributed to Samuel Walters (British, 1811-1882), called “Ellen Brooks, Off Holyhead, Homeward Sure.”
1841 – RD buys 468 acres of land and commences creating Wild Goose Farm, but not yet living there whole-time he also pays for most of the transforming of the authentic Trinity Episcopal Church in Shepherdstown.
1842, June – RD signs a petition to Congress alongside with various other planters and sugar companies in the state of Louisiana that asks for an increase in the responsibilities on imported sugar.
1849 – RD locations tasks on his eighteen-calendar year-old nephew, Henry Shepherd Jr., who would develop into his agent in New Orleans through the Civil War, letting RD to return extra completely to his Wild Goose Farm.
30_Wild Goose Farm
31_the 1850 Census demonstrates
32_1850 and 1860 Census slave schedules
1850 – In Shepherdstown & Wild Goose Farm the 1850 Census demonstrates sixty six-calendar year-old RD with a period of time worthy of of $240,000, living only with workmen: 26-calendar year-old German-born grasp stonemason Conrad Smith and an overseer. Despite the fact that one account states Touro stipulated that RD cost-free his enslaved people, RD is revealed to owning owned various people, enumerated in both equally the 1850 and 1860 Census slave schedules.
1854, January sixth – Touro’s Will tends to make Rezin Davis Shepherd residuary legatee of the estate and executor $395,000 is willed to precise recipients. A sum iof $80,000 is set apart for a palatial almshouse, with the extra stipulation to RD that extra sums, if wanted, need to be utilised to full this precedence challenge.
Judah Touro designed out his will January six, 1854 a couple of days ahead of his dying that said:
33_my expensive, old, and devoted buddy, Rezin Davis Shepherd
34_I hereby appoint and institute him
As regards my other designated executor, say my expensive, old, and devoted buddy, Rezin Davis Shepherd, to whom, under Divine Providence, I am drastically indebted for the preservation of my existence when I was wounded on the 1st of January, 1815, I hereby appoint and institute him, the said Rezin Davis Shepherd, immediately after payment of my particular legacies, and the money owed of my succession, the universal legatee of the rest and residue of my estates, movable and immovable.
35_funded transforming of the Trinity
RD ongoing his projects both equally in New Orleans and Shepherdstown. He had presently funded transforming of the Trinity
36_prepared a clock and bell to its authentic church
Episcopal Church. He prepared a clock and bell to its authentic church then immediately after some authorized squabbling – the clock – to everyone’s assent – was reassigned to be inserted in to the new federal government creating.
The Shepherd Spouse and children is Scattered By War:
37_The war hit the loved ones tricky
The war hit the loved ones tricky. Most of the young guys enlisted in Virginia units. RD had to recalibrate his company approaches. Wrote the Richmond Day-to-day Dispatch: June eight, 1861:
The New Orleans Delta states that R. D. Shepherd, Esq., who is now at an state-of-the-art time of existence, living on his wonderful farm around Shepherdstown, Virginia, has directed his agent in New Orleans to pay over to the treasurer of the Accomplice States a huge sum of income, such as, it is said, his entire once-a-year income from rents in that city — the biggest income liked by any residence holder — to be applied to the defence of the rights and the help of the independence of the South.
38_spring of 1862 when Federal Common Banks
In the spring of 1862 when Federal Common Banks with his army entered into Jefferson County, RD took refuge in Boston with his daughter.
39_As the war progressed
As the war progressed, its maw of destruction arrived nearer to Shepherdstown’s just about full creating. a hundred thirty,000 troops moved in the region in September, 1862 for the bloody Maryland Marketing campaign, just throughout the Potomac river. Wounded from the close by battles poured into Shepherdstown, placing the unfinished Town Hall into company as an outdoor clinic.
Wrote Mary Bedinger Mitchell:
forty_The unfinished Town Hall had stood in naked ugliness
The unfinished Town Hall had stood in naked ugliness for quite a few a prolonged day. Any person threw a couple of rough boards throughout the beams, placed piles of straw over them, laid down one planks to stroll on, and lo, it was a clinic at when.
There were being 6 churches and they were being all whole, the barn-like place recognised as the Drill Space, all the non-public homes immediately after their capacity, the retailers and empty buildings, the faculty-homes – each inch of area and yet the cry was for extra home.
We went about our do the job with pale faces and trembling fingers, yet striving to seem composed for the sake of our patients, who were being considerably fired up. We could listen to the incessant explosions of artillery, the shrieking whistles of the shells, and the sharper, deadlier extra thrilling roll of musketry although each now and then the echo of some charging cheer would arrive, borne by the wind, and as the human voice would pierce that demoniacal clangor we would capture out breath and hear, and test not to sob, and flip back to the forlorn hospitals, to the struggling at our ft and ahead of our eyes although creativity fainted at the imagined of people other scenes hidden from us further than the Potomac.
Had Federal Common George McClellan crossed the Potomac and pursued Common Lee’s scattered and mauled army, as historians have considerably criticized him because for not accomplishing, Shepherdstown would have likely suffered greater hurt, but, as it was, shells landed in the yards of the Lees and Morgans and one or two even hit Shepherd’s new Town Hall, but were being of small consequence.
Residence Losses in New Orleans:
41_RD’s great residence at 18 Bourbon Street
forty two_18 Bourbon Street in New Orleans
More invasive, improvised use was staying designed of RD’s great residence at 18 Bourbon Street in New Orleans, leading to his nephew to formally enchantment to the Federal powers-that-be in early 1864. He wrote:
forty three_From Brig. Common James Bowen
January 29, 1864
From Brig. Common James Bowen
Provost Marshal Common
Office of the Gulf.
The undersigned performing as the duly authorized agent and legal professional in actuality of Rezin Davis Shepherd, formerly the Point out of Virginia, but for extra than eight months previous residing with his daughter Mrs. Gorham Brooks in the city of Boston and Point out of Massachusetts, respectfully signifies: That the said Shepherd is a faithful citizen of the United States and the accurate and lawful operator of the Brick Dwelling No. 18 Bourbon Street in between Canal and Custom made Residence Streets in the Town of New Orleans and also of all the home furnishings and contents thereof: that in the month of June, 1862 Col. Stafford without having clearly show of authority, placed in possession of said household and contents, a guy by the name of Horton or Houghton, who has ever because occupied and now occupied and employs the identical as a Boarding Residence, and who in no way has compensated any rent or compensation there and constantly refused to do so.
Beneath the situation, the undersigned respectfully appeals to you, Common, for reduction, and asks that the matter be referred to Capt. Edward Webpage and Thomas Tileston, or other of them for investigation and that the aforesaid premises and contents be restored to the possession of the operator without having hold off Henry Shepherd Jr.
Like The Town Hall, the big, magnificent Almshouse in New Orleans remained unfinished, to be hit by a even worse destiny. Shepherd was charged by Touro’s will to first set $80,00 toward its building, then be ready to set extra income into its building- such as even some of Shepherd’s have cash – as recipient of Touro’s residue.
forty four_occupied by detachments of the 2nd Maine Cavalry
45_The fire began
46_Baked beans fired the creating
On September 1, 1865, at a time the Almshouse in New Orleans – still with an unfinished, floorless top floor – was occupied by detachments of the 2nd Maine Cavalry and Business K, 1st Louisiana Cavalry. A baking oven was in hefty use at one end of the creating so that warmth would be carried through a fissure in a air flow technique close by. The fire began in the rafters higher than the third floor. It was evening-time with a superior wind and no flooring yet laid for the third floor in that wing. Coals dripping from the fire then ignited tar on the reduced walls. “Baked beans fired the building” said one from the 2nd Maine Cavalry. The creating was uninsured. Just a couple of months afterwards R. D. Shepherd died of typhoid fever, November ten, 1865, no extended the executor of the estate, leaving no philanthropist to help make up the reduction.
Wrote the editors of the Times-Picayune in a prolonged obituary:
In his indigenous village he erected a splendid creating, created for a town hall, also a huge academy, with wonderful grounds and a stroll. He also deposited with the Mayor on a yearly basis a huge sum to obtain gasoline and provisions for the lousy. He also erected the biggest and most expensive church in Jefferson County. Quite a few other functions of general public and non-public benevolence were being done by him in his silent, furtive manner.
With war ended and when he was still balanced, RD had urged that his Town Hall develop into the County Courtroom because the Charlestown courthouse was a fight-scarred destroy, especially from a shelling it took in the drop of 1863.
A Customer Contemplates Charlestown’s Ruined Courthouse in mid-1865:
47_the court docket-household, the place that mockery of justice was done, was a destroy
48_Four significant white brick pillars, still standing, supported a riddled roof
A quick stroll up into the centre of the town took us to the scene of John Brown’s demo. It was a consolation to see that the jail had been laid in ashes, and that the court docket-household, the place that mockery of justice was done, was a destroy abandoned to rats and toads. Four significant white brick pillars, still standing, supported a riddled roof, through which God’s blue sky and gracious sunshine smiled. The primary portion of the creating had been basically torn to parts. In the floor-considerably less hall of justice rank weeds were being expanding.
forty nine_Names of Union troopers were being scrawled alongside the walls
Names of Union troopers were being scrawled alongside the walls. No torch had been applied to the wood-do the job, but the do the job of destruction had been done by the fingers of hilarious soldier-boys ripping up flooring and pulling down laths and joists to the tune of “John Brown,” the inflammation melody of the tune, and the accompaniment of crashing partitions, reminding the citizens, who imagined to have destroyed the old hero, that his soul was marching on. It was also a consolation to know that the court docket-household and jail would probably in no way be rebuilt, the county-seat owning been eliminated from Charlestown to Shepherdstown — “forever,” say the resolute faithful citizens of Jefferson County, who rose to vote it back again.
fifty_either buried in Elmwood Cemetery or the Shepherd Burial Floor
The Shepherd boys who enlisted in Virginia corporations each – over time – arrived property and were being either buried in Elmwood Cemetery or the Shepherd Burial Floor – or lived.
51_Clarence Edward Shepherd
Clarence Edward Shepherd turned a teacher in Maryland.
Whilst RD’s nephew and agent, Henry Shepherd Jr. was in New Orleans all through the war, minding the loved ones passions, three of his brothers were being at war. The eldest Rezin Davis, his more mature brother who had a young loved ones
fifty two_eldest Rezin Davis, his more mature brother who had a young loved ones
because 1858, died of disease November 2, 1862 at his “river cottage” immediately after imprisonment in the Old Capitol Jail for staying an affiliate of Accomplice spy, Redmond Burke. He still left his widow, Elizabeth Boteler Stockton Shepherd, two little ones (Fannie and Alexandria) and a third (David) on the way. Almost certainly first buried on his farm, Rezin Shepherd (a nephew of the patriarch) was reburied immediately after peace arrived in the new Elmwood Cemetery. His site was joined by all his loved ones as time unspooled.
fifty three_20-5 calendar year-old Abraham
Henry Jr.’s future brother, 20-5 calendar year-old Abraham, enlisted Could twenty second, 1861, would go over to Co. F. of the seventeenth Virginia Cavalry, get wounded at the third fight of Winchester in September 19, 1864, and develop into a prisoner of war. But he survived the war and died quite a few many years afterwards in 1907.
fifty four_Henry Jr.’s younger brother, James Touro (Truro) Shepherd
Henry Jr.’s younger brother, James Touro (Truro) Shepherd, enlisted as a Non-public Could 1st, 1861 in the 2nd Virginia Infantry. Like quite a few, the rigors of marching under Gen. Stonewall Jackson proved an impetus to transfer out into a Cavalry regiment, and he joined Co. B of Gen. Stuart’s Horse Artillery under John Pelham, with a marketing to first lieutenant. His company document ends abruptly in the spring of 1862. The Shepherdstown Register in September, 1865 described him owning died in “Richmond City” in March, 1862. His marker dates his dying as August thirteen, 1862, which may well be the day of his re-internment into the loved ones burial ground.
Two sons of James H. and his wife, Florence Hamtramck Shepherd were being buried a couple of ft apart in the loved ones burial ground on Shepherdstown’s New Street adjacent to the Episcopal rectory. Robert F. Shepherd, who joined Co. H, 2nd Va. Infantry, died Could four, 1862 of pneumonia.
55_Robert F. Shepherd, who joined Co. H, 2nd Va. Infantry
fifty six_Alexander H. Shepherd
Alexander H. Shepherd, who enlisted when he was about 20-eight April four, 1861 in Co. H of the 2nd Virginia Infantry he died of typhoid fever at Camp Harman around Fairfax Courthouse September twenty five-26, 1861.
57_Rezin Davis Shepherd was buried there much too
Rezin Davis Shepherd was buried there much too, in his have time.
He still left all his fortune to his daughter, who, because 1855, had been a widow.
Wrote the Shepherdstown Register: A Huge Estate – the late Rezin D. Shepherd still left an estate valued at about $1,500,000 all of which goes to his daughter, Mrs. Brooks of Boston. He was born in 1784 (on the large amount the place the court docket household would be created). In 1809 he went to New Orleans and engaged in the fee company right until 1849 and was the executor of the estate of the late Judah Touro. Mr. Shepherd was formerly a service provider in this city, residing on Large Street. He gathered a very huge residence in New Orleans and was reputed to be one of the wealthiest guys of that city. Upon the breaking out of the riot, he returned to Boston and resided for a quick time with his daughter and sole heir, Mrs. Gorham Brooks, widow of a son of the late Peter C. Brooks. His estate on Large Street was formerly, we imagine the residence of Samuel Dexter.
The Massachusetts Historical Culture today shows a cannon donated by the loved ones and obtained by RD – a lesser model of the one that so seriously wounded RD’s buddy, Judah Touro.
The browsing journalist Trowbridge was demonstrated wrong – the county seat DID go back to the Charlestown Courthouse. Wrote the editors of the Charlestown-based newspaper, The Spirit of Jefferson, in 1894:
fifty eight_The Typical School creating, formerly the town hall
The Typical School creating, formerly the town hall, on Primary Street, is a handsome structure, the reward of one of the Shepherd loved ones, Rezin D. from which the town can take its name. You will remember that it was utilised as a court docket household because the war and the courts of Jefferson county were being held there, one Choose Hall sitting on the bench. A political rape was perpetuated on Charlestown, the party in power, fitly termed radicals, imagined they had a guaranteed issue of it, created a jail and extra a wing to either side of the town hall, but “the ideal laid techniques of mice and guys gang af’t aglee.” The fellows that did all this mischief were being turned down by the men and women and points took their standard form and Charlestown was again the county seat.
Shepherd University commenced when the county seat of Jefferson County, West Virginia, was moved from Shepherdstown to Charles Town in July 1871. On February 27, 1872, the Legislature of West Virginia passed the adhering to act: “That a branch of the Point out Typical School be and the identical is hereby set up at the creating recognised as Shepherd School, in Shepherdstown, in the county of Jefferson.”
fifty nine_RD’s descendant, Shepherd Brooks
RD’s descendant, Shepherd Brooks, designed it remaining when he deeded the residence and creating over to the School and a three-person board of trustees to manage it.
As they say, options reverse, the tide of existence had absent out – and – arrived back in again.