"General Nelson...was excelled by no man in the generosity of his nature, in the nobleness of his sentiments, in the purity of his Revolutionary principles, and in the exalted patriotism that answered every service and sacrifice that his country might need," James Madison 1789.
The above newly erected National Park Service sign at the Nelson House reads as follows, "Thomas Nelson Jr.'s legacy is a lasting example of a life dedicated to independence for his country. His support towards political freedom from Great Britain began while a member of Virginia's colonial legislature. In addition to protesting British taxes and leading Yorktown's tea party, pattered after the one in Boston, he was one of Virginia's delegates to the Continental Congress.
In May 1776 he advocated that Virginia officially support independence - a proposal that helped lead to the Declaration of Independence, signed by Nelson and 55 others. nelson continued to support the Revolution through political channels and used his own funds to purchase military supplies. On June 12, 1781, he was elected the third Governor of Virginia and faced the greatest challenge of his political career - the invasion of the British Army.
As General of his state's militia, Nelson participated in the Victory at Yorktown. One day after the British surrender Governor Thomas Nelson Jr. wrote to the Continental Congress "...the whole loss sustained by the enemy...must be between 6 & 7,000 men. This Blow, I think, must be a decisive one."
In November 1781, Nelson resigned as governor, poor in health, and in debt. He died on January 4, 1789, and was buried next to his father and grandfather at Grace Church, just one block from his home." Photo Credit: Kathy Fisher
The Nelson House
08/29/2005 01:00:00 AM