McDonalds of Virginia
Chapter 12 -
Anne Sanford McDonald
Anne Sanford McDonald, second daughter of
Angus W. Mcl5onald and Leacy Anne Naylor (his wife), was born in Romney,
Virginia, Oct. 30th, 1830, and named for her maternal grandmother, Anne
When about twelve years of age, Anne lost
her mother and having been much associated with her in her last illness
her death made a most vivid and lasting impression upon her youthful
Soon after that sad experience she was
sent away to Winchester to attend Madam Togno's school, It was about
three years after the death of his wife that Angus W. McDonald, Anne's
father, began to entertain serious thoughts of emigrating to Missouri,
and the home at Romney was broken up for a time. The two older girls and
their little sisters were sent to board at Mrs. Green's in Winchester,
and the boys were all despatched to Hannibal, Mo., staying at the home
of their uncle, Edward C. McDonald.
The big family was now widely separated,
but the home at Mrs. Green's was always remembered as being a most happy
one, with many relatives in close proximity. Anne developed into a most
charming and attractive woman, having many admirers.
The marriage of her father in 1847 to
Miss Cornelia Peake resulted in bringing them all together again in the
old home at Romney, the half formed plan of locating in Missouri having
been finally abandoned. About four years later her father having large
interests on the line of the B. and O. RaiIroad, near what is now the
town of Keyser, the family soon moved to a new home, "Wind Lea," as it
was called, a picturesque old stone mansion built on one of the foot
hills of the Alleghenies and overlooking the north branch of the Potomac
river, as it winds its graceful way between the shores of Maryland on
its north bank and Virginia's shores on the south. And the house is
still standing, seemingly in good repair; from the deep, \vide cellar,
to the crown of its peaked roof, and might easily have done duty as a
fortress in Colonial days. The location is one of surpassing beauty, and
the view from the house it-elf, picturesque and romantic in the extreme.
It was while the family made their home
at "Wind Lea" that Anne was married to Mr. James W. Green on Dec. 20th,
1855, a son of Judge John W. Green of the Virginia Court of Appeals, and
himself a prominent lawyer of Culpeper, being also a brother of Judge
Thomas Claiborne Green.
Soon after their marriage they moved to
their sweet home near the town of Culpeper, which they named
"Glengarry," and life flowed in very pleasant channels for five or six
years, when the war came, with all its attendant evils. Mr. James Green
having always been a staunch believer in the doctrine of States' Rights,
at once interested himself in organizing a company; supplying its
equipment largely from his private means; Anne measuring each soldier
for his uniform, and the ladies of Culpeper making them. He declined the
office of Captain, because he said he had no military training, but
accepted the 1st. Lieutenancy, and through Marshall McDonald, who was
then Professor at the H. M. I., he secured a detail of cadets to drill
the Company, and this organization was among the first to offer its
services to the Confederate government, and fought in the first battle
This shortly necessitated the breaking up
of the happy home at "Glengarry" and Anne was compelled to move with her
three little children to safer quarters; going first to Charlottesville,
then to Lynchburg and finally settling in Richmond. Her husband was not
allowed to remain a company officer very long, however, his rare talent
for business and methodical management soon bringing him into prominent
notice, and he was promoted to the rank of Major and placed in charge of
the Quartermaster's Department of Gen. Kemper's Brigade.
This life of a "refugee" was a very
strenuous one, but Anne met the changed conditions with a brave heart
and a cheerful spirit. In June, 1864, her father was captured by Hunter,
and his family learning of his suffering in prison at Wheeling made
vigorous efforts to have him released.
Anne, discovering that General Hitchcock,
the United States Commissioner of Exchange, was the same who had been
her father's classmate and friend at West Point, at once appealed to him
by the memory of those by-gone days and their old friendship, to do what
he could to obtain her father's release on parole or to have him
To this letter she received the following
Washington City, D. C.
Sept. 16th, 1864.
MRS. JAMES W. GREEN,
MADAM :—In answer to your letter of the
6th, just received, I have to say that a proposal has been sent through
Major Mulford for the exchange of your father for Col. Crook.
I have informed your father of the fact.
E. A. HITCHCOCK, 31. G. V.
As Col. McDonald failed to arrive after
due time had elapsed, Anne wrote him again as follows:
Richmond, Oct. 7th, 1864.
MAJ. GEN. E. A. HITCHCOCK.
DEAR SIR :—Your letter of the 16th Sept.
was received, for which you will please accept our thanks. In it you
state that a proposal was sent for the exchange of my father for Col.
The proposal was accepted by our
Government and Maj. Mulford informed of the fact by the Confederate
Commissioner. In the meantime two boats have come and still my father
has not arrived, nor have we even had letters, which heretofore have
been regularly received. Will you be kind enough to let me hear the
cause of delay?
With grateful remembrance of your
previous promptness and kindness, I remain very respectfully yours,
ANNE S. GREET.
But it was not until the first week in
November that he finally reached Richmond. He came one moonlight night,
all alone from the boat. It was after we had retired, but hearing some
one on the porch below, Anne called from an upper window: "Is that you,
dear Pa?" being on the constant lookout for him since the letter from
He was still very feeble from his illness
and long imprisonment, but the excitement and joy of being once more at
home had bouyed him with a false strength, which he, realizing, replied:
"Be very quiet, my daughter, I must keep
And together we assisted him to climb the
stairs, when he told us how the little daughter of the jailer at
Cumberland had brought him a bible to his cell, and of what a comfort it
had been to him. While Col. McDonald had always been a believer in all
sacred things, and was always careful to see that every respect was paid
to the observance of Sunday, he had never connected himself with the
church. [Mrs. Anne S. Green remembers hearing her father and her
grand-mother, Susan McGuire -Naylor, Say that all of the grandchildren
of Edward McGuire were baptised in the old Catholic Church of
Winchester. She also remembers her great-grandmother, Millicent D'Obee
McGuire, who spent the latter years of her Iife at the home of her
daughter, Mrs. William Naylor, where she died. She was buried at the
Indian mound Cemetery on the hanks of the South Branch of the Potomac at
The following Spring saw the close of the
war and Anne and her family shortly after returned to their home in
Culpeper, where her husband resumed his law practice, making a
conspicuous success of it in a few years. He died on April 1st, 1884,
aged sixty. He was in full enjoyment of robust health at the time, and
actively engaged in the practice of his profession, but a fall brought
on a stroke of paralysis, which finally caused his death. That dark hour
had no terrors for him, however, he was prepared for it. A man of wide
sympathies, he had always been ready to extend a helping hand to those
in need, and many were the loving tributes paid his memory after his
Though Mr. Green had, since his early
youth, been connected with the Protestant Episcopal Church, in later
life he joined the communion of the Roman Catholic Church and was buried
from the Church of the "Most Precious Blood," where requiem Mass was
celebrated by Rev. P. Donahoe and the funeral services conducted by
Father Doonan, President of Georgetown College. He left, besides his
wife, eight children: Angus McDonald, Mary Mason, Leacy Naylor, Nannie
and James William (twins), John tip'., Sue and Raleigh Travers, two
other little daughters having died in infancy.
Among the many- tributes to his worth
which appeared in the papers, the following from the "Catholic Visitor,"
Washington, D. C., seems especially appropriate:
"His native keenness of perception,
accuracy of thought, inflexibility of logic, large grasp of ideas, as
well nice appreciation of all that was beautiful in the world of mind
and matter, admirably adapted him to the abstruse studies of the jurist
and the more graceful fancies of the cultivated scholar.
"He was still young when he gained
prominence in the legal profession, and at his death he controlled the
largest business of any lawyer in his section.
Not a politician, Mr. Green was a great
student of political economy and had investigated most of the systems of
Government which had given fruit in the Constitution of our own country.
"No one saw more clearly the defects of
our own system and his active mind had conceived possible remedies to be
applied that were more than ingenious, they were philosphical and
Another article said of him: "Early in
life Mr. Green developed those characteristics of strict personal
integrity, great persistency and energy of purpose, a strong conviction
of right, an untiring capacity for labor, which has marked his entire
life, and which, directed by a strong, vigorous intellect, has made his
life successful and elevated him to the very front rank of his
profession in the State.
His learning was accurate and extensive
and his skill in the management of his cases was striking and
attractive. He was not only a great lawyer, but he was what all good
lawyers are not—a most accurate and careful business man."
Upon his wife, Anne, now devolved the
care of the large family and bravely she met the issue. For some time
she was owner and manager of "The Culpeper Exponent," assisted by her
son Angus, who was also a lawyer. Later, when her children married and
went to homes of their own, Anne took an active interest in various
projects for the betterment and improvement of conditions, surrounding
the young children of the State, especially the children of Confederate
soldiers. She was prominent in bringing the Child Labor Law and its many
infringements to the attention of the State Legislature. And when the
Jamestown Exposition was inaugurated she bent all her energies to making
it a success. In addition to other things, she published a most
attractive little booklet containing the love story of Pocahontas and
her close connection with the early history of the Virginia Colony.
She also conceived the idea of an added
attraction to the Exposition in the form of a bell, which she called
"The Pocahontas Bell."
She had acquired considerable experience
in such matters, as Regent of Virginia for the "Columbian Peace Bell" at
Chicago Exposition, and with the remains of that bell (which had been
demolished), as a nucleus, she began collecting historic metal for the
purpose of moulding "The Pocahontas Bell" for Jamestown. Many
interesting and valuable relics were sent her for the purpose, such as
metal pieces from the famous Merrimac, some nails from Libby Prison, a
brass plaque from Arlington, a spur, which had belonged to the gallant
Pelham, an old silver bell which had been in the Sinclair family for
three hundred years, a ring of J. Q. Adams of Massachusetts, a brass key
used by Gov. Reynolds of Delaware, and many other valuable relics were
contributed to the moulding of a singularly sweet toned bell which was
cast at McShane Foundry, Baltimore, May 15th and was dedicated on June
15th at the Exposition grounds.
The "Daniel Boone Stockade" in the
Kentucky reservation was selected as being the most appropriate locality
for the ceremony and with a plentiful display of "Old Glory" to enliven
the scene and martial music from the fine band, which contributed their
services, the dedication was a pronounced success. An appropriate poem
composed for the occasion by Folger Kinsey was beautifully recited by
Mrs. W. W. Grant, of Denver, Col., and addresses were delivered by Gov.
Swanson of Virginia, Hon. Robert Hunter and T. J. Wool, of the
Exposition Management, congratulating Mrs. Green upon the success of her
She has, for a number of years, been a
prominent and active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution,
and is also a charter member of the United Daughters of the Conferacy.
She was selected two years ago, by the
Woman's Board of the endowment Association for Cumberland Gap
University, as Vice-President for Virginia and in that capacity is
endeavoring to secure funds for the establishment of that Institution,
which proposes to educate teachers exclusively for the remote schools in
the mountain districts.
Mrs. Green now makes her home chiefly
with her bachelor son, John W. Green, of Chesterfield County, Virginia.
In 1893, she lost her oldest son, Angus
McDonald, who was rapidly rising to the position previously held by his
father in the ranks of the legal profession. Possessed of a most
fascinating and attractive personality, Angus made hosts of friends
wherever he went and in addition to his legal acquirements he had
pronounced taste in literature, which sometimes found expression in
verse, though his modesty kept his talent in the background.
Just ten days before his death, which
occurred very suddenly, the following lines from his pen appeared in the
Richmond Dispatch, and though they attracted wide attention at the time,
interest was largely increased when the news of his untimely death
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