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Preston, John, 1764-1827



  • Existence: 1764 - 1827

Biographical Note

John Preston, eldest son of William and Susanna (Smith) Preston, was born in 1764 at "Greenfield" in Botetourt County, Virginia. He periodically served in the Virginia militia throughout his lifetime. Preston was elected a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing Botetourt County in 1783, as well as Montgomery County in 1791 and again in 1803-1804. He served as a member of the Virginia Senate from 1792-1799.

In 1792, Preston was named as a trustee in the act that established Christiansburg, Virginia in 1792, and served as a clerk of its first Board of Trustees. In 1798 he served as a trustee in the act that established Blacksburg, Virginia. In 1795, Preston became a Lieutenant Colonel, commanding the Third Regiment of Artillery. In 1799, he was elected Brigadier General, and given command of the brigade for Wythe, Montgomery, and Monroe Counties.

Later in 1810, Preston was appointed by the Virginia General Assembly to be the Treasurer of Virginia, serving until 1819. An audit of the treasurer's books found that Preston's accounts were in arrears, and a judgement was issued against Preston for 87 thousand dollars. To meet the obligation, Preston transferred a number of properties to trustees, who were to oversee their sale and the payment of funds into the treasury.

Preston married Mary Radford in 1798, and after her death in 1810, married Eliza Ann Carrington Mayo in 1811. He had seven children with his first wife and one with his second. When not on active military duty, Preston resided at "Smithfield" with his mother until his marriage, after which he lived at "Horseshoe". He died at Greenfield in 1827.

Found in 10 Collections and/or Records:

Hoge Family Papers

Identifier: Ms-1992-045

This collection contains a survey plat, a certificate, and two letters that belonged to James Hoge and his son General James F. Hoge, two of the early settlers of Montgomery County, Virginia.

Dates: 1781, 1817, 1848, n.d.

List of quit rents of the Middle District of Augusta

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms1985-020_quitrents

Preston Family (Alice Preston Moore Collection) Papers

Identifier: Ms-1962-004

The collection consists of family papers, receipts, correspondence, and original and photocopied materials relating to the Preston family, primarily William and Susanna Smith Preston, John Preston, and William Ballard Preston, dating from the 1740s to the 1880s. Other materials include 19th and 20th century genealogy research on the Prestons.

Dates: 1749-1882, n.d.

Preston Family (Charles Peale Didier Collection) Papers

Identifier: Ms-1985-020

The Didier Collection of Preston Family Papers includes papers of James Patton, Patton's grandson William Preston, and Preston's eldest son, John Preston, all of Montgomery County, Virginia. The papers consist of business and legal documents, surveys, and correspondence.

Dates: 1747 - 1897

John Preston Deed

 Collection — Folder 1
Identifier: Ms-2005-014
Scope and Contents Handwritten deed and bargain of sale between Henry Edmunson as trustee of John Preston of the County of Montgomery of the one part and John Walters and George Kester of the County of Montgomery of the other part for a 130-acre tract of land on the headwaters of Strubles [Stroubles] Creek and the English's Mill Creek. Indenture was made on March 30, 1826 and brought to the ofice of the Montgomery County Court Clerk on April 5, 1826. Born at Greenfield (the Preston family home...
Dates: 1826

John Preston Papers

Identifier: Ms-1994-034
Scope and Contents

This collection contains documents regarding John Preston's business affairs; including promissory notes, loan agreements, and personal correspondence. Many of the documents appear to be draft versions which were at one point bound together, perhaps in Preston's own letter-book

Dates: 1796 - 1844

Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers

Identifier: Ms-1997-002

The Smithfield Preston Foundation Papers consist of 200 letters written almost exclusively by two generations of members of the Preston family of southwest Virginia, Kentucky, and South Carolina, to James and Sarah Preston McDowell of Rockbridge County, Virginia.

Dates: 1784-1881, n.d.