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Preston, Thomas L. (Thomas Lewis), 1812-1903


Biographical Note

Thomas Lewis Preston, son of Francis and Sarah Buchanan Campbell Preston, was born in Abingdon, Virginia on November 20, 1812. He attended Washington College before graduating with a degree in law from the University of Virginia in 1833. In 1842 he settled in Smyth County, Virginia, where he eventually operated the family salt works, served as a director of Abingdon's branch of the Exchange Bank of Virginia, and represented Smyth County in the Virginia General Assembly. He also served on the governing boards of Emory and Henry College, Mary Washington College and Virginia Military Institute. Commissioned a captain at the outbreak of the Civil War, he served as assistant adjutant general under General Joseph E. Johnston. When his commission was revoked by the War Department, he declined a new commission as major. Moving to Albemarle County in 1863, Preston served as rector of the University of Virginia from 1864 to 1865. He married twice, first to Elizabeth Breckinridge Watts (ca.1822-1843) and later to Anna Maria Saunders (1825-1911). He died March 20, 1903 in Albemarle County.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Thomas L. Preston Letter

Identifier: Ms-2008-041

The collection consists of a letter from Campbell County, Virginia resident Thomas L. Preston to John M. Preston of Smyth County, Virginia. The letter discusses personal matters and health, ending with a note about the political climate and the possibility of impending war between the North and South.

Dates: 1860

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.