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9_an ambitious importer and ship-owner

Image by Jim Surkamp
Funds Wizard R. D. Shepherd and His Fabled Developing – McMurran Hall, Shepherdstown, WV by Jim Surkamp 7907 words.

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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 constructed a massive fortune by means of work, smarts and an act of his own heroism for an additional then, turns around and provides a lot of it back as McMurran Hall, an Almshouse in New Orleans and other gifts.

two_R. D. Shepherd had a strict, flinty way
R. D. Shepherd had a strict, flinty way, but on paper and in the world at large did his huge generosities stand tall, pervade the landscape and enrich the hearts of humanity.

3_Seventy-five-year-old Rezin
Seventy-5-year-old Rezin Davis Shepherd, described by the New Orleans Picayune as having “the largest and most productive estate which has ever been held by 1 person in this city and State” – started the construction Thursday, October 6th, 1859 of a present to his residence town, this time right on lot no. 1 in Shepherdstown, the very lot exactly where he was born in August 1, 1784.

four_Who knew that in ten fleeting day
Who knew that in ten fleeting days – October 16th – history would be blown off its hinges by the John Brown raiders’ attack fifteen miles away at Harpers Ferry, the match that lit the simmering fever of division amongst

five_North and South over slavery
North and South over slavery and claimed rights to secede from the Union. The tempest raged back and forth more than the county and the town for 1300 hundred days of pitiless strife and war before settling back into being a barren, alien landscape.

6_RD’s constructing
RD’s (“RD” henceforth for “Rezin Davis Shepherd”) creating – beautiful as were all his buildings remains a Greek Revival style, with a two-story-portico and Corinthian flourishes. But in the 1860s, it would bear witness to all that was rent asunder and itself narrowly steer clear of destruction, unlike a significantly less lucky altruistic juggernaut project of Shepherd’s in New Orleans – the palatial Almshouse. But this, RD’s Town Hall, initial named, would sooner or later reside a “long, happy life” 1st as the County Court, then into its present-day majesty as the signature constructing of Shepherd University.

Growing Up – RD Learns the Trade:

7_When he was just nine years old
8_placed him in the shop and counting home
When he was just nine years old, RD’s father, Abraham, placed him in the retailer and counting property in Baltimore of William Taylor,

9_an ambitious importer and ship-owner
an ambitious importer and ship-owner. RD’s extraordinary gifts surfaced when he – just eighteen – was sent to New Orleans to assure a excellent return on a massive shipment of British goods his firm had bought for New Orleans’ consumers. Then his initial massive “killing” was with an additional fresh-faced, challenging-driving Taylor colleague, James McDonough. Wrote the Picayune: In October, 1803, it was nicely recognized throughout the country that Louisiana had been bought by the United States. Mr. Taylor was the only merchant who seemed to comprehend the profit from one consequence of the this fantastic political occasion.

ten_in becoming a state
11_all sugar imports thereafter
12_cornered 1800 of these hogsheads
The firm realized that in becoming a state, a duty of 2.five cents would be added to the price tag of all sugar imports thereafter. So Shepherd and McDonough – when all the sugar created in the state was in between 2100-2200 hogsheads – cornered 1800 of those hogsheads, providing young RD “a handsome capital for a young man to start off in mercantile life.” He soon developed a new firm shared with Taylor, then in time by means of age and retirement became RD’s alone.

13_Coming into his own
Coming into his own, he married Lucy Taylor Gorham of Barnstable, Massachusetts in 1808, who was “a niece and adopted daughter” of Taylor. On August 22nd, 1809, their only child, 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 standard, publicity-averse benefactions took root, in the moment of his willed defiance against a direct military order to work, as an alternative, to save 1 specific wounded man, left for dead in war, a man who himself would live on to grow to be the epitome of the proverbial Very good Man, albeit

15_His name was Judah Touro
extraordinarily wealthy. His name was Judah Touro, a top-hatted, but humble Jewish businessman who believed in respect for all religions and everyday applications of the code of good operates. He was beloved all through his circles and region as “the Israelite with no guile.”

Wrote Author Colyar:

16_Wrote Author Colyar
17_carrying ammunition on the battle field
Although carrying ammunition on the battle field Jan. 1, 1815 Mr. Touro was struck by a 12-pound shot which tore

18_12-pound shot
19_a huge mass of flesh from the thigh
a large mass of flesh from the thigh and prostrated him amongst the dead and dying. Mr. Rezin Shepherd, was carrying a special order from Commodore Patterson across the river to the principal army. On reaching the bank he met a pal, who told him his buddy Touro was dead. Inquiring where he was, Shepherd was informed that he had been taken to

20_Jackson’s headquarters
an old building in the rear of Jackson’s headquarters. Forgetting his orders, Mr. Shepherd went immediately to the spot and discovered he was not dead, but, as the surgeon mentioned, in a dying situation. Disregarding what the surgeon mentioned, Shepherd got a cart, place him in it, administered stimulants, and took Touro to his own residence. He then procured nurses, and by the closest interest, Mr. Touro’s life was saved. Mr. Shepherd returned late in the day,

21_Commodore Patterson in a negative humor
possessing performed his mission, to locate Commodore Patterson in a bad humor, and, speaking severely to him, the latter said: “Commodore, you can hang or shoot me, and it will be all appropriate, but my ideal friend required my help, and nothing on earth could have induced me to neglect him.”

RD’s firms continued to grow exponentially and his brother, James Hervey Shepherd, was summoned from Shepherdstown to help.

22_Shepherd, was summoned from Shepherdstown to help.
1817-1837 – RD travels to Europe, settles in Boston doting on his daughter’s education.

23_1822 – RD maintained his firms
24_at 5 Pearl Street and nearby 28 Indian Wharf property.
1822 – RD maintained his organizations and shipping concerns at 5 Pearl Street and nearby 28 Indian Wharf house.

25_her portrait painted by Thomas Sully
26_Gilbert Stuart is commissioned to paint his own portrait
He has her portrait painted by Thomas Sully in 1831, a couple of years after Gilbert Stuart is commissioned to paint his own 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 merchant ship in Medford, named right after his daughter, the “Ellen Brooks.”

27_James Hervey Shepherd dies
1837 – James Hervey Shepherd dies. RD returns to run businesses in New Orleans.

1837, July 23 – Ellen (Shepherd) Brooks and her husband, typically in Boston or Medford, temporarily reside in Baltimore.

28_nephew, Henry Shepherd Jr.
1837-1865 – RD’s nephew, Henry Shepherd Jr., who was brought up in his uncle’s counting room, gradually assumes the role as RD’s agent in New Orleans.

29_painting of the ship the “Ellen Brooks” is completed
1839 – RD’s commissioned painting of the ship the “Ellen Brooks” is completed, attributed to Samuel Walters (British, 1811-1882), known as “Ellen Brooks, Off Holyhead, Homeward Bound.”

1841 – RD buys 468 acres of land and starts creating Wild Goose Farm, but not but living there complete-time he also pays for most of the remodeling of the original Trinity Episcopal Church in Shepherdstown.

1842, June – RD signs a petition to Congress along with many other planters and sugar producers in the state of Louisiana that asks for an increase in the duties on imported sugar.

1849 – RD places responsibilities on his eighteen-year-old nephew, Henry Shepherd Jr., who would become his agent in New Orleans by way of the Civil War, enabling RD to return a lot more permanently to his Wild Goose Farm.

30_Wild Goose Farm
31_the 1850 Census shows
32_1850 and 1860 Census slave schedules
1850 – In Shepherdstown &amp Wild Goose Farm the 1850 Census shows 66-year-old RD with a period worth of ,000, living only with workmen: 26-year-old German-born master stonemason Conrad Smith and an overseer. Although one account states Touro stipulated that RD cost-free his enslaved persons, RD is shown to obtaining owned quite a few persons, enumerated in each the 1850 and 1860 Census slave schedules.

1854, January 6th – Touro’s Will tends to make Rezin Davis Shepherd residuary legatee of the estate and executor 5,000 is willed to specific recipients. A sum iof ,000 is set aside for a palatial almshouse, with the added stipulation to RD that more sums, if required, should be employed to full this priority project.

Judah Touro created out his will January six, 1854 a handful of days prior to his death that said:

33_my dear, old, and devoted buddy, Rezin Davis Shepherd
34_I hereby appoint and institute him
As regards my other designated executor, say my dear, old, and devoted buddy, Rezin Davis Shepherd, to whom, below Divine Providence, I am drastically indebted for the preservation of my life when I was wounded on the 1st of January, 1815, I hereby appoint and institute him, the stated Rezin Davis Shepherd, right after payment of my distinct legacies, and the debts of my succession, the universal legatee of the rest and residue of my estates, movable and immovable.

35_funded remodeling of the Trinity
RD continued his projects each in New Orleans and Shepherdstown. He had already funded remodeling of the Trinity

36_planned a clock and bell to its original church
Episcopal Church. He planned a clock and bell to its original church then after some legal squabbling – the clock – to everyone’s assent – was reassigned to be inserted in to the new government constructing.

The Shepherd Family members is Scattered By War:

37_The war hit the household tough
The war hit the household challenging. Most of the young men enlisted in Virginia units. RD had to recalibrate his company approaches. Wrote the Richmond Daily Dispatch: June eight, 1861:
The New Orleans Delta states that R. D. Shepherd, Esq., who is now at an sophisticated time of life, living on his stunning farm near Shepherdstown, Virginia, has directed his agent in New Orleans to pay more than to the treasurer of the Confederate States a massive sum of funds, which includes, it is stated, his complete annual earnings from rents in that city — the largest income enjoyed by any house holder — to be applied to the defence of the rights and the assistance of the independence of the South.

38_spring of 1862 when Federal General Banks
In the spring of 1862 when Federal General 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 came closer to Shepherdstown’s practically complete developing. 130,000 troops moved in the location in September, 1862 for the bloody Maryland Campaign, just across the Potomac river. Wounded from the nearby battles poured into Shepherdstown, placing the unfinished Town Hall into service as an outside hospital.

Wrote Mary Bedinger Mitchell:

40_The unfinished Town Hall had stood in naked ugliness
The unfinished Town Hall had stood in naked ugliness for a lot of a lengthy day. Somebody threw a couple of rough boards across the beams, placed piles of straw more than them, laid down single planks to stroll upon, and lo, it was a hospital at once.

There have been six churches and they had been all full, the barn-like spot identified as the Drill Area, all the private houses right after their capacity, the shops and empty buildings, the school-houses – every inch of space and yet the cry was for far more area.

We went about our operate with pale faces and trembling hands, however attempting to appear composed for the sake of our individuals, who had been much excited. We could hear the incessant explosions of artillery, the shrieking whistles of the shells, and the sharper, deadlier much more thrilling roll of musketry although every single now and then the echo of some charging cheer would come, borne by the wind, and as the human voice would pierce that demoniacal clangor we would catch out breath and listen, and attempt not to sob, and turn back to the forlorn hospitals, to the suffering at our feet and ahead of our eyes whilst imagination fainted at the thought of those other scenes hidden from us beyond the Potomac.

Had Federal Basic George McClellan crossed the Potomac and pursued Common Lee’s scattered and mauled army, as historians have much criticized him given that for not doing, Shepherdstown would have likely suffered higher damage, 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 have been of little consequence.

Property Losses in New Orleans:

41_RD’s fine residence at 18 Bourbon Street
42_18 Bourbon Street in New Orleans
A lot more invasive, improvised use was being produced of RD’s fine residence at 18 Bourbon Street in New Orleans, causing his nephew to formally appeal to the Federal powers-that-be in early 1864. He wrote:

43_From Brig. General James Bowen
January 29, 1864
From Brig. Basic James Bowen
Provost Marshal General
Division of the Gulf.

The undersigned acting as the duly authorized agent and lawyer in truth of Rezin Davis Shepherd, formerly the State of Virginia, but for far more than eight months previous residing with his daughter Mrs. Gorham Brooks in the city of Boston and State of Massachusetts, respectfully represents: That the stated Shepherd is a loyal citizen of the United States and the correct and lawful owner of the Brick Dwelling No. 18 Bourbon Street in between Canal and Custom Property Streets in the City of New Orleans and also of all the furniture and contents thereof: that in the month of June, 1862 Col. Stafford without having show of authority, placed in possession of said house and contents, a man by the name of Horton or Houghton, who has ever since occupied and now occupied and uses the identical as a Boarding Residence, and who never ever has paid any rent or compensation there and continually refused to do so.

Below the situations, the undersigned respectfully appeals to you, Common, for relief, and asks that the matter be referred to Capt. Edward Web page and Thomas Tileston, or other of them for investigation and that the aforesaid premises and contents be restored to the possession of the owner without having delay Henry Shepherd Jr.

Like The Town Hall, the large, magnificent Almshouse in New Orleans remained unfinished, to be hit by a worse fate. Shepherd was charged by Touro’s will to very first place ,00 toward its construction, then be ready to put much more money into its building- including even some of Shepherd’s own funds – as recipient of Touro’s residue.

44_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 – nevertheless with an unfinished, floorless prime floor – was occupied by detachments of the 2nd Maine Cavalry and Business K, First Louisiana Cavalry. A baking oven was in heavy use at 1 finish of the constructing so that heat would be carried by means of a fissure in a ventilation method close by. The fire started in the rafters above the third floor. It was night-time with a high wind and no flooring but laid for the third floor in that wing. Coals dripping from the fire then ignited tar on the lower walls. “Baked beans fired the building” mentioned one from the 2nd Maine Cavalry. The building was uninsured. Just a couple of months later R. D. Shepherd died of typhoid fever, November 10, 1865, no longer the executor of the estate, leaving no philanthropist to help make up the loss.

Wrote the editors of the Instances-Picayune in a lengthy obituary:
In his native village he erected a splendid building, made for a town hall, also a large academy, with stunning grounds and a stroll. He also deposited with the Mayor annually a big sum to purchase fuel and provisions for the poor. He also erected the largest and most expensive church in Jefferson County. A lot of other acts of public and private benevolence have been performed by him in his quiet, furtive manner.

With war ended and when he was still healthful, RD had urged that his Town Hall turn out to be the County Court because the Charlestown courthouse was a battle-scarred ruin, specifically from a shelling it took in the fall of 1863.

A Visitor Contemplates Charlestown’s Ruined Courthouse in mid-1865:

47_the court-house, exactly where that mockery of justice was performed, was a ruin
48_Four huge white brick pillars, nevertheless standing, supported a riddled roof
A quick walk up into the centre of the town took us to the scene of John Brown’s trial. It was a consolation to see that the jail had been laid in ashes, and that the court-residence, exactly where that mockery of justice was performed, was a ruin abandoned to rats and toads. Four huge white brick pillars, still standing, supported a riddled roof, by way of which God’s blue sky and gracious sunshine smiled. The primary portion of the building had been actually torn to pieces. In the floor-much less hall of justice rank weeds have been increasing.

49_Names of Union soldiers were scrawled along the walls
Names of Union soldiers have been scrawled along the walls. No torch had been applied to the wood-operate, but the perform of destruction had been performed by the hands of hilarious soldier-boys ripping up floors and pulling down laths and joists to the tune of “John Brown,” the swelling melody of the song, and the accompaniment of crashing partitions, reminding the citizens, who believed to have destroyed the old hero, that his soul was marching on. It was also a consolation to know that the court-residence and jail would most likely never ever be rebuilt, the county-seat possessing been removed from Charlestown to Shepherdstown — “forever,” say the resolute loyal citizens of Jefferson County, who rose to vote it back again.

50_either buried in Elmwood Cemetery or the Shepherd Burial Ground
The Shepherd boys who enlisted in Virginia organizations every single – over time – came property and have been either buried in Elmwood Cemetery or the Shepherd Burial Ground – or lived.

51_Clarence Edward Shepherd
Clarence Edward Shepherd became a teacher in Maryland.

Although RD’s nephew and agent, Henry Shepherd Jr. was in New Orleans during the war, minding the household interests, 3 of his brothers have been at war. The eldest Rezin Davis, his older brother who had a young loved ones

52_eldest Rezin Davis, his older brother who had a young household
because 1858, died of disease November 2, 1862 at his “river cottage” after imprisonment in the Old Capitol Prison for becoming an associate of Confederate spy, Redmond Burke. He left his widow, Elizabeth Boteler Stockton Shepherd, two youngsters (Fannie and Alexandria) and a third (David) on the way. Almost certainly very first buried on his farm, Rezin Shepherd (a nephew of the patriarch) was reburied following peace came in the new Elmwood Cemetery. His website was joined by all his loved ones as time unspooled.

53_twenty-5 year-old Abraham
Henry Jr.’s next brother, twenty-5 year-old Abraham, enlisted May 22nd, 1861, would move over to Co. F. of the 17th Virginia Cavalry, get wounded at the third battle of Winchester in September 19, 1864, and become a prisoner of war. But he survived the war and died a lot of years later in 1907.

54_Henry Jr.’s younger brother, James Touro (Truro) Shepherd
Henry Jr.’s younger brother, James Touro (Truro) Shepherd, enlisted as a Private Could 1st, 1861 in the 2nd Virginia Infantry. Like many, 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 promotion to very first lieutenant. His service record ends abruptly in the spring of 1862. The Shepherdstown Register in September, 1865 reported him getting died in “Richmond City” in March, 1862. His marker dates his death as August 13, 1862, which may be the date of his re-internment into the family burial ground.

Two sons of James H. and his wife, Florence Hamtramck Shepherd were buried a couple of feet apart in the family members 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
56_Alexander H. Shepherd
Alexander H. Shepherd, who enlisted when he was about twenty-eight April 4, 1861 in Co. H of the 2nd Virginia Infantry he died of typhoid fever at Camp Harman near Fairfax Courthouse September 25-26, 1861.

57_Rezin Davis Shepherd was buried there also
Rezin Davis Shepherd was buried there as well, in his personal time.

He left all his fortune to his daughter, who, since 1855, had been a widow.

Wrote the Shepherdstown Register: A Big Estate – the late Rezin D. Shepherd left an estate valued at about ,500,000 all of which goes to his daughter, Mrs. Brooks of Boston. He was born in 1784 (on the lot where the court home would be built). In 1809 he went to New Orleans and engaged in the commission organization till 1849 and was the executor of the estate of the late Judah Touro. Mr. Shepherd was formerly a merchant in this city, residing on Higher Street. He accumulated a really large home in New Orleans and was reputed to be a single of the wealthiest males of that city. Upon the breaking out of the rebellion, he returned to Boston and resided for a brief time with his daughter and sole heir, Mrs. Gorham Brooks, widow of a son of the late Peter C. Brooks. His estate on Higher Street was formerly, we think the property of Samuel Dexter.

The Massachusetts Historical Society nowadays displays a cannon donated by the household and acquired by RD – a smaller sized version of the a single that so severely wounded RD’s pal, Judah Touro.

The visiting journalist Trowbridge was verified wrong – the county seat DID go back to the Charlestown Courthouse. Wrote the editors of the Charlestown-primarily based newspaper, The Spirit of Jefferson, in 1894:

58_The Regular College constructing, formerly the town hall
The Standard College developing, formerly the town hall, on Principal Street, is a handsome structure, the gift of one of the Shepherd household, Rezin D. from which the town requires its name. You will keep in mind that it was utilized as a court home because the war and the courts of Jefferson county have been held there, 1 Judge Hall sitting on the bench. A political rape was perpetuated on Charlestown, the party in energy, fitly termed radicals, believed they had a sure point of it, constructed a jail and added a wing to either side of the town hall, but “the greatest laid schemes of mice and men gang af’t aglee.” The fellows that did all this mischief had been turned down by the folks and items took their standard shape and Charlestown was once again the county seat.

Shepherd University began 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 following act: “That a branch of the State Normal School be and the same is hereby established at the developing identified as Shepherd College, in Shepherdstown, in the county of Jefferson.”

59_RD’s descendant, Shepherd Brooks
RD’s descendant, Shepherd Brooks, created it final when he deeded the house and constructing more than to the School and a 3-person board of trustees to sustain it.

As they say, settings reverse, the tide of life had gone out – and – came back in again.


Image by pni