Falmouth in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Moncure Conway House
"As good [an] abolitionist as any of you!"
In the spring of 1862, a passing Union soldier was shot and wounded, allegedly by someone at this house. His enraged comrades broke down the door to ransack and burn the place, but one who had known Moncure Conway earlier recognized his portrait. Family slave Eliza confirmed that "It's mars Monc the preacher, as good [an] abolitionist as any of you!" The soldiers stopped and the house became a Union hospital. In the winter of 1862-1863, the 20th Massachusetts Infantry (Harvard Regiment) quartered here.
The house was Moncure Daniel Conway's (1832-1907) childhood home, which his slaveholding father bought in 1838. Educated at Dickinson College, Pa., young Conway became a Methodist preacher. He grew interested in Unitarianism; met Ralph Waldo Emerson, and attended Harvard Divinity School.
His abolitionist views resulted in his exile from Falmouth.
During the war, two of Conway's brothers served in the Confederate army. His mother went north to live with his sister, while his father evacuated to Fredericksburg in 1862. In July 1862, Conway accompanied 31 of his father's escaped slaves from Washington, D.C.,
Conway spent his later years abroad. While in London, he was a literary agent for numerous writers including Walt Whitman, who had served as a nurse in Falmouth. Whitman's first important Civil War poem, "A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim," based on his experiences, was published in Leaves of Grass.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Churches & Religion • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Unitarian Universalism (UUism), and the Virginia Civil War Trails series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1862.
Location. 38° 19.289′ N, 77° 28.123′ W. Marker is in Falmouth, Virginia, in Stafford County. Marker is on King Street (County Road 607) just west of Rowser Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 303 King St, Fredericksburg VA 22405, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Conway House (within shouting distance of this marker); Freedom Began Here (within shouting distance of this Moncure Daniel Conway (within shouting distance of this marker); Anthony Burns (within shouting distance of this marker); The Forlorn Hope (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Sad Duty to Perform (about 600 feet away); Magistrate’s Office (about 600 feet away); Historic Falmouth (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Falmouth.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 12, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 277 times since then and 97 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 12, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.