Berkeley Plantation Situated along the James River in Charles City County, Virginia, Berkeley Plantation was originally called Berkeley Hundred. The plantation was a 1618 land grant of 8000 acres by the Virginia Company of London to a group of men including Richard Berkeley, its namesake.
On Good Friday, March 22, 1622 local Indians attacked the Berkeley settlement killing nearly all its colonists. This stone on the grounds of the plantation is inscribed: “In Memory of the Unknown Indian.” (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
BERKELEY PLANTATION, CHARLES CITY COUNTY, VIRGINIA: Construction of the mansion began in 1726. The Georgian-style manor house is one of the oldest three-story brick houses in Virginia and the first with a pediment roof. Carriage front view. (c. Carson October, 2007)
BERKELEY PLANTATION WAS BUILT BY BENJAMIN HARRISON IV AND HIS WIFE ANNE CARTER. THEIR INITIALS ARE INSCRIBED INTO THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING ALONG WITH A HEART AND THE DATE, 1726. (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
KITCHEN: BERKELEY PLANTATION - The Kitchen was connected to the mansion by an underground passageway, called the Whistling Walk, through which servants would carry food. (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
ENTRANCE TO CELLAR: BERKELEY PLANTATION (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
Cistern: This stone cistern was Berkeley’s source of drinking water. (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
Bachelors’ Quarters, Berkeley Plantation: Gentlemen guests would stay in a separate house on visits to the plantation. (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
Manor House, Berkeley Hundred, River Front View. (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
Mansion from River Front, Berkeley Plantation (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
Gazebo and Tea House: Berkeley Plantation (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
River Front view from the Georgian-style Manor House through the gardens to the James River, Berkeley Plantation (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
Flower bed in the Gardens on the grounds of Berkeley Plantation (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
View of the grounds at Berkeley Plantation (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
The James River as seen from the grounds of Berkeley Plantation (c. CARSON October 2007)
Glimpse of James River from grounds of Berkeley Plantation. (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
Gravestone of Elizabeth Barrett, wife of Col. Benjamin Harrison V, signer of the Declaration of Independence in the family cemetery plot on the grounds of Berkeley Hundred. (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
Gravestone of Col. Benjamin Harrison V, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Governor of Virginia. Cemetery, Berkeley Plantation. (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
Benjamin Harrison V (1726-1791) graduate of College of William and Mary; Member, Virginia House of Burgesses; Governor of Virginia; signatory, Declaration of Independence Source: Wikimedia Commons
Memorial commemorating the sacrifices of the signers of the Declaration of Independence at Berkeley Hundred, Charles City County, Virginia. (c. CARSON OCTOBER 2007)
Inscription on the Memorial Stone Honoring the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
By signing the Declaration of Independence the fifty-six Americans pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. It was no idle pledge---nine signers died of wounds during the Revolutionary War. Five were captured or imprisoned. Wives and children were killed, jailed, mistreated, or left penniless. Twelve signers’ houses were burned to the ground. Seventeen lost everything they owned. No signer defected. Their honor like their nation remained intact.
Berkeley Plantation : A Record of First Achievements
first pediment roof in Virginia
first “official” Thanksgiving observed December 4, 1619
first bourbon whiskey distilled by George Thorpe, an Episcopal Priest, in 1621
first time Army bugle call “Taps” was played in July, 1862 by a Union bugler, Oliver W. Norton; the song was written at Harrison Landing on the manor grounds by General Daniel Butterfield, USA during the Union occupation by General George B. McClellan
Berkeley Plantation was the birthplace of the Ninth President of the United States, William Henry Harrison, although Harrison, or Old Tippecanoe as he was affectionately called during the presidential race of 1840, claimed in campaign materials to have been born in a log cabin
W. H. Harrison wrote his inaugural address at Berkeley Plantation; Harrison’s presidency became the shortest on record when he died after catching pneumonia a month after taking office and delivering his inaugural speech
The first ten Presidents of the United States were all entertained as guests at Berkeley Plantation: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, and John Tyler.
William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) 9 th President of the United States (1841) Source:White House [website] http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/wh9.html