Difference between revisions of "John Wickham"

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|borndate= June 6, 1763
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|borndate=June 6, 1763
|bornplace= Cutchogue on eastern Long Island, New York
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|bornplace=Cutchogue, Eastern Long Island, New York
|dieddate= January 22, 1839
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|dieddate=January 22, 1839
 
|diedplace=  
 
|diedplace=  
|restingplace= Shockoe Hill Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia
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|restingplace=Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia
 
|residence=  
 
|residence=  
|education= the College of William and Mary
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|education= The College of William & Mary
 
|almamater=
 
|almamater=
|profession= lawyer
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|profession=Lawyer
|spouse= Mary Smith Fanning, Elizabeth Seldon McClurg
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|spouse=Mary Smith Fanning<br />Elizabeth Seldon McClurg
|relatives= Children: William Fanning Wickham, Edmund Fanning Wickham, George Wickham; Grandchildren: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williams_Carter_Wickham Williams Carter Wickham], Charlotte Wickham who married [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Henry_Fitzhugh_Lee William Henry Lee].
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|relatives=William Fanning Wickham (son)<br />Edmund Fanning Wickham (son)<br />George Wickham (son)<br />[[wikipedia:Williams Carter Wickham|Williams Carter Wickham]] (grandson)<br />Charlotte Wickham (granddaughter), wife of [[wikipedia:William Henry Fitzhugh Lee|William Henry Lee]]
|knownfor= [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burr_conspiracy Trial of Aaron Burr]
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|knownfor=[[wikipedia:Burr conspiracy|Trial of Aaron Burr]]
|signature=ImageFile.jpg
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}}[[wikipedia:John Wickham (attorney)|John Wickham]] was born on June 6, 1763 to John Wickham, Sr. &mdash; a clergyman in the Church of England and "a fierce loyalist" &mdash; and Hannah Fanning, the first of the senior Wickham's three wives. Wickham's extended family was similarly Loyalist, with one cousin, Samuel Wickham, moving back to England, and another, John Clements Wickham, becoming a prominent figure in the Royal Navy.<ref>Despite many in the family being Loyalists, Wickham was also first cousin to [[wikipedia:Nathaniel Fanning|Nathaniel Fanning]], a Revolutionary War hero; "[http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jwickham/john.htm John Wickham]," rootsweb, accessed September 30, 2015.</ref>
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wickham_(attorney) John Wickham] was born on June 6, 1763 to John Wickham Sr. and Hannah Fanning, the first of Wickham Sr.'s three wives. Wickham's father was both a clergyman of the Church of England and "a fierce loyalist." Wickham's extended family was similarly Loyalist with one cousin, Samuel Wickham, even moving back to England and another, John Clements Wickham, becoming a prominent figure in the Royal Navy. <ref> However, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Fanning Nathaniel Fanning], a Revolutionary War hero, was also a first cousin; "John Wickham," rootsweb, accessed September 30, 2015, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jwickham/john.htm </ref> John followed in his family's footsteps and became a Loyalist supporter too. He studied at the Military School in Arras, France, and joined the Queen's Rangers as an Ensign (later he became a Captain). <ref> Ibid; Lorenzo Sabine, ''Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution'' (Applewood Books, 2009), 428, accessed October 5, 2015, https://books.google.com/books?id=XEiVJDobwpEC&dq=john+wickham+american+loyalist+and+lawyer&source=gbs_navlinks_s. </ref> During the Revolutionary War, Wickham's father was such a strong advocate for the Loyalist cause that 'he became obnoxious to the constituted authorities, and was put on his parole, and confined to the limits of Williamsburg, Virginia." Consequently, Wickham Sr. decided that Wickham should leave the country. However, this plan did not go as smoothly as expected, and it left a great impression on young Wickham:
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[[File:WashingtonReports1798V1WickhamTitle.jpg|thumb|left|250px|Title page of volume one of Bushrod Washington's ''[[Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of Appeals of Virginia]]'' (Richmond, VA: Printed by Thomas Nicolson, 1798-1799). [http://wm-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/01COWM_WM:EVERYTHING:01COWM_WM_ALMA21560662660003196 Wolf Law Library copy,] with John Wickham's signature.]]
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Wickham followed in his family's footsteps and also became a Loyalist supporter. He studied at the Military School in Arras, France, and joined the Queen's Rangers as an Ensign (later he became a Captain).<ref>Ibid; Lorenzo Sabine, ''[https://books.google.com/books?id=XEiVJDobwpEC&pg=PA427 Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution]'' (Applewood Books, 2009), 428, accessed October 5, 2015.</ref> During the Revolutionary War, Wickham's father was such a strong advocate for the Loyalist cause that "he became obnoxious to the constituted authorities, and was put on his parole, and confined to the limits of Williamsburg, Virginia."<ref>G. Brown Goode, ''[https://books.google.com/books?id=xkf5LOaBKEMC&pg=PA56 Virginia Cousins]'' (Genealogical Publishing Com, 2009), 56, accessed October 5, 2015.</ref> Consequently, Wickham Sr. decided that John should leave the country. But this plan did not go as smoothly as expected, and it left a great impression on young Wickham:
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It was arranged that he [Wickham] proceed to Charleston, S. C., then in possession of the British, where friends would meet him and provide for his departure. The youth was used to take dispatches from New York to the British commandant in Charleston, but on some suspicions being excited, he was arrested and detained at Hicksford, a crossing of the Meherrin River, in Greensville Co., Va., near the North Carolina border, and not far from Roanoke. On examination and search, the youthful traveler was found with the important papers alluded to. The affair was the subject of proper investigation, and the extreme youth of Wickham, and the interest of influential citizens, growing out of mitigating circumstances, were entirely sufficient to relieve him of the consequences ordinarily attending a discovery of this kind. In the long years after, it is stated that Mr. Wickham never forgot the persons who concerned themselves for his comfort and relief; and it is remembered that some good people who gave him aid and protection when in alarming extremity at the point of arrest, were substantially cared for as long as they lived. It has been supposed that these circumstances had much to do with Mr. Wickham's absolute disconnection with political life and affairs, as highly as he was qualified to take front rank, and as much as it was the fashion of his day, with the men of his character and ability.<ref>Ibid.</ref>
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After the war, Wickham attended school at the College of William & Mary and studied law under [[George Wythe]]. He was admitted to the bar in 1786 and set up a law practice in Richmond, Virginia. Despite his affiliations during the War, Wickham was one of the few Loyalists to obtain prominence in post-war America.<ref>Ronald Craig Zellar, ''[https://books.google.com/books?id=MZ-D4LnU2fwC&pg=PA105 A Brave Man Stands Firm: The Historic Battles Between Chief Justice John Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson]'' (Algora Publishing, 2011), 105, accessed October 5, 2015. </ref> Wickham quickly became a well-known, respected, and wealthy attorney in Richmond. His practice's most profitable cases were assisting British merchants in collecting debts from American businessmen.<ref>Ibid, 105-106.</ref>
  
<blockquote> It was arranged that he [Wickham] proceed to Charleston, S. C., then in possession of the British, where friends would meet him and provide for his departure. The youth was used to take sipatches from New York to the British commandant in Charleston, but on some suspicious being excited, he was arrested and detained at Hicksford,--a crossing of the Meherrin River, in Greensville Co., Va., near the North Carolina border, and not far from Roanoke. On examination and search, the youthful traveler was found with the important papers alluded to. The affair was the subject of proper investigation, and the extreme youth of Wickham, and the interest of influential citizens, growing out of mitigating circumstances, were entirely sufficient to relieve him of the consequences ordinarily attending a discovery of this kind. In the long years after, it is stated that Mr. Wickham never forgot the persons who concerned themselves for his comfort and relief; and it is remembered that some good people who gave him aid and protection when in alarming extremity at the point of arrest, were substantially cared for as long as they lived. It has been supposed that these circumstances had much to do with Mr. Wickham's absolute disconnection with political life and affairs, as highly as he was qualified to take front rank, and as much as it was the fashion of his day, with the men of his character and ability. <ref> G. Brown Goode, ''Virginia Cousins'' (Genealogical Publishing Com, 2009), accessed October 5, 2015, https://books.google.com/books?id=xkf5LOaBKEMC&dq=john+wickham+american+loyalist+and+lawyer&source=gbs_navlinks_s. </ref> </blockquote>
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Wickham became close friends with [[John Marshall]], and even took over Marshall's practice when Marshall was out of town for his government assignments.<ref>Ibid.</ref> The two friends lived close by each other, and often hosted high society dinner parties. Among their "club" were such Richmond social elites as [[Benjamin Watkins Leigh]], [http://www.onlinebiographies.info/va/v2/johnson-c.htm Chapman Johnson], and [[Daniel Call]].<ref>C. M. S., "The Home Life of Chief Justice Marshall," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Jan., 1932), pp. 56-69, 68.</ref>  
  
After the War, Wickham attended school at the College of William and Mary and studied law under [[George Wythe]]. He was admitted to the bar in 1786 and set up a lucrative law practice in Richmond, Virginia. Despite his affiliations during the War, Wickham was one of the few Loyalists to obtain prominence in post-war America. <ref> Ronald Craig Zellar, ''A Brave Man Stands Firm: The Historic Battles Between Chief Justice John Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson'' (Algora Publishing, 2011), 105, accessed October 5, 2015, https://books.google.com/books?id=MZ-D4LnU2fwC&dq=john+wickham+american+loyalist+and+lawyer&source=gbs_navlinks_s. </ref> Wickham quickly became a well-known, respected, and wealthy attorney in Richmond. His practice's most profitable cases were assisting British merchants in collecting debts from American businessmen. Wickham became close friends with [[John Marshall]], and even took over Marshall's practice when Marshall was out of town for his government assignments. <ref> Ibid, 105-106. </ref> The two friends lived close by each other and often hosted high society dinner parties. Among their "club" were such Richmond social elites as [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_W._Leigh Benjamin Watkins Leigh], [http://www.onlinebiographies.info/va/v2/johnson-c.htm Chapman Johnson], and [[Daniel Call]]. <ref> C. M. S., "The Home Life of Chief Justice Marshall," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Jan., 1932), pp. 56-69, 68. </ref> Wickham's grand neoclassical home, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickham_House "Wickham House"], is now a National Historic Landmark and museum. <ref> Ronald Craig Zellar, A Brave Man Stands Firm, 105. </ref> Wickham is most famous for his defense of Vice President [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Burr Aaron Burr] in the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burr_conspiracy Aaron Burr Trial] where Burr was tried for treason. Wickham argued that "under the Constitution no person could be guilty of levying war unless personally present at the commission of the overt act." <ref> ''Federal Judicial Center'', "The Aaron Burr Treason Trial--Historical Background and Documents," accessed September 30, 2015, http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/tu_burr_bio_wickham.html. </ref> Chief Justice Marshall incorporated much of this defense and its reasoning in his landmark opinion that narrowly defined treason under the Consitution. <ref> Ibid. </ref>
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Wickham is most famous for his defense of Vice President [[wikipedia:Aaron Burr|Aaron Burr]] in the [[wikipedia:Burr conspiracy|Aaron Burr Trial]] where Burr was tried for treason. Wickham argued that "under the Constitution no person could be guilty of levying war unless personally present at the commission of the overt act."<ref>''Federal Judicial Center'', "[http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/tu_burr_bio_wickham.html The Aaron Burr Treason Trial&mdash;Historical Background and Documents]," accessed September 30, 2015.</ref> Chief Justice Marshall incorporated much of this defense and its reasoning in his landmark opinion that narrowly defined treason under the Consitution.<ref>Ibid.</ref>
  
Wickham never pursued a political career despite his qualifications and abilities. "[A] former Loyalist, a southern Federalist, and a critic of Jefferson's political and agrarian skills," Wickham was content in his legal profession. <ref> Benjamin R. Cohen, ''Notes from the Ground: Science, Soil, and Society in the American Countryside'' (Yale University Press, 2014), accessed October 5, 2015, https://books.google.com/books?id=uEF0DOj8i8AC&dq=john+wickham+american+loyalist+and+lawyer&source=gbs_navlinks_s. </ref> He had a passion for horse breeding, and his most successful horse, Boston, is considered to be "America's first great race horse." Wickham also owned two plantations outside of Richmond, and ammassed considerable wealth through his legal practice and his marriages. <ref> "John Wickham," rootsweb. </ref> He first married Mary Smith Fanning and had two children, William Fanning (b. November 23, 1793) and Edmund Fanning Wickham (b. July 30, 1796). <ref> Philip Alexander Bruce, William Glover Stanard, "Gray, Wickham, Shore, &C.," ''The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography'', Vol. 30 (Virginia Historical Society, 1922), 65, accessed September 30, 2015, https://books.google.com/books?id=__hLG1uFC7YC&dq=john+wickham+mary+smith+fanning&source=gbs_navlinks_s. </ref> After Mary Fanning died in 1799, Wickham married Elizabeth Seldon McClurg and fathered another son, George (b. 1817). <ref> "John Wickham," rootsweb. </ref>
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Wickham never pursued a political career despite his qualifications and abilities. "[A] former Loyalist, a southern Federalist, and a critic of Jefferson's political and agrarian skills," Wickham was content in his legal profession.<ref>Benjamin R. Cohen, ''[https://books.google.com/books?id=uEF0DOj8i8AC&pg=PA219 Notes from the Ground: Science, Soil, and Society in the American Countryside]'' (Yale University Press, 2014), accessed October 5, 2015.</ref> He had a passion for horse breeding, and his most successful horse, Boston, is considered to be "America's first great race horse." Wickham also owned two plantations outside of Richmond, and amassed considerable wealth through his legal practice and his marriages. <ref> "John Wickham," rootsweb. </ref> He first married Mary Smith Fanning and had two children, William Fanning (b. November 23, 1793) and Edmund Fanning Wickham (b. July 30, 1796). <ref> Philip Alexander Bruce, William Glover Stanard, "[https://books.google.com/books?id=__hLG1uFC7YC&pg=PA294 Gray, Wickham, Shore, &C.]," 294; ''The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography'', Vol. 30 (Virginia Historical Society, 1922), 65, accessed September 30, 2015.</ref> After Mary died in 1799, Wickham married Elizabeth Seldon McClurg and fathered another son, George (b. 1817).<ref> "John Wickham," rootsweb.</ref>
  
Wickham was described by his contemporaries as " the acknowledged leader of the glittering Virginia bar" and "the ablest lawyer then practising at the Richmond bar. He had learning, logic, wit, sarcasm, eloquence, a fine presence, and a persuasive manner. In single endowments he was excelled; but no other man possessed such a variety of talents and resouces as Wickham." <ref> Federal Judicial Center, "The Aaron Burr Treason Trial--Historical Background and Documents;" Lorenzo Sabine, ''Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution'', 428. </ref>
+
Wickham was described by his contemporaries as "the acknowledged leader of the glittering Virginia bar" and "the ablest lawyer then practising at the Richmond bar. He had learning, logic, wit, sarcasm, eloquence, a fine presence, and a persuasive manner. In single endowments he was excelled; but no other man possessed such a variety of talents and resouces as Wickham."<ref> Federal Judicial Center, "The Aaron Burr Treason Trial&mdash;Historical Background and Documents;" Lorenzo Sabine, ''Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution'', 428.</ref>
  
 +
Wickham's grand neoclassical home, "[[wikipedia:Wickham House|Wickham House]]", is now a National Historic Landmark and museum.<ref>Ronald Craig Zellar, ''A Brave Man Stands Firm,'' 105.</ref>
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
 
*[[Wythe the Teacher]]
 
*[[Wythe the Teacher]]
 
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burr_conspiracy Burr conspiracy]
 
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
<references />
 
<references />
 +
 +
==External links==
 +
*"[[wikipedia:Burr conspiracy|Burr conspiracy]]," Wikipedia.
  
 
[[Category: Wythe's Students]]
 
[[Category: Wythe's Students]]

Latest revision as of 13:22, 10 January 2020

John Wickham

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Personal details
Born June 6, 1763
  Cutchogue, Eastern Long Island, New York
Died January 22, 1839
 
Resting place Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia
Residence(s)
Education The College of William & Mary
Alma mater
Profession Lawyer
Spouse(s) Mary Smith Fanning
Elizabeth Seldon McClurg
Relatives William Fanning Wickham (son)
Edmund Fanning Wickham (son)
George Wickham (son)
Williams Carter Wickham (grandson)
Charlotte Wickham (granddaughter), wife of William Henry Lee
Known for Trial of Aaron Burr
Signature [[File:|left|200px]]

John Wickham was born on June 6, 1763 to John Wickham, Sr. — a clergyman in the Church of England and "a fierce loyalist" — and Hannah Fanning, the first of the senior Wickham's three wives. Wickham's extended family was similarly Loyalist, with one cousin, Samuel Wickham, moving back to England, and another, John Clements Wickham, becoming a prominent figure in the Royal Navy.[1]

Title page of volume one of Bushrod Washington's Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of Appeals of Virginia (Richmond, VA: Printed by Thomas Nicolson, 1798-1799). Wolf Law Library copy, with John Wickham's signature.

Wickham followed in his family's footsteps and also became a Loyalist supporter. He studied at the Military School in Arras, France, and joined the Queen's Rangers as an Ensign (later he became a Captain).[2] During the Revolutionary War, Wickham's father was such a strong advocate for the Loyalist cause that "he became obnoxious to the constituted authorities, and was put on his parole, and confined to the limits of Williamsburg, Virginia."[3] Consequently, Wickham Sr. decided that John should leave the country. But this plan did not go as smoothly as expected, and it left a great impression on young Wickham:

It was arranged that he [Wickham] proceed to Charleston, S. C., then in possession of the British, where friends would meet him and provide for his departure. The youth was used to take dispatches from New York to the British commandant in Charleston, but on some suspicions being excited, he was arrested and detained at Hicksford, a crossing of the Meherrin River, in Greensville Co., Va., near the North Carolina border, and not far from Roanoke. On examination and search, the youthful traveler was found with the important papers alluded to. The affair was the subject of proper investigation, and the extreme youth of Wickham, and the interest of influential citizens, growing out of mitigating circumstances, were entirely sufficient to relieve him of the consequences ordinarily attending a discovery of this kind. In the long years after, it is stated that Mr. Wickham never forgot the persons who concerned themselves for his comfort and relief; and it is remembered that some good people who gave him aid and protection when in alarming extremity at the point of arrest, were substantially cared for as long as they lived. It has been supposed that these circumstances had much to do with Mr. Wickham's absolute disconnection with political life and affairs, as highly as he was qualified to take front rank, and as much as it was the fashion of his day, with the men of his character and ability.[4]

After the war, Wickham attended school at the College of William & Mary and studied law under George Wythe. He was admitted to the bar in 1786 and set up a law practice in Richmond, Virginia. Despite his affiliations during the War, Wickham was one of the few Loyalists to obtain prominence in post-war America.[5] Wickham quickly became a well-known, respected, and wealthy attorney in Richmond. His practice's most profitable cases were assisting British merchants in collecting debts from American businessmen.[6]

Wickham became close friends with John Marshall, and even took over Marshall's practice when Marshall was out of town for his government assignments.[7] The two friends lived close by each other, and often hosted high society dinner parties. Among their "club" were such Richmond social elites as Benjamin Watkins Leigh, Chapman Johnson, and Daniel Call.[8]

Wickham is most famous for his defense of Vice President Aaron Burr in the Aaron Burr Trial where Burr was tried for treason. Wickham argued that "under the Constitution no person could be guilty of levying war unless personally present at the commission of the overt act."[9] Chief Justice Marshall incorporated much of this defense and its reasoning in his landmark opinion that narrowly defined treason under the Consitution.[10]

Wickham never pursued a political career despite his qualifications and abilities. "[A] former Loyalist, a southern Federalist, and a critic of Jefferson's political and agrarian skills," Wickham was content in his legal profession.[11] He had a passion for horse breeding, and his most successful horse, Boston, is considered to be "America's first great race horse." Wickham also owned two plantations outside of Richmond, and amassed considerable wealth through his legal practice and his marriages. [12] He first married Mary Smith Fanning and had two children, William Fanning (b. November 23, 1793) and Edmund Fanning Wickham (b. July 30, 1796). [13] After Mary died in 1799, Wickham married Elizabeth Seldon McClurg and fathered another son, George (b. 1817).[14]

Wickham was described by his contemporaries as "the acknowledged leader of the glittering Virginia bar" and "the ablest lawyer then practising at the Richmond bar. He had learning, logic, wit, sarcasm, eloquence, a fine presence, and a persuasive manner. In single endowments he was excelled; but no other man possessed such a variety of talents and resouces as Wickham."[15]

Wickham's grand neoclassical home, "Wickham House", is now a National Historic Landmark and museum.[16]

See also

References

  1. Despite many in the family being Loyalists, Wickham was also first cousin to Nathaniel Fanning, a Revolutionary War hero; "John Wickham," rootsweb, accessed September 30, 2015.
  2. Ibid; Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution (Applewood Books, 2009), 428, accessed October 5, 2015.
  3. G. Brown Goode, Virginia Cousins (Genealogical Publishing Com, 2009), 56, accessed October 5, 2015.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ronald Craig Zellar, A Brave Man Stands Firm: The Historic Battles Between Chief Justice John Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson (Algora Publishing, 2011), 105, accessed October 5, 2015.
  6. Ibid, 105-106.
  7. Ibid.
  8. C. M. S., "The Home Life of Chief Justice Marshall," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 1 (Jan., 1932), pp. 56-69, 68.
  9. Federal Judicial Center, "The Aaron Burr Treason Trial—Historical Background and Documents," accessed September 30, 2015.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Benjamin R. Cohen, Notes from the Ground: Science, Soil, and Society in the American Countryside (Yale University Press, 2014), accessed October 5, 2015.
  12. "John Wickham," rootsweb.
  13. Philip Alexander Bruce, William Glover Stanard, "Gray, Wickham, Shore, &C.," 294; The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 30 (Virginia Historical Society, 1922), 65, accessed September 30, 2015.
  14. "John Wickham," rootsweb.
  15. Federal Judicial Center, "The Aaron Burr Treason Trial—Historical Background and Documents;" Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American Revolution, 428.
  16. Ronald Craig Zellar, A Brave Man Stands Firm, 105.

External links