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William Hamilton MacFarland

Home Town:
Lunenburg County, VA
Later Residences:
Orange, VA
Richmond, VA
Roberts (unknown)
Nancy Beirne (April 16, 1835)
Biographical Notes:
William MacFarland was the son of James MacFarland a merchant who had emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland to Lunenberg County, Virginia. William attended the college of Hampden Sydney in 1815 and then attended William and Mary the following year. In 1818 he undertook the study of the law in Litchfield, Connecticut. He married a Miss Roberts of Norfolk, Virginia and then a Nancy Beirne of Monroe County, Virginia (now West Virginia).

William MacFarland was both a lawyer and financier during his lifetime. His earliest work outside of his profession was for the Philanthropic Society at the College of Hampden Sydney (his name appears in their 1813 minutes).

MacFarland became a secretary in 1834 for The American Colonization Society, which sought to create colonies in Africa for freed ...
"Judge Christian quotes a disrespectful characterization of MacFarland as 'the curly-headed poodle from Richmond, nearly overcome with dignity and fat.'"

'His long residence in our midst, his ... varied talents, his refinement and tact, the urbanity of his manners, the prominent posts which the confidence of the people assigned him as statesman, jurist and man of pure and lofty character, placed him on an eminence which few have reached, and made him for years the representative man of our city'
Additional Notes:
Gave James Madison's Eulogy in 1836.

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1815 and studied law at the College of William & Mary in 1816.

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Business
Political Party:
State Posts:
State Representative (VA) 1822-1824, 1830-1831

help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany and Company, 1849.
Secondary Sources:
Scott, Mary Wingfield: Houses of Old Richmond, pp. 199-200 Richmond, Va.: The Valentine Museum, 1941

Bell, Landon C.: The Old Free State. A Contribution to the History of Lunenburg County and Southside Virginia. Vol. II, pp. 310-311. Richmond: William Byrd Press, Inc., 1927.

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