I) Lewis

II) Clark


Meriwether Family Tree

Cloverfields Graveyard
Lewis Family Tree

Locust Hill Graveyard
Clark Family Tree

IV) Preservation

Meriwether Lewis' Immediate Family and their Descendents

Lucy Meriwether was born at Cloverfields on February 4, 1752. She married William Lewis of Locust Hill; he died in 1779 and she married Captain John Marks six months later. Lucy Meriwether was well known in Albemarle County throughout her adult life. Besides being the mother of the famed explorer, she had medical skills and often rode throughout the county to treat the sick. Even into old-age, she thought nothing of riding several miles to go treat an ill acquaintance. She is reported to have notable culinary and intellectual skills as well. She could not afford many books, but collected a small library throughout her life. In her will, she was careful to address the dispersion of the books among her offspring; appraisers valued the total collection at the modern equivalent of several hundred dollars. With regards to her cooking, Thomas Jefferson reportedly remarked "Merriwether Lewis' mother made very nice hams-better than even Monticello could produce." (Bakeless, 1947) A male acquaintance once described her as having a perfect person and complimented her on having "activity beyond her sex." She even scared away a crowd of rowdy British soldiers during the time that she lived at Locust Hill, her husband's family's home, with a rifle. That rifle came in handy as well when a hunting party from Locust Hill failed to kill a deer. A deer however had been cornered onto the grounds of Locust Hill by the party hounds, and Mrs. Lewis-Marks shot it and turned it into a succulent dinner before the party even returned. (Bakeless, 1947)

Lucy Meriwether gave birth to Jane Meriwether Anderson, Meriwether Lewis, Lucinda Lewis (who died in childhood) and Dr. Reuben Lewis while married to William Lewis and John Marks and Mary Garland Marks while married to Captain John Marks. Both Reuben and John (II) grew up to become doctors, taking after their mother's medicinal abilities.

Meriwether Lewis died on his way to Washington, DC in October, 1809. Historians still dispute whether the explorer and then-governor of Louisiana committed suicide or was murdered. He was never married, but family legend shares that he courted Theodesia Burr, the daughter of Aaron Burr. Around the time that the expedition commenced, they had arrived at the point in the relationship where Lewis either had to marry Theodesia or find a respectable way to exit the relationship. His opportunity for the graceful exit arrived when Jefferson asked Lewis to command an expedition to find an all-water route to the Pacific Ocean, and study the land along that route. Supposedly, Theodesia pleaded with Meriwether to decline the journey and marry her, heavily encouraged by her father. Obviously, Theodesia's pleas fell on deaf ears. Descendents of the family point to this legend as a reason why Meriwether men take a long time to get married. (Davis, 1951)

Lucy Meriwether Lewis Marks was widowed a second time in 1791. She returned to Albemarle for good, and Locust Hill became her property after Meriwether's mysterious death in 1809. She started the Locust Hill Graveyard in 1810, probably on the hopes that she could have Meriwether's body re-interred there from Tennessee, and because her son-in-law Edmund Anderson and a neighbor died that year and needed to be buried. (Henley, 2002) She lived there until her death in 1837 with her widowed daughter Jane Meriwether Anderson.

The original house burned down but it was rebuilt in the same style as the original. According to K. Edward Lay, a professor in the Architecture School at the University of Virginia, the present-day structure was probably built around 1900, perhaps incorporating a stone chimney from 1825. However, the subsequent inhabitants of the home have made so many changes that the structure does not really resemble the original house. After Jane's death in 1845, her son, Dr. Meriwether Lewis Anderson, inherited Locust Hill. He died in 1862, leaving the home to his children Charles and Mary Anderson. (He had had one brother who died while serving in the Confederate Army.)

In 1882, the house was sold to Mrs. Bearley, releasing the house from Lewis family descendents for the first time. She gave the property to her daughter as a wedding gift. Her daughter and son-in-law put the house for sale on the market at $255,000 in 1982. (Lay, 2002)

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