John Lawrence Marye Jr.

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John Lawrence Marye Jr. (November 4, 1823 – August 1902), was a Virginia lawyer, plantation owner, Confederate soldier and politician.[1] He served in the Virginia House of Delegates during the American Civil War, and upon the legislature's election of Lt. Gov. John F. Lewis as one of Virginia's U.S. Senators following the Commonwealth's readmission to the Union, was elected the tenth Lieutenant Governor of Virginia (1870-1874) and as such presided over the Virginia Senate. Marye also represented Spotsylvania County in both the Virginia Secession Convention and the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1868, when he was a leading opponent of Congressional Reconstruction.

John Lawrence Marye Jr.
10th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
In office
January 1, 1870 – January 1, 1874
GovernorGilbert Carlton Walker
Preceded byJohn F. Lewis
Succeeded byRobert E. Withers
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the Spotsylvania County district
In office
January 7, 1863 – January 9, 1868
Preceded byDouglas H. Gordon
Succeeded byC. Herndon
Personal details
Born(1823-11-04)November 4, 1823
Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S.
DiedAugust 2, 1902(1902-08-02) (aged 78)
Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Mildred Browne
Alma materUniversity of Virginia

Early and family lifeEdit

This John L. Marye was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia to Anna Maria Burton and her husband John L. Marye Sr., a prominent lawyer in Spotsylvania County and the nearest city and port, Fredericksburg.[2] Marye was educated in private schools in Fredericksburg.

He married Mildred ("Milly") S. Browne (1820-1902), daughter of a prominent physician, in Fredericksburg on October 29, 1846, and they had six children: sons Charles Burton Marye (1849–1850), William Browne Marye (1853–1898), Raleigh Travers Marye (1855–1894) and John Lawrence Marye (1860–1918), as well as daughters Emily Stone Marye (1847–1886) and Maria Burton Marye (1851–1935).[3]


Marye served as Fredericksburg's mayor from February 12, 1853 until March 21, 1854. He operated a farm in Spotsylvania County near St. Georges, and he or his father owned 10 enslaved people in 1850,[4] and at least two slaves in 1860.[5]

Spotsylvania County voters elected the junior Marye as one of their delegates to the Virginia Secession Convention in 1861. A conditional Unionist, he at first voted against secession, then after the militia call up by Abraham Lincoln to restore Federal property in the South, Marye voted for secession.[6]

During the American Civil War, Marye volunteered for the Confederate army shortly after Virginia's secession, first serving as a private in Pollock's Company (a/k/a Fredericksburg Light Artillery), whose commanders were Carter Braxton and Edward A. Marye (1835-1864).[7] Despite his relatively advanced age, J.L. Marye Jr. rose to the rank of sergeant before his discharge.[8] Although this light artillery company was originally designated to protect its local area (Aquia and Stafford north of Fredericksburg), it began to see more action in the Battle of Williamsburg in May 1862.[9] By mid-1862, Fredericksburg itself became contested, and the Washington Artillery of New Orleans quartered on the Marye estate in Fredericksburg (Brompton) during the fierce fighting in the Battle of Fredericksburg in mid-December 1862, although it was captured during the Second Battle of Fredericksburg so that the next year it would become a hospital for injured Union soldiers.[10][11]

After Spotsylvania's previous delegate resigned, Marye took his place and served in the House of Delegates from Spotsylvania in the January session of 1863, then for the sessions 1863/64 and 1864/65.[12][13]

In 1867, Marye was elected to the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1868. He was one of three delegates elected from the central Piedmont constitutional convention district consisting of Spotsyvania County, as well as neighboring rural Caroline and King George Counties.[14]

Marye was one of the Committee of Nine negotiating for the enfranchisement of former Confederates during Virginia's Reconstruction. His father died in 1868, without a will, so the court-appointed executors repaired the mansion (Matthew Brady photographed its postwar condition) and sold it in 1873 to John G. Lane, whose widow would sell it to the Rowe family in 1887 (still during this Marye's lifetime).[15]

After Virginia adopted the 1868 Constitution despite the objections of conservatives (and voters' rejection of provisions which would have denied voting and officeholding to former Confederates), Marye successfully campaigned to become Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. He served from January 1, 1870 until January 1, 1874, and the position also made him President of the Virginia Senate.[16]

Marye also served on the board of visitors of the University of Virginia after the war, including as the board's rector.[17] Although his great, great grandfather James Marye had emigrated to Virginia in 1726 and long served as rector of Fredericksburg's St. George's Episcopal Church, J.L.Marye Jr. was active in the Frederickburg's Presbyterian Church, becoming an elder in 1854. He served as a delegate to the General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church in 1866, 1874, 1875 and 1877, and in 1880, Marye was a delegate to the Presbyterian Alliance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[18]

Death and legacyEdit

Marye died in 1902 and was buried in the Fredericksburg cemetery.[19] The Fredericksburg mansion his father built circa 1838 and expanded (once known as the Marye Manion and now as Brompton), still exists, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, and is serves as the residence of the President of Mary Washington University.[20][21]


  1. ^ "John L. Marye, Jr. - Prominent Persons in Virginia Biographies".
  2. ^, although Robert L. Krick, The Fredericksburg Artillery (Lynchburg, H.E. Howard Inc. 1986) The Virginia Regimental Histories Series) p. 106 claims the soldier of the same name who enlisted in April 1861 and served until the war's end (with leaves to recuperate from disease in early 1862 and the summer of 1863) was born in 1843 in Westmoreland County and died in Alexandria, Virginia on January 18, 1918, with brothers James Alfred Marye and William Nelson Marye and three Marye cousins also in the same artillery unit. It mentions a recent Marye genealogy, as well as the convoluted relationships within that family, such that the Confederate soldier was sometimes referred to as J. L. Marye Jr. and sometimes as J. L. Marye III.
  3. ^ no. 5004900
  4. ^ 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Slave Schedules for Spotsylvania County
  5. ^ 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Slave Schedules for Spotsylvania County, St. Georges. His father owned 14 slaves in that census
  6. ^ Virginia Memory, Union or Secession, How delegates voted
  7. ^ "Capt Edward Avenmore Marye (1835-1864) - Find A".
  8. ^ See note above concerning the Virginia Regimental Histories series. A quick search of U.S. Civil War soldier records on fails to indicate his discharge date nor cause, nor confirm the birth date in the Virginia Regimental History volume.
  9. ^ "Battle Unit Details - the Civil War (U.S. National Park Service)".
  10. ^ "Fredericksburg Civil War Battle December 11-15, 1862 America".
  11. ^ Brompton NRIS Section 8 p.3 of 7, available at
  12. ^ Cynthia Miller Leonard, The Virginia General Assembly 1619-1978 (Richmond: Library of Virginia, 1978) pp. and note
  13. ^ Swem 1918, p. 405
  14. ^ Pulliam 1901, p. 141-142
  15. ^ Brompton NRIS cont. sheets 1 and 2
  16. ^ University of Virginia: Its History, Influence, Equipment and Characteristics, with Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Founders, Benefactors, Officers and Alumni, Volume 2. 1904. pp. 166–167. ISBN 1248934105.
  17. ^ "John L. Marye, Jr. - Prominent Persons in Virginia Biographies".
  18. ^ Pulliam 1901, p. 141-142
  19. ^ no. 5004900
  20. ^ "Fredericksburg Civil War Battle December 11-15, 1862 America".
  21. ^ Brompton NRIS


Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by