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 Julia <I>Hancock</I> Clark

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Julia Hancock Clark

  • Birth 21 Nov 1791 Virginia, USA
  • Death 27 Jun 1820 Fincastle, Botetourt County, Virginia, USA
  • Burial Shawsville, Montgomery County, Virginia, USA
  • Plot Stone vault on mountainside
  • Memorial ID 54390590

Julia Hancock's parents were Col. George Hancock and Margaret (Peggy) Strother Hancock.
Peggy Strother's parents were George (1732-1767) and Mary Kennerly Strother (1746-1834), originally of Culpeper County (the part that later became Rappahannock). When George died, Mary married (1770) Patrick Lockhart, a notable frontiersmen and they migrated to Botetourt County and Fincastle area.
Margaret Strother Hancock's brother, John Strother, became a significant explorer and surveyor/mapper of North Carolina and Tennessee and was involved in the Yazoo Land brouhaha and Gen. Andrew Jackson named Fort Strother for him during the Creek skirmishes during the War of 1812.
William Clark never resided in Fincastle or Botetourt. However, he stopped there a few times to visit his friend, William Preston, Jr., with whom Lewis and Clark served in Wayne's Legion, during the Indians Wars of the 1790s. Preston married Caroline Hancock, (another daughter of Col. George and Margaret (Peggy) Strother Hancock), and Julia Hancock Clark's older sister.
Clark reportedly met 14-year old Julia when he stopped there just before beginning his and Lewis' famous expedition, and then on his return to Washington a few years later, he stopped in Fincastle to ask for Julia's hand in marriage around Jan. 1807.
He continued to Washington where he was feted and made the rounds and then he had to return to St. Louis in May 1807 to wrap up some duties. Almost immediately after their wedding in 1808 he and Julia moved to St. Louis.

From the book, 'Old Naval Days; Sketches From the Life of Rear Admiral William Radford, U. S. N.' by Sophie Radford Meissner, copyright 1920, by Henry Holt & Company: the author's grandmother was Harriett Kennerly Radford Clark, first cousin of Julia Hancock (Harriett's mother was the sister of Julia's father, Col. George Hancock). Harriett's mother died when Harriett was a child, and she was thereafter raised in the household of her uncle, Col. Hancock, and was devotedly attached to her cousin Julia, one year younger. In 1806, Harriett married John Radford in a double ceremony with Julia's sister Mary and John Caswell Griffin. One year later, Julia married General William Clark (of Lewis and Clark). When Harriett's husband John died in 1817, she moved to St. Louis, where her brother, James Kennerly, was serving as the private secretary to General Clark, who had now become the Territorial Governor of Missouri. In 1819, Gov. and Julia Clark, and Harriett Radford had their portraits painted by Chester Harding (at the time of the writing of this book, these portraits were all in the possession of the author). "Hardly were these portraits completed, however, before Julia was taken ill, and in accordance with the advice of their physician, Governor Clark took his wife and their three boys, Meriwether Lewis, George Rogers and Julius to Fotheringay, the beautiful home built by Colonel Hancock in the mountains of Virginia shortly after Julia's marriage. There for a time Mrs. Clark appeared to rally, so much so indeed that when, the succeeding winter, important matters demanded Governor Clark's presence in St. Louis, he left her with no apprehension of danger. Hardly, however, had he reached his journey's end before a swift messenger came bearing the dread tidings that his wife had been taken from this world. Returning immediately to Fotheringay he there attended a double funeral, Colonel Hancock having survived his daughter but a few days. High on the hillside overlooking the Happy Valley, where flow the head waters of the Roanoke, in a white mausoleum he had himself caused to be excavated from the solid rock, the earthly remains of Col. George Hancock and his daughter Julia were laid."
(One year later, Governor Clark married Harriett Radford in St. Louis)

Additional Information from Sara Stevenson, a descendant of George Hancock Kennerly: Julia had a younger brother, George. As a baby he couldn't pronounce the "L" in Julie and called her "Judy." Judy became her nickname. When William Clark heard everyone in the family call her Judy, he assumed that Judith was her given name. They became engaged and during his Voyage of Discovery he honored her by naming the Judith River for her. Imagine his surprise when he returned and on the day of their wedding found out her give name was Julia. By then it was too late to rename the river, so Julia has been incorrectly saddled with the name Judith ever since.

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  • Maintained by: Kathleen
  • Originally Created by: P Fazzini
  • Added: 2 Jul 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 54390590
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Julia Hancock Clark (21 Nov 1791–27 Jun 1820), Find A Grave Memorial no. 54390590, citing Fotheringay Cemetery, Shawsville, Montgomery County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Kathleen (contributor 47602782) .