National Expansion & Reform Basil Gordon

Basil Gordon

Basil Gordon (1768-1847) was one of many Scottish merchants that settled in Virginia in the 18th century. Merchants by trade, Basil and his brother Samuel Gordon (1759-1843) came to Virginia in 1784 and maintained extensive mercantile stores in Falmouth. Samuel lived at what is now called Gordon Green Terrace in Falmouth and Basil lived in a brick house below the Falmouth Bridge on River Road. Basil married Anna Campbell Knox, daughter of another local Scottish family. Local lore holds that Basil was America’s first millionaire, but this distinction has not been proved. Both brothers were extremely successful in their mercantile ventures and Samuel moved from Falmouth to Kenmore, the old Fielding Lewis house in Fredericksburg. A newspaper article of 1874 read, “Basil Gordon, whose powdered hair, gold spectacles and scrupulously neat black suit is still remembered by the old residents…Mr. Gordon was a Scotchman, and settled in Falmouth more than half a century ago. By sterling integrity and extensive commercial transactions, he accumulated and bequeathed to his heirs over two million dollars.”