Figure of the Week

James Morton

Born 1793 - Died 1859

James Morton (1793-1859) was the son of Richard Morton (1771-1812) and Margaret Ursula Waller (1771-c.1826) of Spring Hill, Stafford County.  He was also the grandson of Ursula (Brightwell) Morton (c.1725-c.1826) of Maryland and Stafford.  After the death of her husband and just after the Revolution, Ursula came to Stafford from Maryland.  According to her granddaughter, Mrs. Annie (Morton) Dix (c.1842-1922), Ursula didn’t plan on staying in Stafford, but one of her children became ill while in the vicinity of the courthouse.  She liked the people here and took up residence on the old Waller farm, Spring Hill.  Part of this is now occupied by Vestavia Woods subdivision on Courthouse Road (Route 630).  Here she remained until her death.  James Morton inherited Spring Hill and resided there.  As a young man he and his cousin, Withers Waller (1785-1827), used their sailing vessel to haul freestone from Aquia Creek to the city of Washington.  It was this partnership that hauled some if not all of the columns used on the east portico of the U. S. Capitol that were cut from Brent’s Island, now called Government Island.  Later on, James Morton made his living as a timber man and a land speculator  During his lifetime, he owned extensive acreage on the east side of U. S. Route 1 between Aquia and Potomac Creeks.  James was a magistrate in Stafford from at least 1835 to 1859, much of this time acting as presiding justice.