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The second John Floyd

Last week I wrote about the first John Floyd  who was a surveyor for Colonel William Preston, of Smithfield Plantation, now Blacksburg, and walked through the pages of Southwest Virginia history. Today we will look at the life of his son, also named John, who lived in the area that is now Pulaski County.
The first John Floyd was killed in Kentucky by Indians on April 12, 1783. Twelve days later, on  April 24, his widowed wife gave birth to a son, and named him John, after his father. This was the child who was born an orphan, and grew up to be Doctor John Floyd, the man I refer to as the second John Floyd.  
 The second John Floyd came to Pulaski in about the year 1816, at the age of  33, shortly after receiving his degree in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. He was married to Letitia, a daughter of Colonel William Preston, mentioned above. John and his wife Letitia, built a nice home on Thorn Spring Branch, in the area south of the present Thorn Spring Golf Course.
John served his community well. He enlisted in the Army as a surgeon, serving in the War of  1812 with the rank of Colonel. He did not care to be addressed as Colonel, but as Doctor. Along with several other doctors, Floyd had an office in the village of Newbern, and cared for patients for many miles around, some as far away as Wytheville. He once wrote of making a house call to the Wytheville home of Mrs. Haller.
In his history of Pulaski County, Conway Smith wrote “Dr. Floyd was a man whose thinking was far ahead of his time. He was an active member of the Virginia State Legislature, making a name for himself  as a states rights advocate, and also one who could see the inevitable outcome  of  the evil of slavery. Early in his political career he let it be known that  he did not see any way that the south  could hold people in bondage. He flatly and accurately predicted that a great civil conflict loomed in the future.”
John Floyd served in the Congress of the United States, and as Governor of Virginia. He believed that the U.S. should extend its borders as far as possible in all directions. He was such a believer in this that in Congress he was nicknamed  “Old Oregon.” He didn’t live to see the Oregon Territory annexed by the country, but he played a big part in causing it to come about.
As  a local citizen, Dr. John Floyd contributed in many ways, one being by fathering eight children. Of these eight children, Rush Floyd served as Commonwealth’s Attorney. John Buchanan Floyd, after a happy childhood playing along  the waters of Thorn Spring Branch, moved to western Virginia and became a successful politician, and was the second John Floyd to become governor of the Commonwealth.
The Floyd family never forgot the jailer’s young daughter befriending the first John Floyd, the adventurer. Doctor Floyd and his wife named their first daughter Carolee, after this girl, and a pretty name it was.
In studying the life of Dr. John Floyd, one has to come away with  an understanding of the tenderness and feeling of the man.  Like the father he never knew, he was a man of the frontier who went all out for things he believed in, and at the same time, he always displayed compassion, and a bedside manner of a physician that he was.
Among his hobbies was the raising of bears, and it is said that he kept his bears chained to large oak trees on his farm on Thorn Spring Branch.
Other doctors served Pulaski longer, but none had a more varied career than John Preston Floyd, the governor of Virginia. 

 Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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The second John Floyd

Last week I wrote about the first John Floyd  who was a surveyor for Colonel William Preston, of Smithfield Plantation, now Blacksburg, and walked through the pages of Southwest Virginia history. Today we will look at the life of his son, also named John, who lived in the area that is now Pulaski County.
The first John Floyd was killed in Kentucky by Indians on April 12, 1783. Twelve days later, on  April 24, his widowed wife gave birth to a son, and named him John, after his father. This was the child who was born an orphan, and grew up to be Doctor John Floyd, the man I refer to as the second John Floyd.  
 The second John Floyd came to Pulaski in about the year 1816, at the age of  33, shortly after receiving his degree in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. He was married to Letitia, a daughter of Colonel William Preston, mentioned above. John and his wife Letitia, built a nice home on Thorn Spring Branch, in the area south of the present Thorn Spring Golf Course.
John served his community well. He enlisted in the Army as a surgeon, serving in the War of  1812 with the rank of Colonel. He did not care to be addressed as Colonel, but as Doctor. Along with several other doctors, Floyd had an office in the village of Newbern, and cared for patients for many miles around, some as far away as Wytheville. He once wrote of making a house call to the Wytheville home of Mrs. Haller.
In his history of Pulaski County, Conway Smith wrote “Dr. Floyd was a man whose thinking was far ahead of his time. He was an active member of the Virginia State Legislature, making a name for himself  as a states rights advocate, and also one who could see the inevitable outcome  of  the evil of slavery. Early in his political career he let it be known that  he did not see any way that the south  could hold people in bondage. He flatly and accurately predicted that a great civil conflict loomed in the future.”
John Floyd served in the Congress of the United States, and as Governor of Virginia. He believed that the U.S. should extend its borders as far as possible in all directions. He was such a believer in this that in Congress he was nicknamed  “Old Oregon.” He didn’t live to see the Oregon Territory annexed by the country, but he played a big part in causing it to come about.
As  a local citizen, Dr. John Floyd contributed in many ways, one being by fathering eight children. Of these eight children, Rush Floyd served as Commonwealth’s Attorney. John Buchanan Floyd, after a happy childhood playing along  the waters of Thorn Spring Branch, moved to western Virginia and became a successful politician, and was the second John Floyd to become governor of the Commonwealth.
The Floyd family never forgot the jailer’s young daughter befriending the first John Floyd, the adventurer. Doctor Floyd and his wife named their first daughter Carolee, after this girl, and a pretty name it was.
In studying the life of Dr. John Floyd, one has to come away with  an understanding of the tenderness and feeling of the man.  Like the father he never knew, he was a man of the frontier who went all out for things he believed in, and at the same time, he always displayed compassion, and a bedside manner of a physician that he was.
Among his hobbies was the raising of bears, and it is said that he kept his bears chained to large oak trees on his farm on Thorn Spring Branch.
Other doctors served Pulaski longer, but none had a more varied career than John Preston Floyd, the governor of Virginia. 

 Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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