The Honorable Alexander Robinson Boteler

(1815-1892)

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alexanderboteler
boteler stone

Born in Shepherdstown in May 1815, Boteler was the maternal great-grandson of the Early American patriot and artist Charles Willson Peale. Boteler graduated from Princeton College in 1835 and in 1859 served as a member of the 36th Congress. Upon the death of his father in 1836, Boteler assumed control of the family farm “Fountain Rock” and a mill located 1 mile below Shepherdstown at Pack Horse Ford. He converted the gristmill to a cement mill and in 1851 received a contract to provide hydraulic cement for work being done on the U. S. Capitol. During the War Between the States Boteler was appointed an aide-de-camp and given the rank of Colonel by Gov. Letcher. He served on the staff of Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson until Jackson’s death in May 1863 and then joined the staff of Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. As a member of the Confederate Congress he designed the Confederate seal, and was chair of the committee that designed the first Confederate flag. Boteler suffered two significant losses during the War. In August 1861 his cement mill was burned by Union soldiers and in July 1864 his estate “Fountain Rock” was completely destroyed by fire on orders of Union Maj. Gen. David Hunter. After the war President Andrew Johnson pardoned Colonel Boteler. During the administrations of Presidents Arthur and Cleveland, he served on the U. S. Tariff Commission and in the Department of Justice. Morgan’s Grove Park (0.7 mi. south of the spot, on the east side of Route 480) occupies part of the original estate. The park pavilion stands on the foundation of the original house and the limestone springhouse was restored in 1939.

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