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Welcome to
General James Breckinridge Chapter
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
Roanoke, Virginia

~ Meet Our Patriot ~

We celebrate the life of General James Breckinridge and share with you a glimpse of some of his lifetime contributions to our country.

An Officer, Lawyer, Congressman, Husband,
Father, Friend, and
Our Chapter Patriot
General James Breckinridge

Military Service

1781 – At the age of 18, he served in the Revolutionary War in a company of riflemen under the command of his uncle, Colonel Preston; appointed as ensign under General Nathaniel Greene in North Carolina.

1787 - At the age of 25, he was appointed as ensign in Captain Cartmill’s Company.

1790 - Took the oath of Captain of Militia at Botetourt Courthouse.

1795 - Accepted the oath as lieutenant colonel, Commandant of Militia.

1812 – Advanced to US Army brigadier general, 3rd Brigade Virginia Militia in the War of 1812 against England and commanded the southwest forces of Virginia.

Civilian/Political Service

1789 – 1824 Two years after he was admitted to practice law in the state of Virginia in 1789, the general was appointed as trustee to the town of Fincastle. He also served thirteen sessions as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates where he served as leader of the old Federal party.

1809 -1817 Elected as a Federalist to the Eleventh United States Congress and served three consecutive terms.

The law office of General James Breckinridge is shown above. The restoration and preservation of this building was sponsored by our chapter.

In addition to his military and civilian accomplishments listed above, he joined forces with his trusted and intimate friend, Thomas Jefferson, in the founding of the University of Virginia, which opened its doors to students in 1825.

Personal Information

March 7, 1763

Birth Place:
[near] Fincastle, Botetourt County, Virginia

Parents: Robert Breckinridge (1732-1772) and Letticia Preston (second wife of Robert Breckinridge)

May 13, 1833

Breckinridge Grove Hill Estate, family burial plot, Fincastle, Botetourt County, Virginia

Grove Hill Estate

Grove Estate

This elegant country home was on one of General Breckinridge's plantations. The plantation where this estate is situated sits on 4,000 acres of land. Throughout his life, General James Breckinridge acquired hundreds of thousands of acres of land making him a wealthy man and famous frontier planter.

He constructed his family home “Grove Hill” near Fincastle, Virginia. This grand country home consisted of 26 rooms and was the center of never-ending entertainment. Grove Hill was the most impressive home in the area.

At the age of 70, our namesake patriot passed away at his country home (above) near Fincastle, Virginia, where he was buried with all military honors in the family plot. In 1909, the family home burned to the ground in a tragic accident, but the family plot remains.