PARENTS AND BIRTHPLACE.
John Mercer Langston was born upon a plantation,
located three miles from Louisa Court House, in Louisa
County, Virginia, on the 14th day of December, 1829.
The plantation was a large one, beautifully located and
well appointed in every respect. It was fully furnished with
slaves, according to the custom of the times, and being of
rich, fertile soil, was made valuable in the cultivation of
products peculiar to that section of the State and the coun¬
Upon this plantation, after the manner and habit of the
wealthy slave-holding classes, there were found the Great
House, occupied by the owner for his own special accom¬
modation ; the smaller, though in this case the equally
important one, used as the residence and home of the
favored slave of the place; with such usual quarters as
were necessary to meet the demands of the common slaves,
engaged in ordinary field and other services.
The owner of this plantation was Captain Ralph Quarles,
a man of large wealth, having in his own right great landed
possessions, with many slaves. His social relations were of
excellent character, as his name imports, among those
acquainted with his family. He was a person of broad and
varied education, with a love of learning and culture remark-