16 From the Plantation to the Capitol.
his own name and settling upon them his entire estate, by
the circumstances of his position, which would not permit
either the one or the other. He did for his sons all he
could; exercising paternal wisdom, in the partial distri¬
bution of his property in their behalf and the appointment
of judicious executors of his will, who understood his
purposes and were faithful in efforts necessary to execute
them. Thus, he not only provided well for the education
of his sons, but, in large measure, made allowance for their
settlement in active, profitable business-life.
The Virginia plantation upon which John, like the other
sons, was born, and spent the first and tenderest years of
his life, was one of the very best and most wisely-ordered
of his native State. It was fertile, handsomely located, in
the midst of a beautiful section of the country, and
surrounded by other extensive, rich and productive farms,
distinguished for their improvements of valuable and
excellent character. The owners of several of these plan¬
tations, the most desirable, were blood connections of
Captain Quarles. All of such plantations were cultivated
by slave labor. Whatever may have been the rigor of its
management upon other plantations of the neighborhood,
upon that upon which the sons of Lucy Langston were
born and spent their early lives, no one witnessed, in dealings
had with the slaves thereupon, any other than mild, well
tempered and considerate treatment.
For twenty years before his death, no white man resided
upon his plantation other than Captain Quarles himself.
No overseer was employed ; and none other than a single
young colored boy, one of the slaves, was punished in any
wise during such period. He had persistently disobeyed
the orders of his superintendent after being several times
warned and directed by his owner; and, thus, incorrigible,
deserved and received merited correction only.
Indeed, Captain Quarles, by reason of his personal con¬
victions and opinions, with respect to the humane and con¬
siderate treatment of all slaves, sought to demonstrate
upon his own plantation, the wisdom and advantage of