Edmund Ruffin Plantation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Photo of marlbourne in 2015.jpg
Edmund Ruffin Plantation is located in Virginia
Edmund Ruffin Plantation
Edmund Ruffin Plantation is located in the US
Edmund Ruffin Plantation
Location U.S. Route 360, Hanover County, Virginia
Nearest city Richmond, Virginia
Coordinates 37°39′15.13″N 77°13′20.92″W / 37.6542028°N 77.2224778°W / 37.6542028; -77.2224778Coordinates: 37°39′15.13″N 77°13′20.92″W / 37.6542028°N 77.2224778°W / 37.6542028; -77.2224778
Built 1843
NRHP Reference # 66000837
VLR # 042-0020
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966[2]
Designated NHLD July 19, 1964[3]
Designated VLR September 9, 1969[1]

The Edmund Ruffin Plantation, also known as Marlbourne, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark in Hanover County, Virginia, 11 miles (18 km) northeast of Richmond.


Built in 1823, the plantation was purchased in 1843 by Edmund Ruffin, a Virginia planter and a pioneer in agricultural improvements; he also published an agricultural journal in the 1840s named the Farmer's Register. One of a group of intellectuals they called "the sacred circle",[4] he worked to reform agriculture in the South, promoting crop rotation and soil conservation; he is considered to have been "the father of soil science" in the United States.[5] Ruffin experimented with agricultural methods and mixed marl, defined as "a friable earthy deposit consisting of clay and calcium carbonate, used esp. as a fertilizer for soils deficient in lime" to add to soils.

He and his friends: James Henry Hammond, Nathaniel Beverley Tucker, George Frederick Holmes, and William Gilmore Simms, were pro-slavery and promoted a moral reform of the South. They published numerous articles in literary and short-lived magazines, promoting a stewardship role for masters to improve conditions under slavery.[6][7]

Later Ruffin gained more attention as one of a number of secessionist fire-eaters; he traveled to South Carolina and is credited with firing one of the first shots at Fort Sumter in 1861. Despondent after General Lee's surrender in 1865, he left a note proclaiming his "unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule—to all political, social and business connections with Yankees, & to the perfidious, malignant, & vile Yankee race"[8] and committed suicide at Redmoor in Amelia County. He is buried on the grounds of Marlbourne.

His Marlbourne plantation was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964.[3][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  2. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ a b "Marlbourne". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2008-04-11. 
  4. ^ Charles B. Dew, "Review: 'A Sacred Circle: The Dilemma of the Intellectual in the Old South, 1840-1860' by Drew Gilpin Faust", The Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 4 (April 1980), pp. 445-447
  5. ^ Ruffin, Edmund. Nature's Management: Writings on Landscape and Reform, 1822-1859, edited by Jack Temple Kirby, University of Georgia Press, 2006
  6. ^ Drew Gilpin Faust, A Sacred Circle: The Dilemma of the Intellectual in the Old South, 1840-1860, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977
  7. ^ Drew Gilpin Faust, The Ideology of Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Antebellum South, 1830--1860 (Google Ebook), LSU Press, 1981
  8. ^ Walther, Eric (1992). The Fire-Eaters. Louisiana State University Press. pp. 228–. ISBN 0-8071-1775-7. 
  9. ^ Lissandrello, Stephen (December 16, 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Marlbourne (Edmund Ruffin Plantation)" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying five photos, exterior, from c. 1970 (32 KB)

External links[edit]