John Coakley, Jr.


Entered into rest JOHN COAKLEY  Born Feb 14, 1805  Died July 2, 1874.

Section - Section 2
ID -23

Birth -1805

Death - 1874

Age - Over 60

Gender - Male

Profession - Merchant

Veteran- N/A

Data -

When he died he was one of the oldest merchants in Fredericksburg selling books as early as 1830, queensware, leather and dry goods.

He was a member of the Vestry in 1839 to 1865 (resigning that year) and then 1869-1874 until his death. He was senior warden in 1865

He was involved in many community activities. He was also VP of the Fredericksburg Bible Society. He was also involved in the Mary Washington Monument Committee and served as a bank director in 1855 as well as member of an insurance company in the same year and superintendent of the Fredericksburg Aqueduct Company at the time of the Civil War.

During the Civil War in 1852 he was one of 19 arrested by the Federals in August and confined in Old Capital Prison until September. Included in that list was Thomas Knox, Thomas Barton, John F. Scott of St. George’s. They were arrested in retaliation for the Confederate imprisonment of seven federals for disloyalty and were confined in prison in Richmond. 6 of the 19 were members of St. George’s which had the most members of any Church from those arrested: 1. Thomas Knox 2. John Coakley 3. Dr. James Cooke 4. John F. Scott 5. Montgomery Slaughter 6. Thomas B. Barton. Two others John Berrey and George H. C. Rowe kept diaries which are valuable. They were sent to Old Capitol Prison in Washington by boat. This prison was neither an Andersonville nor a minimum security facility. Sanitary conditions were no worse than other prisons of the time but the prisoners were bothered by lice and bed-bugs and bad smelling food. Generally the relations were courteous and some of the rules bent such as being able for the 19 to meet together . The diaries note lots of wine drunk and many practical jokes played on each other that allowed them to keep their spirits high. As Rowe notes, he saw John Coakley once “wore a handkerchief pinned around his waist, in short sleeves and slippers, the very picture of a quarrelsome old maid” They even met up with famed spy Belle Boyd.

[1] 7/9/1874. FredNews  Member and vestryman of the Episcopal Church filling other offices of trust the community. His integrity, fidelity and courtesy were uniform.
[2] Virginia Herald 7/9/1874 3x 2 books , queensware business, sale of dry goods
[3] Virginia Herald 4/19/1834  4×5 AD largest and best assorted stock of books that has ever been offered.
Examples of books –
Illustrations of Pulmonary Consumption
Celebrated speeches of Chatham, Burke and Erskine
Autobiography of John Galt
Memoirs of the Court of Charles I
Exposition of Psalm CXIX

Examples of positions held

officer Female Charity School    3 Mar 1848    3×1
bank director    18 Jan 1848    2×5
Farmers Bank Director    29 Jan 1850    2×5
Washington Guard in 1860  24 Jul 1860    2×3
member Fredericksburg Aqueduct Co.    11 Jun 1874    3×5

Virginia Herald
Married Elizabeth Thom     26 Nov 1836     3×2
Member Bible Society     1 Jan 1872     3×3
St. George’s Vestryman     8 Apr 1872     3×2
Book Seller 1 May 1830     3×4
M. W. Monument Committee     28 May 1831     3×2
Leather Merchant     10 Apr 1833     3×3
Member Insurance Company     4 Jan 1855     1×4
Member  Medical Academy 9 Jan 1873     3×2

[4] For some time he was a prominent merchant in Fredericksburg and was  Superintendent of the Fredericksburg Aquaduct Company

Sources -

[1] FredNews died aged 69     9 Jul 174     3×4+
[2] Virginia Herald 7/9/1874 3x 2
[3] Virginia Herald  4/19/1834  4×5

Notes - N/A;


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