Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Surrender House

The Wilmer McLean house known as the “Surrender House” as it was the house in which Ulysses S Grant excepted Robert E Lee’s surrender, was sold at auction on November 29th 1869.

The house was built in 1848 by Charles and Eliza D Raine. In 1863 the Raine estate was sold to Wilmer McLean. The first major battle of the Civil War; the Battle of First Manassas took place on the Wilmer McLean farm in Virginia. After that battle McLean decided to move south in an attempt to avoid the war. He bought the house at Appomattox, Virginia.

McLean made a nice fortune during the war smuggling sugar, however most of it was in Confederate money. With the end of the war the currency was worthless. In 1867 McLean left Appomattox and returned to his wife’s estate in Prince William County, Virginia. The bank in Richmond, Virginia obtained a judgment for the default of loans made to McLean. The house known as the “Surrender House” was sold on November 29th 1869 at auction to recover money owed on loans. It was purchased by John L Pascoe, who rented the house to the Ragland family of Richmond, Virginia.

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