Does anyone want to give me $15 million? All I found under the couch this morning was a dime. I ask because Carter’s Grove, a plantation built on the James River just below Williamsburg in early 1750s for the descendants of Robert ‘King’ Carter, has come on the market. I have been developing a more personal interest in historic Virginia architecture recently, as all the cuts on my fingers from noodling around in the guts of an 1839 clockmaker and silversmith’s shop can attest. Seems like Carter’s Grove would be a nice step up from a modest artisan’s workshop and residence on Caroline Street.
Although on second thought, I’m not sure how I would feel about living in the “big house” of a plantation built on the backs of countless slaves. I suspect it would be hard to abstract my love of the architecture and the setting (and, let’s not lie, of the luxury of the house) from its history. And this line of thinking leads me to wonder about that old 1839 clockmaker and silversmith’s shop. I wonder what the relationship of its builder, William Cox, was to the slave economy of antebellum Fredericksburg? It is a question that certainly needs to be explored.