Enoch Faw visits Monticello
    by Ellen Adams

Enoch Faw was a Law student at the University from 1857-1858.  He matriculated after studying at Normal College (part of what is now Duke University), getting a letter of recommendation from the president of the College, Braxton Craven.  Through Faw’s diary excerpt, one is able to glance at the experience of not only a new student at the University, but also one experiencing Virginia history for the first time.   One of his anecdotes involves his first visit to the “far famed,” Monticello, a site he seems quite taken with.

Faw states, “The scenery is very good from there. Charlottesville lies in the N.W. beautifully spread out in the plain, while a great number of white houses may be seen scattered in the sunshine and green foliage over the red hills lying between the ranges of little mountains… The place itself is one of grandeur.”

He also describes the condition of Jefferson’s grave: “The monument over his grave is but a square block of granit [sic], perhaps 2 feet cube with rather apyramidal stone about 5 ½ high resting upon the cube.”  He comments that the “old and dilapidated,” appearance is a result of visitors taking pieces from the monument as souvenirs, “through a spirit of veneration for the man.”  Even in 1857, the reverence of Thomas Jefferson was thriving.

Though over 150 years old, parts of Faw’s diary remain relatable for today’s students.  He comments on the friendliness of the students, and relates his “utter despair” over complicated Common Law abstracts.  One of his excursions involves purchasing $73 worth of textbooks – evidently textbooks have never been cheap.  He studied under several notable professors, including John Barbee Minor, who lectured on Common and Statute Law.

After his time at the University, Enoch Faw fought in the Civil War, enlisting in the Confederate army as 1st lieutenant in Company D, 4th Reserves Infantry Regiment, Georgia.  He returned to Marietta, Georgia at the end of the war where he was elected mayor in 1884.  He continued to practice law in Marietta until his death in 1902.


Enoch Faw Diary, Sept 25-Oct 9, 1857

Enoch Faw Biography, from Students of the University of Virginia, 1825-1874