Quaker John of Virginia

Quaker John Maddox Genealogy - Richmond VA

Creator of Richmond's first directory

"Amongst those whose appearance, not for beauty or grace, was apt to attract
attention in by-gone days, was Friend Maddux, a tall, raw boned Quaker, who
adhered strictly to the costume of his society.  Friend Maddux was full six feet
in stature, and his long strides and rapid gait might have indicated that he
inherited the boots of Jack the giant-killer--he strode about four feet at each
step, and slung his body and arms with a vim to keep pace with his legs.  His
occupation was that of collector of accounts, and his approach was a terror to
bad pay-masters.  He was very plain-spoken, and slow to accept excuses; but
although a severe dun, he must have been a kind-hearted man, as the following
incident will show.

He had occasion to call on Mrs. Green, once a beautiful actress, whose
"occupation was gone."  Her only child, a daughter in the bloom of youth, was
burned at the theatre, from which the mother escaped through a door behind the
scenes, while the daughter was with some friends in one of the boxes.  Mrs.
Green rushed forth in the costume of the Bleeding Nun (the character which she
was personating,) to seek for her daughter in the houses where she visited,
those of respectable citizens; her frantic appearance exceeding any tragic
acting--she flew from house to house, but alas! in vain.

Her husband, a favorite actor, had become dissipated and left her destitute, and
when Friend Maddux saw her, she was living in poverty and solitude.  He felt
compassion for her desolate condition--a childless mother and deserted wife.

He spoke to her of religion and its consolations, and inquired if she attended
church.  She replied, "I do not. I have no one to go with me, and have not
resolution to go alone."  John's pity was excited, and he asked if she would go
with him.  She thanked him, but said they were not of the same creed.  He
replied, "I will go to thy church with thee."  She assented, and he promised to
call on the next Sunday.  As John exacted punctuality, he also practised it --
accordingly, on the day appointed the Episcopal congregation were astonished by
the entrance of the tall and ungainly Quaker, with the pale and delicate actress
in weeds, leaning on his arm.  Their devotion was suspended and their curiosity

The next day one of them rallied John on his gallantry.

"True, friend Jane," he replied, "I carried a poor, desolate sinner to hear the
word of God, but I do assure thee I saw many there who stared at her, that
required the word as much as that poor soul did."

The name of Maddux is perpetuated, to this time at least, by being given to the
hill on which he resided, overlooking the valley of Shockoe Creek, and south of
Howard's Grove.

Friend Maddux was so enterprising as to publish the first Directory of Richmond,
in 1819, which contained about 1100 names.  With the aid of large type, an
almanac and various tables, he eked out a small, thin volume.  The Directory for
1859 contains the names of about 6600 persons, of whom not more than 44 are
registered in that of 1819, as far as I can tell."

>From Richmond in By-Gone Days, by Samuel Mordecai, 2nd ed. 1860, reprinted 1946,
by the Dietz Press, Inc., Richmond, pp.180-183:

The Maddox Map

36)  From Richmond, Virginia, in Old Prints, 1737-1887, by A.W. Weddell, J.L.
McElroy, and D.S. Freeman, Johnson Publishing Co., 1932, pp.52-53:  "THE MADDOX
MAP:  The first directory of the city of Richmond bore the following title, "The
Richmond Directory, Register and Almanac, for the year 1819.--Richmond:
Published by John Maddox.--1819."  .............

Richmond's Maddox Hill

On M.Ellyson's Map of Richmond, prepared for distribution to subscribers to his
Directory of 1856, Maddox Hill appears as bounded on the east by the
Mechanicsville Turnpike and on the west by Gamble Street, now a part of
Buchannan Street; thus a straight line drawn down Duval Street (from its
beginning at Brook Avenue and before making a turn at Second Street) would
bisect the hill.  Plate XVIII is a reproduction of the Maddox Map of 1819.<
Maddox Street is still listed on the current map of 1990, just west of the
beginning of Mechanicsville Turnpike, about a quarter mile S.S.W. of the
interchange with I-64.> <the spelling of the name is MADDOX, not Maddux, with
respects to Mordecai.>