Crawford Family

The Crawford Family hails from Yorkshire in England and arrived in Virginia in the 1640s. Edward Crawford (b. 1615 - d. 1691), the family patriarch, first arrived at Jamestown where he began his career as a tobacco planter. Like much of Virginia, during the English Civil War, the Crawford Family remained within the Royalist camp. However, the family later grew disillusioned with the Royalist cause. Later, the family relocated to the Shenandoah Valley in the 1720s, where Edward's grandson, John Crawford (b. 1681 - d. 1741), acquired a vast land grant including approximately 70,000 acres from the Virginia Company in what is now Frederick County. Eventually, this land grant would be broken up into smaller portions and sold to new colonists. John Crawford and his son Jonathan Crawford Sr. (b. 1721) worked to make the estate profitable. By the 1730s, the Crawfords had established the earliest manor on the estate, now known as Belle Grove, Virginia.

Heritage: Anglo-American
Religion: Episcopalian

Jonathan Crawford, Jr.

Jonathan Crawford was born on August 20, 1751 to Jonathan Crawford Sr. at Belle Grove Manor in Virginia. He was the eldest of three brothers and four sisters. From age 11 to 16, Jonathan was sent to study under Albert Robertson, a Scottish instructor who served as a tutor for many prominent planter families in Virginia. From there, Crawford learned mathematics, geography, French, German, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Crawford matriculated to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and excelled in Classical Studies. At this time, he was profoundly influenced by the writings of the Enlightenment, particularly the works of John Locke.

After returning to Virginia, Crawford rose to prominence as a member of the Virginia militia. In 1775, he was commissioned as a colonel in the Virginia Militia, and served as his father's second-in-command. Although his military service was brief, he saw action in the Southwest of Virginia during the Cherokee War of 1776. Crawford's regiment was deployed on orders of the Governor towards the Colony of Transylvania (known by the Natives as Kain-tuck-ee). The brief campaign took Crawford through the lower Little Tennessee Valley to scour the villages where the Cherokee raids had originated and through the Great Indian Warpath. There, the Colonists had found the Cherokee had burned their towns and withdrew to the Wilderness. With the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, Crawford was recalled to Virginia, where he stood for election to the Virginia House of Delegates. Albeit brief, his military campaign had impressed the voters of Virginia, and he easily won election. At the Virginia constitutional convention, he convinced delegates to alter the Virginia Declaration of Rights to provide for "equal entitlement," rather than mere "tolerance," in the exercise of religion. With the enactment of the Virginia constitution, Crawford became part of the Virginia House of Delegates, and he was subsequently elected to the Virginia governor's Council of State.

Crawford served on the Council of State from 1777 to 1779, when he was elected to the Second Continental Congress. As the American Revolution raged on, the United States had begun to face serious difficulties financing the war effort, and the economy was afflicted with stagnant growth, financial instability, run-away inflation, and disunity between the different levels of government. This experience impressed upon Crawford the necessity of a strong central government. His attempted Constitutional Amendments to allow the Continental Congress to raise money from foreign tariffs was rejected because it lacked unanimous consent from each of the Thirteen Colonies. Additionally, his criticisms of the social decay caused by fiat currency and "excessive democracy" fell upon deaf ears. During this time, Crawford delved into his Classical Education and sought out works from the various historical Republics, including the Ancient Constitutions of Rome, Athens, Achaea, as well as the more modern Dutch and Swiss Republics.

Following the American Revolution, Crawford was influential in drafting the American Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention. During the Convention, he proposed a rough outline, known as the Virginia Plan, which would establish three co-equal branches of Government: the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches. Although this was opposed by smaller states, which favored the New Jersey Plan, a compromise was reached whereby the two plans were combined. This combined plan, known as the Connecticut Compromise, ultimately became the basis for the United States Constitution

Heritage: Anglo-American (+1 Wealth)
Philosopher: John Locke (+1 Wealth)
Early Career: Officer (+1 Infantry Command)
Revolutionary War: Congressman (+1 Charisma)
Articles of Confederation: Congressman (+1 Charisma)

Elizabeth Crawford, née McClelland


James Crawford (b. 1756)

James is the second eldest Crawford Son.

Jonathan Crawford Sr. (b. 1721)

Edward Crawford