Thomas Jefferson Craddock (Albemarle County, Virginia, 1845-1918) relief carved wooden walking stick. Profusely chip carved and with multiple inscriptions reading, THOMAS JEFFERSON OF VA, BORN APR 13, 1743/ WAS PRESIDENT USA 1801-1809/ WROTE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE/FOUNDER OF UNIVERSITY VA/DIED JULY 4, 1826/ THIS CANE WAS CUT NEAR JEFFERSON'S TOMB. Carved animals and symbols throughout including birds, a flag, leaves, feathers and several four legged animals. Additionally bears the inscription B.C. HOWARD which refers to the purchaser of the cane. 32 3/4" L. Provenance: Thomas Jefferson Craddock was born in Albemarle County in August of 1845, the son of carpenter William Randolph Craddock. On April 1, 1863, Thomas enlisted in the Confederate army, serving as a private in the 5th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry until his injury in February of 1863 at Hamilton's Crossing. He remained active in local veteran groups for the remainder of his life. As early as 1890, a newspaper noted Craddock as the ÒgeniusÓ carver from Albemarle, and that he Òmade a living by carving canes cut near the grave of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello.Ó In the 1900 federal census for Scottville, Albemarle County, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson Craddock lists his occupation as cane maker. This self-identification, together with the many surviving walking sticks by his hand and the attention they received in the press, hint at the prolific scope of his creative, income generating activity. One obituary recalled that "his remarkable canes were noted far and near." (Courtesy: From the Files of Colonial Williamsburg). CONDITION: Overall wear, losses and darkening to wood to lower section of stick.
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