Remarkable Longevity in Charlotte County

     There are now living in Charlotte County, near the Campbell line, two persons, Alexander Berkley and his wife.   Berkley is now in his hundred & eighteenth year, and his wife in her hundred and seventh.   M. Berkley was born in Scotland, and served in the British army under the Duke of Marlborough [sic], in the reign of Queen Anne. After the death of his Queen, he immigrated to America and served again in the army of England, under General Wolfe, and was at Quebec when Montgomery fell.   When the war of our revolution commenced, he was too old to become a soldier again, and his military career of course was then terminated.   He has lived with his wife in a state of matrimony ninety years, and has had several children, but they have all gone to the tomb before him.   It appears that this old man has always been poor, and was consequently under the necessity of laboring for his support.   This instance of longevity is calculated to afford us an instructive commentary on our climate.   It must be conceded that the period of human life is shorter in America than in Europe, but notwithstanding the sickliness of our climate in some parts of the United States, the question occurs, whether the habits of our people do not produce this shortness of life?  It is not to be doubted, that the quantity of animal food and ardent spirits consumed in America, & the inactivity of the people, are completely destructive of health and physical strength. 

 THE VIRGINIAN, published in Lynchburg, Virginia
March 18, 1825
Film  138, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA.
Permission given
Submitted by: Brady Fitts