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Sterling Ruffin

Member From: 1801 - 1803

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  • Birth Date: 1765 Birth Place:Dinwiddie, VA
  • Death Date: April 17, 1822
  • Gender: Male Race: Caucasian
  • Spouse: Alice Ruffin
  • Children: Thomas Carter Ruffin, Chief JusticeThomas Ruffin, and Mary Ruffin Cain
  • Religion:
  • Education:
  • Military Service:
  • Occupation/Profession: Planter/Minister
  • Additional Info: Son of Robert Ruffin, of "Mayfield" and Mary Elizabeth "Molly" Ruffin Brother of Capt James B. Ruffin Sr ; William Ruffin and John D. Ruffin Sterling Ruffin, was a planter of respectable fortune in neighboring Essex County. According to legend, handed down to his present-day descendants, he had enjoyed the usual cavalier pursuits of an eighteent century gentleman-- horse-racing, cock fights, a well stocked wine cellar--until on one occasion while he was taking a couple of blooded mares to Richmond for a race he was forced to spend the night in an inn or ordinary which was completely deserted except for mine host. Bored with the keeper's loquacity, he called for reading material to take to bed with him. A search of the establishment failed to reveal any printed matter except the Holy Bible. As a last resort, Sterling Ruffin is said to have opened to the book of Genesis-perhaps for the first time. So engrossed did he become that he spent the entire night, and several candles, in this fashion. And so deeply moved was he that the next day he turned his face homeward, sold his race horses, and henceforth forsook all sporting interests. Later, probably because of this over-night awakening, he (Sterling) became a Methodist minister. ​​
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1801-1802 Brunswick Democratic-Republican Propositions and Grievances
1802-1803 Brunswick Democratic-Republican

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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