George Blow
1839

George Blow

Portrait shown on page is a duplicate of the oil portrait
that hangs today in the Norfolk, Virginia circuit courtroom.

George Blow Jr. was born May 5, 1813, in Sussex County at “Tower Hill”, the plantation belonging to his father Colonel George Blow. At the age of seven he was sent to his Grandparents, Richard and Fannie (Wright) Blow in Portsmouth for education (and possibly because of an illness that prevailed in Sussex at the time).

He attended Hampden-Sydney College 1828-292; In 1829 at the age of 16 he entered William and Mary College and was granted a B.A. in 1831. From there he went to the University of Virginia (#27, East Lawn) where he took the law courses. He briefly returned to Portsmouth because of the illness and death of his Grandfather Richard Blow, but returned to the University and graduated in 1835. He was admitted to the bar in the same year.

He practiced law in Norfolk until 1839 when he emigrated to Texas. In 1839 he was serving as Prosecuting Attorney for the Republic of Texas, Fourth Judicial District. He later served as a member of the House of Representatives from Bexar County.

Captured (as District Attorney) with the members of the District Court of San Antonio, Texas, by Mexican General Adrian Woll March 1842.

In 1842 he returned to Virginia, probably because of the death of his mother Eliza Waller, and resumed his law practice, serving also as Commonwealth Attorney for Norfolk Circuit Court from 1856 to 1860.3

In 1846 he married Elizabeth Taylor Allmand who bore him ten children before her death in 1868 at the age of only 44.

During the same period he was a member of the Virginia Militia rising to the rank of Brigadier General. In 1861 he resigned his commission and was appointed Lt. Colonel in the 14th Virginia Regiment of Infantry. “Captured with Norfolk in 1862“, we believe he was exchanged for a Union Officer and - although forced to give his home to a Union Officer - remained in Norfolk for the duration.

He was a member of the Virginia Secession Convention in 1860, first voting “nay” but later “yea” to secession. According to the published lists of visitors in the 1984 edition of the Register of Former Cadets, Judge Blow was a member of the VMI board in 1851-1852, 1857-1860, and 1861-1862.

Following the war he resumed his legal practice until he was elected Judge of the Norfolk Circuit Court in 1870.

A greatly respected jurist, he “had not one decision reversed” including the important Norfolk Ferry suit. He retired from the bench in 1886 at the age of 73.

Eight years later Judge Blow died at the age of 80, survived by only two siblings.

From letters we learn that Judge Blow was a devoted family man, a husband hopelessly in love with his wife and children. Many tributes were published and the cities of both Norfolk and Portsmouth voted resolutions of recognition. In Norfolk a street was named in his honor. His portrait still hangs today in the Norfolk District Court.

Read George Blow's Full Biosketch (PDF Document)

“Mexico's Last Try to Regain Texas in 1842 Unsuccessful” (PDF Document), San Antonio Express

Information on this page provided by Great Grandson of Judge Blow, John M. Blow

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