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Judge George Blow, Jr.

Elmwood Cemetery
2nd Alley East, Lot 8
(1813 – 1894)

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 & Fannie (Wright) Blow, in Portsmouth for education (and possibly because of an illness that prevailed in Sussex at the time).

In 1829 at the age of 16, he entered William & 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 law courses. He briefly returned to Portsmouth because of the illness and death of his grandfather, 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.

In 1841 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.

In 1846 he married Elizabeth Taylor Allmand, who bore him ten children before her death in 1868 at the age of 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", he may have been 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. After the war he received an executive pardon from President Andrew Johnson for this act.

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.

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.

Also on the Blow Family lot in Elmwood is a memorial stone to three of Judge Blow’s sons:  Blacknall, William Harrison and one unnamed, all of whom died in infancy.  It bears the inscription, “In Tender Memory of Three Little Brothers Who Lived and Died in the Long Ago” and the Victorian sentimental quote, “There’s a home for little children above the bright blue sky.”  This quote derives from the Episcopal hymn “There’s a Friend for Little Children.”* Another of Judge Blow’s sons, Dr. Richard Blow is interred on a Blow Family Lot in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia.

*The Recording Angel newsletter, Volume 4, Issue 3, October 2005 published by Tim Bonney of the Friends of Norfolk’s Historic Cemeteries.  Chronology courtesy of John Matthiessen Blow.

Biographical information provided by Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries.

Visitor Information

Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Office hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Free parking inside cemetery.

Admission Cost: Free

Address: 238 E. Princess Anne Road , Norfolk, VA 23510

Official web site for more information: www.norfolk.gov/cemeteries

Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: www.norfolksocietyforcemeteryconservation.org