From the Jeffersonian (Stroudsburg, Pa.), 4/19/1866, p. 2, c. 5
Franklin Stearns, the richest man in the Old Dominion under the new regime, is a Vermonter, who has passed thirty years in Richmond, been twice married, and who is now worth, in real estate and cash, a million and a half dollars. He was a violent Unionist, suffered in Castle Thunder, and never kept Confederate scrip a week in his pocket, but loaned it for mortgages on all the farm-lands round. Every day enriches him, and as the benefits of peace and freedom are fully developed, he will probably be the proprietor, by the enhanced value of his lands, of twelve or fifteen millions. His mother is living – a merry-eyed and handsome lady of seventy – who talks in the shrewdest Vermont idiom, and is a battery in herself, cut from the Green mountains. – Stearns is one of the most exceptionable men of wealth we have. His life is without a meanness or a lie; he is sagacious, but not educated; and his residence of the slope of the James River is singularly simple and beautiful. He owned negroes to the day of emancipation, is a Johnson Republican, never took the rebel oath, and is a splendid compound of Northern energy, softened to Virginia graciousness.