The administrative formation of Appomattox County from four surrounding counties initiates speculative competition among visiting entrepreneurs and owners of property for profits in the development of a new courthouse village on what had been known simply as Clover Hill—a single tavern on the stage road from Richmond to Lynchburg. Samuel McDearmon takes early prominence in that competition. With the support and encouragement of patrician planters, including the wealthy Dr. Joel Walker Flood, political leaders such as Thomas Bocock pursue internal improvements focused on Appomattox Court House, expanding the connection of county farmers to the greater tobacco economy. The most widely known resident of the community is Joel Sweeney, the reputed developer of the modern banjo and of the minstrel-show tradition.
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