Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

065-0028 Vaucluse

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/02/1969

NRHP Listing Date 09/15/1970

NRHP Reference Number 70000814

Named for a region of southern France, Vaucluse was long the seat of the Eastern Shore’s prominent Upshur family. It is believed that the brick-ended section of the present house was built for Littleton Upshur ca. 1784. His son Abel Parker Upshur expanded the house to approximately its present size in 1829, making it one of the county’s grandest plantation dwellings. Abel Parker Upshur (1791 1844), who was born at Vaucluse, served President John Tyler as secretary of the navy. In 1843 he was appointed secretary of state and was responsible for negotiating the treaty annexing Texas. His promising career ended abruptly in 1844 when he and other officials were killed aboard the USS Princeton when a cannon accidentally exploded. In the 1970s the plantation was subdivided for a housing development, but the waterfront setting of the house has been preserved.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: March 28, 2021