Caswell County heiress slain by serpent

Cordelia Pritchard at age 4

Cordelia Pritchard at age 4

Miss Cordelia Arrington Pritchard, 82, went home to the Lord on Wednesday. Battling bravely to the very last, she fell prey to renal necrosis that resulted from a venomous bite. In a fluke accident, the departed had been repeatedly bitten by a cottonmouth that had been awakened from his hibernation by unseasonably warm weather- striking at her from under the thick roots of Trumpet-Vines which wall the front of her property, and which have made her mailbox a landmark on route 86 between Yanceyville and Leasburg – her neighbors later capturing the massive 6 foot serpent in a drainage ditch, not far from the mishap.

Reknowned in rural Caswell County as a queen amongst eccentrics, Miss Cordelia was fond of cigars and rye whiskey, as well as an avid collector of Byzantine icons, copper jewelry, muzzle-loaded firearms, and historic artisan furniture of North Carolina hands. A humanitarian and world traveler, Miss Cordelia maintained friendships with people of all races and creeds, though she did not suffer fools gladly; oft using her acid tongue to dress down those who did not cotton to her political ideas – chief among them animal rights, land conservation, and, perhaps, most conspicuous, the resurgent secessionist movement in the state, her support of which was testified to by the Confederate flag waving prominently atop the tower of an antebellum palladian house she had meticulously restored with period furnishings.

Born on the plantation of her ancestors, near Grove Hill in Warren County, Miss Cordelia attended finishing school at St. Mary’s, followed by a bachelor’s degree from Meredith College and then Duke University, graduating, 1960, as a doctor of parapsychology. Her choice of field was driven by the one truly dark part of her life: —– that of a curse – left behind by her great-granddaddy, veteran of the Army of Northern

The Pritchard home

The Pritchard home

Virginia and KKK Grand Dragon Asa Pritchard; he having placed upon his descendents the onus of attaining posthumous publication of his novels, something not attained until Sunbury Press recently, and most reluctantly, agreed to publish just one, ‘The Curse of the Dead Confederates,’ this spring. Miss Cordelia was known to ruminate on the collective family failure that resulted in her being the last Pritchard – every other family member before her, having been struck down in ways that, only now, in light of her death, seem prophetic.

Though never married, Miss Cordelia did have a lifetime companion, Mrs. Peggy Ann Cox, formerly of Sparta, NC, who preceded her in death in 2012. Her pet owl, ‘Cayce’, as well as her vast estate, is left to her lifelong servants – her driver Mr. Elijah Davis, and cook, Miss Bessie Lapham Strong – both of Warrenton and, incredibly, direct descendents of the first Pritchard slaves, from the first Pritchard plantation in Northhampton County, from the earliest days of the Carolina colony during time of George I. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions are requested to be made to your local NRA chapter or Confederate States of America Provisional Government online at

(Note: this obituary is related to the upcoming novel “The Curse of the Dead Confederates.”More information can be found at…)



  1. James Devine · · Reply

    This looks like a great Mystery Story , I can’t wait to read it !

  2. Peter Dwight · · Reply

    Nice use of black and white images:
    Young Girl, and Rocky Hill Castle


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