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A worldview as seen from Moss Neck
Profile of Judy Shelton

 When Fauquier County started feeling too crowded, Judy and Gilbert Shelton made their move to Moss Neck Manor in Caroline County in 2005.
MIKE MORONES/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 11/14/2009

BY BILL FREEHLING

The mementos scattered throughout Judy Shelton's Moss Neck Manor home in Caroline County speak to the influence of her conservative economic viewpoints.

Handwritten letters from former President Richard Nixon are framed on the wall of the antebellum Greek Revival mansion that Shelton and her husband, Gilbert, have called home since January 2005.

She has photos with and letters from Alan Greenspan, Jack Kemp, Milton Friedman and Paul Volcker, all of whom Shelton has worked with and advised over the years.

Shelton worked with Condoleezza Rice while serving as a senior research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. She has met both President Bushes and Ronald Reagan. She is regularly called upon by Congress to testify on matters of global finance and monetary issues. Business and political leaders read her commentaries for The Wall Street Journal, and she frequently travels overseas to meet with world leaders.

But what Judy Shelton really likes to do is hole up at Moss Neck Manor.

"I'm a hermit by nature," she said. "I can go days without leaving this place."

It's easy to see why. Moss Neck is a beautifully decorated 9,000-square-foot home situated on 280 acres off U.S. 17 not far from the Spotsylvania County line. The property borders Fort A.P. Hill, whose soldiers have come over to Moss Neck to hunt.

The Sheltons have 11 French Charolais cattle, six dogs and peacocks. Gilbert Shelton is a former entrepreneurial banker in Utah, Colorado and Hawaii who sold the businesses in the early 1980s. Now he channels his youthful interest in archaeology and anthropology into studying Moss Neck Manor's rich history.

Civil War historians will salivate over the property's past. Built in the mid-1850s by James Parke Corbin, the property was the headquarters of Gen. Stonewall Jackson and about 35,000 Confederate troops in the winter of 1862-63. A cemetery from that era remains.

On Dec. 24, 1862, Jackson and the Corbin family hosted a dinner party attended by Gens. Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart. The gathering was depicted in the Civil War movie "Gods and Generals," and a famous painting by Mort Künstler shows a review of the troops with Moss Neck in the background.


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More from Judy Shelton

To read recent opinion pieces that Judy Shelton has written for The Wall Street Journal, go to fredericksburg.com/blogs/bizbrowser.