Our American Revolution Ancestors
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OUR
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Lineage from
Col. Nicholas Lewis

Col. Nicholas Lewis
m. Mary Walker

Jane Walker Lewis
m. Hudson Martin

Mary Walker Martin
 m. Thurston Dickinson

Frances Elizabeth Dickinson
m. John Duggins

Elizabeth Marshall Duggins
m. James Henry Smith

Laura Ann Smith
m. Peter Christian Jensen

Lucile Marguerite Jensen
m. Wilhelm A.  Heineman

Peter E. Heineman
m. Doris J. Crum

Peter L. Heineman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Lineage from
Dr. Thomas Walker

Dr. Thomas Walker
m. Mildred Meriwether

Mary Walker
m. Col. Nicholas Lewis

Jane Walker Lewis
m. Hudson Martin

Mary Walker Martin
m. Thurston Dickinson

Frances Elizabeth Dickinson
m. John Duggins

Elizabeth Marshall Duggins
m. James Henry Smith

Laura Ann Smith
m. Peter Christian Jensen

Lucile Marguerite Jensen
m. Wilhelm A.  Heineman

Peter E. Heineman
m. Doris J. Crum

Peter L. Heineman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lineage from
Lt. Hudson Martin

Lt. Hudson Martin
m. Jane Walker Lewis

Mary Walker Martin
m. Thurston Dickinson

Frances Elizabeth Dickinson
m. John Duggins

Elizabeth Marshall Duggins
m. James Henry Smith

Laura Ann Smith
m. Peter Christian Jensen

Lucile Marguerite Jensen
m. Wilhelm A.  Heineman

Peter E. Heineman
m. Doris J. Crum

Peter L. Heineman

 

 

 


 

 

Lineage from
Pvt. William T. Duggins
 

William T. Duggins
m. Elizabeth Perkins

John Duggins
m. Frances E. Dickinson

Elizabeth Marshall Duggins
m. James Henry Smith

Laura Ann Smith
m. Peter Christian Jensen

Lucile Marguerite Jensen
m. Wilhelm A.  Heineman

Peter E. Heineman
m. Doris J. Crum

Peter L. Heineman

INTRODUCTION

The American Revolution was a political movement during the last half of the 18th century that resulted in the creation of a new nation in 1776, the United States of America, and ended British control of the Thirteen Colonies. In this period, the Colonies rebelled and entered into the American Revolutionary War against the British between 1775 and 1783, which culminated in an American declaration of independence in 1776 and an allied victory. The French government, army, and navy played critical roles in aiding the newfound Americans financially and in providing direct military and naval support.

The Revolution involved a series of broad intellectual and social shifts that occurred in the early American society, such as the new republican ideals that took hold in the American population. In some states sharp political debates broke out over the role of democracy in government. The American shift to republicanism, as well as the gradually expanding democracy, caused an upheaval of the traditional social hierarchy, and created the ethic that formed the core of American political values.

The revolutionary era began in 1763, when Britain defeated France in the French and Indian War and the military threat to the colonies from France ended. Britain imposed a series of taxes which the colonists thought were illegal. After protests in Boston the British sent combat troops, the Americans trained militiamen and fighting began in 1775. The climax of the Revolution came in 1776, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The end of the Revolutionary War is marked by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, with the recognition of the United States as an independent nation.

This publication is not a retelling of the history of the American Revolution.  It is the biographies of four Revolutionary War ancestors; Col. Nicholas Lewis, Lt. Hudson Martin, Dr. Thomas Walker, and Pvt. William T. Duggins.
 

Col. Nicholas Lewis
Nicholas Lewis Nicholas was born in "Belvoir" Louisa Co., Virginia on January 19, 1734.   He was the second son of Col. Robert Lewis of Belvior and Jane Meriwether.  Robert was the third son of Col. John Lewis and Elizabeth Warner.  He was born at Warner Hall, Gloucester County in 1702.   He married Jane Meriwether in 1725.  They had 11 children.

  1. JOHN LEWIS, b. August 31, 1725, Of Halifax, Virginia.; d. 1787, Caswell, N.C..

  2. JANE LEWIS, b. January 01, 1726/27, New Kent Co., Virginia.; d. Abt. 1794, Pittsylvania, Virginia..

  3. COL. NICHOLAS LEWIS, b. January 19, 1734, "Belvoir" Louisa Co., Virginia., Virginia.; d. December 08, 1808, "The Farm", Albemarle Co., Virginia..

  4.  COL. WILLIAM LEWIS, b. Abt. 1730, Locust Hill, Albemarle Co., Virginia.; d. November 14, 1779, "Cloverfield, " Albemarle, Virginia..

  5. CHARLES LEWIS, b. 1730, of North Garden, Louisa Co., Virginia.; d. 1779, Albemarle Co., Virginia..

  6. MARY LEWIS, b. Abt. 1735, Albemarle Co., Virginia.; d. May 31, 1812, Albemarle Co., Virginia..

  7. MILDRED LEWIS, b. September 01, 1737, "Belvoir", Albemarle Co., Virginia.; d. Abt. 1825.

  8. ROBERT LEWIS, b. 1738, Of Halifax, Virginia.; d. 1780, Greenville Co., N. C..

  9. ANN LEWIS, b. Abt. 1742, Of "Belvoir" Albemarle, Virginia.; d. Abt. 1769, Spotsylvania, Virginia..

  10. SARAH LEWIS, b. 1748, Albemarle, Virginia..

  11. ELIZABETH LEWIS, b. 1750, Hanover Co., Virginia.; d. 1833.

In 1735, Nicholas Meriwether, Nicholas’ grandfather, obtained patents from King George III to approximately 19,000 acres in Albemarle County east of Charlottesville. One parcel of 1020 acres was located west of the Rivanna River, the area which now is the Locust Grove and Belmont neighborhoods. It became known as “The Farm” because it was the one cleared area in a virgin forest.   A building on the property likely served as headquarters for British Col. Banastre Tarleton briefly in June 1781.  In 1825, Charlottesville lawyer and later University of Virginia law professor, John A. G. Davis purchased a portion of the original tract and engage Thomas Jefferson’s workmen to design and build this house.  It is considered one of the best surviving examples of Jeffersonian residential architecture.  Maj. Gen. George A. Custer occupied the house as his headquarters for a brief time in March 1865.

A main house and out buildings were built at “The Farm” on the hill facing the river to the east. The house burned after a couple of decades. Nicholas Lewis, grandson of Meriwether, inherited the property in 1762 and built another main house facing the river around 1770.  It was described as a place of beauty surrounded by a garden of roses, shrubs and fine fruit. It could have been built on or near the foundations for the first house. A listing in The Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia records from 1805 may describe the house. It was a wooden dwelling two stories high, 48 feet long and 22 feet wide.

The 1770 house was constructed of pitsawn with mortise-and-tenon joinery. It is in this house the British Col. Banastre Tarleton made his headquarters when he arrived in Charlottesville in 1781 in his futile attempt to capture Thomas Jefferson. Tarleton was successful in capturing Daniel Boone, who at that time was a member of the Virginia legislature, and held him captive in Lewis' house. Thomas Jefferson himself often visited the Lewis house and regularly rode through the property on his way to Charlottesville to visit the university he was building. There is an active spring down the hill a couple of hundred yards to the south.

In 1825, Charlottesville lawyer and later University of Virginia law professor, John A. G. Davis, purchased a portion of the original tract and engaged Thomas Jefferson's workmen to design and build this house. It is considered one of the best surviving examples of Jeffersonian residential architecture. Maj. Gen. George A. Custer occupied the house as his headquarters for a brief time in March 1865.

All that remains of "The Farm" is the kitchen or cook’s house. It is now in the middle of a middle class housing subdivision facing Twelfth Street. It is still surrounded by mature hardwood trees and retains its view of Monticello.

Family
Nicholas Lewis married Mary (Capt. Molly) Walker in 1758.  Mary was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Walker and Mildred Thornton Meriwether of Castle Hill where Mary was born in 1742.  Nicholas and Mary had 15 children:

  1. JANE WALKER LEWIS, b. 1757; d. 1838.

  2. MILDRED WALKER LEWIS, b. 1761; d. 1814.

  3. THOMAS WALKER LEWIS, b. April 24, 1763, Locust Grove, Albemarle, Virginia.; d. June 09, 1807, Albemarle, Virginia..

  4. MARY LEWIS, b. 1765.

  5. NICHOLAS MERIWETHER LEWIS, b. August 18, 1767; d. September 22, 1818.

  6. ELIZABETH LEWIS, b. June 06, 1769, Albemarle, Virginia.; d. March 1842, Cloverfields, Albemarle, Virginia..

  7. ELIZABETH LEWIS, b. June 06, 1769, Albemarle, Virginia.; d. March 1842, Cloverfields, Albemarle, Virginia.; m. WILLIAM DOUGLAS MERIWETHER, February 29, 1788, Goochland Co., Virginia.; b. November 02, 1761, Cloverfields, Albemarle, Virginia.; d. January 21, 1845, Albemarle, Virginia..

  8. ALICE THORNTON LEWIS, b. 1771; d. Young.

  9. ROBERT WARNER LEWIS, b. 1774.

  10. FRANCES T. LEWIS, b. 1776; d. Young.

  11. JOHN P. LEWIS, b. 1778; d. Young.

  12. CHARLES LEWIS, b. 1783; d. Young.

  13. CHARLES LEWIS, b. 1783; d. Young.

  14. MARGARET LEWIS, b. 1785, "The Farm", Albemarle Co., Virginia..

  15. MARGARET LEWIS, b. 1785, "The Farm", Albemarle Co., Virginia.; m. CHARLES LEWIS THOMAS

Changing Times
July, 1775, saw the Governor of Virginia a fugitive and the members of the Assembly met as a Provincial Convention to raise and embody an armed force to defend the Province. The flight of the Governor left the Colony without an executive head and the Convention therefore appointed, on the sixteenth of August, a Committee of Safety of eleven members to continue until its next session.

It was to carry into execution all ordinances and resolutions of the Convention, to grant commissions to all provincial military officers, to appoint commissaries, paymasters and contractors and to provide for the troops. It was to issue warrants on the Treasurer to supply these agents with money and pay them for their services and to settle such incidental expenses as arose in connection with the military establishment. All public war stores were to be in its charge. The Committee, moreover, was made Commander-in-Chief of the forces of the Province, and every officer, to the highest, was obliged to swear obedience to it.

If sufficient danger threatened the Colony before the troops which the Convention had determined upon could be raised and organized, the Committee might call upon the volunteer companies which had already sprung up through the Colony, to take the field.  Col. Nicholas Lewis was a Member of the Committee of Safety and Convention of 1775.

The Committee was directed to keep a journal and lay the account of its proceedings before the Convention for inspection. Its members were exempt from enlistment and could hold no military office. A complete break with the royal government was insisted upon, since no member of the Committee might fill any position of profit under the Crown. Fifteen shillings a day (which a later Convention reduced to ten) was the compensation allowed the members.

By other acts of this Convention an appeal to the Committee of Safety was allowed any officer from the decision of a court-martial, and no sentence of death given in such a court could be executed until the Committee of Safety had given its approval.

The Convention adjourned till the first of December, leaving the Committee of Safety in charge. At the beginning of the next session, the Committee was continued, and on December 16th, a new one appointed of the same size, to sit until the Convention’s next session. The same powers that the former body had enjoyed were given it, and others added. Any person found aiding the enemy was liable to be seized and imprisoned, and his estates confiscated by the Committee, unless the latter saw fit to pardon him. Three men were appointed to act as a Court of Admiralty, and in all cases where the ship and cargo were condemned appeal was allowed to the Committee of Safety. It was, moreover, directed to commission five members from each of the county committees to have jurisdiction over all persons suspected of enmity to the State. It was to hear appeals from their decisions and its sentence was to be final. If a slave was taken in arms against the Colony or in possession of the enemy through his own choice, he could be sent by the Committee to any of the French or Spanish West Indies to be exchanged for war stores. If circumstances rendered his transportation inconvenient it could employ him in any way for the public service. Those inhabitants who refused to take up arms in the American cause, provided they had committed no act of hostility or enmity, might leave the Colony, under a license from the Committee of Safety.

The last Provincial Convention, the body that framed the new constitution of Virginia, came together in May, 1776. It revived the Committee of Safety, whose term expired with its meeting, and continued it until its own dissolution on July 5th.

Although the Assembly under the constitution was not to convene until fall, the Convention elected the Governor and Privy Council to take charge of the State till then and usher in the new regime. The need for the Committee of Safety therefore, was taken away, and it passed out of existence with the Convention.

The functions of the Virginia Committee were, in brief, to commission the officers, to command the troops, to appoint agents to equip and feed them, to pay the military expenses of the State, to imprison its hostile inhabitants, to hear appeals from the Admiralty Court, from the County Courts of Inquiry and from Courts Martial.

Its powers were extensive, controlling the military, and to a large extent the financial resources of the Colony, but during its administration no danger threatened Virginia sufficient to test the stability of its authority or its capacity to deal with a crisis. Its work during the year in which it was the executive of the Colony, consisted merely in organizing the militia, in providing it with necessaries and in sending troops to retaliate upon the irritating incursions of Lord Dunmore. The greater part of the inhabitants were Whigs and the orders of the Committee were fulfilled without friction. Virginia was not, like New Jersey or Pennsylvania, the scene of a conquering army, and the problems that their Committees had to face were not presented. Neither was it at any time obliged to assume the whole authority of the State. The Convention was in session during much of the year, and directed the Committee in various ways. Even during its adjournments it was still in existence and could always be brought together if sufficient danger threatened. The Committee of Virginia therefore occupied a less responsible position than the Councils of Safety of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or of Vermont.

The Committee led a busy if not a stirring life. The actual work of procuring arms, accoutrements and provisions was largely in the care of commissaries and contractors chosen by it, but they were under the direction of the Committee and responsible to it, and every disbursement that was necessary to satisfy the wants of the troops, even the most minute, passed through its hands.

Conservative and radical elements clashed in Virginia as in Pennsylvania. The disagreement was not sufficient to overthrow the existing regime, but centering, as it did, around prominent personalities, brought with it sufficient bitterness. Patrick Henry, the leader of the radicals, had been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia army by the Convention. At the head of the Committee of Safety was Edmund Pendleton one of the foremost conservatives. It would seem that Henry was, as a matter of fact, a better orator than general. At all events his military capacity was distrusted to such an extent by the Committee of Safety that Colonel Woodford, a subordinate, but more experienced officer was detailed by it to command the expedition against Lord Dunmore. Opportunity for military achievement was rare in Virginia then and Henry felt the task should have been his. He resented the fact that Woodford reported directly to the Committee and not to him and finally, when the Committee ordered Henry to prepare for winter quarters, it seemed it was purposely refusing him any opportunity of an engagement before the Virginia troops should be taken into the Continental army, when he would be deprived of chief command. Henry never forgot the treatment accorded him, nor did his friends. When he resigned his commission in March, 1776, ready tongues insinuated that the envy of the Committee had sought to undermine his reputation and force him to the step. Supporters of the government hastened to clear the Committee from blame. The factional contest reappeared later in the contest over the election of the President of the Virginia Convention, and the question was discussed at large in the pages of the Virginia Gazette.

Little judicial duty fell to the Committee. As has been seen the first trial of suspects rested with the judges appointed from the county committees and commissioned by the Committee of Safety and cases of appeal were only rarely brought before the latter.

The greater part of the counties were well affected to the American cause but Princess Anne and Norfolk contained many Tories who lent aid to Lord Dunmore and gave intelligence of the plans of the Americans. These districts were sometimes ravaged by parties from the British fleet in search of provisions and the Committee of Safety, at the suggestion of General Lee, determined upon the extraordinary measure of removing the population of the two counties into the interior to keep the friendly inhabitants from harm, and to prevent the Tories from communicating with the fleet. An order to this effect was issued April 10, 1776. All inhabitants, whether friendly or hostile, that resided between the shore and the American posts, were directed to remove at once to the interior. To compel them to go, their live stock and slaves were to be seized by the army and redelivered only when they had complied with the order. All those in any part of the two counties who had previously joined the British side or taken oath to support it were to move at least thirty miles away from the shore, and, to enforce submission, the slaves of all suspected of belonging to this class were to be taken and to be returned only at the order of the Committee, when the owners were settled in some secure place. Three men were appointed to superintend the matter and $1000 was to be advanced to them to pay the expenses. All who were willing to provide dwellings for the emigrants were requested to give notice in the Virginia Gazette.

It is difficult to justify a proceeding so arbitrary and so productive of needless suffering. Its apologists have claimed that, though harsh, it was rendered necessary by the danger of the time. This does not seem probable, for Lord Dunmore had not shown himself able to gain any ground in Virginia or to deal the Americans any effective blow. The Committee may have feared the approach of Howe’s fleet and army, but there was no certainty of their coming. No serious danger threatened and it seems an absurdity, in spite of the grave assertions of the Committee, to depopulate the counties to protect them from marauding expeditions and to prevent the Tories from furnishing the fleet with supplies.

It was reasonably certain that in leaving and losing their houses and land and their business, in subjecting their live stock and slaves to the uncertainty they must encounter before they were recovered and in removing to a strange part of the Colony the inhabitants would suffer more loss, discomfort and distress than it was possible to receive from the enemy’s guns. As for the Tories it would seem far less trouble to keep so vigilant a guard that communication with the ships would be impossible than to attempt the task of transporting them all into the interior. It is a striking illustration of the despotic character of the revolutionary governments and of the folly into which their excessive fear of the British arms and their inexperience in government led them.

Steps were soon taken to enforce the order and Colonel Woodford was directed to take general charge of the removal, and to deal with the people as humanely as possible.  Woodford complied and set about his task. This high handed interference with persons and property aroused inevitable opposition and a petition was sent to the Committee from Princess Anne County setting forth the distress that would ensue if the order was fully executed. It was therefore reconsidered and modified to some extent. Six men were appointed to find out those in the two counties who had taken active part in behalf of the American cause, those who had remained quietly neutral, and those who had appeared in opposition. The commanding officer at Suffolk or vicinity was to allow the friends and neutrals to remain unmolested, but to send into the interior all live stock not necessary for their subsistence. Those who had committed themselves against the cause were still forced to remove with their families and effects.

The Convention met early in May and the conditions were altered again. Besides the Tories, the friendly inhabitants within certain sections were ordered to leave because of the particular danger of their situation. The rest were free to remain, unless the commander of the neighboring troops, on urgent necessity, saw fit to remove them. The expenses of the American sympathizers were to be paid by the public, those of the disaffected from the sale of their estates.

It was found, however, that the people of the two counties were in distress for want of food, and on May 16, a resolution was passed by the Convention permitting the men of the Whig party to remain and care for their crops, but obliging the removal of their families, slaves and live stock. There was little probability of this order being carried out. It took from the farmers the important service of their cattle and slaves. It involved the separation of families and placed the support of the women and children on the government. Having conceded so much, it is not surprising to find the convention a fortnight later rescinding the order for removal entirely, as far as it related to friends. The Tories were still compelled to leave.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary it is reasonable to assume that the orders against the Whigs may not have been rigidly enforced, and that they may have suffered comparatively little. They were few in number and the frequent issue of directions concerning them, show that some at least must have remained in their homes throughout. Between April 10 and May 3, the officers probably waited to know the result of the petition. From May 3 to May 11, when the first order of the Convention was passed the Whigs were under the protection given by the Council. There remained then only the time from the eleventh to the twenty-eighth when the order was repealed, when they were in any considerable danger, and during that period influence was probably busy to secure delay, mitigation and at length the total repeal of the obnoxious measure.

The Tories probably suffered considerably. Lee writes from Suffolk, on April 23, that he is busy clearing the country of them and an overseer of the poor, in the county of Norfolk, speaks of the removal of a great many of the inhabitants with their families and goods. The confiscation of their estates made their departure profitable to the government and it was therefore not likely to be stopped.

The sufferings of the Tories darken the pages of our revolutionary history. Men dreaded the power of their numbers, their wealth and their influence, and fear was quick to devise harsh measures. However successful its work along other lines, the Virginia committee, in ordering the removal of the Tories from Princess Anne and Norfolk Counties, must stand condemned both for want of judgment and of humanity.

Military Career
Little is known of Nicholas’ military career other than a brief note by Thomas Jefferson dated August 18, 1813:

"Nicholas Lewis, the second of his father's brothers, commanded a regiment of militia in the successful expedition of 1776 against the Cherokee Indians; who, seduced by the agents of the British government to take up the hatchet against us, had committed great havoc on our southern frontier, by murdering and scalping helpless women and children, according to their cruel and cowardly principles of warfare.  The chastisement they then received closed the history of their wars, and prepared them for receiving the elements of civilization, which, zealously inculcated by the present government of the United States, have rendered them an industrious, peaceable, and happy people. This member of the family of Lewises, whose bravery was so successfully proved on this occasion, was endeared to all who knew him by his inflexible probity, courteous disposition, benevolent heart, and engaging modesty and manners.  He was the umpire of all the private differences of his country-selected always by both parties.  He was also the guardian of Meriwether Lewis,...who had lost his father at an early age."

At the beginning of the Revolution the Cherokee received a delegation from the Indians north of the Ohio (Shawnee, Iroquois, Ottawa) to join them in a war against the white settlements over the Blue Ridge. The British offered guns, ammunition and cash payments for scalps and sent officers among the Cherokee. Most of the Cherokee declined this invitation and declared neutrality. However, the Chickamauga faction, led by Tsi'-yu-gunsi-ni (Dragging Canoe) did join in this war. Nancy Ward, the "beloved woman" of the Cherokee sent runners to the settlements in northeast Tennessee and Virginia's Clinch River valley warning of this attack. Forewarned, the settlers at Watauga and Eaton's Station forted up and beat off the attacks of 250-700 warriors in July of 1776 (estimates widely vary on the number of Chickamauga). Many of the women and children in the Carter's Valley and Watauga settlement left and temporarily found refuge in the New River settlements.

In retaliation, militia companies from southwest Virginia, western North Carolina and the settlements in Tennessee gathered together and attacked the Cherokee. The 1500 Virginians were led by Colonel William Christian, they left for Cherokee lands in October of 1776, returning in December, and then attacking again in April of 1777. They destroyed homes, livestock and crops of over 30 villages, both hostile and neutral. Most of the Cherokee fled the villages before the militia arrived and put up little resistance. According to Cherokee legend the inhabitants that remained were slaughtered regardless of age and sex. On the other hand, according to the reports of the militia officers and later pension applications there were few killed on either side and there is no mention that I have found of killing women and children. Those women and children they found [and did not kill] were according to official Virginia documents made prisoner and Nancy Ward was brought back to Virginia (but was not considered a prisoner according to official documents). However, there were also attacks made on the Cherokee by the state militias of North and South Carolina and Georgia and there are indications that these men behaved in a less restrained fashion (e.g. 20 years later in western Georgia Cherokee children still fled at the sight of a white man). The Cherokee "made peace" (most had never been at war).

A peace treaty was signed with the Carolinas and Georgia at DeWitt's Corner on 20 May 1777 and with Virginia on 20 July 1777 at the Long Island of the Holston. With the peace was a cession by the Cherokee of over 5,000,000 acres of land.

Death
Col.Nicholas Lewis died December 8, 1808 at 74 years of age.  He is buried on his property in a cemetery on a hilltop overlooking the river.  MaryWalker died February 9, 1824 at 81 years of age


Dr. Thomas Walker
Thomas Walker was born was born in Rye Field, King & Queens County, Virginia January 15, 1715 the son of Maj. Thomas Walker and Susannah Peachy.  The Walkers of Virginia came from Staffordshire, England about 1650 at an early period in the history of the colony of Virginia.  Major Walker was a member of the Colonial Assembly 1662, being at that time a Representative from the County of Gloucester.  This gentleman, in 1663, claimed that he planted 70,000 mulberry trees and therefore requested bonuses for silk culture.  In 1667 following the report of a committee of the House of Burgess sent to count his trees, he was awarded 20,000 pounds of tobacco for his efforts.

The Explorer
Dr. Thomas Walker was one of the great explorers of southwestern Virginia, crossing Cumberland Gap (what he called Cave Gap) on April 17, 1750 and "discovering" Kentucky. He was not the first person to cross the gap - Native Americans had lived in the area for perhaps 10,000 years. As Walker recorded in his journal, he was not even the first European to cross it and mark the passage:

“April 13th. We went four miles to large Creek which we called Cedar Creek being a Branch of Bear-Grass, and from thence Six miles to Cave Gap, the land being Levil. On the North side of the Gap is a large Spring, which falls very fast, and just above the Spring is a small Entrance to a Large Cave, which the spring runs through, and there is a constant Stream of Cool air issueing out. The Spring is sufficient to turn a Mill. Just at the Foot of the Hill is a Laurel Thicket and the spring Water runs through it. On the South side is a Plain Indian Road. on the top of the Ridge are Laurel Trees marked with Crosses, others Blazed and several Figures on them. As I went down the other Side, I soon came to some Laurel in the head of the Branch. A Beech stands on the left hand, on which I cut my name.”

Family
After studying medicine with his sister's husband Dr. George Gilmer, Thomas set up practice in Fredericksburg and became a noted physician.  He also ran a general store and engaged in an import and export trade. 

In 1741 married Mildred Thornton Meriwether.  She was born March 19, 1721in Louisa, Virginia, the daughter of Col. Francis Thornton and Alice Savage.  Mildredxe "Meriwether:Mildred Thornton (1721-1778)" married twice, first to Nicholas Meriwether III and then to Dr. Thomas Walkerxe "Walker:Dr. Thomas (1715-1794)".  Thomas Walker and Mildred Meriwether had 12 children:

  1. MILDRED WALKER, b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County, VA.

  2. MARY (Capt. Molly) WALKER,xe "Walker:Mary (Capt. Molly) (1742-1824)" b. 1742.

  3. COL. JOHN WALKER, b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County, VA 1743, d. 1809 in Madison's Mill, Orange County, VA

  4. SUSAN WALKER, b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County, VA 1746, d. Albemarle County, VA.

  5. DR. THOMAS WALKER JR., b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County VA 1748.

  6. LUCY WALKER, b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County, VA 1751.    

  7. ELIZABETH WALKER, b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County, VA 1753.

  8. SARAH WALKER, b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County, VA 1758. 

  9. MARTHA WALKER, b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County, VA 1760. 

  10. REUBEN WALKER, b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County, VA 1762, d. 1765.

  11. HON. FRANCIS WALKER, b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County, VA 1764, d. 1806.

  12. PEACHY WALKER, b. Castle Hill, Albemarle County VA 1767. 

Castle Hill
By marriage, Thomas Walker acquired 11,000 acre estate known as Castle Hill.

The original wooden structure was completed in 1765 and faced the mountains to the northwest. Walker would reside at Castle Hill until his death on November 9, 1794. Walker's son Francis would succeed to the Castle Hill estate, after his father made him power of attorney until his death in 1806. Judith Rives (1802-1880), granddaughter of Thomas Walker, who married the Hon. William C. Rives a senator, lived at Castle Hill for the duration of her life. Today the home has been added on to and remodeled many times, but the original structure still stands. Walker would continue to acquire land throughout his life. For example in 1772, Lord Dunmore gave Walker another land grant of 226 acres within Albemarle County.

Castle Hill also played host for a short time to the British enemy Banastre Tarleton on June 4, 1781 during the midst of the American Revolution. There Tarleton made a short stay, but was delayed by the insisting of Mildred Walker. This delay gave the young Jack Jouett of Louisa County enough time to reach Charlottesville and send a messenger to warn Thomas Jefferson and her legislators staying at Monticello, who escaped just in time safely into Staunton, Va. in the Shenandoah Valley. Tarleton's short visit at Castle Hill proved to be a critical moment in the Revolution by saving members of the General Assembly and giving the citizens of Charlottesville time to prepare or flee.

Castle Hill also played host to many Native American chieftains who would stop at Walker's home on their journeys to Williamsburg. Walker used these opportunities to learn about practices and psychology of different tribes, and to gain information about the consistency of wildlife and woodlore in the unknown west.
 

1749-1777
In 1749 Thomas became chief agent of Loyal Land Company, which had received a grant of 800,000 acres from the council of Virginia and in the following years he led an expedition to explore lands of this grant. He kept a journal of the trip which was the first record of a white man in what was to become Kentucky.  In 1775, during the French and Indian Wars, he became Commissary to Virginia troops under George Washington and was later charged with fraud, but acquitted.  A copy of his journal can be viewed at:

http://www.tngenweb.org/tnland/squabble/walker.html

Dr. Thomas Walker served on the Committee of Safety in Virginia.   In 1777 he was appointed with his son Col. John Walker to visit Indians in Pittsburgh, Pa. for the purpose of gaining their friendship for the Americans.

The Walker Line
In 1776 the Virginia House of Delegates defined the northern boundary of the Kentucky District as the low-water mark at the mouth of the Big Sandy, on the northern shore of the Ohio River. This boundary followed the Big Sandy River from that point to the junction of the Tug Fork, and from there up to the Laurel Ridge of the Cumberland Mountain to the point where it crossed the Virginia-North Carolina line (known as "seven pines and two black oaks). When Virginia agreed to separate Kentucky in the Compact of 1789, that description was accepted.

In 1779-80, The Virginia-North Carolina dividing line was extended westward to the first crossing of the Cumberland River. From this point west to the Mississippi, Thomas Walker surveyed the line for Virginia. This took him through dense forests, over rugged mountains - a most difficult task. According to R. S. Cottrill, in an article dated 1921, this line almost immediately caused a tremendous amount of dispute for many years between Kentucky and Tennessee. When Kentucky became a state in 1792, it immediately began to "find fault" with the line as drawn by Thomas Walker in 1779.

Before 1779 the line between Virginia and North Carolina was run at 36 30' degrees toward the Cumberland Gap. This is commonly known as the 36-30 line.  In 1779, Dr Thomas Walker and Daniel Smith were chosen by Virginia to extend the line to the Tennessee River. Their party included Col Richard Henderson and William B Smith of North Carolina. The men ran into tremendous obstacles and disputes almost immediately when they decided to run two separate lines to the Cumberland Gap. Henderson refused to proceed and the Walker party continued and by the time they reached the Cumberland River, they found themselves several miles too far north. The Walker party then continued to run their line only to the Tennessee River but on to the Mississippi River.

In 1799, in an effort to solve the boundary problem, the Virginia House of Delegates created a commission comprised of John Coburn, Robert Johnson and Buckner Thruston. They met with the Virginia delegation of Archibald Stewart, Gen Joseph Martin and Creed Taylor. They began their survey at the forks of the Big Sandy and followed east along the Tug Fork to the Breaks of Sandy. They then went northeast from the Walker line at the spot known as the seven pines and two black oaks, went up the watershed of the Cumberland Mountain to the crossing of the Russell Fork of the Levisa Fork - and thence along a magnetic line 45 degrees east longitude to the crossing of the Tug Fork.

That same year, 1799, a joint commission settled Kentucky's eastern and northeastern boundaries, the rest of the boundaries were not handled. Westward from the ridge top of the Cumberland Mountain, the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina (later, 1796, Tennessee) remained questionable because of the Walker Survey of 1779.

In 1801, the Kentucky Legislature appointed commissioners to ascertain and mark her southern boundary. This did not occur for some reason until 1812 - in fact five times the Legislature took up this problem. Over ten times in a ten-year period (1820-1830), the Kentucky legislature tackled the problem, still feeling that Kentucky had been cheated out of its own land - and finally commissioners were appointed to represent Kentucky and Tennessee to settle the problem.

Crittenden represented Tennessee and Rowan represented Kentucky.  Felix Grundy and W J Brown were to assist in looking out for the interests of Tennessee. They met in January of 1820 in Frankfort and decided to communicate by writing. The Tennessee commissioners stood by the old Walker line and refused to consider any other line. They felt they had the right to it as their citizens had settled in this area and they were Tennesseans and would not become Kentuckians! Crittenden urged Rowan to give up the idea and let the line stand, but John Rowan was determined and stubborn and refused to take any line other than what is known as the 36-30 line along the entire boundary. Thus, nothing was accomplished.

In 1821, the commissioners from both states were back to work and started running the line again as if there had been no problems in the past. Kentucky appointed William Steele and Munsey to represent them and Absalom Looney represented Tennessee. They ran the line again, they thought, on the 36-30 line and marked it extremely carefully to the Cumberland River. But it was found later that they had really started at 36-34 and ended at 36-37 but was a little more accurate that the original Thomas Walker drawn line. On the first of May 1821 they began on the Cumberland Mountain and on July 2nd, they concluded it at the crossing of the Cumberland River and joined the original Walker line - just above John Kerr's house.  The Tennessee representatives approved the survey but the line westward was uncertain until a 1859 survey by Austin P Cox and Benjamin Pebbles. 

That did not settle the dispute. By 1825 the Kentucky Legislature is again questioning the boundary and so the state hired a mathematician to relocate the line. Thomas Matthews was appointed to handle this task and was paid over $2,000 for his services.  Beginning with his findings, the boundary question shifted from the east to the west of the Cumberland River.  It seems that when Walker ran the original line, the western part of Kentucky still belonged to the Chickasaw Indians and Walker stopped at the Tennessee River. Kentucky had later purchased this land and its boundaries had to be fixed. More disputes arose between Tennessee and Kentucky over the next few years and many times, the representatives from each state were deadlocked. The land around Reelfoot Hills and the southern boundary of Trigg County, KY was the most difficult to establish and it often seemed a total impossibility to determine the line.

With the battle still raging, in 1845 the Kentucky Legislature again named commissioners to run the boundary. Wilson and Duncan were named along with a representative from Tennessee and they attempted to mark the boundary of Christian, Trigg and Fulton Counties. The noted Joseph Rogers Underwood of Barren and Warren County was named to this commission but resigned.

The difficulties continued madly into the 1850's. In 1858 the Kentucky Legislature authorized the Governor of Kentucky to again name commissioners to once and for all determine the boundary lines. Austin P Cox and Charles M Briggs met with two Tennessee commissioners (Peoples and Watkins) the next year and made a successful attempt to find and locate the entire line. They ran a resurvey east of the Cumberland and corrected the former lines west of that river.

In 1859, the Cox-Pebbles team traveled a 320 mile course between January 9th and October 20th. It covered the same terrain that Walker's party had traveled from New Madrid Bend to the Cumberland Gap. They erected 3 foot high stone slabs every five miles to mark the line - beginning at Compromise on the Mississippi River and ending at the spot where the old Wilderness Road passed through the Cumberland Gap. 

In today's age of technology, satellite mapping and precision surveying, it is hard to realize what difficulties all these men through the years encountered in trying to map out and determine the boundary lines. But, you might ask - what was gained by all these many years of struggling, fighting and legislature sessions? Kentucky gained the 36-30 line for its boundary only west of the Tennessee River and east of that river, the line is basically what it was as marked by Walker in 1799. It has been rumored down through the pages of time, that there was a lot of "wheeling and dealing" under the surface also. Farmers who possibly bribed the surveyors by a little moonshine to let their land lie in Kentucky or Tennessee (Moonshine was legal in Tennessee during many of these years and illegal in Kentucky).

Death

Dr. Thomas Walker died November 9, 1794 at Castle Hill, Albemarle County Virginia, at 79 years of age.  Mildred died November 16, 1778 at Castle Hill, Albemarle County, VA, at 57 years of age.  They are buried on the estate.  The cemetery is situated near the foot of the mountain in the woods surrounded by a brick wall.

Lt. Hudson Martin
Hudson Martin was born in Saline County, Missouri July 3, 1752.  He enlisted as an ensign under Capt. James Alexander on March 11, 1776 and was promoted to Lieutenant on March 26, 1776.  Lt. Martin was wagon master at Lancaster, Pa. in 1778 but resigned in April of the same year. He was appointed by Gov. Patrick Henry, Paymaster to the Regiment of Guards, commanded by Col. Francis Taylor from January 1779 to August 1781, at which time the regiment was disbanded.  They were stationed at Albemarle to guard the prisoners captured October 1777, at the surrender of Gen. Burgoyne, at Saratoga.  According to his pension papers, Hudson Martin was drafted in Fluvanna County, as a militiaman in 1781 when he took the place of his brother William.

Family
Hudson Martin married Jane Walker Lewis in Saline County, Missouri, December 2, 1778.  Jane was the daughter of Col. Nicholas Lewis and Mary Walker mentioned earlier.  The family settled southwest of Charlottesville, Virginia in the counties of Albemarle and Nelson, near Rockfish Gap & River.  They had nine children:

  1. NICHOLAS LEWIS MARTIN, b. 1779, d. 1787.

  2. HUDSON MARTIN II, b. 1781.

  3. JOHN MASSIE MARTIN, b. 1783, d. 1851.

  4. MARY (Molley) WALKER MARTIN, b. 1787.

  5. JANE LEWIS MARTIN, b. 1790. 

  6. NICHOLAS LEWIS (2nd) MARTIN, b. 1791.

  7. HENRY BUCK MARTIN, b. 1794, d. 1828.

  8. GEORGE WASHINGTON MARTIN, b. 1796. 

  9. MILDRED HORMSLEY MARTIN, b. 1801.

Death
Hudson Martin died November 28, 1830 in Fayette County, Maryland, at 78 years of age.  His will was executed June 23, 1828, and is on record in Nelson Co. Va., and a copy of it is on file in the Pension Office at Washington, D.C.  Judging from the bequests of real estate, slaves and money to the several members of his family, he was a man of considerable wealth and influence in the county in which he resided.  The executors to his estate gave bonds to the amount of 20,000 pounds.  Jane Walker Lewis died August 15, 1838 in Albermarle County, Virginia, at 81 years of age.


Pvt. William T. Duggins
William was born in Dublin, Ireland October 31, 1751.  William was an only child.  After his father’s (William) death he came with his mother, Alice, to Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania Co, Virginia in 1763.  She afterwards married Robert Wilkinson, by whom she had three children, and then died in Fredericksburg. William was apprenticed to a silversmith in Louisa County, Virginia.

Service
He enlisted January 20, 1777 in Capt. William Vanse's Co. 12th Va. Regiment to serve during the Revolutionary War.  He was transferred about June 1778 to Col. James Woods' Co., 4th, 8th & 12th Va. Regiments, and about October 1778 to Capt. William Vanse's Co. 8th. Va. Regiment, commanded by Col. James Woods. His name last appears on the Co. muster roll for November 1779, dated at camp near Morristown December 9, 1779 without special remark relative to his service.

Family
William married Elizabeth Perkins December 16, 1787, daughter of William Perkins, of a well-known South Carolina family of that name.  He was a member of the Episcopal Church, and a devout Christian.  Elizabeth was born in South Carolina, in 1771.  William and Elizabeth had 14 children:

  1. POLLY DUGGINS, b. 1788, Louisa County Virginia.

  2. JANE DUGGINS, b. 1790, Louisa County Virginia. 

  3. ROBERT DUGGINS, b. 1792, Louisa County Virginia; d. bef. 1872, Virginia. 

  4. WILLIAM DUGGINS,JRxe "Duggins:William (1794-dec.)", b. 1794, Louisa County, Virginia;  d. Hanover Co., Virginia. 

  5. JOHN D. DUGGINS, b. 1796, Louisa County, Virginia; d. 1865, Saline County, Missouri. 

  6. GEORGE DUGGINS, b. 1798, Louisa County, Virginia; d. aft. 1873. 

  7. POUNCY DUGGINS, b. 1800, Louisa County, Virginia. 

  8. JEFFERSON DUGGINS, b. 1802, Louisa County, Virginia;  d. bef. 1873, Virginia. 

  9. WASHINGTON DUGGINS, b. 1804, Louisa County, Virginia.

  10. JAMES MADISON DUGGINS, b. 1806, Louisa County, Virginia; d. 1865, Virginia. 

  11. LEWIS H. DUGGINS, b. 1808, Louisa County, Virginia; d. 1875.

  12. THOMAS CRUTCHFIELD DUGGINS, b. 1810, Louisa County, Virginia; d. 1880 Marshall, Missouri.

  13. FLEMING P. DUGGINS, b. 1812, Louisa County, Virginia.

  14. FRANKLIN A. DUGGINS, b. 1814, Louisa County, Virginia.

Death
William T. Duggins died June 23, 1827 in Louisa County, Virginia, at 75 years of age. Elizabeth Perkins died December 17, 1823 in Louisa County, VA at 52 years of age.

 

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