From History of the McDowells and Connections, by John Hugh McDowell, pub. 1918, C. B. Johnston, pp. 381, 383:
By William McDowell.
From History of the McDowells and Connections, by John Hugh McDowell, pub. 1918, C. B. Johnston, pp. 381, 383:
From The Political Register and Congressional Directory, by Benjamin Perley Poore, pub. 1878, Houghton, Osgood and Company, page 512:
From Kegley's Virginia Frontier: The Beginning of the Southwest: the Roanoke of Colonial Days, 1740-1783, by Frederick Bittle Kegley, The Stone Press, Roanoke, Virginia, 1938:
When Benjamin Borden came to Augusta he made different men his agents and lodged at their houses using the houses as places to see persons wanting land. Aside from John McDowell with whom he first met he had John Patterson, through whom he sold many tracts of land. McDowell first made entries of one hundred acres each for James Bell, Alexander Breckenridge, George, James, Robert and Adam Breckenridge, John Moore, Quentin Moore, John Walters, William McCanless, Robert Poage, Seth Poage, Daniel McAnaire and John Gwinn, the land to be given them if they would build and improve on it by the next April. This agreement was dated Feb. 21, 1738-39. The settlers got no deeds and brought suit against Borden's executor for titles. Benjamin Borden, Jr. charged in answer that James Bell caused a servant wench of his to be dressed in man's clothes and made an entry in her name as a man, and also caused another woman, the wife of William McCanless, to appear in her proper person on a different part of the land as the wife of another settler and thereby obtained another entry.
Among other purchasers were David Moore, Isaac Anderson, Andrew Moore, William Evans, John Downing, William Sawyers, John Paul, Robert Campbell, Samuel Wood, John Mathews, John Edmiston, Richard Woods, John Hays, Charles Hays, Samuel Walker, John McCraskey. Alexander Miller was the first Blacksmith and John Hays the first owner of a mill. James Greenlee* came in 1737.
*Note: In 1736 James Greenlee married Mary Elizabeth McDowell, sister of Borden's Grant surveyor John McDowell. She and her older brother John were children of McDowell patriarch Ephraim McDowell. Check index for more, including Borden/McDowell survey arrangement.
Robert Harvey and Martha, his wife et als., vs. John Bowyer
--O. S. 140; N. S. 48--.
Orators Robert and Martha are children of Magdalen Bowyer of Rockbridge, wife of John.
Complainants are, viz: Robert Harvey and Martha; David McGavock and Elizabeth; James McDowell of Rockbridge; James McDowell, son of John, said John next friend to his infant children, Polly, Samuel, William, Sarah and John; George Moffett and Sarah, his wife, representatives of Magdalen Bowyer, deceased.
Samuel McDowell of Jessamine County, Ky., deposes 26th July, 1808: Was son of Magdalen; was Dr. McDowell; moved to Kentucky with his family in 1783. Andrew Reed was Samuel's son-in-law. Martha Harvey was only daughter of Benj. Borden, her sister Hanna having died infant and intestate. Elizabeth McDowell was widow of James McDowell (deceased intestate), son of Magdalen. Martha had been the wife of Benj. Hawkin's, deceased. Benj. Borden, Jr., died April, 1753. Magdalen Bowyer and Mary Greenlee were sisters-in-law. John McClung deposes 7th August, 1809, he was acquainted with Gen. John Bowyer on his arrival in this country, which was about fifty-five years ago. John came as a school teacher, which he followed only a few months, when he married Mrs. Magdalen Borden. Samuel McDowell's wife was sister of deponent. William Patton deposes (same time as above) that in fall coming it will be about 55 years since Genl. John Bowyer came first to this part of the country. Deponent was about 13 years old. Bowyer opened a school which William attended, and in a few weeks Bowyer and Magdalen were married. Bowyer had of property only a horse and saddle and the usual clothes which young men in his station had.
(From: Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, Vol. 2, by Lyman Chalkley, originally pub. Mary S. Lockwood, 1912; "Circuit Court Records, Section 'I'; Circuit Court Judgments and Causes Ended. These notes are extracted from the records of the District Court, the Circuit Superior Court, the Circuit Court, and all papers belonging to the records of the present Circuit Court. The references are to the bundles of original papers and style of suit or to the number of the order or record book in which the original papers will be found.")
My 7x great-grandfather Ephraim McDowell migrated to America with his children and grandchildren after the death of his wife Margaret Irvine in County Antrim, Ulster, Ireland. Not all survived the arduous transatlantic voyage. They disembarked at the Quaker port city of Philadelphia and, like many early Scots-Irish immigrants, were induced to quickly settle in western Pennsylvania.
In the fall of 1737, with his son John, daughter Mary Elizabeth, and son-in-law James Greenlee, Ephraim left Pennsylvania to go to John Lewis, a cousin who had left Ireland some years before and about 1732 had settled on the Middle River in the Shenandoah Valley near present-day Staunton, Virginia. It was their intention to locate near him. While on their way, when in camp on Lewis' Creek, a tributary of the South River, Benjamin Borden, Sr, joined them one night. He offered a thousand acres of land to anyone who would conduct him to his grant of land. The offer was promptly accepted by Ephraim's son John McDowell, a surveyor by trade. The three men conveyed their families to the home of John Lewis and then piloted Borden to what has since been known as "Borden's Grant." In consideration of a liberal share of the claim, the two McDowells and James Greenlee then undertook to assist in carrying out Borden's contract for him, and before the close of the year removed their own families to the grant, where they permanently settled—the first three settlers in that part of the valley. Ephraim McDowell’s homestead, "Timber Ridge," ranged 42,000 acres lying east of the Great Wagon Road through present-day Lexington, Virginia. He served in the Augusta County militia until 1743, when he was exempted from further service due to his advanced age (70 years). Still, Ephraim, who had defended the gates of Londonderry and fought in the Battle of the Boyne, would live another 34 years.
From History of the McDowells and Connections, by John Hugh McDowell, pub. 1918, C. B. Johnston, page 232:
From Annals of Augusta County by Joseph Addison Waddell, pub. 1902,
C.R. Caldwell, page 31:
From North Carolina, 1780-'81: Being a History of the Invasion of the Carolinas, by David Schenck, pub. 1889, Edwards & Broughton, North Carolina, pp. 464-466:
Silas McDowell was a pomologist and botanist who discovered or introduced at least fifteen new apple varieties during the 1850s. He was a farmer, scientific observer, mountain guide, clerk of the Superior Court, and a man of letters. Born 16 May 1795 in York District, South Carolina, he was a cousin of Colonel Joseph McDowell of Pleasant Gardens, for whom McDowell County, North Carolina, was named. Son of Elizabeth McDowell (b. 1772) and an unknown (or undisclosed) father, Silas was raised mostly by his maternal grandfather “Pacolet William” McDowell. In 1812 he went to Asheville, where he was educated at the respected Newton Academy. Two years later he returned to South Carolina for an apprenticeship with a tailor in Charleston.
From 1816 to 1846, Silas McDowell worked as a tailor, first in Morganton, North Carolina, and later in Macon County, North Carolina, where he also served a clerk of the Superior Court for nearly sixteen years. On his farm near Franklin, he raised and sold apples, fruit tree grafts, and rhododendrons. He also experimented with native American grape varieties. In addition, he served as a guide to John Lyon, Moses Ashley Curtis, and several other botanists, touring and collecting specimens in western North Carolina.
McDowell was largely a self-taught scientist. He wrote extensively on a wide variety of scientific and literary subjects, including botany, horticulture, mineralogy, geology, zoology, and local and state history. He is perhaps best known as the originator of the "thermal belt" concept (which is a zone on a mountainside where frost and freezes are less common than in the valleys and on the mountaintops).
He gained fame as a writer and storyteller, and was the source of much of Eoneguski, "the first North Carolina novel," written by Senator Robert Strange. McDowell's writings were published in such widely diverse places as Harper’s, The North Carolina Planter, The Raleigh Observer, and Southern Cultivator. His prose landscape sketches were highly praised by James Wood Davidson in The Living Writers of the South (1869).
McDowell married Elizabeth Erwin in 1828. They, along with Silas' mother Elizabeth, moved to his farm in Macon County, North Carolina, which he had purchased in 1820. He had learned about the area from a former landlord, who had been part of General Griffith Rutherford's 1776 Cherokee expedition, and bought the land after the Cherokee cession in 1819. McDowell wrote about this farm in an 1873 letter to Lyman Draper, and said that he had “resolved to buy the Hiddintown in the Cullasajah Valley" while a "romantic youth" in school. He lived on the farm, which he variously referred to as Hiddintown, Sugartown, and the Vale of Cullasajah, until his death in 1879. The name Cullasajah, today spelled Cullasaja and used to designate a small river between Highlands and Franklin, North Carolina, has been variously spelled over the years as Cullasajah, Cullasaga, Cullasaja, and Callasaga. One of the apple varieties developed by McDowell, which is still cultivated, bears the name Callasaga.
(Sources: “Silas McDowell & Southern Apples,” compiled by T. Duane Phillips; and "Silas McDowell and the Early Botanical Exploration of Western North Carolina," by Gary S. Dunbar, North Carolina Historical Review, 1964)
From The Irvines and Their Kin, by Lucinda Boyd; Chicago: R.R. Donnelly, 1908, pp. 309-310:
From Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians, by John H. Wheeler, Columbus Printing Works, Columbus, Ohio, 1884, pg.85:
From Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians, by John H. Wheeler, Columbus Printing Works, Columbus, Ohio, 1884, pp.84-85:
From King's Mountain and Its Heroes: History of the Battle of King's Mountain, by Lyman Copeland Draper, pub. 1881, P.G. Thomson, pp. 188-190:
Excerpt from “Hunting John” McDowell’s will, misspellings intact, dated 28 May 1796:
From Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians, by John H. Wheeler, Columbus Printing Works, Columbus, Ohio, 1884:
From Historic Families of Kentucky, by Thomas Marshall Green, pub. 1889, R. Clarke:
Excerpt from the Journal of the Voyage of Charles Clinton from Ireland to America, 1729:
"I took my Journey from The County of Longford, on Friday the 9th day of May; came to Dublin ye 12th ditto. Entered on shipboard the ship called the George and Ann, ye 18th. Sett sail the 20th.
Came to anchor at Glenarm on the 24th, where Matthw. McClaughry and his wife and two of his family went on shoar and quit their voyage.
Set sail from Glenarm on ye 25th and came to anchor at Green Castle, in the Lough of Foyle, the 26th, where we stay'd till ye 29th; then sett sail in company with the John of Dublin bound for Newcastle in the same country.
Ditto. Came in sight of Loughsuly [Lough Swilly] ye 30 th. Sail'd by Tory [Tory Island] and Horn-head.
On the 30th, at night, a strong wind arose, ye continued to ye first of June at evening which Loosened our Bowsprit with Hazard of our masts.
June 2d we had a fair breeze for our westerly course.
On the 3d ditto my daughter Catharine and son James fell sick of the measles.
A strong gale of westerly wind continues to ye 10th ditto.
James Wilson's child died ye 5th.
On the 7th met ye Mary from Pennsylvania from which she sail'd to us in 5 weeks and 5 days.
On the 8th ditto a child of James McDowel's died and was thrown overboard.
On the 10th ye wind came to East and be South.
On ye llth changed more Easterly and continues fair and seasonable.
On the 12th the wind blew North and be East, a fresh gale bywhich we sail'd 40 leagues in 20 hours, and found we were in 49 degrees 20 minutes North Latitude by observation.
My son James, on ye 28th of August, 1728 at 7 In ye morning.
A son of James Majore's.
A brother of Andrew McDowell's.
Two daughters of James McDowell's.
A daughter of Walter Davis's.
Patt McCann, servant to Tho. Armstrong.
James Greer, servant to Alex. Mitchell.
Widow Gordon's daughter.
James Mondy died Thursday,llth of September.
A servant of Mr. Cruisels.
A son of James Beaty's.
A sister of Andrew McDowell's.
A daughter of John Beatty's.
Two of Mr. Cruise's men servants.
Margarey Armstrong. [daughter of Thos. Armstrong]
A servant of Mr. Cruise's.
Two of John Beatty's children.
Jamei Thompson's wife.
A daughter of James McDowell's
A daughter of Thos. Delap's.
A servant of Mr. Cruise's.
A child of Widow Mitchell's.
John Oliver's wife.
James Majore's eldest daughter.
John Rook, a sailor.
Andrew McDowell's sister.
James Wilson's wife.
James McDowell's wife.
Sarah Hamilton, Will Hamilton's sister.
Thos. Armstrong, died Monday ye 29th of September.
John Beatty's wife.
Widow Frazer's daughter.
Andrew McDowell's brother.
A young sister of Andrew McDowel.
Thom Delap. and his daughter Catherine.
Discovered land on ye Continent of America ye 4th day of October, 1729."
In May 1729, the George and Ann set sail from Ireland for the American colonies. The trip, at the time, averaged four weeks of sailing. The journey of the George and Ann took over four months. The passengers and crew—those who survived—made first landfall at Cape Cod rather than their intended destination of Philadelphia. At least eighty-six of the ship’s 168 passengers died during the Atlantic crossing. Eleven of those lost were McDowells.
(Journal of the Voyage of Charles Clinton from Ireland to America, transcribed from The Magazine of American History with Notes and Queries, by John Austin Stevens, Martha Joanna Lamb, Henry Phelps Johnston, and William Abbatt, 1877, A. S. Barnes & Company. A copy of Charles Clinton’s journal is reportedly preserved in The New York Public Library.)
From Historic Families of Kentucky, By Thomas Marshall Green, Published 1889, R. Clarke, Kentucky, pp.24-25:
From Western North Carolina: A History (1730-1913), by John Preston Arthur, published 1914, Edwards & Broughton Printing Co., North Carolina, pp. 70-71:
From Papers of the War Department, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University:
From A History of Watauga County, North Carolina, by John Preston Arthur, published 2002, Genealogical Publishing Company, page 120:
From Waddell’s Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, page 37:
Patrick Henry was one of the most influential (and radical) advocates of the American Revolution. He is perhaps best known for the speech he made in the Virginia House of Burgesses on 23 March 1775, urging the legislature to take military action against the encroaching British military force. The House was deeply divided, but was very much leaning toward not committing troops. As Henry stood in Saint John's Church in Richmond, he ended his speech with his most famous words: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" This speech is credited, by some, with single-handedly delivering the Virginia troops to the Revolutionary War.
My 5x great-uncle Samuel McDowell (1735-1817) was one of two delegates from Augusta County to the Virginia Conventions of 1775, and was present that day in the House of Burgesses. His life remains a lesson in citizenship and patriotism. Samuel McDowell had been a Captain in the French and Indian War, commissioned 16 August 1759. On 21 November 1759, he was installed as County Commissioner and Justice in Augusta County, Virginia. He was a Captain of the Rangers Company at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. At the Battle of Point Pleasant, he served as Aide-de-Camp to General Isaac Shelby, who later became the first Governor of Kentucky. Samuel was commissioned a Colonel in the Revolutionary War, serving in General Nathanael Greene's campaign in North Carolina, and was with the army that drove General Cornwallis to Wilmington. In 1775, in conjunction with his kinsman Thomas Lewis, son of Augusta County settler John Lewis and brother of General Andrew Lewis, hero of Point Pleasant, Samuel was chosen to represent the freeholders of Augusta County in the convention which met at Richmond, Virginia. He was also a member of the second convention that met at Williamsburg in 1776. As an officer, Colonel Samuel McDowell distinguished himself in the Battle of Guilford Court House. In addition, he raised a battalion at his own expense to aid in repelling the invasion of Virginia by Benedict Arnold.
In 1783, uncle Samuel McDowell moved his family to what became Fayette County, Kentucky (but was then still part of Virginia), where he was a surveyor. He was appointed to the first District Court ever held in Kentucky, 3 March 1783, and was President of the convention which was called to frame the constitution for the state of Kentucky on 19 April 1792.
All this, and 13 children, too.
(source: "Rockbridge County, Virginia Notebook," The News-Gazette, Lexington, Virginia)
My cousin Martha McDowell, daughter of Col. Samuel McDowell and Mary McClung, was born 26 June 1766 in Augusta County, Virginia. I don't know much about Martha, except that she married Col. Abraham Buford, a military man caught in a terrible, terrible situation still argued about in history circles.
Abraham Buford was a Continental Army officer during the Revolutionary War, most known as commanding officer during the "Waxhaw Massacre." Born in Culpeper County, Virginia, Buford quickly organized a company of minutemen upon the outbreak of war in 1775, eventually rising to the rank of Colonel by May 1778. Assuming command of the 11th Virginia Regiment in September, he would be assigned to the 3rd Virginia Regiment in April 1780 and sent south to relieve regiments during the British siege of Charleston, South Carolina.
Banastre Tarleton [pictured, portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds] was a British officer and politician. His reputation for ruthlessness earned him the nicknames "Bloody Ban" and "Butcher" amongst American revolutionists. On May 29, 1780, Lt. Col. Tarleton, with a force of 150 mounted soldiers, overtook the detachment of 350 to 380 Virginia Continentals led by Col. Buford near Lancaster, South Carolina. Buford refused to surrender or even to stop his march. Only after sustaining heavy casualties did Buford order surrender. The battle has always been controversial, since after breaking Buford's line Tarleton's men slaughtered many of the Virginians who surrendered, literally hacking them down with their sabres. Some sources, such as Buford's Adjutant Henry Bowyer and Surgeon's Mate Robert Brownfield, claim that Buford belatedly raised a white flag, but was ignored by Tarleton. In Tarleton's own account, he virtually admits the massacre, stating that his horse had been shot from under him during the initial charge and his men, thinking him dead, engaged in "a vindictive asperity not easily restrained." In the end, 113 Americans were killed and another 203 captured, 150 of whom were so badly wounded that they had to be left behind. Tarleton's casualties were 5 killed and 12 wounded. The British called the affair the Battle of Waxhaw Creek, while the Americans knew it as the Buford Massacre or the Waxhaw Massacre.
Col. Buford escaped on horseback with his remaining men and would hold no further commands for the remainder of the war. He and Martha eventually settled in Scott County, Kentucky.
(sources: Wikipedia - Waxhaw Massacre, Banastre Tarleton, Abraham Buford)
Staunton, July 23d/83
Hon. Lyman C. Draper,
My Dear Sir,
I was engaged in the midst of an important criminal case as counsel for the defense when yr letter of the 7th inst. came to hand which occupied me about twelve days. This will account for my not replying to your letter at an earlier date.
I am descended from Henry Miller of the Iron Works—the first established west of the Blue Ridge—& second I suppose to that of G__ Spottswood in America. I know little of the Miller, Boone & Winter families. My mothers maiden name was Hannah Winters Moffett, daughter of James McDowell Moffett, who was the son of Col. Geo. Moffett of Indian warfare & revolutionary memory—and Sarah or Mary Marg McDowell daughter of Jno. & Magdalen McDowell—Jno. The son of Ephraim McDowell. Magdalene his John’s wife was a Woods. Jno McDowell my great great grandfather was killed by the Indians near Balcony Falls in Rockbridge Co.
I know that Col D. Boone was related to my maternal ancestor – the grandfather of my mother– Henry Miller—founder of Millers Iron Works on Mossy Creek in the southwestern part of Augusta Co. He accumulated a vast fortune in lands & left descendants innumerable. Henry Miller was the founder of many great families as I have been told—& know, that all or nearly all have held respectable positions in society. Henry of the Iron Works died at his residence, a splendid hewn stone mansion on his furnace property—when about 37 years of age. The late Jno Howe Peyton—that great lawyer father of J. Lewis Peyton said of him—he had brains enough to fill the Office of President of the United States.
I know that Miller of the I Works & Dan’l Boon were related and visited this Co. trading with the Indians--& were fast friends. How related I know not. I have written to several persons in reference to the subjects of yr letter, who are believed to be better informed than any others, and so soon as I hear from them – you shall hear from me.
Have you seen Hale’s pamphlet on Boon? If not, will loan you the only copy I have—sent me by the authors. Mr. Hale is of Charleston Kanawha Co. Va. His given name I do not recall. ___by postal whether or not you have the pamphlet. Maj J.M. McCue, my first cousin, knows more of Dan’l Boon & Miller than any man living—also of the Winter family. Write to him my care Staunton Va. A letter from you will bring out his knowledge. To me he says “Oh—Mr. Draper knows all I do.” He is very much engage in historic research just now in another line.
I trust yr History of King’s Mountain will do justice to my kindred, the North Carolina McDowells whose names do not appear on the monument. Are you not related to or connected with the McDowell’s in some way. Let me know & how.
Court day & no time to read over for correction.
Yr fnd & obt servt
Jno H McCue
[note in margin]
Thanks for Wisconsin Collection. JH McCue
(J.H. McCue to Lyman C. Draper, July 23, 1883; Draper Manuscripts, 20C63; transcribed from microfilm copy of the original document from the Draper Manuscripts Collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; spelling and punctuation are as they appear in the original text)
From Sketches of the Pioneers in Burke County History, by Col. Thomas George Walton, first published in the Morganton Herald in 1894:
"The MCDOWELLs, BOWMANs, and GREENLEEs came from Virginia to Burke County previous to the Revolution. JOSEPH MCDOWELL's grant on Quaker Meadows was dated 1749. They were all related by marriage or consanguinity. JOSEPH MCDOWELL, SR., was of Scotch descent, and emigrated from North Ireland to America. He was born in 1715, and emigrated with his wife at an early age, having offended his wife's relatives, the proud O'NEALs, the descendants of the ancient Irish kings, by his marriage with their sister, MARGARET O'NEAL. Wheeler, in his History of North Carolina writes as if they (Joseph and his wife Mary [sic, Margaret]) only had two sons, Generals CHARLES and JOSEPH MCDOWELL. On the contrary, there were four: HUGH, CHARLES, JOSEPH, and JOHN MCDOWELL. Charles died the owner of Quaker Meadows; Joseph died the owner of the fine plantation on John's River, where the widow of the late Dr. JOHN MCDOWELL now lives [in 1894]. Dr. MCDOWELL was grandson of Major JOSEPH MCDOWELL, of Pleasant Gardens, the son of HUNTING JOHN MCDOWELL,* the brother of JOSEPH MCDOWELL, SR.
HUGH MCDOWELL was the father of MARGARET, who married Capt. JAMES MURPHY, and the only child, JOHN HUGH (MURPHY) was the offspring of this marriage. He married MARGARET STRINGER AVERY, a niece of Col. WAIGHTSTILL AVERY, SR."
*"Hunting John" McDowell (b. abt 1717) was actually the son of Charles McDowell (b. abt 1697), who was the oldest brother of Joseph McDowell, Sr. (b. 27 Feb 1715). "Hunting John" was therefore the nephew of Joseph McDowell, Sr.
McDowell, James: 1 [self], 2, 2, 2
McDowell, John: 1 [self, i.e., "Hunting John,"], 1 [?], 1 [wife Ann "Annie" Evans], 1
McDowell, Joseph, Jun. [son of "Hunting John," Pleasant Gardens**]: 1 [self], 2 [John Moffett, George], 1 [wife Mary Moffett], 9
Carson, John: 2 [self, ?], 5 [Joseph McDowell, Jason Hazzard, Charles, James, John W.], 2 [Sarah “Sally,” wife Rachel Matilda McDowell], 12
McDowell, John: 2, 2, 4, 5
McDowell, Joseph, Col. [Quaker Meadows]: 2 [self, ?], 0, 5 [Hannah, Margaret, Elizabeth, Sarah, wife Margaret Moffett], 10
McDowell, Charles [Quaker Meadows]: 1 [self], 2 [Charles Gordon, Athan Allen], 5 [Margaret “Peggy,” Sarah “Sallie,” Eliza Grace, wife Grace Greenlee, ?], 10
McDowell, William: 1 [self], 4, 4, 0
*Present McDowell County & part of present northern Rutherford County
**Scots-Irish naming tradition of the time assigned "Junior" to the youngest within the extended family, and not the direct son. "Jun." suffix is verbatim from handwritten 1790 census document.
***Western Burke County, including Bridgewater, Lake James and part of present eastern McDowell County
****Middle Burke County, including Quaker Meadows
*****South-southeastern Burke County, including Salem and South Mountains
(numbers indicate household members, in order: white males 16 years and over, white males 0-15 years, white females, slaves)
From Western North Carolina: A History (1730-1913), by John Preston Arthur, published 1914, Edwards & Broughton, North Carolina, page 98:
From The Winning of the West, Vol. 3, by Theodore Roosevelt, published 1900, G.P. Putnam's Sons:
"Having reduced South Carolina to submission, the British commander [Major Patrick Ferguson] then threatened North Carolina; and Col. [Charles] McDowell, the commander of the whig militia in that district, sent across the mountains to the Holston men praying that they would come to his help. Though suffering continually from Indian ravages, and momentarily expecting a formidable inroad, they responded nobly to the call. Sevier remained to patrol the border and watch the Cherokees, while Isaac Shelby crossed the mountains with a couple of hundred mounted riflemen, early in July. The mountain men were joined by McDowell, with whom they found also a handful of Georgians and some South Carolinans; who when their States were subdued had fled northward, resolute to fight their oppressors to the last. The arrival of the mountain men put new life into the dispirited whigs."
From History of the McDowells and Connections, by John Hugh McDowell, pub. 1918, C. B. Johnston, pp. 235-237:
From History of the McDowells and Connections, by John Hugh McDowell, pub. 1918, C. B. Johnston, pp. 235-237:
From Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians, by John H. Wheeler, published Columbus, Ohio: Columbus Printing Works, 1884:
Colonel Joseph McDowell was born on 25th February, 1758, at Pleasant Gardens, in Burke County. He was always called Colonel Joe of the Pleasant Gardens, to distinguish him from General Joe of Quaker Meadows.
He was a soldier and a statesman, and the most distinguished of the name.
He early entered the profession of arms. At the age of 18 he joined General Rutherford in an expedition, in 1776, against the Cherokee Indians, in which he displayed much gallantry and desperate courage. It is known that in a hand-to-hand fight he killed an Indian chief with his sword.
He was active in repressing the Tories, and took part in the battle at Ramsour's Mill, on 20th June, 1780, near Lincolnton, as mentioned by General Graham in eulogistic terms, for his conduct on that occasion, and materially aided in achieving a complete victory over a superior force.
At Cane Creek, in Rutherford County, with General Charles McDowell, he led the militia, chiefly of Burke County, and had a severe skirmish with a strong detachment of Ferguson's army, then stationed at Gilbert Town, and drove them back.
Immediately afterward he aided in measures which culminated in the glorious victory of Kings Mountain.
This was the darkest period of the dubious conflict. Gates was defeated at Camden; Savannah and Charleston surrendered to the British; Sumter, at Fishing Creek, (18th August, 1780;) Cornwallis, in all the pride and circumstance of a conqueror, held the undisputed possession of Charlotte and its vicinity.
Ferguson, with strong force, was winning the attachment of the people from liberty to loyalty; while the Tories ravaged the whole country with vindictive fury.
There was not a regular soldier south of Virginia, and every organized force was scattered or disbanded. The time had come, and these brave men felt that they must do or die.
Amid all these disastrous circumstances, the patriotic spirits of Cleaveland, Campbell, Sevier, and McDowell did not despair. They determined to attack the forces of Ferguson. They were all of equal rank, and as the troops were in the district of Charles McDowell, he was entitled to the command.
From a manuscript letter of Shelby, in my possession, he says: