yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


from the research notes of Francis Thomas

[The following was found on microfilm at Clayton Library in Houston. It is from an article entitled "Captain Paddy Boggan and the Olden Times", and it was published in The Messenger and Intelligencer, Wadesboro, N. C., August 27, 1936. The quality of the microfilm made it impossible to get clear photocopies, so I didn't copy the entire article, and I've had much difficulty transcribing the pages I did copy.]


Anson County was formed about the year 1749 from Bladen county, which had been formed in 1734 from New Hanover, and extended from New Hanover and Bladen on the East to the Mississippi River on the West. The Court House during Colonial times and until about 1799 was a place called Mt. Pleasant near Pee Dee River on what is now the Benj. Ingram plantation, though the Magistrate's Courts were held in different places, sometimes in private houses. The Colonial history of Anson is interesting. In 1768 a petition signed by many persons was sent up to Gov. Tryon complaining of wrongs done by Officers of the Crown, and saying that "no people have a right to be taxed but by consent of themselves or their delegates." In 1774, a Provincial Congress was held at New Bern which was the first movement of the people as a State adverse to the Royal Government. The delegates from Anson were Samuel Spencer and Wm. Thomas. This Congress elected delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. In Aug., 1775, the Provincial Congress of N. C. met at Hillsboro. Anson's delegates were Thos. Wade, Saml. Spencer, David Love, Wm. Thomas and Wm. Pickett. This body placed the State in complete military organization. Wm. Pickett was appointed Capt. of 1st Regiment commanded by James Moore. Thomas Wade of Anson was chosen Col. of the "Minute Men" of Salisbury Dist. For Field Officers, for Anson county Saml. Spencer was appointed Col. and Charles Medlock Lieut.-Col. Samuel Spencer was appointed with Waightsill army of the Salisbury Dist., on the "Provisional Council of Safety" which was the real Executive of the Province of N. C. during the interregnum between the abdication of Gov. Martin, Royal Governor in 1775 and the accession of Richard Caswell, the first Gov. under the Constitution in 1776.

Saml. Spencer was a man of fine education and undoubted talents, and had migrated to N. C. with his brother Calvin from Conn. He had not the confidence of the people as to honesty. Along about 1768, he was Clerk of the Court, an office of much profit, and he was much complained of in the petition sent up to Gov. Tryon during that year. The Sheriff Medlock, was accused of collecting a county tax to defray expenses, well know[n] to be Province expenses. Afterward the Clerk Mr. Spencer, who was also member of the Assembly, presented these same claims to Assembly for collection. The petition goes on to say, "As to the Clerk Mr. Spencer, his extortions are burdensome to all that fall in his power, as he takes double and sometimes, treble his due." He was one of the Judges of the Superior Courts first elected under the Constitution (1777). He was in the convention assembled at Hillsboro in July, 1788, to consider the Federal constitution; was its able and active opponent and contributed greatly to its rejection by that body. He died in 1794 from a singular cause. He had been very ill and was sitting in his yard in the sum. A large turkey gobbler, part wild, but a pet, became alarmed at a red cap he had on and flew at him. The shock was so great that he could not recover from it and soon died. The history says he was struck by the gobbler and severely wounded, but my version is correct and was told me years ago by Mrs. Hemby whose mother was his daughter.


Col. Thos. Wade was one of the most prominent citizens of Anson county and Wadesboro, the county seat was named in his honor. It was originally a hamlet called "Newtown". There is an old deed of 150 acres of land in "Newtown" from Patrick Boggan to Thomas Wade also large body of land on Gould's Fork. He represented the county as Senator in 1782-83. He married Jane, a sister of Capt. Paddy and had sons and daughters. He was a merchant and possessed of good estate. His will is dated Jan. 12th, 1786, his wife and his friends, Patrick Boggan and Jas. Boggan being ap: Executors.

The will of his son Thomas Wade is dated June 18th, 1792, and records that he had the "infection of smallpox" and would at once proceed to Cheraw Hill, for treatment. This will was probated before Christmas, Smallpox probably proving fatal. Col. Thos. Wade's daughter Judy, married a Dr. Coleman and moved to Ala. She inherited the land now occupied by the Town of Wadesboro. It is said that she and her children at one time thought of suing for certain lots for which a proper title had not been given but abandoned the idea. The name of Capt. Patrick Boggan does not occur often in the old records except in an occasional deed but according to tradition he was a famous character in Anson during the Colonial period. He was Captain of Militia. His granddaughter Mrs. Fanny (Coppedge) McCormick says he received his commission from Genl. Greene, tho he probably belonged to Col. Wade's "Minute Men". It is said that he fought the Tories furiously. Mrs. Love, wife of old Dan'l Love who kept house of entertainment between Rockingham and Fayetteville, told Mrs. Anne Hull (or Hall) that Capt. Paddy B. went all thro that country destroying settlers and that he or his men killed her father in cold-blood. These settlers were probably mostly Tories and simple Scotch folk who had been taught to "Serve God and honor the King" and who knew very little about the war. He married a young orphan girl named Dabbs (or Dobbs) from about Raleigh. They had two sons Dick and Paddy and seven daughters. Jane married Pleasant May, Mary married Jno. May, Fanny married Jimmy Cash, Peggy married Ingo Dozier Cash, Nelly married Wm. Hammond, Flora married Jos. Pickett, and Lydia the youngest, married Moses Coppedge tho' Moses was probably the least successful of Capt. P.'s sons-in-law. Capt. Paddy owned much land, no doubt "entered" much of it all along on Gould's Fork, Jones Creek, all of New Town afterward Wadesboro, the Walter Leak place, Flat Rock. He bestowed during his life land and negroes on his children. Pleasant May, who married Jane, lived at what is now Little's Mill on Jones' Creek. Jno. May and his Mary lived out West of Wadesboro--had a mill. Jimmy Cash and wife Fanny had a mill at Cedar Rock. Ingo D. Cash and wife, Peggy, had a mill at "Old Mill Hut" near Flat Rock. In those days it was considered a sign of prosperity for every well-to-do farmer to have a water mill. Ingo Cash and Peggy also had land on the Lilesville road and they kept the old "Buck Tavern".


Capt. P. built the one story part of Hammond the house where Julius Little now lives and Wm. Hammond and his wife Nelly lived there. He built for his daughter, Mrs. Pickett, Flora, the house known as "Old Pickett House". Moses Coppedge and wife, Lydia lived somewhere out on Gould's Fork afterward named Flat Rock. Capt. P.'s son Paddy, married Martha Davidson, a sterling good woman and own aunt by the way, of Senator Harris of Penn. [or Tenn.], (she Mrs. Patsy Boggan whom we knew.) She was early left a widow with three children, George, Adaline the 2nd Mrs. Absalom Myers, and Anne married to Rev. A. B. Smith.

When our parents first came to this county about 1821, they at first rented land west of town from Mrs. Patsy B. who lived near and proved a most excellent neighbor to our mother and a life-long friend. Dick, the other son was a terrible drunkard, he had a plantation out on Salisbury road, married I don't know whom, but she was also fond of drink. I have heard our mother say that she and Mrs. Patsy B. and Mrs. B.'s children were returning home in advance of a storm; to shorten the distance they cut thro' Dick Boggan's yard. The servants were whispering and cautioned them to make no noise as Dick and his wife were in a drunken sleep. So they crept silently along much alarmed. Dick Boggan died early and fortunately left no children.

Capt. Paddy's wife had been possessed of 10 negroes but her guardian had sold them and appropriated the money. They accidentally got possession of two of these negroes who told them where the others were. This was after most of their children had married. Mrs. Boggan had a habit of going most anywere with her husband riding horseback. So they mounted their horses and rode off seeking her former slaves. They got to Wake County and stopped at a man's house to spend the night. Mrs. Boggan was suffering with a bone-felon. The lady directed her to the cabin of an old negro woman who could doctor her finger. Mrs. B. in talking with the old woman found that she had been her nurse in infancy. From her, she learned the whereabouts of the others and they recovered them all, whether or not by lawful proceedings, her granddaughter, Mrs. McCormick did not tell me.

Capt. B. was a kind, amiable man and very generous. Mrs. McCormick says that he told his brother-in-law Col. Wade to help himself to his land, and that he did help himself, that he took all of "Newtown", sold lots and named it Wadesboro. The recorded deed does not say it was a deed of gift. At the time of his death he lived with his daughter Mrs. Nelly Hammond where Julius Little now lives. He is said to have been a very robust and stout man, also athletic; that he could jump over a high-top wagon. This was a high jump and it seems to me a tall story. It is said that one day his daughter Polly May went home crying, "What's the matter Polly?" said Capt. P. Jno. May had been treating her badly. "Well, go in the house and sit down with your mother and I'll go over and thrash Jno. May." Polly stopped crying and said snappishly "Would you thrash Col. Pickett?" Col. P. had proven a prosperous man and was probably the great man of the family.

Capt. Paddy died at great age. He had gone out into the wood near cemetery to feed his hogs and was found dead with basket of corn on his arm.


Most of the above information, I received from Capt. Paddy's granddaughter, Mrs. Fanny (Coppedge) McCormick. Mrs. Glass tells me that to the day of his death, he had the most intense hatred for the Tories. Old Johnny Lindsay, who lived 5 miles out on what is now the Lilesville road, where his descendants now live, had been a Tory. Mrs. Glass has heard that he would capture horses and hide them in the swamps of Jones' Creek until he could trade them off to the Tory forces. After the peace, he was the object of Capt. Paddy's persecution. On public days, when many were in town and liquor no doubt flowed freely, if he caught old Johnny Lindsay in town, he would chase him out, ride after him, perhaps armed, and old Johnny would go tearing home.

There were other Boggans. Capt. P. had a brother James who was father of Maj. James Boggan whom we knew. Mr. Norfleet Boggan who married Jane Hammond was a son of Johnathan B. who was probably a nephew of Capt. Paddy. They were of Irish descent. Capt. P. and his brother were probably born in Ireland. Of his descendants, the Hays and some of the Cash family migrated to Ala. long before you were born. The Cash brothers came from S. C. The name Ingo was probably a corruption of Inigo. Dozier was a respectable surname in S. C. Boggan Cash the duelist, was a grandson of Ingo Dozier and Peggy Cash, his father being named Boggan his mother was a Miss Ellerbe, of S. C. Thomas Cash was a son of Ingo Dozier, and was killed in a fight at Morven by a man named Tom Curtis over 50 years ago. Curtis escaped to Texas and remained there 15 years when a relative of the man he had killed discovered him and brought him here for trial. He was convicted of murder in the second degree.


Col. Jos. Pickett and wife Flora at one time kept Hotel. The lawyers came mostly from other towns to attend court and often stayed at his house. He talked with them and was inspired to study law tho' no longer very young. His wife encouraged him to do so and he became a successful lawyer. [This section was very dim and difficult to decipher. I don't guarantee accuracy. - FT] They had 6 daughters and one son. Martha married Alex King, afterward a Mr. Morgan, Mary married Benj. Bullard [?]. Frances married _____ Howze, afterward Dr. Walter G. Jones. Ellen at 15 married John Bates, a young lawyer of promise but very dissipated. She afterward married Atlas Jones Dargen [not sure about this name - FT] a prominent lawyer and most peculiar person. G__vinia [?], a Mr. Buchanan, a worthy man. Evalina, the youngest daughter married Dr. Walter G. Jones, a most excellent man. She died in a year at the birth of her son, Jos. Pickett Jones. He afterward married Mrs. Howze, Frances, and they raised 6 children. There were two Howze children, Flora, who married Dr. Ed. F. Ashe and Dr. Henry Y. who married Cornelia Marshall, both dead. None of Col. Pickett's descendants are now left in this county, except Flora's daughter Nelly Ashe, Mrs. Harris and Dr. Ed. S. Ashe, her son. Martin, Col. P.'s youngest child and only son married Ann Eliza, sister of Mr. Thos. S. Ashe. He had sold his plantation and was on the eve of moving to Ala. when he had a quarrel with a man named Boyd. He used very provoking language and Boyd shot him and he died in a few days. This terrible affair occurred about the year 1851.

Col. Jos. Pickett accumulated a good estate and they lived in good style. His Will is dated April 26th 1838[?] (He was just leaving for the "Sweet Springs", Va., and I think died soon after.) It is a most reasonable and sensible document. Besides money and negroes, he left to his son Martin, his large river plantation at Mt. Pleasant. He was very considerate of his wife and daughters. Before his death there had been a terrible tragedy and two of his daughters became widows. Mr. King and Mr. Bates had quarreled when drunk and Mr. Bates shot and killed Mr. King and then out of remorse, had taken laudanum[?] and killed himself at the age of 25.

Col. Pickett had a brother named Martin whose first wife was named Raiford. His daughter was the first wife of Absolom Myers. They had __ children. Martin Myers and Mrs. Elias[?] Hicks, long since dead and Mrs. Jane Sturdivant and Wm. R. Myers ___ living in Charlotte.


Col. P. had also two sisters, Mrs. Mumford De Jarnette and Mrs. Ted Robeson the latter quite wealthy. The De Jarnettes were well-to-do people and very overbearing[?]. Mumford De J. kept store in what was afterward Mt. ________. He had a dispute with Richmond Davidson, who kept Hotel right where the present court house now stands, got in a terrible passion and struck Davidson over the head with the handle of his gun and nearly killed him. The gun being loaded went off and De Jarnette was shot dead right in his own store. All this many, many years ago.

The Ted Robesons had a daughter, Hannah, who married a man named Caldwell of Mocksville. The late Ted R. Caldwell once Republican Gov. of N. C., was her son. Cornelius, Ted Robeson's son was said to have been very handsome and charming. He was supposed to be a great catch and "thereby hangs a tale". His aunt Mrs. De J. and aunt-in-law, Mrs. Pickett put their wise heads together to keep him in the family, or at least prevent his being captured by a poor girl with a pretty face. They wished him to wait a few years and marry his little cousin Owen De Jarnette who was then at school at Salem and about 10[?] years old. He went to live in Ala. on a plantation belonging to his father. Before leaving he became engaged to a worthy young lady named Harriet Davidson and corresponded with her. His aunts however, by some means managed to intercept his letters and she never received but one, and that one soon after she had married her cousin Moore. She had waited a long time and had at last despaired of his love. The years rolled along and Cornelius R. during a visit home fell in love with Sarah Pegues. There were three of these Pegues girls, Sarah, Mary, afterward Mrs. George Dismukes and Elizabeth Marcia, Mrs. Hemby. They were orphans, all pretty and smart and lived with their aunt, Mrs. Richmond Davidson. The same meddling ladies interfered again and broke up this second engagement of the son and heir of wealthy Ted Robeson to a poor girl. Sarah Pegues, heart-broken, moved to Ala. with her sister, Mrs. Dismukes, don't remember whether or not she was married. In the meantime, Owen De Jarnette was kept at the Salem Academy. When about 16 years old she really married her cousin Cornelius Robeson. The above story I heard in my early days from my mother and Aunt H. Strong also from Mrs. Hemby.


Wm. Hammond, who married Nelly, daughter of Capt. Paddy Boggan, was a very old man when I can first remember. He was a farmer, but had in old times been County Register. He had a pet horse, black, named "Old Joe" a small dog named "Tyler" and a pet gander. These last followed him always as he walked to and fro. Mrs. Hammond, sitting in her chair in the corner, is one of the most vivid pictures of my earliest years. She was a smart patient old lady, always gentle-spoken. Their children were two sons, Patrick and Hampton, Flora who died a young lady, Lydia married to Wright Colton of Chatham county, Jane married to Norfleet Boggan and Polly married to Lawrence Moore, all dead, some of them long ago.

Mr. Norfleet Boggan was Clerk of the County Court for many years and until the day of his death. Their children were Rosa Elizabeth, married Dr. Jno. W. Bennett died in 1857, Harriet Eleanor married to Wm. O. Bennett died in 1862, Walter Jones, Wm., James and Lydia all these living in the far West. Hampton B. Hammond married Rosa E., daughter of Peter May, a planter of wealth who lived in S. C., just over the line. She had been finely educated for that day, in Columbia, S. C., and was an intelligent and interesting woman. She died during the war. They had a beautiful home near Wadesboro. After the war Mr. H. moved to Charlotte and died in a few years, his remains were brought here for burial. He was a member of the Episcopal church, also his wife, a lifelong Democrat and went heart and soul for the South. His young son Jos. Medley, was killed at Charlestown, W. Va. while fighting bravely. Three daughters, Ella, Mrs. Jordan, Rosa May, 2nd Mrs. W. O. Bennett, Jane, Mrs. Bland are dead. Those living are Capt. Wm. H., Hugh, Eva, Mrs. Lewis Boggan and Fanny, Mrs. Trezant.

Moses Coppedge and wife died many years ago. Three of their children are living and reside here. Patrick James aged 80 married with family. Fanny, Mrs. McCormick, and John, married with sons and daughters. The widow and children of the late Dr. Chas. Coppedge a most worthy man reside here.


May Buchanan came originally from S. C. He married a Miss May, daughter of one of Capt. Paddy's sons-in-law of that name. She died early and left 4 children, Benj., Mary, Margaret, Jane. He afterward married Mary Eliza Atkins, a pretty black-eyed young girl down in S. C. He went down courting her in great style and brought her home a bride in a coach and four and the tradition is that his small sons, Ben and Mary ran out to meet their new mother having on only the one indispensable garment. Mr. Buchanan was a very good-natured person with pompous manners. He would often drink too much. Mr. P. Coppedge tells me that some times when he had taken too much he would walk about as if he owned the town and boast that "he had paid the National debt."

His plantation was 7 miles west of town. He was returning home on the evening of May 7th 1849 when he was set upon about dusk by a person or persons and most foully murdered, beaten to death. His cries were heard at his home but when help reached him he was quite dead. Edmund, one of his own slaves was tried and hung. He confessed on the gallows that he did the deed. His son Augustus was also tried for his life and came very near being convicted. This most dreadful murder horrified the whole country. His children by the second marriage were Sarah, widow of the late Vincent Parsons. A good son lives with her at the old Pearson place and cherishes her tenderly. Augustus, John, Rosa, widow of James McCorkle, Lizzie, Mrs. Faulkner, Fred, the only steady son, a good soldier, killed during the war, Judy, Mrs. Scott, Henry and Mary Eliza, Mrs. Sturdivant now dead.

To return to Capt. Paddy, a member of his family who deserves mention is his grandson, Dozier Cash, son of Ingo Dozier. He married Mary, daughter of Peter May. He died long since, was I have heard a man of very polite manners, too fond of drink and probably spent everything except his wife's property.


There were Bennetts in this county at an early day long before 1800. They came originally from England to Va., thence to this county. There was a John Washington Bennett also Wm. Bennett, brothers, the latter my husband's great-grandfather. He made a second marriage in S. C., and moved to that State where he died. His sons by the first marriage were Wm., Mr. B.'s grandfather, Neville and perhaps others.

He, Wm. Jr., owned a large body of land on Jones' Creek and built the large water mill which is still standing and can be seen from Jno. Dunlap's front door. His home was 3 miles from town on the Lilesville road, where his son, Risden, lived and died. Wm. B., Jr., married Mary Dunn, only child of a revolutionary lady who died during the Confederate war, aged 109 years. I regret that I did not know that old lady and hear from her, tales of her youth. His children were James, Lemuel, Neville, Carey, Risden, Mrs. Flake, Mrs. Joel Gaddy, Mary, Mrs. George Little, Susan and Mrs. Benj. Ingram, Nancy. Everyone dead except Mrs. Ingram. All of the above possessed good estates some of them quite wealthy. James Bennett was a man of large estate, was quite old. He owned the plantation where Jno. Dunlap now lives and built that house. Kilpatrick's bummers raided his home and destroyed much. Guided by some traitorous servant, they found everything he had hidden, his plate and several hundred dollars in gold.

[I don't remember if there was more, but this is all I tried to photocopy. - FT]

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