V. VIRGINIA MCCORDS IN THE REVOLUTION

The McCords and prominent American Revolutionary figures, Colonels Andrew and Charles Lewis, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, the George Rogers Clark family, and others

A. Before and during the French and Indian War period and the period just before the American Revolution

VIRGINIA BLUE RIDGE AND OTHER MOUNTAIN AREAS SIMILAR TO THE NATURAL BRIDGE VICINITY IN BOTETOURT COUNTY ( EARLIER IN AUGUSTA COUNTY) WHERE MCCORDS LIVED EARLY IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Colonel Andrew Lewis was in 1774 County Lieutenant and Commander of the Botetourt County militia forces. Two McCords, James and David, lived in that Virginia County from 1770 until 1777 during the American Revolution.

(map courtesy of Tinkling Spring and Heritage Presbyterian Church, Fishersville, VA)

MAP OF THE BEVERLEY AND BORDEN GRANTS UP TO 1748 IN THE VALLEY OF VIRGINIA. 'MCCORD DRAFT' IS LOCATED AT TOP CENTER NEAR CHRISTIAN AND LEWIS FAMILIES IN BEVERLEY GRANT.

LOWER HALF IS BORDEN GRANT. HOUSTON FAMILY LIVED ON TIMBER RIDGE, JAMES AND DAVID MCCORD LIVED IN THIS AREA 1770-1777 NEAR HOUSTONS.

Several McCords had lived on the frontier of Virginia from 1738 on, the first being Johannes McCord who settled on the Moorman River some 15 miles from Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia, and Andrew McCord nearby.

Johannes McCord appears to have purchased his land from William Beverley. Beverley mentions John McCord in a deed of purchase in 1738 Beverley made from Captain John Patton of Virginia.

WILLIAM BEVERLEY'S BILL TO CAPTAIN JAMES PATTON FOR LAND IN 1738 IN THE VALLEY OF VIRGINIA. JOHN MCCORD'S NAME APPEARS AS THE LAST ITEM ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE INVOLVING JOHN MCCORD'S NOTE FOR 4.5 BRITISH POUNDS

Andrew McCord, brother of Johannes, living in nearby Orange County, served in the Virginia militia in 1741 with Colonel, later Brigadier General, Andrew Lewis, brother of Charles Lewis.

Brigadier General Andrew Lewis was commander of all Virginia militia forces under Governor Patrick Henry beginning immediately after independence in July 1776. His sketch appears below.

Andrew McCord of Augusta County, and later in Orange County, Virginia after serving in the frontier Virginia militia in 1741, then served as an executor in the 1740's of an estate of a close friend of George Washington's mother, Robert Jackson. Some of Andrew McCord'sadministration papers are signed by George Washington.

This friend of Washington's mother, Robert Jackson, had counseled her against George going into the British Navy when he was considering a career there as a very young man.

Fortunately for the nation, George Washington turned down a British naval career and later became General of the Army in the American Revolution.

Later still, Washington became our nation's first President in 1790 after serving as head of the 1787 Constitutional Convention which successfully formulated our national constitution.

 

 

 


McCord children, orphaned on the frontier of Virginia in Augusta County in the 1750's had as their guardians John and William Christian, the latter the brother-in-law of the famous Patrick Henry of American Revolutionary fame.

PATRICK HENRY

Patrick Henry of Virginia spoke out against British tyranny in 1765, and again in 1775 with his famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech which motivated the Virginia Provincial Convention to bear arms against England and then to vote for independence from it. Patrick Henry is considered one of the greatest orators of all time.

Patrick Henry of Scottish descent was later first Governor of Virginia in 1776 and is given credit for being responsible for our 1789-90 Bill of Rights which we have and its precious freedoms of speech and religion which it contains.

Patrick Henry is considered one of the world's greatest orators of all time.

PATRICK HENRY, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM PIONEER

1. Patrick Henry was the pioneer of religious freedom in Virginia. In 1763, 13 years before the Declaration of Independence, Henry attacked England's Church of England in a law suit in Virginia and effectively won it in the famous "Parson's Cause" suit.

2. In the 1760's Henry also defended in court Virginia Baptist and other Protestant ministers who had been practicing their profession, which England's Governor declared unlawful and had them arrested. England said the Anglican Church was its "Established" church and only Anglicans could practice without its special permission in Virginia.

3. Thirteen year later, in 1776, Patrick Henry introduced the first religious freedom clause in the Virginia Constitution, Section 15, when he became its first Governor in July 1776, according to his biographer.

Patrick Henry thus pioneered religious freedom in Virginia and gave it its first official religious freedom clause in Virginia's first State Constitution, following 15 years of Henry's fighting in the Virginia courts for religious freedom for all its people, beginning in the 1760's.

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1760 Painting of King George III of England

PATRICK HENRY, PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1 OF KING GEORGE III

Earlier in the 1760's Patrick Henry, then a Virginia militia Colonel, faced down the Colonial Governor of Virginia with Henry's militia troops and forced the British Governor in the famous "Gunpowder Affair" to return a large quantity of gunpowder set aside for the Virginia militia by the Colonial legislature.

The Governor had taken the gunpowder away, sequestering it, where the militia commanded by Colonel Patrick Henry would not have access it, and stored it aboard his ship anchored in the Virginia harbor.

Colonel Patrick Henry with a regiment of militia then marched on the Virginia capitol forcing the Governor to return the gunpowder to the militia's control. For this, Patrick Henry became thereafter "Public Enemy No.1" in the eyes of the British.

Ever since those days, the Bill of Rights 2nd Amendment's 'Right to Bear Arms' (including gunpowder) has been a precious liberty and guarantee of freedom for Virginians. It has been their protection against despotism, they believe.


B. VIRGINIA IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1776-83

Many McCords served from Virginia during the American Revolution. Sons of the original settler Johannes McCord who had settled in Virginia in 1738, and Arthur McCord who lived further west in Virginia were among those who served.

During most of the years of the Revolution, Patrick Henry was Governor there and gave his utmost in support for General George Washington who was from Virginia.

Virginia's men turned out in mass to support Washington's Army and time after time Patrick Henry supplied the vital food, clothing and arms and ammunition for Washington when times were most desperate, as at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-78.


Thomas Jefferson while Governor of Virginia in the 1780's wrote that all males ages 16 to 50, not disabled, were enrolled in the Virginia militia during the Revolution. Jefferson wrote:

"QUERY IX

"The Number and Condition of the Militia and Regular Troops, And Their Pay.

....

"Every able-bodied freeman, between the ages of sixteen and fifty, is enrolled in the militia.

"Those of every county are formed into companies, and these again into one or more battalions, according to the numbers in the county. They are commanded by Colonels, and other subordinate officers, as in the Regular Service.

"In every county is a country-lieutenant, who commands the whole militia of his country, but ranks only as a Colonel in the field.

"We have no General officers existing. These are appointed occasionally, when an invasion or insurrection happens, and their commission determines with the occasion. The Governor is head of the military as well as civil power.

"The law requires every militia-man to provide himself with the arms usual to the Regular Service. But this injunction was always indifferently complied with, and the arms they had have been so frequently called for to arm the Regulars, that in the lower parts of the country they are entirely disarmed. In the middle country a fourth or fifth part of them may have such firelocks as they had provided to destroy the noxious animals which infest their farms; and on the western side of the Blue Ridge, they are generally armed with rifles.

"The pay of our militia, as well as our Regulars, of whom we have none but Continentals, and part of a battalion of state troops, is so constantly on the change, that a state of it at this day would not be its state a month hence. It is much the same with the condition of the other Continental troops, which is well enough known." (Thomas Jefferson, Writings, 1784, dated 1782, Paris)

Thomas Jefferson had been Governor of Virginia from June 1779-June 1781, during the Revolutionary War years.

Since North Carolina had a similar law, in the absence of any information that a McCord male living in either Virginia or North Carolina during the American Revolution and between the ages of 16 and 50 was disabled, I would presume that he was enrolled in the state's militia, if he were not known to be in the Continentals. In the case of my own male ancestor then living in North Carolina, it is known with absolute certainty that all such males in his county were enrolled by company in the militia. The records for such exist and contain his name, James, and that of his brother David McCord.

Hugh Talmage Lefler and Albert Ray Newsome writing in the 1954 book "North Carolina. The History of a Southern State" published in 1954 by the University of North Carolina Press, wrote,

"State Militia.--Realizing that the militia was the 'first line of defense,' the first General Assembly of the new state, in 1777, passed an 'Act To Establish A Militia in This State,"' under which all free white males, sixteen to sixty, inclusive, were subject to militia service....Governor Martin, in 1782, placed the figure of state militia at 26,822...." (pages 225-226)

John and Samuel McCord and one of the Black daughters signed a petition to Thomas Jefferson in 1776 requesting religious freedom as dissenters from the established church, the Anglican church. The three lived in Albemarle County surrounding Charlottesville Virginia which Jefferson represented in the newly-formed Virginia state legislature in 1776 and in which Patrick Henry was the Governor for several terms.


(courtesy Patricia Given Johnson)

BRIGADIER GENERAL ANDREW LEWIS COMMANDER OF ALL VIRGINIA MILITIA TROOPS AT THE TIME OF INDEPENDENCE JULY 6 1776

In 1774, later Brigadier General Andrew Lewis, then a Colonel, and from Botetourt County, Virginia then, was the victorious commander at The Battle of Point Pleasant on the Ohio River in present-day West Virginia, considered by some as the first battle of the American Revolution, occurring only a few days before the First Continental Congress met regarding independence.

General Lewis recruited 1000 American frontiersmen from Virginia to march over the mountains of Virginia to Point Pleasant.

A forced march over more than a hundred miles, it was the largest military force of Americans ever assembled up to that time and Colonel Lewis personally took his frontier fighters into battle.

STATUE TO ANDREW LEWIS AT POINT PLEASANT, WEST VIRGINIA

Andrew Lewis' success against a large Indian force out to ambush him there resulted in George Washington's recommendation to the Continental Congress that Andrew Lewis become the General of the American Armies during the Revolution. Andrew Lewis declined the honor in favor of George Washington to head all the American forces in the Revolution.

Colonel Charles Lewis, brother of Andrew Lewis, who earlier in the French and Indian War, in 1763-64 had rescued McCord children from the French and Indians in western Pennsylvania, was in 1774 Commander of the Augusta County, Virginia militia forces. Colonel Andrew Lewis had earlier been Commander of the Augusta County militia. Colonel Charles Lewis lost his life at The Battle of Point Pleasant.

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NATURAL BRIDGE VIRGINIA

Natural Bridge Virginia is in Botetourt County, Virginia. It is near where James McCord Sr. and David McCord lived in Botetourt County 1770-1777, and also not far from where John McCord lived in adjoining Bedford County, Virginia up to the 1770's when he and the Robert Shipley family moved to the Lincoln-Mecklenburg County, Virginia areas.

In Bedford County, Robert Shipley had owned the land bought by John McCord before they moved to North Carolina. John McCord was the eldest son of William McCord of Ft. McCord, Pennsylvania. Shipley's daughter Anne who married David McCord (John of Bedford's brother) was the sister of Abraham Lincoln's grandmother Mary Shipley.

Robert Shipley also had a son, George, who married Elizabeth McCord, believed to have possibly been the daughter of David McCord of Derry, Pennsylvania and a sister of James McCord Sr and David McCord.

McCord Clan officers Dr. Symm McCord and David McCord are descendants of John McCord, son of William McCord of Ft. McCord.

Bedford County is where Thomas Jefferson had a second home. He lived near to and visited Natural Bridge in Botetourt County and called it "the most beautiful place in the world."

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Farm (model) near Eagle Rock in Botetourt County, Virginia in 1800's

(courtesy Museum of Frontier Culture, Staunton, Virginia)

The two McCords, James and David, who lived in Colonel Andrew Lewis' Botetourt County 1770-1777, during the first two years of the American Revolution, moved to Washington County, Tennessee (then in North Carolina) in 1777.

It is believed these two McCords  were likely with Colonel Andrew and Charles Lewis at The Battle of Point Pleasant since all militia forces in that part of Virginia were mobilized for that campaign.

CAPTAIN ABRAHAM LINCOLN FROM ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA,   GRANDFATHER OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Captain Abraham Lincoln, born May 13, 1744 in Pennsylvania, and who died May 1786 in Kentucky, was married to Bathsheba Herring, and lived in Rockbridge County Virginia during the American Revolution. He served in that Revolution as Captain of a Virginia militia company.

Captain Abraham Lincoln  was possibly in Winchester Virginia's General Daniel Morgan's Regiment with whom Captain Sam Houston, father of General Sam Houston of Texas fame, served since both were from the Valley of Virginia from which Morgan drew much of his Regimental forces.

Captain Sam Houston later became Inspector of Morgan's Regiment and held the rank of Major.

John Houston was the original emigrant to America.

Captain, later Major Sam Houston, was the grandson of this John Houston who had bought 228 acres of land in 1748 six miles from what is now Lexington, Virginia in Rockbridge County.

Captain Abraham Lincoln had bought land in Rockbridge County next to his brother Isaac Lincoln on August 12, 1773. It was located on Linve's Creek, Virginia and it was sold to Abraham by another Lincoln, John Lincoln and his wife, Rebecca.

The land Captain Abraham Lincoln bought had originally been patented to Duff, Green and Hite on 27 March 1739 which was conveyed to them by Robert McKay. Witnessing the land sale to Abraham Lincoln in 1773 was Josiah Davidson and Cornelius and Ann Briant (Bryant), according to historian Lyman Chalkley. Hite was one of the first settlers in the Valley of Virginoia.

Captain Abraham Lincoln's son, Thomas Lincoln, father of President Lincoln, was born in this Valley of Virginia in 1778, five years after the land purchase.

In 1782, Captain Abraham Lincoln, the President's grandfather, took the trail to Kentucky with his family. In Kentucky he was killed by the Indians in 1786.

In 1782, Kentucky was part of Virginia which extended westward to the Mississippi River. In 1790 Kentucky became part of The Southwest Territory and in 1792 was made a state.

It appears that the John Houston family likely attended the same church in the Valley of Virginia as did James McCord Sr and his brother David McCord, sons of David McCord of Derry, Pennsylvania.

The McCords and the Houston family were related, as described later in this book. One of the McCord wives was a great-granddaughter of John Houston, just mentioned, and General Sam Houston was a great-grandson of this John Houston.

Campbell W. McCord, descended from James McCord Sr., son of David of Derry, was close to General Sam Houston and participated in a biography of General Sam Houston.

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MABRY MILL NEAR MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA

This stream and mill are typical of those of this area of Virginia in the 1800's.

Earlier, Andrew McCord of Augusta and Orange Counties, Virginia had served with Andrew Lewis in the Virginia militia forces Lewis commanded in 1741.

During the French and Indian War, Colonel Andrew Lewis through mistakes of the British commander, was captured by the French and Indians during the Forbes Campaign in Western Pennsylvania and taken to Canada as a prisoner. While James McCord Sr. of Derry, Pennsylvania was taken after 1758 to Ft. Detroit and then into Canada and overseas to Plymouth England where he and others were exchanged for French prisoners, Colonel Andrew Lewis was released in Canada and returned to Virginia. Colonel Arthur Campbell, a relative of Virginia's Governor Patrick Henry suffered the same fate as Colonel Lewis as a captive of the French in Canada.

SCOTCH-IRISH GENERAL ANDREW LEWIS CHASES THE BRITISH GOVERNOR OUT OF VIRGINIA

When Virginia declared its independence from England in July 1776 and elected Patrick Henry as its first Governor, Brigadier General Andrew Lewis of Botetourt County, with his Virginia frontier troops chased the-then British Governor of Virginia out of the state and aboard one the Governor's ships off the Virginia coast in July 1776. The British Governor never returned to Virginia.

General Lewis had been placed in command of all Virginia militia troops by Governor Patrick Henry at the time Virginia declared independence from England on July 5, 1776.


1776 AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN VIRGINIA

In 1776 John and Samuel McCord, living some 15 miles from Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello, and who were in his legislative district when he was in the Virginia state legislature then, petitioned Jefferson in writing for religious freedom in order to be able to freely practice their religious faith.

Scotsman Governor Patrick Henry saw to it that a religious freedom section, section 15, was included in the Virginia Constitution in July 1776 at the time of Virginia's independence and his election as its first Governor. Patrick Henry personally drafted that religious freedom section of the state constitution.

These McCords were in the Presbyterian Church while the Anglican church was the state church of Virginia, the so-called 'established church,' from which the phrase "Establishment of Religion" in the Bill of Rights is derived.

The Presbyterians and the Baptists were the two principal forces who successfully fought for religious freedom in Virginia against the "Established" Anglican church, the official state church of Virginia under its colonial government.

Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia, a dedicated Christian, and Governor George Clinton of New York led the fight for Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech and the other Bill of Rights guarantees, forcing James Madison to introduce a Bill of Rights to the Continental Congress in June 1789 which was approved by the Congress in September 1789 and sent to the states for ratification.

Andrew McCord, close friend of Governor George Clinton of New York State played a role with Clinton in that successful fight for our Bill of Rights, it is reported.

James Madison had opposed a Bill of Rights. Clinton and Patrick Henry's role in the Bill of Rights has been described earlier (see New York).


VIRGINIA'S COLONEL GEORGE ROGERS CLARK'S SUCCESSFUL WAR IN THE NORTHWEST

Colonel Rogers Clark from Virginia, with Governor Patrick Henry's help, recruited Scotch-Irish and German frontiersmen from Southwest Virginia, and from Washington and Greene Counties Tennessee (then in North Carolina) and rafted his men 1000 miles down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh (Ft. Pitt), Pennsylvania (on right) in winter to make a successful surprise attack against British installations in present -day Illinois and Vincennes, in present-day Indiana.

Colonel Clark captured that vast territory for the United States in the American Revolutionary War. He received ammunition and other munitions aid from Oliver Pollock and the Spanish Governor De Galvez in New Orleans which was helpful.

Clark's frontier riflemen at times marched through waist-deep icy waters to make the surprise attack. They were hardy and courageous fighters for freedom.

Governor Patrick Henry and his frontiersmen fought successful wars on several fronts during the American Revolution.

Henry supplied men from Virginia for the Washington's Continentals, his Regular army.

Henry also supplied men to fight from his state militia forces.

Henry aided Daniel Boone and his westerners in Kentucky which was then a part of Virginia in holding the Kentucky territory for George Washington.

And Henry backed to the hilt Colonel George Rogers Clark in Clark's winning of the vast Northwest for the Revolutionary forces of Washington, clear over into Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Clark's victories there cinched that territory for America during the negotiations for peace which settled the war with England.

James McCord who was on the payroll of Virginia Captain John Allison's Company with George Rogers Clark was killed on July 9, 1780 while on Clark's expedition to the Northwest.


ANN CLARK, SISTER OF GEORGE ROGERS CLARK AND WILLIAM CLARK OF THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION

George Rogers Clark's home was at Charlottesville, Virginia.

The sister of George Rogers Clark was Ann Clark who married Colonel John Field.

The brother of both George Rogers Clark and Ann Clark was William Clark co-commander of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. William Clark was born in Albemarle County near Charlottesville and emigrated early to Kentucky.

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Ann and John Field's great-granddaughter was Sally Moss Field who married William McCord, born 1798 in Albemarle County, Virginia. William McCord died October 17, 1839 at Versailles, Missouri.

John Field, this Sally Field's father had married Sarah Wood, daughter of Jesse Woods who was related to the Woods family who had emigrated to Virginia from Pennsylvania in the mid-1730's.

The McCords also married early into the Woods and Maupin families of this emigrating group, some of the earliest families in western Virginia near the Valley of Virginia. They settled on the eastern side of the mountain from the valley and near Charlottesville and Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home.

Some believe that Johannes McCord and Andrew McCord had emigrated from Pennsylvania with the Woods party in 1734-38. They were in Pennsylvania from 1734-38.

Benjamin Franklin's newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette carried the names of John McCord and Andrew McCord in one of its 1738 issues stating that mail was being held for both in the Philadelphia post office


The final and decisive battle of the American Revolution was fought in Virginia, at Yorktown, led by General George Washington. This painting was made just 17 years after the battle and the painter no doubt talked to many who were there. It was a historic moment for the United States, the most historic moment of all..

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