Document:JB Cowan to Unnamed Relative, March 1895

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Source

Original Source: A letter dated March 28, 1895 from JB Cowan to an unnamed relative.
Intermediate Sources: The version given in Source:Fleming, 1971 differs substantially from the version provided by Mrs. Dunavant, 1947, with considerable material deleted without ellipsis being shown. The following shows in red the material given by Mrs. Dunavant that is missing from Flemings version.

A second letter dated March 28, 1895, but to a different unnamed relative. The version given in Fleming, 1971 differs substantially from the version provided by Mrs. Dunavant, 1947, with considerable material deleted without ellipsis being shown. The following shows in red the material given by Mrs. Dunavant that is missing from Flemings version.

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Analysis:Captivity Stories for Ann Walker Cowan, and Mary Walker Cowan
Document:JB Cowan to Unnamed Relative, April 1895

Text

"Your very interesting letter to hand some days ago. I am sorry I cannot give you all of the history you so much desire. My father was Samuel Montgomery Cowan. Before the war between the States we had a family tree but it was lost and I will have to write from memory. My great great grandfather was Samuel Cowan. His sons were
John,
James,
Samuel,
William,
Robert.
I don't know that I have given them in order of ages. My great grandfather John was the oldest, or the second son, I'm not sure. He was a major in the Continental Army in the War for Independence. The father, Samuel, and all of his sons were in the army and fought to the end. Samuel Cowan had several daughters. One of them, Elizabeth, married Samuel McCrosky, and their daughter Elizabeth wed Samuel Houston. Samuel and his brother William Houston, have often been at my father's home, and they called each other cousin. I recollect William Houston well. I know nothing more particularly of the families that sprung from the sons of Samuel Cowan, except that of my own line, only this; that part of the family still lives in East Tennessee. One line went to Kentucky, one to Vicksburg, Miss., one to South Carolina and part to Alabama. I have known many members of these families and they all trace back to the same place, ei {sic] to Samuel Cowan or his brothers. Most of these mentioned, however, direct to Samuel Cowan. [This is as written, and is not clear.] My grandfather had but one brother, his name was John, born December 14, 1768, died August 17, 1832. He moved at an early day to Indiana, from his home in East Tennessee. His son, John Maxwell Cowan, born Dec. 6 1821, visited my father and me before the late war at our home in Mississippi. I think he is yet living in Missouri. My grandfather moved to Franklin County, Tennessee, in 1806, being the second man to move to that county. He moved from Blount County. He commanded the frontier between the Tennessee line, and northern Georgia., and Alabama, below Chattanooga (then known as Ross' Landing), to a point north of where Huntsville, Alabama now stands, for several years under the US Government. He was in the army under General Jackson at the taking of Fort Barrance in Pensacola Bay, Florida, 1812, and then went there to New Orleans, and reached there on the 8th day of January, the day of the battle. He returned to his home in franklin County when peace was proclaimed, and died in 1815. My grandfather was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and all of his family, as far back as I know them or their history, were Presbyterians. Samuel Cowans father came at quite and early date and settled in Virginia. He came from Londonderry, Ireland, and our family came from Scotland to Ireland. You ask about Aunt Sally Cowan of Salem, Tennessee. I know her well and her family have been at our house often, when a child with father and mother, also since I have been grown. Her husband was descended from the same stock. His father was one of Samuel Cowan's sons, probably the youngest. The family are now, I believe, all dead. I have given you all I can recollect about the history of our family, which affords me pleasure, and I regret I cannot give you more. The names of our line of the family:
Samuel Cowan-my great great grandfather
His son, Major John Cowan, my great grandfather.
His son Capt. James Cowan, my grandfather
His son Samuel Montgomery Cowan, my father (Cumberland Pres. Minister)
My name, James Benjamin Cowan
I am now getting to be an old man, born 1831, in my 64th year.
Respectfully your kinsman,
J.B.Cowan
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