- H. Gen. Adam Stephen1718 - 1791
m. bef. 1757
- Ann Stephenabt 1757 - 1834
Facts and Events
Adam Stephen was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
- Page 578.--12th April, 1764. William Minter to Adam Stephen, of Frederick, £125, 212 acres patented to William, 26th September, 1760, on Mossey Creek; line of Edward Erwin's land. Delivered: Robert Stephen, 29th September, 1767. (Note: "Mossey Creek" is a tributary of the South Branch of the Shenandoah River).
- Page 813.--27th September, 1764. Henry Smith, farmer, and Amelia, to Adam Stephen, of Frederick County, £136, 170 acres conveyed to Henry by Silas Hart, 1st June, 1756, on South Fork of North River of Shanandoe. Delivered: Robert Stephen, 29th September, 1767. Teste: William Teas and William Stuart.
- Page 815.--27th September, 1764. Same to same (Henry Smith, farmer, and Amelia, to Adam Stephen, of Frederick County), £100.10, 400 acres by patent, 27th June, 1764, to Henry Smith on North River of Shanandoe, Hickory in the Barrens.
Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:
- Page 352.--7th April. 1774. Adam Stephen, of Berkeley County, Virginia, in (s/b to) Mark Bird and Henry Miller, of Berks County. Pennsylvania. (Note: this transaction is referenced in the record below in 1779 from Mark Bird and Mary to Henry Miller).
Will of Adam Stephen
- I, Major General Adam Stephen, of Martinsburg, in the County of Berkeley, and the Commonwealth of Virginia being of perfect and disposing mind and memory, and desirrus to settle and dispose of that estate whereof I am at this time seized and possessed, do make publish pronounce and declare this my last will and Testament in manner and form following:
- Imprimise I give to my grandson Adam Stephen Dandridge and his heirs forever, subject to the legacies and the incumbrances hereinafter imposed and merged thereon all my lands in the County of Berkeley except the plantation I purchased from John Stroud containing my estimation five hundred acres be the same more or less and except the tract of land I purchased of Morgan Morgan and George W. Fairfax Esq. where the town of Martinsburg stands; and which includes my old and new mills, together with one hundred and thirty acres of land below the mills adjoining and contiguous to the same and upon both sides of the stream also except two hundred acres adjoining Moses Hunter where where Negro Jack, a freeman, lived and also except two hundred and thirteen acres or thereabouts be the same more or less which last mentioned tract I am at this time contracting to sell to a certain Adam Aldridge. I also give and bequeath to sald Adam Stephen Dandridge all my stock of horses cattle sheep and hogs two cows only excepted. I also give him my plantation utilsils and tools of whatever kind they be, together with my slaves, except Cloe and her off spring and Ann the Daughter of Cate and also except one other wench and child Such as Miss Phebe Seamon Shall make Choice of from among my Negroes.
- Item I do Constitute and appoint my Friends Guardians of my Said Grandson Adam Stephen Dandridge, and of the estate as well real as personal herein before devised to him; and it is my will. and I direct that his Said Guardians Shall occupy the estate of what kind soever herein before devised to my said Grandson Adam Stephen Dandridge.
- During his minority and until he attain the age of twenty one years and that they the said guardians during that time period have take and receive the profits of the Said estate the rents of such land as are tenanted out only excepted and that they settle the guardian accounts once in every year with the Court of the County of Berkeley and that the profits of the said estate be applied at the discretion of the said guardians to the maintenance and education of my said grandson, So far as the same is necessary the residue if any to be put into the Federal or State Banks, the said Guardians may judge best, but It is my ernest wish and desire that no expence or trouble be spared in giving to my said grandson the best education that can possibly be procured for him and that the guardians give Bond and Security to the Court.
- Item if my said grandson Adam Stephen Dandridge should die before he attains the age of Twenty one years without children then, and in the event I give devise and bequeath the whole estate as well real as personal I herein before given devised or bequeathed to him, to my brother Robert Stephens his heirs and assigns forever.
- Item I give and bequeath unto Miss Phebe Seamon the yearly sum or annuity of One Hundred Dollars to be paid to her by My Executors yearly, and every year, from and after my decease for, and during her natural life. I also give her two milch cows the choice of all my cattle, and one Negro wench &c and Child, to be by her chosen from, and among all, my slaves which said wench and child I give and bequeath to Miss Phebe Seamon during her natural life and after her decease the same to revert back and be considered as part of the estate herein before devised to my grand son Adam Stephen Dandridge. I also direct that my executors shall immediately after my decease build for Miss Phebe Seamon at my plantation called the Bower a comfortable house with two brick Chimneys, and with two rooms above stairs, and two below; which house when built, together with land sufficient for a yard and garden I give and devise to Miss Phebe Seamon during her natural life.
- Item I give and devise to my brother Robert Stephens and his heirs forever a tract of land containing Eleven Hundred Acres, be the same more or less situate in the district of Kentucky, upon the head of Hichman Creek near the town of Lexington; it being the residue of the tract whereof I gave Friend General Lawson Two hundred acres. I also give an bequeath to my said brother Robert, Five hundred pounds Pennsylvania Currency payable in bonds to be assigned to him by my Executors hereafter named.
- Item I wish and direct my Executors, hereinafter named to dispose of the plantation I purchased of John Stroud, containing my estimation five hundred acres to be the same more or less together with my new mill and the one hundred and thirty acres of land before excepted being below her on the stream, to be by them sold to the best advantage for ready money or upon credit at their discretion and the money arising therefrom to be by them vested in the Baltimore, or Philadelphia bank at the discretion of my executors for the purpose hereinafter named.
- Item I give an devise to Alexander, the son of my brother Robert Stephen, a tract of land containing one thousand acres be the same more or less situate on the South side of Ohio River, about six or seven miles above the mouth of Kentucky River, to have and to hold the said tract of land to him the said Alexander his heirs and assigns forever. I also give and devise to the said Alexander, the son of my brother Robert Stephen and his heirs forever a tract of land containing one hundred and thirty five acres be the same more or less situate in the County of Hampshire about twenty miles above the town of Winchester and adjoining the lands formerly belonging to one Gaddy. I also give and bequeath to the said Alexander the sum of one hundred pounds, Pennsylvania Currency payable in bonds to be assigned to him by my executors upon his coming to the age of twenty one years.
- Item I give and bequeath to Adam Stephen the second son of my brother Robert Stephen, the sum of Two Thousand pounds - Pennsylvania currency - to be paid as in hereinafter directed.
- Item I give and bequeath to Moses Hunter the sum of Five hundred pounds - Pennsylvania Currency - payable in bonds to be assigned to him by my Executors. I also give and devise to the said Moses Hunter two hundred acres of land excepted in the preceding part of this will and testament and being part of the tract where Negro Jack lived and adjoining the lands of the said Moses Hunter, to be laid off by a line running parallel to that of the said Hunter which two hundred acres I give and devise to the said Moses Hunter his heirs and assigns forever.
- Item I give and bequeath Ann Evelina Hunter, Daughter of Moses Hunter, One Thousand Dollars to be paid her upon her day of marriage. I also give and bequeath to the said Ann Evelina Hunter, Negro Cloe and her offspring, and another daughter of negro Cate but should the said Ann Evelina die before her day of marriage and in that case, I give and bequeath the money and slaves before devised to her to the children of Moses Hunter, and Ann his wife to be equally divided among them.
- Item I give and bequeath to my daughter Ann Hunter, wife of Moses Hunter the sum of five guineas. If Moses Hunter should have a son by my daughter Ann, his present wife, then I direct that my Executors shall annually, after such son attain the age of one year, vest the Sum of Ninety Pounds Virginia currency in the Baltimore or Pennsylvania Bank, at their discretion untill the sum of Five Hundred and forty Pounds Virginia Currency is vested there, in which sum together with all profits accruing thereon I direct my executors to pay to such son upon his arriving at the age of twenty one years; but if such son should die before he attains the age of Twenty one years then my will is that the sum with all profits thereon accrued be my executors, equally divided between the children of Moses Hunter and Ann his present wife and the children of my Brother Robert Stephen share and share alike.
- Item it is my will and I direct the residue of the debts due to me not herein disposed of together with the rents of such of my lands herein before devised to Adam Stephen Dandridge as are rented out and not worked by the slaves be applied by my Executors first to the payment of all my just debts and when they are fully paid off and satisfied, then I direct that my Executors do pay to Adam Stephen the second son my Brother Robert Stephen the sum of One Hundred pounds, Virginia currency yearly and every year until the hole of the legacy herein before bequeathed is fully paid off and satisfied.
- And as to my money arising from the sale of my mill, and lands herein before devised to my Executors to be sold, as touching the disposition of the same, it is my will and I direct that the interest or profits of the same be taken and applied in and of the funds herein before appropriated for the payment of my debts and legacies aforesaid. I give and bequeath to my Brother Robert Stephen.
- Item I give and bequeath to each of my executors hereinafter named the sum of Two hundred pounds Pennsylvania Currency as a compensation for the trouble imposed upon them by this my last will and testament. I further direct that the rents and profits of the old mill as also the rents of the town of Martinsburg for twenty years be vested by my executors in the Baltimore or Philadelphia Bank, and that interest growing out of the sum may be considered as part of the fund created for the payment of legacies; and the principal sum I give and bequeath to the Children of Moses Hunter by Ann his present wife and the children of my Brother Robert Stephen share and share alike when they may severally draw or continue their Shares as to them shall seem best.
- Item I give devise and bequeath all the rest and residue of my estate of what nature of kind soever not hereinbefore devised or disposed of to my brother Robert Stephen his heirs and assigns forever; and lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint Robert Stephen, Ephrain Gather, and David Hunter, Executors of this my last will and hereby revolking all other will by me heretofore made and confirming this alone in witness I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 5th day of June in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and ninety one.
- Signed, Sealed, published and declared by the testator as his last will in presence of (the words wish and desire where there appeareth to be an erasement done before Signing)
- Adam Stephen (Ls)
- James Wilson, R.M. Knight, James Lawson, Robert Cookburn.
Records of Adam Stephen in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley's Augusta County Records:
- Page 23.--26th April 1779. Mark Bird and Mary, of Union Township, County of Berkshire, Pennsylvania, to Henry Miller. Whereas Adam Stephen, of Berkeley County, sold to Mark and Henry, 7th April, 1774, 400 acres purchased by Adam from Henry Smith; also another tract conveyed to Adam by William Minter on Mossey Creek; also another tract purchased from Henry Smith on South Fork of North River of Shenandoah; afterwards Mark and Henry entered into partnership, 1st June, 1774, as ironmasters and to build necessary forges, furnaces and mills. Teste: Jesse Potts, David Davis, Sarah Lincoln.
Biography of Gen. Adam Stephen
Biography of Adam Stephen, from General Adam Stephen Memorial Association:
Adam Stephen was born in Scotland around the year 1718. There he attended the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh, receiving a degree in surgery around 1746. Coming to America in 1748, he set up a doctor's practice in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Having purchased land in Frederick County, Virginia in 1750 (the "Bower" property, which is in present-day Jefferson County, W.Va.), he accepted a military post on the Virginia frontier in 1754 at the beginning of the French and Indian War and was present with General Braddock and Colonel Washington at the opening of hostilities. In 1770, he first acquired land along the Tuscarora Creek in present-day Berkeley County, where he later sold lots to develop the town of Martinsburg. Stephen provided leadership as a colonel in the French and Indian War and as a major-general during the American Revolution. In between the wars, he negotiated treaties with the Native Americans in South Carolina, western Virginia and Ohio. Perhaps his greatest contribution to America's future was his stirring speech at the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1788 which influenced the Virginia delegates to ratify the United States Constitution, which in turn led other states to ratify the Constitution at their state conventions. In 1789, Adam Stephen wrote an article for the Virginia Gazette entitled "Expostulations on the Potomack" to promote the location of the federal capitol on the Potomac River. Adam Stephen died in Martinsburg on July 16, 1791 and was buried on his brother Robert Stephen's estate on "the monument lot" in the 600 block of South Queen Street in Martinsburg.
From "Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants: A History of Frederick County", by T. K. Cartmell, pg. 456:
- General Adam Stephen has been mentioned as a compatriot of Genl. Morgan. Genl. Stephen must not be confounded with the Peter Stephens family, for no trace of family relation can be found. He was one of the prominent pioneers of the extreme Northern section of Frederick County; and his family intermarried with the pioneer families of that section. He was a brother of Alexander Stephen, whose will was probated Aug. 3, 1768. Adam and his brother Robert inherited part of his estate. Genl. Adam Stephen's will was probated Sept. 1791, in the District Court of Frederick County. He devised lands, slaves, etc., to his family; mentions his daughter Mrs. Dandridge and son Robert Stephen.
A detailed article entitled "Adam Stephen's Life 1721 - 1791, Soldier, Statesman, Founder, and Farmer" can be found at the West Virginia University Library site:
- Kennedy, Mary Selden. Seldens of Virginia and allied families. (New York: Frank Allaben, c1911), 159.