m. BEF 1767
Facts and Events
The grandson of immigrant ancestor John Maxwell (88), James Maxwell came to what is now Tazewell County in 1772. Years later he would testify that:
In 1772 orator went from Botetourt, where he lived, to present Tazewell County to make a settlement. It was then a wilderness. He was in company with Samuel Walker. Found a tract with some improvements, viz: The foundation of a cabin, some rails split and some trees deadened. That night they fell in with a party of hunters, among them Uriah Stone, who claimed to have made the improvement, and orator purchased it, and the same year moved his family there and lived until 1784. Transcript:Maxwell Vs Pickens, Augusta County, 1807
It would seem from this account that James had already married by 1772, which probably indicates that he was born c1750. The reference to "Samuel Walker" is significant in terms of identifying his family relationships. .....
Where the property was that he secured from Uriah Stone was located is unclear. His greatgrandaughter (Mary Ann Fields) described his home As being on Cavitts Creek near the Clinch River, but this is probably not the original homesite:
My great-grandfather emigrated to the western part of Virginia. Settled in Tazewell County, Virginia on Cavitts creek near Clinch river, four miles from the Courthouse. He owned a nice farm, owned cattle, horses, sheep and hogs, was considered a "well-to-do" farmer at that time. His horses, cattle and sheep ran at large for want of fences and enclosed pastures. He kept four large Dane dogs for protection when he went in search of his cattle and horses. He had a large dog before and behind him, his gun on his shoulder, a knife at his side. He never looked to the right or left, went straight forward with a firm step and a fixed determination to conquer or die. The Indians never molested him, they were deadly afraid of him, called him: "The Great White Chief". From: Transcript:Narrative of Mary Ann Fields, 1918.
My great-grandfather and his sons worked hard, cleared the timber from their land built a crude log house and out buildings, had a garden, also set out a young orchard, had also fields to raise corn, rye, and such grain as they could get seed for. Autumn rolled around and he had to take his horses and sons and go to King's salt works, now called Palmer works, to get salt, to save his meat, also for his stock. The mother was left with the younger sons and oldest daughter. The mother was confined to her bed with an infant. Some stray skulking Indians were passing through came to the little home in the forest, scalped and tomahawked the two little sisters, Jennie and Mattie Maxwell. They each had a pet lamb, they asked their sister, Mary if they could go in the orchard to find their pets, she gave them her consent. They tarried too long, she went in search of them found the dead lambs and the two children slain, one was dead the other died that night.Transcript:Narrative of Mary Ann Fields, 1918
Hamilton places this event in April of 1782, and provides extensive original source documentation. (See also, Entry 47 in Index to Hamilton's Atrocity Stories. "At the same time Indians attacked the William Ingles family in nearby Burke's Garden, capturing his wife, several children, and others. James' brother, Thomas Maxwell led a party of 22 men in pursuit of the Indians, and was killed during the fight to rescue the Ingles family." (See: [[http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~varussel/indian/46.html Hamilton).
Following the death of his two daughters, and brother Thomas, James apparently left the area for awhile. The Cavitt's Creek property is probably where he settled after his return a year or two later.
James Maxwell 17 Oct 1804 Tazewell County 705 a. On the waters of Clinch River adjoining John Tallott and Bells land Grants No. 52, p. 492
James Maxwell 4 Nov 1803 and William George Tazewell County 87 a. On the waters of Clinch River adjoining his own and James Wittens land Grants No. 52, p. 102
X-16, Indian-Settler Conflicts (formerly Indian Outrages), Bus. Rt. 19 two miles west of Tazewell - During Dunmore's War (1774) and the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) conflicts between Indians and colonists often intensified as European powers encouraged Indians from the Ohio region to attack frontier settlers. Tensions also sometimes increased when settlers moved into lands that were once Indian territory. Nearby to the south, an early conflict occurred in the upper Clinch River Valley, when Indians attacked and killed John Henry, his wife and their children on 8 September 1774. Additional conflicts took place during this period, including a March 1782 Indian attack on the house of James Maxwell that killed two of his daughters. (Revision-March, 2001)
The following contain useful information, but they are not tied into the main article. As such, they are more "notes" than actual references. Some of the material is copyrighted, and exceed fair use limitations (e.g., the item from Emory Hamilton).