Facts and Events
John Breckenridge - The First White Man in Augusta County to be Killed by Indians
The following account describes John Breckenridge as the first white man to be killed by Indians (most likely Shawnee) in early Augusta County, VA:
- Tragedy struck not long after the Breckenridge family arrived at their new home. Alexander’s oldest son, John Breckenridge, was the first white man in the new settlement to be killed by Indians. The Breckenridges are described as living at the time “on the ridge back of the present Church of the Good Shepherd near Folly Mills.” (This reference was written in 1954). John Breckenridge’s grave is cited in various references. His death seems to have caused the settlers to petition for “a Supply of Arms and Ammunition for their defense,” to which the Council of Colonial Virginia responded positively with guns and powder in 1738.12 The incident probably led to more formal organization of the local militia group, already a feature of frontier settlements of the period. (Source: http://www.breckinridge.com/Man_of_Fr.htm)
The following citations from Chalkley's corroborate that this John Breckenridge was the same John Breckenridge named below as being murdered by Indians. The land mentioned, which borders William Nutt's former land, Robert McClanahan's land and James McCorkle's land was just west of land of Alexander Breckenridge, John's father. It seems likely that the "graveyard of John Breckenridge" would be located near this location.
- DEED BOOK NO. 11. = ADDITIONAL MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. Page 373.--14th September, 1763. John ( ) Coulter and Isbell ( ) to John Brown and Thomas Gardner, £140, 210 acres in Beverley Manor, purchased by John Coulter from William Nutt, 28th November, 1750, on Mill Creek; Robert McClenachan's line, corner James McCorkle; corner to graveyard of John Breckinridge, who was murdered by the Indians; corner John Buchanan's land. Delivered: Thos. Brown, May, 1771.
- Page 319.—13th August, 1747. Wm. Beverley to Wm. Nutt, of Orange. Whereas, Wm. Beverley, on 14th April, 1738, did agree to convey to Gibbons Jennings, late of Orange County, 650 acres in Beverley Manor, which said 650 acres were laid off by Ro. Brooke, Gent., on Christy's Creek, at Moses Thompsons; a red oak by John Brackenridge's grove, who was murdered by the Indians; in consideration of which and other, 510 acres conveyed by said Beverley to the said Gibbons Jennings, he was to pay William £38.7.2. Jennings paid all but £10 and entered on the land and built a water grist mill thereon, and afterwards, on 2d September, 1740, agreed to convey the same land to Wm. Nutt in consideration of one gray mare. Mr. Jno. Lewis's bond for 350 acres, either in the Cow or Calf Pasture, 5 shillings cash and 1,000 yards of linen. Jennings left the colony without taking any conveyance for the land from Beverley or making any conveyance to Nutt. Nutt brought suit in County Court, Orange, vs. Jennings and Beverley, to compel a conveyance, and it was decreed, 27th July, 1744, that Beverley convey to Nutt. Deed to Nutt. Teste: Robt. Davies, W. Russell, John Lin. Proved by all, 19th August, 1747.
- Page 92.--30th October, 1784. Hugh Brown and Rebekah and John Brown and Mary to Peter Hanger; corner John Breckenridge, who was murdered by the Indians.
It is certain that John Breckenridge had died after the importation of his family to Orange County, Virginia on 22 May, 1740 (see Record of Importation, below) and prior to May 24, 1744, when his mother appeared in Orange County, VA court, as John surely would have been mentioned in the following record, or other records in Augusta County; to wit:
Administration of Alexander Breckenridge's estate was not undertaken until May 24, 1744, on which day his widow, Jane Breckenridge, appeared in open court in Orange County and relinquished her right to administer in favor of her son, George Breckenridge. George, in turn, on the same date, gave a bond to his mother, obligating himself to carry out a dying wish of his father (who had died intestate), and bound himself to convey 400 acres of his father's lands to Adam, 300 acres to Smith, and 112 acres to James Breckenridge, his younger brothers "who are under age." The significance of this instrument was that George as the oldest son surviving, was the heir at law of his father and as such inherited all his lands, and by this he relinquished his rights to the measure undertaken, to these minor brothers. Final settlement of the estate of Alexander Breckenridge was made and approved in Orange County Court, May 24, 1750.
(Source: "Alexander and Jane (Preston) Breckenridge, Emigrant Ancestors", http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~breckfamilytree/nti00233.html )
Breckenridge Family Record of Importation to Orange County, VA:
- From "Historic Families of Kentucky":
On the 22nd day of May in 1740, fourteen heads of families appeared in the Orange County, Virginia Court House (Augusta County, Virginia not having been then established, and the territory being embraced in that of Orange) to `prove their importation.' The first of these was Alexander Breckenridge, who made oath that he had imported himself and John, George, Robert, Smith and Letitia Breckenridge, from Ireland to Philadelphia, and from thence to this colony (Virginia), at his own charges.