Person:Robert Alexander (23)

Capt. Robert Alexander
  1. Thomas Alexander1743-1752 -
  2. Eleanor Alexander1743 - 1805
  3. William Alexanderest 1744 - 1829
  4. Capt. Robert Alexander1746 - 1820
  5. Ann AlexanderABT 1750 -
  6. Hugh AlexanderABT 1750 -
  7. Esther Alexanderabt 1754 - 1815
  8. Archibald Alexander, M.D.1755 - 1822
  9. Peter Alexander1758 - 1842
  10. Sarah AlexanderABT 1759 -
  11. James Alexander1766 - 1849
  • HCapt. Robert Alexander1746 - 1820
  • WAnn Austin1758 - abt 1815
  1. William Alexander1776 - 1800
  2. Esther Alexander1778 - abt 1840
  3. Sally Alexander1779 - 1861
  4. John Alexander1782 - 1883
  5. Nancy Alexander1784 - 1864
  6. Elizabeth Alexander1787 - 1833
  7. Charlotte Austin Alexander1790 - 1809
  8. Mary Glenn Alexander1793 -
  9. Catherine Wilson Alexander1796 - 1838
  10. Susan Dabney Alexander1799 - 1882
Facts and Events
Name[2] Capt. Robert Alexander
Gender Male
Birth[1] Nov 1746 Rockbridge County, Virginia
Occupation[1] abt 1770 Bedford County, Virginia, United Statesappointed Deputy to County Clerk Jemmy Steptoe
Residence[1] Campbell, Virginia, United StatesRock Castle
Marriage Bond 10 Mar 1774 Bedford County, Virginiato Ann Austin
Other? 1784 Campbell County is formed from Bedford County.
Occupation[1][2] 1784 Campbell, Virginia, United Statesappointed County Clerk
Death[1] 20 Nov 1820 Campbell, Virginia, United Statesdied suddenly of paralysis ; at Rock Castle
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Family Recorded, in Withers, Robert Enoch. Autobiography of an octogenerian. (Roanoke, Virginia: Stone Print. & Mfg. Co. Press, 1907), 11, 14, Secondary quality.

    ... My grandfather, Robert Alexander, was a native of Rockbridge County, Virginia, his father, Robert Alexander, established the first classical school west of the Blue Ridge, which subsequently became "Liberty Hall Academy," and afterwards Washington College and Washington and Lee University. He was first cousin to Archibald Alexander, of Princeton, New Jersey. The ancestors of the Alexanders came to Pennsylvania from the north of Ireland after the siege of Londonderry and subsequently to the Valley of Virginia. My grandfather was a noted person of some peculiarities. When grown to a man's estate he was appointed a Deputy in the Clerk's Office of Bodford County, Virginia, under the noted Clerk of the County, "Jemmy Steptoe," who, as Howe's History of Virginia tells us, was so overcome by the with and eloquence of Patrick Henry in the trial of the celebrated "Hook Case," that he left his table and ran out into the yard where he rolled on the ground in uncontrollable laughter. When the County of Campbell was formed from Bedford in 1784, Robert Alexander was appointed Clerk and held the office until his death in 1820.

    He was married on the tenth day of March, 1774, in the County of Bedford, to Ann Austin, daughter of William Austin, a captain in the British Army. They had ten children. ...

    ... My earliest recollections cluster around the old "Rock Castle" house, where I was born, and where my grandfather, Robert Alexander, lived and died. He was a man of many peculiarities. From boyhood he was noted for strict integrity and especially for his truthfulness. A family tradition handed down from his early years amusingly illustrates this trait. It is said that on one occasion late in the fall of the year he was sent by his mother to the house of a neighbor who had contracted to weave the cloth required for the children's winter clothes, but who had postponed the completion of her job, until the advent of cold weather had entirely exhausted the patience of her customer. "Robert," sad she, "go to the weaver's and tell her to send that cloth home at once, the weather is cold and all the children are naked."

    Robert started at once, but on the way reflected on the message with which he had been charged, and came to the conclusion that he could not tell her the children were naked, when he was visibly clothed. So as he passed through a piece of woods, he deliberately undressed, hid his clothes in a hollow tree and then went on to the weaver and delivered his message verbatim. His appearance gave added emphasis to the urgency of the message, and it is said the woman jumped to the loom and made the shuttle fly until the web was completed.

    He possessed to an unusual degree that valuable attribute known as "common sense," a find fund of humor, utterly fearless, of fine business qualifications, an accomplished Clerk, in the days when that office was reckoned the most important in the county organization. He acquired a large property in land and negroes and wielded an immense influence in the community. Added to these attributes he possessed an imposing and striking personality and manners unusually pleasant and prepossessing on all ordinary occasions, but unfortunately, he was at times addicted to an inordinate indulgence in strong drink, a weakness which in those days was regarded very leniently and detracted but little from his influence in the community. When "in the cups," he was perhaps one of the most reckless and fun-loving men who ever lived. Many anecdotes illustrative of this still linger in the minds of the old citizens of Campbell County.

    About one hundred yards from the Rock Castle Mansion stood an old Colonial church called "Mollie's Creek Church," in a grove of beautiful oaks between the house and the spring. Of course it was no longer used by the Church of England, of which there was scarcely a representation left in the land. Located on the premises of Robert Alexander, he claimed and exerted a proprietary right over the building, and when Methodist or Baptist preachers asked permission to hold services in the church he always granted the privilege subject to one condition, viz.: that they should conduct themselves in an orderly manner and have no shouting or undue excitement in their exercises. It occasionally happened that "the Captain," as he was called, was on a "spree" when service was held, and then there was a lively time, for as soon as the singing, exhorting and shouting commenced, and the outsiders crowded the windows to look in on the excited congregation, the "old Captain" would appear at the hall window, which looked towards the church, with his long gun, and with stentorian voice would order them to "clear the way." Of course there was an immediate stampede from the end window next to the house, and then "bang!" would go the old gun and the shot would rattle on the weatherboarding like hail, and some of them passing through the open window would so alarm the crowd that the meeting generally was broken up. ...

    ... He always hated the sound of a cow bell, and the barking of a fice [sic] dog, and either being heard, day or night, would arose him to action and his long gun would be called into instant service to abate the nuisance. ...

    [more stories follow]

  2. 2.0 2.1 Family Recorded, in Arnold, Frances Austin. The Alexander family of Scotland, Ireland and America: the Austin family of Wales and America; the Arnold family of England and America : a brief history. (Carrollton, Missouri: [s.n.], 1896), 2, Secondary quality.

    ... 2. Robert [Alexander, son of Robert], who was the first Clerk of the Court of Campbell county, Virginia, the office being located at his residence, "Rock Castle;" married Nancy Austin. Robert was succeeded in the clerkship by his son, John D. Alexander; the Alexander family, through father, son and grandson held the office of Clerk of the Court for nearly a hundred years. ...