b.ABT 1710 Ireland
m. Bef. 1729
Facts and Events
Robert Gamble was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:
Records of Robert Gamble in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
Information on Robert Gamble
From "Annals of Augusta County, Virginia" by Joseph Addison Waddell, pg. 187:
The Gamble Family.—About the year 1735, Robert Gamble left Londonderry, Ireland, his native place, and with other emigrants from the same section settled in Augusta county. The name Gamble had been prominently connected with the history of Londonderry, and one of the family died, or was killed, there during the famous siege in 1689. Robert Gamble was a married man when he came to America, and brought with him a son named James, who was born in 1729. He had another son named Joseph, who was probably the ancestor of the Gambles of Ohio and Missouri.
On the 6th of March, 1746, Robert Poage conveyed to Robert Gamble 306 acres of land, in consideration of £15. This tract lies about a mile northeast of the village of Springhill, and is the farm lately owned by Theophilus Gamble, and now by the heirs of R. B. Hamrick, deceased.
James Gamble inherited his father's farm, and reared his family there. His children were two sons, Robert and John, and three daughters, Mrs. Agnes Davis, Mrs. Elizabeth Moffett and Mrs. Esther Bell. Mrs. Bell left no children. Mrs. Moffett's descendants—Moffetts, Tates and others—are numerous.
Robert Gamble, the younger, was born on his father's farm, September 3, 1754. He received an unusually good education for the time, at Liberty Hall Academy. When he had just attained his majority, and begun the business of a merchant, the troubles with Great Britain culminated in war. At the first call to arms he was made first lieutenant of the first company raised in the county. He soon became captain of the company, but as promotion in the Continental time was slow, he ap pears to have remained in that position for some years.
Captain Gamble was in active service during the entire war, and participated in many battles at the north, including the battles of Princeton and Monmouth. As we have seen, he served under General Wayne on the Hudson, in 1779. It is said that he led one of the assailing parties at the storming of Stony Point. He with his men mounted the wall in the immediate vicinity of a cannon, and seeing the match about to be applied, barely had time to lower his head and order his men to fall flat before the gun was discharged He was, however, permanently deafened by the concussion. His company immediately moved on, and were the first to enter the fort. Being busily engaged in securing prisoners, the British flag was overlooked, until Lieutenant-Colonel Fleury observed it and pulled it down. At this stage the Pennsylvania troops entered the fort.
General Wayne's report of the affair was unsatisfactory, and upon learning all the facts he wrote another, giving the Virginians the credit to whtch they were entitled. At that time there was much jealousy between the troops from different colonies, and before the revised report was published General Washington made a personal appeal to the Virginians to let the matter drop for the good of the cause. Such an appeal from such a source was irresistible, and the error was allowed to remain.
During the latter part of the war, Captain Gamble served under General Greene, in the South, and for a short time acted on the staff of Baron De Kalb. He was taken prisoner in South Carolina, and confined on a British vessel in Charleston harbor. He afterwards frequently complained of the treatment he received while a prisoner, his food consisting exclusively of rice. For many years before his death he was styled colonel, but he appears not to have attained that rank in the army, during the war, having been allotted pension lands for service as a captain only.
Colonel Gamble's wife was Catharine Grattan, daughter of Mr. John Grattan, who lived on North river, near the present village of Mount Crawford. On the I7th of May, 1780, James Gamble, and Agnes, his wife, conveyed to their son, Robert, a tract of four hundred and twenty- seven acres, adjoining the homestead of three hundred and six acres. Colonel Gamble made his home in the country on the farm thus acquired by him, and there his children were born, in a house still standing. Not long after the war, however, he embarked in mercantile business in Staunton, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Robert Grattan. The store of Gamble & Grattan was at the northeast corner of Main and Augusta streets, in a low frame house then standing, and subsequently occupied during many years by the post-office. Colonel Gamble's town residence was the frame house on the west side of Augusta street, about midway between Main and Frederick streets. On the I7th of April, 1787, he was a member of a court-martial held in Staunton, as lieutenant-colonel of Augusta militia. In 1792, or early in 1793, he removed to Richmond, where he became a prosperous business man and influential citizen. His residence in Richmond was on the eminence called for him, Gamble's Hill, and his business was conducted in a large building at the cotner of Main and Fourteenth streets. His sons, Colonels John G. and Robert Gamble, were his partners. Both the sons were officers in the war of 1812, and both removed to Florida in 1827, where they were prosperous and influential. One of Colonel Gamble's daughters was the wife of the celebrated William Wirt, and the other, of Judge William H. Cabell, who was Governor of Virginia in 18o6-'8, afterwards a judge of the general court, and, finally, president of the court of appeals till his death, in 1849. After leaving Staunton, Colonel Gamble sold his Augusta farm, October 15, 1793, to his brother, John, who transmitted it to his son, William.
Colonel Gamble was in the habit of riding on horseback every morning from his residence to his counting-room. On the I2th of April, 1810, as he was thus on his way, reading a newspaper, some buffalo skins were thrown from the upper window of a warehouse he was passing, his horse took fright, started, and threw him, which produced concussion of the brain, and terminated his life in a few hours. Mr. Wirt said of him, in a letter to a friend : " He was a faithful soldier of the Revolution, a sincere and zealous Christian, one of the best of fathers, and honestest of men." His house in Richmond was the seat of an elegant hospitality, and within its walls were frequent gatherings of the veterans of the Revolution and others, including Generals Washington and Knox, and Chief-Justice Marshall. But he did not forget the friends of his early days and native county, and by them and their posterity his name and memory have always been revered and cherished.
John Gamble, Colonel Robert Gamble's brother, was also a soldier during the Revolution, but where or in what capacity he served is not known. He was called Captain Gamble, and in 1794 was captain of an Augusta militia company. His wife was Rebecca McPheeters, a sister of the Rev. Dr. McPheeters, and his children were James (a minister), William, Philander, Robert, Theophilus, Mrs. Ramsey and Mrs. Irvin. He died in 1831, on the farm where he was born. By his will, he left five hundred acres of land to his daughter, Rebecca, and granddaughter, Mary J. Ramsey. This land is described as " lying in the district set apart for the officers and soldiers of the Continental line, on the waters of Little Muddy creek, in Logan county, Kentucky—granted to said Gamble the 15th of September, 1795."