Facts and Events
Samuel McDowell was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
- Note: death dates from his death notice and his headstone do NOT match. More research needed.
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Samuel McDowell (October 29, 1735 – September 25, 1817) was a soldier and early political leader in Kentucky. He was the father of Dr. Ephraim McDowell.
McDowell participated in three major wars. He served under George Washington in the French and Indian War, served as an aide-de-camp to Isaac Shelby in Lord Dunmore's War, and was part of Nathanael Greene's campaign in the Revolutionary War. Following the Revolutionary War, he relocated to Kentucky and became a surveyor. Later, he was appointed one of the first district court judges in what would become the state of Kentucky. He became a leader of the movement to separate Kentucky from Virginia, presiding over nine of the state's ten constitutional conventions.
He was a founding trustee of Liberty Hall (later Washington and Lee University), when it was made into a college in 1776.
Col. Samuel McDowell, cropped
- Samuel McDowell, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
- Recorded, in Smith, Zachariah Frederick. The History of Kentucky: from its earliest discovery and settlement, to the present date ... its military events and achievements, and biographic mention of its historic characters. (Kentucky: Courier-journal job printing Company, 1892), 301.
Col. Samuel McDowell
- ↑ Death Notice, in Washington Review and Examiner (Pennsylvania), 5 Nov 1817.
"Another Revolutionary Patriot gone.
Died near Danville (Ken.) on the 25th Sept. last, Col. Samuel McDowell, in the 85th year of his age. He was distinguished as a most active whig during the revolutionary war--was one of the first settlers of Kentucky--a member of the convention which adopted our constitution--was a judge under the district court system, and afterwards a circuit judge. He has left more than one hundred descendants; and was distinguished for his piety, unsullied integrity, practical patriotism and industrious habits. He lived long and usefully, died serene and happy.--Argus"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Grave Recorded, in Find A Grave.
[Includes photo of SAR plaque, installed after his death.]
- Family Notes.
Uncle Samuel McDowell
Patrick Henry was one of the most influential (and radical) advocates of the American Revolution. He is perhaps best known for the speech he made in the Virginia House of Burgesses on 23 March 1775, urging the legislature to take military action against the encroaching British military force. The House was deeply divided, but was very much leaning toward not committing troops. As Henry stood in Saint John's Church in Richmond, he ended his speech with his most famous words: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" This speech is credited, by some, with single-handedly delivering the Virginia troops to the Revolutionary War.
My 5x great-uncle Samuel McDowell (1735-1817) was one of two delegates from Rockbridge County to the Virginia Conventions of 1775, and was present that day in the House of Burgesses. His life remains a lesson in citizenship and patriotism. Samuel McDowell had been a captain in the French and Indian War, commissioned 16 August 1759. On 21 November 1759, he was installed as County Commissioner and Justice in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He was a captain of the Rangers Company at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. At the Battle of Point Pleasant, he served as aide-de-camp to General Isaac Shelby, who later became the first governor of Kentucky. Samuel became a colonel in the Revolutionary War, serving in Nathanael Greene's campaign in North Carolina, and was with the army that drove General Cornwallis to Wilmington. In 1775, in conjunction with his kinsman Thomas Lewis, the son of settler John and brother of Andrew, hero of Point Pleasant, Samuel was chosen to represent the freeholders of Augusta County in the convention which met at Richmond, Virginia. He was also a member of the second convention that met at Williamsburg in 1776. As an officer, Samuel McDowell distinguished himself in the Battle of Guilford Court House. In addition, he raised a battalion at his own expense to aid in repelling the invasion of Virginia by Benedict Arnold.
In 1783, uncle Samuel McDowell moved his family to what became Fayette County, Kentucky (but was then still part of Virginia), where he was a surveyor. He was appointed to the first District Court ever held in Kentucky, 3 March 1783, and was President of the convention which was called to frame the constitution for the state of Kentucky on 19 April 1792. All this, and 13 children, too.
(Source: "Rockbridge County, Virginia Notebook", The News-Gazette, Lexington, Virginia)