Rev. Samuel Shannon, of Virginia and Kentucky
Facts and Events
Rev. Samuel Shannon was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
About Rev. Samuel Shannon
The parentage of Rev. Samuel Shannon has apparently not been established. He was a graduate of Princeton College, New Jersey. He first shows up in Augusta County, Virginia, where he received a bond to perform marriages on 29 December 1785. Shannon was ordained and settled as pastor of Windy Cove and the Blue Spring, the latter being a small church near the village of Williamsville. He remained about three years. He is said to have been a very solemn and impressive minister. His home was on the Cowpasture river, some seven or eight miles above this church. After leaving records in 1785, 1786 & 1787 performing marriages in Augusta County, he migrated to Kentucky with several other Virginia ministers (including at least 2 others from Augusta County), where he was admitted as a member of Transylvania Presbytery on April 29th 1789. In Kentucky, he was in charge of the Bethel and Sinking Springs churches, and continued Pastor for four years, when he resigned and took charge of the Woodford Church, where he continued preaching until the year 1808. In the year 1812 he volunteered and joined the American Army as Chaplain. He died in 1822 in Indiana.
Records of Samuel Shannon in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
- Page 450.-(abt. 19 November 1776) -Vendue bill of above- (Thomas Armstrong's estate) -Sold to, viz: Smith Thomas (Thompson?), Jame Mackitrick, John Joans, James Martin, Martin Dixon, Robt. Ross, Saml. Shannon, Wm. Dabige, Wm. Depreist, Wm. Wildridge, Charles Cousalvan (Consalvan?), Geo. Francey, Elizabeth Stweet (Stivert?), Thos. Rhods, Saml. Moses, Jane Kirk, Richard Spinier.
- Vol. 1 - DECEMBER 20, 1785. - (273) Rev. Samuel Shannon, Presbyterian, authorized to solemnize matrimony.
- Page 507.--20th December, 1785. Samuel Shannon's bond to celebrate matrimony.
- Vol. 1 - APRIL 20, 1790. - (242) Robert Hall and Samuel Shannon, witnesses to the will of Joseph Maze, are residents of Kentucky, and their depositions to be taken. (Note: record proves Samuel Shannon had left for Kentucky prior to 1790)
Marriages Performed in Augusta County
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
- Vol. 2 - Marriages in Augusta County - 1785, _____ __--By Saml. Shannon, V. D. M.: James Mulinx and Mary Arbocast; March 2d, John Montgomery and Sarah Hicklin; March 16th, James Murphy and Susanna Harper; March 29th, James Wilson and Elizabeth Hempenstall; April 11th, Cornelius Vanosdal and Jane Wilson; June 2d, Robert Givens and Margaret Elliott; April 20th, Abraham Gum and Priscilla Wade; July 4th, Thomas Tachet and Keterenah Dinnison; July 4th, James Davison and Sarah Dinnison.
- Vol. 2 - Marriages in Augusta County - 1786, January 2d--By Rev. Saml. Shannon: John Clayton and Margaret Rice; January 17th, John Kincaid and Mary Dinwiddie; February 7th, David Gregory and Margaret Warrick; February 21st, Wm. Rider and Mary Brisco; April 4th, Edward Stuart and Mary Callaghan; April 4th, Alex. Wills and Margaret Callaghan; April 11th, Moses Moore and Jean Ewing; April 11th, Robert Hutcheson and Jean Hall; April 24th, Thomas Botkin and Margaret Devericks; June 16th, Wm. Crawford and Martha Cooper; August 10th, John Hamilton and Rebecca Laverty; September 5th, Robert Peples and Rachel Cariile; September 21st, James Hamilton and Rachel Vance; October 5th, George Freyer and Sarah Francisco; October 3d, William Botkin and Euphemia Botkin; October 18th, John Townsend and Heizia Jacks.
- Marriages in Augusta County - 1787, March 16--By Rev. Saml. Shannon: George Shaw and Nancy Maiss; March 27th, John McCreery and Margaret Black; April 24th, John Devericks and Mary Peples; May 29th, Isaac Snediger and Elenor Story; May 31st, John Stuart and Hannah Hicklin; June 5th, Wm. Johns and Sarah Wood; June 7th, James McLaughlin and Mary Stuart; June 14th, James Gray and Elizabeth Dooran (?); June 18th, Joseph Mays and Agness Hicklin.
Rev. Samuel Shannon in Kentucky
From "Memorial Sermon: Delivered on the ninetieth anniversary of the organization of Bethel Church in Fayette County, Kentucky", by William George, Presbyterian minister:
- The Rev. Samuel Shannon, a graduate of Princeton College, New Jersey - then under the Presidency of the celebrated Rev. John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence - was admitted a member of Transylvania Presbytery April 29th 1789.
- He took charge of the Bethel and Sinking Springs churches, and continued Pastor for four years, when he resigned and took charge of the Woodford Church, where he continued preaching until the year 1808. In the year 1812 he volunteered and joined the American Army as Chaplain. He was a man of great physical strength. His fist was like a sledge hammer, and he was said to have loped off a stout branch of a tree at a single stroke of his sword when charging through the woods. The latter years of his life were spent in missionary labors, chiefly in the destitute parts of the state of Indiana, where he died in the year 1822.
From "A History of the First Presbyterian Church, Frankfort, Kentucky", by William H. Averill, pub. 1901:
- (Page 18):The Presbytery of Transylvania was organized on October 17, 1786, in the Court House at Danville. Five ministers and five ruling elders were present: Revs. David Rice, Adam Rankin, Andrew McClure, James Crawford and Terah Templin, (Rev. Thomas B. Craighead was absent, providentially, and was afterwards enrolled) with Ruling Elders Richard Steele, David Grey, John Bovel, Joseph Reed and Jeremiah Frain, and constituted that august and honorable body, the first Presbytery of Kentucky. Rev. David Rice, of course by common voice, presided as Moderator. Rev. Andrew McClure was chosen Stated Clerk. The proceedings were conducted with great dignity and decorum, in strict accordance with the old forms of procedure.*
- The bounds of the Presbytery included, besides the district of Kentucky, the settlements in Tennessee on the Cumberland River, and those north of the Ohio River in the territories of Ohio and Indiana. Shortly after its organization the Presbytery received a valuable addition in the Rev. Samuel Shannon, of Virginia, who at once look charge of the churches at Bethel and Sinking Spring, where he remained four years, and then removed to Woodford Church, where he continued until he took charge some years later as pastor of the two Benson Churches, in Franklin County, where he terminated his ministry.
- In the year 1787 the Synod of Virginia appointed a Committee on Missions, for the purpose of assigning fields of labor to ministers and licentiates who were desirous of entering upon that work. Some of these, constituting a noble band of talented and consecrated young men, chose Kentucky — Robert Marshall, Gary H. Allen, William Calhoun, John P. Campbell, Samuel Rannels, Robert Stuart, Robert Wilson and John Lyle; and their coming and their subsequent labors were a benediction to the scattered congregations, but few of which were able to maintain the regular stated means of grace.
- (Page 19): On October 14th, 1802, by authority of the General' Assembly, the Synod of Kentucky was formed. The organization took place in Lexington, and the opening sermon was preached by Rev. David Rice,* who was chosen Moderator. The total number of ministers within its bounds was thirty-seven. Seventeen only were present, to-wit: From Transylvania, David Rice, Samuel Finley, Matthew Houston and Samuel Robinson. From West Lexington, James Crawford, Samuel Shannon, Isaac Tull, Robert Marshall, James Blythe, James Welch, Joseph P. Howe, John Lyle and Samuel Rannells. From Washington, James Kemper, John P. Campbell, Richard McNemar and John Thompson. These seventeen ministers, with thirteen ruling elders present, constituted the first Synod of Kentucky.
- (Page 33): In 1806 Rev. Samuel Shannon severed his connection with the Woodford Church and removed to Franklin County, where he became pastor of Upper Benson and Lower Benson Churches. The latter had been recently organized, a number of persons, including Robert Armstrong, an elder, having been dismissed by Upper Benson to aid in its formation. Mr. Shannon served these churches until the outbreak of the War of 1812, when he entered the army as chaplain of one of the Kentucky regiments. He was a graduate of Princeton under the presidency of Dr. John Witherspoon, and was one of the first three ministers of our Church who settled north of the Kentucky River in this territory. After the war he engaged in missionary work, mostly north of the Ohio River, though still retaining his home here. In 1822, while on one of his tours in Indiana, he contracted a fever, and was met on his returning journey by his family just in time to receive his dying blessing. He was a zealous and indefatigable minister, but owing to an awkward and unattractive manner and hesitancy of speech, he was not a popular preacher. He was a man of immense frame and great physical power, and many stories were told of his wgood nature, and was always a welcome guest. His remains were buried at Upper Benson church, where his monument still stands under the shadow of this historic old building.
- (Page 46): History of Lower Benson Church, Frankfort, Kentucky; List of Ministers: Rev. Samuel Shannon (1806-1812).
Salem Presbyterian Church - List of Pastors
- Early missionaries to the Hoosier Territory included Samuel Shannon, a chaplain in the Indian wars, who later brought to Salem the fiery James McGready, noted figure of the Great Revival of 1800 in Kentucky. The Presbyterian Church at Salem was organized on August 16, 1816 by Rev. Samuel Shannon. [Source: http://salempresbyterian.org/History/history_3.html]
Affidavit of Rev. Samuel Shannon
- Samuel Shannon, late chaplain to the 1st regiment of Kentucky detached militia, under the command of Colonel John M. Scott, states, on oath, that he was, in the year 1812, at the commencement of the war, and has been ever since, a regular ordained minister of the Presbyterian church, in the state of Kentucky; that in the month of July or August, 1812, he was commissioned chaplain to the said regiment by the then governor Charles Scott, and marched with the first detachment of the Kentucky quota, destined to reinforce General Hull; that the regiment proceeded on to Piqua, where they were overtaken by General Harrison, who assumed the command of the detachment…
- He further states, that he was an officer under General Washington during a great part of the revolutionary war; and he has thought and frequently said, that the zeal, activity, and Military talents of General Harrison resembled General Washington’s more than any other officer he had ever known.
- (signed) Samuel Shannon
- Commonwealth of Kentucky, Franklin County, ss.
- Personally appeared, this day, before the subscriber, one of the Justices of the peace for said county, the Rev. Samuel Shannon, who maid oath to the above statement, as witness my hand this 31st October, 1817, at Frankfort, Ky.
- C. S. Todd, J.P.F.C.
- Rev Samuel Shannon, in Find A Grave.