Person:William Christian (7)

Col. William Christian
m. 1742
  1. Ann Christian1742 - 1811
  2. Col. William Christianabt 1743 - 1786
  3. Elizabeth Starke Christian1746 -
  4. Pricilla Christian1748 -
  5. Mary Christian1750 -
  6. Rosanna Christian1755 - 1804
  • HCol. William Christianabt 1743 - 1786
  • WAnn HenryABT 1740 -
m. BEF 1762
  1. Priscilla ChristianABT 1762 - BEF 1807
Facts and Events
Name Col. William Christian
Gender Male
Birth[1] abt 1743 Staunton, Virginia, United States
Marriage BEF 1762 to Ann Henry
Military[1] 13 Feb 1776 Lt. Col, 1st Virginia Regiment, Continental Army
Military[1] Mar 1776 Colonel
Death[1] 9 April 1786 Jeffersonville, Clark, Indiana, United StatesKilled in action against Native Americans

William Christian was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


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the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
William Christian (c. 1743 – April 9, 1786) was an "Indian fighter", Continental soldier, militiaman and politician from the Colony of Virginia who served in the era of the American Revolution. He was a signatory to the Fincastle Resolutions and founder of Fort William (now Louisville, Kentucky). Christian helped to negotiate the Treaty of Long Island —making peace between the Overmountain Men and the majority of the Cherokee tribes in 1777.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at William Christian (Virginia). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

Early Land Records

From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:

  • Page 287.--6th January, 1767. Robert Neelley (Neally, Neilly, Nealy) (and Anna), of Halifax County, to William Christian, £78, 350 acres on a branch of Roan Oak, adjoining Robert Breckenridge and Archibald Graham. Teste: Isaac Christian, Stephen Trigg, Arthur Campbell, James McCorkle, John Crocket.
  • Page 355.--24th January, 1769. Israel Christian to his son William Christian, £1,000, five tracts, 1095 acres, on Buffalo Creek, a branch of Roanoak, commonly called the Stone House Lands, A 300 acres whereon Locust in Little Hell; B containing 117 acres; C 200 acres, corner William Graham; D, 400 acres, Mill's Mountain; E, 78 acres on Dry Run; also two surveys adjoining said Stone House Lands, Tinker Mountain. Rosanna Christian's land, Creely's Gap.

Records in Augusta County, VA

From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:

  • Page 88.--29th October, 1767. John McFarland and Mary, of Bedford County, to James Holles, £40, 98 acres on a branch of Reed Creek, a branch of New River, betwixt the land of the said John and the Cove, patented to John 20th June, 1753. Teste: Israel and William Christian, Daniel McNeill, Robert Brsckenridge, Samuel Black, William Wright, William Bates, George Dair.
  • Page 210.--16th October, 1767. Samuel Ekerling, eldest brother and heir-at-law of Emanuel Ekerling, deceased, of County of Philadelphia, Penna., to William Davis, of Philadelphia City, £60, 125 acres on New River, part of 900 acres patented to Garret Zinn 20th June, 1753, and by him conveyed to Emanuel, 15th January, 1754; corner John Miller opposite a small island. Teste: Alexander McClenachan, John King, William Christian. Delivered: Wm. Davis, 31st July, 1770.
  • Page 312.--19th March, 1768. Is. Christian to his son, Wm. Christian, £__, natural love and affection and 5 shillings, and in consideration of his marriage with his wife Annie, seven negro slaves. Teste: William Bowyer, P. Henry, Jr., William Christian, Elisabeth Bowyer. (Note: this record proves William Christian was a son of Israel Christian).
  • Page 291.--7th June, 1768. William Graham to David Cloyd, £100, 400 acres on a branch of Roan Oak whereon William Graham now lives. Teste: William Christian, Francis Smith, James Templeton.
  • Page 75.--20th January, 1769. Henry ( ) Ferguson to Israel Christian, £50, 109 acres on a branch of Glade Creek of Roanoke whereon Henry now lives, near John Boreland's. Teste: Bryan McDonald, James McCorkle, Edward Carvin, Daniel McNeill, Thos. Madison, Arthur Campbell, William Christian.
  • Vol. 1 - AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER, 1784 (A). - James Sawyers' executors vs. Wm. Christian's executors.--To money received by him from the auditors on account of the service of James Sawyers. "Search and see what was allowed in Captain Christian's pay roll to James Sawyers." Captain Christian received for James Sawyers £8, 6, 8 of Thos. Madison, Esq., by the hands of Richard Thomas--Dune Ross." "I do hereby certify that I drew pay for James Sawyers as a volunteer in my Company, from August on the Cherokee expedition in ye year 1776, from the first day of August till the 25th October and no longer. Given under my hand at Staunton, this 21st day of April, 1778. (Signed) W. Christian, Captain." Claim: James Sawyers, for service at the Long Island, Holston. To be further certified by Captain William Christian. James Sawyers is allowed in Major Christian's pay roll 125 days as a soldier certified by me. (Signed) Sampson Mathews.
  • Vol. 2 - Walter Crockett of Wythe vs. Gordon Cloyd and others--O. S. 33; N. S. 11--Bill filed 9th July, 1798. James McCorkle and Wm. Christian, partners in 1775, gave their bond with Walter Crockett as sureties. McCorkle is dead, leaving heiresses Peggy Adams, wife of William Adams and Rebecca Thompson, wife of Andrew Thompson. Copy of deed William Christian and Anne to James McCorkle, dated 16th August, 1784, and proved in Montgomery County 25th August, 1784. Copy of will of James McCorkle of Montgomery County, dated 5th February, 1794, proved in Montgomery May Court, 1794. Niece Margaret McCorkle, wife of William Adams. Nieces Martha and Rebecca McCorkle. Tract called Dunkard Bottom. Martha McCorkle, widow of brother William McCorkle. Martha and William were parents of three nieces above. Devise to Robert Currin, Jr., son of Robert. Depositions in Winchester, 29th June, 1805. Michael Switzer 25 years old. Paul Kauffman 23 or 24 years old. Michael Houseman aged 28. Conrad Cutliff aged 19 (Gotlieb?). Francis Cutliff aged 61.

Information on William Christian

In 1774 William Christian and friend James McCorkle agreed on an operation of a store at New Dublin. This partnership was to last until 1776. In the spring and summer of 1774, William was a colonel of the Fincastle County troops and prepared for action against the Indians. In the summer of 1784 William Christian and his wife Annie moved to Kentucky where he received a military grant and where his father had claimed lands. William sold 400 acres of the Dunkard's Bottomland to James McCorkle that year. [Source "Dunkard's Bottom" Historical Marker:]

Among the manuscripts collected by Grigsby are letters documenting the migration of members of the Christian family from southwestern Virginia to Kentucky shortly after the American Revolution. Letters, 1784–1789, to Elizabeth (Stark) Christian (d. 1789) in Botetourt County, Va., from her son William Christian (1743–1786); his wife, Ann (Henry) Christian (d. 1790); and their brother-in-law, Caleb Wallace (1742–1814), discuss the move, family members and slaves in Kentucky, economic prospects, and Indians (section 129). Correspondence, 1760–1795, of another of Elizabeth Christian's sons-in-law, William Fleming (1728–1795) of Botetourt County, is primarily with Caleb Wallace regarding economic activities (section 132). Letters, 1772–1797, to Anne (Christian) Fleming of Botetourt County are chiefly from her sister-in-law Ann (Henry) Christian in Kentucky and discuss conditions there (section 133). [Source:]

United States Department National Park Service of the Interior OMB NQ 1024-0018 National Register of HisContinuation Sheet Section 8 Page toric Places 5 Black Horse Tavern /Bellvue House and Office, Roanoake, Virginia

Historical Background The 4.15-acres included in the property were originally part of the "Stone House Tract" granted to Israel Christian in 1764 in a section of Botetourt County that would later become Roanoke County. In 1779, Thomas Madison purchased 1,410 acres of this tract from William Christian. Thomas Madison was married to Susannah Henry. sister of Patrick Henry and William Christian's wife, Ann Henry. Thomas Madison, who practiced law, also came from a prominent early Virginia family. He was the son of John Madison of Augusta County, who was a cousin of President James Madison. Thomas Madison's siblings were prominent figures in the settlement of southwest Virginia: two sisters and one brother were married to members of the General Andrew Lewis family; one brother, William, was married to Elizabeth Preston, the daughter of Colonel William Preston of Smithfield Plantation in Montgomery County; and the Reverend James Madison was Bishop of Virginia and president of the College of William and a r y . 'The Black Horse Tavern was established by Thomas Madison as early as 1782 and is cited as one of seven taverns licensed to operate in the area between 1770 and 1800. [Source:]


This gentleman, with whom Caleb Wallace became intimately connected by marrying his youngest sister, requires special attention in the present connection, inasmuch as one of the leading counties of Kentucky has been named for him. As has been shown above, he was the only son and the oldest child of Israel Christian, having been born near Staunton in the year 1743. His training was had in the severe school of the pioneers, and he early became inured to the use of arms. He entered the military service, and already, before he was of age, had reached the dignity of captain in the Second Virginia Regiment, commanded by Col. William Byrd, of Westover. That fact has been affirmed by Collins in his History of Kentucky, vol. 2, p. 127. It is confirmed by a document in the Virginia State Papers addressed to the Hon. Win. Nelson, Esq., President of His Majesty's Council, and the rest of that Honorable Board. It bears date May 8, 1772, and is entitled "The Petition of William Byrd, Samuel Meredith, James Walker, and William Christian, which Humbly Sheweth, That your Petitioner, Col. Wm. Byrd, served his Majesty during the late war as Colonel of the Second Virginia Regiment, and that your Petitioners, Samuel Meredith, James Walker, and Wm. Christian at the same time served as Captains in the said Regiment; tliat by the Royal Proclamation, dated at St. James the 7th day of October, 1763, your petitioners conceive themselves entitled to take up and obtain Grants for the respective quantities of land proportioned to their rank as officers, as by the said Proclamation, reference thereunto had, may appear; that your Petitioners have not been able to locate the Lands so designed for them as aforesaid, by reason of the restriction in the said Proclamation Contained on the several Governors on this Continent from giving patents or warrants of survey for any unceded lands reserved for the Indians. By which means the Royal Bounty intended your Petitioners hath been withheld from them. Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that out of the lands lately ceded by the Indians, &c., &c., they may be permitted to take up and obtain warrants for the respective quantitys of land following : Wm. Byrd, 5,000 acres; Samuel Meredith and James Walker and William Christian, 3,000 acres each, on the Eastern Bank of Ohio River at the Mouth of Little Kanawha, otherwise called Elk River, &c., &c." (Calendar of Virginia State Papers, I, 265, 266.)

The following report by Collins, vol. 2, 764, may have some kind of connection with the 3,000 acres of land which Col. Christian obtained in reward for his services in the Braddock war. He says "In July, 1774, Col. John Floyd, Hancock Taylor, and James Douglas each made official surveys in what is now Woodford County, as assistant or deputy surveyors under Col. William Preston, surveyor of Fincastle County, Va., of which the whole of the existing 74 In the Presbyterian Ministry.

State of Kentucky was then a part. Capt. Isaac Hite was with Douglas. Shortly after the date above, Hancock Taylor, while surveying land near the mouth of Kentucky River lor Col. Wm. Christian, was wounded by an Indian rifle-ball."

With respect to one of the representations contained in the above petition, it may be allowed to state that Capt. Christian is not mentioned in that character in the list of officers who accompanied Col. Byrd and the Second Regiment on the expedition to capture Fort Duquesne in 1758. At that time he was only fifteen years of age. He must have joined Byrd several years afterward, and before the close of the war in November, 1762.

After concluding his period of military service Capt. Christian went to Hanover to study law under Patrick Henry, who already was attracting much attention. One of the results of this enterprise was, that he became a brother-in-law of Mr. Henry by the marriage of his sister, Anne Henry. The date at which that union occurred is not stated, though it was likely as early as the year 1765.

By the year 1774 Capt. Christian had attained to the distinction of Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Virginia Regiment. In June of that year he made a military expedition against the Indians as far as Clinch River, in the present limits of East Tennessee. Taking the field again on the i2th of August, 1774, he was in service in connec- tion with the Battle of Point Pleasant on the loth of October, 1774, where he commanded a battalion composed of the companies of Captains Evan Shelby, William Russell, and Harbert, from Washington, and of Capt. Buford, from Bedford County; but they failed to reach the scene of action until the fight had been concluded.

In the month of July, 1775, Col. Christian was elected by the Convention to be Lieutenant Colonel of the First Virginia Regiment, which had just then been raised to resist Governor Dunmore. Patrick Henry was the colonel and Mr. Spotswood the major of that regiment.

In January, 1776, the First Regiment and five others from Virginia were received into the Continental Line, at which time the Continental Congress re-elected Henry and Christian to the positions which they had previously occupied. For some reason that has hitherto remained without explanation, Henry declined, about the ist of February, 1776, to accept the position of colonel in the Continental service. The officers of the regiment, as soon as his purpose had been declared, presented him an address, in which they speak of his "spirited resentment of a most glaring indignity" (Burk, History of Virginia, Vol. 4, 1 08) ; but it has never been declared just what was the color of that indignity.

A dinner of state was immediately given in honor of Henry at the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, at the close of which the troops gathered around the building in a mutinous fashion and called for their discharge on the ground that they had not enlisted to serve under any other persoh than Patrick Henry. This tumult rendered the situation somewhat more grave than a patriot could easily desire. Col. Henry found it necessary to delay the date of his departure from Williamsburg until he could succeed in quieting the troops, an enterprise in which he was actively seconded by Lieut. Col. Christian.

On the i8th of March, 1776, Christian in his turn was elected to fill the position that had been left vacant through the resignation of Henry. (American Archives, Fourth Series, vol. 5, 105.) That compliment on the part of the Continental Congress was doubt. In the Presbyterian Ministry. less appreciated by Col. Christian, but the place to which he was chosen was not long retained. Brig. Gen. Andrew Lewis, in a letter to the President of Congress, which was presented to that body on the 22d of August, 1776, says: "Since I wrote by General Mercer, Col. William Christian, who commanded the First Battalion, has resigned." (Am. Archives, Fifth Series, i, 1053.)

The purpose which moved him to this act of resignation was that he might take command of an independent expedition composed of twelve hundred men that was sent against the Cherokee Indians. On the I4th of October, 1776, the House of Delegates in session at Williamsburg received dispatches from Col. Christian, who was then in the Indian country, in which exact information was supplied relating to the existing condition of his command. On the 2gth of November further dispatches were received, to the effect that Christian had returned from his expedition, and laying before the authorities detailed information respecting the treaty that he had effected with the Cherokee?. (American Archives, Fifth Series, vol. 3, 902.)

There were numbers of Tories in the western section of Virginia, and when occasion appeared to favor them during the war they were much inclined to become insurgent. By consequence, when the above expedition had come to a close, Col. Christian took service in the militia, where he was useful in keeping down such perilous demonstrations for the balance of the lengthy struggle. It is suspected that he was a member of the Virginia Senate in the May term of the year 1781 ; at any rate there were frequent occasions on which the House of Delegates received messages from the Senate " by Mr. Christian." That circumstance renders it not impossible that he was the person indicated in the citation from Peyton's History of Augusta County, p, 204, as follows:

"In this bitter hour of defeat, when the House of Delegates was in session at Staunton in June, 1781, one of the members, recalling the history of Rome, who, when torn with intestine strife and deluged with blood, put a dictator at her head, suggested the idea of appointing Patrick Henry dictator. It found no countenance with Henry or the members, and one of them, Archibald Gary, meeting Henry's brother-in-law, addressed him with heat in the following terms : ' Sir, I am told that your brother wishes to be dictator. Tell him from me that the day of his appointment shall be the day of his death, for he shall feel my dagger in his heart before the sunset of that day.' "

Col. Christian's place of residence at this period, as it had been for several years before the war, was Mahanaim, in the county of Montgomery, not far distant, it is presumed, from the seat of his father at Dunkard's Bottom in the same county. Here, about the ist of February, 1781, he was appointed by Gen. Nathaniel Greene at the head of a commission to treat with the Cherokee Indians, the other members of the commission being William Preston, Arthur Campbell, Joseph Martin, Robert Lanier, Evan Shelby, Joseph Williams, and John Sevier. (Calendar Virginia State Papers, 2, 199.)

After the defeat at Blue Licks on the eighth of August, 1782, he proposed to the Governor of Virginia to raise a thousand men in the back parts of Virginia for the defense of Kentucky. (Cal. Va. State Papers, 3, 331-333.) In January, 1783, he also proposed to the Governor the project of building a gunboat on the Ohio for the purpose of fighting the Indians to better advantage. "At Limestone," he says, " or Licking would be a proper [Source:]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 William Christian (Virginia), in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. (Online: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).
  2.   Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., c1915), pg. 210.

    Christian, William, son of Israel Christian, was born in Augusta county in 1743. He was a burgess for Fincastle county at its creation in 1773, and until 1775-1776, which saw the end of the house of burgesses; member for Fincastle in the convention of 1775; lieutenant-colonel of the First Virginia Regiment, raised by the state; commanded in 1776 and 1780 expeditions against the Cherokees; in 1785 removed to Kentucky and was killed, April 9, 1786, by Indians. He married a sister of Patrick Henry.