Person:Samuel Doak (15)

Rev. Samuel Doak
b.1 AUG 1749 Virginia
d.12 Dec 1830 Bethel, Tennessee
m. Abt. 1737
  1. Eleanor DoakAbt 1738 - 1834
  2. David DoakABT 1740 - bef 1802
  3. Jane Doakabt 1741 -
  4. John Doakabt 1742 - Bef 1806
  5. Elizabeth Thankful Doak1746/47 - 1848
  6. Rev. Samuel Doak1749 - 1830
  7. Col. Robert Doak1750-1760 -
  8. Mary DoakEst 1750-1760 -
  9. Isabella Doakest 1755-1765 - 1803
m. 31 OCT 1775
  1. Julia Doak1776 -
  2. John Whitfield Rev. Doak1778 -
  3. Lucina Doak1782 -
  4. Samuel Witherspoon Doak1785 -
  5. Jane Rowe Doak1787 -
  6. Nancy Doak1790 - 1850
  7. Polly Doak1794 -
m. 1818
Facts and Events
Name Rev. Samuel Doak
Gender Male
Birth[1] 1 AUG 1749 Virginia
Marriage 31 OCT 1775 Rockbridge County, Virginiato Esther Houston Montgomery
Marriage 1818 to Margaret Houston
Death? 12 Dec 1830 Bethel, Tennessee
Census[2] founder of Washingtron College in Washington County, Tennessee
Census? supposedly was a dentist
Reference Number? Q7411272?

Rev. Samuel Doak was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


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Biography of Rev. Samuel Doak

From "The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography", Volume 7, pub. 1897:

DOAK, Samuel, founder and first president of Washington College, Tennessee (1795-1818), was born in Augusta County, Va., Aug. 1, 1749, son of Samuel and Jane (Mitchel) Doak. His parents, natives of Ireland, and of Scotch extraction, emigrated to America early in the last century, settling in Chester county, Pa., and later removing to Augusta county, Va. His father was a farmer, and the son's early life was hampered by poverty, although with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge he struggled manfully for an education. At the age of sixteen he began the study of Latin under a Mr. Alexander, probably, Archibald, grandfather of the famous Rev. Dr. Archibald Alexander, who was at that time teaching school in this neighborhood, and in 1773 he entered Princeton College, where he was graduated in 1775. He at once began the study of theology, and was licensed to preach by the Hanover (Va.) presbytery, Oct. 31, 1777. lie began his work among the frontier settlements of southwestern Virginia, in Washington county, and later at the llolston settlement, now part of Sullivan county, Tenn., where he remained two years. While in search of amorepromising Held of usefulness, early in 1780, he met some settlers in the neighborhood of Salem, Tenn., who crowded about him and requested a sermon. Using his horse as a pulpit, he delivered so pleasing and helpful a discourse that they forthwith importuned him to remain among them. Here he remained and purchased a farm, lie immediately gathered the pioneer families under his ministry and their children under his tuition, forming the Salem Congregation. He built a log schoolhouse, and in 1783 obtained a charter from the legislature of North Carolina, which then embraced that portion of Tennessee; and again in 1785 he obtained another charter from the legislature of the stale of Franklin, in session at Jonesborough (now in Washington countv, Tenn.), on both occasions giving it the name "Martin Academy" in honor of Gov. Alexander Martin of North Carolina. Although there remains no record of his work in the school during the Hist twelve years of its existence, many young men educated by him subsequently became useful and eminent. One of them. Dr. J. G. M. Ramsey, in his "Annals of Tennessee" says that it was not only I he " first literary institution ever established in the Mississippi valley west of the Alleghanies," but also "for many years the only, and for still more the principal seat of learning in the western country." During this period, however, Dr. Doak had continued pastor of the Salem Church, which was one of the first in this region, and had also organized a number of other churches anions the settlers. By an act of the legislature of the "Territory of the United Slates of America, South of the River Ohio," dated July 8, 1795, the school was chartered as a college, empowered to grant academic degrees; and in honor of George Washington, then for the second time president of the United States, it was called Washington College. From the minutes of the first meeting of the board of trustees, held July 23, 1795, it appears that the academy had received 420 acres of land on the Doe river from Col. Waightstill Avery, besides numerous contributions of money, and later Alexander Mathes donated a valuable tract of fifty acres ad joining the property of Dr. Doak, where the college building then stood, which is the site of the modern institution. In 1798 while in the East as commissioner of the general assembly, Dr. Doak collected the nucleus ofa library, which he transported 500 miles across the mountains on pack horses; and in the same year the Avery lands were sold and the proceeds expeuded in globes, maps and other equipments. Dr. Doak resigned in 1818 after presiding over the institution for thirtyfive years, and soon after removed to Green county, Tenn., within the bounds of Mt. Bethel Church, where he aided his second son, Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak, in conducting Tuscirtum Academy, chartered as Tusculum College in 1844. In character, Dr. Doak was possessed of rare firmness, dignity and decision', a natural leader of men and a great organizer. Through all the perils and hardships of pioneer life, he remained true to his noble purpose, and justly merits the title "apostle of learning and religion in the West." Asa preacher he was original, bold, forcible, even entertaining; and as a teacher he was thoroughly well qualified, a good disciplinarian and a master in Latin, Greek and metaphysics. His creed was thoroughly Calvinistlc, and he taught and propounded it with an earnestness and lucidity calculated to fix its great truths upon the minds of the many young men trained by him for the ministry. He was on several occasions delegate and commissioner of his synod, and in 1784 was a member of the constitutional convention of the proposed state of Franklin. He at that time furnished a clause providing for a university to be established by legislative enactment before 1787, and "to be endowed liberally." The degree of D.D. was conferred on him by both Wasliington and Greenville colleges in 1818. Dr. Doak was married in 1776 or '77 to Esther II., daughter of Rev. John Montgomery of Virginia, and had two sons and four daughters. He died in Greene County, Tenn., Dec. 12, 1829.

Records of Rev. Samuel Doak in Augusta County, VA

From Chalkley's Augusta County Records:

This account in Augusta County, Virginia gives a little information regarding the migration of Rev. Samuel Doak:

  • Vol. 2 - CIRCUIT COURT RECORDS, SECTION "I." - JUDGMENTS. - page 80: Peter Kinder vs. Samuel Doak--O. S. 40; N. S. 14--Bill 16th June, 1802. In 1770 Andrew Little made a settlement on waters of Reed Creek, then in Fincastle, now Wythe, and a short time afterwards transferred it to John Riley, who sold to orator. In 1775 Samuel Doak, from a military warrant under the King of Great Britain's proclamation, had a survey made including above settlement. The warrant to Samuel was dated 1773, and under the proclamation of 1763. Samuel Doak went to live in North Carolina (now Tennessee) about 1789, and has never returned. Answer states that in 1768 Robert Doak, for and on behalf of Samuel Doak, sowed some turnips on the land but made no actual settlement. In 1770 Jacob Young made an improvement on the same tract but removed to Holstein and conveyed his claim to Samuel. In 1771 Samuel built a cabin and afterwards Andrew Little built a cabin but never lived in it. George Boyd, of Stuart County, Tenn., deposes 3d December, 1804. (Note: the reference to "Holstein" generally refers to the area of what is now Tennessee).

Information on Rev. Samuel Doak

From "Early American Presbyterians" ( William Dickey)

Rev. Samuel Doak (1749-aft 1818) He was born within the bounds of the New Providence congregation, Virginia, in August, 1749; was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts, in the College of New Jersey, in 1775; taught for a short time in the school of the Rev. Robert Smith, of Pequea, Pennsylvania, then became Tutor in Hampden Sydney College, where he remained about two years, pursuing the study of theology under the Rev. John Blair Smith, which he subsequently continued from some time under the Rev. William Graham. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Hanover, October 31st, 1777, and having preached for some time in Washington county, Virginia, he removed to the Holston settlement, in what was then a part of North Carolina, but is now a part of East Tennessee. After residing in this settlement a year or two, he removed in the hope of finding a more promising field of usefulness, to the settlement on Little Limestone, in Washington county, and there purchased a farm, on which he built a log house for purposes of education and a small church edifice, and founded a congregation known as the "Salem Congregation." The literary institution which he established was the first that was ever established in the great Valley of the Mississippi, and he presided over it from the time of its incorporation, in 1785, till the year 1818, when he removed to Bethel, and opened a private school, which he called Tusculum Academy. Dr Doak organized a number of churches in the county in which he lived. His ministry was attended with no small success. His style of preaching was original, bold, pungent, and sometimes pathetic. He was eminently successful in training up young men for the ministry. See, students, Rev. John Rankin, Rev. Gideon Blackburn

From Tennessee Cousins, by Worth S. Ray, pg. 164:

Rev. Samuel Doak was born August 1, 1749 in Augusta County, Virginia, and died December 12, 1830, at his home in Washington County, Tennessee. He was twice married. His first wife was Esther Houston Montgomery, daughter of John Montgomery and his wife Esther Houston. His second wife was a Margaretta Houston MeEwen, widow of Alexander McEwen. Here we have an example of "Tennessee Cousin" procliviity, in that the first wife of Rev. Doak was a first cousin of Rev. Sam Houston, and the second wife was a sister of Rev. Samuel Houston. Also Rev. Samuel Houston was related to the famous Gen. Samuel Houston, as will later appear, and not far removed as a close relative of the Rev. Samuel Doak and his wives.

Rev. Samuel Doak, the pioneer minister, who first preached in Sullivan County, Tennessee was the founder of Washington College near Greenville, Tennessee, which was first chartered under the name of Martin Academy. His son, Dr. John Whitfield Doak succeeded him as President in later year.

Rev. Samuel Doak and his first wife, Esther Houston Montgomery (1750-1807) had the following children:

1. Julia Doak married Adam Lowrey.
2. John Whitfield Doak (b. 1778) m. Jane H. Alexander.
3. Lucinda Doak (1782-1825) married Mr. Baldridge.
4. Samuel Witherspoon Doak (b. 1785), m. Sarah Houston McEwen
4. Jane Rowe Doak (1787-1828) married David Rice.
5. Mary Montgomery Doak (b. 1792), married a Mr. Davit.
6. Nancy Doak (b. 1790) m. (1) William Mitchell (2) Adam Broyles.

Samuel Doak (Reverend) (August 1749 - Dec. 12, 1830) on October 31, 1775 married Esther Montgomery. Source (Montgomery-Houston Family, Rockbridge Co., Va.)

Mrs. Elizabeth Doak Kennedy. DAR ID Number: 65266 Born in Russellville, Tenn. Wife of Rev. Byng David Kennedy. Descendant of Rev. Samuel Doak, D. D. [p.92] Daughter of Wiley Harvey Doak, M. D., and Katherine Nenney, his wife. Granddaughter of Samuel Harvey Doak and Elizabeth Galbreath, his wife. Gr-granddaughter of John Whitfield Doak and Jane Alexander, his wife. Gr-gr-granddaughter of Rev. Samuel Doak, D. D., and Esther Montgomery, his wife. Samuel Doak (1749-1828) was a patriot preacher and member of the Convention of Franklin County, Tenn. He was born in Augusta County, Va.; died at Washington College, Tenn. Also Nos. 56462, 60042.

Mrs. Willis Lawrence Marks. DAR ID Number: 84843 Born in Greenville, Tenn. Wife of Dr. Louis T. S. Marks. [p.324] Descendant of Rev. Samuel Doak, D. D., Alexander McEwen, and Margaret Houston McEwen, as follows: 1. Lacy Lyle Lawrence (b. 1857), m. 1878, Mary Katherine Doak (b. 1860). 2. Robert Ebenezer Doak (1824-65), m. 1847, Anna Katherine Kreger (1830-60). 3. Samuel W. Doak (1785-1864), m. 1808, Sarah McEwen (d. 1864). 4. Samuel Doak, m. 1775, Esther H. Montgomery (d. 1807); Alexander

McEwen, m. 1780, Margaret Houston.

Samuel Doak (1749-1828) was a patriot preacher and member of the Convention of Franklin County, Tenn. He was born in Augusta County, Va.; died in Washington County, Tenn. Alexander McEwen (1750-95) was a defender of Fort Houston, as was also his wife. The garrison had some fine riflemen, but none better than this heroine. He was born in Augusta County, Va.; died in Tennessee. Also No. 83378.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Samuel Doak.

  1. Coleman, Ruby (
  2. Alya Dean Smith Irwin Collection - unpublished work, McClung Historical Collection, Knoxville, TN.
  3.   Samuel Doak, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.