Beeson Stories

The Story of William Beeson
9 May 1772 - 8 Nov 1840

William Beeson was the son of Henry Beeson and his wife, Mary Martin Beeson. This story was taken from a page from a book called simply "Beeson Genealogy". My mother passed along the pages to aid me in my research but, unfortunately, did not write down the name of the author. Much of this story was also shared In Henry Hart Beeson's book. If a Beeson researcher recognizes the text, please let me know the author's name so I can give him or her credit.

"William had rather a checkered life, full of events and vicissitudes. The first account we have of him was of an engagement of marriage with the daughter of a noted English officer, Thomas Gettes, who had settled near Uniontown. In the Revolution, Gettes had foraged on Henry's cattle, slaughtered them and started away. Henry Beeson started after him, took away the beef, and gave it away to the prisoners of the Continental army. (Gettes) Being also a Tory, caused strong prejudices against Gette and his family, so Henry forbade the match, but he agreed that should his son, after an absence of a year, still adhere to his wish, he would give his consent then.

William was sent to Kentucky with a cargo of iron ware from Pittsburgh for sale. He was also charged with the settlement of some claims for land in that direction. He remained absent longer than he expected, but he disposed of all matters entrusted to him, and then returned to his home. On his arrival, fully intent upon accomplishing his marriage, he found that on the same evening, his bride to be had been married to another man.

This so worked on his feelings that he asked to be sent away again on business. This was done, and he passed down the Mississippi with another lot of wares to dispose of, and with power of attorney to settle some claims for land in Kentucky. These claims had been located many years before by his father, Henry, for land script given him by the Continental government. He entered suit against the occupants, but finally compromised with them, and accepted some ten thousand acres for his share.

William returned home and married a Miss Norris. After her death in about a year, he went to New Orleans and Cuba. He was among others taken prisoner by the noted pirate, Lafitte. He was spared because he had some medical and surgical knowledge. He was put to the duty of attending to the priate crew when necessary. After he had remained a long time captive on the island, Barrteria, their chief rendezvous, he managed to conceal a small boat, which had drifted on shore from some passing vessel. Eluding the vigilance of his guards with a fellow prisoner, he put to sea in his boat.(and escaped)

Some days later they were picked up by an American Man of War, which was cruising in the Gulf. Having no special destination in view, he offered his services on the Man of War. He was assigned to the duties of the Surgeon's mate, and continued in this capacity until the vessel returned to New York, where he received an honorable discharge.

William returned to his home where he married again. In 1814 he started to move to Ohio. On his way out, his team was pressed onto the army and he was compelled to stop. Having placed his family in comfortable quarters, he volunteed to serve in the army, then gathering for the defense of Sackett's Harbor under General Channing. He distinguished himself in action at Sackett's Harbor. The division in which he was, was finally successful in repelling the attack of the British upon the northern frontier."

For Further Reading:

The Pirate Jean Lafitte


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