Ephraim Osborn, Rev Soldier

Ephraim Washington Osborn , Jr. (Osbourn/Osborne), (14 Sep 1752 Rowan Co., NC-12 Nov 1852 Harlan Co., KY, buried in Forrester's Ceme., Coldiron, Harlan Co.) served in the Revolution. He married

Mary "Polly" Brock (daughter of Aaron "Chief Red Bird"), (28 Oct 1757, VA-28 Feb 1855, Harlan Co., KY)

They had nine children:


Their daughter:

Mary "Polly" Osborn, b. 26 Sep 1811, Knox Co., KY, mother of Amon Brock's 1st 10 children

Ephraim was the son of Ephraim W. Osborn, Sr. (21 Aug 1723, Williamsburg, James City Co., VA-1796, Independence, Grayson Co., KY), & wife Elizabeth Wells Howard (1726/32 Grayson Co., VA-ca 1796, Grayson Co.) His brother Capt. Enoch Osborn was a Long Hunter in the New River of VA and NC.

 The Long Hunters had long hunted and traded with the Cherokee. In many cases they had fathered Cherokee children and been in semi-married relationships with Cherokee women. In these cases, by Cherokee custom, a man who supports his wife and children honorably is inducted into the woman's clan. European-American hunters on Cherokee land not attached to the clans in this way were in a perilous occupation. That the New River men, many of whom had been Long Hunters and Indian traders, would hold back in the attack on the Cherokee in 1776-1777 is to be expected, considering the way in which the war was conducted and their past ties to the Cherokee. As an example, Capt. Enoch Osborne's brother Ephraim married Mary Brock who is the daughter of Aaron Brock, sometimes called by his Cherokee name Cutsawah or Red Bird (after which a tributary of the Kentucky River is named), and one of the Blevins married a granddaughter of Doublehead, a Cherokee head man. Long Hunters not allied with the Cherokee would have been regarded by the Cherokee as thieves and would have lost their harvest of furs if caught (one such dispossessed "thief" was the famous Benjamin Cleveland, scourge of the New River Tories). The Revolutionary War was an economic disaster for the long hunts as many of the furs and skins destined for England now had no market.

New River Notes, for the Upper New River Valley of North Carolina and Virginia: A Brief note about the Cherokee war of 1776-1777. http://www.newrivernotes.com/va/swift/cherokeewar.html

Ephraim W. Osborn , Jr., served in the Revolutionary War.

 The Harlan Co. Court House has a square plaque placed by the Mountain Trail Chapter DAR, "To the memory, of the Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution," lists the following: "Carl Bailey Jr., James Hall, JESSE BROCK, Samuel Howard, Barry Cawood, Stephen Jones, Lewis Green, Ephriam OSBOURNE Jr, Henry Shackleford and Henry Smith moved to Harlan County before 1800."

He applied for a Revolutionary pension, but had not served long enough to qualify and was rejected:

Microfilm Series M-804, Roll 1851
Rejected. Did not serve six months. See letter 14 Jany 1835 - A. Patrick

State of Kentucky
County of Perry
On the 8th day of September 1834 personally appeared in open Court before the Justices of the County Court of Perry County now sitting Ephraim Osburn a resident of Harlan County Kentucky, aged 80 years who being first duly sworn according toe Law doth on his Oath make the following Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.

That he entered the Service of the United States under Capt. Enoch Osburn, Lieut James ____, Ensign forgotten as a Volunteer & first met at Osburn's fort in Montgomery County Virginia in he thinks April but the year he does not recollect and staid in the service until the end of 6 months the time of his tour when he was regularly discharged but the discharge he has long since lost as he did not know or expect it would be of any service to him ~ they were engaged genrally in guarding the frontiers against the Indians, had frequent scouts but no engagement ~ the time of this service was perhaps a year or two before the Expedition against the Cherokees ~~

He afterwards went as a volunteer under Capt. Frederick Edwards for One month on Clinch to New River after the Tories then catched a deserter & brot. him in but don't remember his name he was out this time one month ~

He then went as a Volunteer under Capt. Abram Bletcher to the Cherokee Nation first met at the Long Island of Holstein & went on by the Bent of Nola Chucky & there expected an attack but did not have one & he thinks staid there two or 3 days, ~ there were a good many troops from North Carolina & Virginia went in from the Island he recollects an Officer with the N. Carolina troops by the name of Williams with a Majr or Col. but he thinks a Col. ~ his own Col. was Christy ~ Some where on the way before they got to French Broad River a flag was sent in by the Indians for peace ~ but it was understood that there were still more that would not make peace ~ and the Army proceeded on to French Broad River & halted expecting an attack. That night a detachment was ordered out to cross the River in the night above the crossing place & he was one that went ~ but there was no Indians there but there was sign

The next day all crossed the River & took up camp and in preparing tents a man cut down a sapling & fell on another that was laying asleep & killed him ~ from there they went on to the Dragging Canoe Town & they the Indians were all gone but one old blind Indian ~ the Army destroyed all they could find ~ they were there discharged & he got his discharge. This tour was 2 months ~ he now believes & this time was before the one after the Tories described before this.

He again went with Capt. Brummett as a guard of Ammunition from the Lead Mines across the Flour Gap to North Carolina & deld. the ammunition he thinks to Capt. M.Craw. They staid several days at the Lead Mines waiting for the load & he thinks was gone one month this time ~~ He was several times in scouting parties after the Tories but don't now remember enough to tell the oficers nor describe the trip ~~ He is old & infirm & states what he can remember & might state much more. that is what he thinks but wants to state nothing but what he remembers.

He has made application in Perry County his adjoining County because there is no one so handy to him to do the business as in Perry except at the Circuit Courts when it is only Lawyers & as he had some acquaintance in Perry he hopes it is no difference as to the County. The time of his service cannot be better identified then by the Cherokee Expedition which is well known at the department as he cannot remember the year ~ he has lost all his discharges ~~

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the Agency of any State
Ephraim Osburn
Sworn to and subscribed
the day & year aforesaid

 Also in the pension application file:
On the same date, Affidavits were sworn before the court by Edmund Jones, Micajah Napier, Daniel Duff (clergyman), Jeremiah Smith, and John Lewis that they believed Ephraim Osburn to be 80 years of age, reputed in the neighborhood where he lives to be an honest man who had served in the Revolution. Jesse Combs, Clerk of the Court, found that the witnesses were credible.


9. Aaron Brock/Chief Red Bird
8. Mary Polly Brock and Ephraim Osborne Jr.
7. Rebecca Ada Osborne and Timothy Roark
6. Ephraim Roark and Millie Graybeal
5. Enoch Roark and Elizabeth Mahala
4. Joseph Lincoln Roark and Mary Cole
3. Oma Elizabeth Roark and Roby Alfred Roark
2. Jesse Lincoln Roark and Myrtle Ray
1. Carol Roark Valora



Page Updated 2 Dec 2007




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