The Family Loyalist

Yates Relationship to Joseph

Joseph "aka Lasswell, Lacefield, Lassfield" Laswell was born 1758 in Cameron, Loudon Co., VA (son of William B. Laswell and Mary Ann); he died 1816, Rockcastle Co., KY. Joseph married Eunice Riggs Abt 1777 in NC. Eunice (daughter of Samuel Riggs and Elizabeth Thompkins) was born Abt 1760, Morris Co., NJ and died Abt 1829 in Skegg Creek, Rockcastle Co., KY.

They had the following children:

Elizabeth Laswell was born Abt 1765, Surry Co., NC; died 1850, Rockcastle Co., KY;    Sally Laswell was born Abt 1778, NC;    John Henry Laswell was born Abt 1782, Wilkes Co., NC; died Abt 1854, Platte Co., MO;    Polly Laswell was born Abt 1783;    Jesse Laswell was born Abt 1784; died 1794, Lincoln Co., KY;    Lucy Laswell was born Abt 1785, Wilkes Co., NC; died Abt 1820, Rockcastle Co., KY;    Mary Laswell was born Abt 1786;    Nancy Laswell was born 1788, Lincoln, KY;   And, Abigail Laswell was born 1789, Lincoln Co., KY; died 1850, Harrison Co., IN. Yates Relationship to Joseph

Joseph's father William B. Laswell was born Abt 1739, Cameron, Loudon Co., VA and died Abt 1807, Washington Co., KY. William married Mary Ann 25 Jul 1763 in VA. Mary was born Abt 1722, VA.

Joseph's had the following siblings:

Daniel Laswell was born 1759, VA; died 1840, Weakley Co., TN;    Uranah Laswell was born 1760, VA;    Benjamin Laswell was born 1761, Surry Co., NC; died 5 Nov 1822, Hardin Co., KY;    William B. Laswell, Jr. was born 1762, Surry Co., NC; died 1817, Shelby Co., KY;    Ezekiel Laswell was born 1763, Rowan Co., NC; died 1860, Shelby Co., KY;   And, John Laswell was born Abt 1765, Rowan Co., NC; died 1837, Rockcastle Co., KY;   

Initial View of Details Seem Routine

1786: North Carolina Census, 1790-1890 Name: Joseph Lasswell State: NC County: Surry County Township: Willeses District Year: 1786 Record Type: State or colonial census Page: 001 Database: NC Early Census Index

1788: Kentucky Land Grants Grantee: Laswell, Joseph Acres: 178 Book: 14 Survey Date: 29 Aug 1788 County: Lincoln WaterCourse: Round Stone Fk Reference: THE KENTUCKY LAND GRANTS Volume 1 Part 1 CHAPTER III OLD KENTUCKY GRANTS (1793-1856) THE COUNTIES OF KENTUCKY page 199

1788: Kentucky Land Grants Grantee: Laswell, Joseph Acres: 100 Book: 18 Survey Date: 28 Aug 1788 County: Lincoln Water Course: Dicks R Reference: THE KENTUCKY LAND GRANTS Volume 1 Part 1 CHAPTER III OLD KENTUCKY GRANTS (1793-1856) THE COUNTIES OF KENTUCKY page 199

1789 Surry Co NC 12 Aug Jury in case of Joseph Coles, Executors, vs. Justice Reynolds: Micajah Oglesby, Aires Hudspeth, Anthony Dearing, John Morgan, John Hughes, John Lynch, Joseph Lacefield, Elijah Gallisby, Job Martin, Alexander Kerr, James Matthews, Edward Smith, John Taliaferro.

1802: was granted 178 acres on Skegg Creek, in Lincoln County. This area became Rockcastle Co., Kentucky in 1810. (Source: From the notes of Donna Carr;; September 3, 2009; This information on Joseph's family is found in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky Historical Society's publication "Rockcastle Co., Kentucky and its People - 1992," page 233. The essay was submitted by William Prescott Wise, 608 Scott Lane, Anaheim, CA 92804.)

1810 United States Federal Census Name: Joseph Lasswell County: Rockcastle State: Kentucky

Deeper Look was a Surprise and Fascinating!

Yates Relationship to Joseph

1783: Sentenced to death by the Morgan Superior Court, in March of 1783; was to be executed the 16th of May, 1783.

April 21, 1783: NC Governor Alexander Martin requested that Joseph Lacefield be pardoned and, on April 21, 1783 the pardon was ordered by the North Carolina legislature.

This history narrative begins to tell the story: Records on the Revolutionary War service is scarce at the end of the war the places where the records of the Loyalists were in most part destroyed. There are records of Joseph Lasswell in the Tory militia none of the rest of the Lasswell's show up on any of the records. In a interview with Jesse Franklin, a nephew of Col. Benjamin Cleveland, On one occasion, a Tories party under Jos. Lasefield captured him, and had him ready to swing off, when he said, "You have me completely in your power: but if you hang me, it will prove the dearest day's work you ever performed: and he will never cease the chase while a solitary one of you survives." though they hung him, the bridle with which they did it broke, and he fortunately dropped into the saddle of his horse, bounded away and escaped."

Jesse Franklin (1760-1823) A Patriot during the Revolutionary War, Jesse Franklin later served his state in the House of Commons, as a state senator, as a U.S. Representative, a U.S. Senator (president pro tempore), and finally as governor of North Carolina.

A native of Virginia, a sixteen-year-old Franklin moved with his parents in 1776 to Surry County, North Carolina. During the war, he fought at the Battle of King’s Mountain and the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Soon after helping the United States become independent from England, Franklin represented Wilkes County in the House of Commons (1784-1787, 1790-1792).

He returned to Surry County and then shortly afterward represented Surry countians in the House of Commons from 1791 to 1795 and from 1797 to 1798. In between those terms and before political parties existed in the United States, Franklin served one term in the U. S. House of Representatives. He served his constituents at the federal and state levels during the early 1800s. In 1799, Franklin once again went to the national capital, but this time as a Democratic-Republican; by 1798, political parties had evolved in the nation. After he served one term as a state senator in 1805, he went back to Washington and served as a U.S. Senator from 1806 to 1813. During his senatorial term, he opposed a central bank and supported Madison’s pro-war measures during the War of 1812. After being defeated by Nathaniel Macon and Francis Locke in subsequent elections, Franklin was appointed in 1817 to negotiate with the Cherokee and Chickasaw nations; Andrew Jackson had requested his appointment.

With his last public office as governor, Franklin ended his political career at the state level. He represented Surry County as a state legislator for four consecutive terms (1816-1820). At sixty years of age, he was elected governor. During his one term, he earned a reputation for being a practical, fiscal conservative. He also urged the legislature to settle border disputes with neighboring states and wanted the state militia to be reformed. He may be more famous, however, for being Governor when Canova’s statue of George Washington was placed in the Capitol and for supporting Archibald D. Murphey’s reform of the state’s penal code. The latter eliminated mutilation, branding, whipping, and confinement in stocks for minor crimes. After his term, an aging Franklin returned to Surry County, where he died in 1823. He is now interred at the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.


Malone, Dumas, ed., Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. 6 (New York, 1930); North Carolina Historical Marker Program, “Jesse Franklin”, (accessed on April 20, 2008); William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol. II (Chapel Hill, 1986).

By Troy L. Kickler, founding director of the North Carolina History Project

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