The Matthew (I) Talbot Story
Matthew (I) Talbot
1699 - 1758

Ann Talbot Brandon Womack
Farris W. Womack
July 2000
Revised Summer 2009

The Ancestry of Matthew ( I)  Talbot
          The Matthew Talbot story begins, quite obviously, with his birth in the year 1699.  Almost all the written records which we have seen give that as the year of birth and a few give September as the birth month. while an even smaller number report that his arrival was on the 29th.  Not a single record of his life has been found from the aforementioned until he had reached manhood and his marriage was recorded in 1722.  In 1849,  his grandson, Edmund, wrote that Matthew came to Maryland with his cousin, coincidentally,  also named Edmund. [1]   Matthew arrived in Maryland, about the year 1720, probably in the City of Baltimore.  He was then about 20 or 21 years of age.   Why he came to Maryland and the circumstances that contributed to his staying remain unknown although diligent searches have been made to determine the answers to these and other perplexing questions.  There are stories that he came for a visit but loved the new world so much that he stayed.  We make no assertion as to the accuracy of that or any other reason(s) for his coming or for his decision to stay.

          In 1956, Robert Howe Fletcher, Jr. published,  Genealogical Sketch of Certain of the American Descendants of Matthew Talbot, Gentleman. [2]    Fletcher researched  all of what he called the "legends" surrounding the birth and youth of Matthew Talbot but he was unable to establish conclusively the names of his parents or any other lineage. The most famous of those legends described Matthew as being closely related to the Earl of Shrewsbury of his time.  But Fletcher was unable to find any link that would tie Matthew to this lineage and, indeed, he asserted that there was no Matthew  at all in the pedigree in the early 18th century.  Fletcher conceded that a number of pieces of circumstantial evidence existed to tie Matthew to the Shrewsbury nobility but none that he could determine with sufficient confidence of the lineage.

          A second "legend" explored by Fletcher was the written statement, prepared for her children,  dated April 1815  by a Mrs. Sallie Talbot Mass (Mrs. Sallie D. Maupin) of Paris, Monroe County, Missouri.

                        "I will write a short biography of my family beginning with the Talbot family ... My great great grandfather
                          was an Englishman of  much distinction.  He was one of the Lords of England and filled many high stations in
                          life.  He was engaged in war and was a General when he was killed in the Battle of Salisbury Plains.  His name
                          was Charles Talbot.  He had three children, a son and two daughters; one daughter married a Colonel Moyle
                          (or Moile) of England.  The son was Matthew, my great grandfather."

           Fletcher writes:

"Lord Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury, son of the 11th Earl of Shrewsbury, godson of His Majesty Charles II was born July 24, 1660 and died February 1, 1718 after an eventful career and covered with honors.  Dying in 1718 he could of course have been the father of Matthew (I) who, it will be recalled, was born in 1699.  However this interesting possibility must be ruled out too as this Charles Talbot died childless, the Dukedom of Shrewsbury becoming extinct on his death.

This legend does not end here though for there is more, albeit circumstantial, evidence which is pertinent.  It revolves around the names "Charles" and "Moile" for Matthew (I) named his first born, "Charles"; and the latter in his turn not only called one of his children "Charles" but "Charles Moile Talbot"; and he christened another "Lucy Moile Talbot" ..."

          Fortunately, Fletcher did not content himself with the research cited above but explored much further.  Repeating his work here is beyond the scope of this treatise but the reader is encouraged to obtain Fletcher's tome and plumb the depths with him in search of the elusive Matthew (I).  Fletcher's work remains as the most complete attempt  to identify the origins of  Matthew Talbot although Fletcher ultimately concluded that he could not establish the exact lineage.

          Perhaps the most credible documentation concerning his early years and his coming to the "New World" was the Memorandum of the Talbot Family written by his grandson, Edmund Talbot, in 1849 and reproduced in its entirety at the link cited on the Talbot page.    Briefly, Edmund Talbot asserted that Matthew, "when a young man" came to Maryland with a cousin named Edmund.  No further details were given.  Edmund's failure to cite the lineage of his grandfather raises interesting questions.  If he had heard the Shrewsbury lineage story, why did he not include it in his recitation of his recollections of his grandfather.  But its absence from his memorandum may be nothing more or less than the decision of a devout Christian minister to refrain from any form of ostentatiousness.

          Near the cemetery in Wilkes County, Georgia where  John Talbot lies buried stands a marker which makes reference to John's  descent form the Shrewsbury Talbots.  Certainly John did not pen the words on the marker but those who did would not have known about the lineage unless they had heard it from someone and the most likely source would have been John Talbot, himself.  John Talbot would hardly have "invented" it.  His disdain for the English has been well documented and the story of his exploits as an American Patriot and a member of the "Virginia Rebels" has been documented and published on the Talbot web site.  But his disdain for the English could very well have been a general one and probably would not have extended to his ancestors.

          In 1983, Virgil Talbot wrote The Talbots, Centuries of Service. [3]  He argued that the ancestors of Matthew Talbot can be traced as far back as William, the Conqueror.  While his work is interesting, he presents no primary evidence to refute the conclusions drawn by Fletcher in 1956.  Nevertheless, his compilation contains the most cogent and complete assertions of the lineage of Matthew.   The reader is encouraged to obtain the two works cited above and from them draw individual conclusions.   The Fletcher work can be obtained from the Library of Congress, Card # 56-11767 and the Virgil Talbot piece can be obtained on microfilm from the Genealogy Library of the LDS Church in Salt Lake City, Microfilm order #1035574.

         Before we take up the history of that part of Matthew (I ) Talbot's life about which we do know quite a lot, perhaps one final comment regarding his ancestry would be warranted.  The fact that we have been unable to identify with certainty his father and mother should not be viewed as anything more than a disappointment.  His exemplary life, his extraordinary accomplishments, the sterling character of his children, his service to the Church and to the community,  and the honors bestowed on him while he lived all speak plainly and vividly of a man who was "larger than life."  Did he achieve all of this, even while quite young as we will shortly see, entirely on his own.  Perhaps, but we doubt it.  The more logical explanation is that he was the son of a well to do father and mother who taught him the important things about life and probably gave him a good start economically.  The old admonition, " If you see a turtle sitting on the top of a fence post, you can be sure that he did not get there by himself", clearly applies in his case.  Surely, his descendants can take pride in the distinguished accomplishments of a lifetime while the search continues for the ancestry that undoubtedly contributed to his fame and fortune.

          Matthew (I) Talbot married Mary Williston May  6,  1722, in St. Paul's Church,  Baltimore, Maryland.  They were both in their early twenties, Mary being older by two years.  Mary was the daughter of James Williston and Ann Belgrave.  James Williston has been described as a "large land owner"  but his will makes no reference to a large estate.  He gave 119 acres to his son, George, and left his daughter, Mary, to the care of his wife.  James Williston's transcribed will can be read at the Talbot web site.  Charles Talbot, the first son of Matthew and Mary, was born in Maryland in November 1723.

         Matthew and Nicholas Hale were business partners in Maryland.  The exact nature of their business is not known but from the sparse records available it appears that they were merchant traders with shipping interests.  Family legends hold that heavy losses at sea  caused Matthew and Mary to relocate to Virginia.  Whether that story is true or false cannot be determined but  one wonders why or how a relocation from Maryland to Virginia would have had any effect on his shipping losses or, more importantly, how that might abate them.  It appears that Nicholas Hale and his family also moved from Maryland to Virginia, perhaps at the same time although a daughter was born in Maryland in 1730 which casts some doubt on the joint move idea. The Hale family would be further tied to the Talbot family through the marriage of Mary Hale, daughter of Nicholas,  to Matthew (II), the second son of Matthew Talbot.  The Mary Hale story is more fully developed in the treatise entitled, The Matthew (II) Talbot Story, and published on the Talbot web site.  The ancestry of Mary Hale is shown on the same site.

          For whatever reasons, Matthew and Mary moved to Prince George County, Virginia and there Matthew obtained a Patent for  251 acres of land in September 1728.  Their second son, Matthew (II), was born in Prince George County 27 November 1729.  In 1733, Matthew and Mary became parents for the third time when James Talbot was born, probably in Prince George County but conceivably in Amelia County.

        A careful review of the land Patents in Virginia gives some clues to the family's movements but,  because county boundaries were being changed through the establishment of new counties carved from existing ones, it is not possible to fix with certainty their exact place of residence at a given time.  In 1735, Matthew acquired a Patent to 1258 acres in Amelia County and in 1737, he acquired 1020 additional acres.  The table below discloses the Land Patents obtained by Matthew Talbot but it does not contain the private land transactions between individuals in which he might have been a party.

Virginia Land Patents obtained by Matthew Talbot
Metes and Bounds
Prince George
On the upper fork of Bucherin Creek adjoining Edward Baxter Patents 13, page 403
Beginning at Jones' corner on a branch at a red bank, also joins to Williamson's land Patents 17, 1735-38, page 46
On the upper side of Flatt Creek, adjoining John Ferguson and others Patents 17, 1735-38, page 362
On the south side of Lickinghole opposite the Fork Patents 21, 1742-43, page 35
Being an Island in Stanton River below the mouth of Senaca Creek Patents 28, 1746-49, page 41
On south side of Stanton River Patents 28, 1746-49, page 220
On both sides of Twitty's Creek, adj Charles Talbot, Hugh Boston, &c. Patents 27, page 220
On south side of Stanton River Patents 31, page 63
See Dewey, Stephen; Read, Clement; Edmonds, Nicholas;Jones, Robert; & Talbot, Matthew Patents 33, page 49

        Their fourth child, and as it turned out, their last child, John Williston Talbot,  was born in 1735, probably in Amelia County.   At the age of 36, Matthew Talbot had a growing family and he had established himself in the Virginia outback as a country gentleman.  But in just over a year, on October 1, 1736, he would lose his beloved Mary.  While we do not know the place where she died, it was probably in Amelia County.  Matthew was left with four children to rear.  Charles was 13, Matthew (II), 7, James, 3, and John was still an infant of 14 months of age.

        The following year on May 23, 1737, Matthew was married to Jane Clayton, a lady some 14 years his junior.  We do not know if Jane, born in 1714, had been married previously and , indeed, little is known about her except that her mother's maiden name was Isham and that she was the niece of William Randolph.  But we do know that it was Jane who was at Matthew's side when the great honors and accomplishments would occur.  Perhaps more important, it seems clear that Jane was a great partner for Matthew and a good mother to his four children.  The strongest evidence of the affection of Matthew's children for their step-mother was demonstrated years later in their adulthood when they named some of their own children in her honor.  Such an act, taken as an adult,  would have been quite unlikely if their childhood  relationship with their step-mother  had been a poor one.

        Matthew and Jane  became the parents of two children.  Isham was born November 3, 1738, probably in Brunswick or Lunenburg Counties and quite likely in the same area, maybe even the exact same place that would eventually become Bedford County.  On August 25, 1740, Martha Talbot was born and the family was complete.  At the age of 41, Matthew had fathered six children all of whom were still at home.  Charles, the oldest, was 17, followed by Matthew (II)  11, James 7, John 5, Isham 2, and Martha, the baby.

        Knowledge of the formation of Virginia counties is important to an understanding of the migrations of the Talbot family.  In 1732, Brunswick County was created from Prince George, Surrey, and Isle of Wight.  Fourteen years later, Brunswick became the parent county of Lunenberg.  And in 1753, by Act of the House of Burgesses effective May 10, 1753, Bedford was established on land originally a part of Lunenburg and a small portion of Albermarle. Matthew's name appeared as a witness to a will in Lunenburg County in 1740 and again in 1743.  In 1745, his name appears as a witness to an indenture in Brunswick County.   It seems clear that Matthew (I) moved from Maryland sometime between 1723 and 1729 to southern Virginia in the region near the present day city of Petersburg; that he moved to the area south and west of the present day city of Lynchburg about 1737 and settled near the present day city of Bedford.  There he reared his family to adulthood and became a country gentleman.

        An appreciation of the living conditions on the frontier helps to understand the difficulties that Talbot and his neighbors faced.  Their homes were small and crude by modern standards and they were built using logs cut from the land.  The next door neighbor might be quite some distance away, farming was the principal occupation, and  tobacco was the principal crop as well as a common medium of exchange.  Indians roamed freely and were a constant threat to the settlers.  Many forts were constructed along the frontier to serve as a refuge from Indian attacks.  The letters in Appendix A present  graphically the hardship and horror of living in fear of one's life in the far western reaches of Virginia during Matthew (I) Talbot's lifetime.  But those were the realities and these hardy souls made the best of it.

        In 1747, Charles Talbot married Drussila Gwinn and the newly weds settled near the plantation of Matthew (I) and Jane.  Charles began to acquire land in 1748 and, as the table below shows, he became the owner of quite an acreage.  More importantly, their first child, Williston, undoubtedly named for Charles' mother, was born in 1753 and with his birth, Matthew (I) had his first grandchild at the age of 54.
Virginia Land Patents and Grants obtained by Charles Talbot
Metes and Bounds Patents and Grants
4 5 1748 Lunenburg 190 On both sides of Twitty's Creek Patents 26, page 367
9 5 1749 Lunenburg 315 On both sides of a branch by Ward's Fork by David Lee Patents 28, page 661
7 5 1751 Lunenburg 150 On both sides of Straitstone Creek adjoining Isaac Allen Patents 30, page 489
5 15 1755 Lunenburg 400 On the south side of the Lick run Patents 32, page 537
9 10 1755 Lunenburg 190 On both sides of Senaca Creek Patents 31, page 558
9 10 1755 Lunenburg 280 On the north side of Stanton River adjoning Stewart, James, &C. Patents 31, page 562
9 10 1755 Lunenburg 1200 On both sides of Town's Branch and Hunts Branch Patents 31, page 572
4 10 1758 Bedford 380 On both sides of Lick Branch of Falling River Patents 33, 1756 - 1761, page 426
4 10 1758 Bedford 380 On both sides of Falling River Patents 33, 1756 - 1761, page 427
5 12 1759 Lunenburg 250 On both sides of Reedy Creek Patents 34, page 291
6 10 1760 Halifax 400 On both sides of Reedy Creek Patents 34, page 544
4 6 1769 Bedford 804 On the South Side of Lick Creek, And on the forks of the South Fork of Lick Creek Patents 38, 1768 - 1770, page 538

        Matthew (I) Talbot's second son, also named Matthew, married Mary Day, nee Hale, in June 1753 and he, too, settled near his father and began to acquire land in the area.  The table below shows the land acquistions of Matthew (II) and the descriptions indicate the nearness to his father and his older brother.  The marriage of Matthew (II) and Mary Hale brought together two families that had been associated as business partners for many years.  The reader can find a more complete description of the life and times of Matthew (II) and Mary Hale Talbot at the Talbot web site.

Virginia Land Patents obtained by Matthew (II) Talbot
MO DY YR County Acres Metes and Bounds Patents and Grants
6 12 1755 Halifax 100 On the south side of Stanton River adjoing Edward Nix Patents 32, page 560
9 10 1755 Lunenburg 400 On both sides of Johnson Creek a south branch of Otter River adjoining Thomas Phelps Patents 31, page 556
9 10 1755 Lunenburg 59 On the south side of Otter River Patents 32, page 621
12 9 1758 Lunenburg 264 On the south side of Stanton River adjoining Joseph Laws line Patents 33, page 512
9 17 1765 Bedford 378 On both sides of Indian Creek Patents 36, 1764-67, page 894
7 20 1768 Pittsylvania 275 On both sides of Camp Creek Patents 37, page 352
7 14 1769 Bedford 1200 See Mead, William and Talbot, Matthew Patents 38, 1768-70, page 638
7 14 1769 Bedford 750 On both sides of Goose Creek Patents 38, 1768-70, page 839
8 27 1770 Bedford 120 On both sides of Linvells Creek, a branch of Stanton River Patents 39, 1770-71, page 166
8 27 1770 Lunenburg 950 On both sides of Crab Orchard Creek Patents 39, page 199
8 3 1771 Bedford 794 On both sides of Troublesome Creek Patents 40, 1771-72, page 572
9 1 1780 Pittsylvania 129 On Pigg River adj his own land Grant Book E, page 752











On the branches of Lenvells Creek
On the branches of Linvells Creek
On the branches of Linvells Creek a south branch of Stanton River
On south side of Stanton River
On both sides of Linvells Creek
On both sides of Crab Orchard Creek

Patents D. 1780-81, page 227
Patents D. 1780-81, page 243
Patents D. 1780-81, page 308

Patents D. 1780-81, page 86
Patents D. 1780-81, page 87
Patents E, 1775-76; 1780-81, page 539

6 1 1782 Bedford 304 On both sides of Gill's Creek Grants F, 1781-82, page 397

        Current research shows that Matthew (II) Talbot  was living in the Watauga Settlement in what is now eastern Tennessee after about 1775-78.  Yet the record above shows that he was acquiring land in Virginia from 1780 to 1782.  Indeed, the records show that on one day in 1780, he acquired almost 3000 acres of land in two Virginia counties comprising seven separate parcels albeit all of them were adjacent to land he had acquired on the same creek or river some ten years earlier.   The circumstances of his obtaining land in Bedford County after his removal to the Watauga Settlement remain uncertain.

          Admittedly, the land acquisitions of Charles and Matthew (II) do not relate directly to the subject of this piece, nevertheless, they do show a behavior pattern that both of them no doubt learned from their father and they show a sense of place and nearness that contributes to our understanding of the closeness of the family.  Matthew (I) lived close enough to his children that he saw them and his grandchildren every day.  It is easy to imagine the pride that he felt in knowing that his descendants had learned well the lessons that he had taught.  Both John Williston Talbot and Isham Talbot became very large land owners in their time but they were still living at home with their father when he died.

         Because the Virginia land records contain so much useful data, the reader is urged to click here to see all land Patents and Grants obtained by a Talbot in Virginia, however the name might have been spelled.  The records are in chronological order and were transcribed from the online records at the Virginia State Library.

      There are dozens of intriguing stories and notions to be drawn from the Virginia land records.  One of the most interesting concerns the land acquisitions, or more accurately the lack of them, by James Talbot, third son of Matthew (I) and Mary Williston Talbot.  A thorough search of the records reveals that he obtained only one Patent and that with his older brother,  Matthew (II), and his younger brother, John, for a total of 750 acres.  While that is substantial, it pales by comparison to the amount of land being obtained by his brothers and by his father.  James was only 25 years of age when his father died and he, no doubt, inherited a substantial amount of land from his father.  But so did his brothers and they continued to buy and sell land while he did not.   A second interesting note is the lack of joint ownership by the four brothers.  With the exception of the joint Patent just mentioned, the four brothers never obtained land together although they frequently acquired a Patent with another partner, and very often they obtained large acreages on the same day..

      The narrative and table data referred to above provide a small picture of the Talbot family in western Virginia.  They were industrious and hard working farmers, businessmen, and traders.  Fiercely independent like their neighbors, they survived and prospered in an area that was far removed from the genteel society of the eastern coastal counties.  Being far from the center of government, it was necessary  for the frontiersmen to form alliances for their mutual defense and safety.  Lunenburg and Bedford were among the Virginia counties which  established strong Militias and forts were erected at numerous sites.

      Matthew (I) Talbot was appointed/elected Colonel of the Bedford Militia and his sons served as officers in the Militia.  In addition to these responsibilities, Matthew (I) was a leader in the Church of England.  His record of service to the Church dates almost to his arrival in Virginia where he soon became a member of the Vestry and was assigned other important church responsibilities.  Because the early Church was intertwined with the government of the colony, leadership in one usually meant leadership in the other.  Accordingly, Matthew (I) was regularly assigned responsibility for the "titheables" in large areas of Cumberland Parish which was generally co-terminus with the county boundaries.

      Life along the frontier had always been hard and frequently dangerous but the level of difficulty and danger rose to a higher level with the French and Indian War that began in 1754 and lasted until 1761.  Although the principal battles in that war occurred much further north in New York along Lake Champlain, the fallout was felt all along the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Indians throughout the area became more restless and  troublesome and the settlers faced a heightened level of danger.  Because of his leadership positions in the Militia and the general community, Matthew (I) Talbot was at the fore front of this struggle.

      Matthew (I) Talbot wrote plaintively to his friend Clement Read in Lunenburg County in 1758.  Seeking Read's assistance to obtain additional troops for his Militia, Talbot paints a picture of desperation and despair that provides a vivid insight into the daily life of the Bedford community in that spring of 1758.  Talbot's letters are contained in the George Washington papers at the  Library of Congress which has the largest collection of George Washington's papers and many have been transcribed and place on the web for all to see.  Washington's greatness has been the subject of many books, articles, and documentaries.  But for the genealogist, his penchant for saving letters, books of account, his own writings, writings of others that came into his possession, all combine to make his collection of papers one of the richest archives available.  For the Talbot family, Washington's collection contains copies of letters written by Matthew (I) Talbot in 1758 not many months before his death.  The reader may click here to see the copies of the original letters

     Appendix A contains transcribed copies of  letters written by Matthew (I) and his son, Charles and others during May 1758.  The pleas for help have an urgency to them that would be hard to capture in any other format.  Within a few months, perhaps even weeks, of the writing of these letters, Matthew (I) Talbot was dead.  The circumstances surrounding his death are unknown.  At least one Talbot researcher has speculated that he might have met his death during this period and perhaps at the hands of Indians who, as the letters show, had killed many settlers including some of his closest neighbors.

     And so, at the age of 59, Matthew (I) Talbot died and was buried.  His wife, Jane, age 44, survived him.  Whether she remained a widow until her death or remarried has not been determined.  His children by his first wife, Mary Williston, survived him and each in their own way became distinguished members of their respective communities.  Charles lived in Bedford County for 20 more years and died in 1779 during the American Revolution.  Both he and his wife, Drusilla, have been recognized for their contributions to independence.  Matthew (II) left Bedford County about the time of the American Revolution and settled in the Watauga Settlement of then North Carolina, now Tennessee.  After the death of his wife in 1785, he relocated to Georgia and there he died in 1812.  James Talbot, the third son, was 25 when Matthew (I) died.  He married Elizabeth Smith two years later and they continued to live in Bedford County until his death in 1777 at the age of 44.  John Talbot was 23 years of age when his father died.  He became a leader in Bedford County, was a member of the House of Burgesses, a Colonel in the Virginia Militia, a member of the group advocating independence before it was popularly accepted, and a wealthy planter.  In 1783, he relocated to Wilkes County, Georgia where his fame and fortune multiplied.  He died there in 1798.  Matthew (I) Talbot's children by his second wife, Jane Clayton, also survived him.  Isham Talbot was 20 years of age when his father died.  He inherited his father's gifts for business success and soon became one of the largest landowners in the region.  He was active in the American Revolution and was rewarded by a grateful government with thousands of acres of land in Kentucky, a state to which he immigrated after the Revolutionary War.  There he became a successful planter and his son, also named Isham, was elected to the United States Senate.  Martha Talbot, the youngest of Matthew (I)'s children was an 18 year old whether father died.  She married Barnabus Arthur and together they reared a family of six children.  Martha and Barnabus relocated to Wilkes County, Georgia.

     By the turn of the century in 1800, almost all of the descendants of Matthew (I) Talbot had departed from Bedford County except for the Charles Talbot line many of  whom  remained in Bedford and Campbell Counties.  Matthew (II)'s children were in Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri.  James descendants had immigrated to Kentucky, and John's children had moved with him to Georgia.  Isham and his family were in Kentucky and Martha had relocated to Georgia.

          We find it difficult to craft a proper closing for this version of  the Matthew (I) Talbot story.  In so many ways, he was a man "larger than life" and in so many other ways he was a man so much like the thousands of hardy pioneers who settled the frontier and pushed it westward.  He never lived in the United States, he was a subject of the King of England and one wonders what his thoughts about independence might have been.  Would he have sided with the Tories as many of his countrymen did or would he have been a leader in the cause for independence as his sons were?  Whatever the answers might be, we know that he along with others laid a foundation upon which many generations of his descendants have built substantial and contributing lives of their own.  We once heard a Talbot remark: "No Talbot has ever been sorry that they carried that name."  Can there be any more fitting epitaph for Matthew (I) Talbot?

  1.   Edmund Talbot, "Memorandum of the Talbot Family,"  William and Mary College Quarterly, Vol. 9, pages 257 - 258.
  2.   Robert Howe Fletcher, Jr., Genealogical Sketch of Certain of the American descendants of Matthew Talbot, Gentleman, (Whittey and    Shepperson, Richmond, Virginia, 1956).
  3.   Virgil Talbot, The Talbots: Centuries of Service   (Unpublished Manuscript, 1983)

Appendix A

Matthew Talbot letters contained in the George Washington Papers,
Library of Congress, Manuscript Division

Matthew Talbot to Clement Read, May 3, 1758

Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. Published by the Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
Edited by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton.--vol. 02

OTTER RIVER May yo. 3 1758


I write this now expecting to have an opportunity to Send to you--I Recd. yours by the Revd. Mr Townshend of April 19th. which was a great pleasure to me to hear you was Setting of to Wm.burgh because I knoes you will be so Good as to Lay our deplorable Situation before his Honr. and the Council and I am in Great hopes you will be Invested with Such a power as to relieve our Poor unhappy Country on any emergant accession who without Sending to town--I Sent the Express by Majr. Smith who Promised to Contrive it with the Greatest Expedition but I as yet hear nothing of them--I do everything I can to keep a few men out on the frontiers of this County but alass I fear it will not be long they will Continue indeed it is very hard for men to be from thereplantations at this time of the year when they Should be planting Corn to make bread for their families--it did not ly in Majr. Caldwell nor Capt. Duggin power to keep your men out--I Could get Some men to keep out if I would engage they Should Stay out all the Summer and So make a Crop out of their wages to maintain themselves and families (those that have any) Dr. Clem I am very uneasy about the Cherokees there was about fifteen Came through the Settlement where I Live and Spread themselves at least ten miles in breadth and went to Every plantation in their way I Cant Say they did much mischief or behaved very ill but their presence frithen the women very much So much that if they be allowed to Come without white men without with them I do not blieve our County will Stand a month Longer there Came about nine or ten to my house they reley Seemd to me as if they Came to See what white men and negroes we have and so see what our Strength we are of, the people in general Seem to fear the return of them with more force they made for Stanton and So to Pig river which Course lies intirely open to them their being no Inhabitants or very few and Every time they Come they Still keep Lower down I Just now heard after they Got over Stanton they went to a house where there was not any body but a man and his wife and ransacked the house of every thing they thought Proper to take and I expect to hear of Some murder Committed by them when they Get to the outward Inhabitants--my Son James told me when they got about Sixty miles of Winchester they meet three Indians Comeing from thence and then there was a Council held agm among them and on the Breaking up of it one Capt. and about forty Indians would goe no farther but returnd back and that the Capt. told James the french were Good Shawnees were Good and The English were Rogues James told him the reverse he told him he was a d--md. Liar Lyar and I am very apt to blieve these are Some of the forty and if so what may we not Expect to be done by them So that Look which way we will we are really in a miserable Situation --

my Son Matt is endeavouring to raise men to goe out after the Indians and to lie in wait for them and tell me he is determindif it be possible to
goe till he get Some of there Scalps and or Leave his he immagines to get about five and twenty men--I told him he had better Join Capt.
Anthony he says no if he goes he will have none but what is Select Gunners and Gunners good woodmen I know he refuses Several who offer to goe because they are not Such he Seems to be very ambitious that way and I Cannot forbear incouraging him in it he hath Listed the Last the Last prisoner which made his escape and yesterday went to get marris Griffith and I dare to blieve if Peter Luney do not wait in expectation of Majr. Smith goeing he will goe with him--he tell me he will goe as far as he Can without running so Great a hasard to no Effect he Says he wants but eight days provision and Some a[???]munition he tell me he doth not design to be in again under two months he will Leave his wife and Children with me or at Charles--Majr. Samll. Harris Came to my house this evening and we have agreed to Settle our affairs by arbitration at our next Court So that beg youl Send me the Copy of the Judgmt. and beg youl be So good as Contrive it without fail the Letter he hath wrote to mr. Goode to meet at that time for if I Can Settle that affair it will be of Great Content to me--Sir as I expect the rangers Daily and am at a Loss to dictate a warrant to Send them I Should take it extreamly kind of you to be so good as to form one Leaving the places Blank that they are to range and the places they are to be Stationed at--and Inclose it to me--and the favour Shall be gratefully acknowledged by him who is Dr Sir Yr
very most hhble and

... Affect--Sert.

Ps/as to yrs Relating to Chiles Negroes he Sold one to mr. Arther which with Some tobo. he let mr. Hossy have they have Compromised the
matter and if their had been a Sale I would have done my utmost to Serve you I am yr

... M T'

I Likewise beg Dr Sir that youl be So good as to write meSuch a bond as may oblige Harris and Goode to Stand to the Settlement they make and Inclose it to me
... Lunenburgh.

A merandom of what of what we the supcribers have seen by the indins when we come to the house we saw a indin with a knife in his hand gun acting as tho he had a mind to kill us and went out and gave a hallow and then several more apeard and he returnd in again and took my gun and took site at my face and the rest Jumpt of their horses with their guns and knives dran in their hands and hallowing and runing as fast as they could to the hous and when we told them they should not doe so they with their knives opened to stab us so we maid off as fast as fast as we could and we heard them braking open the chests as we took it to be as witnes our hands


William Mead to Matthew Talbot, May 8, 1758, Indian Raid

Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. Published by the Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
Edited by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton.--vol. 02

May ye. 8th. 1758


With Sorrow I inform you that this Instant I was Pursueing the Indians we take to be our friend and meet Jno. Echoles who was a Comeing from Thos. Morgans who inform me that the Indians has taken all Thos. Morgans family and all are Carried away or killd. and all the Goods Carried away and destroyed and it is the opinion of the men that Some are Killd. by the Signs they Saw--and as you render the Good of your Self and Country beg youl Send men immediately without Calling them together and give Express or send orders for the men to march immediately out to our assistance as we have but about Seventeen men and they are thirty Large odd in Company and if men Comes directly to Pursue them make no doubt with gods assisting Power to relieve the Poor distressed Prisoners I shal directly Pursue them they made Signs at my house that all the rest of the Indians are a Comeing from Winchester and think it would be Proper to Send to other Countyes for assistance So with Expectation of your best Assistance Rest your obedient friend and humble Sert.


Pinkney Hawkins to Clement Read, May 10, 1758

Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. Published by the Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Edited
by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton.--vol. 02

BEDFORD May 10th. 1758


Last Thursday Co[???]lll. Witton Order'd me out to Blackwater Fort to Releave Capt. Cargill tho Instead of Releaving any we want five Times asmany more, Tuesday Morning I Received an Express from Co[???]ll. Talbott to March immediately to Join Capt. Mead with another party of mento follow some Indians that had done some Mischef on Goose Creek we follow'd hard after Still till this Morning about 10 OClock we Came to anengagement in which we were forced to give Ground, by all that I Can gether from my men & Com.y we have killed 16 or 17 of them, we have SixMen Mising tho hope they are not all killed for they Still keep Comeing inn the Battle was faught 9 Miles from hence; if Lieutenant Mitchell hasnot 30 Men Make up that Quantity and 30 More besides at Least, the Wood is full of Indians and few White; we faught 35 Men to at Least Byall Accts. vs 70 or 80 Indians, I offered them a parley which Occasion'd me to fall in their hands, they beat me and Strip'd me and then sent meaway, pray dont fail making Mitchell's Company Sixty men for these back Parts wholey Depend on Lunenburg for Sucker; healp is now so muchwanting that these Parts dont Gett Immediate help Coll. Talbott will be the frontear house in one Weak, pray be as expeditious as Possible

... I am
... Dear Sir Yr. Most
... hbl Sert. &ca.

P. S. pray be so good as to Write to my Brother I have no time Likewise to James Coleman that his son is well. ... P. H.

... Lunenburgh.


in what Manner Shall I Represent to you the Horror and anxieties that at this time reigns among our Inhabitants (indeed as I have not words I
must be Silent and Leave it to your immagination)Occasioned by these banditties of Cherokees who daily are traveling through our County
(either as they Say) going to Winchester or returning from thence in which travel they Rob our houses of all things they Like So that oftentime they Leave us not one rag of Cloaths to Shift our Selves withall nor never a horse to goe mill or plough withall, yet these people are Called our friends our people will bear it no Longer Indeed I think they have bore it to Long allready and I do not know but the persons who have exerted them Selves in defence of their rights and properties may be Called to a Strict account for it, but if nobody all persons had the Same Sentiments of it that I have, they would incourage and Commend them for their bravery and Resolve resolution in not tamely resigning up their Goods when they Can get no restitution for them a Specimen of which you have in the affidavit of Timothy Dalton which I have Inclosed in the Letter to the president and have Left open for you to peruse and beg youl Seal it before it goe from you and beg youl Send it away as Soon as you Can that I may have an answer and See what Measures are to be taken in it the men not one of them will budge a foot I beg youl write to me and Give me your Sentiments on the affair, Last Sunday there passed by 33 Indians in another parCel which Robed and pillaged as they went Capt. mead with Seventen men went in pursuit of them and wrote to me to beg I would Send him Some assistance on which Letter (which I Shall Incll Inclose to you a Copy) I Sent an Express to Pinkey Hawkin (who went from my house the evening before) to Join mead--and if they Come up with the Indians as I expect they will and the Indians will not deliver the Horses and other things they have Stole a Battle will insue for our people is determined to bear Such usage no Longer--our County County is intirely broke by them I really bleive if the people Continue to move as they have done I shall be Left the frontier plantation toward Blackwater fort before the Last of this week (that is where no men are Stationed) I have been uneasey ever Since Since Sunday that I have not heard from you for it is from you and only you that I expect relief from, I beg if this Come to yr. Hand before you Send tome that youl be so good as to Send Isham up to me to be Some assistance to me in these troublesome times for I am very much afraid I must move my wife and what Small effects to Some place of Safety and I wish you would be pleased to Look out for a west house a Small one would do for my wife and I though I will be hear as Long as I Can Yr. Complyance will Greatly

... oblige Dr. Sir yr very Hble
... Sert.

May yo. 10th. 1758

Ps SIR I beg youl Hasten up what men you design for our relief Dr Sir I beg youl Let Isham Come up to me directly and be So good as to Send me a 100 flints and if you have not a horse to Spare Let him Come afoot the Bearer if you order him will goe to Wmburgh with the Letter to thePresident--I this minute Recd yrs by Hicks and alas See our frontiers (as you observe) is) Little regarded I Sent Hicks to Agusta with the Letters for there and have Sent a Messenger to Colo. Howard to Albemarle--if I had the Eloquence of Cicero I Could not tell you the anxiety of my Soul at this time for my Self family and Inhabitants here--Keith Daughter is dead Likewise I am informed to day that Bruff wife is Likewise dead

[Here follows a copy of the letter of Wm. Mead from James Turner's Goose Creek May ye. 8 1758]

DR. SIR/Theo. Morgan is at my house now but time will not permit me to give you an acct. of it through mistake I broke open yr. Letter for God Sake Send help immediately I refer you to MeSheer Hole for farther particulars.

... Lunenburgh
for God Sake Send us all the assistance you Likewise order us arms a[???]munition and flints immediately

Charles Talbot to Clement Read, May 11, 1758

Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. Published by the Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Edited
by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton.--vol. 02

May 11th--10 of the Clock 1758


Pray be so good as to Send an Express to Prince Edward if Father has not thought to put you in mind of it Yesterday I understand that that theyhad theare Companys Called togeather to Draft Sum men to Send to our Relef but I have no opportunity to Send Theare Thearefore I hope you will as we have no Friend to Depend on for pore Bedford but you you will do what you Can for us for we never had the Like need of help I am
Dr. Sir Yr.

... Hum Sert.

... on his Majt. Servis

Matthew Talbot to Clement Read, May 12, 1758

Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. Published by the Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
Edited by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton.--vol. 02

May yo. 12th. 1758


When Hawkins Letter Came away I had not finished the president Letter and I was not willing to detain the Bearer from Comeing to you I have Sent the president Letter with the Inclosed open that you may perruse them Send the messenger of Directly and Seal the Letter--I at present live in danger of my life every moment being alone none but my wife the neighbours all round me is moved and moveing I intend to Station Some of our or your Militia at my house I being now allmost the frontier and Shall be quite So by Sunday Night I expect to hear of another ingagement in a day or two our people is Reinforceing themselves to overtake them our people Seems to be in high Spirits I hear but I hope it is not true that Wm. Irvine was killd. in the Last ingagement--Dr. Sir be pleased to order Some arms and ammunition with Some flints for our defence Pray if Isham is not Come away I beg youl Send him to assist his mother to Some place of Safety if you Cannot Spare him a Horse Let him Come afoot I expect the Messenger to Come this afternoon which is to bring this --

I am very Scant of paper haveing used what you gave me and one Quire more and have but one Sheet Left and the waggon is not Come which
was to bring mine up if any thing material happens you Shall hear from me if Life be Spared me

... I am Dr. Clem as allways
... your most Hble Sert. to Comd.

... [A postscript has been blotted out.]

... Lunenburgh.

Charles Talbot to Clement Read, May 12, 1758

Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. Published by the Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Edited
by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton.--vol. 02

May 12th. 2 of the Clock


This moment I Recd. a Letter from John wood & Paul Chiles and he says that Yesterday the Indians and the white folks had a very hard Battle and the we are much betten and many Killed on both Sids the Last Battle was fought at the Mouth of pigg River that we are all Like to be Killed & taken thearefore for God Sake Send Your Men as fast as possabel or thear will not be a man Left in pore Bedford Paul Chiles and all his fammilly is now at my Hows and pays Negrows and a grate many money more I Expect this Night thearefore Dear: Sr: Do what you Can for our Relif I am

... Sir yr. Hum ... CHS. TALBOT.


John Blair to George Washington, May 24, 1758

Letters to Washington and Accompanying Papers. Published by the Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
Edited by Stanislaus Murray Hamilton.--vol. 02

WILLIAMSBURG May 24th. 1758


The distresses in Bedford and Halifax had occasioned my Calling a full Council to meet on the 19th. Instt. which obliged Col: Maury to a long
attendance here, in which time Jenkins brot. me yours of May 10th. with the Opinion of your Council of Officers on your Necessity of imploying the £400--sent you for Contingencies in the recruiting Service; and the utter insufficiency of that, to discharge your Engagements. Being under Difficultys about it, I kept him several days 'till the Council; who did not apprehend you was warranted to give more than £5--bounty Money, for the Recruits of your Regiment; and yet I cannot see how it could at this time be expected, while we were giving Ten pounds for the other. Be that as it will, we determined to send you a Supply of Money; and I sent presently to the Treasury for £1000--for you. But to my great surprise Mr. Cock whom I expected to deliver it out) was gone out of Town. As I had kept Jenkins 'till then, it vexed me heartily to find a further delay. I first endeavoured to get if from the Gentln. Signers here, but the Attorney was gone too, who should have signed Mr. Nicholas's Book. I then thought to send express to the Speaker, and writ for an Order to some Gentn. here but hearing that Mr. Cock had the Key with him I sent an Express to him at Colo. William Randolphs, and got him to Town last Night, and at last got the money this Morning, asI thought it vain to send him up without it.1 During this delay, I received a Letter from Govr. Sharp, acquainting me that his Assembly had broke up without so much as paying the arrears of their Men from the 8th. of Octo. Last. He purposes, if we are in want, to offer some of his, on terms of your paying their Arrears, which he thinks will be less than our Bounty. But I perceive he has some view of getting the General to take them; and I imagine we are near full. Jenkins2 has brot. me two lusty able Sailors, that are willing to enlist for this Campaign, so I send them to you by him, as he was earnest to carry up two such fine fellows. Last Saturday brot. me an Accot. of a large party of Indians who in passing thro' Bedford spread themselves in smaller Companys many Miles wide and Robb'd every Plantation they came at. This provoked the Inhabitants to a great degree; Col: Talbot sent out Militia to protect them, who came up with a Party of them and seeing some of their Horses demanded restitution;but the Indians answered they must fight for them, and fired upon them, and killed one Man; whereupon they fired upon the Indians and killed some of them. But to save my writing I send you the accounts I received, having ordered a strict enquiry to be made above, by Col: Read, Colo. Talbott and Col. Maury, which when transmitted to me I purpose to send by express to Govr. Lyttleton to beg his Assistance, to prevent the disaffection of the Nation and the ill consequences that might ensue on a misrepresentation. I writ some accot. of this by Lieutt. Waller who I hope will be up this day, and I desired Colo. Mercer to communicate it to Sir John St. Clair and you and to Mr. Gist. You may assure them if our Men were the aggressors they will be severely punished and if the Indians were guilty of what is charged upon them the Wise great Men our good Friends will not blame what was done, but think they brought it upon themeselves by their own folly.

[Note 1: 1 By reason of the great scarcity of gold and silver in Virginia at this time, the taxes, imposed for augmenting the forces in the pay of
the colony, could not be collected in time to answer the purposes intended. It was therefore made lawful for the treasurer to issue treasury
notes to answer the demands made upon him. Such notes were to be printed, engraved, and numbered in such form and after such method as
the treasurer should judge most safe from counterfeits and forgeries; and were to be signed by Peyton Randolph and Robert Carter Nicholas,
each of whom were to receive the sum of twenty shillings for every thousand notes by him signed and delivered to the treasurer. In September
of this year William Prentis, James Cocke, and Thomas Everhard, gentlemen, were appointed commissioners to examine, state, and settle such
accounts as should be referred to them by the governor or commander-in-chief. Benjamin Waller, Philip Johnson, and Edmund Pendleton were added to the signers of notes, and John Palmer and George Davenport were appointed to overlook the press during the time of the printing of the notes.]

[Note 2: 2 Jenkins, the indefatigable bearer of dispatches on the "express" between Washington and Williamsburg, deserves more than passing notice. Among Washington's accounts for this period are many items paid by Washington to William Jenkins by order of Governor Dinwiddie and President Blair in recognition of his services.]

... I am Sir Your very humbl Servt.

P. S.

I have been obliged this day to change the Militia I had ordered to garrison in Augusta, and to order 50 from Goochland and 50 from Hanover
for that Service, which will unavoidably retard Majr. Lewis in joining you at Winchester which I am sorry for One of the Men I send by Jenkins whose name is Hugh Glass, says he was Armourer in the Spy Privateer of Liverpool, and Gunners Mate in the Monmouth Captn. Twentyman a Letter of Marque now here. He hopes as he is an able man 5ft:.. 10In:.. andused to business, some little post above the comon level (if not rather in his former imployment may be bestowed upon him.

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