AMERICA THE GREAT MELTING POT
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|Richard (John) Fenner||
|Born: Abt. 1758 New Bern, NC
|Married: 23 Jan 1788 Halifax, Halifax Co., NC
|Died: 12 May 1828 Jackson, Madison Co., TN||
|Buried: Cotton Grove, Madison Co., TN||
Ann McKinney Geddy
1. Ann McKinney Fenner b. Abt. 1790
2. Margaret Fenner b. 1789
3. Richard Henry Fenner b. Abt. 1793
4. William K. Fenner b. 1795
5. Mary Geddy Fenner b. Abt. 1795 Louisburg, Franklin, NC
6. Eliza Geddy Fenner b. 11 Feb 1799 Louisburg, Franklin, NC
7. Martha Matilda Fenner b. 24 Mar 1801 Franklin Co., NC
8. Robert Fenner b. Abt. 1803 Raleigh, NC
9. John McKinney Fenner b. Abt. 1807 Franklin NC
10. Dr. Erasmus Darwin Fenner b. 12 Apr 1807 Louisburg, Franklin, NC
11. Junius Pobton Fenner b. Abt. 1811
d. 18 Dec 1833 Madison Co., TN
12. Juliana Keyes Fenner b. Abt. 1813 NC
by Chase Brooke
Richard Fenner was probably born about 1758 in New Bern, NC. His
mother's will states, "I give & bequeath to my beloved Sons Robert & Richard to
be equally divided between them," showing that his mother was Ann Coddington who
was married to Richard Fenner. (1)
His Revolutionary War application states he "was a Lieutenant in the Second
Regiment of the Continental Line of the State of North Carolina in the
Revolutionary War that he entered the service in the year 1777 (month not known)
that he was an Ensign on the 19th of January 1780 and Lieutenant on the 12th day
of May 1781 that he was engaged at the Siege of Charleston, South Carolina, and
was then taken prisoner & remained until exchanged and that he continued in the
Service until the expiration of the War."
(2) The siege of Charlestown took place from 29 March 1780 to 12 May 1780 when
the American forces surrendered. Richard Fenner may have been held for several
months as the 2nd Regiemnt was only reconstituted a year later, from April
to July 1781, when the prisoners were finally all
released. Richard Fenner was
commissioned as a Lieutenant in 2nd regiment of the NC Continental Line
on 12 May 1781. (3) His regiment was furloughed on January 1, 1783 at James
Island, South Carolina and officially disbanded on November 15, 1783.
In 1787 he is shown as living in Halifax County, raising money by selling land in Davidson County, in order to buy land in Franklin County, NC. (4) As stated in the Revolutionary War Application made by Ann Geddy, Richard Fenner married Ann Geddy on 23 Jan 1788. (5)
Richard Fenner studied medicine and was elected the first president of the Medical Society of North Carolina in Dec 1799. (6) In 1802 he was instrumental in forming the Louisburg Academy which opened in 1807. His daughter, Martha Matilda Fenner, attended this school in 1816. (7) Presumably they lived in Franklin County NC until Richard purchased two lots on 27 May 1817 (8) He was going into practice of "physic" with Dr Burges on Fayettville Street in Raleigh, NC. He placed an ad in the Raleigh Register on 1 Jun 1818. (9)
Richard Fenner and his son-in-law Thomas Henderson (married to his daughter Ann) turned over their business affairs to a William Gilmore on 29 Mar 1823. (10) They were getting ready to move to Tennessee. Interestingly enough, in Tennessee Richard Fenner bought a lot of land from Thomas Henderson. Two deeds, registered on the same day, 15 Mar 1825, show Thomas Henderson selling a combined 954 acres for a combined $3090. (11) Thomas Henderson had been a very successful journalist and printer. He was also the co owner of the Raleigh Star newspaper. In 1823 he was hired by the University of North Carolina to negotiate for Revolutionary War land claims that the university wanted as escheats. Due to his huge success he was awarded land equal to half the university's claim, tens of thousands of acres. (12) As noted, at least 954 of those acres he sold to his father-in-law, Richard Fenner.
Richard also received 2,560 acres from North Carolina for his own service in the American Revolution. (13) He and Thomas Henderson were also actively acquiring lands assigned to them from the service of privates. Richard Fenner acquired another 7,680 acres from assigns. (14) He then then sold all the land to his brother, Robert Fenner, for £2000 in 1798. (15) So, Richard Fenner and his brother Robert Fenner and Richard's son-in-law Thomas Henderson were all wheeling and dealing in Revolutionary War grants and getting very wealthy.
As noted, by 1823 they were all in Madison, TN. Richard Fenner wrote his will on 25 May 1826. (16) When his wife applied for a pension for her service in the American Revolution, she stated that Richard Fenner died in May of 1828. The obituary states he died on the 12th (17) His will was probated on 28 Oct 1828.
(1) Will of Ann Coddington Fenner
(2) Revolutionary War
Application made by Ann Fenner, widow of Richard Fenner on Fold 3 pg. 2
Richard Fenner "was a Lieutenant in the Second Regiment of the Continental Line of the State of North Carolina in the Revolutionary War that he entered the service in the year 1777 (month not known) that he was an Ensign on the 19th of January 1780 and Lieutenant on the 12th day of May 1781 that he was engaged at the Siege of Charleston, South Carolina, and was then taken prisoner & remained until exchanged and that he continued in the Service until the expiration of the War."
North Carolina 2nd Regiment
May 12, 1780, the 2nd NC Regiment surrendered 301 men to the British Army at the Fall of Charlestown, SC.
Reconstituted from April to July of 1781, with detachments being hurriedly sent to South Carolina to support Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene. As men were recruited, they were assembled and marched southward, usually with no uniforms and with no arms or ammunition. Ultimately, the 2nd NC Regiment again became part of the NC Brigade (one and only one), an element of the Southern Department.
The regiment was furloughed on January 1, 1783 at James Island, South Carolina and officially disbanded on November 15, 1783.
(3) Colonial and State Records of North Carolina Vol 14 page 818
Return of the Rebel Forces, Commanded by Major General Lincoln, at the Surrender of Charlestown, the twelfth of May, 1780, now Prisoners of War.
(3) Served in the Revolutionary War
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina Vol. 16 page 72
Ordered that the following arrangements of the North Carolina officers be entered on the Journal as follows:
Proceedings of a Board of Officers of the North Carolina line held 30th March, 1782, to regiment the officers thereof agreeable to the Resolutions of Congress of the 3rd and 21st October, 1780.
Richard Fenner, Lieutenant. Date of Commission: 12 May 1781
Franklin County Deeds fhl film 427048 image 204
Halifax County Deeds fhl film 317048 image 209
(5) Revolutionary War
Application made by Ann Fenner, widow of Richard Fenner on Fold 3
pg. 2 "She further declares that she was married to the said Richard Fenner on the twenty third day of January in the year seventeen hundred and eighty-eight. --- and "that he died on ____day of May 1828."
Revolutionary War application pg 4
Revolutionary War application pg 5
Revolutionary War application pg 6
(6) Transactions of the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina, 64th Annual Meeting held at Ashville April 17, 18, 19, 1917
Richard Fenner was president of the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina from 24 Dec 1799-16 Apr 1800 and was elected president again in Dec 1800
Source: North Carolina Schools and Academies 1790-1840 by Charles L. Coon
1915 page 84
In 1802 Richard Fenner was instrumental in forming the Louisburg Academy. It opened in January 1807. "The terms of Tuition will be ten dollars per annum for reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and English Grammar, and sixteen dollars for the other branches of Education." (Raleigh Minerva, January 5, 1807)
In 1813 a female department was added to the Franklin Academy. "An Academy is opened in Lewisburg, Franklin county, where young ladies are instructed in Reading, Writing, English Grammar, Arithmetic, Geography, Astronomy, Painting and Music; also useful and Ornamental Needle-Work, of almost every description. Terms of Tuition. - Reading, Writing, English Grammar, Arithmetic and plain work, twenty dollars per annum. Music, fifty dollars per annum - Painting, twenty five dollrs per annum." (Raleigh Register, September 10, 1813)
Construction began in 1814. "A House for a Female Academy. At Louisburrg, 30 by 20 feet, two stories - 11 and 9 feet pitch - two rooms above, 18 by 20, and 12 by 20, feet - three six-pannelled doors - four 18 and four 8 light windows below, and six 15 and four 8 light windows above - to be built of good hard timber - with two chimney of brick or hewn stone, and underpinned with the same - to be ceiled within, and painted without, entire, will be let by the undersigned Commissioners, on Saturday the 2nd day of July next, at Lousiburg. Workmen are required to complete work by 25th of December next." Richard Fenner is one of the signers. (Louisburg, June 6th 1814 Raleigh Register, June 24, 1814)
Richard Fenner was one of the trustees. His daughter, Martha Matilda Fenner, attended the academy in 1816. See notice on her page.
(8) Wake County NC Deeds fhl film 20026 image 57
In 1817 Richard Fenner moved to Raleigh from Halifax, NC and established his practice with Dr. Burges on Fayettville Street. See ad at right placed in Raleigh Register, Friday, Feb. 6, 1818
(10) Wake County NC Deeds fhl film 20026 image 528
(11) Madison County, Tennessee Deeds, fhl film 389635 image 169-170
(12) Article by Roy Parker, Jr as found on Ancestry.com
(13) North Carolina Land Grants fhl film 1013303 image 74
(14) Land Grants assigned to Richard Fenner 7,680 acres of land
(15) Sale of land to his brother, Robert Fenner fhl film 332660 image 768(16) Will of Richard Fenner, Tennessee Probate Records, fhl film 390194 image 45
In the name of God Amen I Richard Fenner of Madison County State of Tennessee Physician do make and ordain this my last will and testament
First I appoint my beloved friend and son in law Thomas Henderson and my sons Robert and John McKinnie Fenner Executors to this my last will.
2nd I desire that all my just debts may be paid as soon as collections can be made for the purpose including the debts of my son William K Fenner deceased agreeable to the memorandum given me by himself.
3rd It is my desire that the whole of my estate or as much as may be found necessary shall be kept together for the support of my beloved wife Ann the support and education of such of my beloved children as may remain with her during her natural life and widowhood. And I do hereby give and bequeath to my said wife a child’s part of my negroes absolutely to dispose of at her death as she may think proper. It is my desire that at her death or on her marriage the balance of my estate each and personal of whatsoever kind and wherever found may be equally divided among my beloved children share and share alike with the exception here after to be made namely to my daughter Martha M Coor Pender I leave five shillings current money to be paid her in full consideration and in lieu thereof I leave to Thomas Henderson, Robert Fenner and John McKinnie Fenner my Executors as aforesaid, one Equal part of my negroes including the four already in her possession and one hundred acres of land including the improvements therein Doctor L. Coor Pender now lives in trust however for the use and benefit of my said daughter Martha M Coor Pender but not subject to the debt or contracts of her husband and if my executors should find it safer and more advisable, they may leave the property aforesaid in the possession of my said daughter without violating this trust and should my daughter aforesaid think proper she may at her death dispose of said property by will or otherwise among her offspring in such manner, as she may think proper and if she should die without will then and in that case it is my desire that the said property with its increase should be equally divided among her children share and share alike.
4th I leave to my Daughter Ann M K Henderson an equal share of my negroes in full consideration including the four she has in possession, namely, Cherry Bob Clarisa Spencer
5th It is my desire that all my beloved children as they come of age or marry shall have three or four negroes as my executors may think or find the Estate able to spare them, and as near the quality of those now in the possession of and loaned to Ann K Henderson and Martha M Coor Pender as may be and it is my desire that as four of my beloved children (to wit) John McKinnie Ferrer, Erasmus Darwin Fenner, Junius Ponten Fenner, and Juliana K Fenner have not resumed their Education, the Expense of the same may be drawn out of the Estate without making any separate charges against them, and if John McKinnie Fenner should not be inclined to continue his Education it is my desire that he shall have and may own one Grown Negroe man more than the rest to be drawn from the whole before the division.
6th The disposal of my lands in middle Tennessee. I leave wholly with my Executors to sell or exchange for lands in this part of the country.
7th I leave to the heirs of Doctor Richard Fenner deceased five shillings each to be paid them in full consideration because I had given to their father at my departure from North Carolina his portion and as much as he asked for which he voluntarily gave his receipt for.
8. I further bequeath unto my Executors for the sole use and benefit of my Grand children, Edwin Johnson, Julius Johnson and Mary Johnson heirs of my Daughter Mary G. Johnson Deceased, one negro to each of the children to Maryanna Johnson, ?? Between ten and fifteen years of age and to Edwin and Julius Johnson each a negro boy old enough to be put to a bed with them when they arrive at a suitable age themselves. And I further desire that they may each borrow from the common stock or Estate ? And such other allowances as may be deemed necessary for defraying the expense of a good English Education, And I further desire that my Executors aforesaid or their assigns will hold themselves bound to deliver to the said children when they come to consent age or before as the said Executors shall think discretionary to each his or her negro respectively as above written with a -----------.
Lastly I request my beloved children to rest assured that I die grateful for the interest they have always appeared to take in my happiness and I pray God to protect them and pray them to protect each other as long as they live as the best evidence they can possibly give to the world that I live in their memory.
Abstracts of Vital Records from Raleigh North Carolina Newspapers Vol II
Fenner: D At Jackson, in Tennessee, on the 12th ult., at an advanced age.... Dr. Richard Fenner, formerly of Franklin (county). and for some time a resident of this city.....a soldier of the Revolution... RRsw Tues 3 June 1828 3:5