THE SUMNER FAMILY
Compiled by Christine (Paradise) Sumner, wife of William Parks Sumner
Jr. and mother of Ann Elizabeth (Sumner) Shook and John William Sumner.
More later on these children but for the record of Ann Elizabeth and
John William Sumner, William Parks Sumner married Faye Beatrice Thompson and
their son, William Parks Sumner Jr. was the father of Ann and John.
Now we will go back to William and his children and give more
details. The foregoing can be used as a guide to a better understanding of
who we are talking about.
Back to the children of William Sumner, the emigrant, who settled in Virginia
JETHRO Sumner, born about 1703, died in 1752, married Margaret Sullivan. They
were the parents of Jethro Jr. the famous Brigadier General who served on the
staff of George Washington in the Revolutionary War. This Jethro was the
first President of the Order of the Cincinnati in North Carolina. WHEELER'S
REMINISCENCES OF NORTH CAROLINA says Jethro Jr. was born in Virginia about
1730 and died in Warren County, North Carolina, about 1790 and that his
father, William, came from England and settled near Suffolk,Virginia, about
1790. Another reference from the Archives in Nashville says he was Sheriff of
Bute County, North Carolina, for some years...lead the Battle of Eutaw,
September 8, 1781, where his charge with bayonets contributed to the success
of that decisive battle. Sumner's Brigade of North Carolina
Continentals..."The war being over he married a wealthy widow (Mrs. Heiss) of
New Berne. They had a daughter, Mary, who married Hon. Thomas Blount (a
Major Blount served under Jethro in the Revolutionary War). He is buried near
Shocco Chapel in Warren County, North Carolina. The stone reads, "To the
Memory of Gen.. Jethro Sumner, one of the heroes of 1776."
There is a General Jethro Sumner Chapter of DAR in Hendersonville,
Sumner County, Tennessee, the county that was named for him.
Two Jethro Sumners served with distinction in the Revolutionary War
and sometimes in reading the old records it may be confusing. The other
Jethro was a Captain and a first cousin to Jethro Jr., being a son of Dempsey
Sumner and grandson of William the emigrant. This Jethro Sumner was born
March 25, 2758, died April 16, 1830, married Elizabeth Turner. He died in
Gates County, North Carolina, and his will, dated 5 October 1831, was
probated at November Court 1833. He named wife Elizabeth, sons Charles E.,
John and Benjamin and daughters Mary Gary and Martha s. Riddick, wife of
Mills Riddick. His son, Benjamin, was his administrator.
JOHN Sumner, son of William, has already been discussed.
JAMES Sumner, son of William, was born about 1708 in Perquimans
County, Virginia, and died about 1752 Edenton, Chowan Precinct, North
Carolina. He married Mary Blanchard.
A James Sumner left will in Perquimans County, Virginia, March 26,
1759. He names sons: Luke two plantations); James (3 plantations); Seth (land
on Sutton's Creek); David (plantation where David Kelly now lives); Robert,
William, Josiah, house and lots in Suffolk, Virginia. Daughters Mary and
Penelope. Wife and Executrix, Mary. Witnesses were Thomas Hurdle and Demsey
Sumner. Good impression of castle on seal on this document (Grimes, p. 365).
By this James having wife Mary, he is, in all probability, the son of
Another James Sumner left will in Gates County, North Carolina, in
1787, naming wife Mourning; son Luke and several daughters (Book 2, p. 72,
In 1808, a James Sumner was executor of the will of Sarah Brainer.
This later James died in 1824 and named son Seth (Book 3, p. 327, Ray, 162).
WILLIAM Sumner Jr., born about 1710 in Virginia, died in 1731
(or 1736) married Bridget Sullivan. No further record of him.
DEMPSEY Sumner, born about 1712 in Virginia, married about
1750, Martha Baker, daughter of , who died after 1779. He was a Justice in
Chowan County, North Carolina, in 1750. He was appointed vestryman of St.
Paul's Church on April 3, 1738, and still held this office in 1740 and was
Church Warden. He was one of the presiding officers of the County Court of
Chowan County in 1746 and again in 1750. He represented Chowan County in the
House of Commons in 1744-45 and again in 1757-59; was appointed commissioner
to adjust currency in 1744. In 1750 he was a member of the Assembly in New
Bern and in that same year he was appointed a Justice of the Peace. He died
in Gates County in 1779. His will, dated August 11, 1779, probated at the
November Court of 1779, can be found in Will Book 2, page 296, Gates County,
Children of Dempsey and Martha (Baker) Sumner were:
Dempsey Jr., William, Jethro, Edwin, James Baker, Theirsa, Martha (married
Capt. James Riddick), Mary (married Dr. Thomas Petti or Peeti), Letitia,
Elizabeth (married Jethro Ballard).
One Dempsey Sumner married Martha Arrington in Nash County, North
Carolina 6 October 1866. (Williams & Griffin, p. 108).
A Dempsey Sumner witnessed the will of William Parker 27
December 1750 in Chowan County, North Caroline (Grimes, p. 280).
DAR Patriots Index: Dempsey Sumner, born 1725, died November
_____1779, married Martha Baker, continental soldier, North
Nothing is known of Barsheba, daughter of William I.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Will of JOSEPH SUMNER SR.
An original copy of this will was obtained by Christine Sumner from
the North Carolina Library and Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina, September
3, 1976. It was taken from Edgecomb County, North Carolina Wills 1768 to
1830, Vol. IX, p. 57:
In the Name of God Amen, I, Joseph Sumner of Edgecomb County and
State of North Carolina, being of perfect Mind and Memory, thanks be to God
for the same, and calling to Mind that it is appointed for all Men once to
die, do constitute, make and ordain this to be my last Will and Testament and
touching such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bless me with I give
demise and dispose of in the following Manner.
_________________My Will and Desire is for all my just Debts to be
Item. I give and bequeath to my Wife Anna Sumner two Negroes (vis)
Hagar and Dick. Also two feather Beds and Furniture, four Cows and Calves,
two Sows and Pigs, and one steer three years old, the black Mare, a Side
Saddle and bridle, the clock (Real?), three turned chears, one chest, and
half of my Pewter and iron Pots, to her, her heirs and assigns forever. I
also lend to her the Plantation I now live on and Land which I purchased of
Abraham Odom during her life. I also lend to her during her Widowhood as much
of the land on the River which I had of Jesse Green, as She may think Proper
to sow flax on for her own use,
Item. I give and bequeath to my son John Sumner, all the Negroes,
their Increase and other Things which I have given into his possession, also
my Land and Plantation on tar River which I had of Jesse Green, except the
Privilege of sowing flax lent to my wife during her widowhood to him, his
Heirs and assigns forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my Son Joseph Sumner all the Negroes,
their increase and other things, which I have given into his Possession, and
also all the remaining Part of my Lands which lie in Edgecomb County, to him
his Heirs and Assigns forever, only that my Wife is to have the use of this
Part lent to her as above.
Item. I give and bequeath to my Daughter, Charlotte Sumner, all the
Lands which I hold in Nash County, also two Negroes (vis) Harry (Mary?) and
Siller, a young Mare fit for use, a Side Saddle and Bridle, two feather Beds
and Furniture, one Chest, three turned chears, half of my Pewter and iron
Pots, four Cows and Calves and one three year steer and two Sows and Pigs, to
her, her Heirs and Assigns forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my grandson Duke William Sumner, one
Negro named Pompey, to him, his Heirs and Assigns forever.
Item. I give and bequeath my Still and all the remaining part of my
Estate, to my Wife Anna Sumner and my three children (vis) John Sumner,
Joseph Sumner and Charlotte Sumner to be equally divided amongst them (but
not to be sold) to them, their Heirs and Assigns forever. I do also nominate
and appoint my Son Joseph Sumner and Jacob Battle to be whole and sold
Executors of this my Last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I do
hereunto set my Hand and Seal this 11th Day of January 1783
Joseph Sumner (Seal)
Signed, Sealed, Published and Declared by the said Joseph Sumner, as his last
Will and Testament in the Presence of us, who were present at the Time of the
Signing and Sealing whereof
Elisha Battle X
Edgecomb County, May Court 1785. The within will was produced in Court proved
by the Oath of Elisha Battle the (same?) were at the same time qualified &
the will ordered to be recorded
Note: It is very significant to note that the above Joseph Sumner names his
GRANDSON Duke William Sumner proving that the later Joseph Sumner (who names
his SON Duke William Sumner) is Joseph Jr.
The maiden name of the wife of Joseph Sr. is not known and nothing is
known of his children John and Charlotte, but Joseph Jr. also left his will
in Edgecomb County and it is known that he was the ancestor of the Sumners of
Jackson County, Alabama.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Will of JOSEPH SUMNER JR.
This will is recorded in Edgecomb County "wills, 1758-1830, volume
IX, page 58. A photostatic copy was obtained from the North Carolina
Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina, by Christine Sumner, September 3, 1976.
In the name of God, I Joseph Sumner of the County of Edgecomb and
state of North Carolina, being Sick and weak in Body but of Sound Mind and
Memory, thanks be to God, and knowing that it is appointed for all Men to
die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, and Dispose of my
Estate in the following Manner, and Form (viz)
First I lend unto my loving Wife Martha Sumner three hundred acres of
Land lying between Beach (Runn?) Swamp and the Purchase Patent Line,
including the Plantation whereon I now live, which I lend to her during the
Time She remains my Widow. I also lend to her during her Widowhood, one Negro
Woman, named (Judoff?) and one Boy Named Jim;
I give unto my loving Wife one Negro Woman named Seal, and one Boy
named Luke to her and her heirs forever. I also give her one mare called
with a Saddle & Bridle, and one Horse called Damon, and my Riding Chare and
Harness, three cows and calves, six Ewes and lambs, three Sows and Piggs, one
four (Grass?) Steer, two Beds and Furniture & Bedsteads, two Chests, half a
Dozen Knives and forks, half a Dozen Pewter Plates, two Basons, two Dishes,
one large Iron Pott and hooks and Rack one Flax & one Wollen Wheel and Buch
other Part of my houshold Furniture and Plantation Utensills, as my Executors
hereafter named Shall think Proper for her Support; also I give unto my
beloved Wife the fourth Part of my Cotton and Flax and Corn and Meat for her
Familys use and one Half of my Wheat, as also Corn Foddow, etc., to Support
her Stock. It is my Will and Desire that all my Land, except what I have lent
my Wife, be rented out by My Executors untill my Son Duke William Sumner
arrives to lawful age or if not living, the next (best?) and then to be
Equally divided as near as may be between my five sons, viz; Duke William
Sumner, Tobias Sumner, Joseph Sumner, EXUM Sumner and Jacob Sumner; Provided
that if my Wife Should die or Marry before that Time it is my Desire, that
the Land I have lent her be also Divided. It is also my Will and Desire that
my Executors Sell all my Estate except Land and Negroes and what I have given
and lent to my Wife, and I hereby empower my (SQ?) Executors to Sell at
theirown Discretion without the assistance of the Sheriff, it is also my Will
and Desire that my Execut. (hire?) out my Negroes untill my aforesaid son
Duke William, shall arrive to Lawful Age or if not living my next oldest
child, and then the Negroes, together with the (Hire?) and rent of the Land
and all my other Estate after being sold, paying my Just Debts, and Raising,
Schooling and Supporting my Children, be Equally divided as near as may be
between my Sons & Daughters (viz) Duke William Sumner, Tobias Sumner, Joseph
Sumner, EXUM Sumner, and Jacob Sumner and Sarah Sumner Provide that if my
Wife should Die or Marry before the aforesaid Time that the Negroes I have
lent her be also divided it is also my (wish?) and Desire that my Executors
should rent out my Land and hire out my Negroes at their Discretion;
Lastly I do appoint my Friends, Etheldred Philips, Jacob Battle and
Demsey Battle Executors of this my last will and Testament Revoking all other
Wills by me made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand & Seal this
7th Day of December 1793.
Joseph Sumner (Seal)
Signed Sealed Published & Declared in
Williamson Barnes X
Jacob Battle qualified
Edgecomb County May Term 1795. The within will was duly proved in
open court by the Oath of Williamson Barnes an Subscribing Witness
thereunto... The Executor was at the same time Qualified and the will
ordered to be recorded.
Edward Hall C. C.
Edgecomb County, North Carolina, August Court, 1795, Joseph Sumner,
deceased. Inventory taken by Jacob Battle, executor. September 1, 1795.
Accounts of sales by the executor, June 23, August 8, September 22, November
22 and December 17, 1795 and April 9, 1796, February Court 1797.
Expenses were paid for Jacob Sumner, Duke William Sumner, Tobias
Sumner, EXUM Sumner and Salley Sumner. Said Joseph Sumner, deceased, was
guardian to the estate of West Pope.
Martha Sumner was paid for boarding and part clothing six white
children and two black ones, February court 1797. Account current with the
exr., February Court 1798. Additional account current with the exr. Items
were purchased for Jacob, Sally, Joseph, Exum, Duke Wm. and Tobias Sumner.
Funeral expenses were paid for the burial of son Joseph, February
Court 1799. Account current with the exr., November Court 1799. Account
current with the exr., November Court 1799.
Division of personal estate among the children of said decd., namely,
Duke W. Sumner, Tobias Sumner, Salley Sumner, Exum Sumner and Jacob Sumner,
December 30, 1799, August Court 1800. Account current with Jacob Battle,
exr., November Court 1807.
Joseph Sumner, deceased. Inventory taken by Joseph Sumner, exr.,
April 18, 1785, May Court 1785. Account current with Joseph Sumner, Junr.,
exr., February Court 1787.
DAR Patriots Index:
Joseph Sumner, born 1761, died December 30, 1827, married Mary
Knight, soldier, Georgia. (I don't know who he belongs to. A descendant says
he was from Edgecomb County, North Carolina and she is sure he is of the same
line as Joseph who married Martha Philips).
DAR Patriots Index:
Joseph Sumner, born about 1748, died April, 1795, married Martha
Philips, soldier, North Carolina (ancestor of the Jackson County Sumners).
Also in the Index: Thomas Sumner, born_________ died December 22,
1791, married Anna Baker, soldier, Georgia. (I don't know who he was but
listed here for others in the future).
In addition to the wills of Joseph Sumner Sr. and Joseph Jr. who
names Exum Sumner, we have the DAR application of Mrs. Nina Bass Stratton
Mrs. Foster, the wife of Edgar M. Foster, lived on Gallatin Road,
Nashville, Tennessee, when she made application for DAR on 13 October 1924
through the General James Robertson Chapter in Nashville. She said she was
the daughter of Mosely T. Stratton born 17 August 1845, died 14 July 1910 and
his wife Laura Sumner born (Mar? Nov?) died (March?) 22, 1892, married 15 Hay
She said that Laura Sumner was the daughter of Jacob Sumner born
June____1822, died 28 January 1872, and his wife Mary Bass, daughter of John
Bass born November____ 1793, died l9 May 1860, and his wife Temperance Sumner
born 16 September 1812 died 23 November 1899, married 13 January 1831.
Jacob Battle Sumner and Mary Bass married 12 December 1845. She was
born 8 December 1831 and died 12 March 1858. Mary is buried at Springhill
Cemetery, Madison, Tennessee, along with some of her children (more later)
but Jacob is not buried there or has no stone.
Mrs. Foster continues her application..."the said Temperance Sumner
was the daughter of Duke W. Sumner born 27 April 1778, died 15 May 1844 and
his wife Mary Drake born 27 November 1779 and died June 1813, married 1799.
They were married 22 June 1832.
She said Duke W. Sumner was the son of Joseph Sumner born about 1748,
died April____ 1795 and his wife Martha Philips born____ and died after her
husband's death in 1795. They married 1777.
"The said Martha Philips was the daughter of Joseph Philips and his wife
Sarah Exum. The said Sarah Exum was the daughter of John Exum.
"...the said Joseph Sumner is the ancestor who assisted in
American Independence, while acting in the capacity of soldier in North
"Joseph Sumner rendered active service during the Revolutionary War
as a soldier in the militia of Edgecomb County, North Carolina, as is shown
in the North Carolina Army Accounts now in the Department of Archives, Hall
of History, Raleigh, North Carolina, Vol. 9, p. 30, folio 1. Special
certificate delivered to Treasurer's Office and charged pursuant to an Act of
the General Assembly December 1789.
The application states, "Give below references, by volume and page,
to the documentary or other authorities upon which you found your record:
"North Carolina Revolutionary Army Accounts, Vol. 5, p. 62, folio 2
"Report of Auditors of Wilmington District, March 1784-April 1785,
no~ 3618, vol. 9, p. 30, folio 1; vol. 6, 64, 2; vol. 9, 30, 1; vol. 10, 108,
"Family Bible Records
"Will of Joseph Sumner, Wills of Edgecomb County, North Carolina,
Book C, p. 326, 1795.
"Will of Matthew Drake, Wills of Nash County, North Carolina, Book 2,
p. 92, 95, 1810. (More on her Drake family data later).
"My Revolutionary ancestor was married to Martha Philips at Edgecomb
County, North Carolina, 1777."
"Their children were:
Duke William Sumner, born April 27, 1778, married Mary Drake
Exum P. married Temperance Drake
"This application made out by Penelope Johnson Allen, former State
Mrs. Foster was a granddaughter of Jacob Battle Sumner, brother of
James Exum Sumner Sr. who came to Jackson County, Alabama, from Davidson
County, Tennessee. Her application proves that the wife of Joseph Sumner Jr.
was Martha Philips, daughter of Joseph Philips who later lived in
Davidson County, Tennessee.
Some records of the Philips family were furnished by Mr. J. C.
Clemons, Scottsboro, Alabama. These were photocopied from a book but I failed
to get the title, etc. I record them here for future reference. Notice all
the old family names used here again: Etheldred, Exum, Joseph, Hartwell, etc.
I do not know what connection many of these have to the Sumner family but as
they are all connected I am listing here for future reference.These were
probably recorded in Edgecomb County, North Carolina:
Col. Etheldred Philips, inventory taken by Figures Lewis, Benja.
Phillips and Exum Lewis, May 9, 1795, August Court 1795. "...Said Etheldred
Philips deceased was Sheriff in 1793 and public accounts for that year had to
be adjusted, May Court 1798. Division of negroes agreeable to the will among
Jane Philips, widow of the decd.; Charlotte Jackson, daughter; Exum Philips,
son; Elizabeth Philips, daughter; Sally Philips, daughter; Nancy Philips,
daughter; Eaton Philips, son; and Figers Philips, son, Feb. 20, 1799, reb.
Ct. 1799...Jane Philips principal buyer.
Other buyers: Exum Philips Jr., Exam Philips Sr.Eliza. Phillips,
Hartwell Philips, Salley Philips, and Frederick Philips, Aug. Ct. 1799.
Division of estate agreeable to the will among the same persons listed in the
above distribution, Oct. 25, 1799, Nov. Ct. 1799.
Exum Phillips, inventory taken by Jacob Battle, exr., Jan. 1803, Feb.
Ct. 1803...buying...Matthew PHILIPS, Exum PHILIPS, Fred Philips, November
Court 1804. Account current with Jacob Battle and Elias Bryan, exrs. Penelope
Nicholson was paid for boarding James and Thomas Philips; legacies were paid
to Matthew and James Philips; board paid for Joseph Philips, Thomas Philips
and Polley Philips, January 10, 1805, February Court 1805.
HARTWELL PHILIPS, accounts of sales by EXUM Philips, Junr. and
Frederick Philips, exrs., December 18 and 19, 1801, and January 15, February
20, and April 19, 1802. F. Philips was the principal buyer and Olive Philips,
Jean Philips, Jane Philips, Elizabeth Philips, Elizabeth Philips, Junr., Exum
Philips, Senr., and Exum Philips, Junr., were buyers, May Court 1802.
Frederick Philips, Exum Philips, Junr., and Exam Philips, Senr., exrs., Oct
15, 1801, November Court 1802. Account of sale of part of the property by
Fred'rk Philips, exr., June 19, 1802, Feb. Court 1804...Division of money
arising from the estate among the lawful representatives, namely Mary Clary,
Rebekah Hancock, Frederick Philips, Jane Philips, Olive Weeks and Elizabeth
Philips, September 28, 1805, November Court 1805. Sale of negroes agreeable
to the will, to be divided among the four children of HIS last wife, February
Court 1807. Account current with Frederick PHILIPS and Exum Philips, exrs.,
February Court 1807. Account current of the heirs of his wife with Frederick
Philips, exr., August Court 1807.
JAMES J. PHILIPS, Peggy B. Philips, Whereby J. Philips, Elizabeth
Philips, and Penninah T. Philips, children of F. Philips, account current
with Frederick Philips, guardian. Legacy was received from Charles Coleman,
exr. of Catherine Peele, decd., August Court 1817. Account current with the
guardian, May Court 1818.
JANE PHILIPS, inventory taken by Exum Philips, exr., March 5, 1804,
August Court 1805. Account of sale by the exr., November 5,1804 Eliza.
Philips, Exum Philips, Sally Philips, Nancy Philips, and Charlotte Jackson
bought everything, August Court 1805 Division of residuary estate (money)
according to the will equally among all of her children, namely, Charlotte
Jackson, Exum Philips, Sally Philips, Nancy Philips, Eaton Philips and
Figures Philips, November 1805, November Court 1805.
JOAH PHILIPS, inventory taken by Sarah Philips, admrs.,November 28,
1797, February Court 1798. Account of sale by the admrs., February 17, 1798.
Henry Philips, Sarah Philips, and David Philips were buyers, August Court
JOHN PHILIPS (orphan) inventory taken by Etheldred Exum, January 1805,
February Court 1805. Etheldred Exum, Admr., Etheldred Exum, Frederick Philips
and Jane Philips bought the small estate, February Court 1805 Division of
money arising from the estate equally among the six lawful representatives,
to wit, Mary Clary, Rebekah Hancock, Frederick Philips, Jane Philips, Olif
Weeks, and Elizabeth Philips, sisters and brother of said decd., August 20,
1805, August Court 1805.
JOSEPH PHILIPS, inventory taken by Etheldred Philips and Exum
Philips, exrs., December 3 and 4, 1784, November Court 1785. Account current
with Etheldred Philips, acting exr. Funeral expenses were paid October 24,
1784. Division of money arising from the estate among Benjamin Philips, Exum
Philips, Joseph Philips, Sarah Philips, Joseph Sumner and wife and Etheldred
Philips, August Court 1789. (So you can see this Joseph Philips was
the father of Sarah Philips who married Joseph Sumner.
NANCY PHILIPS, account current with David Philips, admr. Account
received as her proportionate share of her father's estate, with William
Philips as her former guardian, November Court 1803. Account received as her
proportionate share of her father's estate, with William Philips as her
former guardian, November Court 1803. Additional account current with the
admr., February Court 1804. Division of money arising from the estate equally
among the nine claimants, namely, Ann Durden; Benja. Philips, William
Philips; Solomon Philips; David Philips; Andrew Philips; Elizabeth Wiggins,
Thomas Wiggins; Peggy Gardner, wife of Jonathan Gardner, Junr.; and Hardy
Philips, April 28, 1804, May Court 1804.
As you have seen in the foregoing records Exum P(hilips?) Sumner was
the son of Joseph Sumner Jr. and his wife Martha Philips, daughter of Joseph
and Sarah (Exum) Philips. When Joseph Sumner Jr. died, Exam's mother, Sarah,
married Simon Williams 11 December 1803 in Davidson County, Tennessee, where
she had removed after Joseph's death.
The 1820 census of Davidson County, Tennessee, shows:
Escum Sumner, 1 male age 26-45; 1 female 26-45; 3 females under 10.
They were living next door to Simon Williams.
The will of Benjamin Williams, Edgecomb County, North Carolina, 1793,
names children Simon, Elisha, Mary and Benjamin.
The will of Joanna Williams recorded in Bertie County, North
Carolina, January 12, 1747 (48?), July Court 1756...sons Richard and Thomas.
Daughter Eliza Smith. Grandchildren Simon Williams, Arthur Brown, Mary Smith,
Penelope Williams and Mary Harrell, Witnessed by John Harrell & Easthr
Joseph John Sumner, son of Joseph and Martha (Philips) Sumner, and
brother of Exam P. Sumner, drowned in the Gulf of Mexico. He had a son named
William Henry Sumner born 24 September 1813 and died 30 June 1816. The story
of his death is more fascinating than fiction. He had gone to Louisiana with
some of his relatives, including Thomas Martin (who had married his cousin
Philips, daughter of Joseph Philips?), to homestead land and raise sugar cane.
On Sunday morning 28 December 1813, during the War of 1812, Joseph
Sumner, Thomas Martin, a Mr. Patten and a Mr. Coffey and others took a
schooner and set out to find badly needed supplies that were hard to come by
because of the war. They finally found some supplies and were returning home
when a terrible storm came up on their second night out. They dropped anchor
and stayed with the boat until daylight when they thought they might safely'
resume their trip but they soon found their boat to be sinking. They started
throwing things out of the boat hoping they could save it but it was of no
use the boat was slowly sinking. They had a yawl and all except three or four
men got in that. Joseph Sumner, Mr. Patten, the pilot and a servant stayed
with the schooner, a part of which was still out of the water, while the
others tried to make it the half mile. to land to get help. Mr. Coffey, "one
of the sailors," returned later to find Joseph, his arms around a plank,
drowned. Mr. Patten
and the pilot could not be found. The servant was hanging on the most
perfectly (insincible?), they brought them ashore.
Joseph was buried on a nearby island. They had lost all their
provisions and had only a small yawl with which to try to get home. Two days
later they were rescued by the famous pirate Jean LaFitte who treated them
with the greatest possible kindness, taking them aboard his vessel and giving
them a bountiful breakfast. LaFitte gave them a schooner and provisions and
sent Mr. Martin's wife a dimigon of Madari wine and "the first pineapple
cheese I ever saw." He gave Mr. Martin a warm cape with a hood attached.
In later years when LaFitte was on the run and decided to surrender
he sent a servant to Mr. Martin who arranged for him to give himself up.
"Mrs. Sumner, my nearest neighbor," Mrs. Martin later wrote, "was
with me the evening before they arrived home. We were fearful some accident
had happened being gone much longer than we expected. But it came soon for
her. I never witnessed greater grief and sorrow. Long did she mourn for her
dear husband. She was the mother of two little boys. His brother sent for his
remains which were brought and buried at his home 1813." (I wonder if the
brother referred to was Exam or maybe Duke W.). (Taken from the Memoirs of
Martha Philips Martin on microfilm in the Tennessee State Library and
The above Martha Philips Martin was the daughter of Joseph Philips
and his wife, Milbury Horn. In her memoirs she gives a vivid account of her
life and times and much information about her family. She was born in 1792
and married Thomas Martin in 1809. He was from County Down, Ireland, and
landed in New York in 1800. This family was close friends to Andrew Jackson
who visited their home on more than one occasion. Mrs. Martin tells of
visiting him shortly before he died.
Joseph John Sumner's remains were brought home to Nashville and
buried at "Sylvan Hall" the home of Captain Joseph Philips, Revolutionary
soldier. The farm is located on Dickerson Pike, 6 miles north of Nashville,
Tennessee. His tombstone reads:
"Beneath this inscription lies the unfortunate Joseph John Sumner who
was born August 14, 1780 and perished in the Gulf of Mexico on the Morning of
December 28, 1813 ...."
Buried beside him is a son, William Henry Sumner, September 24, 1813,
June 30, 1816. Other inscriptions found in this old cemetery are:
Joseph Phillips (spelled with two l's), October 31, 1763, May 22,
born in North Carolina and settled on this place in 1791.
Milbiry (Horn) Phillips, wife of J. Phillips, December 4, 1764,
December 19, 1851, born in North Carolina and settled on this place in 1791.
William D. Phillips, son of Joseph and Milbiry Phillips, born on this
farm April 19, 1804, died where he was born and lived, June 15, 1879.
Eliza Dryer, wife of William D. Phillips, daughter of Daniel and
Bridget Dryer, born at Roscrea, Tipperary County, Ireland, August 3, 1801,
died May 10, 1871.
Margaret Thomas, wife of Josiah F. "Williams, and daughter of Joseph
and Milbrey Phillips, September 30, 1799-1844.
To the Memory of Josiah F. Williams, this monument is erected by his
children, he was born on the 2nd day of February, 1780 and died on the 29th
day of November, 1851. His life was characterized by inflexible honesty,
sterling , the most unpretending , etc.
Sally Phillips, August 1, 1783, January 19, 1859, William Williams
and Sally Phillips married February 11, l807.
William Williams, April 15, 1776, March 6, 1872.
In Memory of Charlotte Phillips, who died July 23, 1811 in the 16th
year of her age.
Henry Williams, a moral and intelligent youth,l May 3, 1814, July 14,
Elisha Williams died August 17, 1811, age 72 years, married March 25,
17?5 and had 6 children, William, Betsey, Joshua, Elisha, Josiah, Martha
Sacred to the Memory of Eliza N., daughter of William Williams, wife
of Evander McIver, departed this life March 28, 1826, in the 19th year of her
age. (Evander is mentioned in the old collection of Sumner letters owned by
the late Emmett Sumner).
Mary, daughter of William and Sarah (Sally) Williams and wife of
Robert M. Porter, born October 26, 1816, married December 4, 1838, died March
Martha H. Williams, November 29, 1809, November 3, 1833.
Robert, infant son of J. F. and M. T. Williams
Evander McIver Williams, May 5, 1829, December 27, 1855
David D., son of J. F. and M. t. Williams, January 11, 1829, February
William, son of William D. and Eliza Phillips, September 3, 1846,
July 11, 1862
"Father" William P. Harding
"Mother" Milberry C. Phillips (It is interesting how many different
ways this name is spelled all in the same family)
Sarah, infant child of William D. and Eliza Phillips who died July
1823, age 6 months.
SMYRNA CHURCH, TENNESSEE
William Phillips, September 10, 1788, October 2, 1877
Sara Phillips, wife of William Phillips
OLD CITY CEMETERY
Mary Williams, born August 9, 1790, died April 15, 1828
Elisha Williams, Jr., born October 20, 1822, died October 31, 1848
Sara J. Ray Childress, born July 31, 1815, died March 14, 1850
In Memory of Joseph John P. Williams, born December 10, 1817, died
Nay 31, 1852.
In Memory of Henry J. Williams, youngest son of Elisha and Mary
Williams, born June 30, 1825, died April 18, 1855 (James Exum Sumner Sr. was
Sarah H. Williams, consort of Elisha Williams, born November
_____1735, departed this life September 1, 1857 (no doubt, this birth was
typed wrong-I got it from a book-It probably should be 1785.
William H. Sumner from New Orleans, Member of Convention Held in
Nashville; died August, 1810 (Was he a member of the same family as Joseph
John Sumner who went to Louisiana and drowned there? There is an old letter
in the Emmett Sumner collection from a James Johns of New Orleans to E. P.
Sumner, Nashville, Tennessee)
DICKSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE MARRIAGES
Joseph Phillips to Martha Williams, October 14, 1812 by Edmund
Crutcher. Able Williams and Joseph Phillips, Sureties.
When Sarah Catherine (Parks) Sumner, wife of James Exum Sumner Sr.,
died she left her old trunk to Emmett Sumner who later moved to Amarillo,
Texas. The old trunk was full of old letters and papers dating back to the
1800s. I will always be grateful to Emmett for sharing these old letters with
me. From them I was able to glean the names of James Exum's brothers and
sisters and it gave me a good foundation on which to build the Sumner family
Contained in the old trunk was the original will of Martha
Philips-Sumner-Williams: (Copied by Christine P. Sumner May 25, 1972).
Last Will and Testament of
Davidson County, Tennessee
The last will and testament of Martha Williams in the name of God
I, Martha Williams of the County of Davidson and State of Tennessee
being in a low state of health but of a sound mind and disposing memory do
make and publish this as my last will and testament revoking all others by me
heretofore made, Vis:
1st. It is my will that all my just debts and burial expenses
including an enclosure around my grave and such other things as may be deemed
proper and necessary about the same be first paid out of any monies that I
may leave or out of the first that shall come to the hands of my executors
2nd. It is my will that all my land together with my stock of every
kind, my household and kitchen furniture and farming utensils and crop of
every kind that I may leave on hand be sold by my executors on such terms as
may deem best and the proceeds to be equally divided among all my
grandchildren share and share alike.
3rd. I will to my grandson Jacob B. Sumner the following slaves,
viz--Aaron, Daniel, Nancy and Sally and their future increase now in his
4th. I will to my grandson James E. Sumner the following slaves
viz--Henry, Anna, Harriet and Nelson and their increase now in his possession.
5th. I will to my grand daughter Eliza P. Sumner the following slaves
viz--Patty, Anthony, son of Patty, John, Levi and Frank and their increase
now in her possession and also those now in my possession for and during her
natural life and at her death to her children if she shall leave any, but if
she shall leave none of the said slaves are to go to her brothers and sisters
of their lawful heirs.
6th. I will to my grand daughter Martha Ann Lanier, my slaves Celia,
Ben, Sam and Jessie and their increase now in her possession and also Edna
and increase now in my possession for and during her natural life and at her
death to her children and in case she dies without children the same is to go
to her brothers and sisters or their lawful heirs--
7th. I will to Grand daughter Jane Love the following Caves viz:
Judy, Biddy, Pompey, Henry and Randall now in her possession and their
increase and also Milberry now in her possession and their increase and also
Milberry now in my possession and increase for and during her natural life
and at her death to her children and if she shall die without children then
the same is to go to her brothers and sisters and their lawful heirs.
8th. I will to my Grand daughter Maria Hinton, my slaves Sterling and
Betsy now in her possession and their increase and also Ellen now in my
possession and increase for and during her natural life and at her death to
her children and if she shall leave no children then to her brothers and
sisters or their lawful heirs
9th. I will to my Grand Daughter Susan Williams my slaves Hannah,
Penny, Bob and Cherry now in her possession and increase and also Jane now in
my possession and increase for and during her natural life and at her death
to her children and if she shall die without children the same shall go to
her brothers and sisters or their lawful heirs.
10th. I will the residue of my property consisting of slaves Cherry,
Lucy, Sam, Lizette, Nalinda, Rhoda, Rose, Davy, George, Bias, Peter, James,
Taylor and Jordan and any money or other things not hereuntofore specially
bequeathed to be equally divided among my seven grandchildren viz
1. Jacob B. Sumner
2. James E. Sumner
3. Eliza P. Sumner
4. Jane Love
5. Mariah Hinton
6. Martha A. Lanier
7. Susan Williams the portions falling to my Granddaughters Eliza P.
Sumner, Susan Williams, Jane Love and Mariah Hinton to be subject to the same
restrictions as contained in items 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, of this my will and that
all the property above given to my said Grand Daughters shall be to their
sole and separate use and free from the debts of their husbands.
11th. It is my will that a division of my property as above set forth
shall take place as soon after my death as possible. I do hereby ordain and
appoint Jacob B. Sumner and James E. Sumner executors of this my last will
and testament and it is my will that they be not required to give security
Given under my hand and seal this the 17th Day of April 1855.
Martha X Williams (Seal)
Test }William D. Phillips
}S. S. Hall
A true copy attest
T. (F?) R. Chattam? Cheatam?) Clerk
On the outside of the third page: "Martha Williams, Copy of Will, fee
All the grandchildren named in the above Will seem to be brothers and
sisters. There has always been a question as to who Susan Williams was but
the will states "the same shall go to her brothers and sisters" apparently
meaning the other six grandchildren mentioned. At first glance, it would
seem that Susan may have been a child of a son born to Martha and Simon
Williams and this may well be the case, but what of the children of all the
other Sumner brothers and sisters. Perhaps they were all well taken care of
and these grandchildren had less than the others as Exum P. Sumner's estate
settlement shows that his estate was worth very little. A Susan was
mentioned in the old Sumner letters. This Susan was married to J. J.
Abernathy by then. He writes to James Exum Sumner and reminds him not to
forget Susan's ladies book. In another letter he mentions Susan's condition.
It seems that James Exum Sumner may have been a foreman over
a farm in Murfreesboro for J. J. Abernathy in the mid-1850s.
Susan Abernathy left a will in Lincoln County, Tennessee, 9 March
1876, naming husband J. J. Abernathy and children Henry J., Mary and Ida (I
also copied a child as "Susan E. Sumner" or "Susan and S. E. Sumner"), all
the land I possess to be divided equally. March 9, 1876.
(Signed) Susan E. Abernathy
Witnesses: Sherrod Williams
David L. Gipson
This record was taken from Lincoln County, Tennessee, microfilm records and I
failed to note the book and page.
MARTHA ANN SUMNER married Churchill Lanier. She is believed
to have been the oldest child of Exum P. and Temperance (Drake) Sumner.
Many members of this family are buried at Springhill Cemetery, Madison,
Tennessee, near Opryland. I found these stones quite by accident. We had
taken the children to Opryland June 5, 1976, and by the time we got there it
had started to rain. We were riding around waiting for the rain to stop when
we passed this large cemetery. I suggested we ride through it and see if I
could recognize any names as so many of our families came from Davidson
County. I immediately recognized names that I had become so familiar with on
Church S. Lanier, born July 7, 1855, died May 23, 1903 "A man true to
every position in life."
Annie Gray, wife of Church Lanier, died February 2, 1899 (These
graves are on the Gray lot. There are more Grays buried here; buried near
Jacksons. An Andrew Jackson Gray buried here).
Martha A. Lanier, wife of C. Lanier and daughter of E. P. and Tempy
Sumner, November 1, 1818, August 26, 1857
Chl Lanier, September 22, 1806, September 14, 1889
W. I. Lanier, born April 19, 1831, died February 26, 1908
Margaret Lanier, born April 20, 1841, died May 5, 1917
James M. Lanier, born March 27, 1870 (failed to copy death date)
William O. Stratton, 1840-1908
Lizzie Hall Stratton, 1843-1921
Carrie M. Stratton, 1866-1877
Susan E., wife of Willis S. Stratton, August 12, 1822, Oct. 4, 1873
Mary (Heat?), daughter of W. S. & s. E. Stratton, June 27, 1855
Willis Swann died April 13, 1832, age 65 "father, son and daughter
reinterred in one grave"
(Willis Swan Jr. and Jane Swann on lot with Morgans)
William Swann born Powhattan Co., Va. 1790 died August 6, 1853,
Davidson Co., Tenn.
Mary A., Wife of Madison Stratton, March 13, 1815, March 6, 1874
(failed to copy stone for Madison Stratton)
Madison, infant son of Mary A. and Madison Stratton
In another part of the cemetery:
C. D. Sumner, 1872-1930
Elizabeth Sumner, 1874-1937
Hubbard Saunders Sumner, May 16, 1876, April 19, 1941
Gertrude Buckner Sumner, November 9, 1894, December 24, 1966
Jacob Battle Sumner was born June_____1822, died January 28, 1872
(DAR Nat. No. 193125-Foster), married December 12, 1845, Mary Bass, born 8
December 1831 (her record says 1831, the Foster papers say 1832). Mary Bass
Sumner died 12 March 1858. It is not known where Jacob Battle Sumner is
buried but he may have died in Arkansas where he and his brother, James Exum
Sumner SR., went following the close of the Civil War. They had at least two
children, Laura, T. Stratton, and John B., born 24 December 1851, died 10
January 1879. Two others could have been Sarah, born 1844, and "Jimmie"
mentioned in the old Sumner letters. This Jimmie could have been John B.
The only children mentioned in the old letters are Laura and Jimmie. In the
1850 census of Davidson County, Tennessee. Jacob Battle Sumner is shown as
age 26 and Mary is shown as age 16. Living with them is a child, Sarah, age
6. This could not have been Mary's child as she was too young to have a
child at this age. It could have been Jacob's child by another marriage. In
letters James Exum Sumner Sr. wrote to his wife during the Civil War he
speaks of Sarah and asks his wife, Kate, to bring her to camp to see him. In
another letter he says he doesn't know why Sarah would treat her so badly.
Could James Exum have been married before? He was 32 and Kate was about 17
when they married.
Chl Lanier, September 22, 1806, September 14, 1889 (these were in
another part of the cemetery)
DOROTHY JANE SUMNER married Nicholas O. Love. They, too, are buried
at Springhill on a beautiful plot with a towering monument "LOVE."
I found this cemetery almost by divine luck. We took the children to
Opryland and it began to rain and we were just riding around waiting for it
to stop when we drove by this large cemetery. I suggested we ride through it
just to see if we saw any familiar names as many of our families were in
Nashville and as we were riding through I spotted the Love plot almost
immediately. I could hardly believe it. Here were those people I had become so familiar with on paper.
Dorothy Jane Love, 1824-1897
Nicholas Osborn Love, born 1822, died 18907
William E. Love, born December 18, 1857, died December 17, 1911
James Benjamin Love, 1853-1858
Newton Herbert Love, 1850-1881 (He is shown on the 1850 census with
Dorothy Jane and N. O. Love)
Minora Love, 1855-1889 Jennie Love Anderson, July 20, 1861, August 7,
Jennie Love Anderson, July 20. 1861, August 7, 1893
The above children were probably children of Dorothy and Nicholas Love.
John B. Sumner, December 24, 1851, January 10, 1879 (this was
probably "Jimmie" mentioned in the old Sumner letters).
Mary D., Consort of J.B. Sumner and daughter of John and Temperance
Bass, December 8, 1831, March 12, 1858
William H. Williams, March 16, 1861, April 23, 1897
William Williams, February 25, 1819, February 12, 1888
Lizzie B(ate?) Williams, August 25, 1831, August 30, 1918
(The Williams and Lanier families buried close together)
In the City Cemetery in Nashville this stone is found:
William H. Sumner from New Orleans, Member of Convention held in
Nashville; died August, 1810.
One wonders if this William H. Sumner was a member of the family who
went to Louisiana along with Joseph John Sumner and the Martin family. There
was an old letter written from New Orleans to Exum P. Sumner in 1825
ELIZA P. SUMNER, born about 1826, married William H. "Billie" Adams.
It is believed they lived in Jackson County. If memory serves me correctly I
think Lena Smith Johnson told me they lived here. Many early Jackson County
marriages were performed by W. H. Adams. After the Civil War Eliza and Billy
moved to Cordova, Mexico, along with Robert "Bob" Russell where they
homesteaded land but conditions were terrible there according to letters
Eliza wrote back to her family and she may have returned to Nashville.
Nothing is known of any children.
MARIAH SUMNER, born about 1806, married Harrison B. Hinton in
Davidson County, Tennessee, on 30 November 1837. Among their children (1850
census) were: Joseph C. (E?), born about 1838; Sarah S., born about 1840
William H., born about 1842 (he was a doctor...sent prescription to James
Exum Sr. while he was in Arkansas); John O. (D.?), born about 1845; Jacob L.,
born about 1847; James E., born about 1849.
JAMES EXUM SUMNER was born 11 August 1825, Davidson County,
Tennessee, and died 22 February 1877, Jackson County, Alabama. He married on
13 November 1862, Sarah Catherine "Kate" Parks.
Before going into the family of James Exum Sumner Sr. we will cover
the Drake Family.
Exum P. Sumner's wife, Temperance Drake, was the daughter of Matthew
Drake and Milbrey Griffin.From the DAR records of Mrs. Nina Bass Stratton
Foster, granddaughter of Jacob Battle Sumner and his wife Mary Bass. She was
the daughter of Jacob's daughter, Laura (see Sumner genealogy). DAR # 193125
Genealogy of the Drake Family
Richard Drake and his brothers, John and Thomas, emigrated from
England about the Year 1713 and settled in the county of the Isle of Wight
now South Hampton Colony of Virginia.
Richard and his wife Margaret, maiden name not know, had 8 sons and 3
daughters, all of whom died in North Carolina except Elizabeth and Margaret
of whom I have no account.
I. FRANCIS settled in Chatham County, North Carolina, raised a family
of whom no account, except that Eugene B. Drake of Statesville, Iredel
County, N. C. is a gr. gr. son.
II. MATTHEW settled in Nash County, N. C. and married Ann Arrington,
had 3 sons and 7 daughters. Matthew married Milbrey Griffin; Frank, his
cousin Betsy, daughter of William Drake; James, a daughter of Peter
Arrington; Mourning married her cousin Caswell Drake, son of Edmund Drake;
Patsy, William Parker and Mr. Woodruff; Ann died young; Betsy, Michael
Collins; Tempy, E. P. Sumner; Polly, Duke W. Sumner and Dolly, John Sumner
and Judge Phillips of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
III. NATHANIEL settled in Nash County, North Carolina, and married
Delillah Floyd, 5 sons and 3 daughters. (Orin?) never married; (Dirdesian?),
Miss Beale, (Polinson?) died young; Nathaniel and Allen never married.
Truston (Trustous?) settled in Halafax Co., N. C. had 5 sons; Eli,
Richard, Truston, Herbert and Jesse.
William settled in Nash County, N. C. married Zilpah (Kirby?) and had
5 sons and 2 daughters. Matthew and William never married; Britain, Hearty
Bridges, 6 sons and 6 daughters; William B. married Ann Robertson, a son and
a daughter. Edmond B., Permelia Brooks, Miss Sypert and Minerva E. and
Minerva E. Davis, 2 sons and l daughter by Minerva; John H., Calantha Motley,
l son and l daughter; Matthew M., Sally Randolph, several sons and three
daughters. Elijah B. Sally Ralston, large family; Frank, Martha Weir, a
daughter. Sally, Thomas (Thompson?) T. Hays (or Hayes), large family. Betsy,
William Hunter, a son and a daughter. Penelope Williams, James Harvey
Davis--large family, all dead but William Dewitt Clinton, now 80 years of
age-the oldest living descendant of Britain and Hearty Drake. Francis,
Obediah Gordon, the family is extinct Matilda, John H. Clopton, the family
extinct and Malinda who died when a child.
RICHARD, brother of Britain, married Penelope Bridgers, daughter of
Hearty Bridgers. They had three sons and 5 daughters. James W. married Honora
G. (Rootes? Nootes?). Irvin and (Washington?) died young. Tempy, William H.
Ford and Mr. William K. Thomason; Harriett, James Craig; Minerva C., John R.
(Rootes?) and John Murry, _____________________, Robert Ruffin; Angelina P.,
William (Tyree?) and David _______________, Sally Ann, John R. Anderson;
John, Chloe Boddie, __________children, Sally & Betsy--Sally died young and
Betsy married Frank Drake-five sons and 4 daughters;_____________, William,
Francis, John, Eliza and Dolly, Bolivar and Richard, Sally Ann, Tempy,
Britain supposed to have died young.
Richard settled in Chatham County, N. C., married and reared
a family, nothing known of them.
Edmund settled in Nash County, North Carolina and married Polly
(Swan?), 4 sons and 8 daughters, Edwin and Augustus _________ never married;
Henry married a daughter of Daniel Vaulx, had 2 sons and 3 daughters. Edmund
drowned in C. river near Nashville, Tennessee, when a boy. James
Clemen-married Jane Osment, had 6 sons and 3 daughters--James Vaulx, Martin
V., Macon J., Samuel H., John H. and William H., Margaret Frances, Harriet
Shelby and Sarah Catherine; Polyhinia, John R. Seat; Martha Vaulx, Randall M.
Ewing and Margaret who married James Green; Caswell
married Mourning Drake, had a large family only three now (1858)
living--Matthew M., Edwin D., and Joseph J.; Elizabeth, James Green; Polly,
William Dozier and James (Severe? Seruva?); (Benj.?), Henry, (Archibald?),
Patsy, Richard Dozier; Sally, Richard Olin, (Nancy?) Mr. Emory and Mr.
Martha married Jacob Williamson, 4 sons and 3 daughters; John,
James, Jesse and Matthew--Patsy and Nancy.
Elizabeth probably died young.
Margaret married Edmund Branch, no children.
This genealogy was received by James Vaulx Drake from James W.
Drake of Pontotoc, Mississippi in 1858 and we can from it trace our ancestry
back in a direct line to Richard Drake, one of the three brothers who settled
in America about the year 1713 and can run them back, by reference to Burkes
Peerage and Baronetory, London, 1852, to the brother of Sir Francis Drake,
the distinguished navigator who placed Great Britain at the helm of naval
warfare and himself upon the "topmost niche. of fame.
(Signed) William Dewitt Clinton Montgomery Davis
P. S. This record was copied from the original which was in the possession of
my great grandmother, Mrs. Temperance Ann Bass and given to my mother about
thirty-five years ago (1889).
The following was also with Mrs. Foster's Papers:
Genealogy of the Drake family given by Caswell Drake of North
Carolina to James Drake, Pontotoc, Mississippi and by him to me E. B. Drake,
May 18, 1858, Caswell Drake was 80 or 90 years old when this copy was given.
RICHARD Drake (whose father was a brother to Sir Francis, the first
circumnavigator of the world) Emigrated from Wales and settled, with his two
brothers, in South Hampton in the Isle of Virginia. Richard, the progenitor
of that branch of the family that moved South had 7 sons and 2 daughters;
Matthew, Francis, William, Natt, Trustram, Richard, Edmund: one of the
daughters whose Christian name is now recollected married Williams by whom
she had 4 sons and 3 daughters-John, James, Jerry and Matthew, Polly, Patsy
and Nancy. The other daughter, Peggy, married Edmund Branch and had no
children: Matthew, William,Natt and Edmund Drake entered lands and settled on
them in the county of Edgecomb, now Nash (North Carolina). Matthew and Natt
settled on Little Creek. William & Edmund settled on Swift Creek, all in the
northern part of the county. Trustram Drake settled on Rocky Swamp, in
Halifax County and Frank and Richard settled in Chatham County, near the
confluence of (Ham?) and (Deep?) Rivers.
Matthew married Ann Arrington by whom he had 3 sons and 7 daughters.
Matthew, Frank & James, Mourning, Patsy, Ann, Betsy, Polly, Tempy and Dolly.
Matthew married Milbrey Griffin, daughter of Hardy Griffin. Frank married
Betsy, (daughter?) of William Drake and James married Arrington's daughter.
Caswell married Patsy and after (his death?) she married Woodruff. Michael
Collins married Betsy, Duke W. Sumner married Polly, E. P. Sumner married
Tempy, John Sumner married Dolly, after his death she married Judge William
Phillips____________ (Anny?) died in her 13th year.
Note by Mrs. Foster--"This sheet contains practically the same
information as the others, but was a little fuller and came to me from a
different source so I sent it along too. It has been in the family for
(Signed) Nina Bass Stratton Foster
WILL OF MATTHEW DRAKE
Taken from North Carolina Archives, Nash County Wills, 1778-1859, Vol. Pt.
II, p. 89:
In the name of God Amen. I, Matthew Drake Senior of Nash County and
State of North Carolina being of sound disposing mind and memory Do hereby
make, ordain, publish, and declare this to be my last Will and Testament,
hereby revoking all others, in manner and form following To wit...
I give and bequeath to my Daughter Mourning Drake one negro girl
named Jinny with her increase, conveyed formerly by a verbal gift; also two
other negroes Reddick and Fanny, two cows and calves, one Bed and furniture,
one mare called Peacock, one hunting Saddle and Bridle, one walnut Chest and
also one hunting Saddle and Bridle, one walnut Chest and also one negro woman
named Sarah, the whole delivered and now in her Possession to her and her
Item. I lend to my daughter Martha (Nailor?) Parker Three hundred and
Twenty Acres of land, be it more or less lying on little Swamp where John
(Bedgood)? formerly lived, one hunting saddle & bridle, one Bed and furniture
three Cows and calves and two negroes, Ausey & Sarah, for and during the term
of her natural life and then to be equally divided amongst my Daughter Martha
Nailor aforesaid have Issue begotten of her Body, then and in that case, it
is my will and desire, that the said child or children after her death, shall
possess a title in fee simple to all the property lent as aforesaid both real
& personal: To them and their heirs forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my Son, Matthew Drake, the land and
plantation whereon I now dwell, containing by estimation, two hundred forty
five acres, also part of another Survey for four hundred acres granted by the
Earl of Granville, adjoining all that part lying on the South side of little
creek and up said branch to the public road thence up said road to the South
line. This land is joining the Mannor Plantation. One negro man named
Matthew, one boy named Sampson, one wench and child, Lizette, the wench
called Hannah, one horse called Damon, one saddle & bridle, one Bed &
furniture, one large Bible, one Dictionary and one Shotgun, To him and heirs
Item. I give and bequeath to my Daughter, Mary Sumner, two negro boys
named Ben and Joe, one bed and furniture, one hunting saddle & bridle, one
mare called Pigeon, also two cows and calves, the whole delivered and now in
her possession. To her and her heirs forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my Son Francis Drake Six hundred and
forty Acres of Land I purchased of Will Hooks, one negro man named Pompey &
two Boys Moses and Bob, one Bed and furniture, three cows & calves, one small
still, worm & cap, one Bay mare called Bandy Filley-To him and his heirs
Item. I give and bequeath to my Daughter, Elizabeth Collins, four
hundred & forty acres of land, granted me by the State adjoining the lines of
(Sion?) Beckwith, Burrel Beckwith and formerly Cooper Jones Tract, the Best
black Frank, one bed and furniture, one saddle & bridle, three cows and
calves, one Bay horse called (Newel?) colt and three negroes, John, Sam &
Ferriby---the whole Delivered and now in her possession except the land--to
her and her heirs forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my Daughter Temperance Drake all the
balance of Four hundred acres of land granted by the Earl of Granville as
aforesaid lying on the North & partly on the South side of the little
creek--I mean all the balance of this Tract after my son, Matthew Drake shall
have his courses run out as aforesaid--two negroes Dilse and Peter, one Bed
and furniture, three cows and calves, one saddle and bridle, one trunk, one
Bay horse named Buck and D. W. Sumner's note for Forty three Dollars & eighty
two cents; also Francis Drake's note for thirty Dollars and eighteen Cents-To
her and her heirs forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my Daughter, Dorothy Drake, one hundred
and fifty acres of land I purchased of John Williams, three negroes, Chaney,
Harary and Charles, one Bed & furniture, one saddle and bridle, one mare
called String Filley and fifty Dollars, also a note on Michael Collins for
nine dollars, three cows and calves and one black trunk-to her and her heirs.
Item. I give and bequeath to my son James Drake, Seven hundred acres
of land that I purchased of Hardy Griffin, one negro boy named Isham, one
named Jim and wench named Edy and child Lewis, one gray horse, Sterling, one
Bed and furniture, three Cows and Calves, one Bridle and Saddle and a British
musket--To him and his heirs forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter, Martha Nailor Parker, a
note on Caswell Drake for eight dollars and seventy six cents.
Item. I give and bequeath to my son, James Drake, a note of hand on
Caswell Drake for one hundred and four dollars, to him and his heirs forever.
Item. All the rest and residue of my estate, of whatever nature or
kind so ever--I have to be sold and after the payment of all my Just Debts,
equally divided amongst all my children, share and share alike, except with
respect to my daughter Martha Nailor Parker's share, which said share, my
desire is that it should be kept on Interest by my Executors, and the
Interest only Paid over to my said daughter from time to time so that she may
regularly enjoy the profits arising from this part of her estate, but the
principal sum, to depend upon the same circumstances, be under the same
regulations, and revert in the same manner as is prescribed in the Second
clause of my Will respecting her land and negroes, etc., etc.,
Lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint my friends Joseph
Arrington Senr., John H. Drake, Michael Collins, Archibald Griffin, and my
son Matthew Drake, Executors of this my last Will and Testament.
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set and affixed my hand & seal
this 7th of January 1807.
Signed, Sealed & delivered in presence of us.
(Signed) Matthew Drake (seal)
May Court 1810 Nash County
The foregoing will was duly proven by the oath of James Drury in open
court a subscribing witness thereto & (on station?) ordered to be recorded.
Attest Wm. Halliele
- - - - - is registered in obedience to the above order
Attest Wm. Halliele
- - - - - - - - - - - -
WILL OF JAMES DRAKE
This will appeared in DAR Magazine, October, 1978, pp. 808- 810.
Taken from the records of Nash County, North Carolina.
In the name of God, amen.
I, James Drake, of the County of Nash and State of North Carolina,
being of sound mind and memory, do make this my last will and Testament in
the manner and form following:
That is to say.
Imprimis--lend unto my wife, Hartwell Drake, my manor plantation with
all the land lying on the southside of the Great Ranch, the grist mill
excepted, for and during her life or widowhood. At her death or marriage I
bequeath the said land and plantation to my son Benjamin Drake, to his, his
heirs, and assigns, forever. I likewise lend unto my said wife one bed and
furniture, four cows and calves, four of my best sheep, and four sows and
pigs for and during her life, and at her death I give the same to my sons,
John H. Drake, and Benjamin Drake, to them and their heirs and assigns
forever. I also lend to my said wife four negroes to wit: Dick, Davis, Clary
and Agg for and during her natural life.
Item--I give and bequeath to my son, James, one hundred pounds specie.
Item--I give and bequeath to my son Albrittain Drake, eighty pounds
specie, to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Item--I give and bequeath to my son, Silas Drake, a parcel of land on
the south side of Swift Creek on both sides of Poplar Branch, from Thomas
Mann's line up the creek to a ford called the Red Ford, thence a straight
line to Benjamin Boon's line then said Boon's line to Thomas Mann's line,
thence down said Mann's line to the beginning, to him his heirs and assigns
Item--I give and bequeath to my son, John Hodges Drake, one
hundred acres of land I purchased of Daniel Strilby, 1ying on the south side
of Swift Creek (one acre excepted and adjoining the mill), also the lands
purchased of James Williams and John Battle, also of Ireogin Thompson,
likewise another parcel of land on the south side of Swift Creek, beginning
at William Bridges line on the creek, thence down said creek to mouth of
Buzzard Branch, thence up said branch to a line in the land I bought of
Battle, thence said line to Bridgers line and then along line to the
beginning, to him,
his heirs and assigns forever.
Item--I give and bequeath to my son, Benjamin Drake, my grist mill
with two acres of land to be on each side of the creek adjoining the mill in
the most convenient manner, also all the rest of my land not before
bequeathed, and two negros, Jennie and Lewis, to him, his heirs and assigns
Item--I give to my said son, John Drake, two negroes named Phillis
and Frank, to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Item--I give and bequeath to my son, Silas Drake, one negrowoman
Easter, to him, his heirs and assigns forever.
Item--I 1end to my wife, Hartwell Drake, one negro named Suck, for
and during her life, also I lend to my son, Benjamin Drake, two negroes, Ross
and Iley, for and during the life of his mother.
Item--I give to Michael and Elizabeth Collins forty shillings each,
to them, their heirs, and assigns forever. Also the rest and residue of my
estate I give to my three children to wit: Lydia Hadley, Sara Bridgers and
Milbery Wheeles (Wheeler?), to them,their heirs and assigns forever.
I do hereby constitute and appoint Matthew Drake, Albrittain,
and John Hodges Drake Executors to this my last Will and Testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this_____day of _____.
(SEAL) (no date given)
I, James Drake, of Nash County, North Carolina, resident, but
being now in the City of Richmond, in the State of Virginia, and of
sound mind and memory, but ill in health, do make, ordain. publish
and declare this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all and every
former Will and Testament Whatsoever.
Item--I leave my beloved son, John Drake and the aforesaid William
Shipworth Mearses executors of this my Will and Testament.
This will made 1791 (Olds)
Will of Hartwell Drake. Hartwell Drake, April 25, 1796, August Court
1796. First children: Frederick Davis, Goodman Davis, Dolphis Davis, Thomas
Davis, Archibald Davis, Oren Dates Davis, dec'd, his child Polly Davis,
Children of second marriage John H. Drake, Silas Drake 25 April 1796.
(Williams & Griffin, p. 39).
(Note by Christine Sumner: Since Hartwell Drake was mentioned in the
will of her husband who died before she did, he had to have died before 1796
since this is when she made her own will).
Will of a John Drake, January 5, 1728, May Court 1729. (Grimes, p.
102). Son, James, wife, Sarah, Executor, James Bryant (father-in-law). Wit:
John Sutton, John Dickinson, RICHARD SUMNER. Clerk of Court: Rt. Forster
(failed to note county but may have been Bertie, N. C.). This James Drake
mentioned in John Drake's will is probably James, husband of Hartwell,
Drake Deeds: William Judkin of Edgecomb County to Francis Drake of
Wight County, Virginia, 17 November 1747. Wit: Francis Jones, Richard Drake,
Nathaniel Drake. (Hofmann, p. 88: Deed Book 3, p. 166).
Francis Parker, Edgecomb County to Richard Drake of Wight County,
Virginia, 16 November 1747, wit: Thomas Mann, Matthew Drake, Thomas Drake.
(Hofmann, p. 88; Deed Book 3. p. 167).
Francis Parker & Ann, his wife, of Edgecomb County to Brittain Drake
18 November 1757. Wit: Matthew Drake, Nathaniel Drake, Francis Jones.
(Hofmann, p. 246; Deed Book 6, p. 34).
William Judkin of Edgecomb County to Francis Drake of Edgecomb County
19 August 1751, (Hofmann, p. 128; Deed Book 4, p. 102).
Matthew B. Drake married Martha Arrington 27 August 1845, Nash
County, North Carolina (Williams a Griffin, p. 39).
Davidson County, Tennessee, Minute Book 1809-1812; Records of
Davidson County Court of July Session, 1812. Enumeration of free male
inhabitants of Davidson County taken in 1812...A total of 2232...
#1768 Benjamin Drake
#1769 Isaac Drake
#1770 John Drake
#1776 Jesse Drake
Marriage Book 1, Davidson County, Tennessee
William J. Drake to Polly Bosley 30 October 1817 by Jonathan Drake
Jesse Drake to Rhoda Edington 18 October 1817
John Drake Jr. to Charlotte R. Witt 3 September 1818
James F. Drake to Hannah Marshall 15 August 1827
Isaac Drake to Louisa Basham (Bashaw?) 4 February 1821
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
1850 Census, Rutherford County, Tennessee:
Family #245 Matthew Drake 38 Tennessee
Sarah A. Drake 25 Tennessee
Frances B. (f) 4 Tennessee
Napoleon B.(m) 2 Tennessee
Early Marriages of Nash County, North Carolina, Ruth Smith Williams &
Margarette Glenn Griffin, published by Joseph W. Watson, 1968.
Abstracts of North Carolina Wills, Compiled from the Original and Recorded
Wills in the office of Secretary of State by J. Bryan Grimes, Secretary of
State, Published Raleigh, North Carolina by E. M. Uzzell & Co., State
Printers & Binders, 1910.
Abstracts of Deeds, Edgecomb Precinct, Edgecomb County, North Carolina,
1732-1758. Deed Book 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; 1969.
"Abstracts of Wills of North Carolina 1760-1800," Fred A. Olds, 1925,
Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, Reprint 1965.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
James Exum Sumner, Sr. was born 11 August 1825 in Davidson County, Tennessee,
and died in Jackson County, Alabama, 22 February 1877. He married Sarah
Catherine "Kate" Parks in Jackson County, Alabama, 12 November 1862. Kate
was 20 years younger than he was, being born 22 February 1845, Scottsboro,
Jackson County, Alabama, died 17 January 1935.
Their children were:
JAMES EXUM SUMNER, JR., born 1 April 1866, married 25 November 1866,
Susan Mariah Wood. He died 20 September 1941. (More later)
WILLIAM BATTLE SUMNER, born 17 November 1867, married 5 July 1896,
Ada May Selby, born 31 May 1875, died 31 March 1913. She died and he married
Frances Lewis, born 19 October 1881. The name Battle has been handed down in
this Sumner family for over 250 years.
ELIZA TEMPERANCE SUMNER, born 21 October 1869, married 25 November
1877, Granville "Josh" Carter. She died 9 April 1902. She was named
Temperance for her grandmother Sumner.
SARAH PARKS SUMNER, born 29 September 1871, married 10 April 1892
Jefferson Davis Wallace. She died 24 February 1942 and is buried Cedar Hill
Cemetery, Scottsboro, Jackson County, Alabama. She was named for her mother.
ADA MARIAH SUMNER, born 12 October 1873, married 9 January 1890,
Jessie Lee Smith. She died 20 March 1972 Scottsboro, Alabama. Aunt Ada was
loved by all who knew her. I will always regret that I did not get
interested in the family until she became disabled. I interviewed her just
before she died when she was well into her nineties and she told me that
Sumner county was named for "our folks." She also remembered the Love family
and that she had visited with them and she said "one married a Stratton."
She was named for her aunt Mariah.
Ed Sumner, son of James Browder and Della Sumner, told me several
times about a speech made by "Grandpa (James Exum Sumner) at his high school
graduation." I asked around and learned that Mrs. Lou (Smith) Baker,
daughter of Ada Mariah (Sumner) Smith, had a speech written by him.
Mrs. Baker was reluctant to let anyone borrow the speech so I spent
the best part of two days at her home during the spring of 1969 transcribing
it in longhand. It was 20 pages long written in a beautiful tiny script.
Needless to say, it was very hard to read as it was over 100 years old. After
studying the speech it became evident that this speech was made to a group on
July 4th, 1859, when James was 24 years old.
However, there was part of another speech written earlier in a more
untrained hand yet you could tell it was by the same person. It was probably
the one made at the graduation.
Mrs. Baker is now deceased and I don't know what happened to the original
speech. I am thankful she never let anyone borrow it. If she had, our
children might have been deprived of the opportunity of reading it.
The speech read:
"Ladies and Gentlemen,
"The circumstances under which I present myself before you today are
peculiarly embarrassing. For the first time in my life, save only on one or
two occasions during my school-boy-days, as a declaimer at our public
examinations, I now present myself before an highly intelligent and
enlightened audience in the capacity of a public speaker. This consideration,
when coupled with others of no minor importance, are eminently calculated to
overwhelm me with that degree of embarrassment which should characterize
every individual who feels a proper degree of diffidence with regard to his
"Notwithstanding these considerations which under other circumstances
would have deterred me from assuming the position which I now occupy, have
been waived in respect and difference to the opinion and judgment of my
friends who have tendered me with an invitation to address them on this
occasion and I humbly trust that the insipidity of my thoughts and the
confused manner in which they may be offered will be lost sight of in the
contemplation of the theme upon which they may have a bearing.
"An humble instrument, indeed, has been chosen through which you
proclaim the joy and delight with which you hail the ushering in of the 83rd
birthday of American Independence. Yet humble as I am, I feel proud of the
honor conferred upon me and that I am permitted to lift my humble voice in
the praise and remembrance of that ever memorable event which we have this
day assembled to commemorate and to pay a tribute of respect, just and due,
to the memory of our illustrious fathers who, disdaining the thought of
cringing at the feet of power; animated by the spirit of liberty and driven
onward by the promptings of patriotism,; inspired with a deep and abiding
interest in the welfare and prosperity of future generations; proclaimed to
the nations of the earth that they would be free and hand down to their
children and their children's children, a priceless treasure which we, a
grateful posterity, blessed in the enjoyment of that precious beam ought
faithfully to preserve and transmit as we received it, untarnished and
undiminished, to succeeding generations, and indeed when we consider the
price at which it was purchased, the prodigality with which valuable treasure
was expended, and the freedom with which blood, the noblest, the purest, the
most patriotic that ever coursed through human veins, was lavishly poured out
and spilt to obtain it, we would prove false to our best interest, recriant
to ______________ with a less jealous and unsuspecting eye than the
confidence with which they transmitted it to us. But in order to a more just
appreciation of it's worth and value, let us briefly take a retrospective
view of our past history.
"This beautiful continent, now the abode of twenty millions of prosperous and
happy people, and over which waves and bends at every zephyr, lovely fields
of ripening grain, three hundred and fifty odd brief years ago was one wild
and desolate waste and interminable forrest over which prowled in their
superiority, the wild beast of prey and the lurking savage depending almost
solely for their subsistence upon the exercise of the limited skill and
ingenuity with which nature had endowed them. But this beautiful land, the
fit abode of so many rational and intelligent beings, was not destined by the
Great Author of the universe and future events have developed to remain in
obscurity and darkness, though cut off from other portions of the habitable
globe by an apparently interminable and insurmountable barrier though
encircled in the arms of Old Ocean who rolls on her ceaseless waves, lashing
it upon every border and stretching herself out in her proud majesty to the
extent of three thousand miles and seeming to bid defiance to human art and
human skill to subdue her. But that great and good man whose courage bold
and enterprising spirit quailed not at the most hazardous undertaking and
whose powerful and gigantic mind rose superior to the common, vulgar, false
and erroneous opinions of his contemporaries conceived the design of
launching out upon the broad and treacherous deep in guest of the American
Continent. After many tedious and almost fruitless efforts his designs were
for execution and he put forth to sea under the guidance of an overruling
providence and the result of his enterprise is familiar to you all. Suffice
it to say that when the value of his discoveries were made known to the world
the richness of the minerals and precious ores and the healthful and
salubrious climate offered by the western world, the spirit of immigration
was aroused and the American Continent soon began to assume a different and
more cheerful aspect.
"But a description of the dangers, toils and sufferings the earlier
settlers had to encounter and the obstacles they had to combat against,
beggars language and were the task accomplished to the utmost perfection
human longings would admit, or were their sufferings portrayed upon convoys
and spread out before your eyes, it would present but one continual sum of
misery from which humanity would shrink with horror and dismay.
Notwithstanding the hardships incident to the life of early settlers and the
dangers to which they were imposed, from the cunning and wiley foe, the
influx of immigration continued to increase until they became sufficiently
strong by the joint efforts of their combined strength to repel the attacks
of the injured natives who, to their honor be it said were in few instances,
were the aggressors without provocation. Thus did they continue to advance
onward, felling the forest end subduing the earth till they numbered three
million of prosperous and happy people. And England, instead of regarding her
infant colonies with that tender care and solicitude with which accord mother
watches over her tender babe, rather witnessed her increasing strength and
national prosperity with jealous eye and resolved to render her a mere
tributary government and assumed to herself the right of taxation without
representation and thus prepared the instrument by which was sundered the
ligament that bound them to the mother country. She by refusing to exercise
that lenity which was due from a great and magnanimous nation to one less
powerful entirely alienated the affections of her colonies and destroyed
every resisting cause of attachment. The two governments were thus arrayed
against each other; the one in support and maintenance of her rights and
privileges as an English descendant-the other with a firm determination to
enforce her demands by the power of army. Yet Old England with all her
boasted power though she claimed to be mistress of the seas and to own
dominions upon which the sun never set was unable to intimidate and awe those
gallant spirits of "seventy-six" into tame submission to her usurped power.
But they, with a determined resolution and fixedness of purpose that became
them as patriots and American freemen, resolved to resist her encroachments
and bid defiance to Britton's power.
"Thus were being collected the elements of a storm whose thunderings
were heard in the distance...which gathered and thickened and grew darker and
darker until it assumed an awful hew that struck terror and dismay to the
heart of many a valiant soul and which was destined to burst upon us with
it's combined elements with the violence of a mighty hurricane...sweeping
onward leaving ruin and desolation it's wake.
"Then came the dark period in our history that tried men's souls. The
storm which had been gathering let loose it's elements of destruction upon
the plains of Lexington and Concord and the beautiful luminary of day that
rose in splendor on the 18th of April 1775 went down in blood. The news of
the danger which threatened us spread with the velocity of electricity
throughout the American Colonies and consternation and dismay was pictured on
every countenance and despair seemed triumphant over hope. They saw the
crisis was at hand. That the awful blow was struck between the parent state
and her infant colonies to overt burning eloquence which seemed to flow from
the inspirations of Divinity itself. Nothing was left them but an
unconditional surrender of their rights which they inherited as freemen, or
an appeal to the God of spirit of freedom in it's inception; to mow down the
tree of liberty and (interpate?) every root to force them to submission and
bind upon their necks the galling yoke of oppression but they, with a
resolution equally firm and determined, girded on the armor of was to contest
with the enemy their rights upon the field of battle, the most inveterate
enemy...an enemy who would have crushed their liberties and driven the last
rivet to pin them beneath the iron chain of tyranny and servitude, Then were
ignited the noble kindlings of the soul by a Divine spark, as it were which
bursted forth and blazed with such intensity that they seemed to bid defiance
to Britain's power to subdue them. Then began, in reality, that awful
struggle that was to determine the fate of the American people. England let
loose her engines of war and destruction against a band of gallant patriots
who had entrenched themselves upon Bunker's Hill and what American patriot
can contemplate that scene without heavings of emotion and a yearning towards
those gallant spirits that fell upon that memorable occasion. Though
enveloped in an incessant stream of fire that blazed forth from the British
artillery impelling onward a perfect hailstorm of iron spreading desolation
anddeath throughout their ranks, yet firm they stood until overwhelmed by
increasing numbers, fighting with a _____ that would have done honor to
Leonidas and his spartan band and with a desperation that seemed to say the
fate of my beloved country depends upon my exertions.'
"Upon that sacred mound, consecrated by the precious blood of our
fathers, has been reared and hallowed to their memory a lofty monument that
pierces the skies for two hundred and twenty feet and long may it withstand
the corroding tooth of time as a proud memorial of their gallant deeds and to
which future generations may point with a pleasing recollection as it marks
the spot where was strengthened the land of our glorious confederacy by the
blood of our Revolutionary sires. But this hard contested battle was but a
prelude to the dangers, toils and sufferings they had to encounter for eight
"Hitherto the American forces were unorganized and perplexity and
doubt pervaded the minds of the people as to who should be honored with the
important trust of superintending the (aprcotions?) of the American army. But
not long did they remain in doubt. Soon there came looming up from the plains
of Old Virginia, the birthplace of all that's noble, and patriotic, a
brilliant star that diffused hope and joy throughout the union and gave
additional strength and vigor to the bold and determined and imparted spirit
and animation to the wavering. That lustrous star which afterwards spread
abroad it's fame, limited only by the region of earth and which attracted the
gaze and admiration of every nation on the globe was none other than George
Washington, the master elements in whose character was the purest patriotism
and most undaunted bravery in whom was centered all the noble trait of
character and virtues that adorn human life combined with the wisdom of an
able statesman. Three millions of people armed in the cause of freedom with
servitude and bondage staring them in the face in all it's hideous forms and
lead on under the guidance of such a leader whose every step was marked by
caution, prudence and wisdom, were destined to be few. Let Greece boast of
her Alexanders, France of her Napoleons and Rome of her Caesers but how
proudly and triumphantly does America, in the name of her beloved Washington,
bear off the (pam?)...the one ambitious and aspiring; grasping after power,
and dominion, longing for the perpetuity of his name and thirsting after
glory as a measure of which he was willing should be taken the extent of his
conquest and the shedding of human blood; the other thirsting only for the
interest and freedom of his beloved country and the love of the American
people. Such was the character into whose hand was entrusted the cause of
freedom and had they searched the wide world over they would have found not
that being upon the face of this good earth who would have more noble and
gallantly born, upward and onward, the American banner with it's stars and
stripes cheering them on to battle and to victory. But to follow them on
through a series of successive victories and defeats, through a long and
dangerous struggle would be wearing to your patience and present scenes at
which humanity would recoil. Suffice it to say that for eight long years did
they combat against the power of England, submitting for the cause of freedom
to toils and sufferings, the bare contemplation of which is sufficient to
awaken the deepest emotions of pity and compassion destitute at times of
clothing, with that monster, hunger, gnawing at their very vitals did they
fight on resolved to conquer or die. And often was the course of American
freedom suspended as it were upon a Balance which the last reverse of fortune
would have borne down and left them but the menials of a haughty tyrant. In
that dark and awful period of our history when hope and despair seemed
alternately to triumph, stands forth in it's noblest light the character of
their illustrious chief, often by the force and power of his mighty arm would
he bring victory to his banner and again, like the renowned Fabius, would he
conquer by delay, often would he rather than hazard the interest and freedom
of his beloved country, the darling object of his heart, suffer his own
bright fame to be obscured and over-shadowed by a passing cloud. There were
those who, to their shame be it said, envious of his increasing fame, would
have stripped him of his hard-earned laurils and left him to contemplate the
wreck of his former glory. But proudly did he triumph over their machinations
and come forth with unsullied fame which like the sun when observed by a
vapory mist is suddenly swept off by a passing breeze bursted forth with
redoubled splendor indeed so great and good a man trusting to the great ruler
of the universe for the honesty and purity of his motives could entertain no
selfish views but were as long and broad as the American continent, embracing
his whole country and the (weal? zeal?) the interest and the freedom of the
whole American people and who so base as to charge him with other motives
when they contemplated him on the eve of battle in the attitude of prayer
with his knees in the dust and his hands and face lifted toward heaven
supplicating in deep earnest tones, the God of Battles to inspire his little
band with courage and permit victory to perch upon his banner and still
farther is manifested that earnest desire for the freedom of his country in
the bold declaration which breathes in every word the purest patriotism and
which he is said to have uttered at the darkest period of the Revolution when
his army was broken down and dispirited and worn out with the dangers and
fatigues of a long and protracted war, 'strip me of the dejected and
suffering remnant of my army, take from me all that I have left, leave me but
a banner, give me but the means to plant it upon the mountains of West
Augusta and I will yet draw around me the men who will lift up their bleeding
country from the dust and set her free.
"They did flock around his standard and that gallant band, cheered
onward by the voice of their noble chief and the beautiful stars and stripes
that glowed upon the American flag, they drove back the conquering host of
England and planted it floating triumphantly upon the dome of their country's
capitol. Thus gloriously was terminated that long and tedious struggle for
American freedom. That dark and angry looking cloud which had, for eight long
years darkened our political horizon was swept off and the genial sun of
liberty burst forth with it's resplendent rays, lighting up and animating the
cheerful and smiling countenances of three millions of happy people. Again
did they resume their wonted and industrious pursuits and soon our beautiful
continent assumed the aspect of peace and plenty and so long will the great
era in which this national Revolution was accomplished be treasured up as
dear to the memory of every American patriot as those (pure?) and patriotic
principles which glowed and burned in the bosom of our ancestors shall be
enkindled in the hearts of their posterity. Thus did America assume a proud
and noble station amid the nations of the earth and has arisen to that
imminence in science and literature that should render her as worthy of being
copied as an example by the surrounding nations of the globe. She proudly
stands out in her literary splendor and presents to the world a mighty fabric
reared upon a firm basis, liberty and knowledge which will never decay as
long as her glorious citizens shall feel convinced that it is the only firm
foundation upon which the prosperity of their happy union can be based. She
has already spread her influence upon the surrounding world and we have
reason to believe from recent developments that at some future period from
her example there will be one universal Revolution when the throne of every
despot on earth will be razed to a level with the dust. Those mighty
convulsions with which Europe is now being agitated speak loudly that the
spirit of freedom is being enkindled in the bosom of that oppressed people
and that they are resolved, proud monarchs shall no longer drive over them
with their gilded coaches and lead them to the scaffold or the block for the
droppings of their blood to ploy sweet music to their ears. Already are they
adopting our beloved institutions and God grant them speed in the
accomplishment of their noble work. I ardently desire the arrival of that
propitious period when the land of (onnel?) and Emmett of Wallace and
(Rosscrinser?) shall be free and welcomed and greeted into the brotherhood of
proud republic. Yet we, the American people, though we boast of all that's
great and good and yield superiority in a literary point of view to no nation
upon the habitable globe have a grand morsel of work to accomplish.
When we look abroad upon the face of our own beloved America and contemplate
the ignorance, the vice and immorality that prevails among a large portion of
our countrymen, we should be deeply awakened to a sense of obligations
incumbent upon us to engage in the destination of (isofund?) knowledge that
all may taste it's fruits and enjoy the blessings and comforts which a
well-cultivated and peaceful mind bestows and more especially as it is the
only basis upon which can be maintained our free and republican institutions.
Contemplate for a moment, if you please, the numerous vices
with which the human heart is infested which when once thoroughly implanted
in the bosom of an individual sways his heart with universal dominion without
once realizing it's complicated folds until the unfortunate victim is plunged
deep into ruin from which he may never hope to (intricate?) himself and
remember, too, that as the flower of the garden needs culture to enable it to
vegetate, so the moral nature of man requires that tender cultivation and
nourishment which may enable it to be productive of the great end for which
it was implanted in him and without which the noblest principles and finest
feelings which God has wrought in our nature must be smothered and choked by
those corroding a demoralizing vices so debasing in their nature. Of the
truth of this fact, we are convinced by our own observation and experience
without evidence from other sources that where the mind of man is suffered to
remain uncultivated and grow up in it's natural state unchastened and refined
by improvement beset by all the propensities which naturally belong to it,
that they became so deeply rooted in the soul as to eradicate every kind and
tender emotion of the human bosom, destroys those high soiled and generous
feelings towards his fellow creatures, quenches the pure fountain from which
every laudable impulse flows lost to all sense of morality, dead to those
refined feelings which characterize as man of sense and are prepared at all
times to perpetuate without compunction of conscience or crimson upon his
cheek, deeds of cruelty averse to every feeling of humanity and justice. It
is an incontestable truth that the mind of man cannot remain stationary.
There must either be a continual advancement or constant deterioration. If
then the mind and moral nature of man be susceptible of a high estate of
cultivation and refinement of which fact none can doubt does it not behoove
us a great magnanimous and enlightened nation having all the resources at her
command to engage in the dissemination of knowledge and the enlightenment of
the dark and benighted minds of those individuals when fortune has not
favored with the ample means to appropriate to so useful and beneficial
purpose. When America can be awakened to her own deep interest involved in
the (important? ipportant?) matter and the light of science and literature
shall dawn upon the mind of every free born American citizen then may she be
truly said to be basking in the sunshine of prosperity and happiness.
''Such indeed would be a glorious event in the annals of the American
history upon which historians would delight to dwell not only those
contemporary with the arrival of that happy period but should she afterwards
sink to her former level in future ages it would be looked back upon as the
golden age and the bosom of historians would swell with enthusiasm in
contemplating her grandeur and magnificence enveloped in the mantle of
prosperity and standing prominent upon the hill of science surveying in her
proud majesty the broad area of enlightenment and freedom. If such could be
the progress of America up the rigid hill of sciences until she reached her
loftiest summit the records of those historians who are favored of heaven in
living to witness that propitious event will stand as undying evidence that
the prosperity of a nation rest not merely upon the accumulation of wealth
but the means of giving passage to the great fountain of national prosperity
is to unlock the door of the temple of knowledge and wisdom and let it burst
forth shedding it's benign influence upon the mind of every mortal being.
"If this noble work could be accomplished long would our glorious
Confederacy remain one and indivisible. But who can contemplate the fact
without melancholy and regret, that our moral and intellectual improvement
ever since the period of the Revolution has not kept pace with the rapid
increase in our population and the enlargement of our resources and that
those master spirits whose wisdom and patriotism directed us through that
mighty contest which left us a proud nation of united freemen linked together
by the Magna Charta of our common rights. Common rights have passed away and
left the destiny of this fair republic in the hands of those whose
unenlightened views are hurrying them onward with accelerating progress to
her final dissolution and eternal ruin. Happy would be our beloved ancestry
could that wild and reckless spirit of fanaticism which is pervading a
portion of our fair land yield to the dictations of reason, judgment and
sound sense and the agitators of those (vexed?) questions of national rights
and national wrong which has already shorn our beloved union to it's very
center and still threatens to shiver it into a thousand atoms would look to
the awful responsibility resting upon them and the misery and war they may
entail upon posterity and stop before it is finally and forever too late.
God grant the sun may forever set upon the shattered fragments of our
glorious union but that she may remain one and indivisible, going onward
(prospering?) and (to prosper?) and the flag of our common country wave in
proud triumph upon the mountain top of our national power--
Over the land of the free
And the home of the brave"
It would be only a matter of two or three years before James Exum
Sumner would find himself in uniform and fighting for the rights and beliefs
he expounded upon in this speech.
The old partial speech read:
"James E. Sumner 1845"
"It is with feelings of unusual embarrassment and reluctance I now
enter upon the discharge of duty devolved upon me by my honorable Preceptor.
An entire consciousness of my incapability of performing this duty in
accordance or consistency(?) with my wishes were I to throw all sense of
honor and conformity to the rules of the institute aside would of itself be
sufficient to deter me from the undertaking by feeling myself bound by a sense of honor and
the obligations incumbent upon me to fulfill this duty to the best of my
capacity I now enter upon its discharge cherishing the hope that should I
fail in the attempt you will suffer me to cast myself upon you charitable
indulgence____________no former occasion like the present have those
there__________emotions of embarrassment and reluctance been so intimately
blended with pleasure and delight. I feel proud my _____dense as it is
natural to suppose every youth of my age age would feel who possessed that
portion of pride essential to youth in consequence of that assurance and
confidence which my honorable Preceptor reposes in my abilities to devalue
upon me a duty like their present the performance of which rests entirely
upon my own merits. Where is the youth who is not destitute of all sense of
honor and of a sense of the efficiency of public opinion upon his future
character and standing in society that would not feel (?) those highsouled
and enthusiastic delights upon an occasion like the present. An occasion for
the purpose of testing his abilities and showing to the community at large
the extent of his information and his progress and advancement in science and
literature. It is an occasion that should arouse all the sensibilities and
call forth the energies of him who feels that sense of pride which should
characterize every student and his should likewise feel (deeply?) (dup-ss?)ly
sensibles of the obligations he is under to endeavor to promote to the best
of his capacity the interest of the occasion as well as the pleasure of the
audience. Prompted by these considerations I have taken a superficial view
of the different themes that are appropriate upon which to deliver an address
upon the present occasion and none seems to afford (such?) intensive grounds
and better adapter to the purpose than the importance of the grounds and
better adapted to the purpose than the importance of the general diffusion of
knowledge. (It?) theme of such vast magnitude that it would seem
assumptionus in a youth of my age to attempt it's investigation (?) of my
incapability in this respect I am deeply sensible but humbly trust that the
insipidity of my thoughts and the disconnected manner in which they will be
presented to your view together with the simple attire in which they will be
clothed will be lost sight of in the contemplation of the grandeur and
sublimity of my theme. Well am I aware that were you (addressed?) upon this
subject by one qualified for it's investigation and entering into its most
important details and capable of painting in the most glowing colors its vast
and inestimable importance that it could not rail to receive the attention of
that portion of this assembly who appreciate knowledge and delight in the
progress and diffusion of science and literature I esteem it as a theme so
far as my limited judgement extends worthy to engross the attention of the
world with the deepest interest as one of the most important and essential
both to the individual happiness of mankind as well as that of the community
at large. It is a theme in my humble opinion toward which (should?) be
manifested the deepest interest of mankind in general as it more immediately
affects the prosperity and happiness of a national government and should
therefore be esteemed as paramount to all others. As a lastion and
irrefutable proof of the assertion that the diffusion of
knowledge has a direct and immediate influence upon the prosperity of a
government we need only refer to the rise and fall of all nations that have
existed and gone before us. View them if you please when in a state of
ignorance and you will find that superstitution and barbarism were the most
prominent features that characterized their existence. Such as a natural
consequence must be inferred from the vary organization and structure of the
human mind such we are constrained to acknowledge will follow as an
inevitable result when we reflect for a moment and contemplate the
porpopensities which naturally and inseparably belong to mankind. They are
wrought in our very nature and so intimately blended with our existence that
strength and finally become so strong as to predominate unless counteracted
by some other influence entirely over our judgement. The spread themselves
if I may use the figure like the majestic oak they strike their roots deep
they rear their towering heads spreads their branches clothed themselves in
their dark and dusky foliage and impoverish the feeble and sickly judgment
which must of necessity grow beneath it. These are facts which come daily
within the observation of all reflecting men and it is an incontrovertible
truth that the mind of man cannot remain stationary there must either be a
continual advancement (or?) constant deterioration if then the mind be
susceptible of improvement and refinement of which fact every individual must
necessarily be convinced by his own sensible reason is it not sufficient to
bring the curse of God upon a nation of people whom he has endowed with
responsibilities(?) to yield up to the influence of .........."
This is all that was written on these pages. You can tell that it is
a rough draft. It seems to me that there were other pages where he had
practiced this same speech but both basically the same. Keep in mind as you
read this that James Exum Sumner was only 20 years old when he wrote it.
I made notes of genealogical interest from the old letters and papers
in Emmett Sumner's collection. From these old letters I was able to piece
together the members of James Exum Sumner's family and it gave me a starting
point as to whom I was looking for.
I will record them here for future researchers. When I excerpted them
many years ago I failed to note the date of each letter but most were written
in the 1860's and 1870's except where specifically noted:
A recipe for damson plum preserves signed by M.E. Bass
Letters from J.J. Abernathy, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Letter to E.P. Sumner, Nashville, Tennessee, dated November 9, 1822,
Herville Parish, Louisiana. Because it was so old I copied it in its
"Herville Parish, La.
Nov, 9. 1822
"This comes to inform you that I arrived home on the 23 of last
month, and would of got home much sooner had not Balltisier got lame. I was
obliged to lay by seven days in consequence of his lameness, and I then had a
grate deal of difficulty in getting him home. He is still lame and I am
doubtful will continue so. His lameness I never could account for unless he
got sprained. One of his fore legs became so swollen below the knee joint on
the hind part. My other horses stood the journey exceedingly well.
"the girls both got home in good health and stood the ride far beyond
my expectation. They send their respects to you and Mrs. Sumner and the
family, also to their acquaintances.
"I am sorry that it has not been in my power to inquire after your
man in Battonrouge as yet. The yellow fever was in the place when I past
through and has been until lately. I shall ride up in a few days and know
whether he has been there or not. I have rote to Mr. Skinner respecting the
stove, hoop pole business and requested him to rite on that subject.
"I should be glad for James to be shipped on board the Stem Boat. Jim
Green, together with the girls trunks, bed etc. They will be consigned to
Wm. Luis Desoby Placquemine. You will please take his receipt and enclose it
in a letter and send by the Capt. to the care of Luis Desoby Placquemine.
"I observed to Capt. Miner when I saw him in Nashville that so soon
as he landed my son, James, and the other things that he might have on board,
that I would draw on Reynolds & Ralston & Co. for the passage and freight.
He observed that the passage would be $20. The other things that I wanted
you to send me I would be glad you would send them by a flat as they would
cost two much to send them by steam boat 6 chairs 4 matts 2 benches and sic
baskets if you can get them if not as many as you can from 1 to 6.
"I feel very grateful to you fro your kindness to me both when at
your house last and at all other times. I shall always feel myself under
obligation to you and shall compensate you when ever it is in my power,
beside paying what I owe you. I as sorry to inform you that I won't make any
thing of a crop this season owing to the rot and worms in consequence of
which throws me very much in the back ground.
"I am dear sir very respectfully your friend and Hum servt.
This letter has survived for 170 years. It is almost a miracle
taking into consideration how the old houses use to burn and considering all
the hardships and moving done by many families back then not to mention
somewhere to keep such things. No doubt, this old letter had been in the old
trunk for many years. When Exum Sumner died his two sons were his
administrators and they probably went through all his old papers and selected
some things to keep. It was the one thing that proved that he was James
Exum's father until I found the settlement of Exum's estate (totaling about
$419.00) with James Exum and Jacob Battle Sumner as his executors.
Excerpts form other old letters and papers:
To J.E. Sumner while he was in Arkansas 1866 or 1867 fro Chl.
(Churchill, his brother-in-law) Lanier. "Say to Jacob we had a public
speaking in Nashville between E. Etheridge and Bill Stokes. Say to W.
Hinton..."say to J.E.S. to write soon."
J.E. Sumner to wife Kate 5 February 1863 during Civil War, "make
Prater finish my boots...You say you intend to stay over home (?) days and
Mrs. Adams nights...Billy Blair came down..Tom (Starnes) and I sent by him
$65 each to turn over to you and Eliza." (Eliza was Kate's sister..."Mrs.
Adams" was James Exum's sister, Eliza who married W.H. Adams)
J.E. Sumner to Kate..."in a little book you will find Dr. C.A.'s
prescription for (asthma?), etc...it cured Anna completely...You wanted to
know if I gave you note to Mrs. Muse..." (I think this was while he was
stationed at Shelbyville, Tennessee, during Civil War).
From Churchill Lanier, "Chl S. is now going to school at Hobson's
J.E. Sumner, Adm. of Estate of Henry J. Williams (doctor) citizen of
Rutherford County, Tennessee. J.E. Sumner was also a resident of Rutherford
County 6 June 1853....
J.E. Sumner, Adm of estate of Martha Williams, dec'd 28 January 1857
(his brother, Jacob Battle Sumner was co-executor.)
Those buying in the estate sale:
Sumner Hall J.Singleton
Silas McKay J.Walker
C. Lanier T. Walker
N.O. Love D. Craig
James Gee Lewis Craig
L.J. Waters Johnson
William Jenkin H.B. Hinton
James Witworth M.A. Williams
J.E. Sumner mentions Bob Russell (Robert Russell married Ella
Morrison, daughter of Dr. John Morrison of Bellefonte), Will, Hugh, John,
Tom, Mr. Hinton's place, Abe Hinton..."the negroes can gather
everything...come on over to Mrs. Hinton's and I will get permission to come
see you...Some think we will fall back to Tullahoma. If such be the case I
would have the pleasure of seeing you often at Mr. Hinton's..."
Eliza P. Adams, sister of J.E. Sumner, to him 21 February 1865, while
he was imprisoned at Camp Chase, Ohio: "I had a letter last week from Sallie
Kirby. They were all well up there...Nick fell yesterday...R. Love is still
here....Disappointed not seeing Kate before leaving Ala...Dennis is here
ditching for Dr. W.W....Ann and Harriet are still here....Ann will start
school in Edgefield...Mr. A. and Johnny send their love."
J.E. to Kate from Sumner's Landing, Arkansas...."tell Mr. Finney
we'll take 600 lbs of pork... tell you Uncle Jack (Dr. Andrew Jackson
Kirby)...Nick struck out on Old Dora for Vanburen county about 150 miles form
here to see his mama."
From "Sister" February, 1864..."I presume T. Smiley never rec'd your
note or he would have sent it out...What has become of W.H.H....We are living
at Dr. Williams place where Evander lived. The doctor is like a brother to
Mr. A...Ann and the two Harrietts still with us...Wallace is with us..."
This letter was written to James Exum Sumner while he was a prisoner
at Camp Chase, Ohio. This note appeared at the bottom of the letter:
"N.B. We will have to get permit from the commander at Camp Chase for
him to have the clothes."
Letter from James Exum Sumner in 1867 while he was in Arkansas:
"Brother and Dr. Pendleton have rented the upper Jordan place...Will spent
the day with us...Will and I, while in Ark.. Will received a letter from
henry this morning. He stated he expected of move to his place in
Alabama...Will speaks of going home about Christmas and living with his Pa if
he moves...Dr. Pendleton, Colonel Branch, Carrol Fletcher went down to
Redfork in the Dr.'s buggy..."
From Kate Sumner while she was in Arkansas in 1866..."Did Dr. Russell
go to Mexico...Give my regards to Swan and family..also Bob and Ella...Tell
Tom...Adams is gone to Mexico...has secured 640 acres of good land...Gen.
Price also gave a lot in American Town founded by Price and Harris."
Letter from Dr. J. J. Abernathy dated in 1853 at Murfreesboro,
Tennessee...mentions railroad stock and settlement of claims "subscribed by
Elisha Williams...H. Williams estate...Susan says don't forget to bring he
plates...learned from you sister Eliza you were coming down...." Also
mentions "our Orpheus Society concert on Friday night.
Letter dated July 16, 1867, South Bend, Ark. begins "Dear Aunt" and
Letter form J. Hinton 11 September 1876..."None of us has been to
Sewanee for some days was cause of delay getting your letter...Jakey been
sick...only Charlie and myself to wait on him. We are looking for sister and
Jord...they're going to Texas...Brother John...Jimmy will go with them...Am
sending RX to you...Dr. A's family were well at last account...Ma and all the
rest send their love."
From Kate Sumner while in Arkansas (1867?)..."Colonel Russell is in
Cordova Co. He attended Lucy Adams in her sickness...learned that Ann
Sanford had married (Ira?) Brown... Will Hinton...Duke Sumner, a cousin of
ours who went to Mexico with Eliza had ret'd to say Lucy dead and Eliza at
point of death."
H.B. Hinton to J.E. Sumner: "Send cotton seed c/o Jo Carter,
Decherd...Jimmy, Jacob's son, had pneumonia...They were all well in
Davidson...had letter from Colonel Hays and Sarah yesterday...Maria and the
children join me, etc...."
J.E. Sumner, 1862..."We are at Aunt Dollies. She lives 9 miles from
camp (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)...You and Sarah come and stay with her...Get
(Zog?) to come with you...Tell me what has become of Jack Martin and Red
Chisenall...Tell Mr. Adams and Eliza to write to me."
J.E. Sumner to Kate 1867 from Arkansas: "Your old friend Dr.
Hundnall is dead...
Letter to J.E. Sumner who was living at Murfreesboro, from
"Abernathy."....hounds given me by Elisha Childress...I will write George
Sumner tonight and see if I can engage his services...Yesterday I was out
with Hoffman and Elisha Childress...Have you seen Roberts about his land
yet....Swep Phillips will oversee for me next year...Roberts land joins mine.
Rutledge came down to the cars with us. I could not bring him to set a
price on his mountain land...If Sue's Lady's Book had come, send it down by
Thad...Alex Ewing had my rifle last...P.S. Sue is yet on her feet and
something less than her Uncle Joe. If her situation did not detain me, I
would be up there with you for my heart is in the lands.
From John Parks, Fort Morgan, June 24, 1861, to "sister and mother."
"One thing certain we are anxious to go and hope that a few weeks will be
enroute for Old Va....Capt. Bradford will be our Lieut-Colonel and Lewis will
be surgeon and I may be Capt. of the Company...have not rec a solitary line
from anybody in Jackson since my return...A young man by the name of Bogan
from Bellfonte died last night making the third man to die in our Co. If you
see Miss Mollie L(arkin) give hem my best love, etc." Signed John Parks.
From someone in Arkansas. Part of the letter is missing..."she will
make a fine cook for Aunt Pauline...I saw Kate Mason...She married a Mr.
Jones (They speak of Uncle Jones elsewhere)
Letter to James Exum Sumner from Churchill Lanier 26 December 1864
while James Exum was in prison at Camp Chase..."Mr. Adams doing the best he
can. He lives at Dr. Williams place near Mr. Love...Lou and Chl (Churchill)
my tow children both at home and I have not heard from Mr. Hinton or Dr.
Abernathy...Lou and Chl send their love to you...Mrs. M.A.E. Smith is
married. (One letter speaks of "Cousin Lou Lanier.")
J.E. Sumner to Kate 5 March 1863..."I want Sarah to come with you and
if Mollie and Ella will not stop off at Mr. Hinton's...Billy Blair, John or
Jake either will come with you...write to Sarah at Winchester what day you
John Parks to Kate Parks Sumner 23 July 1866..."Lizzie is deaf, the
cause of her being unable to talk (this must have been a child by John's
first wife, Mollie Larkin. Both mother and child later died and he tells of
moving their remains to the "Larkinsville Burying Ground" and says, "mother
sat up all night with me that night...."
To J.E. Sumner from Joe H.(inton?)..."Uncle Jones says...I directed
letter to Bellefonte and thinking perhaps you are at Anderson
(Tennessee?)...Turner told me that other day...Give our love to Uncle Will
J.E. to Kate 1863..."the potatoes you got from your Uncle Dick."
A receipt dated 1876, to J.E. Sumner "paid by order of County Supt.
Collins." This was probably when he was teaching school.
Letter dated 2 December 1866 (failed to note who wrote it)..."Dear
Will...am still staying at Bro. Embry's...Aunt Sue and I...Mr. (Fratherstom?)
lost his gin by fire...Ira (Zna?) and Pa rec letter from brother Joe...You
should see our little Willie...Billy Blair is about the same...Cal wants to
marry very bad, etc." Signed J.P.A. (or J.P.H.)
Letter from Kate's mother, Lucinda (Kirby) Parks (she was born in
1812) 22 October 1865, Scottsboro, Alabama, Gossett's folks are still here,
say they will leave next week...Tom and Eliza will move over next week...John
Black starts to move in the morning...John Ryan and family have moved to the
house where old Becca Russall lives...Little Joseph 'Buddy' Frazier
died...Wiley, Mary and Lucinda have gone to housekeeping at their father's
old place...write when you are ready fro Parks Kirby to come...Rufus Hollis
and Mary Ligon are married at last....In your next letter you must write
about Jane and Joshua...R.C. Parks died in December leaving 2 small children
by his 1st wife, none by his second."
Letter to J.E. Sumner before he married addressed to "Anderson" in
John Parks to Kate Sumner 1866..."Tell Will Hinton I will write him,
etc...Brown in Probate office again so he's happy."
18 November 1869, letter to J.E. & Kate Sumner from Eliza P. Adams,
sister of J.E. Sumner..."Jacob has a nice comfortable house on the north side
of the river...There are 100 negroes on his place...He has house on south
side of river we can have...I am sorry to hear you are going to the
mountains...direct your next letter to South Bend, Ark. They are all well at
(F City or T City--Maybe Franklin County, Tennessee) and Nashville."
John Parks to Kate 1866..."Mary Swan has a fine boy."
J.E. to Kate..."soap I sent by John Hinton..."
Tennessee Census Records
for use of others in the future
#1282 Joseph Phillips 66 b. Kentucky $33,000
Doritha 61 North Carolina (see
James 24 Tennessee
Mary 20 Tennessee
Ellen 16 Tennessee
Susan Sumner 20 Tennessee
#1281 Rebecca Phillips 37 N.C.
Susan 26 Tenn.
Elizabeth 22 Tenn.
Josiah 19 Tenn.
Rebecca 16 Tenn.
#1363 Jesse J. Abernathy 33 Virginia
Mary M. 29 Tennessee
Jesse M. 4
Clayton C. 22
??? Elisha Williams 67 N.C.
Sarah H. 62 Virginia
Mary Thompson 15 Tennessee
Thomas Williams 56 S.C.
Martha 48 N.C.
Elisha 21 Tennessee
Martha Ann 18 "
Sarah 16 "
Kindred P. 14 "
Priscilla 10 "
John 8 "
Walker 26 "
Elijah Philips 40 North Carolina
Martha 35 "
Louisa 15 Tenn.
William 13 "
Zekiel 10 "
Benton 9 Tenn.
Frances 8 "
Martha 6 "
Thompson 3 "
Asa 2 "
Martha Williams 50 N.C.
Panthia 11 Tennessee
Susan W. Bates 25 N.C. ("Bate" is
mentioned in the old
John W. Bates 2 Tenn. Sumner letters)
Moses Sumner 30 Tennessee
Eveline 25 "
Elizabeth 6 "
(Thos?) 4 "
Mary 2/12 "
Catherine Jones 21 "
George 22 "
Andrew 4 "
#1206 Sarah Williams 92 North Carolina
#1207 William Williams 74 North Carolina
Sally Williams 62 Tennessee
Char(lsp?) (female) 21 Tennessee
Mana G. " 23 "
Evander 21 "
("Evander" is mentioned several times in the old Sumner letters)
#1208 Josiah F. Williams 66 North Carolina
Henry C. 22 Tennessee
Sarah E. 20 "
Mary T. 19 "
#1268 Nicholas O. Love 27 Virginia
Dorothy (Sumner) 26 Tennessee
Newton H. 1 month "
#222 Burke (Duke?) Sumner 28 Tennessee
George Ann 24 "
Burke 1 "
#241 Church L. Lanier 45 North Carolina
Martha A(nn) 32 Tennessee
Louisa S. 3 "
William A. 2 "
Martha B. Earthman 44 North Carolina
#242 William D. Phillips 46 Tennessee $20,000
Eliza 46 Ireland
Milberry C. (female) 17 Tennessee
Mary B. 14 "
Joseph 12 "
Margaret 9 Tennessee
Daniel D. 7 "
William D. 6 "
Milberry 87 "
#243 William Phillips 41 Ohio
Sarah 21 Tennessee
Claiborne H. 3 "
Margaret A. 1 "
#261 Harrison B. Hinton 44 "
Mariah S(umner) 34 "
Joseph C.(E.) 12 "
Sarah S. 10 "
William H. 8 "
John O. (D.?) 5 "
Jacob L. 3 "
James E. 1 "
(The above Joe, as well as William H., wrote letters to James Exum and Kate
Sumner. Mariah was James Exum Sumner's sister).
#1266 E(xum) P. Sumner 64 North Carolina
Eliza 24 Tennessee
(Exum was the father of James Exum Sumner, Sr.)
#200 Jacob Sumner (agent) 26 Tennessee
Mary 16 Tennessee
Sarah 6 Tennessee
D(uke) W(illiam) Sumner 43 North Carolina
Catherine E. 33 Virginia
Martha A. 12 Tennessee
William A. 2 Tennessee
Catherine E. 1 "
Jesse Redd 12 "
(This Duke Sumner was the brother of Exum P. Sumner)
James Sumner 75 North Carolina
Sarah 75 North Carolina
James J. 34
(failed to copy state James and Mary born in but probably Tennessee)
Margaret Sumner 35 Tennessee
James 5 "
Randall 3 "
Charles Abernathy 52 Virginia
Jane 50 Tennessee
Elizabeth 16 "
Phillip Clardy 29 "
Rachel 26 "
Charles 6 "
Martha 4 "
Logan Drake 43 "