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Family History
by
John Gotea Pressley

Born 24 May 1833, South Carolina 

Died 5 July 1895, California


The following family history was written by J. G. Pressley and signed February 7, 1889, for the benefit of his family.  He discusses family members who fought for the King in the Revolutionary War, and after much discussion of family members he discusses life on his family plantation, etc.  He closes by mentioning a “Vol. 2” which discusses himself and his own family further, but it is not known whether this Volume 2 even exists. J.G. Pressley died is  1895. Maybe Volume 2 was  never written or  never finished.

This transcription of J.G. Pressley's Family History was donated to the Clarendon County SCGenWeb site by John Phillips.



Family History

Containing these names:

Pressley, Brockinton, Fowler, Gotea, Scriven, Burrows, Nesmith, & others.

 

The family names of my ancestors, so far as I have heard from my parents and two grandmothers, Mary B. Pressley and Elizabeth Gotea (both grandfathers died before my birth) are Brockinton, Scriven, Fowler, Orr, Barnes, Scott, Gotea, and Pressley.

Pressley:

I do not know from what part of Europe the family came, John Pressley the father of my father: John B. Pressley, died when his children were quite young, and they got from him very little of the family history.

John Brockinton Jr. (1754-1801), the father of my grandmother, Mary Barr B. Pressley (1783-1849), died leaving his children minors of tender years. The same maybe said of John Gotea, my grandfather on my mother’s side. These facts will account for the paucity as to incidents, names, etc. in the history which I am about to write.

From the position which the Brockinton, Scriven, and Fowler families held in South Carolina before and during the Revolutionary War, I think it would be safe to say that they came from England and belonged to the better class of people of that country.

John Brockinton Sr. (1722-1795), is the first of whom I can give any account. I have as old agreement for a marriage settlement made on the twenty-first day of April A.D. 1773 by and between John Brockinton Sr. and Benjamin Scriven, as Trustees, and John Brockinton Jr. and Martha Fowler, who were about to be married. Scriven did not sign, however. (Martha Scriven Fowler (1757-1825) daughter of James Fowler and Elizabeth Scriven)

I am unable to say how the Brockintons derive their descent from the Scrivens, but I know descent from that family has always been claimed by them. The name has been perpetuated in the family as a given name, I think that the wife of John Brockinton Sr. was a Scriven, and this Benjamin Scriven the trustee was probably her brother, and possibly her grandfather on her mother’s side.

(Benjamin Scriven was the brother of Elizabeth Scriven who m. James Fowler parents of Martha)

John Brockinton Sr. and his wife had a son, John Brockinton Jr. who is one of the parties to the marriage articles. They may have had other children, but I have no means now of ascertaining, and do not remember of having heard of any others. I am not able to give any of details of the life of John Brockinton Sr. nor the date of his death. He lived on Black River or near that stream, and not far from the old town of Black Mingo in Craven County, Colony of South Carolina, afterwards known as Williamsburgh District, State of South Carolina. The Scrivens and Brockintons lived in the bend of Black River below what is now known as Whitmans or Potatoe Ferry, and above the ferry known as Browns Upper or Rope Ferry. That section of country was then in Prince Fredricks Parish. Benjamin Scriven and Martha Fowler, when the marriage articles were signed, were described as "of Black River in Prince Fredricks Parish, South Carolina". John Brockinton Jr. as "of Black Mingo" in the same parish.

Tory John Brockinton Jr. married (as it appears from that instrument referred to) 1773 Martha Fowler. He was a very intelligent man, of splendid physique, and wealthy for the times. At the beginning of the Revolutionary struggle he espoused the cause of the King, as did a majority of the wealthy planters of Carolina, and became a Captain in the British service. He gave General Francis Marion and his command much trouble. Unfortunately for family tradition, owing to the youth of his children when he died, very few of his adventures as a solider have been handed down to his posterity.

The old Town of Black Mingo in which he lived was situated on a large navigable Creek of the same name, one of the principle tributaries of Black River, On one occasion he pursued Marion from Williamsburg (or Craven County as it was then called) up into North Carolina, but failed to catch him or make him fight. After Marion’s escape, the British forces returned, and went into camp near Black Mingo. Feeling perfectly secure the commanding officer was not as vigilant as soldiers ought to always be. The Creek was crossed by means of a bridge was not picketed as it should have been. Then Marion had eluded his pursuers, presuming on their feeling of security induced by their pursuit and his long retreat, he turned back on their tracks. When he reached the bridge he directed the blankets of his men spread and thus deadened the sound of their horses’ feet. The bridge was crossed and with this command he charged the British camp, and completely surprised his late victorious pursuers. The Red Coats were routed, and many who escaped were driven in to the neighboring swamp. I have no means of ascertaining the number killed or wounded. The family tradition is that Capt. John Brockinton’s children were all so young at the time I would sooner rely on the statement of the biographer that on their memory. As the affair was not well managed we will let Col. Ball have all the credit. Capt. Brockinton was a brave man, and gallant soldier, and his descendants may rest assured that he did his duty with his usual courage in the engagement.

I have never heard from my grandmother or any of his grandchildren, or old men of the neighborhood who were boys during that war, that Capt. Brockinton conducted military operations other than in accordance with the laws of civilized warfare. The great confidence shown in him by his neighbors after the war is the best proof that he was a brave soldier and conscientious man. There was, during the Revolutionary struggle, bitter animosity between the loyalists and whigs, and no doubt, as the case is in every civil war, there were acts of violence and lawlessness on both sides. None can be established as having been practiced by authority of Captain Brockinton, I believe.

The Captain had the courage of his convictions, and never surrendered, as did many of the loyalists. After the war when the legislature of South Carolina passed confiscation acts his name was included in the list of the unrepentant. (See Vol. 7th Statues at large of S.C. page?) He lost much of his property in moving it from place to place to keep it out of reach of the officers charged with the execution of the confiscation laws. The repeal of these laws left him or his estate with considerable land, but of no great value. In fact, its was of value is the only reason I can think of for its not being confiscated. It must in some way have escaped the notice of the officers of the law, or it may have been, and I think probably it was, that his neighbors through sympathy for him and his family would not bid on his land when exposed for sale. I find among the papers left by him a (copy of a) petition in behalf of his wife and children addressed to the legislature of South Carolina by seventy-three of his fellow citizens. On this list of petitioners I recognize the names of some of the most respectable people of Williamsburg. This petition represents his family as being "reduced from easy circumstances, to poverty and distress", his estate confiscated and "he on the banishment list". This petition is without date, but was probably sent to the Legislature when Capt. Brockinton was in hiding with his Negroes with him. How much of his property escaped confiscation, I have no means of ascertaining, but he had some left, and his family after the repeal of the confiscation acts were not so destitute as they appear by the petition to have been previously. Some of the lands were sold by his heirs, after I came to the bar, with my assistance. (See case of Sarah Jacks vs. Carraway & Perkins, Court of Equity, Williamsburg District, South Carolina.) My father gave up his claim to the poorer heirs. Capt. Brockinton’s house was standing within my recollection (but in ruins) on the right hand side of the main street as one enters the Town of Black Mingo from the land side. It had for the times been a fine structure. Its owner had much of the spirit of the British Cavalier.

Capt. John Brockinton was urged by his fellow citizens after the war to consent to serve them in the Legislature, but he declined, feeling, probably that those who had gained their independence against his opposition should govern themselves without the assistance of their former enemies. I have heard of but one manifestation of bad spirit after the war was over on the part of Capt. Brockinton. That was directed against two ex-Captains of Marion’s command I believe their names were White and Simons. When these two soldiers came into town he would dress his two young sons in British uniform and have them show themselves to the two old Whigs that he might enjoy their anger. He was a man of so much courage and strength that they never ventured to vent their rage on him, which it was probably his purpose to have them do.

When an uprising of the people succeeds it is a glorious revolution, when it fails it is a rebellion. The participants in the former case are "patriots"; in the latter "rebels". Had the cause of the Colonies failed Capt. Brockinton’s name would have gone into history as a distinguished patriot and soldier. How unjust to the conscientious man that righteousness of his cause, and with the narrow minded, his honesty and patriotism must be proved by success; risking fortune, family and life in maintaining political opinions and principles is the highest proof a man can give of his honesty and patriotism.

After the death of her husband Martha Brockinton left Black Mingo, and settled near Dickey’s Bay, waters of Turkey Creek, Williamsburg District. There she lived the remainder of her life. Her son, William Brockinton, lived with her and managed her small plantation; at the same time taking care of the large estate of William Burrows (his brother-in-law) of which he was the executor, and Guardian of his nephew, the son and only child of his brother-in-law and his sister.

The place where Mrs. Brockinton lived was known within my recollection as Brockinton’s Old Field. The houses were all gone before my day. The title to the land passed by conveyance after Mrs. Brockinton’s death to the Gamble family, and is still in them.

John Brockinton Jr. and Martha Fowler Brockinton his wife had children born to them:

  1. Mary Barr Brockinton (1783-1849) m. John Pressley (?-1821)
  2. Elizabeth Scriven Brockinton (1784-1813) m. William Burrows (?- 1816)
  3. John Brockinton (1788- 18??) m. Sarah Nesmith
  4. William Scriven Brockinton (1795-1832) m. Louise Eliz Scott (1794-1854)
  5. Martha Fowler Brockinton (1778-1801) m. John Scriven

 

There may have been other children, but I do not remember hearing of them.

 

I will begin my account of these children with the last named.

William Brockinton married a very handsome and intelligent woman. Her maiden name was Eliza or Elizabeth Dollar. I knew her as "Aunt Eliza". When she married Brockinton she was a widow and her name was Robinson.

William Brockinton and Eliza Dollar Robinson Brockinton, his wife had children born to them:

  1. John Fowler Brockinton
  2. Matilda Brockinton
  3. William Robinson Brockinton
  4. Martha Brockinton
  5. James Scriven Brockinton
  6. Burrows Pressley Brockinton

John Fowler Brockinton was a physician. He lived in Kingstree, S.C. and had a large lucrative practice, and was very successful. He and his brother James S. Brockinton practiced in partnership. They were my family physicians, and brought me and my children through some desperate cases of fever, the prevailing disease of that malarious country. After the marriage of Dr. John F. Brockinton and Elizabeth Scott he settled about six miles from Kingstree, where he was living when I left Carolina. Subsequently he went to Georgia, and then to Charleston and engaged in the "Factoring Business". He returned to Kingstree, and built a house near the N.E. railroad depot, in which he died very suddenly. My brother Burrows and I were hospitably and cordially entertained there by his widow Elizabeth Brockington in the spring of 1885 when on a visit to S.C. Dr. F. Brockinton was an upright, worthy man.

John Fowler Brockinton (1833-1893) married Elizabeth Scott, daughter of Joseph Scott and Mary Mathews, a citizen of Williamsburg in high standing. Children were born to them, but I am unable to state the name of all of them. His oldest son, Joseph, was Sheriff of Williamsburg County in 1885 when I was there. Upon the re-organization of the State Government, after the War between the States, the Districts were called Counties, and Williamsburg District is now Williamsburg County.

Matilda Brockinton died a minor and unmarried. I remember her as an interesting young lady. (1824-1837)

William Robinson Brockinton (1828-1885) was one of my deepest relatives. He was a man of most exemplary character. I found him installed in the office of Clerk of Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions, in February, 1854, when I commenced the practice of law. I have heard Honorable Henry McIver, (for years Solicitor of the Eastern Circuit and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of S.C.) say that William R. Brockinton was the best Clerk in that Circuit, which was then composed of the Districts (now Counties) of Chesterfield, Marlborough, Darlington, Horry, Marion, Georgetown, and Williamsburg. He continued to fill with unquestioned fidelity and ability the office clerk till I left the State to come to California in 1869, having been elected time after time. After the War of 1861-1865, and after I left the State, he was Auditor of Williamsburg County. I spent a couple of nights in his house during my visit to my dear old State in 1885. I found him the same affectionate relative which he had from his boyhood been to me. He was then suffering with cancer of the lip. He died soon after my return to California of some internal trouble caused probably by the condition of his system brought on by cancer. Upon my removal from S.C., and upon my leaving the State on my visit in 1885, he did come to bid me "good-bye", but sent me word that he could not bear the parting. It was too painful to him. He married Miss Sarah Singleton, a lady who was born and raised in Kingstree. She was a daughter of Dr. Thomas Singleton. His home was on Black River adjoining and above the corporate limits of the town. My old home was on eleven acres of the same tract of land lying on the road leading to Sumter, which I purchased from Dr. James Scriven Brockinton and his wife. They were our next neighbors towards the town, their dwelling being what was once the Kingstree Academy, and about three hundred yards from ours. I sold the place after I came to California to Melville J. Hirsch, a lawyer then, but during the war Commissary Sergeant in the Wee Nee Vols. Gregg’s 1st Regiment S.C.V. in 1861. William R. Brockinton and Sarah Brockinton his wife, had children born to them:

  1. Allean Brockinton
  2. Scriven Brockinton
  3. Thomas Day Brockinton
  4. Warren Brockinton

And I think some others who were quite young when I left S.C. or have been born since. I do not remember the number of their names.

Allean Brockinton married Herbert Cunningham, a son of Alexander Cunningham, who married Ann Gregg, and who through my grandmother Gotea, was a distant relative.

Herbert Cunningham and Allean Brockinton Cunningham his wife, had children to them. I do not know their names. They (Herbert and Allean) send me photographs of their twin daughters. I visited and dined with them in 1885. They lived on the road leading from Kingstree to Gresham’s Cross Roads about six miles from the former place, on a part of William R. Brockinton’s plantation, and near his home.

Scriven Brockinton has another given name, but I do not remember it. He was a very promising Presbyterian preacher. He married a lady in Beaufort, S.C. I have never seen her and do not know her name.

Thomas Day Brockinton is a farmer and lives near his father’s place. He is married, but I do not know to whom.

Warren Brockinton is a physician and was in Beaufort when I heard from him last.

Martha Brockinton married Warren Muldrow of Sumter District. They lived in S.C. about a mile and a half from the church known as the "Brick Church" on the road leading from Pudding Swamp in Williamsburg District to Sumter. About the year 1857 or 1858 they moved to Arkansas and settled in Homestead County.

Warren Muldrow is dead, his widow still lives, and has sons and daughters. I have seen two of the sons, but do not remember their names. One of them while a soldier in the Confederate Army was shot through the body, the ball passing among his intestines without cutting or penetrating one of them. A soldier perhaps never escaped death after so remarkable a wound.

James Scriven Brockinton (1830-1892) is a physician, living and practicing at Kingstree, S.C. He has a large practice. He was for years in partnership with his brother Dr. John F. Brockinton, as I have already said. He was my nearest neighbor, and intimate friend. He and John were our family physicians. Some of my children who read this will probably still remember the taste of his medicine. He served in the Wee Nee Volunteers (of which I was Captain) in Col. Maxy Gregg’s Regiment. He and I owned a small plantation together on Bobby Swamp about three miles from Kingstree. Each farmed a portion of the land. About the time I left S.C. I sold my interest to a man named James Harper, I saw Dr. James S. Brockinton in 1885. There was but one of my relatives who manifested as much pleasure in doing everything which he could to make my visit pleasant. His attention has left the most grateful recollection of him on my mind. He married Miss Virginia Singleton, a sister of Sarah, the wife of his brother William R. Brockinton. I have already mentioned that I purchased the land owned by me at Kingstree from them. It had come to Virginia from the Estate of her father, and had once been the land of William Brockinton, the father of Dr. James S. Brockinton.

James Scriven Brockinton and Virginia Singleton Brockinton his wife, had children born to them:

  1. Lou Brockinton
  2. Moll Brockinton
  3. Wilmot D. Brockinton
  4. Jack Brockinton
  5. Marian Estel Brockinton

I am not sure that there are not others.

Lou Brockinton married Thomas M. Gilland, a promising young lawyer who has been Solicitor of the Circuit in which Williamsburg is now. They have children. I found them in the house known as the Sam P. Mathews House, a building occupying a part of the yard in which stood the house known as the Rich or Armstrong House, in which my wife and I commenced housekeeping in 1854.

Moll Brockinton married ?? a Methodist preacher. They have children, but I did not meet them in 1885, and know nothing to write of the family.

Wilmot D. Brockinton was a promising physician after I left S.C. The thread of his existence was cut by an over-ruling Providence just before my return in 1885.

Jack Brockinton was in business with his father in a drug store in 1885. I have heard he has become a physician since that time. He is a fine looking young man.

Marian Estel Brockinton, a very handsome young lady. At home with her parents in 1885.

Burrows Pressley Brockinton, (1832-????) was the youngest child of his parents, William and Eliza Brockinton. He was an unassuming, honest, brave, conscientious, noble fellow. He was a private in the Wee Nee Volunteers in Gregg’s Regiment. Upon the re-organization of the company for service in Hagood’s Regiment he was elected Orderly Sergeant. A more efficient officer and agreeable friend and associate I could not have had. When in camp he shared my tent, and when in barracks (as we were at Battery Island on the Stono River) my room. Though it was not customary for Commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers or privates to mess together, Burrows P. Brockinton was my messmate while in Col. Haygood’s 1st Regiment S.C.Vols.

Upon the 3rd re-organization of the Wee Nee Vols., preparatory to the formation of the Eutaw Battalion (which afterwards became the 25th S.C. Vols.) Burrows P. Brockinton was elected 2nd Lt., was as faithful as a commissioned as he had been as a non-com. officer. Before the accident which rendered him unfit for further active field service he was, while the Regiment was encamped at Secessionville, in 1862 on one occasion sent out on a reconnaissance in command of a small detachment. He encountered the enemy and drove them to their gun boats.

While the Regiment was encamped on Elliot’s Cut on James Island, he had an operation performed on one of his feet by Dr. William Ravenel, our Surgeon, for a bunion or tumor. The incision did not heal for years, and he was not able afterwards to do further duty as an infantry officer. He found it necessary to resign his commission. This was in 1863.

The ancestral lands and house on Pudding Swamp, Williamsburg District, fell to him and there he led the life of a successful planter, honored and respected by all who knew him till his death which occurred on the 13th day of May, 1888.

Burrows Pressley Brockinton married first a Miss Maria Burgess, and after her death a Miss Emma Bagnell married Dec. 1857 (Williamsburg Presbyterian Church records) then to a third wife, Edwina Bagnell, There were children born to him and those ladies, but I know the name of but one (the other were either very young when I left S.C. or have been born since).

Samuel Peter Brockinton, I was told in 1885 that he was a very successful merchant. I met him and his wife that year, but I do not remember what the name if his wife is, nor what her maiden name was.

The descendants of William Brockinton were Presbyterians, and all four of his sons and their wives and daughter were, and living are consistent members of that church. I am unable to say how many of their children are communicants. Aunt Eliza was a sincere follower of the Master.

I now come to another son of Capt. John Brockinton Jr., namely John Brockinton. In his younger days he was inclined to be rather dissipated. Being the first son of his father, the old Cavalier was very proud of him, and his indulgence, as I have heard my Grandmother, his sister, say, made a spoilt boy of him. However, John Brockinton, after "Sowing his wild oats", reformed, and before his death became a consistent member of the Black Mingo Baptist Church. He lived not far from the bend of the Black River, in the midst of a fine cattle range, open country not fit for cultivation. He had some cultivatable land, and owned a few Negroes.

His property consisted of principally of cattle, of which he had a fine herd. Some of my fathers ranged with his, and I used to think the annual gathering in the Spring companied my father. We spent the night at "Uncle Johnnie’s" every year, and the next day went to what Californians would call a "rodeo". All of the cattle were driven to the Big Savanna (a small prairie about three miles in circumference) and each stock owner separated his cattle from the large herd, which had been collected from every part of the range by the neighbors who gathered from every direction on these occasions. He married Miss Sarah Nesmith. We called her "Aunt Sally", and I remember her as one of the prettiest old ladies whom I have ever seen. John Brockinton and his wife Sarah had children born to them:

  1. John Brockinton
  2. Samuel Brockinton
  3. Sarah Brockinton
  4. Mary Brockinton
  5. James F. Brockinton
  6. William Scriven Brockinton
  7. Benjamin Franklin Brockinton
  8. Martha Brockinton m. Alexander McCullough

 

I can not name them in the order of their ages. John Brockinton married Mary Salina Green and had a large family of children. He lived near his father’s and was designated as "Young John Brockinton". In 1839 he taught a school within a few hundred yards of my father’s house. He was my first teacher. My sister, Mary, and I went to his school. We first stayed at my grandmothers, but in 1839 my father settled on the place where most of my boyhood was spent, near Turkey Creek (waters of Black Mingo Creek) and built his house near Brockintons school house, which was on father’s land. My sister and I thereafter went to that school from home. I knew A B C D and E when I commenced school, and made very satisfactory progress under the tuition of John Brockinton.

I am not able to state the names of the children of John and Salina Brockinton not their number. Both he and his wife are dead.

Samuel Brockinton, I have no recollection of ever having seen. I am not sure who he married, but think her name was Arnet. He emigrated to Mississippi when I was a small boy, and I knew nothing of him of his family.

Sarah Brockinton, married a man named Jacks, They lived in Georgetown, S.C. It was an unhappy marriage. His dissipation or some other reason caused him to commit suicide. They had one child whom they named Sarah. I knew her very well, and two or three times had charge of her money which I invested and managed for her. Sarah’s full name before marriage was Sarah A.H. Jacks. Sarah Jacks, nee Brockinton after the death of her husband, John Jacks, returned to Williamsburg and married Benjamin M Nesmith. Children were born to them but I do not know their number nor names. I met one of the sons in 1885. He is said to be very thrifty and respectable.

Benjamin M. Nesmith and Sarah Brockinton, his wife, are both dead. Benjamin was overseer on my mother’s plantation after my father’s death in 1863 till 1865.

Mary Brockinton married George Hanna. They lived on Campbell Swamp, Williamsburg District. They are both dead. George Hanna and his wife Mary had born to them two children: Elizabeth Hanna and Samuel Hanna

The father of these children said that he would rear them without correction. Samuel showed the fruits of such want of control, and had Elizabeth been a boy, she would have shown the same want. Elizabeth married David P.???? It was a very unhappy marriage. She survived him, and is now the wife of a much better man named???

Samuel Hanna married a lady whose name I can not recall. His marriage brought unhappiness to his wife. He died in 1866. (George Hanna son of Hugh Hanna)

James F. Brockinton was a school fellow of mine. I never met his wife and do not know her name. He is dead. He left several children, none of whom I have met. Have had come correspondence with one of his sons who was anxious to come to California. I did not encourage him. His education, judging from his letters, is not commensurate with his aspirations. James F. Brockinton is dead.

(It looks like he may have been married to Mary Eliz King)

William Scriven Brockinton was also a school mate, as was also Ausy Nesmith, his wife. He was a private soldier in Co. F, 25th S.C. Vols. He is now the owner of the old Homestead on Turkey Creek. We sold the land to him, and he occupies the house in which so many happy days of my boyhood and early manhood were spent. My brother "Burry" and I visited him there in 1885. I can not say the visit was one of unmixed pleasure. With the first view of the house from the (blank) in the avenue, at Heddlestone Bay, came rushing into my mind so many recollections of the past, and of dear departed, that I was overpowered by my emotions, and by the time I reached the gate I was too full for utterance. When we were ushered into the family sitting room, and saw the places on each side of the hearth that in time past used to be occupied by my father and mother, the children, more than half now "on the other side of the river", completing the half circle in front of the broad, old fire place, my tears could no longer be kept back. I asked my cousin not to make me talk to him then. He seemed to appreciate my feelings, and did not press further conversation at that time. The next morning we were allowed (considerately) to wander over the old place and look at the familiar spots, everyone bringing back reminiscences of the days gone by. But two of the many outbuildings erected by my father were standing, the gin houses and one other house. The packing screw was a dilapidated and useless piece of machinery. We strolled to the site of the Negro quarters. The long street of houses were all gone, except one. That was occupied by Jack (Debby). The poor fellow seemed almost gone with consumption, or some other wasting disease. The dwelling house was in a remarkably good state of preservation. Father Time seemed to have contented himself with laying his ruthless hand on the outbuildings on the plantation. The slight increase in the size of the trees surprised me. They seemed to have stopped their growth for sixteen years. Perhaps the departure of the family stunned them with grief, and they had been waiting all these years for the nurturing hand of the mistress whom they no more shall know.

William Scriven Brockinton and Auzy Brockinton, his wife, had children born to them. I do not know their names, nor the number. I saw three of them in 1885.

Benjamin Franklin Brockinton was an affectionate relative and good client of mine. He lived in such as "out of the way place" not very far from his father’s old plantation, that I never visited his house, never found a convenient opportunity. I had settled in Kingstree before he had a house of his own. He married a widow, a Mrs. Munnerlyn whom I did not know. Benjamin Franklin Brockinton and his wife had children, I do not know their names and numbers. (Think his wife was Martha Greer Hamblin)

I can not say whether John Brockinton and Samuel Brockinton were Christian men, but all of the rest of the children of John and Sarah Brockinton were members of the Baptist Church. Some of the grandchildren are also communicants.

We come now to a daughter of Captain John Brockinton Jr., I do not know her name but think it was Elizabeth Scriven Brockinton, She married a Burrows, whose name I believe was William. He was a member of the Legislature of S.C. and represented Williamsburg District. I have heard very little about him. He was a rich man. His plantation was on Turkey Creek. He died in Columbia while attending the Legislature, having survived his wife.

Martha Brockinton, like most people of her day, was a little superstitious. The old lady believed in signs and warnings. On one occasion her son, William, went to Dickey’s Bay hunting wild turkeys which were always numerous in S.C. He left his horse at the edge of the bay and went in hoping to "roost" the turkeys. He came out after dark and mounted his horse for home, but had not proceeded far when his horse stopped short. Brockinton’s story is that he saw by the bridle path, which he was traveling, what appeared to be a coffin with a white sheet placed over it. (It was that and up to my time in that country customary to put a sheet over the receptacle of the dead.) He determined to investigate and ascertain what this apparition was, but his horse refused to go nearer; he urged and kept urging his steed till a half circle was made, and he found himself on the home side of this strange object, when having become nearly as nervous as the horse, he gave up his efforts at discovery and proceeded on his way home. The next morning he returned for further investigation, found the semi-circular trail of the horse, but no impression that there had been any object on the grass at the center. There had been no impression made on the grass at that point. Upon giving his mother an account of his adventure of the night, the old lady replied, "Oh, William, some dreadful calamity is about to happen in our family". The next mail brought information of the death in Columbia of Burrows, her son-in-law. The occurrence did not lessen the good old lady’s belief in signs and wonders.

Elizabeth Scriven Burrows (1784-1813) and William Burrows, Senior, had born to them one son: William Burrows Jr. The death of his father left William an orphan of tender years. He was born about the year 1810, and was near the age of my father. He was taken by his grandmother, but upon her death went to live with Mary B. Pressley, my grandmother. She brought him up as one of her own sons. He ever cherished for her the affection of a son for a mother. His love for my father was, I believe, the full of that which one brother has for another. His large property was well managed by his uncle William Brockinton. Upon his coming of age his Guardian turned over to him a princely domain, hundreds of Negroes, and a large sum of ready money. I think I have heard the amount of the ready cash stated to be $40,000., which in those times was of itself a fortune. Notwithstanding the careful training by my grandmother, when young Burrowsgot his large estate in to his hands he entered upon a career of wild extravagance, and did not reform till the last dollar of his cash was gone. He did not, however, encumber his land, or part with his slaves, but suddenly reformed, and became a man of exemplary conduct, and after a most happy marriage a devout Christian, and consistent member of the Episcopal Church. He never ceased to love my father, and while the associate of his boyhood was in rather slender circumstances, he remembered his valuable and appreciated service. Upon the death of an uncle, George Burrows, he came in to the ownership of another fine estate, and presented my father with a fine tract of several hundred acres of land, a part of that estate. The tract was known as the Boggy Gully land, and is now owned by Col. James McCutchen to whom my father’s heirs sold it since we have been California.

I can not close this sketch of William Burrows without mentioning his kindness to me. In 1855 when I built my house in Kingstree, he pressed on me the services of his two Negro carpenters for one year and his plasterer and brick mason as long as I had use for him in building my house.

When a boy, he made me little presents such as a boy would like, and after I commenced to practice law he refused to allow me to attend to his business unless I would promise, when he brought me something to do, to charge him just as if he was a stranger. I felt some disappointment that he would not allow me to return some of his many acts of kindness. Then coming to California I had in my hands a balance of $77.19 due him from collections made on his account. He refused to receive if, saying to me, "you will need it in California worse than I will here". I have made some small return to his son, Edward, of his father’s generosity. I hope my financial condition will soon enable me to make further return.

William Burrows was emphatically the poor man’s friend. No needy man left his door empty handed. I know one family (Norths) that he entirely maintained, furnishing them with food and shelter, expecting and receiving no other return than to see at last three of the boys grow up to be useful and respectable.

William Burrows (1811-1884) married Julia Flood of Charleston District. In the latter years of his life he sold his plantation in Williamsburg District, and lived in a fine place near Bradford Springs in Sumter. His wife Julia was a most excellent woman. She preceded him to a better world by about 20 years. He died of softening of the brain in 1883 or 1884. William and Julia Burrows had children born to them:

  1. Elizabeth Scriven Burrows
  2. Mary Stanyarn Burrows
  3. Edward Flood Burrows

Elizabeth Scriven Burrows married Alexander Colclough. He is dead. She still lives on her place near Bradford Springs. I saw her last 1865. I thought he then one of the handsomest women that I ever saw. Elizabeth and Alexander Colcough had born to them one son. I believe he is named for his father.

Mary Stanyard Burrows married a Mr. Gilliard. She is dead, leaving no children.

Edward Flood Burrows lives near Bradford Springs in Sumter County. He married a Miss Kennedy. I do not know her given name. Her father lived in Camden. They have several children. I do not know their names nor number.

I now come nearer to my own family, and take up for a few observations my own grandmother, Mary Barr Brockinton (1783-1849), Why she was given that name of "Barr", I do not know. There was a family of that name in Williamsburg, but they were in no way related to the Brockintons. She married John Pressley. Neither of them at the date of their marriage owned much property, indeed so little, that when my grandfather John Pressley died leaving a widow and five small children, it required close economy and prudent management on the part of my grandmother to maintain her family. She was not able to give her boys and girls much education. They had to content themselves with such knowledge of books as could be got in the schools taught in the neighborhood, and according to my fathers account of them, they were not of a high character. The two of the children, were possessed of intellectual capabilities, that made up for a lack of opportunity, and enabled them to acquire for themselves and education above that of the ordinary farmer. My grandmother and her husband settled on Turkey Creek. The house which they first lived in was gone before my day, and the place where it had stood was known as the "Old House Field" and was marked by a large mulberry tree of the white variety. The house which I remember so well, and in which I spent so many happy days, and some very unhappy nights, was then built of a better class than most of their neighbors. My grandmother’s slaves increased, being well treated and taken care of, so that at my earliest recollection, she was considered as being what people called "well off". She was in very easy circumstances. In 1839 my father settled on the same plantation on the East side of Turkey Creek, and took charge of my grandmothers business. They united forces and farmed together dividing the crop in proportion to their slaves cultivating it. Their cattle which were also numerous were kept together, and the proceeds of the stock divided. It became my especial business to look after this stock as soon as I was old enough, and many a day have I spent in the saddle, as the western men would call a "Cowboy". I was very proud of it when the weather was not too hot, and water too scarce; then I suffered a great deal from the sun and thirst. I was very fond of visiting my grandmother in the day and time, and managed to dine there at least once a week. I have a feeling recollection even at this day of the nice chicken and toothsome bread which I was acquainted to eat at her house. I have in my mind as ineffaceable picture of the old lady sitting in her great arm chair, on her piazza in summer and by her fireside in the winter giving directions to Hester, the cook or Amy the house servant. As fond as I was of my old grandmother and as much as I liked to visit her in the day, I never stayed in her house at night if I could help it, unless I had other boys for company. Amy, the house girl, who was a great favorite with children, would fill our minds with Ghost Stories. My grandmother was in the habit of retiring almost as soon as the chickens, and when she sent me to bed, Amy’s ghost stories could come so vividly to my mind, that I could almost see the Goblins which she had painted, in such horrible colors. I invariably covered my head for fear I would see them. Upon Amy’s authority I was afraid of seeing John Cooper’s ghost any night. He was one of my cousins who died in my grandmother’s company room. Grandma was very fond of her grandchildren and they of her. We enjoyed meeting at her house and spending a day (or a night when two or three of us could sleep together and have Amy for a protector to exorcise the spirits which we almost believed she could call up). The children were too polite, and loved the old lady too much, to remind her that she was getting in the habit of telling the same story two or three times, we would affect intense interest in her story just as much as if we had never heard it, and when she came to the end, would exclaim, "Why, Grandma", and laughed heartily if the story was intended to amuse. I believe that after Mary and john Cooper whom she took charge of when they were almost infants, I was her favorite grandchild. She provided for my education entirely. She first offered to do so if I would study for the ministry. I entertained so high a respect for that calling that I felt my unfitness. Perhaps I may have to some extent been influenced by the thought that I would have to give up some worldly pleasures. At any rate, I declined to accept of her bounty on the proposed conditions, and asked her to send me to the S.C. Military Academy. After some hesitation and delay the good old lady acceded to my wishes, and I went to the institution at her expense on the 15th day of January 1848. My grandmother died before I completed my course of study, but charged the property devised to my father and Aunt Martha Mouzon with the expense of my education.

When I have traced the descent of her husband John Pressley, my grandfather, I will mention her children.

The maiden name of my grandmother on my mother’s side was Elizabeth Scott born the 6th day of May 1790. I do not know of her mother’s maiden nor given sir name, nor do I know her fathers given name. He died and his widow my great grandmother married a Mr. McConnell (James) whose name I regret my inability to state. My grandmother married John Gotea who was my grandfather on my mother’s side. My grandmother was left a widow with two children, Sarah my mother and Margaret Jane my aunt. Grandma lived on the road leading from Kingstree via Black Mingo to Georgetown on a small stream called Coldwater Run. Her plantation lay on both sides of this stream, and extended to Black Mingo Swamp. It was of considerable extent and very fine land. She owned a few Negroes, and some live stock. Her property sufficed my good management to keep her and her children in comfort. Upon her husbands death his estate was partitioned between the widow and her two daughters, but was kept together on the plantation. Upon my fathers marriage on the 5th day of January 1830,

He took up his residence with his mother-in-law, and with his Negroes and those of my grandmother and her two daughters, carried on the farm for their joint benefits till the summer of 1839, when he moved to Turkey Creek and joined forces with his own mother.

After the death of my grandfather (and perhaps before) my grandmother opened her house as a way-side inn. Being about half way between Georgetown and Kingstree, and being an excellent house-keeper it became a very popular stopping place, and her income was considerably increased. She was a fine looking proud old lady, very popular with her friends, and much loved by her grandchildren. My brother James, seemed to be her favorite, and remained with her for a considerable time after the removal of my father and family to Turkey Creek. After the death of her daughter, Margaret Jane (1823-1845) who married Robert Harvey Wilson, she took up her residence in my father’s house, where she lived from June 1846, till she died on the 27th day of October 1851. Her life was terminated by an accident. She was on a visit to her half-sister the wife of Hugh McCutchen (Mary McConnell) and fell in an attack of vertigo from the piazza (about five feet) to the ground.

Several of her ribs were broken and probably the head of the femur. It was some time before she could be brought home, and then in a bed suspended from the sides of a wagon body. The bones refused to knit. She was never on her feet again, and died after weeks of suffering. She was a consistent member if the Indiantown Church (Presbyterian). The mother of Elizabeth Scott married James McConnell and bore children:

  1. Janet McConnell (1795-1866)
  2. George McConnell
  3. Mary McConnell
  4. Thomas McConnell

Janet Mconnell married John Dick. They lived on Paisley Swamp about six miles above Indiantown Church. Aunt Jennie, as her nieces and nephews called her, was a lovely old lady, and was loved by none of her nephews more than by me. My sister, Mary, and I boarded in her house and went to school first to James Stone and then to a Presbyterian Preacher from Ohio, named Laferty. We were there a year or more. Her husband John Dick, was noted for his innocent but tantalizing tricks on his boy relatives. I remember particularly one which he played on me. The McCutchen boys and I were in the habit of bathing at the bridge on the road across Paisley Swamp. Our practice was discourage but not forbidden. We were told that a large alligator frequented that place, but we thought we were in no danger. One afternoon as I was about to swim under the bridge I felt as I though the claws of a monster on my back. I concluded that my time had surely come, and my fright maybe imagined, more easily than I can tell its full measure. Fortunately the water was "not over my head", down went my foot, a laugh above my head on the bridge drew my attention, and upon looking up I saw my mischievous Uncle John Dick, with a long stick in his hand. The forks at the end were the alligator’s claws which had been on my back. Uncle John Dick died about 1844 while I was going to school from his house. Janet Dick and her husband John Dick had children born to them:

1.Robert Dick

2.Eliza Dick

Robert Dick married Miss Margaret McCutchen a daughter of Hugh McCutchen and his first wife. She died a few years after her marriage. Children were born to them but died in childhood shortly after the death of their mother. Robert still lives a widower, esteemed and respected by all who knew him, and much loved by his relatives. After the death of his wife and children he returned to his father’s house, and after the death of Uncle John, farmed with his mother and sister. He was living at the old homestead when I went to school from there, and I found him occupying it in 1885. He and his mother and sister were noted for their tender regard for each other. Like almost all Carolina gentlemen he is passionately fond of field sports, and is a skillful hunter and fisher.

Eliza Dick married James Fowler Pressley, the youngest son of my grandfather, John Pressley, and his wife Mary B. Pressley. He lived a very short time after their marriage. She had a daughter born after the death of her father, who will be mentioned when I come to my uncle, James F. Pressley.

Aunt Eliza was a lady lovely both in person and disposition. She died about the year 1883. The whole Dick family were Christian people and members of the Indiantown (Presbyterian) Church.

George McConnell, I am unable to say who he married. He died before my recollection. His children were:

  1. Mary McConnell
  2. Margaret McConnell
  3. Eliza McConnell
  4. Thomas McConnell
  5. William McConnell

All of these I know. I have never heard that there were others who died before my time.

Thomas McConnell was known as "Young Tom McConnell" to distinguish him from an uncle of his and from a cousin both of the same name. The Uncle who will presently be mentioned was known as "Old Tom" and the cousin, who will also be mentioned, was known as "Big Tom".

Young Tomas McConnell lived on Black River or near that stream on a tract of land once owned by Thomas Dukes. He had ten or fifteen Negroes, but was such a poor manager that he was as poor a man as I have ever seen. He was remarkable for good temper and pleasant manners. I do not now remember the maiden name of his wife, Young Tom and his wife had born to them two children.

  1. George McConnell
  2. John McConnell

Both of these boys are living. Their parents are both dead.

William McConnell son of George, married Laura Blakely. He lived near China Grove, Williamsburg District. He and his wife had a large family of children, but I saw so little of them that I do not know their names or number. I liked him and saw him often when we were boys. He was inclined to be a little wild when he first grew up, but soon became very steady and correct in his habits. He died after I left S.C. I saw her in 1885. They were Christian people.

Eliza McConnell, daughter of George, married John B. Miller. They lived on Campbell Swamp on the Black Mingo Road. She was kind, good woman. She and her husband had children. I knew them well. His name was John Miller. He was a soldier in Co. C, 25th S.C. Vols. A braver boy and better soldier never shouldered a musket. Eliza Miller died before 1861.

Margaret McConnell, daughter of George, married Eliphalet H. Miller. As devisee of her uncle, Thomas McConnell, she came into the ownership and possession of a large estate consisting of money, Negroes, and land. After the death of her parents, her uncle, who was then a widower, took charge of her and her sister, Eliza. He remembered them both in his will but Margaret was mad heiress. The will provided that Margaret should forfeit the estate left to her if she married any man whose name commenced with the letter "C". Her uncle had in his mind a young man of the neighborhood named "Chambers" to whom he had conceived for some reason which I have never heard, an aversion. She could hardly have done worse than when she married Miller.

He was a complete failure as a business man, extravagant and thriftless. To be raised suddenly from humble circumstances to wealth was more than he could stand. He was, however, a popular man, and for many years

Represented Williamsburg District in the Senate of the State Legislature. His love of politics had much to do with his financial ruin. His wife was a woman of sweet temper and affectionate disposition. Miller and his wife

And children owned and occupied the old McConnell homestead, on the Georgetown Road about one mile from Black Mingo. It was a very attractive place when I first remember it. I passed it in 1885, every vestige of improvements were gone, and I found it difficult to find where the attractive house had once stood. The title passed out of the family years ago. Margaret Miller and her husband are both dead. Margaret and Eliphalet H. Miller had children born to them.

  1. Thomas M. Miller
  2. Julius Miller
  3. Louisa Miller

There may have been others.

Thomas M. Miller, and Julius Miller were worthy young men. Margaret their mother, gave character and disposition to all of her children. Both of these young men were soldiers in the Confederate army, and were

"good and true". They are both dead.

Louisa Miller, daughter of Margaret, married Dr. J. J. Steele Jr. her first cousin. She is dead and left children.

I can not say how many. I did not know any of them. Louisa was an estimable young lady. She was an intimate

Friend of my sister Margaret J. Pressley

Mary McConnell, daughter of George, after the death of her parents, came to live with my grandmother, Elizabeth Gotea. She was a member of our family when my mother and father lived with Grandma on Cold Water Run at the time of my earliest recollection, and continued to live with us till her marriage with John F.D. Britton. They took up their residence near Popular Hill Swamp on the East side of Black Mingo Swamp on the side of the China Grove Road. She was devotedly attached to the children of the household and we to her.

My brother James was her especial favorite. He was the youngest of us when I first remember, and Cousin Mary became attached to him as a baby. When Sister Martha came James fell to her charge. Her affection for him was reciprocated. I remember very well what threat of vengeance the boy made when Britton took her away.

Mary’s life has not been a happy one. Her husband though kind and affectionate, has been so poor a business man that they lost nearly all of their property, and during the larger portion of her married life she and her children have almost in want of the common necessaries of life. Too free use of alcoholic stimulants has been his only vice. He and his wife are both living. They have children, but I do not know their names, nor how many of them are alive. Cousin Mary has always seemed to me to be nearer than a mother’s first cousin.

Mary B. McConnell (1799-1851) daughter of the James McConnell who married the mother of Elizabeth, was first the wife of Robert McCottry, (for whom McCottry’s Lake is Black Mingo Swamp was named, or whose ancestors the Lake was named.) They lived on the East side of the swamp about two and half miles from Indiantown Church. After the death of her husband McCottry, the land passed to her, and was when I was in S.C. last, the property of Col. James McCutchen, her son by her second marriage. Mary McConnell (widow of Robert McCottry), married Hugh McCutchen. Uncle Hugh and Aunt Polly as they were called by their nephews and nieces, went to live on Uncle Hughy’s plantation about ten miles below Kingstree. They were considered rich people. He was a man of strong will, and a very successful planter, a man of popularity, especially with his wife’s kindred. He was a man of fine physique. Aunt Polly was the handsomest of the three sisters, tall and queenly in appearance. I was on the most intimate terms with the children, and all except the youngest two girls were my school mates. I took great pleasure in visiting the house, and when at school in the neighborhood (which was while Stone and Laferty taught) spent on an average there one night out of every week. Uncle Hughy had a very rough way of making boys who slept late get out of bed. He would douse them with cold water, but in a very good natured way. He died about the year 1845. His will was not such as one of his children buy his first wife desired, and bitter family quarrel and law suit grew out of it, into which my father was, in spite of his efforts to make peace, drawn. All friendly relations were broken off between him and Joseph White McCutchen who had married Mary, one of Uncle Hughy’s first children. He had up to that time, been one of my father’s most intimate and esteemed friends. It terminated in a personal recounter between them. The will was not broken. Aunt Polly died about the year 1851 or 1852. Both she and her husband were members of Indiantown church.

Mary McConnell and Hugh McCutchen had children born to them:

  1. William McCutchen
  2. Thomas M. McCutchen
  3. James McCuthchen
  4. Sarah Baxter McCutchen
  5. Janet McCutchen
  6. Martha McCutchen
  7. Emma McCutchen

William McCutchen (son of Mary) died about the time he was grown, and before his father.

Thomas M. McCutchen has not been very successful in business. If he success had been commensurate with his worth he would have been a very rich man. We were a great deal together when boys, and since arriving at manhood we have had many social and business transactions. It has been said that, "children will quarrel".

In that respect I claim no superior excellence for myself, but between me and Thomas McCutchen there never had come a shadow, nor been unpleasant or unfriendly word. He was a Lieutenant of Calvary in the Confederate Army. Saw a great deal of service, but escaped without a wound. I visited him in 1885. The old house with which there were so many delightful associations in my mind had been burnt. He was living with his family in what had been an out-house in his father’s day, it saddened my heart when I witnessed that altered condition of every thing on the place, compared with his present condition of my relative with that of his wealthy parents. The loss of the independence of the Southern Confederacy had impoverished hundreds of thousands besides my cousin Thomas. He married Miss Boone of Sumter, and has a family of children. They have grown up since I left Carolina and I know only one of them, a very promising young man who has his father’s name, and who has recently graduated at the South Carolina Military Academy.

James McCutchen, son of Mary, 1st married Jane Fowler then to Jennie Gilland, now living on the West side of Black Mingo near McCottry’s Lake, is a man in appearance and character very much like his father. He was a Confederate soldier, and from the rank of Lt., rose to be a Major. He has been a member of both houses of the S.C. Legislature. When he owned Negroes he was a very successful planter, but under the new system he has failed but not for want of energy. He is of a very hopeful disposition. This trait has led him into hazardous ventures. I made his house "headquarters" when in S.C. in 1885. I could not have been treated better, or more hospitably entertained. They have a house full of promising children, a son and a daughter have been married since I saw them. I can not state the names, nor the numbers of his children.

Sarah Baxter McCutchen, daughter of Mary McConnell, married Dr. Joseph A. James, a descendant of the James family Revolutionary fame. He has left Williamsburg with his family and I think gone to Cheraw. I do not know of their children. They have several.

Janet McCutchen daughter of Mary McConnell, married William J.B. Cooper and settled about two miles from the old McCutchen homestead. He is dead. His widow has several fine looking boys and girls. They are finer looking than their father ever was.

Emma McCutchen daughter of Mary McConnell, married Samuel Cooper, son of George Cooper, and they reside on the old Cooper homestead, on Paisley Swamp. They have children, I was with them in 1885, but don’t remember their names or number.

Martha McCutchen daughter of Mary McConnell, I have seen very little of her since her marriage to a Dr. Fraser. They live in Sumter County. I do not know what family they have.

Thomas McConnell, son of the mother of Elizabeth Scott Gotea and her second husband, married Margaret Zuel

(nee Pressley) widow of Dr. Zuel and Aunt of my father. He was a wealthy man, I need not say more of him thank is mentioned in the sketch of Margaret Miller. Thomas McConnell and Margaret McConnell (nee Pressley) his wife, had a daughter Louisa McConnell who married Samuel V. King and died leaving no children. I do not know how long she lived after her marriage. Samuel V. King was somewhat a literary man. He was a fast friend of my father. He bequeathed his library to him. That accounts for the name of King in our books.

 

Pressley Branch

The ancestors of the family emigrated from Scotland to Ireland. The tradition in the family is that the name was Priestly when they were in Scotland, and that Dr. Joseph Priestly of Fuldhead near Luds belonged to the same family. The doctor was a very distinguished theologian. His religious views did not suit the rest of the Priestly family. He never was an infidel but "had the courage of his convictions" and followed them wherever they led.

He passed through all changes from Calvinism to Unitarianism. Some of the family who were Calvinists were very much offended by his course, and to distinguish themselves from him, changed their name from Priestly to Pressley There has been some controversy as to how the name was spelled. Some of the family spell it Pressley

and others Pressly. Both sides claim to be right. Relationship is claimed with the Pennsylvania family of which John S. Pressley, D.D. was the most distinguished member. They claim relationship with the S.C. branch while they were Northern Prisoners during the great Civil War. These Pressley’s sprang from a brother of the Williamsburg brothers who settled first on the James River in VA. And then went west. Two brothers William Pressley and David Pressley appear in the records of that church. David Pressley left Williamsburg and settled in the northern part of the state in what is now York County. From him descended the Pressley’s of the upper part of S.C. many of whom and their descendants have moved west, and the name can now be found in every southern state from S.C. to TX.

William Pressley mentioned above married Eleanor Orr. I have heard nothing of her ancestry. They lived on the Western side of Black River above what, in my time was known as the Lower Bridge, and had that name long before I was born. He died and is buried in a private grave yard on Hawthorn Swamp. After the death of William Pressley, his widow moved to Heitly’s Creek waster of Black River, and settled near where there is an old dam across the creek. The waters from one end of the pond run into of down Heitly’s Creek and from the other end in a westerly direction down Long Branch by my father’s homestead (now Brockinton’s house) into Turkey Creek. I may be wrong about the direction in which this water runs. I remember that there is a continuous stream from the pond to Turkey Creek, but the waters may divide, and after reflection, I believe they do divide at a point on the stream westwardly from the pond. So many years have elapsed since I have been over the woods there, that while I remember places well, I have forgotten some of the details. Eleanor the widow after her removal, married one Boyd. I do not know where he came from, or anything of history. William Pressley and Eleanor (Orr) had children born to them:

  1. John Pressley
  2. Margaret Pressley

As wife of Boyd there was born to Eleanor a daughter Sarah Boyd.

I do not know whether she survived Boyd or not, but she left her three children living. Before her death she selected what was then a beautiful spot under some large oak trees, (long since gone) as a burial ground. She is buried there and her grave is covered by brick work, very much dilapidated now. This was the family burial ground till I left S.C. There repose till the resurrection day, besides Eleanor, my grandfather and grandmother Pressley, and all their children and grandchildren bearing the name in S.C.

Sarah Boyd (daughter of Eleanor) died quite young, never having been married.

Margaret Pressley, daughter of William and Eleanor, married Dr. Zuel of Black Mingo. They were the parents of one daughter Jane. Margaret survived her husband Zuel, and became the wife of Thomas McConnell who has been already mentioned. There was born to Margaret and Thomas McConnell one daughter, Louisa McConnell(nee Pressley) who has been mentioned as the wife of Samuel V. King. Margaret McConnell was know as "Aunt Peggy".

Jane Zuel, daughter of Dr. Zuel and Margaret , his wife, (nee Pressley) married Thomas McConnell , called to distinguish him from the other Thomas McConnells, Big Tom. He was a man of considerable means, lived on Burnett Swamp about three and a half miles from Black Mingo. The plantation is still owned and occupied by some of his family. I was so young when he died that I do not know much about him. He died about the year 1849. Jane McConnell, nee Zuel, died a few years after her husband.

Jane Zuel McConnell and Thomas McConnell, her husband, had children born to them:

  1. James Zuel McConnell
  2. John Thomas McConnell
  3. William Robert McConnell
  4. Elizabeth McConnell
  5. Augusta McConnell

Of these William Robert McConnell died unmarried, Elizabeth and Augusta were never married, and I think are dead.

John Thomas McConnell, son of Jane and Thomas McConnell, married Miss Hext of Barnwell. Children were born to them. One of his daughters married a son of Dr. J.J. Steele, who is himself a physician. I saw her in 1885. She was touchingly demonstrative in her regard. My presence brought to her memory her father to whom she was very much attached. I saw some of the other children of John Thomas McConnell, but do not now remember their names. His widow and children (except Mrs. Steele) were occupying his Mother’s homestead. John Thomas McConnell was a Confederate soldier with the rank of Lt. In the 10th S.C. Vols.

He died since I have settled in Cal.

James Zuel McConnell, son of Thomas and Jane McConnell, married a Miss Sessions and settled in the Georgetown District. I do not know any of his family. I believe he still lives. He and his brother were noted for their brotherly affection for each other.

John Pressley, son of William Pressley and Eleanor, and Mary Barr Pressley, his wife, daughter of Capt. John Brockinton Jr. and Martha, his wife, had born to them:

  1. John Pressley
  2. William Pressley
  3. Martha Fowler Pressley
  4. Eliza Pressley
  5. John B. Pressley
  6. James Fowler Pressley

I will not take these up in the order of their ages, but will leave my Father till I trace the descent of my Mother.

James Fowler Pressley, as I have mentioned, married Eliza Dick (daughter of John Dick and Janet Dick his wife). He died before he settled on a place of his own. He lived during his short married life with his and his wife’s parents. He was quite young when his life was ended. James Fowler Pressley and Eliza Pressley, his wife, has a daughter born after the death of her father.

Mary James Fowler Pressley, as I have mentioned above of James and Eliza, was a young woman lovely in person and character. She was about two years my junior, and was a school mate of mine when at the schools taught by Stone and Laferty. I saw a great deal of her, both in her Grandfather’s (Dick’s) house, and at my own father’s and Grandma Pressley’s. I had the love of a brother for her. She went by the name of Fowler. Cousin Fowler was sincerely loved by all of her relatives. She married James McCutchen, as I have mentioned, and lived but a short time afterwards leaving no children.

Eliza Pressley (May 18, 1833) married William Cooper. He was a man of wealth and lived on his plantation about three miles above Indiantown Church. He survived her for many years, and died about the year 1870 or 1871. He represented Williamsburg for one or two terms in the Senate, was a Union man, opposing the secession of S.C. and his political opinions he had the respect and confidence of his neighbors. After the State seceded and the war began he desired the success of the Confederate cause, and yielded obedience to all of the laws of the new government. The Soldier was as welcome to his house as the same individual was before he wore the grey.

Eliza Cooper, nee Pressley, and William Cooper, her husband, had born to them:

  1. Mary P. Cooper
  2. John Cooper

Eliza’s death left these children motherless at a very tender age. They were taken charge of by Mary B. Pressley, my and their grandmother.

John Cooper, son of Eliza and William, died at my grandmother’s on Turkey Creek at a very early age of diphtheria, then called by the medical men sore throat (putrid). He was a bright good natured boy. His death occurred about 1840 or 1841.

Mary P. Cooper, daughter of Eliza and William, having been brought up by grandmother Pressley, went to house-keeping for her father. She was bright, intelligent, and very good looking. Her father sent her to the most fashionable school for young ladies that could be found in Charleston. She being intelligent, educated, good looking, and an heiress, became quite a belle. She had at her feet some of the best men in the State, but at last, very greatly to the grief of her father and friends and very much against their will, threw herself away on one John W. Staggers who had nothing but a handsome person and large means to recommend him. Her life was a wreck and her death, which occurred about 1857 or 1858 horrible. Mistake of her marriage, her character was such that her friends could not cease to love her. She left one child:

  1. William Cooper

He succeeded to his grandfather’s estate, and now lives on the old homestead. He has inherited (to some extent I am sorry to say) his father’s extravagance and want of capacity for business. I have heard that he has pretty nearly gotten through with $20,000 to $40,000 in U.S. bonds left him by his grandfather, Fondness for politics came to him from the grandfather, and he has several times been a member of the Lower House of the S.C. Legislature. He is a man of pleasing address, and much respected by his neighbors. He treated my mother and me very affectionately when we were in Williamsburg in 1885.

William Cooper married a Miss Daniels and has a family of children. (Esther A. Daniels 1859)

Martha Fowler Pressley, married Samuel Ruffin Mouzon, a widower and son of one of General Francis Marion’s Captains. He was a man of intelligence, wealth, and pleasing manners and popularity. (I need not say of him and other members of my family, that they were hospitable. This trait of character was so common with South Carolinaians that only its absence was noticeable, and therefore I will not here after say much about it because it would only be unnecessary repetition).

"Aunt Martha" Mouzon was a woman of poor health from my earliest recollection of her, and for more that twenty years she was confined to her bed with dreadful case of rheumatism. Her hands and limbs were drawn in a most disposition that were quite as remarkable and uncommon as her sufferings. She was a person of excellent memory (fond of books) and good conversational powers. Her friends delighted in her easy and interesting conversation. Her vivacity was the life of every fireside circle of which she was a member.

Through her generosity I once saw the principal watering places of the South and North Carolina. In the fall of 1852, I acted as protector and escort for a party consisting of her, her son John, and Misses Anna and Mary Wheeler, Mary and Eliza Brodie (the last four of Charleston S.C.). We went via Columbia to Laurens C.H., Greenville, across the mountains to Asheville, N.C., down the French Broad to the warm springs, and back to Spartanburg S.C., through the Hickory Nut Gap. This was the only purely pleasure trip which I took.

Aunt Martha and Uncle Sam Mouzon lived at a place called "The Savanna" on the road from Kingstree to Sumter about six miles from the former town. When I first remember them and their family, afterwards they settled on some land owned by him on Pudding Swamp, on the same road adjoining the lands of Brockinton

Family of which mention has been made. The place was just twenty eight miles from my father’s resident.

To me and the rest of my father’s children the event of the year was our Annual visit to Aunt Martha’s and Aunt Eliza’s. That my children and grandchildren may contrast the methods of that day and this I will just mention the fact that it was an all day journey, resting usually a little while in Kingstree, then a village of about 300 inhabitants counting Negroes and white people.

Samuel Ruffin Mouzon (born Nov. 20, 1775 died May 24, 1842) died about the year 1844 or 45. his wife Martha P. Mouzon died about 1870 or 71. Martha Fowler Mouzon (nee Pressley)and Samuel Ruffin Mouzon

Had born to them:

  1. John Pressley Mouzon
  2. Dunkin King Mouzon
  3. Samuel Ruffin Mouzon

John Pressley Mouzon was a school fellow of mine of Turkey Creek. He stayed at Grandma Pressley’s and went to Nesmith, Diston, and I think Singletary. He went in to service in the Wee Nee Vols. As a private under my command and as Captain, and afterwards went in to the Calvary arm of the Confederate service. He lost a leg in the service. John P. Mouzon married a Miss Bagnel and has children and grandchildren. I have seen them but do not remember their names. He lives on the West side of Black River nearly opposite his father’s old homestead.

Dunkin King Mouzon was named for his father’s friend, Chancellor B. F. Dunkin (one of S.C.’s greatest lawyers) and Samuel V. King. He was a Confederate soldier. He commenced in the Wee Nee Vols. And ended in the Cavalry arm service. He was faithful and true, and did his share in our unsuccessful struggle to establish an independent government. I saw him and some of his family in 1885. He manifested the same regard for me which he had done since he was a small boy. Dunkin is not a rich man, except in children. The Lord has promised "that the wife of the righteous shall be the mother of many children" and in this respect "Dunk" has been peculiarly blessed.

Dunkin King Mouzon married (1837-1905) Emma Smith. They have a large number of children, innumerable to name. Dunkin lives on a part of the Samuel R. Mouzon estate lands. His father was a very extensive land owner.

Samuel Ruffin Mouzon (3rd son of Martha and Samuel R. Mouzon) is one of the best natured and loveable characters whom I have ever met. His demonstrations of affection when parting with him in 1885 were touching, and will never be effaced from my mind. There was a family gathering at his house that day, feasting and rejoicing on account of our visit, (Burry and me). He would, like his brothers have commenced his soldier life with me but on examination, the surgeon pronounced his lungs seriously affected, and was in 1862 pronounced to be unfit for service. Doctors never made a greater mistake, I know no one who has uniformly had a better health. When he failed to get into the 25th S.C. Vols., which I was (at Battery Island) assisting to organize he returned home. He was then living with his Mother. After remaining a short he volunteered in a cavalry regiment and went to Virginia. He served in Gen. Lee’s Army till the summer of 1864 when he was made prisoner, and spent the rest of the period of the war in the Federal Military Prison at Elmire in the state of New York. When peace came (I won’t say Smiled on the Country) because for the poor ragged half starved Confederate’s, whether from a Northern prison, or from the little bands of heroes who surrendered at Appomattox Court House or with Johnson in North Carolina, there was no smiling white winged angel of peace, but there were weeping wives and mothers to welcome them to their homes) Samuel Ruffin Mouzon returned to his home. His mother was confined to her bed. God in His Providence kept her there and mercifully spared her the pain of seeing the ruin which the war had brought all around her. "Ruffin" attended her with the care and assiduity of a daughter, assisted by a few faithful family servants who remained with their mistress during the dreary years of her painful sickness.

Samuel Ruffin Mouzon, after the death of his mother, married Caroline Montgomery. He and his wife and children lived in the old homestead of his father and mother.

William Pressley, son of John and Mary B. Pressley, married Elizabeth McGill Gamble. He died young before my recollection, leaving his wife and a daughter Sarah Pressley. The widow married Samuel J. Tisdale. My father, John B. Pressley, became the guardian of Sarah, managed her little patrimony consisting of a few slaves, very well, and when she attained her majority turned them over to her considerably increased in number.

Sarah Pressley (Oct. 14, 1829- Oct. 16, 1892) daughter of William, married Samuel Davis McGill against the wishes of her mother and relatives. It was a "run-away" match, but turned out not a bad one. They have children and grandchildren, but I can not state their number or names.

(married: March 14, 1844)

John Pressley, first son of John and Mary B. Pressley, died in infancy. He fell back while in the arms of his black nurse, Maria and broke his back.

Gotea

I will now return to my mother’s side of the house. The last of her line mentioned was her mother Elizabeth Gotea (nee Scott).

The Gautiers were Huguenots, and after the Revocation of the Edict of the Nactes in Oct. 1685, which gave toleration to protestants, came to Carolina and settled in Williamsburg. I have been told that the ancestor of the family in France was a nobleman. My ancestor, whose name I do not know, came to America in company with the Laurence family. I am not able to say whether he was my great-grandfather of one generation further off, but from the time my grandfather was born I would say the latter. One of my ancestors in America changed the name to Gotea.

John Gotea Senior (will dated March 24, 1818) married Elizabeth Barnes.

I know nothing about my great grandmother, not even her given name. Nor do I know anything about my great grandfather. They had ____ children. My grandfather had a brother whose name I do know. He was the father of George Gotea who married Jennie Heddleston, and Jane Gotea who was the wife of Thomas McCants. I am certain that there was also a sister who was the mother of the McCants family.

John Gotea Junior, and Elizabeth Scott were married on the 5th day of March, 1807. They lived on Cold Water Run as I have already said in the sketch of grandmother Gotea.

John Gotea was Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of Williamsburg District, and made an excellent officer. He wrote a plain bold hand, and with neatness. My grandmother gave me very few incidents of his life. He died while the incumbent of the Clerk’s Court, in Kingstree on the 3rd day of January 1826. His death was very sudden, none of his family were with him. Death came without any warning. My mother said the disease was quinsy. He was a Lieutenant in that portion of the army of the United States in the war of 1812 assigned to the defense of the Southern Coast, and with his company was stationed on Cat Island near the entrance of Winyah Bay below Georgetown. A land warrant was issued to his widow in 1851 as a reward for his services. It came after her death. My mother was then acquiring my legal education and starting in life.

John Gotea and his wife Elizabeth, nee Scott, had children born to them:

  1. William James Gotea (16th Jan 1808)
  2. Mary Baxter Gotea (12 Apr 1810)
  3. Sarah Gotea (24 Apr 1812)
  4. Moses Barnes Gotea (16 Aug 1814)
  5. George Cooper Gotea (29 Dec 1816)
  6. Elizabeth Louisa Gotea (5 Aug 1815)
  7. John James Gotea (27 Sep 1822)
  8. Margaret Jane Gotea (26 Mar 1825)

William James Gotea died at the age of 17years 1 month and 2 days. He was subject to Epileptic fits, but not disabled by them either mentally or physically.

All the rest of these children except Sarah Gotea (my mother) and Margaret Jane Gotea died in infancy or childhood. They with their brother William James, and both parents are buried on the old homestead on the West side of Cold Water Run, not far below the site of the old house.

Margaret Jane Gotea was the only one of my grandfather and grandmother Gotea’s children that I remember. She was of a very lovable disposition, and above the average in good looks. My brother James and I called her "big sister" our sister Mary we designated as "little sister" She married Robert Harvey Wilson, a half brother of Emma Pressley nee Pressley the widow of my brother James F. Pressley and died on the 19th of June 1845, leaving her surviving husband but no children.

 

PRESSLEY’s

I have now brought these sketches down to my own parents.

  1. John Brockinton Pressley (son of John and Mary B. Pressley) married Sarah Gotea (daughter of John and Elizabeth Gotea) on the 5th day of January A.D. 1830. To write sketches if their lives that would give my children an adequate idea of the respect love and affection, which is in my heart for them would furnish me with employment to the exclusion of other occupation for a much longer time than I have a right to take from the public, and I shall therefore not attempt it. I hope my children will talk to me about them, I will tell them all that I know about them if they would like to hear. Bless God: there is nothing that they have ever done that is a family stain or discredit. Let my children who may read this be assured by me that they may feel an honest pride in knowing that they have descended from respectable, intelligent, upright, Christian grandparents on both sides.

My father when a young man was a sufferer with dyspepsia. It never entirely left him during his life, but he grew better as he grew older, and looked healthier and very little older in 1863 the hour he died than when I first knew him. My father took up residence in the house of his mother-in-law upon his marriage. He and my mother lived there, and father managed the plantation for the benefit of the whole family until 1839, when he moved to Turkey Creek and settled on the place at which his family were reared, and to which I have so often referred. He left my grandmother Gotea and Aunt Maggie on the Cold Water Run (Gotea Plantation) but still had a general supervision over their business till the marriage of my Aunt Margaret. Four of my father and mother’s children were born in the old Gotea house, Sister Mary, I, my brother James, and sister Martha Fowler.

My father had very little school education, but by his study and reading acquired more than an average store of learning. A good many years of his boyhood and early manhood were spent in the employ of Black Mingo.

This Cleland Belin is a descendant of one of my Brockinton ancestors.

My father was much given to politics, but never for himself. He was a "power" for his friends in local elections.

He had a passion for hunting and fishing, the favorite sports of the Southern gentleman.

As slavery is a thing of the past it might interest those who come after me to hear how a Southern planter spent his time. My father’s means did not in his judgment justify his hiring an over-seer, and he personally managed his plantation. After a moderately early breakfast he went to his fields and inspect the work of the day before. Then he visited the different gangs of hands (Negro laborers) and saw that they were all at work and doing tasks assigned them for the day. After this the planter returned to his house and the balance of the day was spent with his family, or reading, visiting, entertaining company, or such other amusements as accorded with his taste and fancy. Just before or after supper the "head man" of the Negroes reported on the work of the day and the day and for orders for the next day. The most trust man among the Negroes and one who could command the respect of his fellow servants, was selected as "head man" sometimes called "driver". My father never used on his plantation this latter term to designate the leader of his black people. On the larger plantations the head man did not work that to look after the others. Where the number of hands were not sufficient to require all of his time he worked as the others, but not so much was required of him. Both the Master and Mistress of the plantation looked after the sick. An old woman, under the eye of the mistress, had supervision of the children, who had reached the age to be left at home by their mothers. Every mother with an infant had a nurse assigned her, one of her older children, and if she had none the child of some other woman that could be spared. When the babies were old enough for the mother to work these nurses accompanied the mothers to the field and took care of the babies in a house built for that purpose, or under the shade of a tree where the cries of the baby would be in the reach of the mother’s ear who could attend to its wants without loss of much time. Deductions were made in her work when necessary. The clothing of the Negroes was made by the mistress, or by seamstresses under eye. The special duty of the boys of the family was to superintend the feeding and generally of the livestock. They were the first of the white family out of bed.

Negroes were by law accounted "chattels", but my experience is that very few slave owners regard them as such, or in any other light than as a part of the household, standing in the estimation of the master and mistress next below the children. A sale of one was generally looked upon as a great calamity. They were very seldom over worked, indeed it often happened that the (mistaken) affection of the master led him to require less work of the Negro that he should have been required to do. On many plantations one Saturday every fortnight was "Negro Saturday" on which no one was required to work. When the character of the work was such as to permit the assignment of tasks an industrious active Negro could frequently gain a day out of the week, which added to his "Negro Saturday" gave him more leisure than white laborers whose families are dependent on their daily wages. Sometimes the masters paid them for extra work. My father’s Negroes showed the effects of kind treatment. They were all devotedly attached to the family, and proud of "we white people" as they called their master and his family.

My father was very liberal to his children. Three of us had left the paternal roof before his death, and when we set up for ourselves he made a liberal division of his Negroes with us.

When the war commenced father wished to volunteer, but his boys would not consent. He had two sons in the service from the beginning and five before the end came. We thought he was giving enough, and that he could serve his country best at home, making provisions for the soldiers at the front.

John Brockinton Pressley, died on the 7th of May, 1863, of a fever and disorder which brought on hemorrhage of the bowels. I was with him in his last illness. We laid him to rest with his forefathers in our private graveyard at "Boyd’s Old Field".

My mother survived him and in 1869 she and her whole family left S.C. and came to California. We sailed from Charleston on the 27th of March of that year, for New York on the Steamer Champion, and from New York on the 1st day of April in the steamer Arizona for Aspinwall. From Aspinwall we crossed the Isthmus of Darien of the railroad, and from Panama we sailed in the Montana for San Francisco. The last named steamers belong to the Pacific Mail Steam Company’s line. We arrived in San Francisco on the 24th day of April, 1869, remained in San Francisco till June, and early in that month went up to Suisun, Solano County. My mother remained in Suisun City till after crops were harvested, and then settled with her sons William Burrows Pressley, Harvey Wilson Pressley, her daughter Jennette D. Pressley, and her son-in-law Daniel Dwight Barr, and his children Nettie, Margaret, John Pressley, and George, in Suisun Valley on a ranch purchased from William Ledgerwood. Here they went to farming and remained till the summer of 1873 when they sold out, and mother went to live with her daughter Jennette D. Dozier, who while the family lived in Suisun Valley, married Edward C. Dozier, (son of Anthony W. Dozier) who with his whole family has come to California from Williamsburg.

Sarah Pressley, nee Gotea, my mother died in Suisun City at the house of my brother Dr. James F. Pressley, on the 4th day of April, 1874. She is buried in the cemetery near Fairfield in a lot purchased by my brother James F. Pressley.

John Brockinton Pressley and Sarah Pressley (nee Gotea) had children born to them:

  1. Mary Elizabeth Pressley 6 Apr 1831
  2. John Gotea Pressley 24 May 1833
  3. James Fowler Pressley 30 Aug 1835
  4. Martha Fowler Pressley 18 Apr 1838
  5. Margaret Jane Pressley 22 Sept 1840
  6. Martha Louisa Pressley 22 Feb 1843
  7. Hugh McCutchen Pressley 14 Aug 1845
  8. William Burrows Pressley 18 Oct 1847
  9. Harvey Wilson Pressley 21 Feb 1850
  10. Jannet Dick Pressley 17 May 1852

Mary Elizabeth Pressley married Daniel Dwight Barr on the 22nd day of April, 1852.

My sister Mary was a sickly child. Her ill health was produced by the malarious condition of the country. She was a good girl, and grew up to be a woman of kindly disposition. She was educated at the schools of the neighborhood, and attended the Young Ladies Seminary of the Misses Grey at No. 26 Society Street, Charleston S.C. for one term in the winter of 1847-1848. Many of the recollections of my childhood are connected with this good and affectionate sister. She died in an instant on the 18th day of November, 1868.

Her husband Daniel Dwight Barr was a distant relative, the relationship coming through his mother to my mother, but the manner I cannot trace. He was a Confederate soldier, first a Sgt. In the 10th S.C. Vols., then Commissary with the rank of Captain of the 25th S.C. Vols., and when the office of Regimental Commissary was established by an act of the Confederate Congress he went into a Light Battery commanded by Capt. ? Gillaird. He and his wife first lived with his father George Barr, and then settled near the old homestead in his own house. When about to leave S.C., he sold out to his brother William Charles Barr. Daniel D. Barr died in California in 1874.

Daniel Dwight Barr and his wife Mary Elizabeth had children born to them:

  1. John Pressley Barr
  2. Jannette McCutchen Barr
  3. Sarah Gotea Barr (d. 14 Jun 1862)
  4. Margaret Jane Barr
  5. George Barr

John Pressley Barr died in California in 1870. He had been a great sufferer. The effect of malaria brought from S.C. in his system.

Jannette McCutchen Barr married Henry E. Footman, son of William C. Footman of S.C. her husband preceded us to CA. They were married in this state on the 22nd day of Dec. 1880. They had two children:

Jennette Dozier Footman and Henry Edward Footman.

Sarah Gotea Barr died in S.C. at a very early age.

Margaret Jane Barr is unmarried. She lives with my sister Jennette Dick Dozier.

George Barr died in 1887.

Daniel Dwight Barr and John Pressley Barr are buried in the same lot with my brother James and my mother in the Fairfield Cemetery.

I will leave myself, John Gotea Pressley, the second of my father’s and mother’s children, to be spoken of after I trace the descent of my wife Julia Carolina Burchmeyer.

James Fowler Pressley, son of John B. and Sarah Pressley, received such education as could be had in the schools of the neighborhood till the year 1852, when he went to the S.C. Military Academy, and graduated in November, 1856. He entered upon the study of medicine soon over his graduation, nominally under the tuition of a Dr. Williams who then lived on Roy’s Branch on the road to Kingstree about four miles from father’s plantation. He remained at home and saw his preceptor as he had occasion. When the proper season arrived he went to the Charleston Medical College, and graduated at that institution after completing the usual course. Immediately after graduation he commenced the practice of medicine in the neighborhood in which he was reared. On the 15th day of April 1858, he married Emma Wilson, daughter of David D. Wilson and Sarah Wilson (Nee Britton). He settled soon after marriage on the West side of Black Mingo Swamp on a tract of land presented to him by Col. David D. Wilson, his father-in-law. His practice soon became lucrative and extensive. When the war came he laid his profession and went in to the Confederate army as Lt. Col. Of the 10th S.C. Vols. To which position he was elected upon the organization of the Regiment before the commencement of hostilities. His regiment when first called out was stationed on South Island near the entrance of Winyah Bay. This regiment like all of the volunteer regiments of S.C. troops, first called out, volunteered for twelve months. Upon reorganizing for the war James Fowler Pressley was re-elected Lt. Col., and upon the promotion of Arthur Manigault (Col.) to be Bridadier General he became Colonel of the regiment, which was sent West and became a part of the Confederate army of the West, remaining with it while it had an existence. Col. Pressley commanded his regiment in all of the battles fought by that army from the time it left Shiloh till it got back at Atlanta in its retrograde movement. At Atlanta he received a shot through the left shoulder, and was disabled for the rest of the war. I have conversed with both officers and men who served in his regiment. They all bear testimony of his ability and gallantry as an officer.

After the war he resumed the practice of his profession, and when the Reconstruction Acts were passed and it became evident that there was no peace for the South, he removed to Cynthiana, Kentucky where he formed a partnership with Dr. A.J. Beale who had been his Surgeon in the Confederate Army and at one time Asst. Surgeon of the 25th S.C. Vols. When the rest of the family concluded to come to California, my brother James returned to S.C. and accompanied my mother and her family to this state.

My brother assisted by Dr. H. H. Poland of San Francisco, soon found a location. He settled in Suisun City in Solano County, and did not have to wait for practice. His health gave way, his physical powers were too severely taxed. About the year 1874 or 1875, he removed to San Jose hoping in a different climate to regain his health. He would soon have been in good practice there had his health allowed. His heroic struggle against fate were of no avail. He died in San Francisco on the 13th day of February 1876, at an infirmary on Busa Street, where he had gone for treatment. He was buried in his own lot in the Fairfield cemetery.

I want to assure my brother’s children that they may well be proud of their father. Few better men ever lived. Stronger love than existed between my brother and me can hardly be conceived. After we passed the age for childish quarrels, never a shadow of difference came between us. After his death his family took up their residence in Santa Rosa on King Street.

James Fowler Pressley and his wife Emma Pressley nee Wilson, had children:

  1. James Fowler Pressley
  2. Louise Wilson Pressley

These children live now with their mother in Santa Rosa.

Martha Jane Pressley, dau. of John B. and Sarah Pressley, grew up to be a handsome girl, and one of as nearly perfect character as I have ever known. After receiving such education as could be acquired in the schools of the neighborhood, my father took her to Columbia and left her at a boarding school for young ladies kept by Dr. Zimmerman and his wife. About the last of January and after she had been at school scarcely a month, my dear sister was stricken down with a disease of the brain. James McCutchen, my mother’s cousin of whom I have made mention, was then at the S.C. College. As soon as he learned of her illness he starred for Williamsburg and traveled night and day to bring the news to father. My brother, James, and I were in Charleston, he at the Medical College and I on a visit. We heard of her illness and went up, he first and I on (I think) the next train. None of us got to Columbia in time to see my dear sister alive. Dr. James P. Boyce (D.D.) showed us great kindness, he took her to his house, and for our sakes made his splendid house a house of mourning. God took my sister to her home in Heaven on the 3rd day of February 1855. We brought the receptacle of her pure spirit home and laid it away in Boyd’s Old Field.

Martha Louisa Pressley dau. of John B. and Sarah Pressley, died of diphtheria on the 16th of August, 1846, aged 3 years, 5 months, and 25 days.

Hugh McCutchen Pressley, son of John B. and Sarah Pressley, lived to be a brave good, young man. He volunteered in Co. F, 25th S.C. Vols., just before he was 18 years old. My father accompanied him to James Island, gave him a servant and saw him embarked on his career as a soldier. He messed with his fellow soldiers of his own company, but I took him into my tent, and he slept with me when his duties permitted. No more conscientious or braver soldier ever shouldered musket in the "Lost Cause". He was wounded on Norris Island and at Seccessionville, both times by pieces of shell. On Morris Island he was coming into Fort Wagner from the sand hills between Wagner and Gregg when the Ironsides threw a shell which exploded near him, a small piece striking him on the hip, but not disabling him. At Seccessionville a piece of shell from the Federal gunboats in Folly River broke one of the bones of his hand.

I must tell of one occurrence as a master that may well excite the admiration of my children for their gallant young uncle, and as illustrative of his character. His company occupied, in Battery Wagner, a post in the fierce heat of a September sun, and exposed to a perfect storm of shot and shell. In making my rounds I passed Hugh lying in the ranks with his comrades, and doing his duty apparently insensible to fear. I noticed his flushed face, and upon putting my hand upon him, I found that he had a scorching fever. I asked him why he had not reported to the surgeon and his answer was in substance, "I am your brother and the men may say that I am taking advantage of my relationship to get out of danger". I replied. "Well I will see to that, get right up and go into the bomb-proof hospital to the Surgeon".

One day while I was in that Fort his musket (rifled) got too hot for use, he told me he had fired seventy five times that morning.

Hugh was taken prisoner with his regiment at Fort Fisher, H.C. and taken to the Federal Military Prison at Elmira, state of New York. There he contracted measles which he had escaped till that time (1865) and before he was fit for travel, he was sent South to be exchanged, and died on the exchange boat on the James River on the 8th day of March A.D. 1865. He is buried at a place on the river called Aiken’s Landing.

William Burrows Pressley, son of John B. and Sarah Pressley, was a cadet at the S.C. Military Academy in 1864 and 1865 till the close of the war. When the Corps of Cadets were ordered into the field in 1865 he went with them and served till after the surrender of General Johnson, when they were disbanded.

William Burrows Pressley married Nina Dozier dau. of Dr. L.F. Dozier. Children born to them:

  1. Agnes Pressley
  2. Edith Presley

The first of these and Nina Pressley (nee Dozier) died in the year 1883 within a few days of each other. William Burrows Pressley is a very successful farmer, and at present farming extensively with my brother-in-law Edward C. Dozier, in Solano Co., CA.

Harvey Wilson Pressley, son of John B. and Sarah Pressley, was too young during the was to be in the regular Confederate Service, but was in an organization known as "the old men and boys", made up of men over 45 and boys under 18. He saw some service. He too is a successful farmer, now living on his ranch in Shasta Valley. He married Eliza Harriett McCracken, who was brought up by my brother James F. Pressley, but not legally adopted. Harvey W. Pressley and his wife Eliza had children born to them:

  1. Hariet Inez Pressley
  2. Hugh Gotea Pressley
  3. Harvey Wilson Pressley

Janette Dick Pressley, dau of John B. and Sarah Pressley married on the 20th day of July 1871, Edward C. Dozier, son of Anthony W. Dozier of Williamsburg, who with his whole family emigrated from that place to California in 1868 or 1869. My brother-in-law a very successful farmer, at present in Solano Co., CA. He was a Confederate soldier and saw considerable service, was wounded severely at the battle of ??.

Janette Dick Dozier and Edward C. Dozier have children born to them:

  1. Anthony W. Dozier Sep 11 1872
  2. Sarah Gotea Dozier Jun 11 1874
  3. Mary Catherine Dozier Dec 5 1875
  4. John Pressley Dozier Jan 14 1878 d Feb 28 1884
  5. Lydia Lee Dozier Oct 23 1879
  6. Jennette Dick Dozier Jul 13 1881
  7. Edward Charles Dozier Oct 2 1884
  8. Linwood Dozier Feb 1 1887

For some account of my own children and myself, reference is made to a Second Volume of Family History in which I have traced the descent and given some account of the family of Julia Burckmeyer, my wife and the mother of my children. Thinking that some account of their ancestors and kindred may interest them, I have written and left the foregoing pages for my children.

Signed: John Gotea Presley

Santa Rosa, CA. 7th February, 1889.

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