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John Gordon

Lines taken from old family notes on John Gordon:

Major John Gordon (1798-1890) was ten years old when he accompanied his father, Robert Gordon, to Giles County to cut the cane and plant a crop before the family arrived. He married Mary Ann Kennedy and they had 12 children. A picture of the John Gordon family was drawn by J.T. Rothrock in reminiscences he wrote about 1918. In John Gordon's time, says the manuscript, school advantages were exceedingly limited, yet the members of this family had sufficient schooling for high usefulness in those times of simple methods and manners.

The John Gordon family lived on a farm of several hundred acres, acquired by inheritance or purchase, or both, somewhat more than a mile north of Brick Church. They had ample slave labor, and prospered materially more than most farmers. Major Gordon dealt liberally and kindly with his slaves providing well for their subsistence and comfort.

During a scourge of typhoid fever in the family in the fifties, the slaves had the careful oversight of their master and mistress, and the same sort of medical treatment that was given to the whites. When they died, as some of them did, they were decently buried in the old churchyard which was destined bye and bye to receive the mortal remains of "Old Master and Mistis." They attended church, as other slaves did, in special services provided for their instruction by the pastor of their master. They quietly sat in the gallery of the old church and heard the preaching to which the whites gave attention.

According to his obituary, he was a man of excellent character and a devoted Christian. "On Monday, the last day of September 1890 the greatest light that ever shed its rays at Brick Church was extinguished by the death of Major John Gordon. Major Gordon was one of the landmarks of Giles County, having cut with his own hands the cane from Giles County soil. He spent his entire life to her interest and to his master whom he loved and served so long and so well. He is buried at the Brick Church cemetery.

Submitted by: Steven Gordon