Daniel Elliott

Chester Moon

 

 

This paper was found someplace in the archives of the family history, I include it here for all those who don’t have a copy or have lost theirs. 

Enjoy:

 Chapter I

Ancestry 

“The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotations.”

 

            My first known ancestor, Daniel Elliott, the first (there have been several of the names since), first appears in South Carolina, Chester County, in 1769, where he filed on a tract of land near Fishing Creek.  He was evidently one of a number of immigrants from Ulster, in North Ireland, who had come to America and stopped for a while in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  They were known as “Scotch-Irish because a few generations earlier they had been forced out of Scotland by religious prosecutions and had settled in the North of Ireland.  They were not Irish at all, but pure Scotch.  They moved to America, often in large bodies, from 1720 on.  They settled much of West Virginia, North Carolina, and the upper part of South Carolina.  They brought their religion with them and established churches everywhere they went.  They were all Presbyterians, of the strictest sort, and many of their descendents still are.

            On his farm in Chester County Daniel Elliott built a cabin; this was less than ten years before the war of the Revolution.  During the war, there was great strife between the Patriots and the Tories who stood for the British crown.  The Tories preyed upon the Patriots, burning, murdering and robbing.  Daniel Elliott was known for his loyalty to the American cause, as he had two sons in the army and had himself both served as a soldier and given property.  On one occasion he was attacked by a band of marauders and was killed and his property destroyed.  Daniel Elliott was recognized as a Patriot and any of his descendants are entitled to membership in the D.A.R. and the D.A.R., or any of the national Patriotic societies.  The cabin that he built of logs 164 years ago is still standing.

The Story of the Assassination of Daniel Elliott, Sr., by the British and Tories During the War of the Revolution:  Chester County, South Carolina.

            During the War for Independence the Colonies were rent by internal strife between those who espoused the cause of Liberty and known as Patriots and those who held for England and King George, usually styled Loyalists by themselves but termed Tories by the opposing faction.  The strife became so bitter that men who had been peaceable neighbors previously became deadly enemies.  The animosity between the opposing groups was more marked on the part of the King’s men and lawless bands made up of these frequently raided, robbed, and in many instances burned and destroyed the property of those who were supporting the cause of the Colonies.  This warfare was intensified in the Carolina Colonies by the capture of Charleston by the British and the efforts made to subjugate the surrounding country.  The patriots suffered terribly from the attacks of these marauding bands who made no distinction as to those who had been friends and neighbors.

            It was an occasion of this kind that brought death to Daniel Elliott, one of the best known and most patriotic settlers living at the time on his little farm of a hundred acres, locataed on the waters of Fishing Creek in what was formerly Craven County but is now Chester County, South Carolina.  He had entered this tract of land about ten years earlier, cleared some land, and erected farm building and a dwelling.

            As he had several sons almost or entirely grown he doubtless had made good progress in the establishment of a home and had gathered considerable farm stock and other equipment.  At the time when his death occurred his oldest son William was with the army.  He was just twenty-one.  The second son, Benjamin, about nineteen, was also away with the troops and it is quite probable the third son, Daniel, although a mere boy, was also in the ranks.  There is some evidence that Daniel, the older, was himself a volunteer and at this particular time was home on a furlough.

            The story of this attack and murder is well authenticated and is vividly told in the third volume of Mrs. E. F. Ellet’s “Women of the Revolution” in chapter on Jane Brown.  It has also been handed down by the different families founded by the children of Daniel Elliott, the older, as one of the family traditions.  These various branches early became separated, some migrating North and West and others remaining in South Carolina.  These stories, however, have persisted through the years and have been written down for the purpose of the common tribe long after the event.  It is interesting to note that in no instance has there been collaboration and the different narratives are very similar but reveal the coloring and variations introduced by the narrators.  In main they agree and the authenticity of the death and attending circumstances are clearly established.

            Because it has been in print for almost a hundred years, the story as told in “Women of the Revolutions”. Is here incorporated.  The author has given the bare facts as she gathered them from persons who were still living at the date of the event.

            The old homestead, the residence of Justice John Gaston, is now the home of his daughter-in-law.  Jane Gaston is the widow of Joseph Gaston (son of John) whose blood mingled with that of his three brothers, David, Ebenezer and Robert on the Battlefield of Hanging Rock, August 7, 1780.  Jane Brown was born April 10, 1763 in the County of Mechlenburg, N.C., where her parents Walter and Margaret Brown, first settled after their emigrations from the County of Antrim in Ireland.  When Jane was about a year old they moved to Chester district and fixed their home on fishing creek, about two miles above the creek mill seat, now owned by Major N.R., Eaves.  Mrs. Strong was a sister of old Justice John Gaston. ***** (There is a break here in the narrative on account of references to the attacks of marauding parties of Tories on the homes of patriotic citizens.)  The same party of marauders went to the home of Daniel Elliott in the neighborhood and robbed of everything they could find.

            Mr. Elliott offered neither resistance or remonstrance until they proceeded to bridle on of his best horses; he then interfered, laying his hand upon the rein.  He was then instantly shot dead.  His son Ebenezer fled from the murderers but Margaret, his daughter, walked boldly up, jerked the bridle rein from the Torie’s had and defied him.  The murderers did not venture to stay longer; probably fearing that might be surprised by some of the neighbors.  When they departed, Margaret, missing her brother, went over to Mrs. Brown’s to ask if they had seen anything of him.  The family had heard the report of the gun and feared some mischief was going on at the Elliott’s house.  Margaret learned that they had seen nothing of her brother, then burst into tears exclaiming, “Oh, they have killed my father!”  Oh, my father,” she would repeat again and again in agony – “They have wickedly killed my father without cause.”  Mr. Brown already stripped of everything they possessed gave all required attention to the burial of his neighbor.  It was necessary then to seek safety for themselves.

            Because the story itself and the interest it bears to all the people who trace their inheritance to Daniel Elliott, the various stories are here brought separately into a connected narrative, each being copied from some original manuscript as taken down verbatim.  Two of the narrators lived close to the period when persons still lived who had the story from the lips of those how were familiar with the story at the close of the Revolution.

            The first traditional account here given is that related by Rev. William Elliott pioneer Baptist evangelist grandson of William the Revolutionary soldier, the oldest child of the murdered Daniel.  In a letter written shortly before his death this aged minister states that his recollections are based on the oft repeated narration of his own father Andrew, who doubtless had heard it from his mother Jane Gaston, wife of the older William.

            “That tragic death of Daniel Elliott, killed by his own neighbors in Chester County, was burned into my very being by hearing my father relate it so often.  There were tow cabins on Daniel Elliott’s farm.  Margaret, the oldest daughter, was in one weaving.  Four of their neighbor men, who were known as Torries, came and robbed them.  Daniel, the father, and Elic (Alex.), a boy of fourteen were down by the spring branch, mowing.  Some of the smaller children ran down and told their father and Elic what was up.  So Daniel and Elic went to the cabin which were the four men robbing.  They had stacked their arms at the door.  Then they went in to the cabin where Margaret was weaving and began robbing it also.  When Daniel and his son saw the position of things Daniel said to Elic – ‘here are four rifles, let us each take one and make sure to kill that one with the drawn sword in his hand standing by Margaret,’ then said Daniel, I can fight the other two myself.  But Elic was the only coward in the family and he persuaded his father to be still and let them go on robbing.  So the old man said nothing until they had done all they wanted and then went to the barn and gathered up ten or twelve fine horses and started off.  One of those horses belonged to Margaret.  She went deliberately out and put her arms around the neck of her horse and said – ‘men, this horse is mine, do as you choose, let me have the horse or kill me and then take the horse.’  They gave the horse to her and then started on.  When they had started, Daniel, for the first time, spoke and complained of their actions.  One of the Tories shot him and then after Daniel had fallen full length, the man who had shot him jumped the fence and knocked him in the head with the breach of his gun and swore he would kill everyone on the farm.  There was a garden back of the cabin, the weeds high as a man’s head and joining that was a dense plum thicket on the spring branch for two miles.  So the women and children escaped.  Daniel had three sons in the army at this time.  Some days afterwards the younger boys took provisions to their brothers in the army.  On their way home they saw their horses in the wheat field of a Tory and had no scruples about taking them home – but their father was gone never to return.”

            In another letter written in 1879 Rev. William supplemented his previous account:

            “I never had the idea that Elic was killed the same as his father.  No one was killed but Daniel.  Margaret was there and pleading with the men who were robbing a chest of drawers of its valuables and the man was standing by with the drawn sword in his hand threatening all the time.”

            “My father was the first born of William Elliott who was one of the three brothers who were in the Revolutionary army three years and was in the army when his father was killed in his won yard by one of his neighbors who robbed the family in broad daylight between nine A. M. and noon.  My grandfather, William, felt that the first thing to be settled when he came home was the killing of his father and so as soon as he returned he took his trusty old rifle and started off to avenge his father’s blood.  As he walked along his fearful errand those solemn  words came to his mind – ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord’; he halted, reflected, turned around squarely and went home and put up his gun and said – ‘it is God’s right to take vengeance, I will not interfere.’

            After living near this tory for some years William Elliott was called to the house of his man and witnessed one of the most appalling sights of his entire life.  This tory was dying but it seemed that he could not die.  He cried in his dying agonies – ‘I killed one of my best neighbors for no reason and have never had one moment’s peace since.’  My grandfather felt thankful to God that he had given grace to obey that impression on his mind when he was on his way to avenge blood.  This is the direct history as I have it.”

    Another version of the story is told by C. W. Elliott but does not differ greatly in detail as is has the same basis in the traditions of the family line of the soldier William.  It illustrates, however, the vivid impressions that would be made on a boyish mind by the repetition of such a tragic story, with its bloodthirsty action and the reported show of cowardice of one of those involved.  His story closes with the comment "It only seems natural that an Elliott should abhor the name of Alex."  I have heard my father tell and retell this story many times.

    There is little doubt as to the facts as here told by a great-granddaughter of Margaret Elliott, the heroine of the sad affair when her father was killed.  This was written in 1903 but the tradition had padded down through the families of Margaret's line and was told to the writer, Miss B. Fee, by one of her uncles Charles Fee.

    "I wrote to uncle asking if he remembered the story of Daniel's death and this is his reply:  I remember mother's story of the tragic death of her grandfather Elliott.  He was at home on furlough when the tories entered his house, set down their guns and commenced their work of robbery.  Grandfather raised his gun to shoot one of them Uncle Daniel (the son) siezed the gun and prevented him.  He seemed to weakness at his boy's interference but turned the butt of his rifle and knocked the villian down.  The tory lay stunned a while but when he got up he did so quickly, siezed a gun and fired a fatal shot at grandfather.  Grandfather gave an impressive look at his wife and sank down dead."

                                    - Fee Alexander

    A short repetition of the same story of this affair was given by Mrs. Elizabeth Dawson, a granddaughter of Margaret Elliott, undoubtfully remembered or told by Elizabeth Ferguson Fee, Margaret's only daughter.  It is well to state here that Elizabeth Ferguson Orr, who later married William Fee, has always been considered the most reliable authority on Elliott family history in the entire connection.  She was born in South Carolina and was seventeen when her mother, Margaret, died.  She and her husband lived to celebrate 68 years of married life and she was 92 when she passed away.  She had a remarkable memory which she retained to the end.  The historical accuracy of much of these records is traceable to this wonderful woman.  Errors which may have crept into later stories are due to the coloration of those who have not been exact in repeating them.  Mrs. Alexander's account is brief: "Four or five tories came up firing their guns and yelling and attacked the house.  Margaret took her mother and the children and hid them behind a privet hedge and then went back to her father.  The tories were tearing the records out of the family Bible and valuable papers out of  a chest and burning everything they could.  Her father knocked one of the tories down with the butt of his gun for burning his bible.  The torey promptly shot him.  He died with his head on his daughter's lap.  She gave a moan and they told her to stop or they would treat her the same way.  The cause of all this was that grandfather Daniel had several sons in the Patriot army."

    Direct Linage down to my mother.

    Daniel Elliott: born 1732; married Margaret Elizabeth Ferguson 1758; died June 1780.  Children: I William; II Margaret; III Benjamin; (IV name unknown); V Daniel (Jr.); VI Jane; VII Ebenizer; VIII James.

    I William Elliott: Born Aug 16, 1759; married Jane Gaston, Jan. 13, 1785; died 1796; Children: A Andrew; B. Daniel; C. Robert; D. Elizabeth. (Jane remarried to Edward Sutton and died in 1835.)  Children of William were all born in South Carolina.

    A. Andrew Elliott: born March 17, 1786; died July 16, 1859; married twice (no dates).  1st to Martha McCreight; seven children: 1. Jane Shaw, 1807; 2. Martha McCreigh, 1809; 3. Margaret Gaston; 4. Elizabeth Ferguson; Mary McCullough; 6. William; 7 Creighton.  Second marriage: Parmelia B. Davis; two children: 8. Joseph Bayless; 9. Mary Jane Shaw.

    3.  Margaret Gaston Elliott: born Jan 24, 1813 (Highland G., Ohio); died March 27, 1872; married William Prettyman Wolfe, Jan 22, 1835; born April 1, 1809; died June 10 1864; eight children: (a) Virginia Elizabeth; born 1836; died 1882, maried Joseph Williams; (b) Daniel Creighton born 1853, died 1914. (c) Reece born 1841, died 1871; married Jane Locke; (d) David born 1843 died 1916; married Rachel Rand Goldswaite; (e) Sarah Anna, born 1845, died 1868; unmarried (f) Martha Evaline born 1848, died Mar. 2, 1930; married Abram Stanley Crawford. (g) Mary Margaret born 1820, died Mar. 11, 1930, married William H. Morgan; (h) William Leroy born 1853 - -?

    (b) Daniel Creighton Wolfe: born at Hillsborgh, Ohio July 3, 1853: died March 19, 1914: married July 2, 1857 Catherine De Lapps: born at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee July 2, 1857 died Mar 16, 1932.  Thirteen children: (1.) Benjamin Henduson: born April 9, 1858, died April 9, 1858. (2.) Olarissa Margaret Elizabeth: born Mar. 9, 1829; married to Henry Evans Dex. 16, 1878; 4 children Louisa, Grace, Flora, and Bessie. (3.) Francis Carey; born Jan 29,1861; died April 29, 1863. (4.) Penelope Creighton: born Nov. 17, 1863; married Samuel B. Moon May 17, 1885; 6 children: Louie, Cynthia, Ethel, George, Willis, Elgie; died at Sauk Centre Jan 27, 1933. (All of the preceding born in Iowa.). (5.) William Ira: born Nov. 10 1865; married Alula Miller Dec. 5, 1892; 5 children: Roy, Blanche, Hazel, Ruth, Acil. (6.) Daniel Redkey: born Sept 13, 1867; married Ada Loid Mar. 22, 1899; 3 children: Gladyce, Leonard, Elvin. (7.) Anna Cord: born April 23, 1870; married Robert Black Aug. 5, 1892; 3 children: Lura, Harry, Jeanett. (8.) Winnie Oma: born Feb. 27, 1872; married Justine Loomer Oct. 17, 1894 - - remarried to Herman Grouse; 2 children; Mary and Nora. (9.) Martha Catherine: born Oct. 23, 1874; died Dec. 31, 1929.  (10.) Effie Fdella: born April 24, 1877; married James Safford April 27, 1803: 5 children: Peter, Reece, Glen, Irene, Keith. (11.) John Reece born April 30, 1879. (12.) Virginia Evaline born Nov. 24, 1881; married Howard F. Taylor July 2, 1903; 7 children: Lee, Annil, Olive, Mary, Buelah, Daniel, Robert. (13.) Mary Calista born at Villard Minnesota, Mar. 18, 1884; Married Clinton Mason Loomer July 12, 1904; 5 children: Orrin, Neva, Phoebe, Charley, and Willis.

    My family line is Daniel Elliott: I William Elliott; A. Andrew Elliott; 3. Margaret Gaston Elliott Wolfe; (b) Daniel Creighton Wolfe; (12) Mary Calista Wolfe Loomer; Phoebe Carrie Loomer.

    Andrew Elliott the son of William Elliott was a cabinet maker and farmer; very religious and peculiar.  He left the Presbyterian faith because of infant baptism and two of his sons were famous Baptist ministers.  He died in Indiana and was buried in Bethany cemetery, near Deputy, Jefferson County, Indiana.  Margaret Gaston Elliott Wolfe and her husband were married in Ohio, later removing to the neighborhood of Keokuk, Iowa.  There William Prettyman Wolfe died.  Margaret removed with her large family to Mt. Pleasant Iowa to educate her children in the Methodist College.  She died there but was buried beside her husband at Keokuk.  William Prettyman Wolfe was a man of good family, the youngest of fourteen children, whose ancestry traced back through Virginia to England.  It has been found that one ancestor crossed the Delaware with Washington to capture Trenton and it is fairly sure that we are a distant relative of General Wolfe who captured Quebec in the French and Indian war.

    Daniel Creighton Wolfe served in the Civil War on the Union side.  He carried to his death a ball wound in his hip that caused it to frequently come out of joint very easily.  He

                  *****there is a page missing of the original manuscript*****

Sauk Centre.

    In the possession of Clinton Loomer is an oil painting of "Old Abe", a great bald-headed eagle, who took part in the civil war.  He was the mascot of the 44th regiment and seemed to "glory" in the turmoil of the fiercest battle.  He seemed as most like a brave leader as he flew ahead of the regiment into the fights.  After the war was over he was kept at the capitol, but there in the basement of the building was smothered to death when a fire broke out.  His memory has been kept alive by all those who were in that particular regiment.

 

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