Free Persons of Color in The Revolutionary War: Ambrose & Charles Lewis And Rolly Pinn of Virginia
edited: Thursday, February 06, 2003
By Anita L Wills
Posted: Thursday, February 06, 2003
Become a Fan
(Excerpts from manuscript "Full Circle: Free Persons of Color In Ante-Bellum Virginia")
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and lived my early life in Chester and Berks County. My parents were George and Vivian (Martin) Baxter. My mother and her parents, Charles and Leah (Ruth) Martin, were born in Pennsylvania. My father came to Pennsylvania with his parents, Charles and Annie (Boneaparte) Baxter, in 1920 from Orangeburg, South Carolina.
I heard very little of my paternal history growing up and did not know until I was an adult why. When I found out about slavery and how my ancestors were treated I understood why they did not discuss it. My mother was just the opposite. She often told us about the accomplishments of our ancestors. We knew that Great-Grandfather Samuel Ruth had founded the Church of Christ, which was about two miles from where we lived. We knew his mother was black and his father, her slave master. We also knew that he had been sold by his white father when he was seven years old. He had the indignity of not only being sold but also watching his mother be sold along side of him.
Samuel Ruth was liberated by the famous 54th Massachusetts and taken to Pennsylvania where he met and married Maria Louisa Pinn. After he married her and they purchased a farmhouse he found his mother living on Hog Island [off the coast of South Carolina] and took her to Pennsylvania. She lived there until her death at the age of 95 and is buried on the grounds of Christ Church in Erculdon, Pennsylvania.
That was the kind of oral tradition my mother kept alive in our family. However, this article is about our Virginia history, a history which mother did not know existed. The farthest back my mother went on my Great-Grandmother Louisa (Pinn) Ruth's side was to her father, Robert Pinn, who was a minister in Philadelphia from 1868-1887. She gave me a letter from the church he ministered at and I wrote them to find information about him. They knew nothing of his background only his accomplishments as a minister. They also told me that there was another church, Pinn Memorial Baptist Church, named for my ancestor.
From that point on the search was on and over the course of 20 years I documented my maternal line, which began in Virginia. I am going to focus on those who served in the Revolutionary War out of Virginia. I will start with Charles Lewis:
Charles & Ambrose Lewis [abt. 1745-1834]:
Ambrose and Charles Lewis were among the fifty-nine free "Mulattoes" in 1790, which the Federal Census counted in the town of Fredericksburg. They comprised about nine percent of the town's population and were not a significant part of the town's residents. In later documents Ambrose would state that when he worked, he was a barber and that he had grown children in Fredericksburg. Ambrose and Charles were a part of the prominent white Lewis family and are mentioned in several publications written about the family. [i]
Ambrose [ii] has more documentation due to his application for a pension from his service in the Revolutionary War. Charles had children and seems to have resided in and around Fredericksburg without leaving much documentation. Charles' wife is not identified on any documents, although she is believed to be a Betty Lewis. Ambrose was married and his wife's name was Fanny. He had several children who lived their lives in and around Fredericksburg. Ambrose is identified as a black man on a number of documents. Charles' race is not mentioned on any documents.
Charles and Ambrose served aboard the Gally Page and Dragon Ship and then joined the armed forces. The records I have showing Charles service are Rosters as well as the following document [Virginia Soldiers of 1776, Burgess, Louis A. 1973: Virginia: pp. 735-36]:
In Fredericksburg A Different Story, Ruth Coder-Fitzgerald writes this about Fielding Lewis's contribution to the Revolutionary War [p. 34]: " One of the ships of the fleet was the Dragon, which had been inspired by Fielding Lewis. The Dragon's keel was laid in the fall of 1776 in Fredericksburg. Captain Eleazer Callender supervised the construction and in October 1777, took command of the ship, having earlier had experience on the ship Defiance. The Dragon's first year of service was on the Rappahannock River. Later, the ship saw action while patrolling in the Chesapeake Bay.[iii] More blacks served on the Dragon than on any other vessel... Also serving the Rappahannock fleet on the Dragon was Fredericksburg black Ambrose Lewis...,[iv] Ambrose Lewis went on to enlist in the army after his navy service. His brother, Charles, also was a Revolutionary War soldier."
According to Ambrose Lewis's Pension file:[v] the Galley Page and later the Dragon Ship in the Revolutionary War. The Dragon Ship was commissioned by George Washington and built by Fielding Lewis, his brother-in-law. After his service in the Navy Ambrose signed up for the infantry and was taken prisoner in South Carolina. He participated in the Battle of Camden where he received an injury and was taken aboard a prison ship. He served aboard a prison ship off the coast of South Carolina until the end of the war.[vi]
Dragon Ship Register [vii]
Men's Names Pork Flour Spirits
Ambrose Lewis 30 37 1/2 30
Joshua Singleton 30 37 1/2 30
John Smope 30 37 1/2 30
John Mose 30 37 1/2 30
Joseph Sanders 30 37 1/2 30
Richard Smart 30 37 1/2 30
Edwin Eskridge 30 37 1/2 30
Francis Webb 30 37 1/2 30
Thomas Ransom 30 37 1/2 30
Howson Kenner 30 37 1/2 30
Iverson Huttall 30 37 1/2 30
Joshua Williams 30 37 1/2 30
Presley Heil 30 37 1/2 30
William Booth 30 37 1/2 30
William Huse 30 37 1/2 30
Thomas Mitchell 30 37 1/2 30
Thomas Allen 30 37 1/2 30
Arman Sandall 30 37 1/2 30
Allen Mays 30 37 1/2 30
Phillip Evans 30 37 1/2 30
George Maugham 30 37 1/2 30
1 * The Dragon Ship was commissioned by George Washington and built by his brother-in-law, Fielding Lewis
Men's Names Pork Flour Spirits
William Danton 30 37 1/2 30
John Hall 30 37 1/2 30
Harry Branon 30 37 1/2 30
William West 30 37 1/2 30
Wiot Revear (?) 30 37 1/2 30
Johothan Brown 30 37 1/2 30
Joseph Brown 30 37 1/2 30
Samuel Umpher 30 37 1/2 30
James Cofey 30 37 1/2 30
Peter Casey 30 37 1/2 30
Chas Hubbard 30 37 1/2 30
Merrideth Williams 30 37 1/2 30
James Morgan 30 37 1/2 30
Isaac Fleetwood 30 37 1/2 30
James Reaves 30 37 1/2 30
George Williams 30 37 1/2 30
John Davis 30 37 1/2 30
Charles Jones 30 37 1/2 30
Pat Williams 30 37 1/2 30
Will Norman 30 37 1/2 30
Jamers White 30 37 1/2 30
James Mortimore 30 37 1/2 30
John Godich 30 37 1/2 30
Charles Lewis 30 37 1/2 30
Virginia Soldiers of 1776, Vol. II. pp. 735-36, by Louis A. burgess (Richmond 1929); "Executive Department, August 15, 1834
"Ambrose Lewis, Seaman: Exec. Dept. Aug. 15, 1834. The heirs of Ambrose Lewis are allowed L.B. (land bounty) for his services as a seaman in the State Navy. Littleton Tazewell, Gov.
The undersigned, "the only living heirs of Ambrose Lewis, who was a sailor and a soldier of the Revolution" appointed John g. Mosby of Richmond Va. their attorney. Signed Fanny Lewis (wife of Ambrose) and Hanna Lewis (daughter of Ambrose). Witnes John Metcalf. 11 Jul 1834.
Corporation of Fredericksburg. James Chew, clerk of Hustings court, certified that John Wallace was J. Of P. (Justice of Peace)
Received of the Register, warrant 1082 for 100 acres, issued 20 Dec 1834. signed, John G. Mosby Atty.
Fredericksburg Court, 10 Jul 1834. Certified that Fanny Lewis and Hannah Lewis are the only heirs of Charles Lewis, dec'd. Copy teste, James J. Chew, Clerk.
John James Chew, clerk of Spotsylvania co. certified that Ambrose and Charles Lewis, brothers, died intestate, 6 Dec 1834.
Children of Ambrose; 660L102 1. Frances Lewis; 660L103 2. Hannah Lewis: Children of Charles; 660L104 Frances Lewis (aka Fanny Bundy); 2. Nancy Lewis."
2 * Note: Rodham Kenner, sailor in the Virginia Navy during the Revolutionary War, left heirs Phoebe Dillon, Cynthia
Lewis, Sally Chew, Ely Chew, and Nancy Chew, who were stated to be also heirs of Ambrose Lewis.
The above document outlines the proceedings as they relate to Ambrose and Charles. The heirs' statements came from Ambrose's wife Fanny and his daughter Hannah and Charles' daughters Fanny and Nancy Lewis. It is interesting to note that the ladies went to court in order to receive land bounty for Charles and Ambrose. They received 100 acres for Ambrose and 100 for Charles [less than given to whites who served]. From this information I was able to trace where the documents were and obtain copies of the originals. The information I found led me to my ancestor Nancy Lewis, who was the daughter of Charles.
Charles's military career mirrored his brothers, he served in the naval and land forces along side of Ambrose. Since Charles did not apply for a pension there is not much documentation on him. He does have a Military file, however, little information exists on him after the Revolutionary War. Charles may have continued as a Seaman on the Dragon ship coming to Virginia infrequently. The Dragon ship was berthed in Norfolk until it sank in the early 1800's and many Revolutionary Soldiers continued as sailors.
Charles had at least two children, according to Pioneer Lewis Families [viii] : Francis Lewis and Nancy Lewis were his heirs. There is no mention of who Charles' wife was or the birth dates of the children (Nancy Lewis was born about 1764).
The documents above were found in the Courthouse at Fredericksburg [Order books and proceedings], military records [The Virginia State Library and National Archives & Records]. There was a lot of cross checking in order to accurately document the information. The difficulty came in knowing that I was tracing my ancestor since there were so many Charles Lewis's in and around Spotsylvania County. I solved that problem by cross checking Charles Lewis with the information I had on Ambrose. Ambrose was identified as a mulatto, which meant that Charles was also mulatto. When searching for Charles I crosschecked the people I found in his documents with the ones I found on Ambrose. That is how I solved the problem and saved time on my research. Ambrose and Charles lived and died so closely that they may have been twins.
Rolly Pinn of Lancaster & Amherst County Virginia:
The Pinn family originated on the Eastern Shore of Virginia as Yeocomico Indians [part of the Powhatan Confederation]. Rolly's father is thought to be Robert Pinn I [about 1710-1760] whose wife's name was Margaret, Robert and Margaret had 2 son's Robert II and Rolly. In 1733 Robert I was cited by the Church Warden's of Wicomico Parish for absenting himself from Church [Wicomico parish Order Book]. In 1760 he and Margaret were in Lancaster County and their son Robert was apprenticed out as a Copper. This was probably the period when Rolly left Lancaster County (possibly as an apprentice) and settled in Amherst County.
In 1774 Rolly signed on as part of the Amherst County Militia [Swem Library, College of William & Mary: Virginia]. When the Militia was disbanded they were ordered to full service in the Revolutionary War. Rolly served under General Lafayette until the end of the war [See below]. After the war Rolly settled in Amherst County with and became a prominent resident there. He and his wife Sarah were considered spiritual leaders and sometime in the late 1700's founded a church [Fairmount Baptist], which is still in existence. Rolly's sons James and John Turner followed in his footsteps and also became prominent farmers on the Ridge.
Below is an article printed in the News And Advance and chronicling those who served out of Amherst County Virginia:
THE ADVANCE: [ix]
Thursday, May 22, 1884
In every war there are, and have always been, thousands of privates who suffered or bled or died after patriotic sacrifice and great individual deeds, whose names as soldiers are unknown outside the narrow circle of the humble family. Often these men had nothing to fight for, yet they periled life and limb and often lost, for their cause, their flag. Our late civil war had many such, our first revolutionary fields were covered with them. Soon those so near us will be forgotten as the Revolutionary-great, unrecognized, have been. The old county of Amherst, then comprising Amherst and Nelson, furnished many men to face disease and death in the Revolutionary War, and they came willingly, were patriots-refused pay by British gold and place and pay, and any one who gathers the names of such patriots in any war, does a high, patriotic deed.
Mr. Alexandar Brown, of Norwood, Nelson County, has given much of his time to such labor among old Virginia records, and he has furnished us a list, as far as he has been able to make it, of the soldiers of the Revolution from Amherst County. We recognize many names familiar in the counties of Amherst, Nelson, Buckingham and Appomattox, among them the great-grandfather of the writer, "John Whitehead," who served in the cavalry battalion of a Major Cabel. We have in this list seen the almost exact names of men who served with and under us the Second Virginia Calvary, and they will be pleased to find their ancestry in the same service. At any rate we shall have put these old soldiers in front for the first time.
Revolutionary Heroes An incomplete list of those who served in the Revolutionary War from old Amherst County, (the present counties of Amherst and Nelson.)
Aaron, Benjamin & William;Adkins, Absalom; Alcock, Richard & William; Alford, John; Allen, Daniel, Jesse, Capt. Joh, John, Joseph, Samuel & William; Ampey, William; Arnold, Benjamin & Hendrick
Baddow, Thomas; Bailey, Hezekiah & William; Ballinger, Capt. Richard; Ballon, David & John; Banks, Reuben & William; Barnet, Capt. James, John & William; Becknal, James (killed), John, Micajah & Thomas (killed); Bean, Johnson; Bell, Henry, Samuel Sr. & Samuel Jr.; Bettysworth, Richard; Byas, John, Larkin & Obediah; Bibb, Henry, William Sr. & William Jr.; Biggs, John; Blackwell, David; Blaine, Ephraim; Blair, Allen; Bolling, Edward & James; Bond, Charles, Nathan & Nathaniel; Bones, John & William; Bowles, Knight; Bowling, James & John; Bowman, Drury, John & William; Brady, John; Brett, William; Brickley, william; Bridgewater, Jesse; Brooks, Benjamin, John & william; Brown, Andrew John Sr., John Jr., Morris & William; Bryant, John & William; Bullins, isaac; Burden, Archibald & Henry; Burford, Capt. David, David, James, John, Nathaniel & William; Burks, Charles, John & William; Burnet, Isasc; Burrus, Capt. Charles, Joseph, Lieut. Joseph & Thomas; Burton, James Haile, Philip & William
Cabell, col. John, Capt. Joseph Sr., Capt. Joseph Jr., Capt. Nicholas, Col. Samuel Jr., Col. William Sr., & Col. William Jr., ; Calbraith, William; Call, John; Camden, John & William; Cameron, Ambrose & Duncan; Campbell, Ambrose, Anthony, George, Henry & James; Cannady, John; Canterberry, Joseph Sr. & Joseph Jr.; Carpenter, Benjamin, John, John & William; Carter, Abram, Landon, Peter & William; Cartwright, John, Matthew, Peter & William; Cash, Benjamin, Howard, John, Joseph & Peter; Cauthorne, William; Childress, Abram, Benjamin, Henry & John; Christian, Charles, Capt. Charles. Drury, Elijah, George, Capt. Henry, Henry, Capt. John, & robert; Clark, Benjamin, David, John, Nathaniel; Nat & William; clarson, James; clement, William; Clough, John; coleman, George, James, Littleberry & Lieut.____; Conner, James; Coop, Adam; cooper, Abraham; Cottrell, Gilbert & James; Cos, Archeleus; Crawford, Joel, John, Nathan, Nelson & Peter; Crawley, Thomas; Creasy, Charles & George; Crews, Gideon, Joseph Sr., & Joseph Jr.; Crittenden, Richard; Crutcher, (or Croncher), William
Davis, Charles, Joel, Moses, Nathaniel, Richard, Thomas, William, Sr., & William Jr.,; Dawson, John, Pleasant & Will; Diggs, Captain John; Dillard, Capt. James; Dinwiddie, (or Dunwoody), John, Samuel, William & Will; Diver, John; Dixon, William; Dodd, Josiah; Douglas, George; Duggin, Will, Duncan, Clairborne, Daniel, Sr., Daniel, Jr., George, Sr., & Jr. & John.
Eades, charles & Isaac; edmonds, Charles & James; Edmondson, Robert & William; Edwards, Joseph, Thomas & William; Elder, Andrew; Ellis, CharlesJr., & Josiah; Ellison, Francis; Enix, James; Eubank, John; Evans, Ben & William; Ewers, John & Thomas.
Finnie, John, Timothy & William; Fitzgerald, James & John; Fitzpatrick, Samuel, Thomas, William & W_____; Forbush, W______; Fortune, Ben, John & Zachariah; Foster, James; Franklin, Major James, Joel, Lieut John & Samuel; Frazier, Micajah; Frayser, Philip; Frost, Joseph, Jr.; Fulcher, Richard; Furbush, george and Will.
Games, Daniel; galasby (Gillespie, and sometime Glosby), sherod & William; Galding, Julius; Galloway, Ben; Garland, Thomas; Gatewood, Ambrose, John, Larkin & Richard; Gee, John; Gibson, Griffith; Gilbert, George, Henry, John Wyatt, Morris & thomas; Giles, Josiah & Perrion Jr., Gilbland, Hugh; Gilmer, John; Glenn, Major John; Going, Phil; Gooch, Philip; Goodrich, John; Goodwin, Micajah & Richard; goolsby, James, John & william; Gosh, Thomas; Grattan, Robert; Graves, William; Gregory, Edward, John, Fletcher & Thomas; Griffin, Absalom, John Murray, Reubin & Thomas; Grissum (Gresham) Jas; Graymes, thomas; Guthrie, Moses & Nathaniel.
Hall, John & William; Halliburton, James; Hambleton, robert; Hamilton, James & william; Hamm, John; Hansborough, John, Willliam Sr., & William Jr., ; Hardy, Andrew & John; Hargrove, Hazekiah; Harper, edward, Sr., edward, Jr., & Henro; Harris Mathew, Capt. William & William; Harrison, Richard & William; Hartgrove, John; Hartless James; Harvie, Daniel; Hawkins, thomas; Hay, Charles & James; Henderson, alexander, Ensign James, James, Obediah &Stephen; Herd, John; Herndon, Owen; Higganbotham, Aron, Ben, Caleb, Mj. James, Joseph, Capt. Samuel, Sgt. William & Wiliam; Hill, Isaac, Nat & Williams; Hilley, Thomas; Hilton, George; Hite, John; Hix, John; Hogg, John; Hollinsworth, Joseph; Holt, William; Hooper, William, Hopkins, James H; Hopper, Thomas, Horsley, John, Robert, Lieut. William & William; Houchins, Edward; Houtchins, Charles & William; Huchstep (?), Samuel; Hudson, Reubin, Juffman, Frederick & Henry; Hughes, John & Will; Hundley; Nahemiah; Hunter, Titus.
Innis, John; Irvine, Christopher; Isham, Elijah, Ison, Charles & Elijah.
Jacobs, John; Johns, John, Robert & Thomas; Johnson, John, Snelling, Tandy & William; Jone, Ambrose, John, Josias, Thomas, William & Zachariah; Joplin, Josiah, Ralph, Catp. Thomas & Thomas; Jordan, John, Reubin & William; Joselin, John; Jude, John
Kesterson, John; Key, Rice; King, Jacob; Knight, Andrew; Knuckolds, Robert.
Lamont, John; Landrum, John & Capt. Young; Lane, Charles Sr., Chas. Jr., John, Joseph, Thomas & William; Lannum, Benedict; Lavender, Allen, Charles Sr., Charles Jr., & William; Lawless, Richard; Lawson, William; Lee, Francis & Richard; Leek, (Leak), Mark & Samuel; Lemasters, Jno; Leslie, Robert ; Levy, Soloman; Lewis, John; Lively, Mark; Lockhart, Walter; Loving, George; Lucas, Thomas; Lyon, Edward, Nicholas, Peter & Will.
Mahone, Daniel; Mautaply, Nat. Marksbury, Sam'l; Marshall, Wm. Martin, Azariah, Capt. Azariah, James, John Sr., John Jr. & William; Masters, James; Matthews, James, John, Joseph, Thomas Sr., Thomas Jr., & william; Mattox, Notly; Mayfield, George & John; Mays, Ben, Elijah, James & Robert; McAlexander, Alex., James, & John; McAnally, William, McCabe, Elijah, & James; McCann, James; McCarthur, Robert; McClain, James; McCullock, roderick; McDaniel, George & Jno; McKnight, John; McNeare, James; Mcnelly, Michael; Megan, Merit; Megginson, Ben, Samuel & William; Meredith, Samuel Jr.; Miller, Alex. & Charles; Milstead, Zeal; Mohon (Mahone) William; Montgomery, David, Lieut. James, James, John & thomas; Moran, John; Morris, John & Zacheriah; Morrison, William; Morson, B.; Moss, Philip; Murray (or Murrow) John, Ransum, Richard Sr., & William Jr.; Murtar, Barnet.
Neal, Joseph; Neighbors, Nat; Nevil, James & Reuben; Nightingale, Matthew; Noel, John; Nowland (Noland, Nowlin, Nowling) , David & James; North, William.
O'Brian, James; Oglesby, Jesse & Richard; Ownby, Thomas.
Page, James & Joseph; Pagett, Edmond; Pamplin, Capt. James, & Nicholas; pannel (Pannelle), Ben; Parks, John; Parrock, Charles & David; Parrow, Daniel; Patterson, John & Thomas; Peacock, Edward; Pendleton, Benjamin, Edmund, John, Reubin, Richard & William, Penn (Pinn) Gabriel, Capt. George, Philip Sr., Philip Jr., Pinn (Penn) Rolly, & Thomas; Perkins, Richard, & William; Peters, Richard, Samuel & William; Peyton, Charles, Daniel, George, Henry, James, John Sr., John Jr., Lewis, William Jr.; Philips, George, Jacob, Jeremiah, John, Leonard Sr., Leonard Jr., & Mat; Pierce, William (killed); Poe, John; Pollard, Absalom Sr., Absalom Jr., James, Robert & William; Ponton, Joel; Pope, John Jr.; Powell, Ben, Edmond, Francis, John Sr., John Jr., Nat, Richard, william, Wyatt & Zachariah; Pratt, Thomas; Price, Thomas; Prior, David, John Sr., John Jr., & Nicholas; Pugh, Willoughby; Pullins, Joseph; Purvis, George
Ramesey, James; Randolph, Henry; Ray, David Sr., (killed), David Jr., & William; Redcross; John; Reid, Alexander, George, & Johnathan; Renn (Wren), John; Reynolds, Absalom & Patrick; Rice, Holman; Ricketts, Matthew; Roach, Henry; Roak, James; Roberts, Alexander, Thomas & Zachariah; Robertson, Robert, Stephen & Thomas; Robinson, Thomas; Rodes, Capt. Charles & Charles; Rogers, Ben; Rose, Hugh, John & Peter; Rosterson, John; Royalty, John; Rucker, A___, Ambrose, Isaac, John (died in service), John Sr., John Jr., & Renbin; Ryan, Harris & J____.
Sandige, William; Satterwhite, Francis; Saunders, Ben & David; Savage, James; Scott, Wm.; Scruggs, Daniel & William; Seay, Abraham, Jr.: Shelton, Clough, D___, & David; Shields, Will; Shoemaker, John, William & Ledekiah; Simmons, James; Simpson, David; Sims, Charles; Slatter, Tyree; Slead, Will; Smith, Alex, or Austin, Elleck, James, John, Johnson, Obadiah, Thomas, "Thomas of Maryland," Thomas, Jr., & william; Spencer, Samuel & William; Staples, Lieut. Joseph, Joseph & Samuel, Jr., Staten, Will; Stevens, James, John & Thomas; Stonham, Richard; Stovall, James, Joseph & Thomas; Stratton, Isaac & John; Stuart (or Stewart) Chas., James, Capt. John, John, Swinney, (or Swaney), John.
Taliaferro, Ben, Charles, Capt. Richard & Richard; Tate, William Jr.; Taylor, George, Jesse, John, John, William & Zachary; Tennison, Ignatius; Thomas, Cornelius & John; Thompson, James; Thurman, Guthridge, John, Philip & William; Thurtless, James; Tilford, David & James; Tinsley, Isaac & James, "son of William"; Tomlinson, Ambrose; Trent, John; Trott, Joseph; tucker, Charles, Daniel, Jesse, John, Joseph, Matthey, Thomas & Capt. William; tuggle, Charles, Henry & Joshua; Toly, (or Tooley) Charles; Tunget, Fielding; Turner, Henry, John & William; Tyler, John; Tyron, Zachariah.
Upsher, John & Leroy; Upton, Thomas Jr.
Vaughn, John & Leroy; Upton, Thomas Jr.
Wade, Pierce; Walker, Jeremiah; Walton, Tilman & William; ware (Weir), James & Mark; Warren, Burrus & James; Warwick, Abraham & William; Waters, Francis & Moses; Walkius, Spencer; Watson, Edward, Lt. , John & John; Watts, Caleb T. & Thomas; Webb, Thoe Jorick (?); Webster, William; Welch, Will; Wells, James; West, Bransford, Francis & John; Whitehead, John; Whitelor, John; Whitten, Jeremiah, John & William; Wilcox, Edmond & Thomas; Willburn, Richard & Will; Williams, John; Williamson, William; Willis, John; Wilson, Mathew; Wingfield, John; Witt, Abner, Elijah, George, John, Lewis, Littleberry & Will; Wood, Jesse, James, John, Robert, Silas, William; Woodrof (Woodruff), David, Capt. John & John; Woods, Josiah; Woody, George; Wrenn, John; Wright, Achilles, Andrew, Charles, Ellis, Francis, George Sr., George Jr., James, Jesse, John, Menos, Moses, Robert, Thomas & Will.
There is a book called The Buffalo Ridge Cherokees: Remnants of A Great Nation Divided, written by Dr. Horace Rice [Heritage Press 1994]. The book chronicles the struggles of those who settled on the ridge. Rolly Pinn's family was made up of "Free Persons Of Color" who were never slaves. They attempted to live in peace with their white neighbors and found that these people were war like. Eventually Rolly died and passed the land on to his children. By the time my ancestor Robert Pinn IV came along the land was lost and having no reason to stay there he migrated to Fredericksburg.
Robert Pinn IV married the Great-Grand daughter of Charles Lewis, Elizabeth Jackson in 1839. As a gift Robert and Elizabeth were given land by her parents. Later, Robert and Elizabeth purchased more land in Fredericksburg. In the 1840 census Robert list his occupation as a minister, a bold move for a brother during those times. Robert was a Baptist Minister during the time that Baptists were considered the enemy of the Church of England. The Baptists were ministering to slaves and telling them not to be content being slaves. By 1850 Robert and Elizabeth had sold their land and were living in Pennsylvania. Robert and Elizabeth Pinn were my last direct ancestors to live in Virginia.
The information I chronicled above was submitted to the Daughter's of The American Revolution (DAR) and they have accepted my application. My reason for starting the research was to complete the story my mother started - but I found so much more. Not only my ancestors but also many African-Americans and People of Color gave their lives for this country during, prior to and after the Revolutionary War. Their stories are buried in books and documents that are yet to be found. It is the task of those of us who know to find this information and teach it to our children. Most people are not interested in a history that excludes them. We must make it our mission to take our true history to the next generation.
ii *Cook, Michael; The Pioneer Lewis Families: Cook Publications, Evansville, Ind. 1984, Vol. IV, & Lewis, Robert J.C.K., Lewis Patriarchs of Early Virginia And Maryland With Some Arms And Origins: Heritage Books, 1991
iii Stafford County, Virginia, WPA Reports, p. 261
iv Revolutionary War Pension Records, National Archives and Records Service, Jackson ., 258
v Virginia Genealogical Society, Virginia Revolutionary War State Pensions, 1960, pps. 17,22,25,70,82
vi Gwathmey, John H. Historical Register of Virginians In The Revolution: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, 1775-1783, Dietz Press: Richmond Virginia, 1938
vii Records of the Revolutionary Gov't RG2, Navy Board, 1776-1787, General Correspondence, Vessels Box 1, file of Ship Dragon
viii Cook, Michael L., Pioneer Lewis Families, Cook Publications, Evansville, Ind, 1984, Vol. IV. p. 1261 & Lewis, Robert: Lewis Patriarchs of Early Virginia, Including
ix Provided by the New York Historical Society, Archives & Records Department, [Virginia Weekly Advance, May 22, 1884, Lynchburg, VA]
Copyright ©1998-1999 by Anita Wills. Reprints require approval by the author.