Samuel Ritchie of Scott County, Virginia


     The family of Alexander Ritchie, Sr., moved from Prince Edward County, Virginia, out to Cassell's Woods, on the Virginia frontier, sometime shortly after 1770, when the area was still Botetourt County. By 1772, they had moved down on Clinch River and settled on the south side thereof at a place which later became the William Gray farm, near the present Gray's Island of Clinch River. Here they built a log house known as Ritchie's Fort. The home was likely only a strongly built log house with portholes for defense, commonly called a "Fort House." I can find no evidence that it was ever a stockaded fort, although
it may have been.
     All this family, except Samuel, later left Scott County, and it is very probable that some of the family, especially some of the sisters, remained in Prince Edward County and did not move with the family to the frontier.
     Samuel served 17 days and 99 days under Captain Russell in 1774 in the militia on the frontier. His brother, Alexander Ritchie, Jr., who later settled in Hawkins County, Tennessee, did extensive service as an Indian Scout on the frontier. Alexander enlisted at Blackmore's Fort in 1776 when he was only
twelve years old, and served intermittently on tours of duty until after the Revolutionary War.
     Samuel Ritchie married, probably around 1790-91, Ann, the daughter of Patrick and Susanna Walker Porter of Porter's Fort, who lived about three miles from Ritchie's Fort. This marriage ended up on "the rocks", for on October 10, 1782, Samuel appeared in the Russell County court and asked for an
annulment of his marriage on two counts of infidelity. No record has ever been found that the court ever acted upon the request. However, notwithstanding the fact that he divorced in 1797, Samuel took the "common law." His wife, Frances Kindrick, was the daughter of Patrick Kindrick. He had no children by his legal wife, Ann Porter, but had one son and five daughters by Frances Kindrick.
     Despite the fact that Samuel was living in adultery, it did not seem to affect his career greatly. He seems to have been highly respected in the Scott County of his day; and from the appraisal of his estate, one could say that he was a "good liver" in worldly means. He was one of the Commissioners to select a
site for the county seat when Scott County was formed in 1814. He was a Magistrate and presided over the first court held and signed the records as Chairman of the Board of Magistrates. Prior to 1870, county courts were constituted by the Board of Magistrates after the manner of the Old English Quarter Sessions, a magistrate being elected by the Board for each court session who was called a Presiding Justice, who signed the court records in the same capacity as does a Judge today. At the time of his death he was Overseer of the Poor for the North District, and his name appears on many legal papers in Scott County.
     In order to prevent his wife, Ann Porter Ritchie who was still living in the neighborhood, from getting any of his property, he gave to his son, Samuel, Jr., a tract of land and a Negro slave named Jacob. The son, Samuel, was "harassed and embarrassed" by the Sheriff, so that the elder Samuel, during the absence in West Tennessee of his son, Samuel, Jr., went in the court of Scott County, and he, the elder Samuel, being the Senior Justice of the court, found that the Clerk, John Henry, being young and inexperienced, had entered, but not registered the deed. Old Samuel got back the deed, lined through the entry in the deed book, but did not obliterate it. He then destroyed the deed and had, through his influence as senior Justice, the court annul the deed.
     Samuel, Jr. was much disturbed by this and vowed he would never relinquish the property. The old man tried to convince him that if he tried to hold on to it, he would only be harassed by the Sheriff and promised he could have it by a later will. The reason for the harassment by the Sheriff was that Samuel, Jr., owed five hundred dollars to James Albert and Albert had assigned the debt to William H. Kendall (Samuel's brother-in-law), and Kendall was trying to collect the debt.
     Once the elder Samuel was very sick and thought he was going to die, he made the above deed in haste; but when he got better, he got the deed back and made a regular will. The children of Samuel must have been a greedy lot, or the first will did not suit all of the children. In fact, he said his children would not let him die in peace because of making wills. Finally, on the afternoon of December 16, 1818 (the same day Samuel died), a will was made to suit young Samuel. About six months later, Samuel, Jr., died in West Tennessee, unmarried and without heirs. His mother, Frances Kindrick, had gotten hold of his land and sold it to her son-in-law, John Kindrick. The other son-in-law, William H. Kendall, who had gotten from James Albert the five hundred dollar debt against young Samuel Ritchie, was trying to collect and brought suit charging some "hocus pocus" was going on.
     On June 10, 1819, Ann Porter Ritchie, listed as the "widow of Samuel Ritchie, deceased," made a deed to the children of Samuel Ritchie that he had by Frances Kindrick of her dower in his estate.
     In 1818, the year of his death, Samuel Ritchie, Sr., was taxed for three tracts of land, all on Clinch River, of 190, 102 and 32 acres. In his will, (Book 1, page 117) he directs his executors to sell the 120 and 32 acre tracts, his personal property, and five Negro slaves to pay his personal debts, etc. He further disposes of his property as follows:
     "To the heirs of my brother, John Ritchie, deceased, $4
     To the heirs of my brother, Alexander Ritchie, deceased, $4
     To the heirs of my brother, James Ritchie, deceased, $4
     To the heirs of William Crockett and my sister Agness, both deceased, $4. (This couple were married in Prince Edward County, VA in 1760)
     To the heirs of John Simpson and my sister, Catherine, his wife, both deceased, $4.
     To the heirs of Thomas Rice and my sister, Mary, his wife, both deceased, $4
     To my sister, Susanna Ritchie and her heirs, $4
     To my friend, Frances Kindrick, the tract of land whereon I now live of 290 acres, also $200, also 1/6 of my estate.
     To my daughter, Jane Lowe, after deducting $200, 1/6 of my estate." 
     To each of his daughters, Susanna, Mary (Polly), Frances Adeline, and Rachel Ritchie, he leaves 1/6 of his estate. Witness to the will were William Wallace, James Albert, and J. L. Culbertson. The appraisement of the estate was dated January 23, 1819, and included five slaves, law books, Bible, dictionary, and other items to the value of $2,825.75.
     The children of Samuel Ritchie and Frances Kindrick were:
     13.  Samuel Ritchie, Jr. died unmarried
     14.  Jane Ritchie, married Isaac Lowe
     15.  Susanna Ritchie married William H. Kendall
     16.  Mary (Polly) Ritchie married John Kindrick
     17.  Frances Adeline Ritchie married John R. Porter
     18.  Rachel Ritchie married Henry Salling
     There is also an interesting story of Samuel's son-in-law, Isaac Lowe, was not Isaac Lowe at all, but really John L. Elliott, born in Kentucky, September 30, 1794, and said to have been the son of, by descendants, James and Hanna Scott Elliott. When a young boy, he ran away from his home in Bath County, Kentucky, and went to that part of Russell County which later became Scott County, and changed his name of Isaac Lowe, so as to avoid being found. We find him, along with Samuel Ritchie, Jr., James Cocke, and John Dunkin, on a "good behavior" bond in Russell County, Virginia, February 24, 1795. Isaac and Jane lived in Scott County, Virginia until 1823, when they moved to Morgan County, Kentucky. He also appears on personal property tax lists through 1822. They lived on a tract of 240 acres of land they had bought on July 29, 1816, from John and Mary Alley, the latter having moved sometime earlier to Franklin County, Indiana.
     By the 1820 census of Scott County, Isaac and Jane were the parents of four sons, all under the age of 10 years. One of these sons was Ephraim Blane Elliott, born about 1829-1830. Another was Judge John M. Elliott, probably the same for whom Elliott County, Kentucky, was named.
     While living in Russell County (now Scott), Isaac Lowe, on the 13th of September, 1814, along with many others, entered the War of 1812, at Dickensonville, Virginia. They marched away to Norfolk, Virginia, where they arrived one month later. They left under the command of First Lieutenant Andrew Caldwell. Third Lieutenant Hiram Kilgore, and Ensign John Bickley and William D. Haft. At Norfolk, they became a part of the Fourth Virginia Regiment of Militia, under General Taylor and Lieutenant Colonel Koontz, and Isaac Lowe was appointed Fourth Corporal.
     At Norfolk many of the men were put to work building barracks, among whom was Isaac Lowe. A log fell on his leg, breaking it some two or three inches above the ankle, and he was subsequently discharged on March 12, 1814.
     After his return to Kentucky, and the resumption of his true name, John L. Elliott, he started to accumulate property. In 1825, he was appointed Deputy Surveyor of Morgan County. In 1829, he was taxed for three tracts of land of 200, 400 and 1,430 acres. Each year afterwards his acreages increased. He appears on the 1830 census of Morgan County and on the 1840 and 1850 census of Carter County. He died in October 1855.

  Amended Pension Statement of Alexander Ritchie, Jr. - R-8784
                                
State of Tennessee
Claiborne County
                    First Judicial Circuit 1886, April the 26th

     Present the Honorable Samuel Powell, Judge. Then personally appeared before the said court Alexander Ritchie, Jr., and made this amendment to his declaration originally filed in Washington for the purpose of drawing a pension according to the benefits offered by the Act of Congress passed the 7th of June 1832.
     Disposeth and sayeth that he entered the army of the United States under the following officers and served as herein stated.
     That he resided in the county of Fincastle, now Russell, in the state of Virginia, and in the month of April, 1776, he entered the service of the United States under the command of Captain Martin from Henry County in the state of Virginia. Captain Martin was sent out to defend the Western frontiers and he enlisted under him in the said month of April for the term of six months in the cause of his country. He states that the term of service was not an enrollment, but that he enlisted and was excepted to (sic) by the commanding officer. The services that this applicant performed was in about every two weeks, ranging the mountains in pursuit of the Indians and the reasons that this applicant was excepted (sic) of at such a tender age was that the frontiers were in danger and that the men were scarce and he therefore offered himself to the service of his country and that by the consent of his father and after his term of service expired this applicant was discharged.
     And this applicant begs leave further to state that in the month of April in the year of 1777 that he still resided in the county of Fincastle in the state of Virginia and that he again voluntarily enlisted under Captain Gipson (sic) in the cause of his country for the term of six months to guard Blackmore's Fort in what is now Scott County in said State and he served out the whole term for which he was enlisted and the order of the Captain under whose command he was, to range the mountains in pursuit of the Indians every two weeks which this applicant performed in good faith to his country; after his term of service expired, he received his discharge which is lost or mislaid so that he cannot produce the same. This applicant further states that sometime in the month of April, 1778, that he then resided in the county of Fincastle, in the state of Virginia, and that he again voluntarily enlisted himself in the cause of his country under the command of the above named Captain Gipson and they who was forted at that place. (I mean Blackmore's Station or Fort). This applicant most positively states that he did perform the duties assigned him as a soldier and that he spied through the whole country for many miles around the fort until his term of service expired and applicant states that he then received his discharge. He states that during the last aforementioned campaign or tour of duty that they had no engagement with the Indians. This applicant states that he moved with his father from the Fort in the fall of 1778 to his father's plantation where he continued to live until the 12th of March the next ensuing, and early in the morning of the 12th the news reached this applicant that the Indians had broke out and had killed six persons belonging to the family of a man by the name of Phillips. He then moved to Duncan's Fort where he remained until the month of April in said year of 1779, when this applicant again enlisted in the cause of his country under Captain John Snoddy for the term of six months, and said applicant states most positively that he did serve in the army of the United States for the term of six months, and after his term of service had expired, he received his discharge, which said discharge is lost or mislaid so that he cannot produce the same. He states that during the last above mentioned tour of duty that they had no general engagement with the Indians. He states that all of the services that he rendered the country as above described was as a private, and the said applicant begs leave further to state that in the month of April in 1780 that he again enlisted in the service of his country under the aforesaid Captain Snoddy for the term of six months for the purpose of guarding Dunkin's Fort in the same country as aforementioned, and this applicant ranged the mountains in pursuit of the Indians according to the orders of the Captain under whom he entered and said applicant states most positively that he had many hard and dangerous trips after the enemy during the said tour of duty, but that they had no general engagement with the enemy. He states that his servitude in the campaign was entirely devoted to the defense of the west and states that he did actually serve out that in actual service the aforementioned term of six months in the cause of his country. The applicant states that he was a private when he rendered the service as described in the year of 1780, and after his term of service had expired he received his discharge from Captain Snoddy which said discharge was lost or mislaid so that he cannot now produce the same.
     And this applicant begs further leave to represent to the department that sometime in the month of January, 1786, that this applicant then received an appointment as one of the Indian spies from Colonel Henry Smith of Russell County, Virginia and he spied through the Kentucky and Cumberland Mountains and also in the Sandy Mountains, which is situated in the State of Kentucky. This applicant states most positively that he did serve for the term of nine months as one of the Indian spys, and said applicant states that John Alley, who was likewise a spy, spied with him. He states that he and Alley left Dunkins Fort on every Monday morning, packed their provisions on their backs, and ranged through all the above named mountains once in every week; that is to say, they left the Fort. on Monday and returned to it again of the Sunday thence next ensuing, and this they continued to do for the term of nine months, commencing on the first day of February, 1786, and then his term of service for which he was appointed expired. This applicant states most positively that he did serve as an Indian spy on the frontiers of Virginia for the aforesaid term of nine months.
                              Signed: Alexander Ritchie, Junior

     Be it mentioned that a Circuit Court of Lee continued and held for the county aforesaid in the State aforementioned at the Courthouse in Tazewell, by and before the Hon. Samuel Powell, Judge, thereof assigned and commissioned to hold said court the same being a court of Record, and having the power of fine and imprisonment upon the 16th day of April, 1836, came into the said court Alexander Ritchie, Junior, who hath subscribed the foregoing declaration, and being sworn upon the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God, saith that the matter and ______________(illegible) therein set forth therein are true.
     In testimony whereof I, Lewis A. Garrett, Clerk of said court have herewith set my hand and seal of office, at office in Tazewell the 26th day of April, 1836.
                              Lewis A. Garrett, Clerk

State of Tennessee
Grainger County
     This 22nd day of March, 1841, Alexander Ritchie, a resident of Claiborne County and State aforesaid, personally appeared before me, Jessee F. Beeler, a Justice of the Peace for this county, and made oath in due form of law that the facts continued in the following amended declaration for a pension are true, viz: states that he entered the service under Col. Christian in the year 1776, under Captain Joseph Martin, formerly from Henry County, State of Virginia. He was entered in Washington County this tour of six months service, was under the authority of the State of Virginia and the State of North Carolina, and served his time out, and another fact, there was an agreement between Col. Christian and the Cherokees that a treaty of peace should be made the spring following; but the leading chief, Dragging Canoe, under the influence of Cameron, the British agent, kept up their warfare in small parties and was constantly killing, more or less the white people, which rendered it necessary to keep up the line of forts all along the frontiers and spys when we were embodied and regular spys were appointed. Myself and Elisha Wallen was two that reconnoitered from Blackmore's Fort, Castlewoods, and on to the Clinch and Holston Rivers. In 1778, the whole frontier was harassed by Dragging Canoe and his party, and they were again called out in the spring of the year and for a six month tour and served it and took the appointment of Spy again until the breaking up of winter of 1779. He was then enrolled under Col. Evan Shelby of twelve months men; Dragging Canoe, having increased his strength to 12 or 1,300 men, was doing mischief all along the line from Georgia to the State of Pennsylvania. This tour of service (he had forgotten if it were more than six months, as they were retained in actual service only six months), but they now took the place of spys again after Dragging Canoe and his party were driven to the mouth of Big Creek - where Rogersville now stands. Col. John Montgomery had the command in this affair. About 40 Indians were killed, having on the approach of their force retreated. This twelve month tour was under the authority of the State of Virginia and North Carolina, and he expected there was an act passed by Legislature for that purpose. He knew they were ordered by the Governor through General Campbell who issued all the orders by the Governor to the frontier line under field officers and to the brigade. A thousand men were called out this last tour, which was one of the great hardships, and in the latter part of the summer, a treaty was concluded. In August, and even after that until the latter part of the year, 1781, they were continued in service either as spies, militia, or volunteers. Col. Shelby, Col. Christian, and Col. Avery of North Carolina was some of the commanders that treated for peace with the Indians. There are many particulars that from age and forgetfulness had escaped his memory, but these facts taken in connection with his former declaration filed with the suspended cases and the undisputed testimony of William Condray and Elisha Wallen, his contemporaries through the service, and this explanation to the facts of the service commanders and orders to Shelby and Christian and the treaties of peace. All of these things must be known to the department, must place his case beyond any doubts, and must now feel satisfied with the additional testimony sent on with this amended declaration. There must be a favorable decision now after the facts laid before the board, the hardships he suffered, the starvation through wet and cold, and all the privation that human flesh is able to hear - shall he be denied the scanty pittance that Congress had made provisions for him to receive for his five years suffering? He thinks not. He would only request that his case have a dispatchable examination. He might refer to many other circumstances of his service during this five years and many hardships after the year 1781, in excursions after the Cherokees under Col. Sevier and until 1787 or 1788, and his contemporaries William Condray, Elisha Wallen, William Steward, and others that waded through blood for many years for the protection and settlements of the frontier.

     In conclusion he now states that this amended declaration taken in connection with his former declaration and this deposition now sent on, will, he is in hopes, make every part of his case plain from the great length of time since these events transpired and his great age. There are many little circumstances and perhaps some important ones that has escaped his memory which in some points might seem clothed in some mystery, but feels that on careful examination will be found that most matured facts are all stated and by reference to the first declaration, comparing dates will be found generally correct. He has no memorandum or records in his possession and has stated all from memory and frail as before stated. Dr. Alfred Noel is his agent to transact this business and corresponds for him and will attend to getting his certificate if allowed and prays to be placed on the Revolutionary pension roll according to his service.
     Sworn and subscribed this day and year first above written.
                                   Alexander Ritchie

Jessee F. Beeler
Justice of the Peace for Grainger County
     And I Jessee F. Beeler, one of the Justice of the Peace for the said County, do certify that the foregoing amended declaration was sworn and subscribed to in my presence in due form of law and that the facts stated upon his knowledge he knows to be true and these found in this information of others he believes to be true.
                                   Jessee F. Beeler
                                   J. P. for Grainger County
 


 
 
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