VA-NORTH-L ArchivesArchiver > VA-NORTH > 2005-03 > 1112125910
From: Carol E Barron <>
Subject: Maj John Stevenson of "Calf Pasture" River, Augusta Co. Va, bio sketch
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 13:51:50 -0600
Posting for your information--I am not searching this family. The
following extracted from "History of Woodford Co., KY", by Wm E. Railey,
1938, reprint 1968.
Major John Stevenson, whose father was in the siege of Londonderry, was
born in Ireland, emigrated to Warwick County, Va., thence to "Calf
Pasture" river in Augusta County. He received a grant of 5,332 acres of
land for services as Major in the Revolution, and married Martha Warwick,
who was killed by the Indians in Augusta County, Va., upon a return from
church services. All of his sons were famous Indian fighters.
The eldest son, John, Jr. came to Lexington in 1779, when there were only
four cabins and a blockhouse there.
The Stevensons, the Gays and the Dunlaps are credited with bringing the
first thoroughbred race horses into Kentucky. It is known positively
that Captain James Gay, of "Mound Hill", Clark County, assisted by his
brothers-in-law, brought to Kentucky the first improved cattle. It is
also a matter of record that John Stevenson, as early as 1779 brought out
to Kentucky an "English filly", the name then given a thoroughbred filly
Illustrative of land and equine values at that time, Captain (Buck)
William McConnell offered to trade 500 acres of land adjoining McConnells
Station, now a part of Lexington, for this fine filly. At another time,
according to the account left by his son, John Stevenson arranged to
trade one of his horses with one of the Bryants, at Bryants Station, for
1,000 acres of land between the station and Lexington, but Col. John
Morrison, believing the pioneers could not hold the country, prevailed
upon John Stevenson not to make the trade.
This John Stevenson was a sergeant in Captain Robert Patterson's company
in the expedition against the Shawnees in 1781, and was in some of George
Rogers Clark's campaigns. He and his family lived at McConnells Station
and Lexington from 1779 to 1784, when he planted a crop in Woodford
County and they moved down to the vicinity of Pisgah, March 5, 1784.
"The night after we moved down a snow fell and Sam tracked and caught
sixty raccoons", says the account of James Stevenson, a son of John
Major John Stevenson's son, William, came to Lexington also in 1779. He
was in the pioneer Indian fighting, and while in an effort to get into
Bryants Station at the time that garrison was attacked in 1782, had his
horse shot from under him while in the saddle. He turned about face and
killed an Indian, but being cut off from the station, he endeavored to
make his escape, and in so doing ran twelve miles in the direction of
Georgetown. So closely was he pursued by the enemy he could not change
his course, and the strain was so great that he never fully recovered
from it. In 1787 he bought land from Major John Crittenden at forty
pounds per 100 acres.
Other children of Major John Stevenson were Thomas, who came to Lexington
in 1779 and was killed at the battle of "Blue Licks" soon after the
attack on Bryants Station; and James Stevenson, who came in 1787; and
Robert Stevenson, who moved first to Nolo-Chucky, in the state of
Tennessee in 1779, but at the urgent request of his brothers came to
Kentucky in 1787; the youngest son, Major Samuel Stevenson, born March,
1744, and married Jane Gay in May, 1771, who lived in the "Calf Pasture",
in Augusta County, Va., she born 1750. In 1775 Major Samuel Stevenson
and his wife, Jane Gay, moved to the Greenbrier river, in Virginia, being
the third English family to settle there. He was elected captain of an
unofficial military company of settlers organized for defense against the
Indians, this point constituting the extreme frontier of Virginia.
In 1776, in company with James Gay, his brother-in-law, Benjamine
Blackburn, and William Elliott, he made an expedition to Kentucky, as
before stated, and was through Woodford County at that time. In 1779 he
and his wife moved to Lexington, Ky., where she was said to be the second
white woman in that section, the wife of Col. John Morrison being the
Major Samuel Stevenson brought out with him also "Wild Cat" John
McKinney, famous as Lexington's first school master, who came near losing
his life at the battle of Point Pleasant during the Revolution.
In the account of her life given to Rev. John Shane by the wife of Major
Stevenson, and preserved in the Draper collection in the Wisconsin
Historical Society, she says she arrived in Lexington in October. "There
was every sort of people there, and that was what took us away. We had
no notion of raising our children among the sort of people".
On April 2, 1780, they moved to McConnells Station. From then until
March 1st, 1784, they planted crops in Woodford County, on which date
they moved down near Pisgah.
Major Samuel Stevenson was an officer of the state militia of Kentucky,
was in the Illinois expedition of General George Rogers Clark, and in the
expedition of Captain Robert Patterson against the Shawnees in 1781. He
generously donated the land upon which Pisgah church was erected. About
1795 he purchased large tracts of land near Xenia, Ohio, to which
property three of his sons removed about 1799, and their descendants have
been, and the present generation are now very prominent in civic, social
and military affairs. Samuel Stevenson, Jr., one of his sons, remained
in Woodford County and served in the war of 1812, being captured at
Dudley's defeat in May, 1813.
James Stevenson, Sr., father of James, Jr., an early clerk of the county
court, was a distant relative of Major Samuel Stevenson.
|Maj John Stevenson of "Calf Pasture" River, Augusta Co. Va, bio sketch by Carol E Barron <>|