Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Praise of Robert Ewart in 1844--Mississippi Cousins Take Note

In the campaign of 1844 there were political dirty tricks involving the very old Abraham A. Forney, whose being illiterate made him vulnerable.  Misquoted about Ezekiel Polk, he had to get his family to explain his position. One explainer was our Cousin Will Johnston, son of Jane Ewart Johnston and the Colonel James Johnston of the brass monument at King's Mountain. Abraham Forney was a son of old Jacob Forney. See C. L. Hunter's SKETCHES OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA: Hunter was a brother in law of Cousin Will Johnston, and we are kin to the Hunter and Johnston children. Anyhow, here from the Raleigh REGISTER 25 October 1844 is Forney writing about Major John Davidson (not General William Lee Davidson), language sic:

I served under said Davidson a part of the time--Capt. James Johnston was my captain, afterwards Col. Johnston. Lord Cornwallis came to my father's with the British army on the 26th January, 1781--lay there several days before they crossed the Catawba river at Cowan's Ford. Previous to the British coming to my father's, Capt. Jacob Forney, he sent his negroes over the Catawba river into Mecklenburg to Maj. John Davidson for safekeeping out of the way of the British army. During the war Maj. John Davidson and Robt. Ewart (a good Whig) very frequently come to my father's, Jacob Forney, sen., to consult in favor of the Whig cause--Robert Ewart lived about one and a half miles from Maj. Davidson and five and a half miles from my fathers.

This gives the best description so far as to the location of Grandpa Ewart's house. Forney does not point out that Johnston was a son-in-law of Robert Ewart, but of course he knew. Robert Ewart had been named to the Committee of Safety in 1775, so of course he would be consulted as to the course of the war.

The Mississippi descendants of Robert Knox Bell are, of course, descended from Robert Ewart, that good Whig, and also descended from Robert Ewart, that good Whig--a double grandfather to us.

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