Samuel McDowell (1735 - 1817) MP

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Birthplace: Fairfield, Rockbridge, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Danville, Boyle, Kentucky, United States
Managed by: Chelsea Weal Hodge
Last Updated:

About Samuel McDowell

DAR Ancestor #: A076518

Samuel McDowell (October 29, 1735 – September 25, 1817) was a soldier and early political leader in Kentucky.

McDowell participated in three major wars. He served under George Washington in the French and Indian War, served as an aide-de-camp to Isaac Shelby in Lord Dunmore's War, and was part of Nathanael Greene's campaign in the Revolutionary War. Following the Revolutionary War, he relocated to Kentucky and became a surveyor. Later, he was appointed one of the first district court judges in what would become the state of Kentucky. He became a leader of the movement to separate Kentucky from Virginia, presiding over nine of the state's ten constitutional conventions.

Early life

Samuel McDowell was born in Pennsylvania on October 29, 1735.[1] He was the son of Captain John McDowell and grandson of Ephraim McDowell, a Scots-Irish patriot in the English Revolution of 1688.[2] Captain McDowell relocated his family to Virginia in 1737.[3] Samuel McDowell was well-educated in his youth, at one time studying under Archibald Alexander.[3] In 1743, his father died and he inherited the entire estate, according to the tradition of primogeniture, but chose to divide the estate with his brother and sister.

McDowell married Mary McClung on January 17, 1754.[1] They had seven sons and four daughters. Sons Joseph, Samuel, Jr. both served in the Revolutionary War.Joseph also served in the War of 1812, as did the eldest son, John. Samuel, Jr. was also the first United States Marshal in Kentucky. The most famous of McDowell's sons was Dr. Ephraim McDowell, who performed the first ovariotomy. Ephraim McDowell later married the daughter of Isaac Shelby, his father's former commanding officer.

McDowell died near Danville on September 25, 1817 at the home of his son Joseph.

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Washington Review and Examiner (Pa.) Nov. 5, 1817; "Another Revolutionary Patriot gone.

Died near Danville (Ken.) on the 25th Sept. last, Col. Samuel McDowell, in the 85th year of his age. He was distinguished as a most active whig during the revolutionary war--was one of the first settlers of Kentucky--a member of the convention which adopted our constitution--was a judge under the district court system, and afterwards a circuit judge. He has left more than one hundred descendants; and was distinguished for his piety, unsullied integrity, practical patriotism and industrious habits. He lived long and usefully, died serene and happy.--Argus" 

Notes

  • These dates do not match the stone in the Bellevue Cemetery where he is buried. Check his memorial page on FindAGrave. A pic of the stone is there. I have changed the dates to match the stone.

Links

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Col. Samuel McDowell's Timeline

1735
November 7, 1735
Fairfield, Rockbridge, Virginia, United States
1754
January 17, 1754
Age 18
Augusta, Virginia, United States
1755
October 9, 1755
Age 19
October 9, 1755
Age 19
1756
October 3, 1756
Age 20
Rockbridge, Virginia, United States

"The church (Timber Ridge Presbyterian) was dedicated on October 3, 1756. On November 21, 1759 the congregation took official control of the site when Robert Houston formally deeded it to the trustees for the nominal sum of five shillings. --- The trustees included Samuel McDowell, John McClung, John Lyle, Wm Alexander and John Thompson. Thus, the 'Presbyterian Congregation of Timber Ridge' had finally found a permanent home." (A Journey in Faith, TRPC 1746-1996, Taylor Sanders, 1999)

Samuel McDowell is listed among the membership when sitting in session in August of 1753, for "a call from the United Congregation of Providence and Timber Ridge in Augusta Co., to be presented to Mr. John Brown at the Presbytery of New Castle". The list of membership in 1753 reads like a who's who in regards to the McDowell's and allied families.

In 1775, Samuel McDowell was ordained as a Ruling Elder of TRPC. So too, the list of Ruling Elders of TRPC read's like a list of who's who with McDowell and all of their allied families living on Timber Ridge.

1757
December 7, 1757
Age 22
Charles City, Virginia
1760
May 29, 1760
Age 24
1762
March 9, 1762
Age 26
1764
March 8, 1764
Age 28
Rockbridge, Kentucky
1766
June 20, 1766
Age 30