John T. Macon (1755 - 1828)

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Nicknames: "Major John Macon"
Birthplace: Macon Manor, Granville, North Carolina, USA
Death: Died in Maury County, Tennessee, United States
Occupation: Military Major, Major
Managed by: Dennis Harold Cloukey
Last Updated:

About John T. Macon

John was born on Mar. 10, 1755, at Macon Manor, Warren Co., North Carolina. He died on Feb. 9, 1829, in Maury Co., Tenn. He married Joanna Tabb in 1775. She was born in 1757, in Bute Co., No. Carol. She died on Dec 13, 1796, in childbirth having her son, Henry Harrison Macon, her 8th child. She was only 39 years old.

Maj. John and Joanna had the following children. All born in North Carolina. All, or almost all, married in Tenn.

George Washington. Born in 1776. Married Elizabeth Kimbrell , Oct. 24, 1807. Priscilla Jones (Washington ?) Born in 1778. Mary Hunt. Born in 1780. She married John M. Goodloe. Her second husband was Thomas Craighead, his family was connected with Craighead County, Arkansas. William Henry. Born in 1787. He married Martha, no last name, she was born 1785. I have 3 children for them. Elizabeth, born 1830.Martha, born 1833.Julie Anderson, married, Thomas G. Boyd. John Tabb. Born July 8, 1791.Died in 1851 in Tenn. He married Elizabeth R. Willis in 1813, in No. Carol. Much later, he married Mary Burdett Fitzhugh, on July 21, 1842, in Tenn. (Discussed below in the next section). Sephronia. Born in 1793. She married Caleb Longley on May 10, 1816, in Tenn. Gabriel Long. Born Aug. 6, 1795. Died Sept.23, 1840.He married Burchett T. Jordon on June 22, 1816 in Tenn. She was born on Dec. 25, 1791. Died Sept. 21, 1851. I only have one child for them, Eliza J, Born Nov.8, 1821.Died Jan. 30, 1844. Henry Harrison. Born on Dec. 13, 1796. Married Margaret Brooks in 1825 in Tenn. She was born in 1806. (His mother, Elizabeth, died the day of Henry’s birth, in childbirth) Henry and Margaret had 6 children. Joseph K., born 1827. Romulus, born 1831. Nancy, born Jan. 1833. Mary B. born 1835. Harrison, born 1835. John, born 1829.died 1886.Married Martha Ann Ramsey in 1855. John served as Captain in the 7th Regiment of the Continental Line from North Carolina, under Col. Hogun, from Dec.12, 1776, a year after he married Joanna, to Jan, 1778. He saw active service in Charleston, South Carolina.

Later, he served under Gen. Washington in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and was present at Brandywine, Germantown, and Valley Forge.

In 1780, John was captain of a Warren Co. company in a regiment from Halifax Co. under Col. Benjamin Seawell, John’s sister, Martha, married Joseph Seawell. John was in the battle of Camden, Aug. 10, 1780. In this battle, his brother, Captain Henry Harrison Macon was wounded and taken by the British, he spent several months in prison.

By Jan., 1787, Captain John Macon became Major John Macon. He was in a Halifax District Regiment under Col. William Richardson Davie. From now on, I will refer to this John as Maj. John, to distinguish him from the other John Macons in the family.

After the war, Maj. John received 1097 acres of bounty land in Davidson Co. Tenn., for 24 months of service in the Continental army. (No. Carol. Roster, page 94, page 236.) In Tenn., a land grant of 1097 acres, dated, Mar. 14, 1786, to Maj. John Macon. Land grant # 186, Davidson Co. It was recorded in grant book # a (A-1), page 31, Davidson Co. This book is in the Tenn. State land office, Nashville, Tenn. State archives.

In 1779, Maj. John became a member of the No. Carol. House of Commons from Warren Co., he served from 1779 to 1784, and succeeded his brother, Nathaniel Macon in the No. Carol. Senate, serving until 1796, the year his wife, Joanna died.

Apparently, Maj. John was buying land in Bute Co., No. Carol. in 1779. “In the third year of our independence, Richd Caswell, Esqr…Governor, Captain General and Commander in Chief to John Macon, 50 sh for every 100 acres paid into our treasury for 194 acres of land in Bute County on Shoco, adjoining Young McLemore, Macon Daniel, Nicholson and Ward, plot hereto annexed. Yearly payments to be made as the General Assembly directs and grant to be void if not registered in Bute Co. registration office within 12 months. Recorded Jan. 25, 1780 by Jos. Johnson, P. R.”

Maj. John was a member of the North Carolina state Constitutional Convention of 1788. (Please see the information written under John’s brother, Nathaniel Macon, for more political discussion). It was the question of a strong federal, national, government having control over the states, (Washington, Hamilton, and the Virginia Macons. These were known as the Federalists, or Whigs.), versus a strong States Rights position, meaning the states should have all the control over their own states instead of the federal government, with the federal government relegated to international and inter state problems. (Jefferson, most Southern slave owners, and the No. Carol. Macons, were known as the Jeffersonians). This became the Jeffersonian Republicans, (it would later be the old Southern Democratic party). This became a heated battle for the country, as well as for the Virginia and North Carolina Macon families. It created a family split. Later, the civil war of the 1800’s would be fought over just this issue. The Southern Jeffersonians against the Northern Federalists, basically. The Southerners were fighting against federal control of the states, not the issue of slavery, until later. They were fighting over the issue of who decides what for them. (At the time, the Confederate flag became a symbol of freedom from the control of the federal government, it had nothing to do with the slavery issue originally). These were all the same issues fought over in the battle for the federal Constitution in 1788. The Jeffersonian side all voted against the Constitution because it took too many rights away from the states. They all wanted a Constitution, just a different one. All the original fears of the Jeffersonians have come true, now the federal government controls almost everything, in all the states, the federal government overrides many state laws they do not agree with. In 1788, they were discussing all these same problems. There is no way it could not become heated. Washington called the Jeffersonians, “the French party, and the curse of the country”. Washington also said, that “if the country came to a civil war between the North and South, he would go with the North”. Jefferson wrote the Kentucky resolution justifying the right of a state to nullify federal laws. And Jefferson had some not to flattering comments about Washington as well. Later, Jefferson won the election, this should say something about where the country was at the time.

However, even with all this discussion, the Southerners really did need their slaves to maintain their way of life. Most of the slave owners entertained the idea of freeing their slaves under the condition that the freed slaves would be transported out of the country, and even with that, they did not intend to do it until sometime “later”. They wanted their own states to decide if slavery was going to be legal in their state or not. I think that Jefferson’s own comments about this subject, should explain the thinking of these Southern ancestors the best. Jefferson never freed any of his slaves. In fact, he said, “…when blacks were freed they had to be removed beyond the reach of mixture. Blacks were inferior in both body and mind.” He expressed, “great aversion to the miscegenation between blacks and whites, because it was morally repugnant”. Yet, he slept with his slave, Sally Hemmings, and probably others as well, as a lot of planters did. Because of his above comments, the children from these unions were usually just added to the slave population, this was probably the reason most Southern wives accepted this situation, also he never freed any of them. This expresses the double thinking of most Southern planters of the time. Do whatever you want to, but keep the “slaves” separate.

These were most of the reasons why the Constitutional Conventions of 1788 heated up all over the south. And most of these Macon ancestors were in the thick of it. The above paragraphs were to give a picture of the political sentiment of the time.

Back to Maj. John,

Maj. John was also on the first board of trustees of the University of North Carolina, serving from 1789 to 1792.

During the time he was in the North Carolina senate from 1786 to 1796 He was appointed to the commission for building the No. Carol. Capital at Raleigh, where he purchased 2, one acre lots in the heart of the city.

In Masonic circles, he held several offices in the grand lodge. Most, if not all, the Macon men in the ancestral line were all Masons down through the 20th century.

Maj. John left the No. Carol. Senate in 1796. His wife died in childbirth on Dec.13, 1796, so it could have been during that last part of Dec. when he left.

In 1797, Maj. John was only 42 years old and very depressed about his wife dying in childbirth with Henry. This is when he withdrew form political life and may have started drinking, (this got worse as he got older, according to later family stories). It was in this same year that he decided to distribute some of his slaves to his children for their future security. According to the records, he started this process on the 1st anniversary of his wife’s death, Dec. 13, 1797. However, it took until Feb. of 1798 to get though the court. In the Warren Co., No. Carol. Wills, Vol 3, by Kerr, page 93, Will Book 9, page 290.”John Macon to his children, (all minors), George Washington Macon, Priscilla Jones Macon, William Henry Macon, Mary Hunt Macon, John Tabb Macon, Sephronia Macon, and Gabriel Long Macon, gift of 22 negroes and money to be used by his friends, William Green and G. H. Macon, (John’s brother, Gideon Hunt Macon), to buy others. Witness G. H. Macon (Jurat) and Wm. Green ( Jurat). This was not a will, it was a deed of purpose to give his children slaves for their security. It was usual to rent out slaves to other people for short times as a method of income. He only included 7 of his 8 children in the above order. He left out Henry Harrison Macon, born, Dec. 13, 1796, at the time his wife died. Was the sentence, “money to buy others” for Henry? We can only hope.

Some have said, he blamed himself and Henry for his wife’s death, and this caused a lot of his future drinking problem. In the emotion of the moment, for him, I would say this was probably true.

About 1800, John met and married his second wife, Bettie (Betsy) Williams in North Carolina.

John’s first and last public service since Joanna died was that of public registrar of Warren County in 1806.

Late in 1806, he decided to move with Bettie to his land grant in Davidson County, Tenn. At some point, they had 2 children, Nathaniel Dandridge West Macon, and Thomas James Macon. All of John’s children from his first marriage ended up in Tenn., sooner or later. Some of the family stories about John's drinking and loss of property came from these two sons.

John’s depression, withdrawal from public life, and his drinking got worse. It did not help, when his second wife, Bettie died in 1808, John was only 53 years old at the time. During this time, because of his ongoing emotional problems and grief, he lost a lot of his property and money. Bettie, John, and the children all had their slaves as income, and that kept things going. Later, in this section, I will list Bettie’s slaves (that were rented out) that were in her estate when she died.

At this point, there was a Mrs. Joyce, she helped him run his household. She was never his wife. However, there is no way to tell what she was to him, he was only 53 years old after all. As John got older, Mrs. Joyce died, and John went to live with his son, Gabriel Long Macon in Maury Co. Tenn., Where he died in 1829, at the age of 73 years old.

Maj. John is on the list of Revolutionary Soldiers buried in the Old Zion Churchyard cemetery in Maury Co. Tenn. (It is about 6 miles from Columbia, Tenn.)

-------------------- http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8212449&ref=wvr

Son of Gideon Macon and Priscilla Jones. He married: 1st- Joanna Tabb in 1772 (9 children) 2nd- Bett Elizabeth Williams in 1797 (2 children) 3rd- Mary A Hill in 1816 (0 children)

John Macon was commissioned Captain, (12 Dec 1776) 7th N.C. Continental Regiment and had active service in Charleston, S.C.

Later he served under Gen. Washington in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and was present at Brandywine, Germantown, and Valley Forge.

In 1780 he became Captain of a Warren County Company in a Regiment from Halifax County under Col. Benjamin Seawell, participating in the Battle of Camden, Aug 10, 1780. In this battle his brother, Capt. Harrison Macon, was wounded and captured, suffering a long imprisonment. In Jan 1787 Capt. John Macon became Major in a Halifax District Regiment under Col. William Richardson Davie.

Major Macon was active in fields other than military. He was a member of the General Assembly from Warren County in House of Commons from 1780 to 1785: and succeeded his brother, Nathaniel Macon, in the Senate from 1786 to 1796. [Genealogical Records: Early North Carolina, 1700s-1900s Historical Sketches of North Carolina, Vol. II, Warren County,Page 441] He was on the first Board of trustees of the University of North Carolina, serving from 1789 to 1792. As a member of the State convention of 1788, he voted for the rejection of the Constitution. He was appointed on Commission for building the Captiol at Raleigh, where he purchased two one acre lots in the heartof the city. In Masonic circles he was very prominent, holding several offices in the Grand Lodge. His last public serivce was that of Registrar of Warren County in 1806.


-------------------- John Macon was commissioned Captain, 7th N.C. Continental Regiment and had active service in Charleston, S.C. Later he served under Gen. Washington in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and was present at Brandywine, Germantown, and Valley Forge. In 1780 he became Captain of a Warren County Company in a Regiment from Halifax County under Col. Benjamin Seawell, participating in the Battle of Camden, Aug 10, 1780. In this battle his brother, Capt. Harrison Macon, was wounded and captured, suffering a long imprisonment. In Jan 1787 Capt. John Macon became Major in a Halifax District Regiment under Col. William richardson Davie. Major Macon was active in fields other than military. He was a member of the House of Commons from 1780 to 1785: and of the Senate from 1786 to 1796. He was on the first Board of trustees of the University of North Carolina, serving from 1789 to 1792. As a member of the State convention of 1788, he voted for the rejection of the Constitution. He was appointed on Commission for building the Captiol at Raleigh, where he purchased two one acre lots in the heart of the city. In Masonic circles he was very prominent, holding several offices in the Grand Lodge. His last public serivce was that of Registrar of Warren County in 1806.

Source: Gideon Macon of Virginia and Some of His Descendants, Allied Families, Compiled by Aletha Jane Macon, 1956, revised and edited by Jarvis Wood 1979. Available in the Public Library, Dallas, Texas. He married Elizabeth (Betsy) Williams.1 He married Mrs. (---?---) Joyce.2 Major was born at Macon Manor, Granville County, North Carolina, on 10 March 1755.3 He married Joanna Tabb circa 1776.4 Major died on 9 February 1828 at Maury County, Tennessee, at age 72.3 His body was interred in February 1829 at Maury County, Tennessee, at Zion Churchyard.3

source: http://www.tabbfamilyhistory.com/p130.htm#i3886

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Maj. John Macon's Timeline

1755
March 10, 1755
Granville, North Carolina, USA
1772
1772
Age 16
1776
1776
Age 20
1791
July 8, 1791
Age 36
Warren CountyWarren County, Tennessee, United States
1793
1793
Age 37
1795
August 6, 1795
Age 40
1797
1797
Age 41
1797
Age 41
1798
1798
Age 42
1798
Age 42