Thomas Joel Maxwell (1742 - 1837)

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Birthplace: Middlesex County, Virginia
Death: Died in Elbert, Georgia, United States
Occupation: Reverend
Managed by: Gloria Ann Solomon
Last Updated:

About Thomas Joel Maxwell

Daughters of American Revolution Ancestor #: A075962

Service: VIRGINIA Rank: SOLDIER

Birth: 9-8-1742 MIDDLESEX CO VIRGINIA

Death: 12-12-1837 ELBERT CO GEORGIA

Service Source: BLANKENBAKER, THE CULPEPER CLASSES, P 26

Service Description: 1) CULPEPER MILITIA CLASS LIST, 1781 -------------------- On a Plaque on the site of Falling CreekBaptist Church

Text-- In 1788, Thomas Maxwell founded the Falling Creek Baptist Church. A Virginian, he was born September 8, 1742 and died December 12, 1837. Imprisoned a number of times for preaching the Baptist faith, he was able, once, to convert the jailer and his family. According to tradition, he rubbed away part of his prominent nose by preaching through the bars of the jails, and was defended by Patrick Henry when jailed in Culpeper County, Va.

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Ancestral File Number: 29X7-TTAccording to the "Tennessee Daughters of th e American Revolution 1966 Index," Thomas Maxwell was a Patriot Soldier f rom Georgia during the American Revolution. ----------------------------- ------------------- ------------------FROM "GEORGIA BAPTISTS: HISTORICA L AND BIOGRAPHICAL," BY JESSE H. CAMPBELL (1847): "THOMAS MAXWELL was bor n in Virginia, and was a prisoner during the reign of [religious] persecu tion [against anyone who preached a religion other than the Church of Eng land or Anglican religion]. He preached much through the grates of his pr ison, and in his anxiety to see his congregations, bruised his nose again st the iron bars until it would bleed. He settled in Elbert county, in th is State [Georgia], and had charge of Changie and Hendry's churches. He d ied in 1837 [just ten years before this obituary was written], aged ninet y-seven years. We, who enjoy the blessings of religious liberty, cannot a ppreciate it as highly as did Thomas Maxwell and his coadjutors in opposi ng the bigotry and superstition of their day. Scores of ministers were ma ltreated, imprisoned and fined in Virginia before the American revolution . Several too were most inhumanly treated in New England. But those day s have passed away, and we enjoy the fruits of the labors and suffering s of our fathers." ------------------------------------------------------ ----------FROM "THE HISTORY OF THE BAPTIST CHURCHES OF GEORGIA," COMPILE D BY THE CHRISTIAN INDEX: [Compiler's Note: Thomas Maxwell was apparentl y arrested by Culpeper County authorities while in the very act of preach ing at his church, as attested to by the following historical excerpt.] " Thomas Maxwell, who was a Baptist preacher in the days of persecution i n Virginia...was taken from the pulpit and thrust into prison for preachi ng the gospel of the son of God." ----------- --------------------------- -------------------------FROM MAXWELL FAMILY TRADITION: It is said that P atrick Henry himself defended Thomas Maxwell in his trial for preachin g a religion in conflict with the state religion. Patrick Henry lived wit hin five miles of the Reverend Thomas Maxwell, so it is certainly possibl e that the great Patriot both knew and came to the defense of his neighbo r. And Henry was known as a staunch defender of religious freedom inpre - Revolutionary times, coming to the aid of a number of religious dissent ers in Colonial Virginia. While we do not have a copy of the actual defen se that Patrick Henry supposedly made for our ancestor, we do have the te xt of an undoubtedly similar defense that Henry made for three other Bapt ist preachers about the same time he presumably defended our Rev. Thoma s Maxwell. As all dissenters were jailed under the same charge (disturbin g the peace), Henry's defense of the Rev. Thomas Maxwell must have been v irtually indistinguishable from the defense reproduced here. FROM "IMPRIS ONED PREACHERS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN VIRGINIA," BY LEWIS PEYTON LITTL E (1938), COURTESY MR. WILLIAM LUEBKE OF THE VIRGINIA STATE LIBRARY AND A RCHIVES: "Now, I think I can show pretty conclusively that Patrick Henry , whose soul was ever on fire when he saw the poor oppressed, did reall y and in fact make the speech referred to. Perhaps the words were not th e same which he uttered -- nay, they could not be, for it was not in th e power of mortal man to record his words. As his accomplished biographer , The Hon. William Wirt, has said, "He spoke in a manner which language c annot tell." But from the well known character of Mr. Henry, from the pec uliar circumstances of the case, from his cordial dislike to the arrogan t and unjust claims of the hierarchy which prevailed in Virginia, from th e admitted fact that our brethren of that day were "in prisons oft," an d were released without the payment of their fines, and from the fact tha t he was an hones-------------ID: I540504433 http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db

:2633488&id=I540504433

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Thomas Rev. Maxwell's Timeline

1737
May 2, 1737
Middlesex, Virginia, United States
1742
September 8, 1742
Middlesex County, Virginia
October 10, 1742
Middlesex, Accomack, Virginia, USA
October 10, 1742
1761
June 25, 1761
Age 18
Middlesex, Accomack, Virginia, USA
1763
May 9, 1763
Age 20
Alpharetta, Fulton, Georgia, USA
1766
January 11, 1766
Age 23
Orange, Virginia, USA
1768
January 1, 1768
Age 25
Orange, Virginia, USA
1768
Age 25
VA, USA

From the " Georgia Roster of the Revolution" 'Minister of the Gospel and soldier in Major Dobb's Battalion, Captain Horton's District, Elbert County, Georgia.' This line has been proved for Sons of the American Revolution. In 1768 Thomas was 'Born Again' in the Baptist movement.

1770
September 12, 1770
Age 28
Amherst, Virginia, USA