Colonel Abram Penn

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Colonel Abraham Penn, Sr., Col.

Also Known As: "Col Abram Penn", "Abram"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Caroline County, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Patrick, Penn Store, Virginia
Place of Burial: Patrick County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Penn, Jr. and Ann Penn
Husband of Ruth Penn
Father of George Penn; Lucinda Stovall Staples; Gabriel Penn, Captain, War of 1812; Horatio Penn; Mary Pauline "Polly" Foster and 7 others
Brother of Frances "Frankie" Tucker; Gabriel Fleming Penn; Moses Penn; William Penn, Lt.; George Penn, Capt. and 1 other

Occupation: Attorney, farmer, Col in VA Militia during Rev War, Nephew of John Penn signer of the Declaration of Independence from NC., Colonel
Managed by: Brooks Lyles
Last Updated:

About Colonel Abram Penn

http://www.kimbanet.com/~csdeans/abrpborn.htm

Text from website: "Abram (Abraham) Penn, son of George and Ann Penn, was born December 27, 1743, and spent his childhood in Caroline County, Virginia. He married Ruth, daughter of George, Jr. and Mary Stovall, March 3, 1767, in Amherst County. As militia captain, Abram Penn fought under General Andrew Lewis at Point Pleasant in Lord Dunmore's War, 1774. After moving to Pittsylvania (later Henry) County, he served on the Committee of Safety in both counties and as delegate to the Virginia General Assembly from Henry County.

During the Revolutionary War, Penn advanced to the rank of Colonel and in the winter of 1780-1781, organized the only body of Revolutionary troops from Henry and adjoining counties. He led his regiment to join General Nathaniel Greene in North Carolina, March 1781. Later he and his troops joined General Greene in defense of the Carolinas, fought in the Battle of Eutaw Springs, and continued in service through the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Commissioned by the Governor, he administered State and Federal oaths to the officers of Patrick County at its first court, June 1791. In the early years of the county, Abram Penn and seven of his sons served as "Gentlemen Justices." In June 1801, Abram Penn was buried in the family cemetery at his home, "Poplar Grove." The November 1965 issue of the DAR Magazine contained an article, "Colonel Abram Penn, Virginia Patriot," by chapter member, Miss Sydney Penn. " DAR

http://www.hairston.org/places/poplar_grove.htm

Text: " Col. Abraham (Abram) Penn was born in Goochland or Amherst County Virginia in 1743. He married Ruth Stovall in 1767 in Amherst County, Virginia. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Henry County, Virginia and lived on Beaver Creek on land which was later the home of Col. George Hairston.

When Henry County was formed in 1776, Abram Penn was the presiding justice of the County Court. He organized and commanded the Henry County troops in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in the American Revolution and was at the Surrender in Yorktown.

Sometime after the War, Col. Penn sold his Beaver Creek property to Col. George Hairston and purchased large acreages of land on the headwaters of the North Mayo River, which later became a part of Patrick County. He built a home here, which he named Poplar Grove. With his large family, he lived here until his death in 1801, and is buried in the cemetery near the house.

In 1786, the people in the western section of Henry County (now Patrick Country) complained that the Henry County Courthouse which was located across the Smith River from Hordsville, was too far from the center of the County. The County Court decided to move the courthouse to the farm of Col. Penn, which was nearer the center of the County at that time. At least one session of the Court was held in the home of Col. Penn. Later, a courthouse and necessary adjacent structures were built nearby. Unfortunately, no one now living seems to know exactly where the courthouse was located.

In 1791, when Patrick became a county, the Henry County Courthouse was located in Patrick County. The Henry County Courthouse was moved to its present location on land donated by Col. George Hairston. Due to the influence of Col. Penn and his son-in-law, Col. Samuel Staples, the Patrick Courthouse was moved to its present location.

The building here now is probably an addition, which was later added to the Penn home. One section of the old home was torn down only a few years ago. The original structure has long since disappeared. The remaining section is rather old. A family member says it was added about 1836.

Poplar Grove sits on an eminence overlooking the low land of the North Mayo River Valley. The poplar trees, for which it was probably named, have long since disappeared; but it can easily be seen that the view from the house in those days was a beautiful one.

Col. Penn's descendents continued to live at Poplar Grove for many years. A son, Thomas Penn married Martha K Kennerly, and their daughter, Eliza, married Samuel William Hairston, the operator of the iron works at Union Furnace. Some of the iron was brought to Mayo Forge, which was located on the river just south of Poplar Grove. Here it was made into tools and farm implements.

A large number of the descendents of Col. Abram Penn have been prominent in the affairs of Patrick and Henry County, Virginia since the beginnings of the counties. Many descendents have also been prominent elsewhere. Descendents were prominent in the manufacture of tobacco products. Greenville Penn, son of Col. Abram, moved to that section of Patrick County now known as Penn's Store, and started manufacturing tobacco products. His son, Thomas Jefferson Penn, moved to Danville and engaged in the tobacco business. He later moved to Reidsville, N.C. and established a business, which became the American Tobacco Co.

This page was written by Mr. O. E. Pilson for the 1996 Hairston Reunion"

http://www.freestateofpatrick.com/revwar.htm

Children of Abraham Penn & Ruth Stovall Penn

George Penn (b. Jan 6, 1770 Amherst, Virginia)

Lucinda Penn (b. 1771 Amherst, Virginia)

Horiato Penn (b. Nov 14, 1775 Patrick, Virginia)

Mary Pauline Penn (b. 1777 Henry, Virginia)

Greensville Penn (b. 1779 Henry, Virginia)

Thomas Penn (b. Jun 15, 1781 Mayo Forge, Patrick, Virginia)

Abraham Penn (b. Mar 14, 1783 Henry, Virginia)

James Francis Penn (b. Jan 31, 1785 Henry, Virginia)

Luvenia Penn (b. Apr 3, 1787 Henry, Virginia)

Edmund Penn (b. Jan 8, 1789 Poplar Grove, Henry, Virginia)

Philip Penn (b. Mar 5, 1792 Patrick, Virginia)

Abram Penn (b. 1815)

Polly Penn (b. 1825)


http://www.kimbanet.com/~csdeans/abrpborn.htm

Text from website: "Abram (Abraham) Penn, son of George and Ann Penn, was born December 27, 1743, and spent his childhood in Caroline County, Virginia. He married Ruth, daughter of George, Jr. and Mary Stovall, March 3, 1767, in Amherst County. As militia captain, Abram Penn fought under General Andrew Lewis at Point Pleasant in Lord Dunmore's War, 1774. After moving to Pittsylvania (later Henry) County, he served on the Committee of Safety in both counties and as delegate to the Virginia General Assembly from Henry County.

    During the Revolutionary War, Penn advanced to the rank of Colonel and in the winter of 1780-1781, organized the only body of Revolutionary troops from Henry and adjoining counties. He led his regiment to join General Nathaniel Greene in North Carolina, March 1781. Later he and his troops joined General Greene in defense of the Carolinas, fought in the Battle of Eutaw Springs, and continued in service through the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.
    Commissioned by the Governor, he administered State and Federal oaths to the officers of Patrick County at its first court, June 1791. In the early years of the county, Abram Penn and seven of his sons served as "Gentlemen Justices." In June 1801, Abram Penn was buried in the family cemetery at his home, "Poplar Grove." The November 1965 issue of the DAR Magazine contained an article, "Colonel Abram Penn, Virginia Patriot," by chapter member, Miss Sydney Penn. " DAR

http://www.hairston.org/places/poplar_grove.htm

Text: " Col. Abraham (Abram) Penn was born in Goochland or Amherst County Virginia in 1743. He married Ruth Stovall in 1767 in Amherst County, Virginia. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Henry County, Virginia and lived on Beaver Creek on land which was later the home of Col. George Hairston.

When Henry County was formed in 1776, Abram Penn was the presiding justice of the County Court. He organized and commanded the Henry County troops in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in the American Revolution and was at the Surrender in Yorktown.

Sometime after the War, Col. Penn sold his Beaver Creek property to Col. George Hairston and purchased large acreages of land on the headwaters of the North Mayo River, which later became a part of Patrick County. He built a home here, which he named Poplar Grove. With his large family, he lived here until his death in 1801, and is buried in the cemetery near the house.

In 1786, the people in the western section of Henry County (now Patrick Country) complained that the Henry County Courthouse which was located across the Smith River from Hordsville, was too far from the center of the County. The County Court decided to move the courthouse to the farm of Col. Penn, which was nearer the center of the County at that time. At least one session of the Court was held in the home of Col. Penn. Later, a courthouse and necessary adjacent structures were built nearby. Unfortunately, no one now living seems to know exactly where the courthouse was located.

In 1791, when Patrick became a county, the Henry County Courthouse was located in Patrick County. The Henry County Courthouse was moved to its present location on land donated by Col. George Hairston. Due to the influence of Col. Penn and his son-in-law, Col. Samuel Staples, the Patrick Courthouse was moved to its present location.

The building here now is probably an addition, which was later added to the Penn home. One section of the old home was torn down only a few years ago. The original structure has long since disappeared. The remaining section is rather old. A family member says it was added about 1836.

Poplar Grove sits on an eminence overlooking the low land of the North Mayo River Valley. The poplar trees, for which it was probably named, have long since disappeared; but it can easily be seen that the view from the house in those days was a beautiful one.

Col. Penn's descendents continued to live at Poplar Grove for many years. A son, Thomas Penn married Martha K Kennerly, and their daughter, Eliza, married Samuel William Hairston, the operator of the iron works at Union Furnace. Some of the iron was brought to Mayo Forge, which was located on the river just south of Poplar Grove. Here it was made into tools and farm implements.

A large number of the descendents of Col. Abram Penn have been prominent in the affairs of Patrick and Henry County, Virginia since the beginnings of the counties. Many descendents have also been prominent elsewhere. Descendents were prominent in the manufacture of tobacco products. Greenville Penn, son of Col. Abram, moved to that section of Patrick County now known as Penn's Store, and started manufacturing tobacco products. His son, Thomas Jefferson Penn, moved to Danville and engaged in the tobacco business. He later moved to Reidsville, N.C. and established a business, which became the American Tobacco Co.

This page was written by Mr. O. E. Pilson for the 1996 Hairston Reunion"

http://www.freestateofpatrick.com/revwar.htm


up-dated 16/04/09 NN Main JRTM

  *   www.ancestry,com
  *  LDS www.familysearch.org  CD-ROM Disc# 128  Abraham Penn  #2919355 Ruth Stovall #2919356
  *  VA Marriages to 1800 Penn, Abraham  m  Stovall, Ruth 03/03/1767 Amherst Co
  *  US CENSUS    . . . . .
  *  http://genforum.genealogy.com/penn
Captain in VA Militia, Dunsmore's Campaign against the Shawnee,  He commanded a fort at Culbertson' 5 Bottom and a company in the Battle of Point Pleasant, in which the Indians were defeated October 10 1774.  Captain in VA Continental Militia, enlisted 1776.
  * Uncle Duke, dec., via Tom: Ruth Stovall Penn d/o James Stovall & Mary Cooper
  *  VHS    Mss6:2 c784:1  oversize
  *   http://www.ericjames.org/html/fam/fam46569.htm
  *  "Historical reg. Of Virginians in the Rev., soldiers, saliors and marines, 1775-1783" John H. Gwathmey, ed. Richmond 1938. (13, 872p.):616  Abraham Penn b. 1740  Col. v. 134  p. 43
  *   VIRGINIA MILITIA IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR PART III VA's Share in the Military Movements of the Revolution p. 209   Penn, Abraham, Col., R, March, 1780.  
  *  LVA  # 001534299:              Col. Abraham (Abram) Penn was born in Goochland or Amherst C o VA 1743 m. Ruth Stovall 1767 in Amherst CO VA  Shortly thereafter, he moved to Henry County, Virginia and lived on Beaver Creek on land which was later the home of Col. George Hairston. When Henry County was formed in 1776, Abram Penn was the presiding justice of the County Court. He organized and commanded the Henry County troops in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in the American Revolution and was at the Surrender in Yorktown. Sometime after the War, Col. Penn sold his Beaver Creek property to Col. George Hairston and purchased large acreages of land on the headwaters of the North Mayo River, which later became a part of Patrick County. He built a home here, which he named Poplar Grove. With his large family, he lived here until his death in 1801, and is buried in the cemetery near the house.
 *  Virginia State Marker  HD-1:  "200 yards south is "Poplar Grove." Penn's old home and burial place. At age 21 he "won his spurs" leading a company under General Lewis at Point Pleasant. During 1780-81 he organized the first revolutionary troops from Henry and adjoining counties, and led his regiment to aid General Greene in the battles of Guilford Court House and Eutaw Springs. He helped organize Patrick County."

Blue Ridge Mission School, U-28, Rte. 8, at Rte. 613

     '  Henry County 1799 land granted to George Penn 3156 acres:  270 acres to Abram Penn.  Abram Penn is buried at his old home "Poplar Groove[sic]" near Mayo's Forge, VA, was Capt then Colonel in Revolutionary war, from Henry County, with General Greene / Guilford Court House on through closing scenes of revolutionary war.' 
    The third son of Abraham Penn, above, Thomas Penn, and his wife, Frances M. Leath, had a son, Andrew Jackson Penn, who married Martha A. Kennerly. Their daughter, Susan Elizabeth Penn, married the above mentioned Gabriel James Penn. From the marriage of Gabriel James Penn and Susan Elizabeth Penn, there was a son, Walter Clark Penn
 *  http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/patrick/courts/cob11809.txt

court records Patrick Co. selected entries re PENN MARCH COURT 28 March 1809

John Hall Jr. is appointed surveyor of the road from Shooting Creek to the forks by Bartletts in the Place of Hugh Boyd & the list filed be his gang etc.

Joseph Willis is appointed surveyr. of the road from the Creek in Moors land to Abraham Penn's Store in the Place of William Cook & the list filed be his gang.

John James, Townley Rigg, Joel Chitwood & James Taylor or any 3 of them are appointed to view a way to turn the road at the mouth of Jesse Reynolds lane to the roaring fork of Mayo & make rept. thereof to the Court....

...to Gabriiel Penn for services rendered in settlemt. with the Shff 4.00

To the same for summoning a inquest on the body of J. Verell (?) 3.80

To Robert Sharp for services rendered in settlemt with Shff. 6.00

To James Gaines for the same service 2.00

To Augustine Thomas for the same formerly 2.00

To William Banks over paid on settlemt. as Shff 20.41

To M. Sandifur as Pr acct. for coroners Jury, etc. 4.41

To Jesse Corn as Pr acct. filed 1.88



Abram Penn, Sr., son of George Penn and Ann Fleming Penn, was born December 7, 1743 in Caroline County, Virginia, and he spent his early childhood there. His prosperous uncle, Moses Penn, whose son John Penn signed the Declaration of Independence, also lived in Caroline County. After the settlement of the estate of George Penn, Abrams' mother, Ann Penn moved to Albemarle County (present day Amherst) where Abram grew into manhood.

Abram married Ruth Stovall daughter of George Stovall Jr., and Mary Cooper, on 3 March 1767 in Amherst County, Virginia. Ruth Stovall was born 27 April 1743, in Amhusrt County, Virginia. The History of Henry County refers to Ruth Stovall as a descendant of the first Earl of Shaftsbury.

Abram Penn served Virginia as Captain of the Militia in Dunsmores Campaign against the Shawnee Indians. He commanded a fort at Culbertson 5 Bottom and a company in the Battle of Point Pleasant, in which the Indians were defeated October 10th 1774. He enlisted as a Captain in the Continental Army in the Virginia Militia in 1776.

This letter from Abram Penn to Captain Joseph Martin is dated at "Smithfield," Montgomery County, VA.:

"Dear Sir, I have proceeded on my journey home. As for our discharge, it will not be till November at least. The Col. won't agree that any more of my men shall go home, but I am to get three or four whilst gone, to relieve those few that necessity requires at home.

Philip Cavenaugh must be employed as a spy, and pray keep them all at their constant duty, for the Indians have made four breaks on Holston, and the people are all forting with all dexterity, so that we may expect the next stroke. Be constant on your guard and keep strict in those parts. Let the people know that it is thought they are in danger, so they may be on their defence. I think that Gatliff and Clay had better move their families back again as they are in a back place, for I should be very sorry if any mischief should be done in those parts.

Pray don't let one charge of powder be shot in vain, for I expect we shall be in great want before any supply can be got. Col. Preston says he will stop Alsups wages for you if it comes in his hands. I expect Col. will send a supply of provisions to you soon. No more, but I am your sincere friend and humble servant. Abram Penn" To Captain Joseph Martin at Culbertson Bottom, October 7th, 1774.

  • *************

"Smithfield" was the home of Colonel William Preston, in Montgomery County, VA. In Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, we see- "The first court of Henry County, April 20, 1788, was composed of Edmond Lyne, Abram Penn and Peter Saunders, and George Waller Justices." March, 1799, Abram Penn was appointed Excheator for Henry County. In August, Patrick Henry, Abram Penn and John Dillard were recommended to the Governor as Comissioners of Peace for the county. In 1779 he was appointed "Burser" to receive fines, etc. On March 11, 1781, Abram Penn organized and commanded a regiment "to the Assistance of General Green," from the site of the present town of Martinsville, and served until the surrender at Yorktown. The original roster of his regiment (in his own Handwriting) and his sword, are in the possession of his great-grandson John T. Penn of Martinsville, VA.

Abraham Penn returned to the Continental army 1779. After two years of distinguished service, he was commissioned Colonel. Soon afterward he was granted a furlough and moved his family to that part of Pittsylvania County later to the organized as Henry County, settling on Beaver Creek, three miles north of present Martinsville. After the war ended, Colonel Penn was granted a large tract of land by the state of Virginia in Patrick County in recognition of his valuable services in the Revolutionary War. He moved to Patrick County and built a large home there which was called Poplar Grove as he surrounded the house with Bombardy Poplars and a few cedars.

When Henry County was established, Abraham Penn became active in its affairs. He was one of the "Gentlemen Justices" presiding over the first court of the county. He was a Delegate from Henry County to the General Assembly in 1777 and 1779. One Henry County Record states that Patrick Henry, John Dillard, William Letcher, Archelaus Hughes, and Abraham Penn were recommended tonserve as a Committee of Safety. This was between a gubernatorial term for Patrick Henry and during a time when he resided at his Leatherwood estate in Henry County.

As an officer in the county militias Col. Penn organized a regiment in 1780-81 as the only body of Revolutionary troops from Henry and adjoining counties to march from Beaver Crcek to Hillsborough, North Carolina, where they joined General Nathaniel Greene to fight in the Battle of Guilford Court House in March of 1781. An original document signed on 11 March 1781 by Abraham Penn, Colonel, Henry County is located in the Virginia State Library Archives.

In May 1781, Governor Thomas Jefferson wrote to Penn directing his regiment to join General Greene again in defense of the Carolinas. They fought in the Battle of Eutaw Springs in September 1781. Penn served through the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, 19 Cctober 1781. A sheathed sword and a mahogany lowboy brought back from Yorktown are in the possession of his descendants as is a mahogany sideboard. Col. Penn wrote a letter on October 7, 1774, to Capt. Joseph Martin at Culbertson's Bottom which is in possession of the descendants of Capt. (later made General) Martin.

Colonel Penn was said to be a man of resolute purpose, magnetic, with a vigorous intellect and a commanding presence. Abram Penn was a man of prominence and influence in Henry County, VA. This patriot died 2 June 1801, in Patrick County, VA. and he was buried in the family cemetery at Poplar Grove in Patrick County.


In June 1932 his grave was marked during a memorial service by DAR members of the Col. Abram Penn Chapter, and descendants of Abram Penn. The gravestone was provided by the United States Congress for the grave of this Revolutionary patriot.

The Poplar Grove home was one of the oldest frame houses in Patrick County before its demolition in 1977, leaving only the later brick wing standing to overlook the North Mayo River and the highway given Col. Penns' name by the Virginia General Assembly.

Colonel Penn left many descendants who followed his example of devotion to public service.

(Among Abram Penns descendants internationally known in the field of letters are Phyllis Penn Kohler (Mr.Foy Kohler), U. S. Embassy Moscow translators, Journey for our Time, and Robert Penn Warren, Yale University professor of English and literatures Pulitzer Prize Winner in poetry and novel, All the King's Men.)

The November 1965 issue of the DAR Magazine contained an article, "Colonel Abram Penn, Virginia Patriot," by chapter member, Miss Sydney Penn. 

John Malcolm Penn quoted from this article in 1999 when he posted information on Abraham Penn on the Penn Genforum.

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Colonel Abram Penn's Timeline

1743
December 27, 1743
Caroline County, Virginia, United States
1770
January 6, 1770
Age 26
Amherst Co., Virginia
1771
September 3, 1771
Age 27
Amherst Co., Va
1773
November 14, 1773
Age 29
Patrick County, Virginia
1775
November 14, 1775
Age 31
1777
July 1, 1777
Age 33
Henry, Virginia