Joseph Cabell, Sr., M.D.

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Joseph Cabell, Sr.

Birthdate: (65)
Birthplace: Licking Hole Creek, Goochland County, Virginia
Death: March 1, 1798 (65)
Sion Hill Plantation, Buckingham County, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Sion Hill Cemetery Buckingham County Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. William Cabell, MD and Elizabeth Cabell
Husband of Mary Cabell
Father of Elizabeth Megginson; Joseph Cabell, Jr.; Benjamin Cabell; Mary Hopkins Breckenridge (Cabell); Ann Harrison and 1 other
Brother of Mary Horsley; Colonel William Cabell; Col. John Cabell; George Cabell; Robert Cabell and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Joseph Cabell, Sr., M.D.

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of COLONEL. DAR Ancestor # A018015

Col. Joseph Cabell (1732-1798) (Excerpted from -

"Like his brothers William, John, and Nicholas, Joseph Cabell earned his reputation in the service of his country during the American Revolution. Born at the family estate, Liberty Hall Plantation, in Warminster, Albemarle County, Virginia. in 1732, he established early in life patterns of political service that would continue during the "Decade of Decision." At the age of nineteen, he gained the office of deputy sheriff of Albemarle County, a position which he still held when he married Mary Hopkins a year later.

"When Albemarle split into Albemarle, Buckingham, and Amherst Counties in 1761, he owned property in all three divisions. Before establishing a favorite residence in Amherst County in 1771, named "Winton," Cabell held office in both Albemarle and Buckingham counties. He was a Justice of the Peace in Albemarle in 1760, and was elected Burgess from Buckingham in 1761.

"While he built his political career, Joseph and Mary Cabell also built a family. Though their first child, Elizabeth, died at the age of eighteen in 1771, four others--Joseph Jr. (b. 1762), Mary (b. 1769), Ann (b. 1771), and Elizabeth (named for her sister, b. 1772)--lived to adulthood.

"Though there is little manuscript evidence to support the claim, family tradition indicates that at this time Joseph also established a medical practice. Thus, by the time that Lord Dunmore dissolved the Burgesses in 1775, Joseph Cabell had a new home, a large and healthy family, extensive landholdings, and a medical practice to defend.

"Cabell contributed both political and military leadership to the patriot cause. He attended all five conventions in which Virginia forged a Commonwealth from a Colony, served as delegate and senator in the new government, and helped to raise troops for the Continental Army. Early in the war, in 1776, Cabell acted as the Commonwealth's agent and paid out salaries in pounds sterling to hundreds of militiamen. In fulfillment of his duties as Amherst County's "County Lieutenant" (chief military officer) he administered a draft in 1778 and 1779 that sent scores of his neighbors to the front. He marched with the recruits and was present for the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown.

"The DAR's "Lineage Book of the Charter Members" by Mary S Lockwood published in 1895 states "Col Joseph Cabell, of "Zion Hill," was a member of the Virginia House of Gurgesses, surgeon in the continental Army, and commanded the Buckingham militia at the siege of Yorktown, and a member of the Convention of 1775."

"Cabell remained active in politics following the war, although ill health kept him from Richmond on several occasions. On 29 November 1784, for example, he wrote to his brother Col. Nicholas Cabell of his inability to fulfill his duties as the senator for Buckingham, Albemarle, Amherst, and Fluvanna Counties. "I had some hopes of comming down on the Assembly," he lamented, "But they are all Vanished, my Leg and Cough continues so bad I am afraid I shall never see Richmond again..." Cabell recovered well enough to attend several more sessions of the General Assembly."

Family lore [see above] states that Joseph Cabell had a successful medical practice. There are no documents to prove this. It is noted that the Cabell family was well-educated for its time, hiring tutors and sending sons to college. It would be expected, therefore, that Joseph would have had college training to practice medicine. However his father was a trained physician, and it was not uncommon in those days for a pupil to serve as an apprentice (much like today’s interns) to a physician and learn to practice medicine that way.

Joseph Cabell died on March 11, 1798 and is buried at Sion Hill with his wife Mary, who died in 1811. He left a detailed will, which is transcribed below.

Children of Joseph Cabell and wife Mary Hopkings

  • Elizabeth (born 1753, Amherst Co, Va);
  • Joseph Cabell II (born 6 Jan 1762, Sion Hill, Va);
  • Mary Hopkins Cabell (born 22 Feb 1769, Sion Hill, Va);
  • Ann Cabell (born 5 Feb 1771, Sion Hill, Va); and
  • Elizabeth Cabell (born 1772, Sion Hill, Va, and named for her first sister, who had just died).

See also:

Will of Joseph Cabell, Sr. - made December 19, 1794 in Buckingham County, Virginia, and proven March 12, 1798 names the following heirs:(with relationships, if given)

  • Grandson Joseph Cabell Megginson
  • Nancy Burks
  • Daughter Mary Hopkins Breckinridge and husband John Breckinridge
  • Granddaughters Letitia Preston Breckinridge, and Mary Hopkins Breckinridge
  • Grandson Joseph Cabell Breckinridge
  • Daughter Ann Harrison and husband Robert Carter Harrison
  • Granddaughters Susannah Randolph Harrison and Mary Hopkins Harrison
  • Grandson Joseph Cabell Harrison
  • Daughter Elizabeth Lewis
  • Son Joseph Cabell
  • Granddaughters Sophonisba Cabell and Sarah Bolling Cabell
  • Grandsons Robert Bolling Cabell, Edward Blair Cabell, Benjamin Cabell, and Archibald Bolling Cabell
  • Mrs. Rachel Townsend
  • Wife Mary Cabell
  • Kinsman William Burks
  • Son Benjamin Cabell (listed as deceased)

The executors of the estate were his son Joseph Cabell and sons-in-law Robert Carter Harrison, John Breckinridge and William Lewis.

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Joseph Cabell, Sr., M.D.'s Timeline

September 19, 1732
Licking Hole Creek, Goochland County, Virginia
Age 20
January 6, 1762
Age 29
Amherst County, Province of Virginia
Age 32
February 22, 1769
Age 36
Buckingham County, Province of Virginia