Joseph McDowell

Col. Joseph McDowell, b 13 Sept 1768, Rockbridge Co., VA, d 22 June 1856, Boyle Co., KY, buried: Bellevue Cemetery, Danville, Boyle, KY

Married: 1. Sarah Irvin, m 27 Sept 1794, Mercer Co., KY, 2. Ann Bush/Busle



The fifth son of Judge Samuel McDowell and Mary Mc- 
Clung, Joseph, was born September 13, 1768. A child 
when the Revolution commenced, and still a boy when 
it ended, yet was his character molded by the stirring 
events transpiring around him, and by the patriotic deeds 
to the narration of which be was an eager listener. 

Coming to Kentucky, with his father, in 1784, his youth was 
passed in intimate association with the men who, in the 
Danville conventions, prepared the way for separation from 
Virginia, and who established and gave its peculiar tone 
to the commonwealth. 

In the Indian campaigns, in which 
Kentuckians were engaged in the North-west, between 
the dates of his attaining the age for military service and 
the treaty which followed the victory of' 1 Mad Anthony" 
Wayne, he was a prompt and brave participant. He was 
a private in Brown's company, in Scott's expedition of 
1791. He was in both expeditions under General Hop- 
kins, in 1812. 

The reputation for good sense, sound judg- 
ment,, military capacity and courage won therein, induced 
his appointment, by Shelby, to the position of adjutant- 
general upon the staff of that bard fighting commander. 
He served from the beginning to the close of Shelby's 
campaign in the North-west, and was at the Thames, where 
Tecumseh fell. For good conduct and valuable service 
rendered in that campaign and battle, he received compli- 
mentary mention, not only by his immediate commander, 
but also from General Harrison. 

The occupation of Colonel Joseph McDowell was that of a farmer. 
Disdaining all shams, and himself one of the most unassuming 
of men, his was eminently a veracious character ; in the
perfect uprightness and simplicity of bis life, there was a 
constant beauty. One of the most amiable, quiet and unobtrusive 
of men, of all his sex there was none more resolute and 

A ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church 
for many years, and devoutly religious, in his observance 
thereof there was no parade. In the decline of his honor- 
able life, after he had withdrawn from all active participa- 
tion in public affairs, the writer was witness to the respect- 
ful deference shown him by the entire community among 
whom he lived. 

He died, in Danville, June 27, 1856, at 
the good old age of* eighty-eight years. The excellent 
wife of Colonel Joseph McDowell was Sarah Irvine, sister 
to Anne Irvine, wdio married his brother, Samuel — a rela- 
tive, whose symmetrical character made her, in every way, 
worthy of such a man.

Historic Families of Kentucky
Copyright, 1889, 
Bv Thomas Marshall Green
May 1913 

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