Samuel McDowell

Col. Samuel McDowell, b 08 March 1764, Augusta Co., VA, d 2 June 1831, Mercer Co., KY, buried: Bellevue Cemetery, Danville, Boyle, KY

Married: 1. Anna Irvine, 13 Oct 1785, Lincoln Co., KY, 2. Susan Kyles/Skyles, 13 Sept 1818


Samuel McDowell, of Mercer. 
To distinguish the fourth son of Judge Samuel Mc- 
Dowell and Mary McClung from his father and nephews 
of the same given name, he is designated -as of Mercer 
Born in Rockbridge, March 8, 1704, His tender 
years prevented him from going into the patriot army at 
the beginning of the Revolution. Before its close, how- 
ever, he disappeared from home, at the age of seventeen 
years, joined Lafayette as a private soldier in the final 
campaign against. Cornwallis, remained with that com- 
mand until the end of the strno-o-le, which he witnessed at 
Yorktown, in the siege and fighting at which place he 
took a lively hand. His service was brief, he made good 
use of the time at his disposal, and was " in at the death." 

His father, suspecting the cause of his disappearance from 
home, wrote to his elder brother, James, to keep a sharp 
lookout for him among the new recruits. Finding him 
footsore and siek, James wrote to their father to let him 
have his fill of the realities of war as the best antidote for 
his military penchant. The interval between the close of 
the war and the removal of the family to Kentucky was 
passed in the completion of his education. 

With them he 
removed to Mercer county, in 1784, there located, and 
there continued to reside during the remainder of his hon- 
orable life. In the defense of the district, he saw frequent 
additional service as a soldier, and accompanied General 
Charles Scott in his expedition against the Indians of the 
North-west. In General Hopkins' expedition against the 
Indians of Illinois, he was a valued officer, though his age 
then nearly reached half a century. 

Washington gave 
another evidence of his confidence in and regard for the 
family by appointing him the first United States Marshal 
for Kentucky, when the state was organized, in 1792. 

In subsequent years, the office has frequently been vastly 
more lucrative, but it has never been of greater impor- 
tance than in that epoch of confusion and conspiracies. 
With nnimpeached probity, and the utmost fidelity, he 
discharged the duties of the position during the remainder 
of the first and all of the second term of Washington, all 
that of John Adams, and part of that of Jefferson. He 
could not swerve from his devotion to the Federalism of 
Washington to secure the good-will of " the apostle of 
Democracy," and was by him dismissed, and Colonel 
Crockett appointed as his successor. 

A deeply religious 
man, without parade or austerity, his character was as at- 
tractive as his temper was amiable. Possessed of a natu- 
ral pride in his name and kindred, an earnest belief in 
their merits, and a warm desire for their advancement, 
those will not be surprised who read in one of his letters 
to his brother-in-law, General Andrew Reid, of Rock- 
bridge, under date of September 22, 1813, an exclamation 
of delight at hearing that General Eeid's son, Samuel 
McDowell Reid, who had volunteered, and was doing good 
service in the war, was "likely to be an honor to the 
name" — an anticipation that was most happily realized. 

Among; the magistrates who held the first 
county court in Mercer, in August, 1786, were John Ir- 
vine, Samuel McDowell, Sr., and Gabriel Madison. One 
of this family, Anna, daughter of Abram Irvine, became 
the wife of her kinsman, Samuel McDowell, of Mercer. 
Eleven children were born to these well-mated kinspeople-.

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

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