Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Dougan Brothers After the American Revolution

 
Painted in 1872,  but the theme is correct.

 We'll begin with the American Revolutionary song FREE AMERICA

Why would comfortably-situated families move west into the unknown? The Dougan brothers had fought in the American Revolutionary War in North Carolina for American freedom and their own well-being. The war was won and they were rearing young families. What compelled some members of this extended family to uproot wives and children to undergo more hardship by crossing the Appalachia into Tennessee? Something more than wanting to provide future lands for their children? Were they perhaps affected by that contagious spirit to be bound away?

Till a voice, as bad as Conscience, rang interminable changes
On one everlasting Whisper day and night repeated - so:
"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges -
"Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!" 

                                                                     Rudyard Kipling, The Explorer

As I wrote a few blogs ago, five Dougan brothers and a sister, all but the youngest, Robert, born in Pennsylvania of Thomas Hill Dougan (1719-1769) and Mary Kerr Dougan (1726-1824), emigrated with their parents to what became Randolph County, North Carolina Colony, in 1765. Four of the brothers served in the North Carolina militia during the Revolutionary War. What follows may appear repetitious, but I want to add a few details.
Randolph County, North Carolina
The eldest, Colonel Thomas Dougan (1746-1795), was described as a plantation owner and community leader. He married Isabelle Sharp (1756-1804), 20 years younger, whose family had moved from Pennsylvania with the Dougans; they produced four daughters and a posthumous son, Thomas. The son, who died in Clark County, Indiana, in 1853, produced five daughters and five sons - an example of Dougan family proliferation (and that this was a 3rd Dougan branch to settle in Indiana). 
 
Clark County, Indiana

What did Thomas Dougan senior die of at such a young age that he remade his will a week before his death, leaving a third of his plantation to Isabelle as long as she remained his widow (she remarried), and making provision for the unborn child she carried, his only son Thomas. Of some importance was his giving his brother Robert and his brother-in-law Anthony Sharp testamentary power to sell or dispose of his "lands lying in the Western Territory," nearly 3,000 acres of bounty land granted him for his military service. This Western Territory land, as we shall see, was unsettled land at the western edge Tennessee on the Mississippi River in what became Dyer County. His brother Colonel James Dougan and their father-in-law, Colonel Edward Sharp (our 6th great-grandfather), also received large land grants in the same place. At the time, North Carolina owned the territory that became the state of Tennessee. As an aside, Thomas owned 9 slaves in the 1790 census.
Dyer County, Tennessee
Joseph Dougan (1749- died after 1800), 2nd eldest, did not participate in the fighting (he may have been a Quaker), but remained in Randolph County, as did his son Joseph, who died intestate in 1832. This son's wife Nancy was forced by law to auction all livestock and household goods to settle the estate (some of which, including a cow and calf and a pig and four piglets, she purchased herself in order to re-establish a home for herself and her children. Her relatives purchased items, perhaps to help her out.

Their sister Eleanor Dougan (1759-1839) married William Clark (1753-1836), who had served in the North Carolina militia with the Dougans and his own brother. This couple remained in Randolph County, North Carolina, and became Quakers. Clark enlisted in 1777 and served throughout the war.  He was the executioner  of two Tories who murdered a neighbor in what must have been an ethical dilemma for him and Colonel Thomas Dougan in this ugly war in the Carolinas. Here is a summary of the incident as related in the pension application of Joseph Johnston:

"On the way home from a battle in the fall of 1781, Col. David Fanning captured Col. Thomas Dougan of the Randolph County Militia. Col. Dougan had been spying on Col. Fanning trying to discover what his intentions were. Col. Fanning sentenced Col. Dougan to hang but several of Dougan's friends and neighbors who were in Fanning's militia protested. He ignored their protests and put Dougan on a horse with his hands tied behind his back and a noose around his neck. One of his men then stepped forward and threatened to shoot him if Dougan was hanged. [which sound like mutiny to me] Col. Fanning wisely allowed forty men to vote on Dougan's fate. He was spared by a close vote and sent to Wilmington. Upon arriving in Wilmington [and placed on a prison ship], Maj. James Craig also wanted to hang Col. Dougan, but Capt. Elrod [or Eliot] and some of Fanning's men spared his life a second time." On March 13 & 14, 1782 Thomas Dougan was involved in what became known as The Deep River Raid."

The story continues from a researched source by a Mrs. Fraser:

"Major John Eliot , accompanied by two other Tories, Samuel Still and Michael Robbins, found Colonel Dougan, a Whig prisoner, had been captured by Fanning . . . and taken out with a rope around his neck to be hanged on the prison ship. Major Eliot felt a great compassion for Dougan with whom he was old friends and interceded so well in his behalf that he secured his freedom and permission to return home.

When the Tories, Eliot, Still, and Robbins were returning home, they met two men who had been paroled and now contrary to the terms of the parole were fully armed. Eliot began to chastise one of the men, Henry Johnson, for carrying a gun and broke his sword over Johnson's head. Eliot's companion, Still, then put a rifle ball into the head of the injured man.

The Whigs of the neighborhood, under the leadership of the same Colonel Dougan whom Eliot had saved from death at Wilmington, now set out to capture them. They were seized, tied to trees, and shot, and in accordance with the 'heartless' custom of the times, left in the position in which they had been killed."

Allegedly, it was Colonel Thomas Dougan's brother-in-law William Clark who executed the men. Perhaps that event eventually effected his joining the Quakers, a pacifistic religion. Paperwork indicates he did not apply for a war pension because of his Quaker beliefs. He and Eleanor had three sons, Dougan Alexander, John and Thomas, and three daughters Mary, Margaret and Hannah. You can see how these names become duplicated in this large family.

John Dougan (1763-1842), who served in the North Carolina militia as a dragoon, married Martha Collier (1764-1855) about 1784. Her brother also served the American cause. They had children Margaret, Susannah, Rebecca, John, Martha, Sarah and Jane. John and his family emigrated to Sumner County, Tennessee, by 1793 with brothers James Dougan, Robert Lin Dougan and extended family members. 
Sumner County, Tennessee

Why they went there might be explained by the service of General Jethro Sumner of North Carolina HERE  Apparently unsatisfied with Sumner, they all moved south across Tennessee  to Franklin County.  Leaving his brothers there, John Dougan moved on to Richmond County, Indiana, where he appears in the 1820 census, pretty early for Indiana settlement, but note that Richmond County is on the eastern side of Indiana where earlier settlements occurred.
Richmond County, Indiana and its present population centers

The Reverend Robert Lin Dougan (1765-1837) also served in the war. He became a Methodist-Episcopal minister and by the 1790 Randolph County census had married the Widow Barry, who had three step-children. Two events occurred; which came first, I don't know. His wife died and he moved his family to Sumner County, Tennessee, with his brothers, where in 1796 he married 16-year-old Elizabeth Scoby (1780-1875). Elizabeth came from a large family that included seven brothers, whose father had been killed in the American Revolution. After the war Mrs. Scobey and her sons loaded up their worldly goods on a one-horse cart and made their way across the mountains to Fort Bledsoe (in Sumner County). A week after their arrival the family had another setback when son David was killed during an Indian attack. Nevertheless, the family became well-established in Sumner County, eventually operating a ferry on the Cumberland River. 

The reverend and Elizabeth had sons Page, Robert, William and Anthony, and daughters Mary, Eleanor, Caroline, Ruth and Margaret. By 1820 they had moved south across the state and were living in Franklin County, Tennessee, where Dougan assisted in establishing the Methodist Episcopal South Church at Winchester in 1834. He died in Winchester and possessed slaves at his death.
Franklin County, Tennessee

This brings us to our 5th great-grandfather, Colonel James Dougan (1754-1837) who married in 1780 Hannah Sharp (c. 1762 - c.1831), Isabelle's older sister. They had four sons (Samuel, Thomas, Sharp, Robert Clark Dougan (our 4th great-grandfather), and three daughters, Jane, Margaret and Mary, all by 1790. They left North Carolina by 1793 with John Dougan, Robert Lin Dougan, brother-in-law Robert Sharp (and others) to settle in Sumner County, Tennessee.  By 1812, James and brothers Robert Lin, John, and James' sons Sharp and Thomas were on the tax records for Franklin County, Tennessee. 
Franklin County, Tennessee

James died on February 10, 1837, in Winchester, Franklin County,Tennessee, having lived a long life of 83 years. 

How did James Dougan's descendants get to southern Indiana you may ask. Here are excerpts from a Princeton, Indiana, newspaper article from 1908, written by James' great-grandson, E. O. Emmerson. 

James' oldest son Samuel was living in Mississippi Territory in what would later become Huntsville, Alabama (the Indian country having opened for settlement about 1812). James traveled down from Franklin, Tennessee, to pay him a visit sometime in the 1820s, and

 "began to talk of his grant of land [2360 acres in what would become Dyer County, near where Thomas Dougan's land lay] he had got for his service in the army, and wanted his son to move to it. This was a hard thing to do, as the country was unsettled and there were no roads, but strong desire overcomes difficulty. An old Indian agreed to pass on before and pick out a route, which he did by blazing trees.

They started on this journey of about two hundred miles and quite a number of families went with them. [Apparently James went back to Winchester, Tennessee.] They followed the blazes and other signs of the Indian, and finally landed on James Dougan's land grant, which is part of the town now occupied by Dyersburg. They landed there late in the fall and went into camp until houses could be built. They had no grain except what they were to use for seed the following year, and were compelled to live without bread until corn could be raised . . . on ground then covered with timbers. They lived entirely on wild game killed in the woods. Colonel Davy Crockett lived near them, and was of great assistance to them in this wild country. They found the land that they had traveled so far to obtain to be largely swamp land, covered with cypress timber and subject to great overflow. They lived till the three older children of Samual were married.

About the year 1830 the state of Indiana was thought to be about the greatest land in the world. . . in the year 1830, Samuel Dougan and Aaron Wallace, his son-in-law, decided to make a trip to the Hoosier state to take a look at it. They came and took a place west of Princeton and decided to move next Spring, but Dougan took sick on his way back home and lived but a short time after he reached home. The rest of the family [including Samuel's widow] decided to come to Indiana the next spring as Dougan had intended to do, but thought best to send James and Samuel, the two unmarried sons, on ahead and let them put in a crop, which they did. Then in the fall of 1831, all the families came to Indiana and all settled in Gibson county . . . "
Gibson County, Indiana
So that Dougan branch of five children and their families spread out through Gibson County, but that doesn't explain how our branch of James Dougan's family, through the youngest son Robert Clark Dougan (1790-1850), settled in southern Indiana. Robert appears to have spent his life between 1830 and 1850 in Fayette County, Tennessee, where he died.
Fayette County, Tennessee
 But his son, Samuel B. Dougan (1820-1870), our 3rd great-grandfather, was on the Hart Township, Warrick County, Indiana, census rolls for 1840 when he was 20 years old.
 


Warrick County, Indiana
And Warrick County is adjacent to the southeast line of Gibson County. He married Polly Erwin there in 1842 (who was a cousin of Mary Polly Erwin, who married Samuel Dougan (1810-1862), who brought the other Dougan branch from Dyer County to Gibson County in 1831.  Extended families stayed in touch despite distance and poor mail service. I bet Samuel B. Dougan traveled straight up to his cousin's home when he emigrated north.  Samuel B. and Polly Erwin had Peter and Nancy Jane Dougan (1847- c. 1877), who married our great-great grandfather, Everett Rainey, who fought in the Civil War. See my earlier blogs.

We'll end with Marty Robbins singing the early 19th century popular American song. LONG LONG AGO