Albert B Osborne.

Makers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) online

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Hullender, settled in York County, South Carolina, where James
Alexander was born in 1852. He lost both his parents during his
childhood, his father having been killed in battle near Peters-
burgh, Virginia, in 1864, and he was early confronted with the
fact that his living and his future depended upon his own exer-
tions. Cheerfully, he quit the country school which he had at-
tended and at the age of sixteen became a storekeeper's clerk.
Three years later when but nineteen he established a business
for himself. In 1872, he married Mary C. Humphreys, of Gaffney,
a daughter of Caroline and Thompson Humphreys.

Two daughters were born to them. One of these, Minnie
Augustus, married George G. Byers, and they now have two
children. The other daughter, Virginia, married Doctor A. C.
Cree, and to them have been born four children.

James Alexander Carroll is mrvv (1916) sixty-four years of
age. These years have been spent in doing things, and he seems
not to have grown weary in the management of his various enter-
prises. His mental grasp of financial affairs has ever been keen
and he holds the reins of many successful ventures.

He is Vice-President of the First National Bank, President
of the Carroll Grocery Company, President of Limestone Cotton
Mills, President of the J. A. Carroll Cotton Company, Director
of five other cotton mills, Treasurer in the Limestone Lime Com-
pany and senior member of the firm of Carroll and Byers Com-
pany, President Limestone Land Company, Treasurer and trus-
tee of Limestone College (female college, Gaffney, South Caro-
lina), trustee of Furman L T niversity (male college, Greenville,
South Carolina), to both of these colleges he has given large
sums of monev.

/

For forty years he has been steadily engaged in mercantile
business particularly in developing cotton interests, besides
assuming the direction of other weighty affairs. In politics he
is a Democrat, and has served his party as Mayor of Gaffney,

[288]



JAMES ALEXANDER CARROLL 291

besides having been an Alderman for a long term of years. He is
identified with the Order of Masons, and holds the office of Deacon
in the Providence Baptist Church.

Surely his life has been a full one. He has proven himself
a true Carroll by his success and he stands linked by a great
invisible chain to others of his kind, who are the Makers of
America in this era.

It is interesting to turn back a few centuries and glance
at the lines of those who first bore the name.

In Ireland there has always been "class" and a great love
of family. Many of them have been possessed of good brains and
kindly heart. There exist to-day wonderful chronicles in the
Irish language, many of them written in verse. We should say
poetry, for the Irish have possessed the soul of poetry. The lin-
eage of their patrician families is clear and authentic, but as
with all ancient lore there is much of fable intermingled.

One of the most reliable genealogists of modern times says
that the house of O'Carroll was firmly established in the third
century, coming from Kean or Clan, son of Olioll Olum, King of
Munster. Kean was called a Prince of Ely. The name O'Carroll
came from Clabhat and down the years it has had many varia-
tions such as, O'Cearbhaill (Cearball), Karwell, Gervill, Kerle,
Kerlie, McCarloe, McCarlie, McKerrell and others. The original
name meant slaughter.

Keating in his stories about Ireland goes far afield in his
claims for heritage. He allows 4052 years between the first
Adam and Christ, and in his family tracings takes the Carrolls
with assurance back to the days of Xoah.

t>

As a clan of lords and princes, the Carrolls were distin-
guished and from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century, they were
especially dominating, mingling and intermarrying with noble
families all over the British Isles. The territory of Elv was sit-

i/ .

uated at what is now the Barony of Lower Ormond, County Tip-
perary, with the Barony of Clonlisk, and a part of Ballybrit in
King's County, extending to the Sheve Bloom mountains border-
ing Queens County.

Coming after King Olioll Olum and the son of Kean, Prince
of Ely, we are told of a long line of princes, with stories of their
deeds some very good, and some rather cloudy. King Olioll
Olum, was, on the whole, quite to be admired for achievements
great and generous, though a missing ear and teeth as black as
ink were the consequences of some early misdeed.

Daniel Carroll founded the Abbev of Xewrv in the vear

* ^

1148, and also Cnocksingan Abbey in 1182. He is spoken of as
"a pious prince with a glorious character."

Another prince of the line founded the Convent of Eoscrea
for the Franciscans, in the year 1490.



JAMKS ALKXAXDER CARROLL

Another Daniel is said to have had thirty sons whom he
formed inlo a troop oi' horses with full accouterments for war,
and presentrd the sons and the outfit to the Earl of Ormond for
the service of Charles the First. Daniel believed in preparedness.

The Maryland Carrolls are descended from Daniel O'Carroll



of Litterluna, Ireland. Through all the vicissitudes of the Re-
formation period, and the upheaval of later days, these Carrolls
were loyal in their adhesion to the faith of their forefathers, and
their descendants are still fervent Catholics.

Charles O'Carroll, Daniel's son, was born in Litterluna, and
emigrated to Maryland, U. 8. A., in the year 1G88. He was a
learned man and a lawyer of Middle Temple of London, and
possessed great wealth. It is said that he was a favorite of the
English King, from whom he obtained large grants of land, be-
sides which he purchased extensively until he possessed more
than 60,000 acres. This land he divided into estates of differing
extent, to each of which he gave a name, suggestive of the land
of his birth. Litterluna, after his own birthplace, Cleuenalra,
Doughregan, and others, recalled to him, traditions and memories.

Doughregan Manor was an estate of 10,000 acres, and is still
in the possession of the present head of the family. The Manor
house is one of the finest of the old colonial mansions, with wings
extending three hundred feet.

Among those in this family of special note, Charles Carroll,
known as the Barrister, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, otherwise
designated as "The Signer" and John Carroll, the great Arch-
bishop of Baltimore, the first Catholic See in the United States.

Charles Carroll the lawyer was born in Annapolis in 1723.
To obtain the education suited to their station in life, the Car-
rolls were sent to Europe, to Lisbon, Portugal, to Eton, and the
University of Cambridge, and the Middle Temple in London. He
was the embodiment of the wisdom and judicial knowledge in the
Colonies. The Declaration of Rights and the first Constitution
of Maryland were from his pen. He was of the famous "Council
of Safety," and member of the first Senate of Maryland. His man-
sion in Annapolis is still standing and is now the House of
Studies of the Redernptorist Order of the Catholic Church.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton, one of the immortal band of
those who proclaimed the independence of the States, was born
in 1737. Educated abroad at the famous colleges of Europe end-
ing with his course at Middle Temple, without which no English-
man is fully equipped for bar or bench, he came back to the land
of his adoption, ready to throw himself into the struggle for
right and justice. He was one of the Committee sent to Canada
to solicit the sympathy and co-operation of the Canadians in the
struggles of the States. Unfortunately, the memory of the treat-
ment received in New England by their co-religionists made them



JAMES ALEXANDER CARROLL 293

deaf to any such overtures. Representing Maryland in the Con-
gress, Carroll was upon the board of war and when he signed the
Declaration of Independence, that no doubt of his identity might
arise he wrote both name and address: "Charles Carroll of Car-
rollton." He was the last survivor of the band living to see the
nation he had helped to make take its place full grown and power-
ful among the other nations of the earth. He died in 1832, and
was buried in his private chapel on his own place. In the later
years of his life, he took great pleasure in the success of a college
for the education of priests, near his home, having given two
hundred fifty-three acres of land and a large sum of money to-
wards its establishment.

The Reverend John Carroll was born in 1735. He was edu-
cated for the priesthood at the College of St. Orner, in France
and Liege in Belgium. He spent a while tutoring, later residing
w T ith the Earl of Arundel. The persecution in Maryland, by those
who had first profited by the religious freedom established by
the Catholic Lord Baltimore, upon political changes which
brought the Anglican element in power, became persecutors of
the earlier colonists and the troubles brought about in Mary-
land were only halted by the rumblings of war with the Mother
Country. Mr. Carroll returned and took his position with his
people. His claim to leadership was recognized and he was one
of the committee sent to Canada to endeavor to enlist the Cana-
dians in the Revolution. With all his heart and soul he set about
his duties as a priest. The old landmarks all over Maryland
could tell tales of his journeyings and labors.

Immediately after the close of the war, he was made Vicar
General of the Catholic Church in the United States. In 1790,
he was created Bishop and the See of Baltimore established, and
in 1803, he became Archbishop of Baltimore and Primate in the
United States. He founded Georgetown College and laid the
cornerstone of the Cathedral in Baltimore. Continuing his work
for God and country, he lived to the a^e of 80 vears and died in
1815.

The earliest mention of the name in connection with Vir-
ginia is that of John Carroll, who was one of the Charter mem-
bers of the Virginia Company of London, under the second Char-
ter of 1609. "Adventurers" they were called, not in the modern
acceptance of the meaning of the word, but individuals both men
and women who were putting their means into a venture, more
or less uncertain in its outcome, but from which they had reason
to expect great results. Of course to own stock in such an enter-
prise argued the possession of considerable wealth. The Com-
pany was composed of the nobility and rich merchants of London,
as also the corporations of the liveried companies.

Some members of the Virginia Company visited Virginia to



294 JAMES ALEXANDER CARROLL

view the land, some came to remain and make new homes while
exploiting the country. Many only sent their younger sons.

These earlier colonists were of the oldest families and the
best blood of Great Britain, and so well did they lay the founda-
tions of government in the new land, that the position now occu-
pied by the United States among the nations of the world is due
to them. It behooves their posterity, in whose veins their blood
still flows, to continue to follow their lead.

This patronymic was spelled variously, at least in England,
though it is possible that it is of the same lineage as Carroll of
Ireland. In the County of Essex in England, we find Sir Edward,
Sir Thomas and Sir John Carrell. In London Richard Caryll,
sou of John Caryll, of Warnham, County Sussex, was Sergeant
at Law to King Henry VIII. The London visitation of 1033 gives
Richard, John, Blase and Charles, Ellen Burnell and Elizabeth
f'arvll. In another visitation in 1635, the name is also written

/

Carrell and records the marriage of Alice, the daughter of Blase,
above mentioned, to Francis West, Esquire, of London, gentle-
man, and as he or his son Francis was also of the Virginia Com-
pany, it would seem that John the brother of Alice was identical
with the first named John Caril of the Virginia Company of 160M.

Another relative of these Carrells was the Baron Morley,
another of the adventurers, and still another Sir Nicholas
Lupton.

Among the soldiers of the Revolution were Luke Carrol of
the Eighth Virginia Regiment, Bartholomew, Samuel, Thomas,
Samuel, Batt, Benjamin, Barker, Edward, George, James, John
of the Sixth Virginia as was also William, who was the grand-
father of James Alexander Carroll.

The presumption is that the Carils, Caryll s or Carrells of
Sussex, Essex and London are descendants of the Elv family of

- i

O'Carrolls of Ireland.



BLAKE BRADDEY ADAMS

THE name of Adams may be found in American records
through Kevolutionary and Colonial days and as far back
as 1645. It is a fine old English name and transplanted
to the soil of the new world has borne fruit an hundred-
fold. Two men bearing it have attained to the highest office
within the gift of the American people. John Adams and John
Quincy Adams, father and son, stand like sentinels between the
old world and the new, occupying the very crest of eminence, and
have builded for themselves a record that will endure so long as
the annals of this great nation shall find a place in history. With
giant intellectual attainments and nobility of character they
honored the country that honored them, and they have left a noble
inheritance for their descendants. The name stands for distinc-
tion of birth; and probity, uprightness and intellectuality seem
to have been linked with it, wherever found.

Charles Francis Adams, son of John Quincy Adams, was a
distinguished diplomat, and his two sons, John Quincy and
Charles Francis both attained prominence, one as a legislator,
the other as a politician, lawyer and writer. By inheritance they
gained position, wealth, brains, and through exertion they
widened their influence and stood shoulder to shoulder with their
foremost contemporaries. Circumstance and blood were ruling
factors in their development.

Blake Braddy Adams of Four Oaks, North Carolina, traces
his lineage through the Virginia branch; his people having coine
from Virginia, settling first in Wake County and later removing
to Johnston Count}', North Carolina. His great-grandfather,
John Adams, settled in Chowan County. His grandfather was
Sidney Adams, and his parents were William Gaston and Sabra
Ann (Parker) Adams. They were well regarded in their com-
munity, living upright lives of pious integrity. Unfortunately,
their immediate progenitors were careless about the preserving
of family history, and much data of great interest has been lost.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, in "The Poet at the Breakfast
Table," says : "As we grow older we think more and more of old
persons and of old things and places. As to old persons, it
seemed as if we never knew how much thev had to tell until we

L

are old ourselves and they have gone twenty or thirty years-
Among the lesser regrets that mingle with graver sorrow, for the
friends of an earlier generation we have lost, are our omissions to

[297]



298 BLAKE BRADDEY ADAMS

ask them so many questions they could have answered so easily
and would have been pleased to have been asked." The truth of
this statement is especially recognized by historians and genealo-
gists, and is pertinent to the case under consideration.

In the Virginia branch is found Ebenezer Adams of Saint
Peter's Parish, New Kent County, Virginia. This gentleman
came to Virginia before 1714 and received a grant of three thou-
sand nine hundred eighty-three acres of land in New Kent and
Henrico Counties. He was a member of the Established Church
and is on record as a vestryman for Saint Peter's the 13th of
June, 1735. He married about 1718, Tabitha, daughter of Thomas
Bowler, Esquire, of Kappahannock County, member of the Coun-
cil. The last will and testament of Richard Cocke of Bremo,
Henrico County, was presented in court October 1720, by Ebe-
nezer Adams, John Boiling and William Randolph, securities.
The children of Ebenezer Adams were: Richard, Bowling, Wil-
liam, Richard (the second of the name), Tabitha and Thomas.

Colonel Richard Adams was born in New Kent County, May
12, 1726. He died in Richmond, Virginia, August 2, 1800. One
of many estimable men born and reared on Virginia soil, he was
a man of good mind and noble heart, a breadth of culture gained
by the perusal of the ancient classics, and a political sagacity
that marked him a true statesman. He well served his day and
country, and patriotism was ever his watchword. From 1752 to
1775 he sat in the House of Burgesses, representing New Kent
and Henrico Counties, from 1776 to 1778 he was a conspicuous
member of the "House of Delegates," and he served his State in
the Senate from 1779 to 1782. Virginia was proud of her off-
spring and delighted to do him honor. At his death he was the
largest property owner in Richmond, Virginia, and considered
one of the most enterprising, public spirited and influential men
in the city. His handsome home on Church Hill is now known
as the Convent of Monte Maria. Colonel Richard Adams was an
ardent patriot throughout the Revolutionary War, and gave aid
to the cause of liberty to the extent of his ability. Adams street
was so named in his honor. He married Elizabeth, daughter of
Leroy and Mary Ann Griffin of Richmond County, Virginia, a
sister of Judge Cyrus Griffin of William sburg. He lies buried by
the side of his wife in the Richmond County cemetery, and his
descendants have migrated to many States of the Union.

Thomas Adams, a brother of Colonel Richard Adams, was
born in New Kent County, Virginia, about 1730. His will is
dated October 12, 1784. In the year of 1788 he was a clerk of
Henrico County and a vestryman of Henrico Parish from 1757
to 1764; he also served as church warden. In 1762 he sailed for
England to look after property interests of himself and family,
and in 1763 his family sent him papers giving him power of attor-



BLAKE BRADDEY ADAMS 299

ney to transact all business matters for them in New Kingston,
in England. It is interesting to note that he used a seal which
seems to be identical with the arms ascribed by authorities on
Coat Armour to the Adams of London. A pedigree of eleven
generations of this family is in the Visitation of Shropshire for
1623.

Continuing the history of the Virginia branch of the family,
it is recorded that Abnegro Adams of Fairfax County, Virginia,
was born in 1721 and died in 1809. He was a successful planter
and had three sons. The father of Abnegro was Francis of
Charles County, Maryland, who was born about 1690, and lived
on a plantation in Maryland called "Troopers Rendezvous." In
his will dated May 26, 1766, he mentions six children, all sons:
Josias, George, Ignatius, Abnegro, Samuel and Francis.

Josias Peak Adams, son of Abnegro, born in 1748, lived in
Loudon County, Virginia. He had great business ability, was a
successful merchant and owned a vast landed estate. His son
Francis was a merchant and a vestryman in Christ Church, Alex-
andria, Virginia, in 1815, and had served in the war of 1812.

On the Virginia records we find this curious and interesting
history: "A true and Perfect list of all ye names of ye inhabi-
tants in ye Parish of Christ Church with an exact account of all
ye lands with Servants and Negroes within ye said Parish. Taken
this 22nd December 1679." Then follows among other names
that of John Adams who has one hundred ninety-two acres of
land, three white servants and sixty-three negroes. Then again
among abstracts of wills for Chowan County, North Carolina, in
1745 is this: "Peter Adams, Brother, John Adams and his child,
sister Mary Mounie of Crediton in Devonshire, Great Britain,
wife Sarah, son John, brother John Wrentham and John Lewis
etc., Test Wm. Luton, Wm. Lewis." The name is repeated many
times on lists of Abstracts of Wills in North Carolina, and on the
list of the Revolutionary soldiers in the "Old North State."
Among a number of Englishmen banished to America for par-
ticipation in the Monmouth rebellion is John Adams. Another
John Adams was born in France, of English parents. Fired with
a spirit of adventure he came with Lafayette's soldiers to Amer-
ica while a boy of some sixteen years of age. He served through-
out the Revolutionary War, and when Lafayette's men were re-
turning to France he hid himself in a flour barrel in Philadelphia,
as he was desirous of making his home in a land of liberty. He
thus escaped detection, and hiring himself to a captain of a whal-
ing vessel he roved the seas for two years. After this he served
an apprenticeship to a cabinetmaker for seven years. It being
rumored that the French were going to search the city, John left
Philadelphia and proceeded southward and settled on or near
the head of the Yodkin River in North Carolina. Here he mar-



300 BLAKE BRADDEY ADAMS

ried Esther Hawkins. Thus we see them along the line men of
resources and courage, men of intellect, soldiers and Christian
gentlemen.

Blake Braddy Adams was born near Duke, Harnett County,
North Carolina, October 22, 1862. He is a steward in the Meth-
odist Church and has for twenty-five years been a superintendent
in its Sunday School.

While devoted to the cause of religion and active in Church
work he is broad-minded and tolerant of the opinions of others.
He believes that by increasing the usefulness of the Church and
developing the industrial life of the community, the individual
standard will be raised ; this resulting in a better administration
of public affairs, a greater observance of the laws, and the general
uplift of the nation, for no country is greater than its people.

After receiving his preliminary education at Little Rivers
Academy he taught in the public school in his county. Like so
many Southern bovs he found his father's means greatly reduced,

/ */ -

and the proceeds from his teaching were used to defray his ex-
penses at Trinity College, which institution he later attended.
This small money obtained when only fifteen years of age meant
much more to the bov than the many thousands he has since

t, t/

acquired, and Mr. Adams points with pardonable pride to this
period of his life.

As a clerk in a mercantile firm he began his real business
career. He has climbed the ladder step by step, and broadened
his business until the old house in which he started as a mere
clerk is now the "Adams Company," doing a large and increas-
ing business. Success seems to claim him as her own; his busi-
ness has multiplied until he now finds himself a planter, a cotton
dealer with a ginning system, cotton manufacturer and merchant.
He is also a Director of the Jefferson Standard Insurance Com-
pany, Greensboro, North Carolina, President of the Bank of Four
Oaks, President of the Ivanhoe Manufacturing Company of
Smithfield, Director in the Selrna Cotton Mill, the Lizzie Cotton
MiU, and the Ethel Cotton Mill of Selina, North Carolina. He is
Director of the State Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, a
Trustee of Louisburg College, Louisburg, North Carolina, and
Carolina College, Maxton, North Carolina, and of the Methodist
Orphanage in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has proved himself
a capable man indeed. Busy with the affairs of life, he has yet
found time for reading; history, current events and religious
literature claiming his preference. The societies also have a
share in his busy life, for Mr. Adams is an Odd Fellow and a
non-resident member of the Raleigh Capital Club. He is a
staunch Democrat and a believer in patronizing home institutions
and industries.

The surname of Adams is formed from a personal one, the



BLAKE BKADDEY ADAMS 301

Anglo-Saxon and French forms being Adam, and the Flemish,
Adams. Many branches of the family claim royal descent and
they are included in the landed gentry of Great Britain. In
County Devon, June 13, 1660, one of this name, Sir Thomas
Adams, was knighted. He was sheriff of the city of London and
later Lord Mayor. He was imprisoned in the town for his loyalty
to the King during the time of the Cromwellian protectorate and
further evinced his devotion to the exiled sovereign by remit-
ting to him, in his hour of need, ten thousand pounds, an enor-
mous sum in those days. It was after the restoration that he
was ennobled. Sir Thomas Adams of the Koval Navv, his de-

t> / /

sceudant, died on the Virginia Station April 12, 1770 and the
baronetcv became extinct.

*/

The cross, the emblem of salvation, seems to be the distin-
guishing feature of the coats of arms of most of the families.

In Scotland the name is of great antiquity. In the reign of
Kobert Bruce there lived Duncan Adams, sou of Alexander
Adams. He had four sons who are the ancestors of all the Adams,
Adamsons and Andres in Scotland. The name itself was origi-



Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 22 of 48)