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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three hundred poor people ; gave, among other charities, two hun-
dreds pounds sterling to St. Bartholomew's Hospital (an immense
gift in those days). He was descended from Ralph, the second
son of Sir Humphrey. Sir Rowland Hill, Baronet, erected a
pillar to his memory at Hawkestone Park in 1795

Rowland Hill of Hawkestone, a man of great wisdom, piety
and charity, suffered greatly from the rebels during the reign of
Charles I, when he went to the relief of his father who was kept
prisoner in his castle near Hawkestone. Sir Rowland Hill, July
27, 1769, laid the cornerstone of the bridge at Alsham. The build-


ing of bridges seems to have been a favorite way of bestowing
public charity. Alban Hill, a "Doctor of Physics," was "famous
in foreign parts. 77 He was known as "Medicus nobilissimus ac
optirnus. 77

Honorable Richard Hill was in the time of William III
Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Brussels, and in Queen
Mary's, to the Court of Turin, and was the recipient of many high
honors. He died unmarried, but obtained for his family the dig-
nity of Baronet in the person of Rowland Hill of Hawkestone,
High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1722. Sir Richard Hill was a
Member of Parliament in 1795.

There is little doubt that the Virginia branch of the Hills
is descended from Sir Rowland Hill, who was "bred to trade. 77
The Virginia Company of London was composed in great part,
of the merchants of London, not onlv individuallv but bv com-

/ 7 7

panies, as may be seen in the list of Charter Members of 1620,
and these were greatly interested in populating the colony; fre-
quently sending their younger sons in care of the officials of the
Virginia Company, that they might grow up with the new coun-
try. This was the case, also, with the nobility, who in great
numbers were "adventurers" that is, members of the Company
formed to exploit the colony and convert the natives. An im-
mense amount of money w r as invested in the enterprise; hence
they were called "adventurers. 77

Among the members of the Company under the third Charter
in 1620, the name of Robert and Gresham Hill are to be found.
George Hill, Gentleman, had made a visit to the Province in 1607,
coming in the "Phoenix, 7 ' but whether he remained in Virginia
the records fail to show.

Colonel Edward Hill was a member of the House of Bur-
gesses (1652-1653), and was one of the Counsellors named by the
Governor and appointed by the House of Delegates, 1658.

William Hill of Brunswick County, married first in 1781,
Priscilla Embry, a widow; secondly, in 1796, Sarah Lanier. He
died 1799, leaving sons ; Joseph, Isaac, Thomas and Joseph ; a
daughter Priscilla, wife of Miles Williams, and his widow Sarah.
His son-in-law, Miles Williams and Joseph Williams were ap-
pointed executors. His estate for that period was considered
large; there being f 15,000 in personal property and large landed
holdings. His will was probated 1799.

Joseph Hill was a member of the North Carolina Assembly
in 1788.

Thomas Hill, born 1760, died 1830. In 1781 he married
Frances, daughter of Cuthbert and Elizabeth Smith, whose
maiden name was Charnberlayne. She, Elizabeth Smith, first
married Sampson Lanier and secondly, Cuthbert Smith. Thomas
Hill resided in North Carolina, Duplin County, and left four sons


and a large estate. His will was probably destroyed when Dup-
lin County Court House was burned in 1835. Cuthbert Smith
went to Brunswick County, Virginia, in 1743. His wife, Eliza-
beth Chamberlayne, was of an old aristocratic English family,
also among the Adventurers. Mrs. Kenan has portraits of
Thomas Hill and his wife, Frances Smith, who were her great-

William Lanier, son of Thomas and grandson of William
Hill of Brunswick County, Virginia, was born December 28, 1785,
and died February 7, 1860, in Duplin County, North Carolina.
In his will probated in I860 he provides for his wife Annie E.
Dudley Hill, sons Christopher D., William E., and daughter Mar-
garet D. Pierce ; also for William Lanier, son of Christopher Dud-
ley Hill, and Edward John Hill, son of William Edw r ard Hill.

William Lanier Hill married Anne Elizabeth Dudley of
Onslow County, daughter of Colonel Christopher Dudley and
sister of Edward Bishop Dudley. The inscription upon her tomb-
stone at Faison, North Carolina, states that she was born May
11, 1795, and that she died July 5, 1860.

Christopher Dudley Hill and his wife Emily Caroline How-
ard were the parents of Mrs. Anne Elizabeth Hill Kenan.

Mrs. Anne Elizabeth Hill Kenan is the daughter of Chris-
topher Dudley Hill and Emily Caroline Howard, and grand-
daughter of Mrs. Anne Elizabeth Dudley Hill.


The Dudleys in England trace their lineage to one Dudo,
an Anglo-Saxon, who in A. D. 700 built Dudley Castle in Stafford-
shire. The ruins of this old building are still visible.

The Duke of Northumberland is descended from Sir John
Sutton, fourth Lord Dudley, whose second son assumed the name
of Dudley. This ancient family runs through all the years of
England's history since the Conquest, and may be found on many
of its pages where its renowned scions have added lustre galore
to name and to country.

The first mention of the Dudley name in America is in Cap-
tain John Smith's History of Virginia, when Dudley, Lord North,
visited the colony in 1607. Lord Percy, brother to the Earl of
Northumberland was one of the charter members of the Virginia
Company of London in 1620. Kobert Dudley, who settled in
Middlesex, was the first of his name to take up his residence in
Virginia. There are two branches of the family, descendants
respectively of Richard Dudley and of James Dudley; but the
lines do not seem to coincide with that of the ancestor of the
family to which this sketch is dedicated.

Christopher Dudley, son of Edward, born in 1763, was a resi-
dent of Onslow County, North Carolina. In 1776 he was ap-
pointed by the Provincial Congress at Halifax, a member of a


Committee to manufacture arms and ammunition for the Revolu-
tionary army. His rank was that of Colonel. He died in 1828.
His only surviving son, Edward Bishop Dudley, was the first
Governor elected by the people of North Carolina. His sister,
Anne Elizabeth Dudley married William Lanier Hill of Duplin
County, whose son, Christopher Dudley Hill married Emily Caro-
line Howard, and were the parents of Anne Elizabeth Hill who
married Captain James Graham Kenan.


The mother of Captain Kenan, Sarah Rebecca Graham
Kenan, was, as her name suggests, of Scotch origin. No name in
Scotch history is of higher renown. The lineage of the clan
extends back through the centuries to an antiquity of fabled
story. Graeme, Grahme and Grame it has been written, and at
last it settled down into its present form.

The near ancestor of this branch was Sir Patrick Graham,
son of Sir Patrick, Lord of Kincarden, by Eupheme, daughter of
Sir John Stuart, Lord RaUstone, and brother of King Robert II.

There is no doubt that the family is descended from the
Graeme, who made the breach in the Roman wall in 420, and is
said to have married a lady of the Royal house of Denmark, and
who is claimed to be the progenitor of all the Grahams of Scot-
land. The tradition of the breach of the Roman wall is very
interesting. The wall is until this day known as Graeme's or
Graham's Dyke. That was in the time of Fergus II.

In 1146 William of Graham had lands in Abercorn and Mon-
teith. His grandson David was granted (before 1214) lands near
Montrose, by William the Lion. His son was one of the guaran-
tees of a treaty with Henry III in 1244. His son, Sir David of
Dundaff, had three sons by his wife, the daughter of the Earl of
Strathern : Sir Patrick, Sir John and Sir David. Sir John, who
was called the "Richt Hand" of Wallace, fell in the Battle of
Falkirk in 1298, and died in the arms of his patron. Sir Patrick
fell at Dunbar. His sword upon which when dying he had his
son swear to fight for Scotland while he lived, is among the heir-
looms of the Duke of Montrose. His grandson, Sir David in 1630
is styled "of old Montrose." Sir Patrick Graham of Ellieston,
was the ancestor of the Earls Monteith of Graham. His son, Sir
William of Kincardine, obtained a charter containing an entail
of old Montrose. His grandson Patrick was one of the Lords of
the Regency after the murder of James I, and was created Lord
Graham by James II in 1445. His grandson, created Earl of
Montrose by James IV in 1504, fell at Flodden by the side of his
King. "Sir John with the bright sword" is the ancestor of the
Grahams of the Borders, and of the Grahams in Perthshire. The
family has holdings in every shire in Scotland.


Sir .John (Iraeme. who fought with Wallace, the Marquis of
Montrose and .John (Jraham of Claverhouse, are the most remark-
able characters in Scotch history.

Manraret Graham, the mother of the last Graham of Morphie,
was a sister of Graham Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee.

James Graham, father of General Joseph Graham, was of
those whom we class as Scotch-Irish, though they are really purely
Scotch, but have resided in Ireland for a longer or shorter
period. The tradition in the family is that James was either
.-rand son or great-grandson of Patrick Graham, kinsman and
follower of the celebrated and ill-fated James Graham, fifth Earl
and first Marquis of Montrose, who was made Lord Lieutenant
of Ireland in 1644. Patrick commanded the Athol men, and when
Montrose was rallying the Highlanders to the support of Charles
I, he was the guest of his kinsman. After a brilliant campaign
of a year in which he defeated the covenanters at Aberdeen, Inver-
lochv, Aloud and Kilsyth, he was defeated bv David Leslie at

* t/ / */

Philipsbraugh and expelled from Scotland. About 1649 Patrick
passed over into Ireland.

At the funeral in 1626 of the father of Montrose, the Graham
clans were represented by Montrose, Claverhouse, Lintice, Inch-
bra chie, Morphie, Orpell, and Bungalow.

James Graham, mentioned above, was born in 1714, and came
with the tide of Scotch-Irish emigrants in 1733. Michael Graham
was a descendant of Montrose, and his grandson was President
of Washington now Washington-Lee University.

James and John Graham first settled in Berkshire County,
Pennsylvania, afterward removing to "Calf-Pasture" in Virginia.

The Grahams made a fine record in the Revolution. Richard
Graham, Lieutenant of the Second North Carolina, June 8, 1776 ;
Captain, 1778. Stephen Graham, Hospital Surgeon's Mate, 1780
until 1782. William Graham, Surgeon's Mate, Second Virginia,
1777. Walton Graham, Second Lieutenant in Thirteenth Vir-
ginia, 1777. William Graham, Colonel of the North Carolina
Militia from 1776 until 1781.

Joseph Graham was Lieutenant and Captain of the North
Carolina Rangers from September 1778 ; Major of the North Caro-
lina Partisan Rangers, 1780; was wounded September 26, 1780.

He died, 1836.


Captain James Graham of Kenansville, North Carolina,
was one of three brothers who served in the Forty-third Regiment
of North Carolina Troops in the Confederate Army. Thomas S.
Kenan was Colonel of the Regiment, James Graham Kenan, a
Captain, and William Rand Kenan the Adjutant.

The great-great-grandfather of Captain Kenan was Thomas
Kenan, who settled in 1735 in that part of New Hanover County,
later known as Duplin County, near Sarecta. His wife was Eliza-


beth Johnston of England and they had nine children. The oldest
son, Joseph, born about 1740, "filled positions of honor and trust"
under the Colonial government, and was elected Colonel of Militia
at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. He was active in all
the campaigns from February 27, 1776, throughout the war. In
1780, the Board of War, in applying to him to secure supplies
from Duplin County for the army, wrote to him: "From your
known zeal and activity in the services of your country, your
undertaking this service will be very agreeable to the Board."
In 1785 he was elected Brigadier-General of North Carolina for
Wilmington District. In 1790 he was elected a member of the
Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina, and
served until 1799. He married Sallie Love; they had eight chil-
dren. Thomas Kenan was the oldest, born in 1771. He served in
the General Assembly and later in the Federal Congress. He
married Mary Rand of Wake County; afterwards removing to
Alabama, where he died in 1843. Their oldest son, Owen Rand
Kenan, was frequently a member of the Assembly, and married
Sarah Rebecca Graham. Their three sons are mentioned above.
They had also a daughter, Annie Dixon Kenan.

Captain James Graham Kenan's ancestry on both sides
furnish a record of patriotism most remarkable.

General James Kenan, the great-grandfather, died May 23,
1810, in Duplin County, "a worthy and respectable citizen and
aged patriot, who bore honorable station and useful part in the
Revolutionary War."

The children of Captain and Mrs. Kenan are: Owen Hill
Kenan, Thomas S. Kenan, J. Graham Kenan, and Emily Howard

Doctor Owen Hill Kenan, a noted surgeon and son of Cap-
tain James Graham and Annie Hill Kenan, lives in New York
City, and is now, 1916, serving in the American Ambulance Corps
in France.

In recognition of his skill, courage and bravery, the French
Government has recently rewarded him with the "Croix de
Guerre," a distinction and honor in keeping with those of his

Thomas S. Kenan, a prominent business man of Atlanta,
Georgia, married Annice Hawkins of Atlanta, Georgia. Their
children are James Graham Kenan, Frank Hawkins Kenan and
Sarah Cole Kenan.

Graham Kenan, a leading attorney of Wilmington, North
Carolina, and one of the trustees of the University of North
Carolina, married Sarah Kenan, his cousin.

Among the Makers of America there is no lineage teeming
with more illustrious names and deeds than is that of the Kenan
family. No doubt the keynote of the present and future genera-
tions will be in harmony with their illustrious ancestors.


MANY American families can trace, through at least one
branch, to Revolutionary ancestry, but comparatively
few can claim descent from one of those public-spirited
men who risked everything for the good of the American
colonies, and put on permanent record their denial of the right
of British supremacy. These men were of the bravest type. As
signers of the Declaration of Independence they would have met
with scant courtesy at the hands of the King's soldiers, and their
fate would have been sad indeed, had the colonists failed of

William Samuel Clark of Tarboro, North Carolina, is a
direct descendant of one of these men Abraham Clark of New
Jersey. This distinguished patriot was born near Rahway, Feb-
ruary 15, 1726. The son of a farmer, Thomas Clark, he was edu-
cated to follow the same occupation but, being of a frail constitu-
tion, he was not able to engage in very strenuous physical labor.
He educated himself in mathematics and civil law, producing
such results that he was accounted well equipped for his life
work. In early life he was a surveyor and conveyancer. Though
not a lawyer by profession he gave advice freely to those not able
to pay for it and thus earned the title "Poor Man's Counsellor."
He attempted to regulate the practice of law in the courts, and
in so doing incurred the enmity of those favoring a careless sys-
tem of legal procedure.

He was High Sheriff of Essex County, Commissioner for sell-
ing undivided lands, and Clerk of the Colonial Continental Con-
gress. In consequence of his great activity in the cause of the
people as a member of the Committee of Public Safety, he was
elected June 21, 1776, to represent them at the meeting of dele-
gates in Philadelphia. Here the Declaration of Independence
was drawn up and signed on July 4, 1776. In November of that
year he was sent to the Continental Congress and held his seat
in that body almost continuously during the life of the old
confederation. He was one of the delegates sent to frame the
Federal Constitution in 1787, and was elected a member of the
House of Representatives of the United States.

He was married in 1749 to Sarah, daughter of Isaac Hatfield
and sister of Elder Isaac Hatfield. She was first cousin of Mrs.
Robert Ogden, the mother of General Matthias and Governor
Aaron Ogden. Mrs. Clark was born in 1728. There were ten




children from the marriage of Abraham Clark and Sarah Hat-

Several of the sons of Abraham Clark were officers in the
American army, but he refrained from using his influence for
their benefit. On one occasion only did he depart from this rule.
His son Thomas, a Captain of artillery, was captured and impris-
oned in a dungeon with no food except what other prisoners
passed to him through a keyhole. The Congress, on being in-
formed of this, ordered retaliation on a British Captain with the
result that Captain Clark received better treatment thereafter.

Abraham Clark retired from public life in 1794, and in the
fall of that year his death was caused by a sunstroke. He was
buried in the Presbyterian churchyard at Kahway. "In private
life he was reserved and contemplative. Limited in his circum-
stances, moderate in his desires and uncovetous of wealth, he was
far from being parsimonious in his private concerns, although
a rigid economist in public affairs."

James Sampson Clark, grandfather of William Samuel
Clark of Tarboro, was the son or grandson of Abraham Clark.
He went to Pitt County about 1790 and it is believed that he was
born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. As Abraham Clark's
children were born in Kahway, James Sampson must have been
his grandson, whose father perhaps emigrated to Virginia. So
many of the records of North Carolina and Virginia were de-
stroyed that the sources for information of early residents are
meagre, and it is necessary at times to make reasonable deduc-
tions as in this case.

James Sampson Clark married Winifred Hardee. It is prob-
able that she was a granddaughter of Colonel John Hardee of
Pitt County, and that her mother was a daughter of Colonel
Kobert Salter of the same county. Both Colonel Hardee and
Colonel Salter were prominent before and during the Revolution.

Samuel S. Clark was a son of James Sampson Clarke and the
father of Mr. Clark of this sketch. He married Mary Watson
who was the daughter of Jordan Watson of Martin County, North
Carolina, who was born before the Kevolution. He was the son
of Thomas Watson, who, it is thought, was a Revolutionary
soldier from Martin County. It is of family tradition that Jordan
Watson married Elizabeth Culpeper of Portsmouth, Virginia,
who was born about the time of the Revolution, and whose mar-
riage date is placed between 1790 and 1795, and about the same
time as that of James Sampson Clark and Winifred Hardee.

William Samuel Clark is the son of Samuel S. and Mary
Watson Clark. He was born June 19, 1846, near Hamilton in
Martin County, North Carolina, which joins Pitt and Edgecombe
Counties at their boundaries. His rudimentary education was
under the tutelage of the local school masters at Hamilton, and in


the Spring of 1801, he matriculated in Doctor Deeines' School at
Wilson, North Carolina. Later he was a student at Tew's Mili-
tary Academy in Hillsboro during ISU.'MII: and part of '65.

In 1872 Mr. Clark, being at that time about twenty-six years
of age, opened a general merchandising store at Tarboro.
Although he has continued in this business up to the present,
he has also found time to be of material service to his country.
True to the Clark ideals he has done his part for the people of his
community. Politically he is a Democrat, and was Chairman of
the Commissioners of Edgecombe County* from 181)9 to 1907.
Prior to this he had been chosen Mayor of Tarboro. He was also
for about fifteen years Chairman of the Tarboro School Board
from 1892.

Mr. Clark is a member of the Tarboro Episcopal Church and
a vestryman therein. Aside from his mercantile interests he is
Director of the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company,
with headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a mem-
ber of the Royal Arcanum, his only fraternity. A devoted student
of history, much of his leisure time is spent in this line of reading.

Mr. Clark married on June 28, 1876, Miss Lossie Grist, born
in Washington, North Carolina, December 1853. She is a daugh-
ter of John Williams and Fannie (Carraway) Grist.

The founder of this line of Clarks was Richard, a shipwright
who seems to have moved from the east end of Long Island to the
infant settlement of Elizabethtown, New Jersey. The earliest
definite reference to this is given in a deposition made March 22,
1741, by his son Richard. The son stated he was at that time
eighty years of age and "had heard" he was born at Southampton,
Long Island. He remembered coming to Elizabeth at the age of
sixteen or seventeen years of age wdth his father, his mother Eliza-
beth, his sister Elizabeth and his brothers : John, Joshua, Eph-
raim and Samuel. As near as can be reckoned this w r as in 1678,
for in February of the following year, the elder Richard Clark
obtained warrants for three hundred acres of land for his wife
and sous, Richard and John, and his daughter Elizabeth. These
were the only members of the family who w r ere of the legal age
entitling them to land grants in the colony.

A survey of the land, which was located near Rahway, is not
on record and neither do the annals of Southampton residents of
the earliest days contain the name of Richard Clark. He is
know r n, however, to have lived at Southold in 1675. Two children,
Thomas and Benjamin, w r ere born after the family was located
in Elizabethtown.

Richard Clark, Senior, was admitted as an associate of the
town of Elizabeth in 1695. His will dated April 1, 1697, was
made in New York w^here he probably died a day or two later,
having gone there for business or pleasure and having become ill


during his stay. It is with his son Thomas, a brother of Richard,
who made the deposition, that this sketch is principally con-
cerned, as he was the grandfather of Abraham Clark and the
ancestor of William Samuel Clark.

That portion of the family land given to Thomas lay near the
old Wheatsheaf Tavern, midway between Elizabeth and Rah way.
He had three sons: Thomas, born in 1701; Abraham, born in
1703 and James, the date of whose birth is not given. There was
also one daughter, Mrs. Day. Thomas 2 married at the age of
twenty-four years and his only child was Abraham, who was
born in 1726. In the first charter of Elizabethborough, Thomas
Clark was named one of the Aldermen. One of these Clarks
seems to have been appointed Keeper of the King's Arms, for,
according to Abraham Clark, many muskets and cartouche boxes
having the royal insignia on their covers remained in his grand-
father's home until he was a large lad.

The first settlers of Southold, Long Island, were Englishmen.
According to some, these men came under the leadership of Rev-
erend John Youngs, a Presbyterian minister from County Suf-
folk, to settle Southold. It seems, however, more probable that
they stopped first in New Haven, or perhaps met together only
after reaching New England, and then decided to settle Southold.
The name of Richard Clark does not appear among the original
settlers, but he is listed as one of the first inhabitants of the town,
which was founded in 1640.

One early chronicler declares that the settlers of Southold
were born and educated in England, and that after these first
colonists went to Southold, others came directly from England
to increase the number. This gives some truth to the theory that
the colony was formed in England, yet the early sailing records
give only the name of the minister and his family as sailing to-
gether for New England. The Clarks were Presbyterians and
came to Southold, but from what point in England and on what
ship is not certain. If it was from County Suffolk, as seems rea-
sonable to suppose, they may have been connected with the first
ancestor of the eminent divine, John Clark, of Westhorpe, Eng-
land. He was one of the first settlers of Rhode Island, and re-
turned to England to obtain the charter for that colony. His first
English ancestor is given as John Clark of Westhorpe, Suffolk

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 26 of 48)