Early Settler & Farmer
|Born:||March 1787, Virginia|
|Died:||July 4, 1869, Limestone County, Alabama|
|Buried:||Isom's Cemetery., Limestone County, Alabama|
• Son of Benjamin French and Sally M. Turner - Ancestry.com
• He married (1) Elizabeth SANDERSON c. 1807 in KY/TN; died Bef. Sep 1841 in Limestone Co, AL. (2) Eliza S. Mitchell 09 Sep 1841 in Limestone Co, AL; born c. 1809 in NC; died before 1868 (1850) in Limestone Co, AL. - Roots Web
• Children (all with Elizabeth Sanderson):
Sarah P French
Henry T French 1809 - 1844
Mary French 1811 - 1894
John L French 1812 -
John S French 1813 - 1895
Elisha Kimble French1817 - 1887
Jane R French 1822 -
Jeremiah W French 1824 -
Prudence French 1825 - 1861
Martha M French 1828 - 1907
Amos B French 1830 - 1861 - Ancestry.com
• The records show a purchase of land in Madison Co. (17, 4, 2W) on March 26, 1818 - Land Office Records
• 16th Regiment (Lieutenant Colonel Charles Burrus') of the Mississippi Militia. (The 16th regiment was mustered in Madison County, and it reads like a who's who of early settlers of Northern Madison County. Amos French was listed as a private in the source. - War of 1812
• This source lists him as a Lieutenant. He might have achieved that rank after the War of 1812. - TVGS
• Attended Cambridge Methodist Church, Limestone Co., AL - Roots Web
• Shoals Heritage: Lexington Resident Was a True Hero by Bill McDonald
"In 1847, Benjamin French (Amos' father) was 73 years old when he entered land a few miles north of Lexington in east lauderdale County.
From then until he died 10 years later, his neighbors learned a few things about him. He not only loved peach brandy, he also had a better recipe for making it than anyone else in this part of the country.
It didn't take long, either, to learn Benjamin's feelings about President Andrew Jackson. Several of French's sons had been with Jackson in the War of 1812. It seems that Old Hickory had personally humilliated one of these boys at New Orleans. The story goes this way:
During the tense moments before the battle began, Capt. Amos French, commanding a company of Alabama volunteers, was drinking a cup of coffee. Without warning, Jackson rushed up to him and knowked the cup from his hand with the tip of his sword.
The French family never forgame Old Hickory this insult. They told and retold this story at every opportunity, especially during the heated campaigns when Jackson was running for president of the United States.
Yet the thing the neighbors around Lexington learned and appreciated most about Old Man French was that he was a veteran of the
Revolutionary War. Thus made him a special citizen, and one they enjoyed listening to during those times when they could persuade him to talk about his role in that war of long ago.
French had a remarkable story. Born in either Culpepper or Orange County. Va., he had enlisted in the Virginia Militia when he was only 15 years old. He went with Capt. Valentine Harrison's company to fight the British in the Carolinas. As far as is known, he never returned to his home in Virginia. By the time he was discharged at the age of 17 in Salisbury, N.C., he had become a seasoned veteran of four battles: Guilford County Courthouse, the Siege of 96. Eutaw Springs and Camden.
After his wartime service, Benjamin was married to Sally Turner in Casewell County, N.C. As did many young couples during that time of territorial expansion, Benjamin and Sally sought new lands beyond the mountains. Thus began a series of adventures.
They first journeyed to Kentucky, where they tried farming in two differed counties. In 1808, they were in a wilderness that would become Limestone County. Here they settled on limestone Creek, nine miles east of Athens. A nearby stream used by the Indians for storage of their game kills - originally called 'Meat House Branch' - was renamed French Creek.
During those frontier days a band of maniuding Indians burned the cabin of Ben's son, Amos. This family managed to escape because they had been forwarned by a friendly Indian in the neighborhood.
Eventually, east Limestone County became too crowded for French and his family, so they moved westward to the bank of Elk River. In the meantime. Sally died and Benjamin took a new wife, Catherine Shoemaker, whose family lived near Lentzville in west Limestone County.
The old veteran, always trying to better himself, moved in his elderly years to his newly acquired farm north of Lexington. Here he died, and here he is buried.
Thus ends the story of Benjamin French, who once lived in Lexington. Life was never easy as he struggled to rear a family of 11 children on the frontiers of civilization. He was truly an American hero.
William Lindsey McDonald is the author of 12 books and numerous historical articles, mostly about the Shoals area. A retired Tennessee Valley Authority employee, United Methodist minister and U.S. Army colonel, he was appointed city historian in 1969." - StoriesRelated Links:
• Ancestry.com - Page owned by Christy Hall (Originally found at http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/10510965/person/-627683013.)
• Family Page - Anthony M. & Sheryl F. Cooper Family Page (Originally found at http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/c/o/o/Anthony-M-Cooper/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0084.html.)
• Land Office Records - Old Huntsville Land Office Records & Military Warrants 1810-1854, by Compiled by Marilyn Davis Barefield, 1985, page 112
• Roots Web - Home Page: Caswell County Historical Association (Originally found at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=caswellcounty&id=I18998.)
• Stories - This page, owned by StillMcClish at Ancestry.com (requires paid subsubscription to view), has a story by Bill McDonald about Benjamin (Amos' father) with a mention of an incident between Amos and Andrew Jackson. (Originally found at http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/92319/person/-1772022115.)
• TVGS - On the Occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the State of Alabama, by The Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society, Inc., 1969, 1992, page 34
• Vintage Vignette - Vintage Vignette by John P. Rankin covers several people in the French family.
• War of 1812 - "A History of Early Settlement: Madison County Before Statehood, 1808-1819," published by The Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society, 2008, page 148.
The Following Pages Link to this Page:
• Benjamin French
• Jesse French
• Vintage Vignette
• War of 1812