Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Marriage of Leah Julian Erwin and James Crow

In my last post, I summarized the life of ancestor Nathaniel Erwin/Irwin, a man of Scottish heritage, born in Ireland, whose family immigrated to America in the mid 1700's. He was a planter, a patriot, a devout Presbyterian minister and an appointed ambassador to the Catawba Nation. In that post, I briefly mentioned his second wife, Leah Julian.

Leah Julian, as many second wives were, was considerably younger than her husband and outlived him. And, as many widows did, she remarried. The unusual part was the fact that Leah, a woman of considerable wealth and standing, and of European extract, married a Native American, and her children removed from her afterward.

From Find A Grave
Monument to Nathaniel Erwin

A small number of documents tell the story. A story I am not certain of it's validity. While I believe it is certainly true that Leah Julian Erwin was the widow of Nathaniel and the mother of his younger children, and that she apparently did marry James Crow, and that the court gave her children first to the care of her brother, I am not altogether certain that James Crow was an Indian. 

Leah Julian was my 8th Great-Grandmother. This book takes the history of the Irvin/Irwin/Erwin family to it's very roots:

The Irvines and their kin; revised by the author in Scotland, Ireland and England; a history of the Irvine family and their descendants, also short sketches of their kindred, the Carlisles, McDowells, Johnstons, Maxwells, Gaults, McElroys, etc., from A.D. 373 down to the present time (1908)

Many other books, several focusing on the history of Burke County, North Carolina, focus on the sons of Nathaniel Erwin/Irwin, her first husband, but not as much information is available on Leah and the Julians. 

Leah was the daughter of George Julian and Martha Denton (Julian Black). George Julian was born March 1, 1706 in Cecil County, Maryland. He married Martha Denton in 1726. Not much is known about Martha except that she out-lived him and after his death married a man by the surname of Black. 

The Julian's followed their daughter and son-in-law Nathaniel to York County, South Carolina during the years that it was yet untamed and considered the territory of the Catawba Nation. Historical belief recorded in family records states that George was injured in the Battle of Fort Dorchester, and died there of his wounds. Between Grants and purchases, George Julian acquired a great deal of land in North Carolina. It is known that he was living in Guilford County, North Carolina by 1755, next to his brother Isaac. Some researchers say he was a loyalist, and that his land was confiscated. Others dispute this belief, saying it was merely sold, 1788 by son and administrator Jacob Julian, for profit for the heirs. 

On January 18, 1782, a woman named Jemima Ponder gave a deposition stating "she did live at the Creek Meeting House below Dorchester and that George Julian who did live on King's Creek in District aforesaid, was there and she said despondent did see the said George Julian depart this life between the first and middle of September in the year 1781."
Samuel Julian in Rutherford County by Bev Julian. 

George's parents, and Leah's grandparents, were Pierre Rene de St. Julien and Mary Margaret Scotlay Bullock de St. Julien. The following story was found on concerning the Julian family. 

Pierre de St. Julien was born about 1641 in Vitre, Brittany, which is in the northwestern part of France. Research has not turned up any information regarding the history of the family prior to the 1600s, but the name, at one time, was prominent in Italy. A letter from a Vitre genealogist to a family researcher says, “There is no document in Vitre showing what province they came from before coming to Vitre. They are of nobility beyond doubt.” Pierre de St. Julien married Jeanne Lefebre in Vitre, and they had nine children. All were born in Brittany Province.

1.Aimee de St. Julien; born March 7, 1667.

2.Charlotte de St. Julien; born May 15, 1668.

3.Rene de St. Julien; born July 4, 1669.

4.Louis de St. Julien; born August 5, 1670.

5.Marguerite de St. Julien; born December 19, 1671.

6.Paul de St. Julien; born October 4, 1673.

7.Emilie de St. Julien; born January 10, 1675.

8.Jeanne Renee de St. Julien; born May 6, 1678.

9.Marie Ester de St. Julien; born December 14, 1679.

Most members of the St. Julian family in Brittany Province were Huguenot Protestants. After the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685—in effect making Protestantism illegal in France—many of the unfortunate Huguenots were massacred by Roman Catholics. At least 250,000 French Huguenots fled to countries such as Switzerland, Germany, England, America, the Netherlands, Poland and South Africa, where they could enjoy religious freedom.

The St. Julien family joined the migration, going firstto England, and later to Ireland. Many of the religious refugees were from distinguished families—some even had connections to nobility—andmanaged to take considerable wealth with them.

The Huguenots left France as a result of religious persecution, but in England they soonfound themselves again in the midst of religious controversy, this time Protestantism versus Catholicism. The Jacobite movement in Scotland was spilling over into England as well, and this—plus poor economic times—induced many Huguenots to move on to Ireland.

Those who went on to Ireland, where the majority of the population was staunchly Roman Catholic, found that while they weren’t persecuted like they had been in France, they were looked on as “outsiders.” This, and the depressive economic times, prompted many of this group to look to the American Colonies for a better life.

In France, and later in the British Isles, the Huguenots were known for their knowledge and skill in the textile industry. In America, in the late 1600s, South Carolina emerged as a leading locale for the textile industry in North America, and opened her doors to the Huguenots. Large numbers took advantage of the invitation; so many, in fact, that the area was soon known as “The Home of the Huguenots.”There were several organized congregations as early as 1685 in Charleston and the surrounding area.

Many members of the St. Julien family, including Rene St. Julien, as well his brother Louis and his brother-in-law Rene Ravenel, accepted South Carolina’s invitation, leaving Ireland in 1699. Rene, Louis Julian (note spelling change) and Rene Ravenel, and their respective families, settled in or near Jamestown, South Carolina. Rene’s parents, as well as some of his younger siblings, may have remained in Northern Ireland, for one source reports that Pierre died there.

The ship carrying Rene de St. Julien to the Colonies also carried the English Bullock (Bulloch) family. While en route it stopped off for water and other provisions at Bermuda. It would not have remained there long, but it was long enough for Rene to marry Mary Margaret BullockRene and Mary had twelve children.

1.Stephen Julian, 1700-1773. He was born near Santee River, in Charleston Co., SC. He later lived in Prince George Co., MD. Married Allatha Buchelle about 1725. His second wife was Ann Hedges.

2.Infant, born 1701, died 1701.

3.Rene Julian, born 1704, and died about 1712 of “swamp fever.”

4.George Julian, 1706-1781; lived in Frederick Co., VA and later South Carolina.

5.Mary Julian was born about 1711 in Charleston Co., SC. She married John Thompson in1734.

6.Peter Julian was born in 1714 in Frederick Co., MD, and died in 1806. He married Mary Bahls, and lived in Orange Co., NC. He was listed as a “Capt.” in the 1790 census.

7.Isaac Julian was born December 30, 1716, in Anne Arundel Co., MD, and died in 1778. He married Barbara White, and lived in Randolph Co., NC.

8.Rene Julian was born in 1718 in Cecil Co., MD (it was a common practice to name a child the same as one who had died). He went to Georgia with Gen. Oglethorpe. He married Catherine Biggs.

9.Jacob Julian was born ca. 1720 and died in 1751. He married Catherine Hedges. His will was probated August 30, 1751 in Prince George Co., MD.

10.John Julian was born in 1721 in Cecil Co., MD, and died in 1762. He lived in Orange Co., NC, and married Elizabeth Trogden.

11.Catherine Julian was born about 1722 in Bohemia Manor, Cecil Co., MD. She married Joseph Wood III on September 11, 1747, in Frederick Co., MD.

12.Ruth (Ann) Julian was born 1724 in Bohemia Manor, Cecil Co., MD.

Rene St. Julien, as a young man, was a soldier in the army of King James II in the English Revolution of 1688, and was in his service during the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland, which occurred July 1, 1690. But he, like so many others, changed his allegiance King William. For his service to King William he received a grant of land somewhere beyond the Mississippi River. According to family tradition, he told his family that they could not really consider themselves settled until they were established there. But Rene never saw the land that was granted to him, and it is not known if any of his heirs ever claimed it.

A deed, recorded in the South Carolina Indentures for 1712, indicates that Rene St. Julianand his family, as well as his brother Louis, were living in the Charleston area. Sadly, however, Rene and his wife had earlier lost two young sons, probably to typhoid, also known as “swamp fever,” and decided to move to a more healthful climate. Records indicate that in late 1712 Rene St. Julian was living in Cecil County, Maryland. They livedthere until about 1740, then moved to Winchester, Virginia, where Rene died about 1744. Rene and his wife are both buried in the old Opequon Cemetery near Winchester.

George Julian married Martha Denton about 1728, probably in Cecil County, Maryland. She was born about 1708 in Cecil County, Maryland. At some point they moved to Frederick County, Virginia. Records indicated that George bought four hundred acres there in 1750, and sold the entire parcel in 1758. By 1766 the family was living in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, for it is recorded that George bought three hundred acres there during that year. The family may have moved more during the next few years.The Craven County, North Carolina plat book, Volume 17, page 370, indicates that George bought one hundred and fifty acres in Craven County in 1772, and land records acres in York County, South Carolina show that he sold one hundred acres there in 1779.

George Julian was a Loyalist, and fought in the British Army during the American Revolution. He was wounded in

battle in September 1781, probably at the Battle of Fort Dorchester, and died shortly afterward. After his death Martha married a Mr. Black.

George and Martha had seven children. All were born in Cecil County, Maryland.

1.Jacob Julian was born about 1729.

2.George Julian II was born about 1731. He married Hannah, and they had three children. They settled in North Carolina, near what is today the town of Julian, near the borders of Randolph and Guilford Counties. George fought with the British at the Battle of Alamance in 1771, but Jesse Julian, one of his sons, fought with American forces against the British.

3.John Julian was born about 1734, and died in 1799.

4.Rachel Julian was born about 1735. She married Samuel Morse (Moss).

5.Mary Julian was born about 1740. She married Jonas Rodgers.

6.Samuel Julian was born about 1738, and died in 1851. He married Mary Condrey.

7.Leah Julian was born in 1743, and died in North Carolina in 1794. She married NathanielIrwin/Erwin, a thirteenth great-grandson of Sir William Irwyn. She was his second wife, and they had three children. Nathaniel was born about 1713 in Glencoe, Ulster, Northern Ireland. He was one of six children of Matthew Irvine and Elizabeth Patterson.

Shortly after the death of her first husband, Nathaniel Erwin, Leah Julian Erwin, as was custom of the day, remarried. The three youngest children of Nathaniel and Leah were underage. The York County court records contain the following document:

From Minute Book B, page 148, February Session, 1796

"On its appearing to the Court from sufficient testimony that Nathaniel Irwin, Sophia Irwin and James Irwin, the children of Nathaniel Irwin deceased, have not been taken due care of in their clothing and education by their Mother Leah Crow (late Leah Irwin) and it appearing that Jacob Julian together with the said Leah is appointed by the will of the said Nathaniel Irwin deceased to provide for & superintend the clothing and educating of the said children: the court do therefore order that the said Jacob Julian do take the said Children into his custody until they shall be of legal age to choose guardians for themselves, and that the said Julian do give bond & security to the Court, that he will Clothe and educate the said Children in a sufficient manner agreeable to an act of the General Assembly in that case made and provided."

Exactly one year later, in the February Session of Court in 1797, son Nathaniel Erwin, Jr. was back in court to chose his own guardian, and re-installed his uncle, Jacob Julian. 
James Crow
There is not a wealth of information available on James Crow. What is known is that he is buried in the Old Unity Cemetery in Fort Mill, York County, South Carolina with a date of death as October 16, 1801. A James Crow does appear in the 1790 census of Spatanburg, South Carolina, with one male and one female over 16. Two James Crow's appear in the 1800 census for an area, one younger with a smaller family. 

Crow is not necessarily a Native American name. There is record of a James Crow, born about 1740 in Virginia, and of Crow's immigrating from Ireland. I am not disputing the claim, that he might have been Catawba, he lived in the right area to be, and the Erwin's were associated with the Catawba. 

What is known is that he owned a good section of land and was also a slave owner. A family rumour recorded on relates the following tale: Leah Julian became estranged from her family after the death of Nathaniel. She was briefly married to a prosperous Native American named James Crow, and shortly afterwards lost her mind and senses. The marriage lasted approximately 2 years before she passed away. 

The following is the will of James Crow:

York County SC Will Book A-1 1800-1813, Pages 65-66: .....unto Jenney Crow my 
little negro boy by the name of Squire & likewise to be schooled to common 
English Scholler & said negro to be put out to hire for the use of s'd child & I 
allow the sum of $40 to be laid out by my executors if they see that there is 
occasion for cloathing for Jinney Crow; to my Stepson James Irwin when he 
arrives to the age of 21 years, $50; the remainder of my negroes to be sold at 
publick sale & my land likewise and the money arising from same & my whole 
estate not already willed to be delivered to any one of my brothers (viz) Thomas, 
Robert, Jason, of John Crow & for that one to divide the same into four equal 
divisions for him to take one division and give the other three division to 
three brothers above mentioned; I appoint my faithful friends Hugh White Esq,r 
Capt. Thomas McNeal, & Andrew Elliott, exrs....

Nathaniel Irwin/Erwin, the Immigrant

Nathaniel Irwin is the first ancestor in this line of which we can be fairly certain as far as records go. Other descendants and researchers of this family have them traced far back beyond the Dark Ages, of what authenticity, I can not be sure.

Nathaniel Irwin's progeny were very fruitful, so he has been left with an army of proud descendants. There are several resources available, especially in Burke County, North Carolina, where the family certainly had left a mark.

Genealogy, especially with the arrival of electronically available research, has become as common a hobby as collecting baseball cards or Coca Cola memorabilia.
 In earlier eras, however, communities were fortunate if they were gifted with one studious individual, who sought out to preserve the areas records and history, or that of their own family. Some of these community, or family historians, sought accuracy and actuality. With others, it seems to been a "My Grandpa could beat up your Grandpa", sort of thing. Every ancestor was a valiant Patriot, a person of vast wealth and honor, wielding a sword in one hand and a bible in the other, carving their way through the wilderness and protecting the meek and weak. No one was descended from the cowards who ran from the fight, or the Tories, who thought they were supporting their country (as their country was a British Colony at the time), or people who did mean or underhanded things, these things that happened, but swept under the rug, like burning people out of their homes or massacring a village for land.

Those evil persons must have been sterile and produced no descendants. This is how Christopher Columbus gained his own holiday. Currently, while people are uncovering truth, as ugly as it may become, instead of trying to embellish history due to social stigma's, it has been discovered what a torturously evil person Columbus (The Ocean Blues. (THE WASHINGTON POST LIBRARY)Christopher Columbus was, certainly not deserving of any celebration, no matter what his achievements.

So, in searching through the sometimes conflicting information on Nathaniel Erwin/Irwin, I've tried to concentrate on what the various histories agree on and the  information that is most likely to be fact and not fallacy.

Since the family line from which I descend ended up sticking with the spelling "Erwin", that is what I will stick with from here on.

Nathaniel Erwin was the fifth of the 6 children of a miller named Mathew Erwin and his wife Elizabeth Patterson Erwin. Although the Erwin's were born and raised in Ireland, they were not Irish, but Scottish.
David Irvine, father of Mathew and grandfather of Nathaniel, was born in 1646 at Drum Castle near Aberdeen Scotland to a Robert and Elizabeth Wylie Irvine. This was a tumultuous time in history in the British Isles. Religious persecution and limitations were high. David left his home country to escape these conditions and was married in 1663 a lady named Sophia Gault in County Ulster in Northern Ireland. With financial aid from family in Scotland, he opened a linen mill in County Antrim and raised 5 children of which Mathew was the next to the youngest.

Mathew may have been seeking either religious freedom or economic opportunity when he and Elizabeth sailed with their primarily adult children to America. We know that for awhile, they settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and records indicate that they moved around quite a bit. Both of them ended their days in Augusta County,  Virginia with Mathew dying in 1755 and Elizabeth in 1762.

Nathaniel, born about 1713 in Glencoe, County Ulster, was an adult and married prior to the families immigration to America. He and wife Mary Faulk were married in Glencoe in 1732. She was 20 and he was 19.  There seems to be difference of opinion about exactly which children of Nathaniel Erwin's were of his wife Mary and which were of his second wife, Leah Julian. What seems to be agreed upon, however, that at least some of the older children of Nathaniel and Mary were born in Ireland.

Mary passed away sometime after arriving in America. When and where is unknown. What is known is that Nathaniel married Leah Julian, daughter of George Julian and Martha Denton Julian from Cecil County, Maryland. They settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where at least two children, my ancestor Alexander Erwin and his sister Abigail, who would become Mrs. Thomas Polk, were born. The township is recorded as being "Fagg's Manor".

Faggs Manor Presbyterian Church is located now in what is Chester County, Pennsylvania. The area was settled primarily by Scotch Irish Presbyterians, and Faggs Manor is said to be one of the oldest and most diligent of the the churchs. It would make sense that a devout Presbyterian such as Nathaniel Erwin would gravitate there.

It is clearly recorded that son Alexander was a Revolutionary War Patriot, and remained in such spirit for the remainder of his life. However, it is also recorded that father Nathaniel played his part in the Revolution, and records do exist of the service of a 'Nathaniel Irwin'. What I am not certain of, is that this is the correct Nathaniel. Could it have been a son or a nephew? Nathaniel Erwin, father of Alexander, would have been around 60 years old in 1773, and even older still during the most active days of the campaign in the early 1780's.
Preview of document

Nathaniel Erwin and his family moved to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina about the mid-1760's. It is recorded that a Nathaniel Erwin was a member of the Mecklenburg militia in 1777. He and his second wife Leah, spent their last days just south of Mecklenburg County, in York County, South Carolina. His will was recorded in the York County Courthouse and is dated 13 December, 1793.

As my roots run from all directions from the Rocky River, and those of my father's side, along the Coddle Creek area of Cabarrus, and the Rocky River Presbyterian Church area, so did the Erwins dip their toes in this water as well, at some point.

From Mecklenburg, North Carolina records: July Session, Mecklenburg County Court, 1767 "This Indenture .....between the Honorable Henry Eustace McCullough (k), Esq.  on one part and Nathaniel Erwin of Mecklenburg County, in said province of North Carolina, aforesaid, planter, on the North side of Coddle Creek, a branch of the Rocky River..."

Aside from discrepancies in who took part in the Revolution, there are also different trains of thought on actual number of children, names of children and date of birth. One train of thought suggests Nathaniel was born in 1743, instead of 1813. This of course, would render him incapable of being the father of his supposed son Alexander, born in 1749. I would tend to think that some records attributed to Nathaniel, the father, should most likely be attributed to a different Nathaniel. Either his son, as one of his youngest sons was Nathaniel, Jr., or the son of one of his brothers, who also migrated in the same times and areas as he did.

In York County, South Carolina, Minutes of the County Court, Book A, April 1790, page 267, Nathaniel Irwin is "appointed overseer of the road from Sturgis to the North Carolina line." I do not know how sturdy Nathaniel would have been at that age, well into his 70's, or what exactly the job of overseer entailed. Was he just to appoint workers and ensure that the work was done, or was he expected to perform actual physical labor?  If this was our senior Nathaniel, perhaps it was the building of this road that contributed to his death, as his stone in York County, South Carolina is marked "1794".

Nathaniel IrwinThe inscription on the tombstone of Nathaniel Irwin in Bethesda Cemetery, is said to contain incorrect information. The tombstone reads:

                                          In Memory of Nathaniel Erwin
                                  Born in Ulster Province, Ireland, 1713
                                       Married Leah Julian in 1733
                                      Migrated to America in 1740
                                 Settled in Bucks County, PA for awhile
                             Moved to Mecklenburg County, NC about 1768
                          Engaged in active military service from 1773 - 1783
                                   Later Moved to York County, SC
                                 Died Feb 18, 1794 in this vicinity

Right off the bat, we can see that he could not have married Leah Julian, who was from Maryland in 1733, and then migrated seven years later. The arrival in Mecklenburg County, NC is probably close to being correct. His date of death is not disputed.

Another fact concerning Nathaniel that is not disputed is that he was a minister, a devout Presbyterian, and he passed that faith and discipline on to his children and grandchildren. His grand-daughter Polly, from whom I descend, married a charismatic and well-traveled Presbyterian minister named John McCamey Wilson. For extra income, Nathaniel was also a planter, a carpenter, and a maker of spinning wheels.

It is not known how long Nathaniel stayed in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He did purchase land along the Rocky River and Coddle Creek in 1767. His only time in Mecklenburg may have been in this year, to settle the estate of his father. On October 21, 1767, a letter of administration was granted to "Nathaniel Irwyn" on the estate of "Mathew Irwyn".

York County History article (from SC Magazine of Ancestral Research)

The states that "articles on the Catawba Indian problems in the Piedmont area of the Carolinas places Nathaniel in the 'Catawba Nation' as late as 1775." This means that at least Nathaniel and his wife Leah, were living on Indian land and among the Catawba's in their later years.

In a brief history of the Catawba tribe, it states that they were given a reservation, on both sides of the Catawba river, of 15 miles square, in what is now York and Lancaster Counties in South Carolina, around the year 1763. The area known as "Indian Land" that Nathaniel Erwin moved to and spent his last years in was in what is now York, Lancaster and Chester counties. Thomas Spratt and his family, are said to be the first colonists to settle and live among the Catawba.

 Thomas Spratt is known as the first person to cross the Yadkin River with wheels and his daughter Anne, to be the first white child born between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. * Spratt, along with Nathaniel Erwin and three others, was appointed interlopers, or agents, to stand for the Catawba's in representation during meetings with the state governments by the Governor of South Carolina. These few families were living on tribal grounds, at the time, and were given tracts of land around the time of the American Revolution.
(*Historic Charlotte: An Illustrated History of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
 By Dan L. Morrill))
After the Treaty of August, however, in 1773, all European settlers within the boundaries of the Catawba Nation were made to leave. Nathaniel and Leah returned to North Carolina, as their youngest son, Nathaniel, was born in Rowan County in 1776. Prior to that, his son James was born in Burke County, showing that Nathaniel was a bit of a wanderer. He must have liked the beauty of the foothills of Burke County, because he founded a plantation there called "Cherry Fields", that would be taken up by his sons after his death.

Perhaps the traveling had much to do with his additional career as a Presbyterian minister. Many of the traipsed the highways and byways of early America spreading the gospel.  Nathaniel is thought to have been one of the founding members, and perhaps even one of the early ministers of Bethesda Presbyterian Church, in York County, where he is buried.
History of Bethesda Presbyterian Church

The will of Nathaniel Erwin was recorded in the York County, South Carolina Courthouse, CR # 0065 File Number 3082:

In the name of God Amen. December the thirteenth Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and ninety three. I, Nathaniel Irwin of the County of York, and state of South Carolina, being weak of body but sensible and of perfect mind and memory, thanks to God, calling to mind mortally I recommend my Soul to God, and my body to the earth, and as touching my worldly estate I give, devise and bequeath in the following manner, that is to say,
 I give and bequeath to my beloved Son in law and daughter- Abraham and Mary Roach - thirty pounds Virginia money, three cows, four sheep, to be levied out of my estate.

 Likewise I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Abigail Irwin one hundred pounds North currency to be levied out of my personal estate. I give and bequeath to my beloved son Alexander Irwin, one fourth part of my real estate, that is my lands and messuages and tenements according to quantity and quality of the same.
 I give and devise to my beloved son William Irwin one fourth of my real estate, that is my lands, messuages and tenements.
 I likewise give and devise to my beloved son Nathaniel Irwin one fourth part of my real estate, to be divided according to quantity and quality.
 I likewise give and devise to my beloved son James Irwin one fourth part of my real estate, to be divided according to quantity and quality.
 I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Susanna Irwin fifty pounds prock to be levied out of my estate. 
I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Suffia Irwin fifty pounds prock to be levied out of my estate.

 My beloved wife Leah Irwin to enjoy the mansion house during her life or widowhood. I likewise constitute and appoint my beloved wife Leah Irwin and my brother in law Jacob Julian my sole executrix and executor of this my last will and testament, and no vendue to be made, the rest of my estate not mentioned to be ordered according to their will, and as they think best, to be conducted with their schooling and clothing of the children - and revoke all other will and wills, legacies and bequests, and acknowledge this as my last will and testament the day and year above, witness my hand and seal -

Signed, Sealed, Published and Pronounced
by said Nathaniel Irwin, as his last Will and Testament in presence of us:

Wm Kerr, Nat Irwin, Wm Elliott, John F Garrison, Mark Garrison, Isaac Garrison

An inventory of his estate indicates a man of wealth and stature, more than the usual lot of livestock and tools, he possessed luxury items such as a stage wagon, in addition to his road wagon, a silver watch, a large number of books, 3 feather beds, several horses, harnesses with bells, and a ladies saddle. And as did most planters of the time, he also owned slaves.

In February of 1796, the three youngest children of Nathaniel Erwin were brought to court to be assigned guardians, as their mother Leah, had remarried in an uncommon fashion, and was found to not be taking care of the children. And that is a story of its own.