2. ARTHUR2 O'NEAL (JOHN SHANE1) was born 1765 in Ireland. He married HANNAH BENTON.
John O'Neal had placed a Cherokee Indian to work in his store at Darlington, to teach his young son ARTHUR the Cherokee language. By the time Arthur's beard was sprouting, he and his Indian companion were heading long trains of supplies sent by Arthur's father for distribution among the Cherokees. Arthur's pet name was "Barney". The Cherokees liked an "L " in their names, and Arthur became "Chief Blarney" to them. John (Shane) O'Neal and the McIntosh's were also slave traders. They imported a boat load of African slaves and Arthur's father purchased one of these men for him, which he called "Hark". He was the son of an African Chief, who lived to be 100 years old and died at "Tara" in Perry County, Mississippi.
When John O'Neal came to South Carolina in 1768, it seemed almost certain that the American Colonies would sooner or later rebel against England. He had been here about seven years, when street fighting actually broke out in the Northen Colonies. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independent was signed in Philadelphia. Three of John's Irish friends were signers, Hart, Paine, and McKane.
France had agreed to assist America in her campaign against the British, and General Lafayette was coming to America to lend his knowledge and experience. He was accompanied by another Military expert, General Baron Johann DeKalb of Germany. In 1777 their vessel entered American waters. They had intended to land at Charleston, but being cautious lest Charleston had fell into English hands, they first anchored at an island near Georgetown. Arthur was then at his father's warehouse in Georgetown, and the adventurous youth was soon aboard their vessel. They recognized him as an intelligent lad, nature far beyond his years.
Lafayette invited Arthur to accompany them on their trip to Charleston. It was on this trip that Arthur and General DeKalb struck up a friendship which lasted until DeKalb received mortal wounds in the Battle of Camden in 1780. Lafayette had then returned to France to solicit badly needed financial aid for America. Captain Francis Hatten, a native of Norfolk County, Virginia, then living in South Carolina, also went along to solicit aid to buy clothing and uniforms for the American Soldiers. Captain Hatten after the War, settled in Georgia. Mention is made of this, due to the fact that in Mississippi, there have been frequent marriages between the O'Neal-Hatten families.
Arthur O'Neal was not of the right age to enlist as a soldier in the Revolution, but he was a valuable scout for General DeKalb, as well as Colonel Lemuel Benton. After DeKalb's death, they gave his silver German sabre to Arthur. He had it at "Tara" in Perry County, Mississippi. When Arthur's oldest son JAMES had a son born in 1824, James named this son the full name of General Baron Johann DeKalb O'Neal. James O'Neal had a brother William, born 1803, who named a son COLONEL LEMUEL BENTON. So Arthur O'Neal had two grandsons named for his friends, DeKalb and Benton.
Arthur's father, John Shane O'Neal was not engaged in active Military duty in the American Revolution, but furnished commissary supplies for the detachment of Colonel Benton.
When Arthur was about age 18, in 1783, he went into the Cherokee Nation and established a mercantile store in his own name, first at Ross's Landing in Tennessee, and later at a place north of present Huntsville, Alabama. As time passed, he visited South Carolina less often. Eventually his only trips there was to attend to his trading activities. He adopted fringed buck skin clothing. This caused his family much concern. His mother prayed that there would be no Indian romance. About 1800, on one of his rare visits to South Carolina, eh proposed marriage to his childhood sweetheart, Miss Hannah Benton of Darlington, sister of Col. Lemuel Benton. He persuaded her to go live with him at his home in the Indian Nation, north of present Huntsville, Alabama. She agreed. A whole "settlement" consisting of some friends and relatives also moved there. Hannah was soon with child and prior to the birth, it was decided that she would go to a place in Tennessee called "STROTHER's Meeting Place" where Hannah and Arthur had old and close friends. She was accompanied on this trip by their old friend Andrew Jackson, later President of the United States. On this journey, they passed the place in Tennessee where Jackson intended to build "The Hermitage". It was not far to the East, near present Gallatin, where James O'Neal was born in 1801.
When James was 2 months old, Hannah made it known that she wished to return to South Carolina and so she did. Arthur sold his business at Huntsville to one of the McIntosh's and he followed Hannah to South Carolina. He was soon trading again and absent from home much of the time. In 1803, their son William was born in Laurens Co., S.C. and Arthur did not see him until he was 3 months old. Arthur's trade routes has branched out into South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. He learned to speak the Creek and Choctaw language. Hannah joined Arthur near present Talladega, Alabama, in the Creek Nation, where their old friend Alexander McIntosh had also settled.
When the War of 1812 cut loose, Arthur O'NEAL and Alexander McIntosh were operating a supply storage depot for use of General Andrew Jackson's American Army, located about 20 miles from TALLADEGA. In 1813, Jackson ordered that a fort be built there, which they named Fort STROTHER. Arthur sent his family to live with the Dickey Family in Green County, Mississippi. Arthur witnessed near Forth STROTHER, the slaughter of thousands of Creek Indians, many of them his friends. A mis guided element among these Indians began slaughtering whole families of newly arrived American Settler, and when they murdered Jesse Lott and his entire family, General Jackson was ordered to make safe and secure the way for American Immigration. (War against the Indians).
In 1817, Arthur and Hannah O'NEAL and their two sons were living at TARA, in Southern Perry County, Mississippi, a place Arthur had prepared where his family could be together for the rest of their lives. Arthur never went on another trade expedition. Two sons of this marriage married Dickey sisters. James Benton O'NEAL married Thana Dickey, and William O'NEAL married Susanna Dickey.
Arthur and Hannah's home at "Tara" no longer exists. They were buried there over a Century and a half ago. The day Arthur was buried, as they mounded up the Earth over his grave, Hannah gently pushed the shovel aside, knelt on the ground, and with her own hands, patted his grave until it was a smooth mound. Then she went home, age supper, went to bed, went to sleep and quietly joined Arthur in heaven. Next morning James and William went to see about her and as they opened the door to her bedroom, the smile on their mother's face was something neither of them ever forgot.
Nettie Bond Simpson records; Interviews of Crabb Breland, Columnist for the Old Stone County Enterprise in Wiggins. Notes from Elizabeth O'NEAL, 2nd wife of John Bond (b. 1819) to her daughter Bashaba, who was interviewed by both Crabb and Nettie, shortly before Bashaba died (interviews dated 1910). Compiled by Vivian Davis Bornemann, Wiggins, Mississippi, as published in Hy'Naill Encyclopedia, The O'NEAL Family, first report 1979, arranged by Ms. Bornemann as a gift for her Uncle Noll Davis, whose first wife was Julia O'NEAL.
Lived in Perry County in 1820.
Children of Arthur O'Neal and Hannah Benton are:
JAMES BENTON3 O'NEAL, b. 1801.
WILLIAM O'NEAL, b. 1803, South Carolina; d. 1852, Perry County, Mississippi.