Notes for CHARLES ABERCROMBIE, SR.: CHARLES ABERCROMBIE, SR. ASSISTED IN ESTABLISHING AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. HIS MILITARY SERVICE RECORD FOLLOWS: MAJOR CHARLES ABERCROMBIE, SR. WAS A SOLDIER IN THE NORTH CAROLINA REVOLUTIONARY ARMY. HE WAS A PATRIOT IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD AND, WHILE THE EVENTFUL STRUGGLE WAS IN PROGRESS, HE ERECTED A LARGE FORT WHICH WAS DESIGNED AS PROTECTION AND FREE USE FOR HIS FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS IN HANCOCK COUNTY, GEORGIA. HIS CHARACTER WAS HELD IN THE HIGHEST ESTEEM BY ALL WHO KNEW HIM. HIS FAMILY HAD GREAT PRESTIGE, FROM THEIR WEALTH AND SOCIAL POSITION, AND ALSO FROM THE SUPERIOR INTELLECT THEY POSSESSED. CHARLES ABERCROMBIE CAME TO GEORGIA ABOUT 1784, HAD GRANTS OF LAND IN HANCOCK COUNTY, THEN GREENE AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES. HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE CONVENTION THAT RATIFIED THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES IN 1788. HANCOCK COUNTY WAS FORMED IN 1793.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM MISS MARY CHATFIELD'S RECORD: "CHARLES ABERCROMBIE, SR. WAS A DESCENDANT OF GENERAL ROBERT ABERCROMBIE, WHO WAS SENT OVER FROM GREAT BRITAIN IN 1756, TO TAKE COMMAND OF ALL THE FORCES OF AMERCIA, AND ALSO TO ACT AS GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA UNTIL LORD LOUDON (WHO WAS APPOINTED FIRST BY THE KING) COULD ARRANGE HIS AFFAIRS SO HE COULD COME AND TAKE UP HIS DUTIES. IN 1758, HE WAS RECALLED TO ENGLAND AFTER A VERY SUCCESSFUL ATTACK ON THE FRENCH (UNDER THE COMMAND OF GENERAL MONTCALM)." THIRD REPORT OF THE N.S.D.A.R. TO THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, PAGE 347.
NOTES FROM ABERCROMBIE FAMILY ASSOCIATION NOTE THAT CHARLES WAS BORN ON MARCH 4, 1741/42 AND DIES ON AUGUST 23, 1821.
APPOINTED JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. IN 1776. FIRST CAPTAIN, HILLSBORO DISTRICT, 1778. MAJOR OF THE 3RD N.C. REGIMENT IN 1781. MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF AUDITORS FOR THE HILLSBORO DISTRICT IN 1781.
He owned a store in Orange County, and Governor Tryon ís army passed by the store on its way to quell the Regulator uprising at the Battle of Alamance. Governor Tryon stopped in and bought twelve axes from Charles Abercrombie.
AFTER THE REVOLUTION, CHARLES MOVED FROM NORTH CAROLINA TO GEORGIA. ON MARCH 19, 1781, HE WAS GRANTED 230 ACRES OF LAND IN GREENE COUNTY, GEORGIA, SURVEY NUMBER 50, AND ON MAY 4, 1786 HE WAS GRANTED 287-1/2 ACRES OF LAND, SURVEY NUMBER 51, ALSO IN GREENE COUNTY. HE WAS GRANTED LAND IN VIRGINIA IN 1786-1789. MAJOR CHARLES ABERCROMBIE, ANDREW BORLAND AND ANDERSON COMER, ON JUNE 3, 1795, DONATED TO HANCOCK COUNTY, GEORGIA, AT SPARTA, THE LAND ON WHICH THE COURTHOUSE IS NOW SITUATED AND THE SURROUNDING PARK.
AN OLD TAX LIST OF HANCOCK COUNTY, GEORGIA, FOR 1812 RECORDS THE FOLLOWING PROPERTY OF CHARLES ABERCROMBIE: 47 SLAVES, 2071 ACRES IN TWIGGS COUNTY, 202-1/2 ACRES IN MORGAN COUNTY, 202-1/2 ACRES IN PUTNAM COUNTY AND 13,000 ACRES IN GLYNN COUNTY, GEORGIA.
MAJOR CHARLES ABERCROMBIE AND WIFE EDWINA ARE BURIED IN A PRIVATE BURIAL PLACE WHICH WAS SURROUNDED BY A ROCK WALL, ON LAND FORMERLY OWNED BY HIM ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF SPARTA, HANCOCK COUNTY, GEORGIA. THIS ROCK WALL WAS RESTORED BY SOME OF HIS DESCENDANTS. THE NANCY HART D.A.R. CHAPTER OF MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA AND THE HANCOCK COUNTY CHAPTER AT SPARTA PLACED A GOVERNMENT MARKER ON HIS GRAVE (PROBABLY IN THE 1920s).
Obituary from the Georgia Journal, September 18, 1821: DIED -- In Hancock county, on the 23 ult - Major Charles Abercrombie, in the 77th year of his age. The deceased was a valuable officer of the revolutionary army, and has since been honored with various appointments from the hands of his fellow citizens. His eulogium is written in the hearts of those who knew him intimately.
Locationof Gravesite: From the Hancock County Courthouse, go west on Hwy 22 for one block. Turn left and go 3 blocks on Rabun / Maiden Lane to where the pavement ends. Continue on a private drive for 0.1 mile to a tan house which is on the right. To your left and in front of the house is a pecan orchard. Walk for about 300 yards through the pecan orchard and beyond it into the woods to an ATV or woods trail. Follow this trail to the right and go for 0.2 mile. The walled cemetery will be to the right of this trail, not visible from the trail, about 100 feet off the trail and at the back of a small rise. GPS coordinates: 33 15' 49.7" N 82 59' 08.0" W
The Macon Telegraph: Posted on Tue, Jun. 01, 2004
Hancock history buffs find grave of Sparta's founder By Gary Tanner Telegraph Staff Writer
SPARTA - Maj. Charles Abercrombie was a big man in his day. A Revolutionary War officer who moved from North Carolina to Middle Georgia after the war, he built a prosperous 8,000-acre plantation, served in the Georgia Legislature and founded the town of Sparta before his death in 1821 at the age of 79. Abercrombie's land holdings have been sold off, his accomplishments largely forgotten in the Hancock County city he created and even the location of his grave was forgotten, said Russell Poss, a Hancock County native and history buff. A group of volunteers had nearly given up on finding Abercrombie's grave after three years of searching. Guided by childhood memories of having seen the grave, searchers mounted fruitless, bloody searches through thick wild blackberry bushes and thorny vines. "I really had thought it was gone," said Susan Harrington, a leader of the group that has been documenting Hancock County's cemeteries since 2001. Harrington is a professor of information systems at Georgia College & State University and in April brought some high technology into the search for Abercrombie's grave. She created a topographic map of the woods where searchers believed Abercrombie's grave lay. She marked the three highest areas and made plans to use a Global Positioning System satellite receiver to locate the three areas. Harrington and Poss drove out to the search area just outside Sparta, and an hour and a half later saw something in the distance through the trees and vines. "We practically ran down there and said 'This has got to be it,' " Harrington said. What they found was a plot of ground completely surrounded by a stone wall about two feet high. Inside the plot grew three trees, each about 20 feet tall, their roots, vines and some fallen branches covering the ground floor inside the wall. Poss went inside the wall, planted the tip of his machete in the ground near one of the trees and knelt to inspect a slab of stone lying on the ground. It turned out to be Abercrombie's headstone, which had been knocked over. Poss picked up the headstone and leaned it against a tree inside the wall. The stone was intact, and Harrington said it likely had been placed there long after Abercrombie's death. "It was probably placed there in the 1940s by the DAR or the SAR," she said, referring to the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution groups. Poss said Abercrombie's memory should be honored with a monument or in some other way by the people of Hancock County, though not at the remote grave site, but in the town he founded. "You don't see his name anywhere in Sparta," Poss said last week. "Something really should be done, because he was such an important person." Harrington and Poss are part of a group of about 60 volunteers who formed in the summer of 2001 to document Hancock County's cemeteries and are putting them into a book they hope to have published by the end of the year. While many of the cemeteries are still in use, the biggest challenge for the group was finding and documenting the locations of abandoned cemeteries, Harrington said. Poss said the group found one cemetery with about 300 graves but no markers of any kind, just depressions in the ground indicating each grave. "There's no way to tell who those people were," Poss said. "They might have been slaves." Harrell Lawson, who lives in Stone Mountain but has "deep, deep roots in Hancock County," volunteered to join the group when a woman he met at a literary fair told him about it. "Being African-American, I was interested in that part of it and focused on African-American cemeteries," he said. One of those cemeteries was that of Trinity CME Church, he said. The church had burned three times in its long history and each time was rebuilt in a new place, Lawson said. "I don't think there was anything unkind in it, I believe the fires were accidental," he said. When the members rebuilt a third time, they started a new cemetery and eventually the old cemetery fell out of memory and was abandoned, Lawson said. To document the cemetery, it had to be cleaned up and reclaimed. "This is a very worthwhile effort," Lawson said. And the work is inspiring others. Lawson's church has for the first time compiled records on its cemetery and maintains them at the church. And people in Moultrie have begun a similar effort in that community after hearing about the Hancock County group's work, he said. The group has documented the locations of 247 cemeteries in Hancock County and hope they have found them all, Poss said. Though Harrington is in the process of editing the book, group members are interested in tips on forgotten cemeteries in Hancock County, Poss said. People should call them if they think they know of a "lost" cemetery, he said. Poss' number is (706) 444-5380. Harrington can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots Name Cemetery Location Reference ABERCROMBIE, Charles - Fam cem own land, Hancock Co GA - 25 Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots, Vol.1, p. -Serial: 8542; Volume: 4
CHARLES ABERCROMBIE BUILT THE ABERCROMBIE-DICKENS HOUSE NEAR THE SOUTH END OF RABUN STREET, IN SPARTA, GEORGIA. CHARLES LAID OUT THE TOWN OF SPARTA FROM HIS OWN LANDS IN 1795. THE HOUSE IS STILL STANDING WITH THE LAST KNOWN OWNER BEING MRS. RUTH B. SOWELL (AS OF 1975).
SEE SUPPLEMENTARY ARTICLE ON THE ABERCROMBIE-DICKENS HOUSE, RABUN STREET, SPARTA, GEORGIA, FROM "THE HOUSES OF HANCOCK" 1785-1865 BY JOHN ROZIER.
"Hancock County Georgia Deed Books 1794-1802" P. 306. 5th October 1801. Charles Abercrombie and Andrew Borland of Hancock County to Wingate Hall of the same place for the sum of three hundred dollars for a certain lot in the Town of Sparta on the north side of Broad Street and known as Lots No. 9 and 10. Wit: Thom. H. Langham and Jn. Bailey, J.P. Reg: 23rd October 1801. This book contains other deed transfers by Charles Abercrombie and his sons.
"Farmer's Gazette," 1803-1804, Vol. I, No. 27, Sparta, Geo. CAUTION. I forewarn all persons a second time from trespassing on my lands including those east and south of Sparta, lately the property of Captain Andrew Borlans, as I am determined to prosecute those who may persist in this practice tothe extent of the law. Charles Abercrombie, Sparta, October 9.
THE LAND BETWEEN, A HISTORY OF HANCOCK COUNTY, GEORGIA TO 1940, by Forrest Shivers, 1990, contains many references to Charles Abercrombie and his sons. A copy is available at the Linn Henley Library in Birmingham, Call # F 292 .H3 S55:
In one of the earliest settlements in Hancock County, Georgia, Charles Abercrombie and others settled near the headwaters of Buffalo at the present site of Sparta. By the time the county was established on December 17, 1793 it had a population of about three thousand whites and some fifteen hundred black slaves. Road building was a responsibility of the citizens and county authorities with the court specifying what roads were to be built. In July, 1790 Chief Justice George Walton issued an order that a road be built from Thweatt's Bridge on the Ogeechee, toward Rock Landing, as far south as the county line. The commissioners appointed for this job were Charles Abercrombie, Mathew Rabun, Jesse Pope and John Mitchell. Vigorous activity built up Indian defenses in Hancock County along the Oconee, but more needed to be done in the opinion of the settlers who demanded construction of additional strong points. From "Bufflow" on May 8, 1793 Major Charles Abercrombie wrote General Irwin that
There is a Distance of a bought [about] Twenty Miles upon the Oconee River in the Lower End of the County that the Adjt. Genl. Has not pointed a Station in the bounds off the people Settled verry thick the whole of this Distance but the County Line running to a point upon the Ocone Makes Our County so narrow that Every Man Considers his family in Danger. Should the Indians Cross the River to do mischief; and the Officers cannot possible urge out men to gaurd in the Medel grounds. A place known by the name of the Sceder Sholes is a bought [about] the Senter between the mouth of Shoulderbone where there is a Station Erected and Major Gaethers Station it is a princaple Crossing-Place of the Indians; Should you have it in your Power to Order some men out off the Second Battallion off the Countey it must Answer a verry valuable Purpose to them peoples as without some assestance the whole of them will move way in the course of four or five Days. . . .
In Hancock County, there were a number of men of ability and energy, anxious to enter the political fray and glad to offer their swords in the service of those who might help them advance. Foremost among the Hancock leaders was Charles Abercrombie, founder of Sparta and a man of wealth and good sense who, after the death of Roberds Thomas, had no rival for political leadership. Major Abercrombie, as he was usually called, had served in the North Carolina forces during the Revolution and his Georgia lands had been granted for that service. He was already an experienced politician before Hancock County was formed, having served in the legislature as both representative and senator from Greene County and as a delegate to the convention called in 1787 to ratify the new U.S. constitution. Born in 1742, Major Abercrombie was still vigorous and aggressive. Physically he was impressive, weighing some 350 pounds though standing only about five and one half feet high. His vociferous stand against the Yazoo land sale was popular and he was easily elected senator in 1796, replacing Roberds Thomas. The same year he was one of four Georgia electors for the presidential election and with his three colleagues cast Georgia's electoral votes for Thomas Jefferson against John Adams, who won. There was a line of division among Middle Georgians which early took a political turn; the differences between the Virginians and the North Carolinians. The two groups were usually referred to that way, but that is an oversimplification since many of the people involved had lived in both states. In general the Virginians were, or thought that they were, more aristocratic than the North Carolinians. In fact the Virginians usually had more poverty, but at this distance it was had to perceive the basis of the differences, especially since in Hancock County Charles Abercrombie, born and bred in North Carolina, was the leader of the Virginia faction. The Hancock County tax record for 1794 lists eighteen taxpayers with fifteen or more slaves. Charles Abercrombie had 24 slaves. Among the early Hancock settlers, Charles Abercrombie was a person of considerable property, especially in slaves, and was able to take advantage of the opportunity offered by growing market for cotton. With land so cheap and commercial fertilizer non-existent, a large part of the production cost of cotton lay in labor costs, i.e., the cost of buying and maintaining slaves. At the time there was a rule of thumb that slaves should go up $100 in value for each one cent increase in the price of cotton above the cost of production. However, slave prices were less volatile than cotton prices and normally lagged the latter by two or three years. This lag sometimes produced a high point in slave prices at the same time cotton prices reached a new low. Writers on the subject have concluded that in 1790, when the first U.S. census was taken, the average price of a Negro slave in the United States varied from $150-$250. Land holdings in Hancock County were relatively modest in size but there were eleven owners of more than one thousand acres, some of which may have been in other counties. Charles Abercrombie held 2,695 acres in oak and hickory and 5,609 acres in pine for a total of 8,304 acres in Georgia. The oak and hickory land, which included most of the red land in the county, was prized far above the pine land which was generally on the sandy soil of the southern part of the county. The establishment of Hancock as a separate county gave rise to Sparta. The new county had to have a courthouse and place for holding elections and the establishing act named five commissioners to find a convenient and central place within the county as the site of the courts and polling place. Major Charles Abercrombie lived near the center of Hancock County on the northern edge of a 1,000 acre tract granted him in 1789. The drill field where the county militia were mustered was on his land, just in front of his residence. Early in 1795 Major Abercrombie had 83 acres of the norther portion of his land surveyed and laid out in half acre lots. On May 1 he deeded half interest in the lots to the surveyor, Andrew Borland. Shortly thereafter Anderson Comer seems to have been taken into partnership, for on June 3 the three owners deeded four of the lots (numbers 4, 5, 12 and 13) to the commissioners for a courthouse. The streets, except for Broad and Spring, bore the names of prominent families among the settlers.
More About CHARLES ABERCROMBIE, SR. and EDWINA DICEY MALINDA BOOTH: Marriage: 18 Dec 1769, MECKLENBERG, NORTH CAROLINA.
Children of CHARLES ABERCROMBIE, SR. and EDWINA DICEY MALINDA BOOTH are: