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Descendants of Samuel Leslie

Generation No. 2

2. JOHN2 LESLIE (SAMUEL1) was born 1765, and died 1840. He married JANE MCELWEE, daughter of WILLIAM MCELWEE and JANET BLACK.

Notes for J
      The information here was copied from pages sent to Evelyn Bomar Hastings by her first cousin Ruby Woods Marrison. Ruby obtained a book from, and written by a Mr.Murphy whose maternal ancestors were Leslies. Ruby's daughter-in-law Linda Marrison, of Huntington, Tennessee, now has the book.

                              CHAPTER 5


      We go back to Scotland to find the earliest ancestors of Jane McElwee, wife of John Leslie (L12). According to tradition the McElwees originated in County Ross, Scotland, where they were part of Clan Ross. About 800 A.D. there was a substantial migration of the McElwees from Scotland to Ireland where they settled in western Ireland in County Galway. In the year 1000 A.D. a McElwee was head of a monastery in Galway. In 1300 A.D. a McElwee was buried in the Cathedral burial grounds at Belfast. Some of the McElwees remained in Scotland as evidenced by a ditty of Sir Harry Lauder who sang: "I once had a bonnie wee lassie by the name of McElwee and I got verra fond of Mc and she of me". The father of those McElwees who came to America is buried in the old Presbyterian Cemetery of Londonderry, North Ireland. He was William McElwee I and he is the author's great-great- great-great-grandfather.

      The foregoing information on the early McElwees comes from Col. Pinckney Glasgow McElwee, U. S. Army, Retired, who has written a book entitled "Genealogy of William McElwee II of Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek of York County, South Carolina". This book has been consulted and quoted freely and paraphrased frequently. Also Col. McElwee has furnished additional information on the McElwees and Leslies, for which the author is deeply grateful. The following quotation from his book gives a good account of early history of the McElwee family:

      "William McElwee, who will be referred to hereafter as William McElwee II, was born in County Tyronne, Ireland, in 1718. According to tradition his grandfather came to Ireland from County Ross, Scotland, and was a member of the Clan Ross. William McElwee I was born in County Tyronne, Ireland. He had at least two sons - David and William II. It is my opinion that John McElwee, who lived in Abbeville, S. C., was another son.

      "David and William McElwee emigrated to America in 1750, landing at Philadelphia, Pa. (More likely Camden, N. J. - Ed. Note). They lived in Pennsylvania (York Co. - Ed. Note) where, in 1757, William McElwee II married Janet Black (born 1738). He then moved to Brunswick Co., Va., about 30 miles south of Petersburg, to that part of the county which is now Greenville Co. Here his first of three children were born: James on August 19, 1758; William III on August 28, 1762; and John Calvin on Jan. 19, 1765. In the summer of 1765 he moved to Clarks Fork of Bullock's Creek in York District of South Carolina, which was being settled by a colony of Scotch and Irish. The area was then thought to be in North Carolina, and on Oct. 30, 1765, he received a grant of 200 acres of land on both sides of Clarks Fork of Bullock's Creek from the State of North Carolina. In 1772 the boundary line was established to be about three miles north of his home place. Here he built a house of hewn logs, being a 2-story house with 4 rooms, a basement, porch and massive granite block and brick chimney. The fireplace inside was 9 feet wide and 7 feet high.
      "There was a second one-room building which was a kitchen. His five daughters (now known to be six daughters, with the addition of Jane to the lists of siblings-Ed. Note) were born and reared in this home place. When Samuel Leslie, Husband of Eleanor, died, William McElwee II built another building which was occupied by Eleanor and her children. She was later joined by Agnes and her son when Thomas Faulkner Died. This home place was occupied by members of the McElwee family until the turn of the 20th century. It was owned by the Oates family when taken by the state for a park. After the death of William McElwee II, it was occupied by his son, John Calvin McElwee; then by Jane Oates, his daughter; and then occupied by William G. Oates, her youngest son, who occupied it until it was taken by the state. Because of the long ownership and occupation by the members of the Oates family, it became known in later years as the Oates place, and the small McElwee Lake became known as the Oates Lake. This place is now part of a South Carolina State Park. The small lake of one or two acres located in the bottom land has been expanded to about 65 acres for recreational purposes by the use of a small dam. The old William McElwee buildings were destroyed by Mr. Sisk, the Superintendent of the State Park, about 1934 and he later dynamited down the granite block chimney to prevent injury to children who were attracted to play there. The foundation is still intact.

      "William McElwee was a weaver by trade, in addition to being a farmer. He died in June 1807, age 89. Janet Black McElwee died December 25, 1825. Both are buried at Bethany Churchyard, York County, South Carolina.

      "On the day of the Battle of Kings Mountain, October 17, 1780, some of the Tories had stopped at the McElwee home and built a fire in the yard and were preparing to kill hogs when they heard the sounds of the battle and fled. William McElwee II and William McElwee III, who happened to be home on leave of absence, together with John McElwee, who was under 16 years of age, shouldered their muskets and went forward and participated in the battle. When they were leaving John started to turn back, his mother called him to go forward and help his countrymen, which he did. So all three, William II, William III, and John, were in the battle of Kings Mountain though none was a member of any organization that engaged in the battle. James McElwee was at home due to an injury to his foot on account of which he was unable to join his company for six months. This point was included in his testimony for the U. S. Pension Bureau in the Circuit Court of Pikes Co., Mo., in 1832, which is now on file in the National Archives, Washington, D. C., under file W9553. William McElwee III continued to serve in the Revolutionary War after the Battle of Kings Mountain and was in the Battle of Guildford's Court House."

      It will be noted from the above account that William McElwee II and his youngest son John participated as civilians belonging to no military organization, in the Battle of Kings Mountain. Had they been captured, they could have been shot!
      From Compton's Encyclopedia: (American Revolution: Among the men who represented South Carolina in the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence were Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr. A temporary state constitution was drafted in 1776. A second constitution, adopted in 1778, declared the state independent of England.
Many crucial engagements of the American Revolution were fought on South Carolina soil. Charles Town was saved from the British by Col. William Moultrie in 1776 but was surrendered in 1780. Carolinians Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter, and Andrew Pickens led small bands of fighters throughout the state, and they and others won decisive battles such as those of Cowpens and Kings Mountain. (See also Marion; Revolution, American.)
Prosperity returned soon after the revolution. The cotton gin had been invented, and the up-country people grew wealthy raising cotton. After they protested that the planters in the low country were controlling the government, legislation was passed in 1786 to move the capital from Charleston (as Charles Town was called after 1783) to Columbia.

Important Dates In South Carolina History:
1730. Carolina divided; boundary settled in 1815.
1760. Cherokee attack settlers; are subdued in 1761.
1774. Provincial congress elects delegates to Continental Congress; appoints secret ; royal governor William Campbell flees in 1775.\\
1776. Provincial congress adopts temporary constitution; constitution of 1778 declares independence from England. Colonists repulse British at Charles Town.
1780. British occupy Charles Town after siege; are defeated at Kings Mountain; lose battle at Cowpens in 1781; evacuate Charles Town, 1782.
1783. Charles Town renamed Charleston.
1786. Capital moved to Columbia.
1788. South Carolina is eighth state to ratify United States Constitution, on May 23.
1801. State university founded at Columbia.
1812. John C. Calhoun leads drive for war with England.
1830. Best Friend of Charleston begins first scheduled railway service in state.
1832. State passes Ordinance of Nullification. President Andrew Jackson orders fleet to enforce federal law in 1833; Calhoun compromise settles dispute.
1846. William Gregg builds cotton mill at Graniteville.
1860. South Carolina is first state to secede from Union.
1861. American Civil War begins with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
1865. Union troops burn Columbia.
1868. State readmitted to Union; Reconstruction government begins.
1869. Present State House first used; completed in 1905.
1876. Gen. Wade Hampton elected governor, restoring state government to local control; federal troops ordered to evacuate state in 1877.
1895. State constitution adopted.
Excerpted from Compton's Reference Collection 1996
Copyright (c) 1995 Compton's NewMedia, Inc.) End of insert.

      The old McElwee homesite is located in Kings Mountain State Park in the northern part of York County, S. C. The house with surrounding buildings was the oldest house in York County until razed in the 1930's. Some of the remains are still on the ground. The homesite overlooks McElwee Lake.

      William McElwee II had a brother David who came to America with him. David McElwee moved from York County, Pa., to western Virginia, where he settled. There was a John McElwee who came to America a few years before William and David. He settled at Abbeville, S. C., as noted in the above quotation. He was probably a brother, but there is no proof. However, there were frequent visits between their families. It was on such a visit that James McElwee, son of William McElwee II, met and married Rhoda Black at Abbeville. John McElwee of Abbeville also had a son James who fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain. He was one of the original settlers of Knoxville, Tennessee.

      William McElwee II and his wife Janet Black McElwee, both staunch Presbyterians, are buried in the Bethany Churchyard Cemetery, York County, S. C., near the stone wall in the McElwee section. Their graves are marked by tombstones now almost unreadable. Footstones have been placed there to remark them. The one marking the grave of Janet McElwee erroneously names her Janet instead of Janet, probably due to the fact that the "t" in Janet has entirely weathered away on the original tombstone.

      There were nine children of William McElwee II and Janet Black McElwee, as follows: James W., b. Aug. 17, 1758; William III, b. Feb. 17, 1761; John Calvin, b. Jan. 19, 1765; Eleanor, b. 1766; Jane, b. ca 1768; Agnes, b. 1770; Ann, b. 1771; Mary, b. 1772; and Elizabeth, b. 1774. In his Genealogy written in 1959, Col. Pinckney G. McElwee did not have Jane listed. In early 1971 Col. McElwee's Genealogy was first seen by the author of this Leslie book. In correspondence between him and the author subsequent thereto it was established beyond any doubt that Jane was indeed a daughter of William and Janet Black McElwee, and it was further agreed that she must have been born in the internal between 1766 and 1770, or about 1768.

      Following is a brief account of the above children, as extracted from Col. McElwee's Genealogy of William McElwee II, and, in the case of daughter Jane, other sources:

A.      James McElwee (ME11), was born Aug. 17, 1758, Brunswich Co., Va., died June 13, 1834, Pike Co., Mo., was buried west of Louisiana, Mo., a Revolutionary War soldier, his service record to be found in the National Archives under File No. W9553; served from winter of 1775 to 1782, taken prisoner March 3, 1779, was exchanged after 8 months; m. Rhoda Black of Abbeville District, S.C., in fall of 1793, who was born March 1777. In March 1832 James McElee and family, excepting daughter Ann, moved to Pike Co., Mo., and settled on 165 acres of land, about halfway between Louisiana and Bowling Green. They had 14 children.

B. William McElwee III (ME11b), was born Feb. 28, 1761, near Petersburg, Va.
Children of J
3. i.   GEORGE3 LESLIE, b. Abt. 1793.
  ii.   MARY M. LESLIE, b. Abt. 1794.
  iii.   ELIZABETH LESLIE, b. Abt. 1795.
  iv.   WILLIAM LESLIE, b. 1796.
  v.   MARGARET LESLIE, b. July 11, 1799.
  vi.   JOHN LESLIE, b. Abt. 1801.
  vii.   JANE LESLIE, b. Abt. 1804.
  viii.   GRACE LESLIE, b. August 13, 1806.
  ix.   SAMUEL LESLIE, b. October 25, 1809.
  x.   ANDREW JACKSON LESLIE, b. Abt. 1814.

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