|Major General Nathaniel Greene,|
Commander of Washington's Left Wing
Courtesy Library of Congress
It is amazing how a vacation...a week away...though filled with activity, offers opportunity for reading without distraction! I finished the chapter entitled, Charleston, 1780 (Chapter 11), and then read Chapter 7, Monmouth and the New York Highlands.
As I read, I highlight the details which might have effected my ancestor directly, or may have been aware of. I then check the footnotes, and work on tracing the information back to its origins, some of which include Writings of Washington, The Diary of James McHenry, Correspondence of Colonel John Laurens, and Revolutionary War Journals of Henry Dearborn. Even though the ancestor was unable to read a newspaper, keep a diary, or correspond with his spouse, the eye-witness accounts of those serving close by offer a glimpse at shared events, the difference being a matter of individual perspective.
By making notations on the first page of the chapters of the names of those ancestors who participated in the battles, I am able to gain a quick glimpse of who was serving together, and in what capacity, militia or Continental Line.
Checking out the backstory: A letter bearing reference to character
As you will see below, this letter contains the combined testimony of Joseph Physioc and John S. & Cherry Whitehead. When considering the judgment of a person's character as written in a letter such as this, background knowledge of those giving testimony has the potential to supply greater depth to the quality of the individual's characterization.
Joseph Physioc, I remember from prior research, was a Quaker and a member of the North Carolina Manumission Society. The Physioc Family Tree states that he was born about 1786 to Peter and Abigail (---) Physioc. He married first on 30 August 1805 to Contentnea Evans, and married second on 1 April 1839 to Eliza Hope Borden Cox.
|Joseph Physioc Estate File:|
The Inventory of Slaves records the names and ages of twenty-five slaves from the Joseph Physioc household.
in which he has directed that his Negroes should be Freed; leaving funds for the purpose of Transporting them and Colonizing them in Liberia, that he has appointed me with others, to carry his Philanthropical views into Effect--
Joseph Physioc Estate File:
The other men whose signature is affixed to the character reference of Isaac Perkins were John S. Whitehead, and Cherry Whitehead. While John S. Whitehead's (1832) estate file contains only two pages, Cherry Whitehead's file (1832) contains 100 pages. I had originally assumed that Cherry was John's wife's name; but, when I looked into the estate file, I discovered that Cherry Whitehead was the husband of Sarah. I was unable to locate any marriage record of a "Cherry" Whitehead in Craven County Records. Searching FamilySearch.org, however, revealed a document of interest: Jeremiah (Alias Cherry) Whitehead, md. Sally Rice on 1 Jan 1828.
Now I am beginning to wonder what happened in 1832 that both of these Whiteheads died in the same year....
In any event, these three men were Isaac Perkins' neighbors as can be seen on their 1790 U.S. Census enumeration.
Transcription of letter of character
[Note: All spelling and punctuation is as found within the pages of this letter.]
Craven, at Woodville 15th Decr 1829
Your letter of the of the 12th Inst. came
safe to hand in which you State that is is necys-
-ary that myself together with another of my
Neighbours should make a statement of sorts
with Respect to the conduct and Expenditures
of our Old Neighbour Isaac Perkins, as Also
how he may have Diminished his little property
since the year of 1818---
With Respect to his property we know of
no means used by him to Diminish it---
true he did sell one yoke of Old oxen six or
Eight years ago to John Franklin of Newbern,
but at what price we do not now recollect.
It is also true that he sold to Isaac Carter in the
foregoing part of the year of 1827 one hundred
and fifty acres of poor sandridge land bordering
on the flat pocoson for forty Dollars-- of which
a part of the purchase money was paid in adv-
-ance by the said Carter. By work and labour
done on the premices of the said Isaac Perkins
in the repairing of his fences and puting his
little farm in order -- but we think to the
best of our recollection that the said Perkins
has acquired this Same 150 Acres of land since
the year of 1818 -- by a grant or patent in
his own name ---- Exclusive of this above we
know of no property sold or diminished by the
Said Perkins Except perhaps a Sow and
Piggs or the like -- but how he may have
spent or disposed of his little moneys from
time to time it is impossible for us to say.
Other than for the support of himself
and his family --- from a long and Inti-
-mate acquaintance with the general con-
-duct and Character of the Said Isaac
Perkins we do not hesitate to declare
that (though a man of Colour) we do
believe him to be to honest in principal
to practise any thing like a fraud.
and we are well asured that he has not
attempted it ---- he is now Old and infirm
his infirmity orriginates no doubt, from
severe Exposures in the Revolutionary Army
in which it is notoriously believed that he
was a faithful soldier -- he is not able to
labour -- and it is Evident that he must
Suffer (Should he Exist) if he is not assisted
by the fostering hand of the General Government
or by the humain Charity of his friends and
Your obedient servants
John S. Whitehead
by I. Perkins as stated in the foregoing. There
will appear a mistake of ten Dollars between
the face of the Deed, and the price stated above,
the cause is thus accounted for, I drew the
Deed at the request of Perkins. before I had
properly understood the Bargained price -- and
drew it for fifty Dollars, whereas the Bargain-
-ed price was but forty Dollars -- I also drew
the note given by Carter for the same, for
forty Dollars. and at the request of the parties
some few months afterwards I gave credit
and said note for fifteen Dollars, partly
as I understood for labour done by the said
Carter in advance Very respectfully
yours Jos Physioc
Two years after date I promise to pay
to the order of Isaac Perkins the Sum of
forty Dollars for Value Recd this 30th day
of January 1827-- his
Attest Isaac X Carter
Jos Physioc mark
part of the
Decr 4th 1827
seven Dollars and fifty
cents in part of the
Isaac Carters note
 Rowan, Carla and Peter, compilers; from the records of Elinor Fletcher. Physioc Family Tree and the Descendants of Joseph Edward Physioc. <http.//home.mchsi.com/~davidsclarke/Physiocs/history/PhysiocFamilyHistory.htm>, available 20 May 2007.