KYCLAY-L ArchivesArchiver > KYCLAY > 2002-07 > 1026875482
From: "Linda Antal" <>
Subject: Re: [KYCLAY] King David BENGE + others
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 23:16:03 -0400
Oh, thank you so much! This is WONDERFUL! I have the family tree and some
things from the internet & Jess Wilson has a real nice booklet on the BENGE
family. But, wouldn't it be GREAT if all of us descendants of KING DAVID
BENGE had a photo of him? He died in 1854......so there is a strong
possibility that someone has one of him tucked away. I have one of another
ancestor, Frederick Lincks, who was born in 1795....so I still have hope of
locating a picture of King David Benge. Probably some little old 90 yeard
old....who doesn't even own a computer to know we even are looking for
it......has it in their attic or somewhere. Surely, sooner or later someone
will find one of him. I even thought about posting an ad in the Clay &
Laurel County Newspapers in the event someone would read my request....that
doesn't have a computer. Do you know how to get in touch with the
newspapers from that area?
Thank you so much! I really do appreciate this!
Linda Farris Antal -
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 10:35 PM
Subject: Re: [KYCLAY] King David BENGE + others
> this is the story I have on the Benges
> The Benges
> William Benge William Benge arrived in America in 1619 aboard the ship
> Marygold to the dock at Jamestown, Virginia. He was an indentured servant
> and worked on a plantation owned by a Mr. Treasurer.
> Robert Benge From 1704 to 1730 Robert Benge, the son or grandson of
> William Benge took up land in current Albemarle County, Virginia.
> John Benge
> (old Trapper) John Benge was born about 1730 into the prestigious
> community of Albemarle county's neighbors were composed of such people as
> Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Merriweather Lewis, William and George
> Clark, Dr. Thomas Walker, Ambrose Powell and General Joseph Martin. They
> loved East of and along the Blue Ridge Mountains in Albemarle county,
> About 1753 John Benge married Elizabeth Lewis, the daughter of
> Terrill and Sarah Martin Lewis. John and Elizabeth Lewis Benge moved into
> the Yadkin Valley and had three children. John Benge had a business where
> traded manufactured goods to the Cherokee People for hides of all kinds.
> is estimated that there were close to a million hides traded each year for
> the trade goods the white man had. Rifles, ammunition, knives, hatchets,
> cooking utensils, blankets,. etc.
> Traders like John Benge were very respected among the Indians. To
> ensure the trade goods would keep coming into Sitah or Old Tassel. the
> principal peace chief of the Cherokee nation gave his sister Elizabeth
> in marriage to John Benge. Her brothers were chiefs double Herad or Man
> Killer and Pumpkin Boy.
> Her sisters were the mothers of John Watts or Young Tassel and of
> Gist, better known in history as Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee
> alphabet and publisher of it's first newspaper.
> John and Elizabeth Watts Benge had three children; Lucy, Bob, and
> Martin's Cherokee name was "The Tail".
> John (Old Trapper) Benge was married to two women at the same time.
> cohabited with Elizabeth Lewis Benge and Elizabeth Watts Benge depending
> which end of the trade route he was on at the time.
> The Dortons
> Whatever happened with this relationship, Elizabeth Watts Benge was living
> the wife of William Dorton Sr. in the year 1761. She apparently divorced
> John Benge after her son Bob Benge was Born in 1760.
> William Dorton Sr. and Elizabeth Watts Benge Dorton lived on the Arrat
> near Rentfrow's and Osborne's Creeks in Wilkes County in North Carolina.
> lived as a white woman and gave birth to five children by Wm. Dorton Sr.
> William Junior.
> Martha Elizabeth (Sally)
> The fifth son's name is actually lost in history. He was killed in the
> Powell Valley fighting indians in 1777. The militia records list a man
> John being killed in a skirmish with the Indians about that time. For all
> practical purposes, we assume the man killed was John Dorton, otherwise,
> really do not know this name for sure.
> The Dortons in the year 1772 were living at a fort on the frontier in
> Woods about three miles from Dickeysonville in what is now Russell County,
> Virginia. Later that year the Dortons moved down the Valley of the Clinch
> River and build Dorton's Fort in present Scott County, Virginia.About this
> time, William Dorton, Senior became a man of prominence in the area and a
> captain in the militia of Russell county. It is here that their children
> grew up. Bob Benge grew up with his half brothers and sister but would
> run away for periods of time and stay with his Indian relatives. His
> would send Moses Dorton, his half brother, to the Cherokee overhill towns
> bring him back home again only to have him run away again. He finally
> to stay with his Cherokee Relatives permanently.
> In later years, Chief Bob Benge was often seen standing on a hill
> Dortons Fort hoping to get a glimpse of his mother. While living in the
> Yadkin and Clinch Valleys, the Dortons were neighbors to the Livingstons.
> Boones (Daniel and Rebecca), Captain William Russell and his family, the
> Walker sisters, the Mendenhalls, the Whites and the Bryan families just to
> mention a few. These were just some of the families living on the
> in the 1760's and 1770's.
> 1700's - The Bloody Years
> The 1700's are probably the bloodiest years in American History. There
> continuous fighting taking place in America. The French., The English,
> Indians. somewhere at almost all times there was either a war where the
> whites were fighting whites or wars where the Indians were fighting whites
> battles where the Indians were fighting Indians. This is without even
> mentioning the American Revolution from 1775 - 1782.
> The Frontiersman
> From these frontier settlements in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and
> Kentucky came the most experienced fighters, simply because they grew from
> childhood to manhood learning to shoot and fight. Many of them were
> extremely fierce in battle. They always fought, whether in a skirmish or
> battle, Indian style, always shooting from behind cover, hitting and
> and all of them were deadly with a rifle,
> General Cornwallis, the British Commander, later said after The American
> Revolution, "If I would have had at least one company of Soldiers who were
> accurate at shooting as the American Rabble, I could have won the War."
> Major Patrick Ferguson, the British commander at the Battle of King's
> Mountain, feared the "Backwater Men" as he called the Kentucky and
> Frontiersman and tried to avoid meeting them in battle but was caught at
> King's Mountain and defeated.
> Major Ferguson had at least twenty six holes in him when he fell in the
> battle. for every Frontiersman that was killed in the bat5tle, there was
> twenty English soldiers killed or wounded. Such was the accuracy of the
> Chief Bob Benge
> Chief Bob Benge married Jenny Lowery sometime around 1775 or 1776. Over
> period of years they had eight children, Mary, Martha Elizabeth (named
> Bob's mother), John (named after his father), Robin,. McLemon, Young
> Pickens and Sarah. These children, like all other children born on the
> frontier in the 1700's grew up with wars and battles being fought around
> them. The white settlers were constantly moving and settling on Indian
> lands. the Indians were continually trying to drive them out again.
> Because of this and other things happening to the Cherokee People, Bob
> developed a complete hatred of all white settlers. In `1781, Chief Bob
> gave his braves orders to kill the whites wherever they found them.
> Captain William Dorton, Sr. was caught out huntinggint alone and killed by
> Cherokee warriors. Many people believed that Bob Benge was not with them
> when Captain Dorton Sr. was killed. It is believed had he been with them
> would have prevented the killing because of his mother. Few families
> on the frontier in those days escaped without having a family member
> by marauding Indians. some entire families were wiped out.
> Of course the killing and murdering was a two way street. The whites
> the Indian towns and killing and yes in some cases murdering children and
> people. There was deep hatred on both sides which only added to the
> Chief Bob Benge himself was credited with killing at least fifty or more
> people. he carried off many more people and traded or sold them to other
> tribes or the British. Just the name Bob Benge struck fear in the people
> living on the Virginia and Tennessee Frontier. This fear struck a hatred
> deep that just being a known relative, Indian or white, of Bob Benge
> down hatred on them also.
> The Dortons bore the brunt, no doubt, of this hatred of Bob Benge since
> were half brothers and sisters.
> Moses Dorton, in the 1800's changed his name to Dalton. It is believed
> Edward Dorton changed his name also. This is believed to be the reason no
> trace of him could be found later. From 1776 till 1784 the Cherokee War
> raged being led by Chief Dragging Canoe and Chief Bob Benge. But by 1794
> times were beginning to change. Three of the Cherokee principal chiefs
> dead including their War Chief, Dragging Canoe. Furthermore, the county
> militias were better organized and much quicker to respond when a home or
> fort was attacked.
> On April 6, 1794, Chief Bob Benge and six of his warriors attacked the
> place of William Todd Livingston in Big Moccasin Gap, Virginia. They
> two adults and three children and took seven captives. Vincent Hobbs
> was a Lieutenant in charge of the Russell County militia. Captain William
> Dorton Junior was in charge of another militia group probably from Dortons
> Fort. Both groups took up the chase. The year before Captain William
> Junior had chief Bob Benge in his sights but would not shoot him because
> their mother. This had many frontiersmen upset and would not fight with
> Captain Dorton. This fact certainly did not help the Benge-Dorton
> ON April 8 1794, two Russell county militias ambushed Chief Benge and six
> his warriors at Little Stone Gap, Virginia. Lt. Hobbs fired at Chief
> and shot him through the head. Captain William Dorton Junior and his men
> ambushed and killed three other warriors of Chief Benges party. Only one
> the raiding party escaped.
> ON August 20, 1794 General Mad Anthony Wayne defeated the Shawnee at the
> Battle of Fallen Timbers. The Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh was killed with
> prominent Indian leaders.
> On November 8, 1794, Cherokee chief John Watts signed the Treaty of
> Block House, thus ending the Cherokee Indian War. With the defeat of the
> Shawnee and Cherokee tribes, the Indian wars east of the Mississippi
> chief Bob Benge-the Dortons - the Watts - Nancy Ward - these peop0le lived
> the most traumatic period of the 1700's. Many of them played dramatic
> in the history as it unfolded. The important thing was they reacted to
> they believed was right. The question now is, do we, the future
> have a right to judge them? I personally think not.
> The wilderness Wars by Allen Eckert
> The annals of Southwest Virginia by L.P. Sommers
> Benge - by Lawrence J. Fleenor, Junior.
> Nancy Ward - Dragging Canoe- by Pat Alderman
> The Descendants of Nicholas Cain by W. R> Cain and S. J. Evans
> The History of Scott County, Virginia by Robert M. Addington
> The Virginia State Papers, Vol. 7
> Life of Wilburn Waters - by Chas. B. Coale
> The Overmountain Men - by Pat Alderman
> History of the Lost State of Franklin - by Williams
> Cumberland Decade - by Pat Alderman
> History of Southwest Virginia 1746-1786 - by L.P. Summers
> History of the State of Kentucky - by Collins
> Register of Albemarle Parrish 1739-1778 - Richards
> The Bear Grass - Lawrence J. Fleenor
> Much of the material in this resume of the Benges is the result of
> research, research of historical books, and collected oral folk tradition
> stated by Lawrence S. Fleenor.
> Many of the descendants of John Watts, John Benge, William Dorton, Vincent
> Hobbs, the Livingstons, the Lewis family of Virginia, the Lewis letters
> in the Virginia State Papers, volume 7.
> (In a letter from militia officer Andrew Lewis to the governor on April
> 1784, he says he was the commanding officer of another captain, Captain
> William Dorton, of Nickelsville and who was Benge's half brother. Dorton
> the Russell County militia that laid ambush on the Kentucky River as
> described in the Benjamin Sharp document.
> Letter April 19, 1794 from Captain Lewis to the Governor,
> "The inhabitants in pursuit of the Indians retook the prisoners and
> killed them (Benge and Indians). the rest run off. Captain William
> one of my scouts, who was with a militia party endeavoring to head them,
> in with them that ran off, being in number, two of which he killed on the
> ground, the other run off mortally wounded. Only one escaped without a
> Such are the historical records of the Benges and Dortons. Both written
> documented as well as the oral history and folk tradition by descendants.
> by Starlin Shafer
> November 13, 1999
> Descendants of William Dorton, Junior
> Joseph Dorton b 1800- d1890 married Rebecca Davenport b 1800 d 1891
> Both Joseph and Rebecca were born and were married in Scott and Russell
> Counties in Virginia.. They both died in Cumberland County Tennessee and
> are buried in the Eleventh District.
> Moses - killed by guerrillas during the Civil War
> Sidney Jane
> James M. Was a soldier in the 2nd Tennessee Federal Infantry,
> Company A. as a 1st Lieutenant.
> Mary Elizabeth - married Elijah Ford - died 1861
> Joseph - died as a young child
> Martha - married Wade H. McFall - died 1872
> Azariah - was born Aug 2, 1839 in Rhea County, Tennessee.
> He married Carrie Emeline Brown Jan 11 1866
> Azariah Dorton served in the Federal Army from September 1, 1861 till
> 6 1864. For about a year after mustering out of the Army at Knoxville,
> Tennessee, He served in the home guard (reserve) in Cumberland county,
> Tennessee. He served as a Sergeant in the Federal Army and was in many
> battles of the Civil War (Mill Springs, Stone River, Siege of Knoxville,
> Springs, Wildcat Mountain in Kentucky, Cumberland Gap, and others. Twenty
> sever in all. He was captured three times and escaped each time. After
> war, he returned to Cumberland County, Tennessee where he lived until
> He became an enterprising and successful agriculturist and farmer in the
> Eighth District.
> Azariah and Carrie Dorton had five children
> Lorena Mowbrey
> Betty - married Thomas Brady
> Thomas B.
> Lovada - married Zachariah DeRossett
> Ollie Ann
> William Dorton Junior no doubt had other children, I simply have not found
> them yet.
> Tennessee Ancestors - published 1889
> Memorial and Biographical Record of the Cumberland Region -
> in 1898
> Nell E. Lamantia
> Miamisburg, Ohio
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