Notes for Jesse Evans: VII. Sheriff and Slaveowner
Note 1. Wythe County, Va., Marriage Book 1, p. 9.
Note 2. For a biographical sketch of James McCampbell, including references to his service as prosecutor, see Mary B. Kegley, Early Adventurers in the Town of Evansham, the County Seat of Wythe County, Virginia, 1790-1839, Wytheville, Va.: Kegley Books (1998), pp. 221-22. McCampbell served in that capacity until 1807.
Note 3. Jesse Evans to John Preston, Jan. 10, 1798, Papers of John and William Preston, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. The letter also discusses plans for a furnace being made by a Mr. Blair (probably David Pierce’s partner in the mill), and, as a postscript, asks Preston to introduce Isaac Leftwich to Governor James Wood, described as Leftwich’s father-in-law.
Note 4. Alexander Smyth had a lengthy record of public service in Wythe County, served as a brigadier general during the War of 1812, and was later a member of Congress. Smyth County, Virginia, was named after him when established in 1832. For a biographical sketch, see Mary B. Kegley, Early Adventurers in the Town of Evansham, the County Seat of Wythe County, Virginia, 1790-1839, Wytheville, Va.: Kegley Books (1998), pp. 298-308.
Note 5. Wythe County, Va., Order Book, Dec. 11, 1799 entry, p. 115.
Note 6. Wythe County, Va., Order Book, Jan. 15, 1800 entry.
Note 7. Wythe County, Va., Order Book, June 11, 1801 entry.
Note 8. For coroners and coroner’s reports in Wythe County during this time, see Mary B. Kegley, Early Adventurers in the Town of Evansham, the County Seat of Wythe County, Virginia, 1790-1839, Wytheville, Va.: Kegley Books (1998), pp. 40-45.
Note 9. Wythe County, Va., Deed Book 4, p. 271.
Note 10. Wythe County, Va., Order Book, July 12, 1802 entry.
Note 11. The maiden name of Evans’s mother-in-law was Doak, so David Doak and John Doak were probably cousins of his wife.
Note 12. John and Bridget Claxton v. Jesse Evans, Chancery case folder 1806-06, Wythe County, Va.
Note 13. Jesse Evans v. David McGavock, Chancery case folder 1811-07, Wythe County, Va.
Note 14. The exact number of court cases isn’t clear, but documents related to these legal actions can be found in the following Wythe County common law case folders: 1807-134 (Evans v. Armstrong, et al.); 1808-55 (Evans v. Armstrong and Love); 1808-71 (Evans v. Armstrong); 1808-87 (Evans v. Love). Documents in folder 1807-135 (Evans v. Boyd) also appear to be related to these cases.
Note 15. Jesse Evans v. William Armstrong, et al., Common law case folder 1807-134, Wythe County, Va.
Note 16. In addition to the cases described in the text, records survive about the following. It is conceivable that one or more of these could involve Jesse Evans’s son, Jesse, Jr.
- Robert Harvey (Harvy) v. Jesse Evans, Wythe County, Va., Order Book, Sept. 16, 1802 entry (jury verdict for plaintiff for $78.17).
- James West and Co. v. Jesse Evans, et al., Wythe County, Va., Order Book, Aug. 11, 1802 entry (answer filed).
- Jesse Evans v. Caleb Bobbet and G.G. McKinzie, Common law case folder 1802-108 and 1803-130, Wythe County, Va. ($60 debt to benefit of John Davis & Co. assigned from John Thomas; the petition states that the debt was “to be paid in merchantable and assortd bar iron at five dollars per hundred pounds of iron to be delivered at Blairs Forge on Chesnut Creek or at Poplar Camp”; the matter originated in 1799 and was dismissed in April 1803).
- Jesse Evans v. John Baker, Common law case folder 1805-16, Wythe County, Va. (Dec. 15, 1804 note for $45.50 that was to have been repaid in sugar and coffee).
- Jesse Evans v. John Kincannon, Common law case folder 1805-151, Wythe County, Va. ($100 damages claimed in 1804 for broken covenant).
- Jesse Evans v. Thompson Carter, Common law case folder 1809-126, Wythe County, Va. ($80 damages claimed).
- Jesse Evans v. Heirs of John Davis, Jr., Wythe County, Va., Order Book, April 1, 1816 entry (suit dismissed).
- Jesse Evans v. Hezekiah Cheyne, Chancery case folder 1817-24, Wythe County, Va. (involved assignment of slaves in payment of debt; injunction made perpetual on May 23, 1818).
Note 17. George Hiney v. Jesse Evans and William Kennerly, Chancery case index number 1810-054, Augusta County, Va., Library of Virginia. The case file documents are available on the website of the Library of Virginia.
Note 18. This provides corroboration for 1795 as the date of Evans’s purchase of property at the New River.
Note 19. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, Wythe County, Va. Also shown as heads of their own households in the alphabetical listing are three of Jesse Evans’s sons:
- John Evans (with wife, two children under 10, and 10 slaves);
- Jesse Evans, Jr. (with wife, no children, and no slaves);
- Joseph Evans (with one slave).
The fact that Joseph is shown in his own household supports the idea that he was living on his own property on Cove Creek by that time.
Note 20. Jacob Vanhooser v. Jesse Evans, et al., Chancery case folder 1815-22, Wythe County, Va.