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Biographical Sketch of John Davidson

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“John Davidson” was born in Pennsylvania in 1736. He performed much civil and military service to secure the independence of his country. He was appointed by the Provincial Congress, which met at Halifax on the 4th of April, 1776, a field officer (Major) with Adam Alexander as Colonel, John Phifer as Lieutenant Colonel, and George A. Alexander as second Major. He was with General Sumpter in August, 1780, at the battle of the Hanging Rock, and was a General in the State militia service. He was enterprising, and successful in business. With Alexander Brevard, and Joseph Graham, his sons-in-law, he established Vesuvius Furnace and Tirza Forge iron works in Lincoln county. He married Violet, daughter of Samuel Wilson, Sr., and raised a large family. His daughter, Isabella, married Joseph Graham; Rebecca married Alexander Brevard; Violet married William Bain Alexander, son of John McKnitt Alexander; Elizabeth married William Lee Davidson, son of General Davidson, who fell at Cowan’s Ford; Mary married Dr. William McLean; Sallie married Alexander Caldwell, son of Rev. David Caldwell, of Guilford county; Margaret married Major James Harris. He had only two sons, John (or “Jackey”) and Robert; John married Sallie Brevard, daughter of Adam Brevard; Robert married Margaret Osborne, daughter of Adlai Osborne, grandfather of the late Judge James W. Osborne, of Charlotte.

Major Davidson’s residence was about one mile east of Toole’s Ford, on the Catawba river. A large Elm, of his own planting, is now growing in front of the old family mansion, with over-arching limbs, beneath whose beneficent shade the old patriot could quietly sit in summer, (“sub tegmine patulæ ulmi”) whilst surrounded with some of his children, grand-children, and other blessings to cheer his earthly pilgrimage to the tomb.


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