Several traditions relating to some Alexanders of Mecklenburg Co, NC of an historical and genealogical nature have been preserved in a variety of versions.
Susannah Alexander, who lived into her 90s, told stories of the widowed Elizabeth (Hutchinson) Jackson and teenage son Andrew Jackson visiting the home of James Alexander in Mecklenburg Co, NC about August 1780 while the British were passing through and preying on the Waxhaws area of the Carolinas. Andrew Jackson helps out with chores on the Alexander farm. J H Gibbon of Charlotte submitted stories to the Daily National Intelligencer which paper was reluctant to publish them. They considered the recollections of "Aunt Suzy", Mrs Susanna Alexander, "an ancient dame", flawed by "her extreme illiterateness".Nonetheless, some appeared on August 1 and more on August 29, 1845. "Revolutionary Legends" concerned events in August 1780 when the British, victorious at Camden, were moving north toward the Waxhaws Settlement between Lancaster and Charlotte. Suzanne Alexander and family were living some five miles from Charlotte near the Charlotte-Salisbury Road.
Mrs Alexander remembers the Jacksons and a slave named Charlotte came to "my father's home". At the time "my husband was in arms". She says, "We all for gathered at my father's for convenience". "My biggest brothers had gone to the war. My husband was in the army; and I had my first baby in my arms." She had remained with her mother who was "heavy footed" and could not travel. She says her mother was "far gone with her last infant, that she could not take care of my child."
Susannah Alexander found Captain Joseph Graham wounded and left for dead after skirmish with the British in 1780, brought him to her parents' house, and hid him while he healed. The story takes on several forms. In one, the wife of a British officer learns of Graham's presence while seeking supplies and offers to have a British surgeon come over to treat him, prompting Graham to leave the Alexanders. In another, Susannah Alexander, daughter of James Alexander, and husband of John Alexander, finds Captain Joseph Graham wounded and left for dead, brings him to the Alexanders' house, and keeps him until he can be carried away. She moves him on her small pony.
The mingling of story elements has led to some awkward speculation. For example, one unscholarly account suggested a scenario which included Susannah Alexander as a daughter of one John Wilson.
The pension application file based on the service of John Alexander is numbered W20586 and Bounty Land Warrant 19.775.160.55. Here follows a summary of the most important items of file.
On 31 July 1846, Susan Alexander, aged 86, appeared in Mecklenburg Co, NC court to obtain the benefits of the provisions made by a Congressional act of 4 July 1836. She deposed that she was the widow of John Alexander, whom she married 12 November 1777, who served in the Revolutionary War for most of nearly five years. He had not been inscribed on the pension roll. He died 12 July 1805.
A page from a family bible was submitted by a daughter who signed her name Asseneth Stricklend, that being "a Record of her Father and Mother the said John Alexander and Susanah Alexander." She appeared before James A Houston JP on 1 May 1846. The record is almost illegible. Attempts to transcribe from the original produced are included in the application file, and the following children are shown:
ElizabethFebruary 16, 1780
Ann (?)February 18, 1782
Nancy (?) or Mary (?)January19, 1784
"the Little boy"March25, 1785
"the Last Child that we
had born was a boy"October15, 179-
On 13 October 1851, Susannah Alexander of Mecklenburg Co, NC, about 92 years of age, appeared before Joseph A Cannon of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions court to make a second declaration. Because of infirmity, she was unable to attend the court in person. She deposed that she was the widow of John Alexander dec'd who was a private soldier of the Continental Line for nine months in 1778 under Captain Ballard. Later he served in the militia, but the number and length of tours, over several years, was not known. She stated that her father, James Alexander, also served in the War of the Revolution. She gave the date of her marriage to John Alexander as 12 November 1777. John Alexander died 12 July 1805.
(Possibly the second deposition was made because a more recent act "for the widows of deceased soldiers of the Revolution" had been passed in 1848.)
On 13 October 1851, she gave William F Davidson power of attorney to pursue the claim for the pension.
On 25 September 1851, an affidavit was made by James W Osborne, Superintendent of the Branch Mint of the US at Charlotte, NC. He mentions her attention to the wounded soldiers in the vicinity of Charlotte while the British passed through Mecklenburg Co, NC, and especially her saving the life of Joseph Graham whom she found wounded and took to her mother's.
On 25 September 1851, an affidavit of John Allison, age 83 as of January 1851, of Cleveland County, NC, was made.John Allison was born in Ireland in January 1768, and he came over with his father about 1778. They settled near the Charlotte Court House and resided not far from John and Susan Alexander. He "well Recollect the Circumstances of the said Susan Alexander being Instrumental in saving the life of Captain Joseph Graham who was wounded by the Britch near Charlotte Court House and suppose to be Dead."When he was able to be carried off, she did so herself on a little pony that she had. Captain Joseph Graham himself had related the story. Both John Alexander and Susan's father were drafted and went into the service in the North Carolina militia.
On 19 November 1851, Martha Montgomery, about 70 years of age, deposed that "she resides now, and has resided all her life within two miles of Susannah Alexander." She was acquainted with John Alexander. She knew of no other John Alexander who served in the War of Revolution.
On 19 November 1851, James H Todd, about 70 years of age, deposed that he was acquainted with John Alexander who was the husband of Susannah Alexander now about 90 years old. He knew of no other John Alexander to who the comptroller's certificate could have been issued for Revolutionary services.
On 21 November 1851, Alexander McLure, about 84 years of age, deposed that he was very well acquainted with John Alexander who was the husband of Susannah Alexander. McLure knew of no other John Alexander from Mecklenburg Co, NC, who served in the Revolutionary War.
On 3 April 1855, Susannah Alexander, age 95, of the Sugar Creek congregation, made a declaration for the purpose of obtaining bounty land under an act passed 3 March 1855. Wm F Davidson was her attorney.
Now, my questions are these:
Can anyone identify the family of the James Alexander who was the father of Susannah? His wife is said to have been carrying a child at the same time Susannah was nursing her own first in 1780. Susannah had older brothers.
Can anyone identify the family of the John Alexander who was the husband of Susannah?
And, for the question I have really been trying to answer:
Was James Alexander related to the Arthur Alexander (d 1764) who married Margaret McCamey of Pennsylvania? That Arthur Alexander's will was witnessed by one James Alexander (as well as by Arthur's brother Abraham Alexander). Susannah mentioned an unnamed aunt living nearby; was this Margaret (McCamey) (Alexander) Wilson?
I'll add more to this as I gather more data. The Aunt Suzy legend is much more complicated than this. I hope I can satisfactorily untangle the web.