Posted By:Don French
Subject:FRENCH Family Pioneer Roots of Sullivan County IN. (Brig. Gen. Henry FRENCH)....
Post Date:February 02, 2004 at 00:29:02
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Forum:Sullivan County, IN Genealogy Forum
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Below is a "Sketch of General French,
Who Served In The War of 1812."

My gggg grandfather Brig. Gen. Henry FRENCH (?WALES, PA, OH? / Sullivan Co. IN) reportedly came with his brother Samuel FRENCH (his descendants in Vigo Co,IN.)from Wales or England.
Samuel's son, a James FRENCH, was actually born on the ship in 1801 while in transit to America. (Wow!)

Henry (1780 - 1850) was among the First Settlers of Sullivan Co.IN., while Samuels side settled in Vigo Co. IN. until the mid- 1800s or so.
We have no info on Samuel besides his name. But we do have names of a downline of his.

General French's wife, Hester HAYWORTH (b.1790 d.1868), may have been born in Ohio or Tennessee or Virginia.

I have much more downline of General French.
Do you have other history or info on the FRENCH roots there. I'm needing some solid proof of General French's military activity in Merom & Sullivan County et cetera.

News Article from INDIANAPOLIS STAR on 8-5-1933
Written by John C. Chaney
(Article Transcribed: (Opal French on 2-7-03)

Sketch of General French,
Who Served In War of 1812:
The Sword He Used Will Be on Display in Sullivan August 24

                     Very little has ever been written of General Henry French, who was in Gill Township in the year of the admission of Indiana to statehood where he spent the remainder of his life.

                     The subject of our sketch was a Brigadier General of Militia in the war of 1812, serving his country from Ohio. In 1826 he was commander of the 11th Brigade, 6th Division, of the Indiana State Militia.

                     In those days, officers of the army of 1812 purchased their own side arms - consisting of sword and pistols - and at the close of their service, retired in possession of their "arms."

                     General French died in possession of his pistols and sword. Only one of his pistols is preserved, and the sword in it's scabbard - in fine state of preservation - has been handed down through the generations of the family, and has recently come into the hands of George Adam French, son of the late George L. French, from Clement French of Cincinnati, Ohio. The sword and scabbard will be on display in the show window of the pharmacist, Herbert A. Milburn, of the South Side Drug Store in Sullivan, on the 24th of this month.

                     The General was born in 1785 in Ohio (?), and died at his home in Gill Township in 1850. His wife was Hester Hayworth, and their children were ..... James, Margaret, Samuel, Dicy, Harrison, Jackson, Washington, and Henry, born in the order named. His body lies in the (Old) French Cemetery near Merom Station in Gill Township, beside that of his wife, who preceded him in death; and their grave is duly marked by a modest monument which notes the beginning and close of their lives.

                     General French from 1816 to 1830 "entered" of the government about 2800 acres of land which were inherited by his family. He farmed extensively and shipped to New Orleans much of his products - in the way of river traffic. A bill of loading for goods and supplies purchased at New Orleans has been found among his papers.

       11 yards Brussels carpeting...$80.00
       1 choice Rug....................$38.00
       25 yards Scotch carpeting.......$37.00
       41 yards Venition carpeting...$46.00
       Brussels carpeting..............$7.50
       1 bolt of binding...............$1.25
       1 Looking glass.................$25.00
       1 pair of Andirons..............$12.00
       1 shovel, and tongs.............$2.00
       1 pair Andirons.................$22.00
       Shovel, tongs, poker............$10.00
       1 Fender........................$25.00
       1 pair Andirons.................$20.00
       Shovel, tongs, poker............$6.00
       1 Brass Fender..................$15.00
       4 Hooks for tongs...............$3.00

                     These furnishings were probably for the brick house built by him for his home, the bricks for which were burned in kilns on his lands. The house stood until recent years, when it was destroyed by fire.

                     In manner of speech the General had a peculiar lisp-like tongue - not unpleasant to hear, which peculiarity was transmitted to his children and is noted in his children's children.

                     General French saw the availability of drainage to his extensive acres, and began a canal extending from Turtle Creek and along it's bayou to the Wabash River at what was later called Bright Light - but his death stopped the enterprise.

                     It should be remembered that the Treaty of Peace which definitely established the Independence of the United States of America was not signed until September 1783 - that there was only a four mile strip across the southern part of what is now Haddon Township in Sullivan County, in which there were surveys for the immigrant prior to 1803. These were the French Government surveys including the original town of Carlisle and immediate adjutant territory. Carlisle was the frontier of civilization. There was no survey privilege for permanent settlers north of these surveys until 1812 or 1813, and the Harrison Treaties with the Indians, in consequence of which there were no surely located settlers north of these surveys until after the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Pioneer settlers soon after this came into the county, and among them was General French, who acquired the largest land interest in the county.

                     There will be celebrated next month at the George Rogers Clark Memorial at Vincennes, the 150th anniversary of said Treaty, which commemorates the opportunity for habitation of Indiana by the people of the United States. This will be a notable event in the Old Northwest Territory, the acquisition of which opened the way of our empire to the Pacific Ocean.

                     The Bussseron Settlement was in 1808 when "Block Houses" were their means of protection. United States mails were served from Vincennes. The land north of the French surveys were not open to entry until 1816 when General French made his first land entries. The General was doubtless led to the location which he chose, from the wonderful crops of corn he encountered around-about Shakertown.

                     Although the Turmon family had come into the territory north of the French surveys about 1811 and had settled in a prairie of two or three hundred acres, which they named Turman Prairie, the settlers were few and far between in this section of the county prior to 1816.

                     General French recognized the value of the public morals and organized church societies, and built two church houses, which, however, went to decay after his demise. One of these, after long lack of occupancy, became the "Haunted House" of the French plantations. These churches were under his liberal mind, open to the use of any and all denominations.

                     His son, Harrison French became Treasurer of Sullivan County for two terms.

                     His daughter, Dicy, was the mother of our late fellow citizen, Gilbert Bond, and lived for many years on Washington Street extended, just this side of Buck Creek and Center Ridge Cemetery. His daughter Margaret, was the mother of the late Colonel Creager of Merom, whose long and useful life ended only a few weeks ago.

                     George Adam French, the present custodian of the sword of the pioneer General, should congratulate himself on its possession. He is a fortunate ancestor of such honorable service to his country, and one who made such a fine contribution to the early history of the county in the purchase and development of his broad acres in Gill Township.