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Harmon Cox (b. 1723) of Randolph Co., NC, POWDER HORN FOR SALE
Posted by: Nick Sheedy (ID *****5929) Date: November 07, 2008 at 15:31:32
  of 17496

If you are a descendant of Harmon Cox (b. 1723) of Orange Co. and Randolph Co., NC, would be youn interested in this family heirloom?

I have an old powder horn, and am in a position that I need to sell it and some other collectibles. Since it was a family heirloom, I would like to give someone who is descended from the original owner a chance to obtain it. Regretfully, I would like to sell the horn very soon (this is the first week of Nov. 2008). I can share photos of it with anyone who is interested. I was told that it would probably sell for between $300 and $500. I would consider a reasonable offer from a descendant of Harmon Cox.

The powder horn was originally owned by Harmon Cox, son of William and Katherine (Kankey) Cox who lived in New Castle Co., Delaware; they migrated to Virginia and then to Orange Co., North Carolina by the 1750s. People in this family were member of the Society of Friends (Quakers). Harmon Cox was born 18 April 1723 (I believe at Mill Creek, New Castle Co., Delaware); he married Jane Johns 25 December 1745 at Fairfax MM, Fairfax Co., Virginia. They removed to Cane Creek, Orange Co., North Carolina, and lived in what became Randolph Co. He was a "regulator" and fought at the Battle of Alamance in 1771, for which he was prosecuted for treason, convicted and sentenced to death; he was one of six men pardoned after taking an oath of allegiance to the King. Harmon Cox died in 1812 or 1817.

This powder horn has "H C" carved in the wooden butt, which undoubtedly stands for Harmon Cox. It is not a large horn (about 7-inches long to extremities, and the butt end is 2-inches in diameter), but it has its original spout plug and is in very good condition. This horn is said to have been used by Harmon Cox, Sr., at the Battle of Alamance in the spring of 1771. It is also claimed that the horn was loaned to Harmon Cox's first-cousin, Herman Husband, when Husband fled to what is now Somerset, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1771 to avoid capture and "to escape death" (Husband's pseudonym) and take refuge there at the hunting camp of Isaac Cox. If so, the horn seems to have returned to North Carolina, because it is also said to have been used by Harmon Cox, Jr. at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781.

The horn found its way into the possession of Dr. Jesse Herman Holmes (1813-1885) as part compensation for tuition of a student at a Quaker school Holmes operated in New Lisbon, Columbiana Co., Ohio in the 1840s. The horn passed to his son, Kersey Orlando Holmes (1842-1932) and Kersey's widow, Mrs. Juliette “Etta” (Raymond) Holmes who lived in Pasadena, California (and who was, at one time, the oldest living alumna of the University of Iowa—having graduated there in 1867). “Etta” (Raymond) Holmes was my great-grandmother's grandmother's cousin's widow. She had no children, and gave the horn and some other heirlooms (along with a letter describing them) to my great-uncle, Forrest Herman Sheedy (1911-2003), in the 1930s while he was attending college in Pasadena. It came to me (Nick Sheedy) five years ago.

I am related to all of the people mentioned above. Harmon Cox (b.1723) was the brother of my ancestor, Margery Cox (1724-1815) who married Isaac Nichols and lived at Goose Creek, Loudoun Co., Virginia. A first-cousin of theirs was Herman Husband (1724-1795), a well-known Patriot (sometimes called a “Regulator” although he denied it as he was a pacifist), was the son of William Husband and Mary Kankey/Kinkey)—and I will note that name Herman/Harmon was passed down from their grandfather, Harmon/Herman Kankey/Kinkey, of Cecil Co., Maryland. My line comes down through Sarah Nichols (1810-1838) who was a great-granddaughter of Isaac and Margery (Cox) Nichols. Sarah Nichols married Lot Holmes (1806-1880), and they were my great-grandmother’s great-grandparents. They moved from Loudoun Co., Virginia to Columbiana Co., Ohio about 1836, after which Lot and his family moved to Marshall Co., Iowa in 1853. Lot Holmes (1807-1880) was the brother of Dr. Jesse Herman Holmes (1813-1885); they were both Quakers and active in the Underground Railroad in Ohio and Iowa. Dr. Jesse Holmes is said to have been the attending physician at the birth of (President) Herbert Hoover at West Branch, Iowa in 1874. Jesse Sr.’s son, Dr. Jesse Herman Holmes (1864-1942) was also a prominent Quaker, was active in the American Friends’ Service Committee after WWI, a Socialist candidate for Governor Pennsylvania and a long-time professor of Philosophy at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.

I believe this describes the powder horn and its provenance as well as briefly as I can. If a descendant of Harmon Cox should want to purchase the horn, I will provide a copy of the letter that describes it (the letter describes a number of other family heirlooms, so I need to keep the original).

--Nick Sheedy

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