Kent, Thanks again for further detailed information than I already had at hand. I had picked up parts of this in bits and pieces here and there but not in detail. The following information mentions Robert McKee who was buried at Sugaw Creek in 1775 at the age of 73 years. I have been searching for any information about him and his connection to the later McKee.
I believe this Robert McKee moved with Craighead to Augusta and Rockbridge and then came from the Cow Pasture area with Reverend Craighead to the Carolinas. The book I am quoting is a gold mine of information for the Mecklenburg area and the time of the Revolution if you haven't yet found it online at University of NC Chapel Hill site.
This message is about my husband's side but I believe you and I are also distantly related on my Mullis - Stanfill / Stanfield and Graham - Grimes - Reaves Family who helped settle early middle and western Tennessee. Small world. Thanks again, I appreciate your input very much. Linda Stanfill McKee
Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical,
Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers:
Foote, William Henry, 1794-1869
Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services
supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Apex Data Services, Inc.
Images scanned by Tampathia Evans
Text encoded by Apex Data Services, Inc., Christopher Hill, and Jill Kuhn Sexton
First edition, 2001
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
(title page) Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers
Rev. William Henry Foote
xxxii, 33-557, 8 p.
Robert Carter, 58 Canal Street
Call number C285 F68 c. 4 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Reverend Foote's manuscript quoted below from portions of:
CHURCH OF SUGAR CREEK--ITS FIRST MINISTER, ALEXANDER CRAIGHEAD.
THE first Presbyterian minister that took his residence in Western Carolina, and ........................
Mr. Alexander Craighead's name was enrolled among the members set off for the formation of the Presbytery of Hanover, as appears from the following extract from minutes of the Synod of New York for 1755: "A petition was brought into the Synod setting forth the necessity of erecting a new Presbytery in Virginia, the Synod therefore appoint the Rev. Samuel Davies, John Todd, Alexander Craighead, Robert Henry, John Wright, and John Brown, to be a Presbytery under the name of the Presbytery of Hanover, and that their first meeting shall be in Hanover, on the first Wednesday of December next, and that Mr. Davies open said meeting by a sermon; and that any of their members settling to the southward and westward of Mr. Hogge's congregation, shall have liberty to join said Presbytery of Hanover."
Owing probably to the troubles in the country, Mr. Craighead did not meet with the Presbytery for some two years after its formation.
The defeat of Braddock on the 9th of July, 1755, had thrown the frontiers of Virginia at the mercy of the Indians. The inroads of the savages were frequent and murderous. Terror reigned throughout the valley. Mr. Craighead occupying a most exposed situation, his preaching-place being a short distance from the present Windy Cove church, and his dwelling on the farm now occupied by Mr. Andrew Settlington--in a settlement on the Virginia frontier, and open to the incursions of the savages, fled with those of his people who were disposed and able to fly, and sought safety in less exposed situations, after having lived in Virginia about six years. Crossing the Blue Ridge, he passed on to the more quiet regions in Carolina, and found a location among the settlements along the Catawba and its smaller tributaries, in the bounds
of what is now Mecklenburg county. Mr. Craighead first met with Hanover Presbytery at Cub Creek, Sept. 2d, 1757. At a meeting of the Presbytery in Cumberland, at Capt. Anderson's, January, 1758, Mr. Craighead was directed to preach at Rocky River, on the second Sabbath of February, and visit the other vacancies till the spring meeting. At the meeting of the Presbytery in April, a call from Rocky River was presented for the services of Mr. Craighead. He accepted the call, and requested installation. "Presbytery hereby consent that Mr. Craighead should accept the call of the people on Rocky River, in North Carolina, and settle with them as their minister, and they appoint Mr. Martin to preside at his installation at such time as best suits them both." This appointment Mr. Martin failed to fulfil, and in September, Mr. William Richardson, on his way to the Cherokees, was appointed to perform the duty. This appointment was fulfilled, though the day of the services is not given. From this record it appears that the name of the oldest church in the upper country was Rocky River; and it included Sugar Creek in its bounds. In 1765 the bounds of all the congregations were adjusted by order of the Synod.
The first head-stone, a little distance from the gate, on the right, is inscribed,--"MRS. JEMIMA ALEXANDER SHARPE; born Jan. 9th, 1727: died Sept. 1st, 1797: a widdow 38 years." An elder sister of the secretary of the convention, one of the earliest emigrants to this country, she used to say, that in the early days of her residence here, her nearest neighbor northward was eight miles, and southward and eastward, fifteen; that the coming of a neighbor was a matter of rejoicing; and that her heart was sustained in her solitude by the Doctrines of the Gospel and the Creed of her Church.
In the southwest corner is an inscription to--JANE WALLIS, who died July 31st, 1792, in the eightieth year of her age,--the honored mother of the Rev. Mr. Wallis, minister of Providence, some fifteen miles south of this place,--the able defender of Christianity against infidelity spreading over the country at the close of the Revolution, like a flood. His grave is with his people.
Near the middle of the yard is the stone inscribed to the memory of DAVID ROBINSON, who died October 12th, 1808, aged eighty-two,--an emigrant, and the father of the late Dr. Robinson, who served the congregation of Poplar Tent about forty years, and ended his course in December, 1843. It was at a spring on this man's land,
and near his house, that the congregation of Sugar Creek and Hopewell used to meet and spend days of fasting and prayer together, during the troublesome times of the early stages of the French Revolution. From the peculiar formation of the ravine around the spring, the pious people were willing to believe that it was a place designed of God for his people to meet and seek his face.
The oldest monument, but not the monument of the oldest grave, is a small stone thus inscribed.
Here Lys the
Body of ROBERT
McKEE, who deceased
October the 19th, 1775,
Aged 73 years.
Around lie many that were distinguished in the Revolution, without a stone to their graves, and not one with an epitaph that should tell the fact of that honorable distinction. Perhaps the omission may have arisen from the circumstance honorable to the country, that, with few exceptions, the whole neighborhood were noted for privations and suffering, and brave exploits in a cause sacred in their eyes.
The most interesting grave is at the southeast corner, without an inscription or even a stone or mound to signify that the bones of any mortal are there. It is the grave of the REVEREND ALEXANDER CRAIGHEAD, the first minister of the congregation, and of the six succeeding ones whose members composed the entire convention in Charlotte, in May, 1775. Tradition says that these two sassafras trees, standing, the one at the head, and the other at the foot of the grave, sprung from the two sticks on which, as a bier, the coffin of this memorable man was borne to the grave in March, 1766. Being thrust into the ground to mark the spot temporarily, the green sticks, fresh from the mother stock, took root and grew. Was it an emblem? Were we as superstitious as the people of Europe a hundred years ago, we might read in this and the surrounding congregations, ..............End of quoted data
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