VI. James Collins "II" 1758-1838;
Temperance Vinson Collins 1764/65-1848
All material copyright 2000, Michael Collins Dunn

James Collins in the Revolution
Guns and "Towmawhacks"
Guilford Court House
Locating Collins' position at Guilford Today
After Guilford
James Collins After the War
James Collins: The Marital History Problem
The Peter Collins Problem
Census Evidence of an Earlier Wife
The 16 Children of James and Temperance (Vinson) Collins 

The Collins Land
The David Vinson Land
A Glimpse of James Collins' Farm: The Estate Sale
The Collins Family's Slaves
The Pension
James' Death and Tempey's Life Thereafter 

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Previous Chapter

This James Collins is the family patriarch, father of 17 children (16 by one mother) who settled throughout much of the inland South and Midwest. I am calling him James "II" as shorthand for distinguishing him from his father, James "I", though as noted in his father's profile, there are many reasons to object to this usage. By the 1820s the number of James Collinses in the Franklin County, North Carolina area had proliferated.(1)

Though it has taken me nearly 100 pages to get to him in this version of the history, until the early 1980s neither I nor, so far as I know, the other family historians working on other lines were aware of his father's will: I know that in the 1960s Franklin County, North Carolina officials assured me there was no such record of his parentage, and in those days microfilm of the records was not readily available. Donald C. Jeter of Tennessee, who has worked the same ground largely independently of me (we have never actually succeeded in making direct contact) also did not refer to James' father James until the 80's. In part I think this was because until the publication of the abstracts of wills of that period, county officials were not prepared to do serious research by mail. So for a very long time, he stood as our earliest known ancestor.

But he is a patriarch for another reason. James Collins of the Revolution -- call him James Junior or James II or James (1758-1838) or what you will -- fathered 16 children by Temperance (Tempey) Vinson and one child, Peter Collins, by a presumed earlier wife (see below), and of those 17 children (16 by one mother), most had children, and many had many. Given the progeny of one line -- through his son Henry, which I know to the first couple of generations in broad outline, and through Henry's son John, which I know a couple of generations further along -- it is clear enough that his children and theirs and theirs beyond them were multiple and mostly tended to survive. He must have tens of thousands of descendants by now, though most do not know it and most are not named Collins; it would not be outrageous to guess that as many as 100,000 Americans alive today might descend from this one Revolutionary War soldier, who is eight or nine generations back for the youngest today. Judge George Taylor of Beaumont, Texas, who descended from Peter Collins, traced a large descent from Peter alone. Donald Jeter of Tennessee published many of the Tennessee lines in the Marshall County Historical Quarterly, often without fully explaining his sources. The late Ethel McLean of Nixa, Missouri traced many of the descents from John Collins and his sisters -- all grandchildren of this James -- who migrated to Missouri, and this work has been carried on by the late Muriel Collins Hanks and her descendants. But others of early generations went to Georgia and Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi and Texas, and like many families of Scotch-Irish descent (or in the Collins case, at least self-identified if not true Scotch-Irish descent), they peopled the upland South. Collins was a common name in the old south, and most Collinses are not related to us. But lots of them are, and so are many people of hundreds of other intermarried names.

James Collins was most likely his father's eldest son, since he is named first in his father's will. We have already encountered him numerous times in his father's biography. He not only inherited land from his father and bought more of his own, but he added to his land that of his wife Tempey's father, and -- as will be detailed in the Vinson history -- bought that inherited by each of Tempey's sisters as their husbands moved with them away from North Carolina. Though he could not read and write -- he always signed with a mark -- he owned a substantial bit of land and was the only Collins ancestor who seems to have owned a fair number of slaves -- and by a quirk of history we even know a little bit about them.

Collins served (like most of his neighbors) in the American Revolution, fought at Guilford Court House and Hobkirk's Hill and left behind all those children, and they had a penchant for surviving all the things that could kill in those days. Those who have never tried to trace someone of his era who could not read and write would assume we can learn little of such a man, who seemingly never wrote a word in his own hand. But they are wrong.

For despite his illiteracy, James Collins left a fairly substantial "paper trail" behind him, and we can document his life in considerable detail, though most of what we know tends to cluster early in his life (the Revolution) or late (his estate at the time of his death).

James Collins lived long enough to be eligible for a pension for his Revolutionary service, and his widow Temperance Vinson Collins lived enough longer for pensions to be voted for widows as well. Though both were apparently illiterate-- each signed with their mark -- the testimony they provided in support of the pension application is the most valuable source of material for James Collins' life and family,(2) though his estate papers are a close second. In fact, they sent more in than they had to for the pension, and their children could write.

James Collins was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia on October 18, 1758, as he himself said in his declaration for his pension.(3) We know, of course, that this must have been the Kingsale Swamp area where his father and grandfather were living at the time. His father was James Collins already profiled; his mother may well have been Esther, the widow who survived James Collins the elder, but this is not 100% certain since often men had more than one wife in a lifetime and we have no direct statement that his father's widow was his mother (though she was married to James "I" by 1778 at least). Of his childhood we know nothing. He probably had little education to speak of, since he was illiterate all his life, or at any rate signed with a mark in his old age, and I have found no certain indication he ever signed otherwise. (I make the distinction because I know of two or three ancestors who could write in their younger years but signed with an X -- arthritis perhaps? -- in their dotage, and there is some reason to think his father could, at one time at least, sign his name. See above on Page 97.)

At some date early in life, but before the Revolution, he moved, with his parents, to Bute County, North Carolina. The dating of the move is discussed in more detail in his father's profile: his father sold land as late as 1778 and the Collinses may have gone back to Virgnia briefly in 1782-83, but certainly they had some presence in Bute prior to 1776. (Bute was formed from Granville County in 1764. It became Franklin County only in 1779, and we know he was there before that.) Bute, named for a British lord, was abolished in 1778/9, becoming basically Warren and Franklin counties and part of what still later became Vance. His account of this in his pension file is simple enough and worth quoting verbatim:

[He declares] . . . That he was born in the county of Isle of Wight in the State of Virginia on the 18th day of October in the year 1758 according to a record of his age which he now has in his pofsefsion. That at the time he entered into the service of the United States he was living in that section of what was then the County of Bute which now forms the County of Franklin, and State of North Carolina . . .

As discussed in his father's profile, there is no deed on record for a James Collins prior to 1780, but there is no reason to doubt that the family had settled in Bute some years before the Revolution, and the 1780 deed refers to James the elder as already being "of Franklin County". The Collinses settled, and long lived, in the northeastern part of what is today Franklin County, in what I have called the Sandy Creek community. The land, and the families who made up the extended clan with which the Collinses would interact and intermarry, are discussed in detail in his father's profile, the family discussion beginning above on Page 83.

James Collins in the Revolution

If James Collins was an illiterate farmer, how can we write such a long biography of the man? Thanks in part to the Federal Government. The census every ten years gives us some help, but the short service of James Collins in the Revolution gave us the equivalent of a written autobiography by a man who could not write. State tax records, county legal documents (deeds, wills, and a huge file for his estate settlement) all help to put together a fairly clear picture of the man. But no part of his long life is clearer to us than the short time he spent in the American Revolution.

Not until 1832 did every veteran of the Revolution -- whether or not wounded, and no matter how long he had served, or whether in the Continental Line or in the militia -- become eligible for a pension. A little later widows did too. By 1832 the number of veterans -- 56 years after the Declaration of Independence, and in an age before antibiotics -- was surely reduced. But those who did survive applied, and when they died, their widows applied too, and eventually even widows who had married the veteran after the Revolution were eligible. By 1868 all veterans of the Revolution were dead but 888 widows still survived, suggesting the old Patriots married younger women quite a lot after the war.(4) Because after more than half a century these old men had lost any discharge or enlistment papers they ever had (many couldn't read them anyway), and the British burning of Washington during the War of 1812 did a good job on many of the original enlistment papers, depositions had to be taken to prove they were eligible for pensions. Many illiterate men sat and told their stories to clerks and notaries in order to get their pensions. Widows might not have proof of their marriage, so they had to acquire witnesses, and list the children of the marriage. (James Collins' widow threw in a list of slaves for no particular reason, but of great historical interest.) The pension files in the National Archives -- sometimes four or five legal sized pages of memoirs, dictated to a clerk by an aging, illiterate soldier -- are the greatest personal narratives surviving of the common soldier in the Revolution: and they have never been adequately tapped. When this writer asked some questions of a Park Ranger at Guilford Court House National Military Park in North Carolina in 1991, the ranger immediately asked for a copy of James Collins' pension files: the historians of the battles of the Revolution recognize how much they can learn from the aging memories of otherwise unknown militia privates. (A copy of the record was naturally provided.)

On September 12, 1832, just over three months after Congress passed the new pension law, James Collins made a declaration before the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions -- as the County Court of a North Carolina county was then called -- in Franklin County, North Carolina, and told at length his story of his service in the American Revolution. He signed it with a mark. It gives us the best insight we have into the man and his life.

After the declaration mentioned above and an early statement of his postwar migrations, Collins relates:

That he entered the service of the United States as a drafted Militia man a private, under the command of Colonel Gee, Captain James Denton, Lieutenant John Macon (a brother of the Hon. Nathaniel Macon formerly Senator in Congrefs) and Ensign William Harrison, on the 14th day of May 1776 and marched immediately from the said County of Bute where he was drafted through Tarborough on to Wilmington where or near which place he remained during the space of three months, the time for which he was drafted to serve. He was at Wilmington when the news of the Declaration of Independence was received there and recollects the rejoicings which that event occasioned -- He believes but is not certain, that the regiment to which he was attached was the Third -- in addition to the officers before mentioned he recollects Colo or Major Hogan and Captain Benjamin Sewall who commanded another company from the same County of Bute -- he was engaged in no battle during this time of service. he was discharged by Captain James Denton, but dos not recollect whether the discharge was in writing and if it was, he does not know what has become of it. He has no documentary evidence by which to prove the above-mentioned facts but he believes they will be, in all material respects substantiated by the testimony of William Leonard whose affidavit is hereunto subjoined.

Some comments on this first tour as described by our ancestor: May 14, 1776, a few weeks before the Declaration of Independence, was a bit over a year after the Revolution broke out. "Tarborough" is today's Tarboro. The friend, William Leonard, who signed a statement concerning his service in the absence of a discharge, is one of the neighboring Leonards and may even be the father of the Will Leonard who married James' daugher Salley. The comrade-in-arms (presumably) outlived James II and still appears, aged 90, in the 1850 Franklin County census. (On the Leonard connection, see above, Page 86.) Leonard said that he served "in the same company with the said Collins inn his first tour, and in a company which marched with the company to which said Collins was attached in his last tour".(5) The Leonard family were not only neighbors in North Carolina: they also settled in Marshall County, Tennessee alongside the Collinses.

Guns and "Towmawhacks"

Now let us look at this first tour of duty in a bit more detail. He served under "Colonel Gee, Captain James Denton, Lieutenant John Macon (a brother of the Hon. Nathaniel Macon formerly Senator in Congrefs) and Ensign William Harrison". This allows us some very precise knowledge of his unit. On May 11, 1776, the colonial assembly authorized drafting of militia for three months in the Halifax, Edenton, Newbern and Wilmington areas -- Bute County probably was part of the Halifax district -- and "Resolved that Peter Dauge be appointed Colonel, Drury Gee, Lieutenant Colonel, James Hogan 1st Major and George Wynn 2d Major to command that part of the militia to be drafted from the district of Edenton and Halifax ..."(6) Collins does not seem to have remembered Dauge's name, but he remembered those of Gee and Hogan. And at the company level, his memory clearly identifies his company as Company Number 5 of the Halifax Brigade of the North Carolina Militia. Its officers as listed on June 11, 1776 (less than a month after Collins' enlistment were "James Denton, Captain; John Meacon, Lieutenant; William Harrison, Ensign".(7) Except for "Macon" being splled "Meacon", this is clearly the unit in which Collins served, with him remembering all the names exactly more than half a century later. The James Hogan mentioned, by the way, is apparently the same man (sometimes spelled Hogun) who later became a General in the Continental Line.(8)

We can shed a little more light on this unit, which was one of two Bute County companies in the "Halifax Brigade" On July 31, 1776, it is listed as part of Col. Peter Dauge's Regiment of Militia, and, as noted above, Dauge was the superior of Gee and the other officers remembered by Collins. Collins' memory of hearing about the Declaration of Independence while in the Wilmington area fits the fact that on July 31, the entire Regiment was in "Camp at Wilmington".(9)

The officers were apparently all from Bute County (that is, what became Franklin and Warren Counties, North Carolina). James Denton appears from time to time in Franklin County records later.(10) The other company commander from Bute County, mentioned explicitly by Collins in his statement, Benjamin Seawell (Sewall in Collins' spelling), was a prominent figure also from Franklin County.(11)

The return for Col. Dauge's Regiment includes some interesting data on Captain James Denton's Company, in which Collins was serving: at that date (July 31, 1776) the company consisted of 59 men: its captain (Denton), two corporals, one drummer, one fifer, 38 soldiers present fit for duty, nine soldiers "Sick and Wounded". The weaponry included 55 guns (presumably meaning muskets here), or four fewer than there were men, 13 "Towmawhacks" (tomahawks), and six axes. The company had one wagon and four horses. Some other companies listed their rounds of powder and lead, but Denton's company did not.(12)

This discharge must have been in August. "Sometime after" this, he volunteered for three months at Louisburg, the county seat of Franklin County. This presumes, as Collins himself noted, a date after the creation of Franklin County in the spring of 1779. Interestingly the pension bureau and my own earlier writings on James Collins misinterpreted what he said. Collins said that he knew it "must have been after" the creation of Franklin in the spring of 1779; but he has just said that "the applicant does not recollect distinctly the month in which he volunteered for this term of service, but he remembers several circumstances which show that it was the Fall of the year". Clearly, he is saying he volunteered in the fall of 1779, dating the season from memory and the year from the formation of Franklin County that spring. But an abstract of the pension application defines the enlistment date as "Spring 1779" and I had earlier written about Collins as if this were the case. Clearly we should prefer the fall for this tour: the man himself is our best source by far. He states that it was between the Spring of 1779 and the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in March 1781, it could also conceivably have been in the fall of 1780, but if I have made the right assumptions (to be noted below) about his overall commander, it must have been in the fall of 1779.

Presumably Collins' 1776 drafted experience -- when, of course, he never seems to have encountered any British or fired a musket ball in anger -- made him willing to volunteer for another tour. Or perhaps he was in need of bounty money, or bored, or looking for excitement.

His account of his next experience, which took place in the fall of either 1779 or 1780 (for reasons to be noted, almost certainly 1779) is as follows:

This applicant further states that sometime after the expiration of his first tour of service, he volunteered for three months at Louisburg in Franklin County in a company commanded by Captain Elijah Denby who marched immediately on to Halifax, where the company was put under the command of Major John Williams, who carried this company with others, to Tarborough where he believes (though he is not certain of that fact) that Colo Reed took command with a Mr Hogg as Major, after remaining at this place a short time, they were marched on to the Crofs Creek(13) on the Cape Fear River, thence down the river to a station some distance above Wilmington where they joined the troops under Colo Rutherford(14) who took command of the whole regiment which this applicant thinks was the third --The British had pofsefsion of the opposite side of the river, and the Americans were employed in watching their movements during the balance of this applicant's time of service, at the expiration of which time he believes Captain Denby gave him a written discharge, but this is now lost. This applicant does not recollect distinctly the month in which he volunteered for this term of service, but he remembers several circumstances which show that it was the Fall of the year - He is also uncertain as to the date, but from the fact that Franklin County was formed at the time of his entering on this tour, he knows it must have been after the Spring of 1779 when the act erecting Franklin into a County was pafsed -- He also recollects that it was before the battle of Guilford Court-House -- He was in no battle during the tour, though there were several alarms during the time the troops were stationed on the Cape Fear River. He has no documentary evidence by which to prove the above state facts, nor does he know of any living witness by whom he can establish them.

Now let us review this tour in greater detail. He does not date the tour but implies is a few months after the first one, he had joined a company commanded by Captain Elijah Denby. The name Elijah Denby appears often in the Franklin County, North Carolina records. While I have not found him in the immediate Sandy Creek area where the Collinses lived, there seem to have been some links between Denby and some families linked to Sandy Creek: Denby apparently died in 1812, and in his estate sale there are sales to persons named Stallings, Eley, Murphrey, and Lankford, all of which are names we have met before.(15) Denby apparently continued in service after the war, rising at least to Lieutenant Colonel of Militia.(16) After the enlistment, they marched to Halifax, to the northeast, which was something of a rebel capital for this part of North Carolina. There the company came under the command of Major John Williams, who marched it, with other companies, on to Tarborough (Tarboro). There, Collins believed but was not sure, a Colonel Read took command with a "Mr. Hogg as Major".(17) Later Collins would report serving under a "Colonel Reed" at Guilford Courthouse. This appears to be a reference to Colonel James Read. This James Read, reportedly from Wilmington(18) was almost certainly Collins' superior officer later at Guilford Courthouse and Hobkirk's Hill, and it is probably the same man referred to here. At least at the time of Guilford Courthouse he commanded a mix of mounted and unmounted militia, with Collins apparently in the latter.(19) Major Hogg is probably Thomas Hogg, who held that rank and later Lieutenant Colonel; he appears from time to time in North Carolina records.(20) They remained a short time at Tarborough and then marched to Cross Creek on the Cape Fear River (the Scots settlement of Cross Creek, today's Fayetteville, was held by the rebels during the early part of the war after the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, and while the town itself was pro-independence, the hinterland was heavily Tory). Then they marched down the Cape Fear River to "a station some distance above Wilmington" -- where the Cape Fear flows into the sea -- where they joined the troops of "Col. Rutherford" who had command of the Regiment, which again Collins thought was the Third.(21) Here he remembered that "the British had pofsefsion of the opposite side of the river, and the Americans were employed in watching their movements during the balance of this applicant's term of service . . . He was in no battle during this tour, though there were several alarms during the time the troops were stationed on the Cape Fear River".

As noted above, Collins believes this took place in the fall, but is not totally clear as to whether he means the fall of 1779 or the fall of 1780. But assuming "Colonel Rutherford" is Griffith Rutherford, these events took place before the Battle of Camden (September 1780) when Rutherford was taken prisoner, and probably before the Battle of Ramsour's Mill in June 1780, when Rutherford was based farther west. That, plus the fact that most of North Carolina north of the Cape Fear seems to have been empty of British (that is why they went down to the Cape Fear) suggests 1779, before Cornwallis' invasion of North Carolina.

When Collins' tour was up, he was given a discharge -- a written one this time for sure-- but he subsequently lost it. Unlike the previous tour, he could not remember a living witness (in 1832) who could testify to this service.

Collins' first two tours of duty were mild enough: no battles, and in the first one he doesn't even seem to have seen a Redcoat while in the second they were watching them across the river.

By early 1781 things in the Carolinas were much more lively. The southern states had become a major theater of war and the Americans had won a victory at Cowpens. Lord Cornwallis marched with little to stop him through North Carolina, and whipped Horatio Gates at Camden (where my ancestor James Kell, on the Dunn side, fought). After Gates' defeat the Quaker general Nathanael Greene was sent south to fight Cornwallis and hammer him north into Virginia, where the anvil of Washington's army was waiting. The campaign which followed was really the strategic beginning of the movement that would end with Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown and a world turned upside down.(22)

Guilford Court House

Whether or not James Collins volunteered in February of 1781 because he understood the importance of the events which were taking place in the Carolinas, or just to get away for a few winter months, we don't know. He joined a company under James Richards, marched to Warrenton, then to Harrisburg (in Granville County), then through Hillsborough (Hillsboro) to "Guilford old Court House, the Head Quarters of Genl. Greene." Major William Hill started out with the company but may not have stayed with it.

James Collins had not been with the company the whole time. He had stayed behind -- he does not say where-- with a "few others for the purposes of making cartridges and did not reach the main army with his company. As soon as he had performed the duty afsigned him, he proceeded on and rejoined the company while drawn up in line of battle, soon after which the battle of Guilford Court House commenced and ended in the defeat of the Americans." Making cartridges was a necessary task but a time-consuming one, though the militia was not uniformly armed with a standard musket. He arrived the morning of March 15.

Guilford Court House, fought March 15, 1781, was a critical battle, and the American defeat has long been blamed on the North Carolina militia-- the very units which included James Collins. His own account of it makes more sense if one understands a bit about the battle. Probably many descendants who have read James Collins' account have wondered why he made such a point, 51 years after the battle, of insisting on how many shots he fired. The reason was pride and a desire to defend his own company against being tarred with the brush which blackened the militia's memory.

Even the Continental Line, the regular Army of the rebellious colonies, was a fairly haphazard force compared with the trained British troops they were fighting. The North Carolina Militia were not even that, but rather locally raised companies with little or not military training and whatever arms they could gather, poorly uniformed if not in farm clothing. They were men like James Collins, mostly illiterate, with no schooling in the arts of war. James Collins was 22 years old and his previous six months at war had apparently been spent without firing a ball in anger. At Guilford they faced some of the best of the British Army. Collins' own unit faced the 23rd Foot, Royal Welsh Fusiliers and the 33rd Foot (West Riding), the latter Lord Cornwallis' own former command.

As the battle evolved, the British line moved forward towards a rickety old rail fence that marked the boundary of what had been a cornfield. In a clump of trees two hundred yards to the right of the fenceline, James Collins was posted. As the British advanced the North Carolina militia at the fenceline, over a thousand strong, fired a volley. The redcoats faltered only briefly since the militia probably were well beyond range when they fired. (And 18th century muskets were smoothbore, not rifled, and hitting the side of a barn was not easy. Some of the militiamen may have had rifles, though the rifle was slow to load and despite its range and accuracy was not much used for combat.) The British troops fixed bayonets and charged. It was too much.

The militia at the fence in the center of the line broke and ran. It was one of the great disasters of American military history, for the militia had been posted as a forward position to delay the British assault against the Continentals behind them. Nathanael Greene had asked that the militia fire three rounds-- remember, muskets had to be loaded after every shot-- before retreating. They were then to fall back in order and let the Continentals handle the redcoats. If needed, they could reform-- as they had done at Cowpens-- and provide a final assault force once the Continentals had taken their toll of the British. This did not happen. Most of the militia only fired once, then broke in disorder, not stopping to reform. History was to blame the North Carolina militia for the loss of the Battle of Guilford Court House.

Now it may make more sense to hear James Collins' own memories of the battle. Because he was concerned about the reputation of the militia -- one presumes -- he went into more specific detail than in his other descriptions of his service. The result is his account:

He was placed in the first line of the Americans about two hundred yards to the right of an open field, and when the British made their charge he saw the disgraceful retreat of that portion of the militia which was placed behind the fence of the field. He, with most of his company stood till that [they?] gave four fires, when, finding the retreat pretty general, he also fell back and retreated to the Iron Works (the name of which is not recollected) where the troops were directed to rally in case of defeat.

Remember that we are hearing a man just short of his 64th birthday remembering (through a court clerk paraphrasing his tale) a terrible day when he was 22. The detail recalled is clear in its motivation. Collins is expressing his disdain for the "disgraceful" retreat and going out of his way to indicate that he was not part of it. Greene had asked for three volleys; Collins specifically notes that his company fired four times before pulling back, by which time the American center was smashed and the militia on the flank would have been in danger of being cut off.

This account by James Collins led to a request by the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, already alluded to, for a copy of the application (which I had with me during a visit to Guilford Courthouse to try to locate Collins' area of the fight in late 1990). In a subsequent letter to me, Park Ranger and historian Thomas E. Baker said that the Collins pension file was "one of only a handful of applications that contain sufficient detail to pinpoint the position of the applicant's unit in the first battle line at Guilford Courthouse. This is particularly important because there is very little primary source material regarding the specific dispositions of the North Carolina militia".(23)

In his application, Collins said he did not recall who commanded during the battle but that Colonel Reed commanded the men after the retreat. We have mentioned Col. James Read before. Commanding a force of mounted militia, apparently with some infantry militia as well, Read had joined Greene's army a few days earlier, at about the time of the Dan River Crossing, with some 200 men.(24) Read had probably been Collins' commander in the earlier tour and also later at Hobkirk's Hill, so he may have been the overall commander at Guilford as well, though Collins -- who, remember, arrived just before the battle, having been making cartridges -- only remembered that he commanded after the retreat. The Iron Works mentioned were on Troublesome Creek some miles behind the site of the battle, and a well-known landmark in colonial times.

Locating Collins' position at Guilford Today

James Collins' information in his pension record, plus other things we know, allows us to determine more or less where on the present ground around the Guilford Court House National Military Park he actually stood. That is the good news: the bad news is that the right of the North Carolina militia line, where Collins fought, lies today under a condominium development north of the military park.(27)

Collins' own description means he would have been on the extreme right of the American first line (or the extreme right of the militia: there was cavalry further right). According to the US National Park Service's current interpretation, these were the troops of Brig. Gen. Thomas Eaton. Since Gen. Eaton was from the Bute-Halifax Counties area like Collins, this makes sense: the troops of Brig. Gen. John Butler's brigade, the other North Carolina militia brigade, were from the Piedmont area. But most standard books which show the location of the two brigades of militia show Butler's on the American right (north) and Eaton's on the left. The National Park Service disagrees, placing Eaton on the right, which is clearly where Collins says he was. For those interested in the evidence, it appears in the footnote.(28)

It should be noted that that is also the interpretation given by a 19th century local historian of this part of North Carolina, Rev. Eli W. Caruthers, who wrote two volumes on North Carolina in the Revolution after interviewing locals for family traditions:

Behind these fences the militia of North Carolina were drawn up. Eaton's brigade on the north side, and Butler's on the south side of the road, while the artillery, consisting of four six pounders, under the command of Lieutenants Singleton and Finley, took its position in the road nearly between the two brigades. (29)

Phillips Russell's North Carolina in the Revolutionary War agrees that Eaton was north of the road.(30)

Descendants or relatives who may wish to visit the scene of James Collins' most important battle will find the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park located just northwest of Greensboro, North Carolina, in fact today within the city limits of Greensboro. The land held by the Park Service is nicely preserved (though vandals in 1989 desecrated several monuments, including a mounted statue of General Greene), but areas just outside the park boundaries are now being heavily developed as suburban apartment and condominium housing. One such development, just to the northwest of the park, would seem to be on the ground where James Collins actually stood during the battle, and is known as Williamsburg Square. If the visitor walks from the visitor center along New Garden Road west to the edge of the park land (where a footpath reaches the road), one sees this new development across the road and stretching northward. New Garden Road today is at this point believed to be close to the old road, and Eaton's troops rested with their left on that old road. Collins was several hundred yards to the north, in the housing development.

The park, one of the oldest and better preserved of the Revolutionary national parks, is worth a visit. During a visit in the spring of 1991 the author discussed James Collins' position with a park ranger, who asked to keep a copy of Collins' pension record in the event other descendants came to Guilford looking. Of course a copy was left.

After Guilford

Cornwallis won the battle, but with great losses of his own. Stragglers from the American ranks trailed into the Iron Works for days. Then Greene was ready for another strike at Cornwallis. Often considered the neglected strategic genius of the Revolution, Greene headed for Ramsay's Mills (Collins' clerk-transcriber spelled it Ramsey's) and found that the British had passed. He turned south into South Carolina in pursuit. A few miles north of Camden -- site of an earlier major battle -- he took up position on Hobkirk's Hill.

The battle which followed is sometimes called Second Camden, but usually Hobkirk's Hill. It was fought April 25, almost seven weeks after Guilford. The British facing the American rebels were under Lord Rawdon. Collins' unit's captain and lieutenant were both absent for unstated reasons; it was therefore commanded by "Colonel Reed, a little French officer (name not recollected[)], and Ensign Thompson Curry". French names were probably strange indeed to James Collins. "Colonel Reed" is certainly the same James Read mentioned earlier, who had about 154 North Carolina militia, mounted and unmounted, at Hobkirk's Hill.(31)

The North Carolina militia performed tolerably well at Hobkirk's Hill, though they were in reserve behind the Continentals this time. According to Russell, "Colonel Read's horse and foot militia from North Carolina formed the second line with Colonel William Washington's cavalry.(32) But it was another tactical defeat for Greene. (Greene was good at squeezing strategic advantage out of tactical defeat, however.) Collins' total account of this battle is rather sparse. The declaration says merely that "This applicant was engaged in the battle" followed by the statement about the little Frenchman already quoted.(33)

After Hobkirk's Hill Collins' unit moved with the main army to "the country between the Wateree and Congaree" [rivers] and he was again discharged. Greene moved between the Congaree and Wateree in his campaign from Hobkirk's Hill towards the siege of Ninety-Six, in late April and early May. Collins' loss of yet another discharge may make him seem absentminded but remember that he was illiterate and that it was an 1832 Act of Congress which made him eligible for a pension, so he did not know until old age that he would have need of these discharges. We may be grateful he lost them. Had he not, we would not have the details of his service which we do.

Greene went on into western North Carolina and his campaign continued, losing battles but maneuvering Cornwallis out of the Carolinas and into the Virginia peninsula where Washington, Rochambeau, and the French Navy would trap him at Yorktown. Collins was out of it now, and out of the war. He went back to farming.

James Collins After the War

Collins spent the rest of his life in Franklin County, with one exception, according to his pension declaration, which says that "since the revolutionary war he has lived (with the exception of nearly one year during which he lived in Nansemond County, Virginia) in the County of Franklin aforesaid, where he now lives", now being 1832. Although he does not explicitly state that the one year in Nansemond County was immediately after the war, the fact that a James Collins (either he or his father?) appears again in Isle of Wight County in a 1782 tax list, and that other Collinses appear in 1783 in Nansemond but all disappear thereafter, may be taken as evidence that they were living in the old area again after the war, at least briefly. James said it was "nearly" a year; clearly it was not much longer. (On the other evidence confirming this return to Nansemond/Isle of Wight, see above, Page 79.) The move, the reasons for which are never stated, is still a reminder that the Collinses must have retained some links with Tidewater Virginia and also that the extreme northeast of North Carolina and extreme southeast of Virginia remained closely allied regions.

We have seen that James Collins had moved to North Carolina, and that his brother Jesse Collins also drops from the records after the 1770s but may be the man who appears in Nash County, just east of Franklin County. Perhaps one or the other had kept land in Virgiinia and returned to try to work it after the war. This is all speculative, and the fact that the land records for Nansemond do not survive make it difficult to be certain. In any event, the Collinses presumably still owned their North Carolina land as well, and the return to Virginia was temporary.

James Collins: The Marital History Problem

Since almost everything we know about James Collins personally -- as opposed to his land and tax records, which tell us little about the man -- is derived from his pension file, the fact that his and his widow's claims list 16 children -- in two separate documents -- obviously leads to the conclusion that his 1784 marriage was his only one. But there is solid, persuasive evidence to believe that there was a first marriage, with one son, Peter Collins, born sometime before James married Temperance Vinson, perhaps even several years before. We should look at this question before examining his children and subsequent life, even though we must start with his death to do it.

The pension file shows this: On March 10, 1847 "Tempa Collins" (as signed by mark: "Mrs Tempy Collins" in the text, and clearly meaning Temperance Vinson Collins, also often spelled Tempey, as I usually have spelled it in my text) filed an affidavit at the Court of Pleas and Quarter Session for Franklin County, noting that James Collins had died on December 23, 1838 (two days before Christmas!) in his 84th year, and that she was his widow, having been married to him by one John Webb in Franklin County on March 16, 1784. (The Webbs, remember, were another possible Kingsale family.) Their first child was born on Christmas day of that year, Durham Collins. She then listed the 16 children she had had by him. She also said that her maiden name was Vinson and that she was then (March 1847) 82 years old, giving her a presumed birthdate between March 1764 and March 1765.

In addition to Tempy or Tempey Vinson's own 1847 statement there is included in the file a piece of paper with writing on both sides. It was once folded into four segments, like a legal sized letter folded for an envelope. Along the left margin of the lower fold on the back is the phrase "A list of ages" in what may be a clerk's hand. It is reproduced on Page 124.

One side of this document includes a list of the 16 children of James and Temperance, a list also included in Tempey's declaration, but here clearly in an older original. The handwriting is the same but different darkness of ink suggests it was done over a period of years, rather like a Bible entry, but on a separate sheet of paper. Deaths have been crossed out, presumably to make it a list of births only, but this too adds to the impression that this was kept like a Bible entry, and then edited for sending to Washington. The handwriting is a fine, clerical hand: obviously not James' or Temperance's, since they signed by mark. One side includes the 16 children. On the reverse, in the same good hand, appear the names of three Richardson children. These do not appear to be grandchildren of James and Temperance, but the name Richardson, Richason or Richeson appears adjacent to various Collinses and Vinsons in Franklin County. Collinses and Richardsons regularly sold each other land, witnessed each others' deeds and wills, and so did Vinsons and Richardsons. Neighbors certainly; kin probably. Oddly enough, Richardsons continue to accompany the Collinses all the way to Tennessee, and Henry Collins' daughter Frances Ann Collins married a Richardson.(34) Just below these Richardson entries the handwriting changes. There is a subtitle "Negros ages-- GC" (it might not be a "G". If it is it is probably George Washington Collins, who provided most of the data on his illiterate mother's application).(35) If this handwriting is George's, it is not the same as that of the list of children, which is much finer and more bookish. It is not known whose fine clerical hand recorded it; the ink differences suggest it was a family member, since it was recorded over a period of time, and not a clerk. If it were a copy made by the pension office, they would hardly have included the slaves, and this seems to be in a Collins family hand ("GC").

These two records -- Temperance Vinson Collins' statement and this family record submitted with it (and left with the pension office for some reason) certainly suggest that the 16 children of James and Tempey (16 seeming to be plenty) were all the children of James Collins. It includes the names of children who died before reaching adulthood, so presumably Temperance did not leave out any of her own children who had already died.

But there is another figure in the records who cannot be explained by Temperance's list. Some 20 years ago I learned that he apparently had another son, Peter Collins. Judge George D. Taylor of Beaumont, Texas, a descendant of the Collinses and Guptons through more than one line I believe, has succeeded in establishing this beyond any question.(36) As a jurist, he was able to make his case in a legal manner which persuaded me and must convince anyone who examines the evidence. I have also now seen all the documentation which Judge Taylor used in the original, and believe we can add details to what he had.

This earlier son also explains the fact that James and Tempey married when James was 25 (nearing 26) -- a bit old for a first marriage for a farm boy of the era, despite the attractions of fighting in the Revolution. His service, brief militia tours, gave him plenty of time to come home, bring in the crops, and create children, and plenty of soldiers who served from Bunker Hill to Yorktown used their long leaves to raise whole families in the years of the fight against the Crown.

None of James' tours of duty was over three months. And 25 is a fairly old age for first marriage in an illiterate, farming society. (Tempey, at the time of marriage, would have been around 19 at most, since her birthdate was presumably between March of 1765 and March of 1766.)

The Peter Collins Problem

Peter Collins is the problem. If he was a son of Temperance, why does she make no mention of him? He was dead before 1847, it is true, but she mentions other children who had died. Could he have been the son of another James Collins? No, for the evidence to be presented shows that Peter was a son of our James, whoever his mother was. Presumably James was married before. (The legal documents would have likely identified Peter as illegitimate if he was.) Anyone uninterested in the proofs of Peter's being a son of James may choose to skip to the next section, on the known 16 children of James and Temperance, beginning on Page 124.

Peter died in 1817 (his estate was administered by his father, James Collins, explicitly so called in Peter's will), and left two sons and two daughters (Josiah, b. 1805, James, Martha, and Priscilla, dates not known); his wife Patience survived him and is found in the 1820 tax list, where she was taxed for 479 acres at $2 per acre. Later, in the administration of James Collins' estate, Peter Collins' heirs are treated the same way as Durham Collins' heirs, since Durham (the first son by Temperance) had also died before his father. And all the heirs mentioned in the estate are explicitly stated to be either children or grandchildren of the deceased James Collins.(37)

I was skeptical when I first heard from Judge Taylor. He noted that James Collins, father of Peter Collins, was so identified and appointed executor in Peter Collins' will, dated April 26, 1817 and probated that year. One could argue this does not prove that this was our James Collins. But Taylor also found a petition dated 1839 in which Temperance Collins and others sought a partition by sale of 15 slaves of James Collins who, we know, died in December 1838. I have also consulted the original petition directly. The petition was filed by 22 people, last of whom was Temperance Collins the widow of James. The sale of the slaves was so ordered and a report made on June 10, 1839. The 22 people listed were:

--Will, Wilson, Holland, Henry, Jones, and Elisha Collins of Tennessee; assuming Will is Willis then these are the Collins brothers who emigrated to Tennessee, to be discussed later, but all known as children of James and Tempey;

--Will Leonard and his wife Sally Collins Leonard of Georgia; Sally or Salley is a daughter of James and Temperance; we have already met several Leonards of course, and see the detailed discussion of children below;

--David Collins, James Collins, Washington Collins, Bennett Stallings and his wife the former Temperance Collins (all of Franklin County); these are known sons and daughters of James and Temperance, those who remained in, or returned to, North Carolina;

--six people stated to be of Tennessee and children of Durham Collins, deceased. Durham was a son of James and Temperance. The six are: William Turner, and his wife, formerly Temperance Collins (daughter of Durham); Thomas Collins, Jones Collins, John Collins, Sally Collins daughter of Durham, Mary Collins. Jones the younger, John, Sally and Mary were represented by their guardian, James Collins (brother of Durham, presumably).

--Josiah Collins, James Collins, Martha Collins, and Priscilla Collins, stated to be the children of Peter Collins, deceased.

If this weren't evidence enough, the petition states that the late James Collins, who had recently died, was the husband of Temperance Collins listed as his widow, and "was the father of some of the others (other than Temperance herself) and the grandfather of the rest". The petition sought to divide the property (which, remember, was 15 slaves) into 14 parts (how, one dares to wonder?). One part was to go to the widow, Temperance, one part each to the nine living sons and two sons-in-law in right of their wives, one part to the children of Durham Collins and one part to the children of Peter Collins.(38)

Clearly, Durham's children and Peter's children were treated as equal, and each group as equal to the shares of the surviving known Collins children. This leaves no real doubt that Peter was a legitimate son of James Collins, though his relationship with Temperance is never stated. Again, Judge Taylor deserves credit for establishing documentary proof, which can now be further confirmed by additional documentation.

Also in 1839 Temperance filed a petition seeking a dower interest in the estate and listed her surviving children as "heirs at law", but did not list the children of either Durham or Peter. Judge Taylor also noted that on April 10, 1839 all children of James Collins 11 children of James Collins and the children of Durham and Peter petitioned to sell the lands of James Collins, stated to be 1,000 acres subject to the dower rights of Temperance Vinson (more on the land later). All petitioners were again stated to be either children or grandchildren of James, clearly showing that Peter's children were James' grandchildren. James Collins the younger, son of our James, bought the lands in 1839 from the others; the instrument is dated Sept. 22, 1840 and includes Peter's children.

Census Evidence of an Earlier Wife

Judge Taylor convinced me, and further work in the Franklin County records has simply served to confirm the fact that Peter Collins was definitely a son of James Collins "II", the man we are profiling here. But he did not appear in the list of "my children" by Temperance Vinson Collins, though I must note that she mentioned at least one child -- Polley -- and almost certainly one other (John) who had died before her testimony. Taylor was uncertain what this meant; he did not have the census evidence showing that Peter was born before or during 1784.

The strongest evidence that Peter was not a son of Temperance but of an earlier, forgotten first wife is the fact that in the 1800 Franklin County Census he appears as a man 16-26 and in 1810 as a man 26-45.(39) Both would mean that 1784 is the latest possible year for Peter's birth, which could have been as early (from the census) as 1774, but since James Collins II was only 16 in that year a date somewhere in the late 1770s or early 1780s seems likelier. Since James and Tempey married in March of 1784, and their first child was born in December of that year, Peter could not have been born in 1784, at least not with Tempey as mother, unless he was a twin of Durham in December, and that would show up in the family record.(40)

As mentioned in footnote 212, in 1800 Peter apparently was still unmarried, and in 1810 was married and had a son and daughter. The son must have been Josiah (born 1805) and the daughter perhaps Martha, listed first in the petition. Two more children were born before his death in 1817. All this is consistent with a man born in the late 1770s or early 1780s. In short: Peter had to be born in 1784 or earlier, but since Durham Collins was born in December of 1784 nine months after Tempey's marriage -- and was not listed as a twin -- Peter must have been born before 1784, to a wife other than Tempey.

There is further confirmation of this. In our last chapter we quoted a tax list from Franklin County which carries no date but which the editor dated as 1800-1803 (See above, Page 93, for full reference), which shows Peter Collins as a landholder with 388 acres. Though the census of 1800 showed him as unmarried we know he had married before 1805 (when Josiah was apparently born), and it appears that by 1800-1803 he owned land in his own right, suggesting he may have been at least 18, pointing to a birth by 1782 or so. And if the date of the undated list is in doubt, there is no question that Peter appears once more, as a landholder with 388 acres, in the 1804 Franklin County tax list, cited above on Page 93.

Actually, as also noted above (Page 91), the 1790 census lists two James Collins families which are clearly James I and James II, but it is difficult to tell which is which. One, however, has two males over 16, five males under 16 and only one female. James and Tempey had not had any daughters born in 1790, but had had five sons, all born after 1784. If this family is James and Temperance's, then it might suggest that Peter was already 16 in 1790, giving him a birthdate of around 1774. That seems a bit early -- James was only 16 -- and can be read other ways. But it seems clear enough that Peter was born before 1784 and that therefore his mother was not Temperance Vinson Collins.

I therefore believe it is clear that James had an earlier wife, of whom in fact we know nothing. (Illegitimate birth by a mother other than Tempey would probably have been noted in the legal claim, since the legitimate heirs would have sought to exclude Peter's heirs.) Who Peter Collins' mother was we do not know, but unless he was born of Tempey before her marriage to James, or was an unrecorded twin or Durham Collins, his census age shows he was not a son of Tempey. Judge Taylor showed he is a son of James, so an earlier wife seems certain -- but undocumented.

In the realm of pure guesswork, we can even suggest what her name might be. Peter named his two sons Josiah and James, one after his father, obviously, and the other a common name which recurs in other branches of the family. He named his two daughters Martha and Priscilla. One of these might well be the name of Peter's mother, but that is only a guess.

The 16 Children of James and Temperance (Vinson) Collins

By Temperance (Vinson) Collins' own statement, she and James Collins had 16 children. I have not sought (as some relatives have) to trace the descent of those other than my direct ancestor, Henry Collins, but some of their fates were linked and some part of the story depends on understanding their relationships. Besides Temperance's statement there is the document I have called the list of ages, which appears to have been written at different times and which includes the Negroes' ages on the back. This document is probably the earliest and best evidence of the ages provided and includes some information on those who died young. It is thus preferable to and probably prior to Temperance's own statement.

I have not sought to trace all the Collins descendants. I have attempted to learn what happened to each line for a generation or two, but have not gone beyond about the 1850 census, nor have I checked these lines through databases such as the International Genealogical Index. My goal has been to describe the life of James and Temperance and of our own line of descent, giving enough information about the other lines for others to hook themselves into the data.

Where other information is available, as in Judge George D. Taylor's information on descendants of Peter Collins or Donald C. Jeter's "Collins Chronicle" work on the Marshall County, Tennessee Collinses, or my own cousins' work on the Missouri lines, that material does appear in the descent tables at the end of the work, but they are not intended to be comprehensive at this time.

The 16 children listed in the "List of Ages" and Temperance's petition were:

Durham Collins. Born December 25, 1784. The eldest child of James and Tempey, Durham was apparently the first of the Collinses to move to what became Marshall County, Tennessee. He does not seem to have gone to Georgia like the other brothers who later came to south-central Tennessee. Durham was in Bedford County by 1812 and Maury County by 1814 (both predecessors of Marshall County), married twice, first to Mary Weaver, the second time to a woman named Rebecca Hooten (or Whooton?) in 1816 and bought 175 acres in Maury County in 1817, in land which became Marshall County.(41) Durham and Rebecca had 11 children; what I know of their descendants will be found in the genealogical tables at the back of this work. Whether Durham's name was derived from the North Carolina place name is unknown, but James Collins I's will was witnessed by one Durham Hill.

Willis Collins. Willis was born February 18, 1786.(42) He was one of the sons who migrated to Georgia prior to going to Tennessee, and his marriage to Phebe or Phoebe Martin appears in the Elbert County, Georgia records for 1810, as will be discussed in the profile of Henry Collins. Willis fought in the War of 1812, is said to have served under Andrew Jackson, and is probably the Willis Collins who served with Wilson Collins in the 2nd Regiment of Georgia Volunteers (Jenkins' Volunteers). Willis is found in the 1820 Oglethorpe County, Georgia, census as a farmer, but it is also remembered that he served as an overseer during his time in Georgia.(43) Phoebe seems to have been a sister of the Frances Martin who married Henry Collins, as will be discussed in more detail in Henry's profile and in the notes on the Martin family. Willis appears in the 1820 census as a man of 16-45, his wife in the same age category, and with two children under 10. Willis is said to have been a Whig politically prior to the breakup of that party. He moved to Marshall County (or rather its predecessor Maury County) about 1826, the same year as his brother Henry. Phoebe or Phebe was born May 20, 1786 and died December 10, 1867. They had nine children, the oldest, Thomas, being born July 27, 1818. Willis Collins died November 24, 1854.(44) Those descendants I can identify appear in the genealogical tables.

Wilson Collins. Born June 9, 1787. He seems to have been in Georgia, too: a Wilson Collins served in the 2nd Regiment of Georgia Volunteers (Jenkins' Regiment) during the War of 1812, the same regiment in which a Willis Collins served, and a Wilson Collins appears in a Barbour County, Georgia tax list.(45) At the time of the 1839 settlement of his father's estate, Wilson was stated to be of Tennessee. He does not seem to have lived in Marshall County, though, despite signing the 1839 petition. An 1841 power of attorney to his brother James III, for sale of his share of his father's property, still as part of the estate settlement, he was living in Barbour County, Alabama.(46) (He is not, by the way, the Wilson Collins who turns up in Nash County, North Carolina censuses, and who had a son named Wilson; the Nash County Wilson was older than this man, being 82 in 1860, and while presumably some sort of kin I cannot yet identify his exact relationship.) In fact he had been in Barbour County as early as an 1833 state census, and thereafter in 1840 through 1860 as well, suggesting that he already had Alabama links prior to the 1839 petition. In the 1850 census he is shown as a man of 64, and in 1860 as 74,(47) which is within a year of being correct, and the 1841 letter makes it virtually certain this is the same Wilson Collins. Alabama records and some unverified material seem to suggest that he married twice; his first wife is said to have been Barbara Beasley, by whom he may have had as many as eight children (including a daughter, Tempy, confirming his ancestry.)(48) He later had an apparent second wife Elizabeth Early, for he is mentioned in the will of her father, Jesse Early, in 1843(49); she was apparently been a second wife, as she is aged 30-40 in the 1840 census, while he is correctly in the 50-60 category; there were young children in that census.(50) He is said to have died prior to 1875;(51) a descendant source reports a death date of 1 December 1875 near Louisville, Choctaw County, Alabama(52). He is also said at some time to hjave lived in Putnam County, Alabama. Though he is said to have died in Choctaw County, most of his children lived on in Barbour County. In the 1850 census there, Wilson was shown with Adeline Collins, age 9, born in Alabama, while he is 64. He may be her grandfather, or possibly she is a daughter by a second marriage, since the 1840 census showed some young children in the household. Elizabeth must have died prior to 1850. Adeline must be the same as Adeline Collins who married George W. Williams on 16 November 1858 in Barbour County, by whom descendants are known.(53) A newspaper obituary confirms that Wilson's son Hartwell Collins died in Barbour County, Alabama on 1 January 1908.(54)

Holland Collins. Born October 17, 1788 according to both the "List of Ages" and Temperance Collins' declaration; the "List of Ages" makes his first name "Hollander" but no later sources do. The name Holland, as we have seen, is associated with the Collinses from the Kingsale Swamp area of Virginia. He died in Tennessee in 1843, and appears in the census there by 1830, so he too was one of the migrants to that state, but we have little else on him. Jeter's "Collins Chronicle" has a year earlier October 17, 1787, but that is only four months after Wilson's birth.(55) He moved to Logan County, Kentucky before Tennessee; it would appear that his uncles Elisha and Henry lived there already, plus other Sandy Creek cousins. (See below, in the Henry Collins biography, at page 161.) There he married Caty Edwards on 17 March 1813 and children were born there through about 1825.(56) He was in Tennessee by 1830 (when he is in the census there) and owned 220 acres by 1840.(57) Holland married (second) a woman named Mary or Polly, who survived him and died 1848.(58)

John Collins. Born July 14, 1790. Not accounted for in later documents. There is evidence that this son died in Army service. On the same page of Franklin County Will Book F (p. 222) which contains the will of James Collins I, appears an entry for the account of "John Collins dec'd", described as "a soldier in the United States Army", by James Collins, administrator. This dates from the December Court 1819. The same material is repeated in a document in the estate files under John Collins (1819), in which there is a claim for Army pay due. The date and the fact that James Collins was the administrator makes it highly probable that this was the son born in 1790, who would have been in his late 20s. It is not clear if he died in warfare or merely while in service. There were numerous men named John Collins who served in both the War of 1812 and the Indian Wars of the 18-teens. A John Collins served in the 5th Regiment of North Carolina militia (Atkinson's Regiment) during the War of 1812, or he might have served from Georgia like some of his brothers. He might also have died in the Creek War (during the War of 1812) or, given the date of the administration, perhaps more likely the Seminole War of 1818 in which Andrew Jackson fought the Seminoles in Florida. There are a number of John Collinses listed in the military files of those Indian wars, but I have not pursued research with enough detail to identify if any came from Franklin County.

David Collins. Born October 25, 1791. David was used as a name for one of James II"s brothers, and Temperance's father had been David Vinson, so it is not surprising that the name turns up. James Collins' land at the time of his death is said to border David Collins' and he seems to have owned land to the east of his father. He also acquired some of the David Vinson land. It is virtually certain that he is the same man who died 1 January 1861, leaving a wife Martha (also known as Patsey, often a nickname for Martha), who appears in the census records and in the Franklin County estate files. That man's dates vary a bit from census to census (he is 67 in 1850 but 70 in 1860!) but despite this he seems to be the same man as the son of James II.

Polley Collins. Born January 20, 1793. An entry showing that she died April 4, 1801 appears on the "List of Ages" but has been crossed out. Presumably this is her date of death (crossed out since the list was intended to show only births). No further record. Polley or Polly was usually a nickname for Mary in the 18th and 19th centuries, but may also have been a given name.

Patsey Collins. Born June 8, 1794. No further certain record found. She is not listed in the 1839 petition, and is listed only in the form "Patsey", never as Patricia or Martha. (Patsey was a common nickname for Martha in earlier centuries; George Washington called his Martha Patsey, for example.) However, note that in the 1840 census we find "Tempy" Collins (widow of James II), listed as 70-80, with another female in the household listed as 40-50, plus four slaves.(59) It looks as if one of Tempey's daughters may never have married, and since we know Polley was already dead (see above) it might have been Patsey (though Elizabeth, see below, could also fit the age). Or she could have been a daughter-in-law or paid servant. There is a Martha Collins, aged 68, in the 1860 Franklin County census, a farmer living alone.(60) But since she is not mentioned in the 1839 petition for James II's estate, it seems likelier that she had died before her father.

Henry Collins. Our ancestor; fully profiled in the next chapter; born December 18, 1795. Married Frances Martin. He was robably named for his uncle, James Collins II's brother Henry.

Jones Collins. Born June 28, 1797. Some records have been misread as "James" but the man was named Jones. Josiah Collins, son of Peter, and Holland Collins also named children Jones. And as we know, Jones was a family name both in the Kingsale area and in the Cypress Creek area, where Drury Jones sold land to James Collins II. This Jones Collins fought in the War of 1812, apparently in a Georgia militia unit.(61) If so, he was already in Georgia by then; we know that at some point he moved to Oglethorpe County, Georgia, where in the 1820 census he was living next door to Henry Collins. He moved to Tennessee in 1832, six years after Henry and Willis. The Tennessee records speak of his wife as Sophia Wright and they named a daughter Sophia, though the marriage record in Greene County, Georgia has been transcribed as Sophronia Wright. The wife's tombstone in Tennessee has Sophia. She was born 1798 in Georgia and died in 1875 in Tennessee. A son David was born March 16, 1827 and fought in the Mexican War. Jeter lists nine children.(62) Jones Collins was a Jacksonian Democrat. According to Goodspeed's county history (which made him six years older than he really was, though), Jones led 14 of his children and grandchildren to the front in the Civil War, clearly on the Confederate side. (This figure includes grandchildren; Jones probably only had nine children.) Jones would have been 64 when the war broke out. He was a farmer and extensive landowner in Marshall County. In 1875 Sophia died. Jones was still alive in 1886(63) and also in 1888 when a relative describes him as "harty and peart as common"(64). He is said to have died in 1889.(65)

Elizabeth Collins. Born January 2, 1799. Apparently not alive in 1839 (not included in petition). Probably died young but no other evidence.

Sarah Collins. Born October 28, 1800. Although Judge Taylor identified "Sally" Collins with the "Polley" above (probably by misreading the handwriting), Sally (also often "Salley") was clearly Sarah, since then as now Sally was a standard nickname for Sarah. Salley (so spelled) was also the name of one of Tempey Vinson Collins' sisters, and this daughter may have been named for her. In 1839 she was in Georgia and married to Will Leonard, one of the Leonards of the Sandy Creek area. This is not the same as the William Leonard who served with James Collins, and who lived past 90; her husband's given name was Willis Leonard, as is shown by one version of the 1839 petition, though he seems to have always gone by "Will". In the 1830 Franklin County census we find and wife in the 30-40 range. Salley would have been 30 in that year; there was one female child under five. The Georgia records may shed more light.George Washington Collins, Salley's youngest brother, married Mary P. Leonard in 1830. She was reportedly a daughter of Frederick Leonard, another neighbor, and how she was related to Willis is not known. The 1839 petition shows Willis Leonard and his wife "Salley" as being of Georgia and they are not in the 1840 Franklin County census. I have not identified them with any of the Leonards in the 1840 Georgia census, though there were several "Williams", and a Van Leonard who lived in the mid-1800s in Muscogee County, Georgia must be the same man or a son of the one who witnessed James Collins I's will in Franklin Co., North Carolina in 1815. Though many Franklin County Leonards turned up later in Marshall County, Tennessee, Willis and Sarah do not seem to (though a William with wife Sarah, born in South Carolina and Tennessee however, do turn up there).

James Collins "III". Born January 24, 1803.(66) This younger James Collins is sometimes called James Collins Junior in land records, which is confusing since his father had been called Junior while James Collins "I" was still alive. I have called him James III with all the reservations I have already noted about James "I" and "II". There were, however, several other James Collinses in the area at the time: James son of Peter Collins, and James son of William Collins, as well as his father James II. On sorting these Jameses out in the records, see my footnote 176 above on Page 103. James III is said to have been in Tennessee in the mid-1820s and again in 1839, and to have moved back to North Carolina in 1839 or 1840.(67) The 1839 petition shows him as a resident of Franklin County. There is evidence to suggest that he owned land as early as 1822 in Tennessee, which would mean when he was 19 or so; and in an 1841 letter to James III Henry Collins says prices are similar to when he (James) was in Tennessee. This James Collins certainly lived out his last years in Franklin County; the other brothers and sisters sold him their share of the James Collins II land after James II's death. He is pretty certainly the James Collins who died 11 January 1860, leaving a wife Rebecca and a son, William T. Collins, as that James with the family appears in both the 1850 and 1860 censuses as a man born about 1803. The other James Collinses do not fit the birthdate.(68)

Tempy Collins. Born July 19, 1805. So in the "List of Ages" and Temperance Vinson Collins' declaration; later listed as "Temperance" like her mother in legal documents; Tempy presumably not the legal name. Married Bennett Stallings and appears as his wife in the 1839 petition. The Stallings were a well-attested family in the Franklin County area, and there is still a "Stallings Crossroads" there, right by James Collins II's land. Stallings also appears in Tidewater Virginia earlier, and the families may have had other links. Bennett Stallings seems to have had children by an earlier wife than Temperance, whom he married February 18, 1832 in Franklin County; I have some reservations, however, about the information contained in one Stallings genealogy.(69) Their descendants remained in the Marshall County area for some time.

Elisha Collins. Born May 2, 1807. The name Elisha is common in the family; James Collins II had a brother Elisha, uncle of this Elisha, and James II's brother Jesse also had a son Elisha. The name was regularly used thereafter. This one moved to Tennessee sometime before 1830, when he's there in the census and when he married; it is probable (but not stated) that he came with Henry and Willis in 1826. He married Elizabeth (Betsey) McGregor in 1830. The land he bought in 1837 must not have been his first in Tennessee. Goodspeed gave him 10 children, though Jeter gives him 11, and is probably more accurate as one daughter had died in infancy.(70) Three of the sons are said to have been killed in the Civil War, including one who was only 13 years old, "who had ridden his horse to the back of his father's farm to drive the milk cow home, when he was shot by bushwhackers, who stole his horse."(71) Jeter says Elisha's son Willis, born 1837, died near Chattanooga in 1862, Patrick H., born 1843, died in 1863, and Elisha Pain Collins, born 1845, died December 1862. These are the only ones who died during the war, and Elisha P. would seem to have been 17, not 13. Goodspeed seems to have some ages wrong for birthdates as well. Elsewhere we learn that Betsey McGregor was born in 1807 in Virginia. Elisha was a Democrat who died November 16, 1872. Betsey was still living in 1886, when Goodspeed wrote.(72) They are buried in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Lewisburg, Tennessee, where we learn that she died March 19, 1893.(73)

George Washington Collins. Born November 12, 1809. He married Mary P. Leonard (remember his older sister Sally married a Will Leonard) on November 23, 1830 in Franklin County. It is said he moved back and forth several times between North Carolina and Tennessee.(74) He certainly spent time in both places. The full name "George Washington Collins" does not seem to appear but enough combinations do to make it clear what the name was. In the 1839 petition he was listed as being of Franklin County, and listed as "Washington Collins"; he signed himself as "G.W.", on other known documents. "George W." also appears, and his son was George W., Junior. He seems to have been in Tennessee in 1839 (when the estate of his father was settled), and as late as 1841 (when he is mentioned in a letter of Henry Collins as living nearby).(75) On April 18, 1849 the elder George W. signed a declaration in the pension files stating that he was "the only Surviving Heir of Tempy Collins". "Child" has twice been crossed out and "Heir" written in, so presumably he was aware his other brothers still survived in Tennessee. The pension record is confusing since James Collins "III" was definitely still in North Carolina and so was David Collins. George is also probably the "GC" whose initials appear on the "List of Ages". After Tempey's death he remained for a time in Franklin County (he is there in the 1850 census), but it is said that he lived in Marshall County, Tennessee, near his brothers, until 1864 when he moved to Prentiss County, Mississippi, where he lived in Boonville. In a will dated October 11, 1870 he named his sons George W. Jr., John Thomas, and Elisha Squire Collins (yet another Elisha), and daughters Ann Jackson and Mary McConnell, both deceased.(76) Jeter lists eight children by his first wife and one by his second.(77)

Judge Taylor noted that of the 16 children of James and Temperance Collins listed in the 1847 list, all are named as petitioners except Durham, Sarah, John and Elizabeth. Durham's children are listed. Judge Taylor apparently did not realize it, but Sarah is certainly Sally; he read "Polley" in the old handwriting as Sally. But the "List of Ages" shows that Polley died young. John is almost certainly the man who died in the Army by 1819. Patsey may have lived on with family, or may have died young. Only Elizabeth seems completely unrecorded. It is presumed she died young as well.

Of the 17 children of James Collins, (Peter and the 16 by Temperance), 13 of them, all but John, Elizabeth, Polley and Patsey seem to have had children of their own. In every case but that of Salley Collins Leonard, we have at least a partial list of names, and Salley and her husband showed unnamed children in the early census records.

On the names, it is worth noting that the most unusual among them are Durham, Willis, Holland and Jones. (Elisha is a good Biblical name as well as a very frequently repeated family name; Tempy or Tempey of course comes from her mother. All of these unusual names are perpetuated in later generations of our family, and there seems to be reason to believe, as noted earlier, that several of them may be names of intermarried families: Holland, Willis, and Jones may all fit this description. Holland we have mentioned several times, and it is perpetuated for several generations, at least to my great-grandfather's era in my own line, though sometimes spelled "Holand". Clearly it came from the Kingsale Swamp Hollands, though if they were intermarried with the Collinses, we do not yet know how. Durham may simply come from the North Carolina town, though the name gets repeated through several generations of Collinses and one Durham Hill witnessed the will of James Collins I: perhaps he was kin. Willis proved to be an exceptionally popular middle name among later Collinses, and must reflect some early family alliance we have not discovered. It is also worth noting, given both the antiquity and ubiquity of the name "William" in our Collins ancestry, that there are no Williams among these 17 children, though there is a Willis and a Wilson. Perhaps there had just been too many Williams.

But then the Collinses may have just been searching for interesting names. James II's brother William, for example, named sons James, Jesse, William, Nathanael, and, apparently running out of straightforward names, Theodorick, Littlebury, and Littleton. The last two both sound like surnames, and sound a lot alike, too.

The Collins Land

When James Collins II died he owned 1265 ½ acres of land, a substantial amount. This, however, did not account for all the land he had owned at one time or another, since we know that he had sold off most of the lands which David Vinson left to Temperance and her sisters, and which almost all passed to him eventually. This, the fact that the deed books do not appear to account for every transaction, and the fact that unless "Senior" or "Junior" was used, it is not always clear which land was James I's and which James II's, leads to some confusion in being able to define the land precisely.

However, we know precisely what he owned when he died, because that was divided up in his estate, and a plat exists. We also know the acreage which turns up in various tax lists. Since his father, James I, seems to have almost always kept to the 150 acres he acquired early on in the Sandy Creek area, most of the deeds found later seem to relate to James II.

Certainly those two early purchases which refer to Cypress Creek land, one in 1789 (See Page 76) and the other in 1793 (See Page 77), either refer to James II or represent land which eventually passed to him, because later he will be found primarily in the Cypress Creek area, and in many years will often appear in a different militia district from his father, his brothers, and for that matter his son Peter. (For a full accounting of Collinses in the tax lists and census records from the 1790s through about 1815, see the biography of James I, particularly pages 91 through 95.) Already in 1798 he had 688 acres, more than can be accounted for in the known deeds. By 1804 that has shrunk to 512 acres, which remained stable for a while. In 1810 he still has 512 acres in his own right but is administering 530 acres of David Vinson's estate.(78) (David Vinson was Temperance's father.)

In 1815 we find James with 847 acres, taxed at $2 per acre, for a total tax of $1694; he also has three slaves of an age to require a poll tax. (This varied from time to time but generally taxes were only paid on the able bodied males, free and slave, on the land.)(79)

The 1820 census for Franklin County is lost. An 1820 tax list, however, shows him owning 900 acres in Captain Jackson's District, up a bit from five years earlier, and paying $2 per acre on the land for a total of $1800. He also paid for three black polls in that year as well. In the same year, and also in "Captain Jackson's District", we find Esther, widow of James I, with James I's 150 acres (taxed at $3 per acre, either because it was more devloped than James II's land or was in a better location), Patience Collins, widow of Peter Collins, with Peter's 479 acres, and another James Collins with two white polls, but no acreage. This is probably James son of William but that is not certain; perhaps it is James III, who was just about 17 years old at this time.(80) William Collins, David Collins (probably now David son of James II, who would have been 29, as the earlier David was dead by now), and Jesse Collins (probably William Collins' son of that name) living in Captain Davis' District, William with 340 acres and one black poll, david with 58 acres and one white poll, and Jesse with no acreage and just one white poll.(81)

James Collins' land at the time of his death in 1838 is spelled out in detail in the plat and other materials accompanying the creation of Tempey's dower land in the 1839 settlement of his estate. That material is complex and will be discussed in greater detail in a future edition. For now, it is perhaps sufficient to say that the best historical and geographical reading I can put on the historical record is the map which appears at the end of this chapter as an appendix on page 145.

The David Vinson Land

James II is also listed in 1810 under "Vinson, David's estate by James Collins Jr. 530 ac."(82) And thereby hangs a tale of inheritance and resale., though his wife was probably not the eldest in the family and only received one-sixth of the children's allotment, plus a dower interest in the land set aside for her father's widow.(83)

Tempey's father David died in 1810(84), and the details are provided in his profile in the Vinson section. Some needs to be repeated here, however. In the division of the lands of David Vinson, Deceased, in 1811 we find that Elizabeth Carrell, Salley (elsewhere Sally) Wilhite, Charity Vass, Temperance Collins, "Rachal" (elsewhere Rachel) Bass and Lydia Richards each drew 58 3/4 acres. This adds up to 352 1/2 acres, rather less than the 530 acres mentioned in the 1810 tax list as being under James II's authority. Probably this is because the widow of David Vinson (Frances in the documents, though the "Hannah" question crops up) was given a dower estate set aside for her, though perhaps there are other explanations. In any event, over the next few years each of Tempey's sisters or their heirs sold their shares of the property and their share of the widow's dower to James. Most of the sisters seem to have moved out of state. The first case was as early as November 6, 1810, only three weeks after the estate settlement and widow's provisions. Elizabeth Carrell, of Randolph County, Georgia, deeded her share of land to James. On August 10, 1814, Rachel and Theophilus Bass of Wilson County, Tennessee -- another sister-- deeded their land and share of the dower, but called the widow "Hannah Vincent". For the Hannah/Frances problem, see the Vinson section. Less than a month later, on September 7, 1814, Sally Wilhite, another of Tempey's sisters, did the same, as well as her share in the land set aside for Frances Vinson. On August 25, 1818, two people named Vass -- presumably surviving children of Tempey's sister Charity Vass -- did the same: land plus their interest in the dower land. As for the final sister, Lydia Richards, her husband George sold some or all of it to Parker Murphrey (the mystery heir in James Collins I's will, who received a full share and must be some kind of relative), and Murphrey in turn sold it to -- James Collins II.(85) So James probably had all the sisters' estates, unless some of the Richards land went elsewhere -- Murphrey does not state that he bought all of George Richards' land from David Vinson's estate.

However, on August 19, 1820, James Collins sold his interest in the dower land and the first five lots of the David Vinson (Vincent in this record) estate, presumably keeping Tempey's only, if that.(86) The whole Vinson land record will be dealt with in the Vinson history and, perhaps, in future versions of this one. What is clear is that a significant parcel of land (the plat in David Vinson's estate records make it clear that it was on the south side of Sandy Creek), passed into James Collins' hand through his wife but then passed out again.

A Glimpse of James Collins' Farm: The Estate Sale

As we noted in his father's biography, the estate sales of our ancestors sometimes give us a useful glimpse into their everyday lives. While it requires us to jump ahead past the man's death, the cattle, household goods and other belongings owned at his death give us a picture of what the man's farm must have been like during his life. The "Account of Sale" appears to be dated in April (possibly the 10th? -- the microfilm is muddy) 1839, and was submitted to the September Court of Franklin County in that year. (Once again, North Carolina courts met in "quarter sessions" in March, June, September and December).(87)

Most of the buyers at the estate sale were either family members or people with names suggesting they were in-laws or at any rate members of that Sandy Creek community we have discussed. The sale included, (though some entries are hard to read or identify): w Scythe cradles, two lots of Barrels, (next two items illegible in my copy), one lot of flax, one barrel and (pans?), another of same; two large stands; one barrel; two barrels of vinegar one "culling knife and lot of cord (or card?)"; one still which sold for $50.35 (more than some of the cattle; and it sold to Tempy Collins); another still which sold to James Collins III for $18 (why was the first still so much more expensive: more productive? bigger? better); one still cap (or cup?) with "pitcher", one Apple mill and 2 cider presses (also to Tempey for $11.25), one Waggon (Croft? Crost?), one grindstone, one "pare cartewheels", one handsaw and "auger", one "Lot of Augurs", one "Jointer", one lot of barrel timber, one yoke of oxen which sold for (apparently) $38.25, or almost $12 less than the still; an oxcart, another yoke of oxen which went to Tempey for $15; another oxcart, a cow and yearling, one lot of "cash" (? unless it is "cask": it went for $1); one "Currying knife" (this may have something to do with currying horses or, perhaps likelier given that it is a "knife", with the work of a "currier's knife" in tanning); one "Meal Stand (also to Tempey); a variety of pans, pots, a potrack, an oven, two more potracks, one (sugar and draining knife? or sugar and drawing knife?); one lot of card; two separately sold footstools, two griddles, unspecified "Kitchen Furniture" and a lot of lumber (both the latter bought by Henry Collins, our ancestor, who seems to have returned from Tennessee for the estate settlement), one Jug, a lot of Puter (pewter), one "Bucket &C", a Jar, a "pitcher etc.", another two jars, another lot of lumber, a Coffeepot, a "Basket & Contents", one "Table &C", another Jar; one "Hone" (or "Kone": not sure if this is something for honing, or a misspelled "cone" since it is in the kitchen list); two separate spinning wheels; one (seal and something?), one clock, one walnut table, one Looking glad, a lot of lumber, an unreadable line on a crease, one "Stone pitcher" or possibly "Stove pitcher" one "Set chairs", one "pare money Scales" (to our ancestor Henry Collins); (unclear number of) "Razors"; one Razor Strop, one Glass, one Testament (presumably a bible or at least a New Testament: interesting given the fact that James and Tempey signed by mark); two beds and furniture, each of which went to Tempey (one for $5.01 and one for $6); one "Press", one (Cut?: Possibly cot?); one desk, one looking glass, another walnut table, another bed and furntiture (this to Henry Collins for $11),; a bedstead; one "Little Table", one Candle Stand; two separate items labeled "pan and Irons" (perhaps for a fireplace or kitchen?), one (pole?), one Teapot and Mug; one Caster; two Decanters, one Gallon measure, another of same, two "Pitchers", one Lock, one bell, one gunlock (presumably for an old flintlock type weapon), a Chest, an unreadable line (on a crease), another Chest, a table, three "Siting chairs" (I presume "sitting"), one side saddle, one "pare Saddlebags", one "Sythe" (scythe), one Axe, one Rawhide, one Hatchet, two (Foreplanes?), two stands, a "parcel of Sheep" (to G.W. Collins for $1), one Iron Wedge, a stack of fodder, five barrels of "Old corn" (presumably for animal food), another five and yet another five, five barrels of new corn, then 71/2 barrels, and then four more barrels of new corn.

The total for all of this also included $87.861/2 due to the estate for the hire of Negroes and $150 due for the rent of land (amount not stated),for a total amount of $619.71 1/4 cents (there were quarter cents in those days). There were also some notes due and payable to and by the estate, separately accounted for.

The Collins Family's Slaves

Most family histories of southern families tend to overlook the fact of slavery, but in the years since Alex Haley's Roots it has become clear that all records of slavery may be of use: not just as historical records, but in helping descendants of former slaves to trace their roots. The Collinses have left a few records, some of which I hope to make available to black genealogical libraries now springing up.

Note that the sons of James Collins seem to have been a mix of Democrats and Whigs. And while Henry Collins is said to have been a Democrat, some of his children were Whigs. (John Collins would name a son Henry Clay Collins after the great Whig compromiser, and his children and children's children look like radicals for their place and time.) Willis had been an overseer of slaves -- a very low-status, even non-status occupation in those days, even in the deep South -- and politically he was a Whig, but an "old-line" Whig, meaning a southern pro-slavery Whig, one presumes. Several of the Tennessee Collinses would own slaves. We have already cited (see above, page 120) the list of Collins "Negros" which appears on the reverse of the list of family births we have called the "List of Ages".

In the 1790 and 1800 censuses James II does not yet seem to own any slaves. His father, however, had four in 1800, and his father-in-law David Vinson six. In 1807 James II paid tax, apparently, on a single white poll. By the 1810 census James II had two slaves, but his father, who had had four 10 years earlier, is now down to two. One wonders if he sold or gave them to James II. In fact, James Collins also bought a number of other items from David Vinson's personal estate, including one Negro boy in 1810.(88) While I have David Vinson's estate sale I do not think I have actually found the sale of slaves. Franklin's census for 1820 is missing, but in the 1820 tax list for Franklin, James paid a poll tax on three black persons. I believe that only male slaves aged 12-50 were taxable, so there may have been others owned.(89)

In 1830, we find James and his family holding (according to the census), four slave males under 10, one 10-24, two 24-36, two 36-55, and one over 55; two females under 10, three 10-24, one 24-36, one 36-55, and one over 55. This is a total of 19: clearly not plantation slavery in the large scale, but a farm operating on slave labor nonetheless. There are enough to suggest more than mere household service. By then most of the 16 or 17 children had moved away, and the old folks probably needed the slaves to work the farm. The slaves listed in the "List of Ages" begin with one born in 1812, so we do not have names for the older generations of these slaves.

One does wonder if the two older slaves, those over 55 (and they may have been quite a bit older: the category in 1830 was age "55-100"), may have been the parents of many of the others. The earliest birthdates we hear of are Ben, born 8 April 1812, and Zelpha, born 10 February 1814. These must have been children or grandchildren of the older pair, if related at all. Perhaps all the slaves were descended from those two slaves whom James Collins II owned in 1810. It is worth listing the names in "A List of Ages", since some descendant of one of these persons may some day seek their own ancestral history:

The "List of Ages" reminds us a little of slave life. Zelpha was born February 10, 1814; Ephraim, born Oct. 11, 1829, is Zelpha's son; she was 15 at the time. Demsey son of Zelpha was born in 1832, when she was 18. Peg was born in July 1817; Salley daughter of Peg in March 1832, before Peg had reached her 15th birthday. If "Darkis" and "Darkas" (I presume a female named "Dorcas") are the same woman (girl?), then she was born May 31, 1820 and "Frank Green, son of Darkas", born August 14, 1833, was born when his mother was 13.

Now, there is one other list, to be discussed in a moment, and this is the list of the slaves sold when the estate was divided after James' death. Because the 15 slaves, some of them children, could not be evenly divided among the heirs, they were sold pursuant to an order of the County Court in the March term of 1839, the sale report being submitted 10th or 11th June (the second figure is a narrow zero or a fat "1") 1839. This list does not match very well with the names in the "List of Ages". The list is as follows, with purchaser and price:

These are, of course, quite substantial sums for the period, though since the sale was to members of the family and the proceeds divided among the heirs, perhaps some of these were "paper" transfers. The total appears to be incorrect: it is $50 too low. The writer has a tendency to make his zeroes narrow so that some may almost be mistaken for ones (I have assumed "081" instead of "181"on the "Thomas" line, since otherwise the total would be $150 too low!)

It is hard to be sure whether any of these slaves can be identified with the "List of Ages" slaves. Lydia, sold with her son Nathan, may be the same as Liddy born in 1822, and Betty might be the same as Elizabeth. It's not known what the problem was with "Annerchy" (was someone trying to say "anarchy"?), who had to be specially cared for and went to the lowest bidder. Ned may well be the same Ned bought (along with Alice) from James Collins I's estate after the apparent death of Esther, by James II, in 1823. (See above, Page 100.)

Note as well that after James II's death, Tempey Collins appears in the 1840 census with one male and one female slave 24-36, and one male under 10. And in the 1850 census, which had a "Mortality Schedule" for all persons who died in the year before June 1, 1850, we find a "Betsey Collins", a 60 year old slave, who had died in that year. Whether she is Elizabeth, or may have belonged to another Collins family, or even to have belonged to another family entirely, is not clear to me.

The Pension

It is only fair to note the details of James Collins' pension, since the pension records provide us with some of our best evidence of his life. An act of Congress passed June 7, 1832 granted pensions to Revolutionary War veterans regardless of whether or not they had been disabled (as previous pension acts had required). On September 12, 1832, Collins went to the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for Franklin County and swore out his declaration of service. It is interesting that he calls himself James Collins, Senior, since for the early part of his life he was always James Collins, Junior (thus I have resorted to Roman numerals instead). The declaration and supporting documentation have been mentioned many times in the pages above. We also learn from Tempey's 1847 declaration that James' pension amounted to $30 a month.

James' Death and Tempey's Life Thereafter

James Collins died on December 23, 1838, two days before Christmas, a little over 80 years and two months old. Christmas was a curious time for the Collinses: his first son, Durham, was born on Christmas day, and just a little less than a week under a decade later, on December 19, 1848, his widow Temperance would die. His father had bought land on Christmas day, 1780. Late December dates turn up a lot among the Collinses.

His widow survived him. Temperance had an equal share with each of the children in the sale of the 15 slaves, and as we have seen above, in the sale she acquired the man Tom, the woman Betty and Betty's child Joe. She also sought, in a widow's petition filed in the March Court Term of 1839, a dower interest in the estate of James Collins. The county appointed George Tunstall, W.D. Coppedge, John Stallings and George W. Webb (the last two good old Viriginia names!) to lay out her dower land and her one year's allowance, an old tradition for the widow when a man died intestate. She was allotted 421 1/2 acres out of a total of 1,265 1/2 James had owned at the time of his death; her dower land is shown in the plat with the estate settlement and in the map of James Collins II's land on page 145.(96) She also filed an application for a widow's year's support from the estate of James. The allowance was made and Tempey was allowed:

Report the following articles necefsary for her support and comfort viz. 30 barrels Corn, 600 lb Bacon, 40 lb. Lard 2 Barrels Flour, 100 lb. Sugar, 23 lb. Coffee, 3 Gallons Molafses 5 Gallons Brandy, 2 lb. Pepper 1 lb Spice 1 lb Ginger 2 Bushels Salt 100 lb. Seed Cotton 5 [lb.?] Wool 1 Wheel & Cards & 1 Cow & Calf, 30 lb Soap, 12 lb Rice, 1 Work Horse 2 Sows & Pigs 4 Shoats 2 asses 2 Plough Hoes 2 Weeding Hoes & 15 lb. Iron all of which is respectfully submitted given under our hands & seals this 11th June 1839.(97)

I cannot resist noting that in the sale of her husband's estate Temperance got the larger still and the cider presses, and in her widow's provisions got five gallons of brandy. This does not appear to have been a teetotaling family. One might also remember that when James II submitted the costs of the estate administration of his father James I, he charged the estate six dollars for six gallons of brandy provided at the estate sale, presumably to facilitate bidding. (See above, Page 101.)

On March 10, 1847, she filed her petition for a widow's pension under James' old Revolutionary War pension. In it, she noted that the reason she had not applied sooner was because "she did not Know that she was entitled to one living in a verry retired part of the County & alone and all of her children had left her". This sounds as if none of her children were still around, that she had no idea where they were, and that she was pretty isolated. When I first encountered the line back in the 1960s in the pension files, I certainly had an image of an old lady who could neither read nor write, whose children had moved on to Tennessee and beyond and who probably had no idea what had become of them.

Anyone who looks at the large number of documents in James Collins II's estate settlement files knows that was hardly the case. In the 1839 petition, no fewer than four of the children are stated to be of Franklin County: David, James (III), George Washington Collins and Tempey Collins Stallings. Although Washington Collins certainly moved between North Carolina and Tennessee and ended up in Mississippi, all the census and land evidence suggests that James III and David, as well as Temperance Stallings, were still living in Franklin County after Tempey died, and that James III acquired all the land of his father's except the dower land which went to Temperance. Furthermore, the Collins children in Tennessee, and the Leonards in Georgia and Wilson Collins in Alabama, all filed legal documents in the settlement of the estate, and my own ancestor Henry Collins and his brother Holland may have returned to North Carolina during the settlement of the estate; they show up among the buyers of the slaves, and there are documents in which his siblings gave Henry their power of attorney.

How, then, to explain Temperance's remark that she was "living in a verry retired part of the County & alone and all of her children had left her"? Well, the only explanation which I have been able to come up with (that does not involve the still, the cider presses and the brandy, anyway) is that the grand old American habit of fibbing to the government just might have been well established even then: in context, Temperance was trying to explain why she was late applying for the widow's pension.

We learn of Tempey's death on 19 December, 1848 -- just four days before the 10th anniversary of her husband's death, and like so many Collins dates, close to Christmas -- from a declaration filed by George Washington Collins, her youngest son, on April 18, 1849. In it he notes that he is the "only Surviving Heir" of Tempey; the clerk wrote "only Surviving Child" and "Child" has been crossed out and "Heir" written in twice. This is curious, since there is other evidence that James and David were still there, and Bennett and Temperance Stallings show up in the 1850 census as well.

In his declaration G.W. notes that Temperance Collins, whom he calls Tempy (though most of the estate documents used Tempey or Temperance), died December 19, 1848. She must have been 83 or 84; in March 1847 she had been 82 by her own statement. We do not know her exact date of birth. Her ancestry is dealt with in separate notes on the Vinsons.

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1. . Sometimes identifying all the James Collinses who show up in Franklin County records can be confusing. Here are the basic conclusions I have reached and which are reflected in the genealogical tables derived from my database: James Collins I died about 1819, as we have seen, after which James II, who had been called James Junior in the records, came to be called James "Senior". His son, James III (born 24 January 1803) lived for a while in Tennessee but then returned and lived out his life in Franklin County; he was often referred to as James "Junior" while James II lived. Based on the census ages, he must be the James Collins who had a wife Rebecca and was born about 1803 like James III; this man died 11 January 1860 according to the Franklin County Estate Papers. Still another James Collins wrote his will in 1827, mentioning a wife Mary and children Josiah, Mary, Elizabeth, Emily and Ann. He is most probably James Collins, son of William Collins, James II's next oldest brother. Another James, James the son of Peter Collins, must be the James Collins who was born about 1813-15 according to the census, and married Mariah Cope in 1841. Peter's first son Josiah was born 1805, but Peter had only one son so far in the 1810 census, so his second son James must have been born between 1810 and Peter's death in 1817; this James who married Mariah Cope was born 1813-1815 according to the census, and named his eldest son Peter. Many of James II's other sons named children James, though often after leaving North Carolina. That the name James Collins also turns up occasionally in Nash and Warren County records suggests we still may not have them all accounted for.

2. . James Collins' pension file in the National Archives will not hereafter be cited by separate footnote. The Pension Number is W6737. Pension files are microfilmed alphabetically, with the widow's file included with those of the soldier, so the old pension numbers are no longer so important. James Collins' file can be found alphabetically in any microfilmed set of revolutionary pension files.

3. . The declaration notes that this is "according to a record of his age which he now has in pofsefsion". That record was not included in the file. On pension records generally, see the comments on Collins in the Revolution.

4. . Numbers quoted from Gilbert H. Doane, Searching for Your Ancestors, Bantam 1974 paperback edition, p. 122.

5. . Statement of William Leonard, Franklin County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, September Term 1832 (exact date not given), Collins pension file.

6. . The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Ed. William L. Saunders, Volume X (1775-1776), (Raleigh: 1890), p.577.

7. . List in The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Ed. William L. Saunders, Volume X (1775-1776), (Raleigh: 1890), p. 626.

8. . Phillips Russell, North Carolina in the Revolutionary War (Charlotte: 1965), pp. 98ff.

9. . Table in The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Ed. William L. Saunders, Volume X (1775-1776), (Raleigh: 1890), sheet between pp. 680 and 681.

10. . One query posted on the World Wide Web says that Denton also served in the last Colonial Parliament for Bute County: He certainly served as a Captain of Light Horse operating in Western North Carolina soon after this period: The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Ed. William L. Saunders, Volume X (1775-1776), (Raleigh: 1890), p. 941, 942.

11. . On Seawell, see Edward Hill Davis, Historical Sketches of Franklin County (Raleigh: 1948), pp. 59-63.

12. . Table in The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Ed. William L. Saunders, Volume X (1775-1776), (Raleigh: 1890), table between pp. 680 and 681.

13. . Looks like "Crofs Crefs" in the original, but the context makes it clear it is "Cross Creek", modern Fayetteville, North Carolina.

14. . Apparently Griffith Rutherford, promoted to general in April 1776 however, so "colonel" is an anachronism if he is meant. Rutherford was an Irish-born Rowan County pioneer and witnessed the marriage bond of another Collins-line ancestor, John Cowden, in Rowan County. Rutherford County in North Carolina is named for him.

15. . For Denby's estate, see Will Books D,E,F,G Franklin County, North Carolina 1812-1824: Wills, Estates Records, Guardian Accounts, Abstracted by Dr. Stephen E. Bradley, Jr. (Keysville, VA: 1990). Inventory of Estate of Elijah Denby was taken Dec. 10, 1812 (Will Book D, 35 (29), p. 3 of the abstract) and the sale recorded Dec. 28, 1812 (Will Book D, 40 (33), p. 4 of the abstract).

16. . The State Records of North Carolina, Ed. Walter Clark, Volume XX (1785-'88), (Goldsboro, NC: 1902) p. 272..

17. . In earlier versions of James Collins' biography circulated over 20 years ago I read this as "Higg". Today it looks clearly to be "Hogg".

18. . Information provided by a National Park Service ranger at Guilford Courthouse.

19. . On James Read, see Phillips Russell, North Carolina in the Revolutionary War (Charlotte: 1965), index, and references below to Guilford Courthouse and Hobkirk's Hill.

20. . He was apparently from Granville County. See Virgil D. White, Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Part I, Vol. II (F-M) (Waynesboro, TN: 1991), p. 1669, citing BLW #104-400.

21. . See Footnote 189, Page 110, for Griffith Rutherford; also on his career, see William S. Powell, Ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Volume 5 (P-S), (Chapel Hill: UNC Presd, 1994), pp. 275-276. There were other Rutherfords, though I am not aware of another serving as a senior commander at this time.

22. . For a good, popularly written account of this period, John Buchanan's The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997) provides the context very well and is a good read. There is a large literature on the war in the South, some of which will be cited in the footnotes to this chapter.

23. . Letter dated 9 May 1991 to Michael C. Dunn from Park Ranger Thomas E. Baker, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, North Carolina.

24. . (25)

25. . Information provided by ranger at Guilford Court House National Military Park. At the request of the park ranger, a copy of James Collins' pension was left on file at the Park.(26)

26. . Information provided by ranger at Guilford Court House National Military Park. At the request of the park ranger, a copy of James Collins' pension was left on file at the Park.

27. . An excellent tour guide for Guilford and other North Carolina Revolutionary sites is Daniel W. Barefoot, Touring North Carolina's Revolutionary War Sites (Winston-Salem: John F. Blair, 1998).

28. . Thomas E. Baker, Another Such Victory, written by a Park Service historian and published by Eastern Acorn Press, 1981, for sale at the National Military Park, includes National Park Service troop movement maps for the battle. Though there are many accounts of the battle, the troop movement maps make this one the essential one for locating units. On Eaton and Butler's troops, see p. 44. The map on pp. 48-49 shows the American first line as now construed by the Park Service, reproduced here. In his May 9, 1991 letter to me, Baker, Park Ranger and author of the booklet, explained that the evidence for placing Eaton on the right is as follows: Eli W. Caruthers' Revolutionary Incidents: Sketches of Character Chiefly in the "Old North State", Second Series (Philadelphia, 1856), p. 108 clearly states that "Eaton's brigade was on the north side and Butler's on the south side of the road". [See also footnote on Caruthers below.] According to Baker, "This corresponds with local traditions regarding the spot where a Guilford militia captain from Butler's brigade was killed and, of course, with the James Collins application. We also have a pension application from a Guilford county militiaman [thus under Butler] who recounted that his place in the line was 'on the left of the artillery', and who recalled having seen and heard Harry Lee during the artillery duel that preceded the British attack." I believe, and Baker agreed in his letter, that the tradition that Eaton was on the left came from a remark in Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee's memoirs that "the North Carolina militia took to flight, a few only of Eaton's brigade excepted, who clung to the militia under Campbell", since Campbell was on the left. Lee was the father of Robert E. Lee. But Baker notes in his letter to me that "I have some reservations about accepting Lee's comment at face value. I do not believe that Lee (or any other observer) could have distinguished the two North Carolina militia brigades by sight. Neither was uniformed and they lacked flags or other identifying accouterments or insignia. Furthermore, this was but one of many engagements in Lee's military career, and his account of it was written 31 years after the events in question. in short, I believe there are grounds to question Lee's recollection."

29. . Caruthers published two volumes under the general title Revolutionary Incidents and Sketches of Character chiefly in the 'Old North State'. The account of Guilford Courthouse is in the Second Volume and, according to the letter from Baker cited in the footnote above, appears on p. 108. I have not had access to the original edition of Caruthers. Both volumes have been republished in one (unfortunately with new pagination) typed and indexed by Ruth F. Thompson and published by the Guilford County Genealogical Society under the title The Old North State in 1776: Volumes I and II with Index [though there is little about 1776 in it] (Guilford County Genealogical Soicety, 1985). In that more readily available version of Caruthers, the reference to Eaton being on the right, quoted here, appears on p. 133.

30. . Phillips Russell, North Carolina in the Revolutionary War (Charlotte: 1965), pp. 218-219 and note 1 on p. 301.

31. . Phillips Russell, North Carolina in the Revolutionary War (Charlotte: 1965), p. 248

32. . Phillips Russell, North Carolina in the Revolutionary War (Charlotte: 1965), p. 259.

33. . I have not been to the Camden area. The are where the Battle of Hobkirk's hill was fought has since been overrun by the town of Camden. According to Mark Boatner's Landmarks of the American Revolution, p. 459, Highway markers on U.S. 521 and 601 (Broad St.) point to the locations of Greene's headquarters and the American line (just north of Greene St.) in the handsome residential area that now covers Hobkirk Hill. For a full tour with driving instructions one may refer to Daneil W. Barefoot, Touring South Carolina's Revolutionary War Sites (Winston-Salem: John F. Blair, 1999), pp. 268-271.

34. . Marshall County [Tennessee] Historical Quarterly, Vol. I, Number 2, Fall 1970, p. 42 includes a transcript of the John Washington Richardson Bible. Randolph Richardson of Akron, Ohio has provided me with much data on the Richardson family.

35. . This contains the dates of birth of slaves from 1812-1837; it is reproduced below on Page 139, where a discussion of the slaves of James Collins II will also be found.

36. . Taylor sent me a letter on July 20, 1976 accompanied by a large typewritten and mimeographed family history/genealogy which had obviously been his life's work. His draft proof of Peter being clearly a son of James is summarized in what follows. He seemed to believe that Peter was also a son of Tempey but, as a good lawyer, noted that there was no proof of this. I believe the evidence weighs heavily towards an earlier marriage. I understand Judge Taylor died in 1986.

For those committed to classic genealogy, Judge Taylor's lineage (with my own additions) is as follows: James Collins I1; James Collins II (1758-1838)2; Peter Collins (pre1784-1817) md Patience (d. after 1820) ----- 3;, Josiah Collins (1805-before 1883) md Frances (Fanny) Vincent (Vinson?) 10 Jan. 1827 (Fanny b. 1803)4; Joseph Collins (2nd son)(15 Sept 1815-8 Jan 1901) md Ann Rebecca Gupton 15 Sept. 18685; Anna Collins b. 17 Aug. 1872, md. 5 April 1899 to George Dunham Taylor (Sr.) d. 9 June 19406; George Dunham Taylor Jr. (b., 3 May 1907 Castalia, NC, md. Ruby Mae Batgen Beaumont Texas 10 March 1936; Judge Taylor died in 1986).

37. . See Peter Collins' 1817 will, Franklin County file under original wills; Peter Collins' estate papers, in Franklin County estate papers which shows his land; and the peitition of the heirs of James Collins in the 1839 estate papers of James Collins' estate, this clearly being the James we are discussing. Also see, for Patience in 1820, The 1820 Tax Lists, Franklin County, North Carolina, abstracted by Stephen E. Bradley Jr. of South Boston, VA, 1987, number 591.

38. . All the documents from which Judge Taylor took his proof can be found on microfilms of the filed will and estate papers of Peter Collins (1817) and the estate papers of James Collins (1839).

39. 0. Franklin County census, 1800, p. 479 (James I and II are on p. 478), shows Peter with no wife or children; 1810, p. 94 (same page number/different sheet as James Collins II; James I is on p. 100) has Peter with one son under 10 and a daughter under 10 and a female, presumably Patience, 16-26.

40. . Family historians rarely address the issue of illegitimacy but it is relevant here. It is not impossible, theoretically, that he could have been born of Tempey before her marriage to James Collins, but an earlier wife seems likelier: had Tempey become pregnant out of wedlock, given the time and place, she would have married before the birth. But there is no room for another birth after Tempey's marriage in March, given Durham's birth in December of the same year.

41. . Donald C. Jeter, "The Collins Chronicle", Marshall County Historical Quarterly, Vol. V, No. 3, Fall 1974, p. 89ff., and on Durham's first wife, Donald C. Jeter, "North Carolina Grant No. 51", in Marshall County Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXI, No. 4, Winter 1990/91, p. 110.

42. . His tombstone in Marshall County says February 1785 without a more precise date. This is impossible, since Durham was born in December of 1784 and that was nine months after his parents' marriage. The 1786 date contained in the List of Ages must be the correct one. Cemetery Records of Marshall County, Tennessee, compiled by Timothy R. & Helen C. Marsh and Ralph D. Whitesall, Marsh Historical Publications, Shelbyville, Tenn. 1981 p. 121, for the Collins Cemetery, Spring Place Road on the old Wheatley Farm.

43. . Goodspeed's History of Tennessee, From the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford and Marshall Counties..., Nashville, Goodpseed Publishing Co., 1886. (Hereafter Goodspeed/Marshall), p. 1197, biography of Thomas Collins.

44. . Tombstone. See also Donald C. Jeter, "An Addition and Correction to "The Collins Chroinicle", Marshall County Historical Quarterly, Feb. 1983, pp. 90-92.

45. . See the material on Wilson in Georgia below under Henry Collins at page 157.

46. . Legal document dated 15 March 1841 and signed by Wilson Collins' mark, in James Collins 1839 estate file, Franklin County.

47. . 1833 State Census for Barbour County, Alabama, Copied by Helen S. Foley, Eufaula, AL; 1850 and 1860 censuses copied by the same copyist; he is number 666 in the 1850 census and #390 in the 1860 census.

48. . This is mostly derived from material provided to me by an Alabama Collins over the Internet. A few of the dates have been verified by me, but the names of the children shown in the database at the back of this work cannot be fully attested to by me.

49. . Orphan's Court Records Book II p. 45, 25 Sept., 1843, in Helen Sylvester Foley, Abstracts of Wills and Estates, Books I and II 1835-1847, Barbour County, Alabama, Volume I, p. 27.

50. . 1840 Census for Barbour County, Alabama, Copied by Helen Sylvester Foley, p. 62, assuming he is "W. Collins".

51. . Marie H. Godfrey, Rural Land Owners of Barbour County, Alabama, 1851, Southern Historical Press, Greenville, SC 1990, p. 24, citing Orphan's Court Records Vol. 20, p. 324/6.

52. . Again, based on Internet information not verified directly by me, though it fits with the date given in the previous footnote.

53. . See Marie H. Godfrey, Early Settlers of Barbour County, Alabama, Volumes I and II, p. 317, in the descendants of Wiliam Williams. The 1878 marriage appears in Barbour County marriage records as well.

54. . Eufaula Times and News, Eufaula, AL, 2 January 1908.

55. . Jeter, "Collins Chronicle", p. 90.This may come from a tombstone record.

56. . For detailed Logan County information see the material beginning on page 161. The marriage date is from the Logan County, KY records. I owe the initial identification of Logan County to Jim Larsen of California, a descendant of Holland Collins' daughter Elizabeth Rebecca Collins.

57. . Jeter's "Collins Chronicle", 90-91. Jeter says he came in 1826 but may be assuming the date from Willis' and Henry's migration.

58. . Following his 1843 death, there are numerous references to Mary or Polly in his estate settlement in the Marshall County records.

59. . Franklin County 1840 census.

60. . Franklin County 1860 census, Louisburg post office, p. 24, dwelling 182, family 181; she is a couple of pages after James Collins "Jr." and wife Mariah, who I believe was James, son of Peter Collins, and might be connected to that line in some way.

61. . Captain Mauris and Strong's Companies, Georgia Militia; Pension record S.O. 15,502, which I have not seen.

62. . Jeter's "Collins Chronicle", pp. 91-92. Some is taken Goodspeed's profile of Jones Collins' son David, pp. 1197.

63. . According to Goodspeed, who claims he was 94 and in good health (he was actually about 89). Goodspeed's account is on p. 1197 under David Collins, son of Jones.

64. . Letter from Holland Collins, Petersburg, Tennessee to Dr. John Day Collins, Highlandville, Missouri, February 25, 1888, copy in the author's collection.

65. . Jeter's "Collins Chornicle", p. 91.

66. . So from List of Ages and Tempey's declaration. Jeter in information to Taylor had January 21. Probably a misreading of a bad copy of the early document, since the crossbar of the "4"is not always visible to those not aware of old handwriting quirks. James III is not dealt with in Jeter's "Collins Chronicle" as such.

67. . Jeter's material is the source for this, but I am not sure that he has always kept James of North Carolina (James III) separate from James, son of Durham. Certainly the James Collins of the early 1820s must be James of North Carolina if related at all, though he appears as early as 1822 when he would have been only 19. More on this appears in the biography of Henry Collins, which deals in greater detail with the original Tennessee settlement.

68. . Franklin County Estate Records, file "James Collins 1860".

69. . James Henry Stallings, Stallings Family, Volume I, typescript in DAR Library, Washington DC. Volume I, pages 1 and 2. I have also cited this in the discussion of the Sandy Creek community, above, footnote 139, Page 86, where I questioned the English origin claimed there. Fitting the Stallings children listed there for Bennett with those named in the census is not easy. An attempt has been made in the genealogical tables.

70. .Jeter, "Collins Chronicles", p. 92; Goodspeed's profile of James W. Collins, son of Elisha, born February 15, 1832, appears in Goodspeed p. 1197.

71. . I originally took this statement from Judge Taylor, from material said to originate with Jeter. It does not appear, however, in Jeter's "Collins Chronicle" and I cannot confirm it.

72. . Goodspeed, under James W. Collins, p. 1197. Jeter, "Collins Chronicle" for the dates of the children.

73. . See Cemetery Records of Marshall County, Tenn., compiled by Timothy R. & Helen C. Marsh and Ralph D. Whitesall, Marsh Historical Publications, Shelbyville, Tenn. 1981, under Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Further citations given as Cemetery Records with the cemetery given.

74. . Jeter, "Collins Chronicle", p. 92. There is abundant independent evidence of this: George W. appears in some Marshall County census records, in others he is in Franklin. Similarly, other documents in his father's estate file suggest at least one move to Tennessee, followed by a return to North Carolina (where he was present at the time of his mother's death in 1848), then, apparently, a return to Tennessee.

75. . Franklin County estate files, James Collins 1839 (the estate file for James II's estate); petition of the Tennessee heirs and 1841 letter by Henry Collins.

76. . Judge Taylor's citation of the will; the material conforms with the information in Jeter, "Collins Chronicle".

77. . Jeter, "Collins Chronicle", 92; Taylor apparently did some independent research. The 1850 census ages do not always match precisely the birthdates given by these sources.

78. . Full references for all these tax lists up to 1810 appear in the biography of James Collins I, on pages 91-95.

79. . Rosemary Richardson, Franklin County North Carolina, 1815 Tax List, page 16, p. 327 of original.

80. . The 1820 Tax Lists of Franklin County, North Carolina (with Louisburg 1818 and 1821), abstracted by Dr. Stephen E. Bradley, Jr., South Boston Virginia, numbers 589-592.

81. . The 1820 Tax Lists of Franklin County, numbers 92, 93, 95.

82. . Franklin County 1807 tax list p. 90, 1810, pp. 182-183.

83. . Because there are still plenty of questions about the wife or wives of David Vinson, I deliberately say "her father's widow" rather than "her mother", since we're not sure how many wives he had.

84. . Donald Jeter and others have sometimes referred to Tempey's father as James Vinson or Vincent, and a man of that name died in 1809. His estate shows no mention of Tempey while David's clearly does, and the others who received the same share as Tempey explicitly (in their own deed records) refer to David as their father. James' widow Sally, who lived on past the 1850 census, seems to have been about Tempey's age, and the children are of that generation. It seems James "Vincent" was, most likely, an elder brother of Temperance. There is not the slightest doubt, now, that David was her father. David's father is another, more difficult, issue.

85. . For full references on these transactions see the David Vinson section, profiling the daughters and what is known about them. A great deal more on these transactions, and the map plat, will appear in a future edition of the Collins material as well as in my presentation of the Vinson ancestry.

86. . Franklin County Deed Book 19, p. 150.

87. . What follows comes from the James Collins 1839 Estate file, Franklin County records.

88. . Franklin County Will Book C, #229. The date is October 25, 1810, the same as that given for the widow's "provisions". Though the published version has Daniel, this appears to be David. It does not seem to appear on the list of the personal estate sale which I have, from the David Vinson estate papers.

89. . See The 1820 Tax Lists, Franklin County, North Carolina, abstracted by Stephen E. Bradly Jr. of South Boston, VA, 1987, number 589.

90. . Dorcas?

91. . It is assumed these were twins, but since the mother is not named this is unclear: two births on the same day in such a small slave population would be a coincidence indeed, but not impossible: see below, March 23, 1832, when two births appear to be recorded on the same day by two different (stated) mothers.

92. . Apparent spelling for Ephraim, but copy is unclear.

93. . or Magen? Very unclear.

94. . Could be "22th". The "th", used consistently, makes it sometimes difficult to read uncertain figures. Note that this entry, and the one which follows, seem to be the same day but of different mothers; note too that it and the one which precedes are out of chronological order.

95. . Handwriting actually looks like "1867", but context shows it is 1837.

96. . The plat and description appear in the papers relating to the dower land, filed in the estate papers of James Collins (Franklin County Estate Papers, James Collins 1839).

97. . Report dated 11 June 1839 by Geo. Tunstall, W.D. Coppedge, John Stallings, and George W. Webb to the Franklin County Court, June Court 1839, in the James Collins 1839 estate files.