The First Families Project - SC - Edgefield County - Chapman Family


John Abney Chapman, bookseller and author, was born in Saluda (then Edgefield) county, South Carolina, March 9, 1821. His parents were John and Sophia (Abney) Chapman. His father was a land surveyor and manufacturer of cotton gins, who held the office of magistrate or justice of the peace, and was noted for his devotion to truth and abhorrence of profanity. The earliest known ancestor of the family in America was the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Giles Chapman, who came from Bridlington, on the North Sea, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and was one of the first settlers of the town of Newberry, South Carolina.

In childhood and youth John Chapman was in delicate health. He lived near the Saluda river, remote from towns and railroads, amid the beautiful surroundings of an almost ideal country home. His naturally poetic temperament was developed and strengthened by his walks in the fields and forests, and this early and intimate association with nature made an impression upon his mind which strongly influenced all his subsequent life. He also had a marked taste for books, but his facilities for obtaining an education were limited to the "old field" schools of his neighborhood, which were of a very low grade, and to private