The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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Anna is the widow of Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson.

        The Osborne family is distinguished in the annals of North Carolina for integrity, patriotism and talents.

        Twenty years before the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, the Rev. Hugh McAden made a tour through the western part of North Carolina and found it a settled country, with churches located here and there. He kept a diary, and records that in September 1755, he was entertained at the house of Captain Alexander Osborne, and preached at a church near there.

        The Osbornes settled at an early day in New Jersey. Alexander Osborne was the founder of the family in North Carolina, he came to this province sometime previous to 1755, and settled in the county of Rowan.

        Captain Osborne was at that time, forty-six years of age. When Governor Tryon reviewed the troops in Salisbury in 1768, the Major Generals were John Ashe and Thomas Lloyd. The Colonels were Alexander Osborne, Edmund Fanning, Robert Harris, James Sampson, Samuel Spencer, James Moore and Maurice Moore.

        In 1768 he marched to Hillsboro, with a regiment of Rowan troops, under orders of Governor Tryon, to aid in suppressing the regulators.

        Colonel Alexander Osborne married Agnes McWhorter, sister of Rev. Alexander McWhorter, President for a time of Queen's College in Charlotte.

        Colonel A. Osborne's name is found on the Committee of Safety for Rowan county, in 1775. This was the last year of his life; he died in 1776. In the graveyard at Centre Church, his grave is seen marked by a slab, on which are two panels, one for his own epitaph and one for his wife, Agnes, who had died two days before Colonel Osborne. He was buried at Centre Church in the county of Iredell, only a short distance from his home. Previous to the erection of a church at Centre, the early settlers congregated at his house for worship, a fact mentioned in McAden's diary.

        Colonel A. Osborne's only son Adlai, graduated at Princeton at the same time with his cousin, Ephraim Brevard, who was a nephew of Mrs. Alexander Osborne.

        Colonel Alexander Osborne left four daughters: Rebecca, who married Mr. Nathaniel Ewing: their son, Rev. Finis Ewing, married a daughter of General William Davidson, who fell at Cowan's Ford. Their descendants are found in several of the northwestern States, as also in Kentucky, and Ohio. Mary married John Nesbit,--the family of that name in Georgia, are descendants, the late Chief Justice Eugenius Nesbit, being one of the family. Jean married Moses Winslow; and Margaret married Mr. John Robinson of Providence township, Mecklenburg county.

        Colonel Adlai Osborne was born June 4, 1744; he graduated at Princeton in 1768; married in January 30, 1771, Margaret Lloyd, and settled in Salisbury. He studied law, was appointed Clerk of the Court for Rowan under the Crown, and continued until 1809. He was a man of fine literary attainments, the firm friend of education, and one of the first Board of Trustees for the University. He died in 1815, leaving a large family.

        He participated in all the various meetings held in Rowan during the Revolution, as will be seen in reference to the journal of the committee, which has been preserved.

        Four of Colonel Adlai Osborne's sons graduated at Chapel Hill. The two elder, Thomas Alexander and Edwin Jay, were in the first class ever graduated there, (in 1798). Adlai Laurens, in 1802, and Spruce McCoy, in 1805.

        Edwin Jay Osborne married Harriet Walker, daughter of Captain John Walker of Wilmington, North Carolina; studied law and settled in Wilmington; afterwards removed to Salisbury. He was a man of many gifts and varied acquirements.
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