and five daughters. Four of his sons were at one time in the Revolutionary army; among them was:
George Locke, who contended
bravely and fell in the cause of his country. He was active in
While the British were encamped at Charlotte, Col. Wm. R. Davie ordered Capt. John Brandon, and Lieut. Joseph Graham, with twenty-five men to reconnoitre their camp; when they marched within fifty yards of their lines, Brandon proposed to advance and deliver a volley, which they did. Tarleton's troop gave chase and pursued the Americans; when Graham, Locke and others had seen that their capture was imminent they turned off from the main road; Graham, was sabred, and left for dead; Locke was killed and Brandon owed his life to the fleetness of his horse, and was chased at full speed to Davie's camp. This statement of this melancholy affair is from a son of Col. Brandon, (A. W.,) whose father had narrated the facts to him.
Another son of Gen. Matthew Locke, John, married Blanche, the daughter of Gen. Griffith Rutherford; another son married Margaret, daughter of Caleb Phifer; and a daughter of Gen. Locke married Martin Phifer. Another daughter, Ann, married Andrew Beard, of Burke County, and another, Jane, married Gen. Robt. Weakly, of Tennessee.
The following is a copy of the inscription of the head-stone over his grave in the graveyard of Thyatira church:
MATTHEW LOCKE, ESQ.,
Died 7th Sept., 1801; aged 71.
A promoter of civilization, a Legislator and a patriotic friend of his country; in his private character a a tender husband, an affectionate parent, and an indulgent master, ever a friend to the poor; and attentive to his happiness in that state, where we contemplate his existence, leaving memory to retain him here."
Col. Francis Locke, a brother of Gen. Matthew Locke, though not a statesman as was his distinguished brother, was a true and tried soldier in the perilous period of our revolutionary struggles. He commanded a detachment of men in the revolution, and on the 22d of June 1780, attacked at Ramsour's Mill, near the present town of Lincolnton, a superior force of Tories under the command of Cols. Bryan and Moore, and routed them with great slaughter. A full account of this battle from the pen of General Graham may be found in the history of North Carolina. [Wheeler II, 227.]
He married (the sister of Gen. Matthew Locke's wife,) the daughter of Richard Brandon, and left four sons and three daughters. Among them were, (I) John, who was a Major in the Revolutionary war, died April 1833, aged eighty-two years. (II.) Francis, born in Rowan County 1766, appointed Judge Dec. 1803; resigned 1813; elected Senator in Congress, 1815, and resigned without taking his seat as Senator; Presidential Elector 1809. Died, (unmarried,) in 1823.
Hon. Spruce McCay, was born, lived and died in Rowan County. He was educated by the Rev. David Caldwell; studied law, and arose to eminence and usefulness. He was appointed Judge of the Superior Courts in 1790, and died in 1808.
He married Fanny, daughter of Richard Henderson. William S. McCay was the only son of this union.
James Martin, was the son of Col. James Martin and resided for many years in Salisbury. He graduated at the University in 1806, in the same class with Judge John A. Cameron, Durant Hatch and others. He read law and soon attained such rank in the profession that in 1826 he was elected one of the Judges of the Superior Courts. He resigned in 1835. He married Miss Alexander, and removed to Mobile, Alabama, where he died.
George Mumford represented this County in
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