The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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(VI.) Ann, married to Micajah Thomas; no issue.

        Benjamin Hawkins (born 1754, died 1816) was born in Bute, now Warren County, the son of Col. Philemon Hawkins, sr., and Delia, his wife. He was reared in habits of industry and economy. His education was the best the country afforded. With a younger brother (Joseph) he was sent, after being prepared at other institutions, to Princeton College, where they remained until the war closed its walls, he being then in the senior class. The study of languages seemed to be his forte, and he was familiar with not only the Latin and Greek, but also was proficient in the modern languages, especially the French. This accomplishment caused General Washington to invoke his aid in his intercourse with the French officers, and he was for awhile a member of Washington's military family. He was at the battle of Monmouth with Washington in 1779, probably as a volunteer aid. In 1780 he was selected by the Legislature as commercial agent to procure supplies at home or abroad for the support of the war; he repaired to the West Indies and procured munitions, arms and provisions, and shipped them on board of vessels belonging to John Wright Stanley, (the father of John Stanley,) then a wealthy merchant at New Berne. These vessels with their cargoes were captured by the British, which ruined the fortunes of Mr. Stanley, and when he applied to the State for indemnity, and was refused, he sued Colonel Hawkins individually, but the court held that the contracts of an agent of the State did not bind him individually. In September, 1782, he was elected by the Legislature a member of Congress in the old Confederation, and re-elected in 1783; he was present at Annapolis that year and witnessed the resignation of Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the armies of America; March 21, 1785, he was appointed with Daniel Carroll and William Perry to treat with the Cherokees and all other Indians south of them. He was also appointed by Congress with Andrew Pickens, Joseph Martin and Lauchlin McIntosh, to negotiate with the Creeks. They concluded the treaty of Joephinton, and also the treaty with the Creeks of Hopewell. In 1786 he was again elected a member of Congress to serve until 1787, and in 1789 he was elected Senator in Congress, with Samuel Johnston as a colleague, the first two United States Senators chosen to represent this State; he took his seat January 13, 1790, and served for six years. After his term in the Senate had expired he was appointed by the President "agent for superintending all Indians south of the Ohio." In 1801 he was reappointed by Mr. Jefferson joint commissioner with Generals Wilkerson and Pickens to negotiate treaties with the Chickasaws, Choctaws and Natches. It is a well-known trait in Indian character that whenever war is waged in their vicinity their belligerent and restless temper will cause them to take a part. When General Jackson was carrying on the war with the Creeks it was deemed best by the Government that a regiment should be raised among the friendly Indians to prevent their joining the enemy. The regiment was raised and Hawkins was appointed Colonel, and the celebrated half-breed McIntosh, Lieutenant-Colonel. This regiment was supplied for a time by Colonel Hawkins at his own charge. Colonel Hawkins from exposure and bad health wished to resign the charge of his responsible appointment as superintendent, but the Government seemed unwilling to give him up. He died in this service June 6, 1816, leaving one son and three daughters. He was a man of literary attainments, and left works on "Topography" and "Indian language," valuable and interesting. "A sketch of the Creek country" from his pen has been printed by the Georgia Historical Society at the private expense of Wm. B. Hodgson.

        Colonel Joseph Hawkins was a son of Philemon and brother of above. In 1782-83 and 1812-13 he was in the Legislature; educated, as we have stated, at Princeton. His namesake (son of Colonel John Hawkins) was in 1825 Comptroller of the State. General Micajah Thomas Hawkins, a son of Colonel John Hawkins, was in the Senate of the State in 1823 and in 1827, and a member of Congress from 1831 to 1841. He served again in the Legislature of 1846. General John H. Hawkins entered the Legislature in 1809, and served in the Senate of 1830-31, and in the House of 1835-36. Philemon, second son of Philemon, was in the Legislature of 1803-6, 1807-8, 1810-11, 1817-18. Governor William Hawkins, son of Philemon Hawkins, jr., was in the Legislature of 1804-5, and elected Governor in 1811; died in 1812. For Sarah Hawkins, who married Colonel William Polk, see sketches p. 201, and of their sons, General Lucius J. Polk, see p. 202, and Bishop Polk, see p. 284.

        James G. Brehon, who was a surgeon of the Revolution, died at his residence in Warrenton on April 8, 1819, at an advanced age. He was a native of Ireland, where he had received a
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