absence of her husband, plundered her house. With some few friends she pursued the marauders and compelled them, at the muzzle of a musket, to give up her property. While her husband was secretly making powder in a cave, she aided him, and burnt the charcoal herself. This very powder did good service in the battle of King's Mountain. Previous to her marriage with General Charles McDowell, she was the wife of Captain Bowman, who fell in the battle of Ramsour's mill. She was the daughter of Margaret O'Neal, by Mr. Greenlee, anterior to the union with the father of General Charles McDowell. She had a daughter by this marriage with Captain Bowman, named Mary, who married Colonel William Tate, and who was the mother of Junius Tate, and Louisa, who was the mother of the first Mrs. Z. B. Vance.
She had by General Charles McDowell, three sons and four daughters: Captain Charles McDowell; Athan A.; James R.; Sarah; Eliza Grace; Margaret; Sallic; in whom and in whose descendants, the blood of Grace Greenlee courses. It is curious as well as interesting, to observe the effect of blood. Dr. Rush declared that "the blood of one intelligent woman would redeem three generations of fools."
This, like the golden thread of Ariadne, is clearly traceable in the genealogy of this family, marking with intellect, beauty, and in enterprise, in clear and definite lines. As Dr. Johnson, in his epitaph of Goldsmith, expresses the beautiful idea--
Nil tetiget, quod non ornavit.
Of these Captain Charles McDowell, who was always called "Captain Charles," owned the homestead of "The Quaker Meadows." He was a member of the Legislature from Burke County in 1809-'10-'11. He was much respected; an ardent politician. (For his descendants see sketch of Annie McDowell, whom he married.)
Athan A. McDowell served in the Creck war. He was sheriff of Burke County. Senator in the Legislature, 1815. He removed to Henderson County. He married Ann Goodson, the stepdaughter of Colonel William Davenport, of Caldwell County, and left one son, Charles, and one daughter, Louisa, who married Hon. James C. Harper, whose daughter married Hon. Judge Cilly.
James R. McDowell lived a bachelor, and died at the old homestead. He was a very great favorite with all who knew him. He often contended with Hon. Samuel P. Carson in the political field, with alternate success. He was a member of the House in 1817-'18 and '19, and of the Senate, in 1823-'25.
Sarah married Colonel William Paxton, brother of Judge Paxton; had several children; one of whom married Rev. Brank Merrimon, father of Hon. A. S. Merrimon, United States Senator; Eliza Grace married Stanhope Erwin; Margaret married Colonel William Dickson, whose son was in the Legislature 1842-'44; Sallie; Mrs. Christian.
Major John McDowell, third son of John and Margaret O'Neal, of Quaker Meadows, and brother of General Charles McDowell, lived on Silver Creek, in Burke County, about nine miles from Morganton.
He was a member of the Legislature in 1792-'94.
He had the sad mishap to lose his sons (three,) and a nephew, at the same time, by the burning of his house.
He left two daughters: Margaret, who married Robert McElrath; and Hannah, married John McElrath.
General Joseph McDowell was the son of John and Margaret (of Quaker Meadows,) had the reputation of a brave officer of the Revolution, a soldier and a statesman. We regret that so little is known of his character and services. The aged men of Burke that knew him describe him as being genial in his temper
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