|"Sampson J. English was born
January 2, 1790, in North Carolina. Though Sampson's
tombstone has his death date as 1875, he died in December of
1865 or January of 1866 in Englishville in Macon County, Georgia.
His will was entered for probate in January of 1866 and his
estate was appraised in February of 1866. Sampson had three
sisters and a brother. Nothing is known about his sisters other
than their names and birth dates.
|In 1818 Sampson was living in Washington
County, Georgia. In 1822 Sampson sold land in Hancock
County to his brother John. His brother is thought to be the
John English in the 1850 census of Early County, Georgia. By
1825 Sampson was in Crawford County, Georgia, where in 1827
he was associated with the Union Primitive Baptist Church in
Crawford County and was ordained in 1830 as a minister. About
1831 Sampson bought land lots 60 and 61 on Camp Creek in the
Hamburg Community in Marion County, now Macon County. About
1831 he became pastor of Hepzibah Primitive Baptist Church,
known as Red Hill, and served until 1863. Also, in 1831 while
Sampson English was the pastor of Hepzibah, he was called to
serve as a presbyter at a church in Americus formed by a small
group of Baptists who bound themselves together in Christian
fellowship. Their church would later become known as The First
Baptist Church of Americus.
|Some of Sampson's descendants also
served as Primitive Baptist ministers. According to Sarah
Maxie Smith Fowler, one of the Primitive Baptist Churches served
by an English was sawed in half when members of the congregation
had a dispute as to whether or not music should be allowed in
the church. Each group took their half of the church and rebuilt,
one with a piano and the other without. I am not sure whether
or not the pastor was Samuel Jackson English who was the grandfather
of Sarah Maxie. Dean Fowler, her son, may be able to answer
that question. As much as Sarah Maxie loved the piano, her family
would surely have sided with those wanting music.
|Not all of Sampson's children were adhering to their strict primitive Baptist upbringing.
From Lowndes County in 1859 a son-in-law of Sampson's, William
T. Cunningham who was married to Fanny English, the twin of
William "Bill" Wallace English, wrote the following
letter to William and his wife Josephine:
|Dear brother and sister, I write you a few lines which will inform you that we are all
well and hoping this will find you and family all well and the
rest of the connections. Bill, I received yours in due time
and was glad to hear from you. You said that you got my word
too late to send the whiskey to Albany for sell. If you want
me to see what I can do with it send a barrel to Albany and
I will do the best I can with it. There will be a chance for
to have it hauled any time. The common rye is worth a dollar
per gallon so you can tell what can be done with it. I will
go or send to Albany in the course of three or four weeks. The
health of the country is good. Fanny sends her love to all.
Give my love to all. So I will come to a close, I still remain
your friend and brother.
Wm. T. Cunningham
|Another letter later says he has sold 41 gallons at $1.20
a gallon, but hasn't collected it all yet.
|Sampson faced some difficult times
in the new frontier of Marion County. In 1835 Sampson,
along with other citizen's of Marion County, sent a petition
to Govenor William Schley making the following request:
aggrieved and much in danger from
a body of Indians
to the number of 40 or 50 which are located
center of our county. (We ask) that you remove from us the body
From good authority we believe the Indians
threatened that as soon as a few more of the whites shall be
drifted from among us and marched to the frontier that they
intend to commence an indiscriminate massacre of the balance
of men, women, and children that remain. We further state
all that is wanting to excite them to action is the presence
of a few hostile Indians to lead the way. (We are in) a defenseless
situation...from the want of men, arms and ammunition. Once
they commence the murder of ourselves, wives and children and
the destruction of our property they would do incalculable damage
before a sufficient force could be raised to oppose them
We request the earliest attention of your Excellency to this
|The issue must have been resolved satisfactorily for there was never an Indian uprising in Marion
nor Macon Counties after that.
|By his first wife, Sampson had a
son John J. English born December 2, 1810. His son John
J. English is thought to have been the John J. English who married
Louvenia Wilkins Coleman in Hancock County, Georgia, and moved
to Alabama. Sampson married Frances Hardison about 1815. The
parents of Frances are not known at this time, but it is highly
likely that she was the granddaughter or great granddaughter
of Jasper Hardison who died in 1733 in Albemarle County, N.C..
Frances and Sampson had 12 children, including a set of twins.
In all Sampson had over 84 known grandchildren. There are 9
known sets of twins among his descendants. Sampson had prospered
in Macon County
|By the beginning of the War Between
the States in 1861, Sampson and Frances had already had
two adult children to die: Mary Ann and Edwin. Now they watched
as their seven sons and a sixteen-year-old grandson enlisted
and marched off to war.
|1) Jasper Newton English - Sgt.-
Co. A - 11th Battalion Georgia Artillery, enlisted July 6, 1861,
in Americus at the age of 24, wounded December 20, 1861, in
Drainsville, Virginia, wounded July 3, 1863, in Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania. He was dicharged October 30, 1863. Jasper losted
an arm in the War and was later fitted with a prosthesis.
2) Joseph (Joe) English - Pvt.-
Co. A - 11th Battalion Georgia Artillery, enlisted May 15, 1862,
in Americus, and served three years. His battallion was cut
off from the main army of Gen. Robert E. Lee before Lee surrendered
at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. Joseph's unit was disband
and ordered to Lincolnton, N.C., where they were captured and
paroled by the enemy.
3) Matthew English - Co. E - 22nd
Battalion Georgia Heavy Artillery, enlisted May 15, 1862, in
Americus, discharged November 19, 1863, on a Surgeon's Certificate.
4) Robert H. (Buddy) English -
Co. G -11th Georgia Reserves.
5) Samuel H. English - Co. A -
Georgia State Troops- Robinson's Georgia Cavalry- (State Guards).
6) Thomas H. English - Pvt.- Co.
A- 11th Battalion Georgia Artillery, enlisted May 15, 1862,
in Americus. He was with his brother Joseph when their battalion
was cut off from the army of Robert E. Lee, and sent to Lincolnton,
N.C. where he was captured and paroled by the enemy after Lee's
7) William (Bill) Wallace English - Pvt.- Co. A- 11th
Battalion Georgia Artillery, enlisted July 6, 1861, in Americus
and died September 30, 1861, in Manasses, Virginia.
|Joel Wenil English, the 16-year-old
son of Robert English, enlisted July 6, 1861, the same
day as his uncles Jasper Newton English and William Wallace
English did, and served with them in Co. A- 11th Battalion,
also known as the Sumter Flying Artillery. Joel is buried in
the Andersonville Cemetery
|William "Bill" Wallace
English was the only son who died in the war. He left
his wife Josephine Edge English with five young children. Petrona,
the youngest daughter, was five months old and she, too, died
four months after her father's death. Fortunately, most, if
not all of his letters home have survived
Sandra Perry Wellons,
Presented: 18 May 2002