Search billions of records on

William Jacob Beene b. 24 August 1771, Pittsylvania County, Virginia

Found in "The Cherokees" by Grace Steele Woodward

William Bean Family pgs 94-95

On the night of July 8, 1776, Nancy Ward prepared the black drink, a service expected of a ghigan, ...then returned to her seat next to the warriors and headmen... deriving the information that Dragging Canoe's intention was to strike the white settlement near the Great Island of the Holston and those in near-by Virginia on July 20.


On the same day Abram of Chilhowee would strie on the Nolichucky and Watauga rivers, and the Raven of Chota would attack settlements in Charters Valley...After the purification ceremonies, the Gighau hastened to Thomas, Williams and Fawling Trading yard and urged the traders to sound the alarm.


Thus forewarned, Fort Caswell, on the Watauga was filled with settlers' wives and children, among whom were Mrs. Bean and her brood, including her eldest son, Russell who was the first white child born in the Watauga settlement (later Tennessee).


Fort Caswell was under the able command of Colonel John Carter, Captian James Robertson, and Lieutenant John Sevier. Fort Lee having been abandoned, Fort Caswell now sheltered many of its residents. Following a futile siege of Fort Caswell at Watauga, old Abram took a few prisoners, and then gave up. 


As was customary at Fort Caswell, the women left the Fort at daybreak to milk the cows. And it was when Mrs. Bean, lagging behind the other women, was captured outside the fort. Samuel Moore, a young boy, was captured when getting boards out side the stockade to cover a cabin inside the fort...Moore was burned at the stake but Mrs. Bean was saved by Nancy Ward and taken to the Ghigau's house... she taught the Ghigau's slaves to make butter and cheese. The Ghigau reportedly being the first in the nation to own cattle. Shortly after her capture Mrs. Bean was allowed to return to her home.


Footnote - The story of the attacks by the cherokees on the forts and capture of Mrs. Bean and Samuel Moore are from Williams "Tennessee During the Revolutionary War 35-37; J. G. M.Ramsey, "Annals of Tennessee, 157' Roosevelt Winning of the West,1 passim' Brown, Old Frontiers, pasim  Mark Bean pg 261 While these preparations (Pike and McCulloch talks with Chief Ross, June 5th 1861) were in progress at Fort Smith, John Ross was busily answering letters from Arkansas demanding to know where he stood on the war question, now that Arkansas had seceded from the Union. Inquires made by Mark Bean and a committee of citizens of Boonsboro (Boonsborough) on this subject, Ross replied on May 18, 1861. You are fully aware of the peculiar Circumstances of our Conditions and will not expect us to destroy our national and individual rights and bring around our hearth stones the horrors and desolations of a civil war, prematurely and unnceceearily. I am - the Cherokees are - your friends and the friends of your people but we do not wish to be brought into the feuds between yourselves and your Northern Brethern. Our wish is for peace. Peace at home and Peace among you. Footnote- The Ross Papers, loc. cit. Anderson Bean p 310 Anderson Bean, an emancipated slave, residing at Fort Gibson in post war days, recalled years later that the Negroes who were made Cherokee citizens were so intimidated by intermarried whites and Cherokees that they were afraid to venture out on the streets after dark. Bean also remembered the cholera epidemic that viciously attacked the Cherokee Nation in 1867' It wasn't any thing for someone to say, "So and so is dead."  and you would say "No, he ain't dead. I was just talking to him an hour ago," and the answer was, "Makes no difference' he's dead now." Some claimed that the muskrats that came up on the river boats were what started the cholera. The government moved us Negroes out on Four Mile Creek until the colera was over."  foot note - Interview 5030 in ibis., Vol. VI

From "The Epic of America" by James Truslow Adams p60

William Bean and Daniel Boone


By the eighteenth century Swiss, Germans and Scotch-Irish made up over 10 percent of the total population of the colonies. The Swiss and Germans had no ties or regards for England and the Scotch-Irish had left home with a deep, bitter and aiding hatred of England and her ways.


From her had come all their woes and the need of abandoning their homes. The frightful conditions on the ships, lack of food and the way they were treated when they landed did nothing to assuage that feeling. They often had to sell themselves into bondage and families would be torn apart. It is not surprising then when these famished creatures finally got away safe from the clutches of every kind of sharper and made off for the wilderness - if they were able to do so - they would have little regard for land titles and would soon begin to develop a "frontier" spirit and claim that it was against the law of God and nature for so much land to lay idle while so many Christians wanted it to labor in and to raise bread. A civilization had developed and Franklin could say in 1756 that the land was settled up to the mountains.


A few bold spirits like Captain William Bean and Daniel Boone had penetrated into Kentucky, but only the sea board had now become fairly populated, wealthy, safe and cultured.


"Tennessee Cousins History of Tennessee People" by Worth S Ray Grainger County, Tennessee


There were several BEAN BROTHERS who pressed their way into the wilderness, that after the Indians had finally retreated, became the state of Tennessee.  At least two of these brothers were WILLIAM BEAN and GEORGE BEAN. They were from PITTSYLVANIS COUNTY, Virginia, where the name appears on the records. 


Both WILLIAM and GEORGE BEAN were probably sons of a still older WILLIAM BEAN, who lived on DAN RIVER in what is now PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY as early as 1747, when the LUNENBURG COUNTY Court ordered "that a road be cleared the best & most convenient way from WILLIAM BEAN'S on DAN RIVER to the Banister River, thence to North River at CARGILL'S HORSE FORD, thence to the Courthouse".


In the list of tithables for PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Virginia, taken by PETER PERKINS in 1767, appears 2 items of interest to our Tennessee Cousins; WILLIAM BEAN and son WILLIAM ------land.  JOHN HARDIMAN and son THOMAS---land. All three of the above mentioned families appear on the records of what is now CLAIRMONT COUNTY, including NICHOLAS T PERKINS, a son of PETER. It was the "son" WILLIAM BEAN mentioned above, who is supposed to have married the daughter of WILLIAM RUSSELL and had "the first white child born in Tennessee" - RUSSELL BEAN. But WILLIAM BEAN did not establish "BEAN'S STATION, the neucles (unclear) of GRANGER COUNTY activity - at least not alone. 


"Bean's Station" was a different place from that one where WILLIAM BEAN settled, in 1769 which Ramsey explains was on BOONE'S CREEK, " a tributary of the Watauga". This Bean's Station was on the N. side of the Holston river, and was settled by GEORGE BEAN, SR., who in 1792 advertised that he opens a ""Goldsmith's business at that place. GEORGE BEAN, SR., who left PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY in 1769 (the year after he and "son WILLIAM BEAN" were set down as tythables - with land) and settled on Boone's Creek, a tributary of the WAUTAUGA.  N o doubt William Bean later did join GEORGE BEAN, his brother, at Bean's Station, but it was GEORGE and not WILLIAM BEAN, who "settled" the "Station". Some years before GRAINGER COUNTY was cut out from between KNOX and HAWKINS County . Bean's Station had become one of the best known places on the road between Kentucky and the southern market points. George Bean had his "goldsmith" and gun shops there, and in those pioneer days did a thriving business. (this is where the part about the Beans ends)