Rev. Joel Rivers
Patriot, Pioneer, Preacher in the Methodist Espicopal Church.
Furnished a gun for the Southern Expedition Militia
- d. February 13, 1829 - Suggsville or Claiborne, Monroe Co., AL
- - Buried in the woods on a bluff overlooking the Alabama River.
- b. 1748/9 - VA or England
- m. Rhoda Harwell - 1774/76 - VA
- Robert (?) - 1774
- Mason A. (Harwell ?) - 1774/5 or 1777/84
- Joel Thomas - 1776
- Sylvia (?) - 1778/85
- b. 1778/85
- m. Crook - ~1814 - Clarke Co., AL
- Susan H./Nancy - 1778/84
- b. 1778/84
- m. Ben Lucas - 1804 - Franklin Co., NC
- Hannah - 1785
- d. after 1856 - Clarke Co., AL
- b. 1785 - Warren Co., NC
- m. Joshua Jehu Scott - January 16, 1805 - Belfield, VA
- Richard - 1786
- d. December 6, 1856 - Clarke Co., AL
- b. 1786 - Warren Co., NC
- m.(1) Lucy B. Gibbs - May 19, 1808 - NC
- m.(2) Jane Caroline Gordon - October 30, 1851
- Mary (Polly?) - 1787/90
- Nancy M. - 1787/90
- Elizabeth J. - 1795
- d. 1870 - Monroe Co., AL
- b. 1795
- m. Stephen Steele - December 31, 1821 - Claiborne, Monroe Co., AL
- John (Jones?) - 1797/8
In 1780/81, Greensville County, Va. was created from Brunswick
and Sussex Counties. Greensville County Court records show that on
13 August, 1783, the Greensville County Court paid one Joel Rivers
£3 (3 pounds) for a gun which he had furnished for the Southern Expedition
Militia (Greensville County Court Commissioner's Book 1, pg. 342/3)
This service qualifies for Sons and Daughters of the American
Joel Rivers is listed in
Methodist Episcopal Church
Joel was a lay preacher in the newly formed
Methodist Episcopal Church (DAR Patriot Index, Vol. II)
While in Franklin, North Carolina, Joel wrote a pamplet docmenting his ministering to a young lady overcome
"The Power and Excellence of Religion, Exemplified in the
Happy Conversion and Triumphant Death of Miss Ruina J. Williams" by Joel Rivers, published for
the Tract Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, New York, 1809, with a
silhouette of Miss Williams. (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, archives)
The first Methodist Episcopal church
in Claiborne had been built
by Reverend Joel Rivers at his own expense in 1817.
When this church became inadequate, a new structure was built on the
same lot which was ultimately paid for by his son-in-law, Stephen Steelee,
out of his own
funds. The Deed for this lot which was retained by Stephen (probably
inherited or handed down to him from Joel Rivers)
was lost or destroyed during the Civil War. (History of Methodism in
Alabama; Rev. Anson West, D.D.; Methodist Episcopal Church, South;
Barbee and Smith, Agents; Nashville, Tennessee; 1893; pages 573 and 574.
Joel Rivers, No. 194, Oct., 1817 Alabama State Petition
Joel (No 194) and his
son Mason Rivers (No 104) were signatories to the Oct, 1817
petition to Congress to prevent Mississippi from extending its boundary into the
Alabama territory. This petition started the process for Alabama to become a state in 1819.
General LaFayette visits Claiborne
When General LaFayette visited Claiborne, Alabama, on April 6, 1825, Rev. Joel Rivers
was a member of the
Committee for his Reception.
According to a family tradition, General
LaFayette became the godfather of the second son of Stephen Steele and
Elizabeth J. Rivers, naming the son after himself,
"LaFayette" and after a deceased close friend of the Revolution,
"DeKalb". Indeed, the child's name was LaFayette Dekalb Steele.
A letter dated 1 October 1885 to Lavinia Jehu Scott Wilson, only daughter
of Hannah Rivers Scott and granddaughter of Joel and Rhoda Harwell Rivers, from
Lafayette Steele, son of Hannah's sister Elizabeth Rivers Steele (wife of Stephen Steele)
states that he once had a book which gave much information about the Rivers family in England but,
"in perigrimations, I have lost it and forgotten its name. I remember this,
however, there is little doubt that we are of royal origina. What a consolation this is in the
era of "mugwumps, snobs, etc"..."
Elizabeth J. Rivers was the youngest daughter of Rev. Joel Rivers.
Joel Rivers Burial
A letter dated 16 June 1961 from Mrs W. E. Deer, Claiborne, Alabama, whose
husband bought the old Dellet Mansion in Monroe County, states that the grave
of Joel Rivers is in the woods on the Cobb Cammack place. This place is on the western
side of the Alabama River, but still in Monroe County. Mrs Deer further states:
"His grave is on a lonely bluff overlooking the valley about
two miles from the Alabama River, looking towards Claiborne. Joel Rivers was
an affluent man, yet his marker was carved out of limestone and quite crude,
which does not reflect the circumstances of him or the members of his family."
Kay Rivers Paul: "Rev. Joel Rivers grave is located on a bluff overlooking the Alabama River near Claiborne on property now owned by Palmer Bedsole.
- Rev. Anson West, D.D.; History of Methodism in Alabama;
- Robbie Lee Gillis Ross; Your Inheritance, Part X - Chapter 1, "Early Rivers Notes"
- Family Record for Joel Rivers, prepared by W. E. Kirkpatrick, 1990
- Laura Adele Rivers family chart
- Personal Papers of Laura Adele Rivers
- Personal correspondence with Sam Rivers
- Personal correspondence with Gerald R. Alena
- Personal Correspondence with Kay Rivers Paul
Friday, 01-Jun-2007 17:01:49 MDT