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McCorkle Correspondence beginning with Mrs. Robert McCorkle (1770-1846), née Margaret Morrison of Rowan County, NC, then Rutherford County, Tennessee, then finally of  Dyer County, Tennessee, near the Gibson County Line

  --transcribed, compiled, and edited  by  Marsha Cope Huie (alias Mrs. Ralph Ervin Williamson)


Copyright claimed not of the old letters themselves, which should be distributed and enjoyed by all, nor of work herein  attributed to other people, but of all expression written by M C Huie, including her explanations of who the people mentioned in the correspondence were.


Compiled and written by Marsha Cope Huie

                        with significant contributions by

(1)       Natalie Cockroft Ragon & husband James Ragon of Jackson,Tennessee;

(2)       Mr. and Mrs. James M. Richmond of Napierville, Illinois;  and

(3)       Margaret Dickey,  seekr@flash.net, the person who placed the Dickey Genealogy on the Internet at http://members.fortunecity.com/gen4m/Dickey8.htm  entitled: Descendants of Robert Dickey (1463 - 1538)  Glasgow, Scotland. Genealogy Report 1463 1900; [1]    

  &  by

(4)     Joseph H. Howard --Margaret Dickey in turn makes attribution to the work of Joseph H. Howard

e-mail: jhhoward@erols.com  Their Dickey work astounds me; how could they have done such a masterful, comprehensive job with a name so hard to research?  I found the name “Dickey” as hard to research as “Thomas,” and I had almost given up on Sarah Dickey Scott’s lineage until James Ragon of Jackson, Tennessee, told me of the above work.  Please read the Endnote below citing more Dickey work of the above people. [End of Marsha Huie’s Acknowledgment to Dickey Family Researchers.]


(5)     And with special thanks to Carol McCorkle Branz (Mrs. Roger Branz) of Spokane, Washington, for copies of  old McCorkle relics/correspondence/ supplied for transcription by me.  Carol is a descendant of Robert Andrew Hope McCorkle & wife Tirzah Scott McCorkle, through their son Joseph Smith McCorkle & wife Mary Frazier McCorkle, who lived in "downtown" Yorkville.



Published by Marsha Huie in March 2005.

  Pictured below with Carol Cameron Darr, Sidney Sussex College gardens, Cambridge, England,  1986

             Above right:  my niece Jessica Huie Cashdollar & Little PLC: Parker Louis Cashdollar BLACKWELL


A Vague Table of Contents:

Table of Contents. I. :

I.                Correspondence of (“Peggy”) Margaret Morrison McCorkle (Mrs. Robert McCorkle), 1770-1848

This correspondence includes letters to and from one of her daughters, Elmira Sloane McCorkle Roache.   Margaret called her new home in Dyer County, Tennessee, “Verdant Plain,” and later a son, Robert Andrew Hope or RAH McCorkle, was to pen letters as having been written from “Verdant Grove.”  


In colonial times (1762), Margaret’s father, Andrew Morrison [wife: Elizabeth Sloan Morrison] had received a land grant from the Earl of Granville for certain land in North Carolina. Andrew's father, William Morrison, born circa 1704 and died in  1771, & Andrew's mother, a Margaret (maiden name unknown) Morrison, were at Third Creek, Rowan-Iredell County, at least as early as around 1750 A.D., and William and Andrew Morrison took shelter at Fort Dobbs (just outside Statesville, now in Iredell Co., NC) in the time of the French & Indian Wars.

-- Fergus Sloan owned land at the site of Fort Dobbs and is buried in an early grave in the Fourth Creek Meeting House Cemetery, which now lies in the center of the town of Statesville, Iredell County, North Carolina.  I suspect kinship between Fergus Sloan and Elizabeth Sloan (Mrs. Andrew Morrison), the latter being the mother of Margaret Morrison McCorkle, inter alia; but cannot prove kinship of Fergus Sloan & Elizabeth Sloan Morrison. -- In colonial times, at least in the South, only the Anglican denomination was allowed to call its worship place a "church." Presbyterians had to be content with the cognomen "meeting house."

An example of the correspondence in this compilation, mostly in Chapter Two:

In this series of correspondence transcribed herein, Margaret Morrison McCorkle wrote her brother-in-law James McCorkle:

       I think you do me injustice to imagine me opposed to the abolition scheme at least I know that I am unfriendly to slaveholding amongst us.  I am not sufficiently acquainted with the politics of the times to judge of the measures pursued by the  abolitionists therefore I wish them success only just so far as they are trying in a right manner to do what I believe to be a good work, one thing I can say with certainty that it would truly rejoice me to see all my dear posterity settled in a free state.” 

--The above is quoted from a letter written by Margaret Morrison McCorkle to her brother-in-law James McCorkle, a brother to Robert McCorkle et al. James McCorkle was born 4 May 1768.  James McCorkle moved to Ohio [John Hale Stutesman wrote that his removal was to escape slavery], but James McCorkle died residing in Frankfort, Indiana, dying on 2 December 1840.


This correspondence reveals that Margaret’s daughter, Elmira Sloan McCorkle Roache, was in Indiana near her uncle James McCorkle, at least for a while.

Another example of the correspondence in this compilation, mostly in Chapter Two:

One of Margaret's letters is to her grandson, Addison Locke Roache, Senior, depicted below as justice of the Indiana Supreme Court

   Below is a sampler,                                                 

a letter from Addison Locke Roach aged about ten years at the time of writing.  Addison's family--Elmira Sloane McCorkle Roach(e) & Dr. Stephen Roach(e)--had moved up north to (I think) Indiana.  The letter is written to his uncle Edwin Alexander McCorkle in Dyer County, Western District of Tennessee.  Edwin's sister Elmira Sloan(e) McCorkle (Roache) was mother to the young writer Addison:


Letter to Edwin Alexander McCorkle in Dyer County, Western District of Tennessee, from his nephew (Edwin’s sister Elmira’s son) Addison Locke Roache, Senior

 "Dyer Co. Ten  1827

"Dear uncle        we are well in common health, father has had the ague, he had three very severe shakes, at first we thought it was the influenza for 4 or 5 days

We have moved up to Andrews Creek and are living in the house that Humphrey Tome-llson [Tomlinson? Tomelson?] used to live in.  James Franklin & myself are going to school to Mr. Absolam Knox.   James can read tolerable well and father has promised to give him a penknife if he will get to the pictures and I am sure he will get to the pictures

James Franklin [Travers? Roache?] & myself are going to school to Mr. Absolam Knot [Absalom Knox?], James can read tolerable well and father has promised to give him a penknife if he will get to the pictures and I am sure he will get to the pictures

 Jane M. Thomson [Thompson] is going to school to Mr Alamer Hill to learn the grammar the short way.

[Jane M. Thompson is a 1st cousin to Addison. Jane Thompson (Williams) was one of the orphaned daughters of Addison’s mother Elmira’s sister Rebecca Cowden McCorkle, Jane M. Thompson being a child of Mrs. Gideon Thompson & Gideon Thompson.] Jane M. Thompson Williams  named her first child "John Gid Williams."

 I must close my short epistle.

Give my respect to [your wife] Aunt Jane & all who may inquire after me. 

                        Yours sir with affection

                        A d d i s o n L R o a c h

                        May the 14th 1827


Another example of the correspondence contained in this compilation:

Here is part of a Letter from Margaret Morrison McCorkle (Mrs. Robert McCorkle) in Dyer County, Western Dist. of Tenn., to her daughter Elmira Sloane McCorkle Roache (Mrs. Dr. Stephen Roach, Jr.), presumably living at the time in Indiana:

Dear Elmira,

Your letter to [your son residing with us in West Tenn.] Quincy and myself dated January 26th [18[?3][?]] came to hand in due time.  I feel glad to hear that you enjoy health, peace, and competence in your new residence, and it gives me still greater pleasure to have reason to hope that you bear the absence of your children with fortitude.----- have some knowledge how a mother feels to be parted from one or more of her children, but I have not realized that odd situation you mention you are in, viz, that of having none to call you mother.----I suppose the thought of having them qualified for acting in a high sphere of life; that is that forthcoming great, and respectable men, buoys up your mind, and enables you to bear with [firmneß ? ] [finesse?] the present privation-----                                                         

     Well I suppose this is a laudable wish, and therefore, I say, may fortune favor your most sanguine anticipations.  I need  not hardly remind you of the neceßity of always striving to impreß upon their minds, that in order to be truly great, they must be good.  However this piece of advice by the way, is more to evince my anxiety about their welfare, than to excite you to duty-----for in reality a desire to have them become worthy citizens, lies near my heart-----and my decided opinion is, that the most expanded intellects, and splendid acquirements, must be united with goodness of heart, and a strict adherence to moral rectitude in order to form an eminent character-------And now my dear child, will you suffer your mother to give you a word of [to page 2] exhortation.  

Table of Contents. II. :

II.    Letters of Margaret’s son Robert Andrew Hope McCorkle, variously Robert McCorkle [Jr.] or RAH McCorkle, who married Tirzah Scott [McCorkle]. 

 Tirzah Scott McCorkle was born in South Carolina to James Scott (1777-1853) & wife Sarah Dickey Scott (1777-1838).  Sarah Dickey Scott's parents were John Dickey of York District, SC, and wife Sarah Robinson (Dickey), not "Nancy" Purviance as I had earlier thought.  --

Table of Contents. III. :

III.  ۞   Letters of  Margaret Morrison McCorkle’s grandson John Edwin McCorkle

                          – John E. McCorkle's correspondence concerning the estate of his maternal uncle David Thomas.   David Thomas of Republic of Texas fame was a brother of Mrs. Edwin Alexander McCorkle, née Jane Maxwell Thomas.  [Jane Maxwell Thomas was a daughter-in-law of Margaret Morrison McCorkle. Jane’s father was William Thomas, a Revolutionary War soldier in the Piedmont of North Carolina, and Jane Maxwell Thomas McCorkle’s mother was Elizabeth Purviance Thomas,  née Elizabeth Purviance.]  Jane Maxwell Thomas McCorkle’s husband, Edwin Alexander McCorkle, was born in N.C. on the 18th  of March 1799 and died in Dyer County, Tennessee, on the 10th of January 1853.

Table of Contents. IV. :

IV. ۞      One of the Civil War-time Diaries of John Edwin McCorkle, 1839-1924, a grandson of Margaret Morrison McCorkle; also a sampler of the journals kept by John E. McCorkle’s daughter “Aunt Kate” Katie Pearl McCorkle (Fox).  John E. McCorkle was my father H. Ewing Huie's maternal grandfather.

   – The Civil Wartime journal transcribed here covers parts of 1860 and 1861, also 1863. Other journals kept by John E. McCorkle, which my sister and I view to have been wrongfully converted initially, are now in the possession of the University of Tennessee at Martin Archives; ditto some of the records of our paternal grandfather Howard Anderson Huie (1870-1935) particularly his Huie & Ozier Hardware Company records of Newbern, Tennessee, circa 1900.

The wartime diaries of John Edwin McCorkle’s brother HRA (Hiram) McCorkle are  generally not included, although a "teaser" is inserted after Chapter Fifteen of this compilation.  In July 2007 the Tennessee State Library and Archives microfilmed Uncle Hiram's diaries so that they are now available to the public.

In the year 2003, Hiram R.A. McCorkle’s diaries are in the possession of David Caldwell of Newbern, Tennessee, the only child of Betty Jane Atkins & Charles Caldwell.

[Generation 1.Robert McCorkle;   2. Edwin A. McCorkle;    3. Hiram R.A. McCorkle;   4. Bettie McCorkle Cawthon;    5. Mamie Cawthon Atkins;    6. Betty Jane Atkins Caldwell;     7. David Caldwell ]

In the summer of 2006, Tanya Messer Sandlin (maternal great-granddaughter of John Edwin McCorkle through Uncle Will McCorkle & Will’s daughter Julia McCorkle Montgomery) and Earl Willoughby (local Dyer County historian) photocopied Hiram’s diaries, and we hope to transcribe them for the public.


The following offers a sample of Hiram McCorkle’s journal entries, about six (6 ) years before Hiram died in 1907:

            September 12, 1901: Death of Frelin McCorkle.

            “ Frelinghuisen McCorkle (col’d) died, aged 57 years and 8 days.”

Next entry:    “We attended Frelin’s funeral at the McCorkle cemetery.  Quite a number of colored people there as also were a goodly number of white neighbors.  All of his young Masters and Mistresses in slave time who were in reach were there.  Frelin was born and raised and married and raised a large family on the old McCorkle farm. [Hiram means his grandparents’ - Robert & Margaret Morrison McCorkle’s -- farm, I guess.]  Never lived anywhere else except, I think, maybe he was hired out a few times when he was fifteen or sixteen years old.  Frelin was a good boy, a good obedient slave and after being freed he was a good colored citizen.  Always polite, truthful, honest and industrious, providing well for his wife and a large family of children, all girls, but one.  Although he had been a believer in the Christian religion for quite a number of years, he never obeyed the gospel until a few years ago.  Since which time, up to his death he has lived, as best he knew how, a Christian life.  Let us all drop a tear and let the curtain fall.  Frelin’s gone where good negroes go.  [end of quotation from HRA McCorkle....]


A freedman named Caleb McCorkle was buried there, too.


And it is beyond cavil that freedman JEFF BEAN, and wife ELLA BEAN, respected farmers in the Churchton community, are interred in front of the white-folks' fence at the old McCorkle Cemetery, in the old section reserved for slaves and former slaves. My mother, Joyce Cope Huie, remembers a Roscoe Bean.

--My mother Joyce Cope Huie's "Aunt Tempe" Temperance McMahan (widow Bean) Hendricks brought Jeff Bean with her when she came down from Ohio or Indiana to marry my mother's paternal great-grandfather, Uriah C. Hendricks, originally of Mocksville, Davie County, NC, as his 2nd wife.  Aunt Tempe's sister, Mary McMahan Hendricks, had been Uriah C. Hendricks' 1st wife; Uriah had gone from Rowan-Davie County, NC, up to Clermont County, Ohio, to marry (in 1833) Mary McMahan after her people had moved northwardly from Rowan-Davie County, NC.  [--or did the 1st wife of Uriah Hendricks, Mary MacMahan (Hendricks), bring Jeff Bean down to Tennessee with her?  We think the 2nd wife, Tempe, brought him down with her.]

Mary McMahan (Hendricks) (whose family once had been near Mocksville in Davie County, NC, next to the Hendricks family--spelled variously: Hendrix) was the mother of Narcissus Hendricks Cope, Narcissus "Sis" being the mother of Ira Mitchell Cope, my maternal grandfather; and the mother of Daisy Cope Henley and Delia Cope Grills.  Narcissus Hendricks Cope Forcum was a Methodist, so her granddaughter Joyce Cope Huie assumes Narcissus's Hendricks/Hendrix forebears were Methodists, too.

TSLA - History & Genealogy - Recent Additions

[July 2007] Recent Additions to the Tennessee State Library and Archives ... H.R.A. McCorkle Journals, written from 1848-1907-- Dyer County [microfilm #1834];
www.state.tn.us/tsla/history/recent.htm - 11k

20th TN Cavalry CSA -- Biographical Information [M] 

H.R.A. McCorkle Company G. Enlisted December 1, 1863 in Dyer Co., TN, by Col. [Tyree Harris] Bell for 3 years or the war. Roan horse valued at $900. ...

The Dyersburg, Tennessee, State Gazette - July, 1907 reprints Hiram R. A. McCorkle's obituary from the Newbern Tennessean:

DEATH OF Hiram R. A. McCORKLE; NEWBERN TENNESSEAN--On Monday morning, July 1st, 1907

The obituary is unsigned, but I know from the flowery writing style that it was composed by Hiram's niece, Ora Alice McCorkle Huie (Mrs. "Dolph" Julius Adolphus Huie), a daughter of John Edwin McCorkle.  Ora McCorkle Huie's pen name was "Victor." :


--On Monday morning, July 1st, the spirit of H. R. A. McCORKLE was called from the tenement of clay to return to God, who gave it. When the sad news, "Uncle Hiram is dead, " was flashed across the wires, many hearts were saddened. Had Mr. McCORKLE lived until November 6, 1907, he would have reached the 80th milestone of life's journey. More than 50 years ago he accepted Christ as his Savior and was buried in baptism by Elder James HOLMES. On Tuesday morning, the funeral was held at the church [Lemalsamac Christian Church] where "Uncle Hiram's" seat was seldom vacant, conducted by Elder N. B. HARDEMAN. His body was then taken to the McCorkle Cemetery to Mother Earth. Three children, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren are left to mourn his loss.




ΆΩ.   Also included in this compilation is my COPYRIGHTED transcription of the First Membership Book of Lemalsamac Christian Church, now Lemalsamac Church of Christ. 

Below:  my parents Howard EWING Huie & Joyce Rebecca Cope Huie, Christmas 1970:


Ralph Ervin Williamson, New York, 1986

  Marsha Cope Huie is a law professor and historian married to Ralph E. Williamson of Midland and San Antonio, Texas.  She was born on the county line between Dyer County and Gibson County, Tennessee.  This web site contains stories of numerous Dyer and Gibson County families, as well as items of interest to historians and genealogists.  The main point of interest is Old McCorkle Letters, Now, don't be fooled. The materials cover much more about Gibson and Dyer Counties, Tennessee-- indeed of other places--than just McCorkle people.  For instance, my last name is Huie but my maternal grandmother's maiden name was HEADDEN and she married a COPE man, and they all were kin to almost everybody in eastern Dyer County and western Gibson County; and my paternal grandmother's name was McCorkle but she married a Huie man.  And the Huies were kin to the Cowans, Halls, Van Eatons, and ... ; and the Copes were kin to the Hendricks/Hendrix and Banks and Wyatt and other families discussed herein.... Well, you get the point.