Thursday, October 25, 2007

Judge McCue to Lyman Draper,
re: Daniel Boone & the McDowells

Staunton, July 23d/83

Hon. Lyman C. Draper,

My Dear Sir,

I was engaged in the midst of an important criminal case as counsel for the defense when yr letter of the 7th inst. came to hand which occupied me about twelve days. This will account for my not replying to your letter at an earlier date. I am descended from Henry Miller of the Iron Works– the first established west of the Blue Ridge--& second I suppose to that of G__ Spottswood in America. I know little of the Miller, Boone & Winter families. My mothers maiden name was Hannah Winters Moffett, daughter of James McDowell Moffett, who was the son of Col. Geo. Moffett of Indian warfare & revolutionary memory –and Sarah or Mary Marg McDowell daughter of Jno. & Magdalen McDowell– Jno. The son of Ephraim McDowell. Magdalene his John’s wife was a Woods. Jno McDowell my great great grandfather was killed by the Indians near Balcony Falls in Rockbridge Co.
I know that Col D. Boone was related to my maternal ancestor – the grandfather of my mother– Henry Miller –founder of Millers Iron Works on Mossy Creek in the southwestern part of Augusta Co. He accumulated a vast fortune in lands & left descendants innumerable. Henry Miller was the founder of many great families as I have been told--& know, that all or nearly all have held respectable positions in society. Henry of the Iron Works died at his residence, a splendid hewn stone mansion on his furnace property –when about 37 years of age. The late Jno Howe Peyton –that great lawyer father of J. Lewis Peyton said of him –he had brains enough to fill the Office of
President of the United States.
I know that Miller of the I Works & Dan’l Boon were related and visited this Co. trading with the Indians--& were fast friends. How related I know not. I have written to several persons in reference to the subjects of yr letter, who are believed to be better informed than any others, and so soon as I hear from them – you shall hear from me.
Have you seen Hale’s pamphlet on Boon? If not, will loan you the only copy I have –sent me by the authors. Mr. Hale is of Charleston Kanawha Co. Va. His given name I do not recall. ___by postal whether or not you have the pamphlet. Maj J.M. McCue, my first cousin, knows more of Dan’l Boon & Miller than any man living– also of the Winter family. Write to him my care Staunton Va. A letter from you will bring out his knowledge. To me he says “Oh– Mr. Draper knows all I
do.” He is very much engage in historic research just now in another line.
I trust yr History of King’s Mountain will do justice to my kindred, the North Carolina McDowells whose names do not appear on the monument. Are you not related to or connected with the McDowell’s in some way. Let me know & how.
Court day & no time to read over for correction.

Most truly,
Yr fnd & obt servt

Jno H McCue

[note in margin]
Thanks for Wisconsin Collection. JH McCue

(J.H. McCue to Lyman C. Draper, July 23, 1883; Draper Manuscripts, 20C63; transcribed from microfilm copy of the original document from the Draper Manuscripts Collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; spelling and punctuation are as they appear in the original text)