Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Col. John Lewis of Augusta County

From Chronicles of Border Warfare, by Alexander Scott Withers, William Powers, William Hacker, Reuben Gold Thwaites, Lyman Copeland Draper; pub. 1895, R. Clarke Company:

    John Lewis, the father of Gen. Andrew Lewis, was probably of Welsh descent, and born in 1678 in County Donegal, Ireland. About 1716 he married Margaret Lynn, of the famous Lynns of Loch Lynn, Scotland. In a dispute over his tenancy (1729), he killed a man of high station,—some say, his Catholic landlord,—and fled to Portugal, whence in 1731, after strange adventures, he emigrated to America, and was joined there by his family. Fearing to live near a sea-port he established himself on the frontier, in the Valley of Virginia, two miles east of the present site of Staunton. His house was of stone, built for defense, and in 1754 it successfully stood an Indian siege. Lewis was colonel of the Augusta county militia as early as 1743, presiding justice in 1745, and high sheriff in 1748. In 1751, then 73 years of age, he assisted his son Andrew, then agent of the Loyal Company, to explore and survey the latter's grant on Greenbrier River. It was because the old man became entangled in the thicket of greenbriers, that he gave this name to the stream. He died at his old fort homestead, February 1, 1762, aged 84.