Major Francis Boykin

Male, #9997, (1751 - 17 Aug 1821)
Father*William Boykin II (b 1710 - c 1784)
Mother*Elizabeth Bryant (s 1712 - )
Birth*1751 Francis was born at Southampton Co., Virginia, in 1751. 
Relocationcirca 1755 He, as a family member, accompanied William Boykin II in relocating circa 1755 at Craven Co., South Carolina; from Southampton Co., VA1 
American Revolution*between 1775 and 1783 DAR Listing: "Francis Boykin, born circa 1755 in North Carolina, died 18 Aug 1821 in Georgia, married Catherine Whitaker, Major, South Carolina"
     Francis served as a lieutenant in the First Regiment in June 1775 and was Captain in the Rangers under Capt. Eli Kershaw during 1775/1776. He was a major in the Second Dragoons under Col. Myddleton and Gen. Sumter during 1782.2,3
 
Marriage*circa 1780 He married Catherine Whitaker at Camden, Camden District, South Carolina, circa 1780. 
Death of Fathercirca 1784 His father William Boykin II died circa 1784 at Camden, Camden District, South Carolina
Land Grant/Patent*1786 Land was granted to Major Francis Boykin in 1786 at Washington Co., Georgia,

(287.5 acres).4 
Birth of Son1786 His son Dr. Samuel Boykin was born in 1786 at Camden, Camden District, South Carolina.5,6 
Jury*Mar 1788 He served on a jury in Mar 1788 at Burke Co., Georgia,
     Grand Jury.7 
Biographybetween 1791 and 1798 Francis was a magistrate of the Kershaw County Court and has numerous entries in the minutes of the Court in the 1790's. He also was the plaintiff in several lawsuits involving money due him. On 8 May 1795, he successfully petitioned the court for opening a road into his plantation on the river from the "Great Road". Two years later, some of the workers on Francis' road were ordered to then work on another road.8 
Will25 Dec 1791 Francis, Burwell and John named as executor(s) in the will of Samuel Boykin at Kershaw Co., South Carolina, on 25 Dec 1791.9 
Birth of Soncirca 1792 His son James William Boykin was born circa 1792 at Camden, Kershaw District, South Carolina.10,11 
Relocation*circa 1800 He relocated circa 1800 at Washington Co., Georgia,12 
Land Lottery*1805 Francis participated in but did not win the land lottery in 1805 at Washington Co., Georgia,
land in Baldwin, Wayne and Wilkinson counties.13 
Land Grant/Patent1809 Land was granted to Major Francis Boykin in 1809 at Washington Co., Georgia,

(538 acres).14 
Tax roll*1813 He registered to pay taxes at Baldwin Co., Georgia, in 1813.15 
Event-Misc*23 Nov 1819 He on 23 Nov 1819 at Baldwin Co., Georgia, Notice posted in "Georgia Journal": Baldwin Co. For Sale. My plantation. 2,000 acres on Oconee and Town Creek. Also 35 negros and livestock. Apply to Francis Boykin. 10 miles below Milledgeville.16 
1820 Census*7 Aug 1820 Francis was listed as the head of a family on the 1820 Census at Baldwin Co., Georgia. 1M16-25, 1M45+, 21 in agriculture, 29 slaves.17 
Biography1821 The Whitaker Place.
     In Baldwin County, about twelve miles to the southeast of Milledgeville, lies the plantation known for many years as the "Whitaker Place." It was originally owned by Maj. Francis Boykin, a South Carolinian, prominent in the war of the Revolution, who moved to this county in 1800. He was a successful farmer and accumulated a large area of land which lay on the east side of the Oconee River for a long distance, and extended toward the east to Gum Creek, the dividing line between Washington and Baldwin counties.
     At that time, boats came up the river as far as Milledgeville. Maj. Boykin was appointed one of the River Commissioners, whose duties were to see that the stream was kept clear of snags and other obstructions interfering with the passage of the boats.
     In 1821, Maj. Boykin died. He left two sons and one daughter, Dr. Samuel Boykin, who practiced medicine in Milledgeville; Mr. James Boykin, a Deacon in the Baptist Church; and Miss Eliza Boykin, who married the father of Prof. William Rutherford, of Athens, Ga. Prof. Rutherford was the father of Miss Mildred Rutherford, to whom the South owes a lasting debt of gratitude for the preservation of much of its history.
     Upon the death of his father, Dr. Samuel Boykin gave up his practice in Milledgeville and moved to the plantation. He built a large two-story house for a residence, which became known for miles around as "The White House," because it was the only painted house in the community. He was a great lover of plants and flowers and was the first to demonstrate that sugar cane could be grown in Georgia as high up as Baldwin County. In 1836, he decided to move to Alabama, and sold his plantation to Mr. William Whitaker, a kinsman, who had recently moved into the community from North Carolina.
     William Whitaker cultivated the soil as did Dr. Boykin, and grew large crops of corn, cotton and other products.
     In those days, people traveled by stage coach, and on the long roads there were "Relay Stations" where fresh horses were exchanged for the tired ones, which rested until the return trips. A Relay Station was located on this place and was the center of much interest.
     Upon the death of William Whitaker, the plantation was divided into three parts, and his three children, James, Samuel, and Martha drew for a part.
     The part upon which Dr. Boykin's residence was located, fell to Samuel Whitaker. By that time, this place was very attractive; tall oaks shaded the white sandy yard; in the rear were several black walnut trees which, in later years, attained to immense size. Cherokee rose vines draped the trees on either side of the avenue leading to the public road. Down this road, to the right, was a lane leading to the negro quarters. At the end of the lane was the Overseer's house. On one side of the lane was the Gin House, the first built in that section of the country. This was burned by Sherman's men when a part of his army encamped for several days on that plantation, leaving desolation and ruin behind it.
     At another point, the lane was shaded by a sugar berry tree, unusually tall and branching. There was a superstition among the negroes that this tree was haunted by a spirit which could foretell death, because it had been observed that, just before a death occurred on the place, the tree gave forth a weird and peculiar sound as of the opening of a creaky door. When this was heard, consternation filled the Quarters, be- cause no one doubted but that someone's days were numbered.
     Samuel Whitaker kept a Diary, in which each day's work was faithfully recorded. Every field was designated by its own particular name-as "The New Ground," "The Vineyard Field," "The Goode Field" -the name was symbolic of the nature of the soil or of some association.
     Mrs. Whitaker took an active interest in the religious training of the negroes. A place was provided where they could assemble in public worship. The negro children would come from the Quarters on Sunday afternoons and sit on the steps of her front porch, the larger ones standing in line on the ground, while she talked to them of spiritual things and taught them lessons from the Bible.
     At the close of the war, when losses were heavy, the plantation passed into the hands of Mr. Wirtzfielder, who owned it for a number of years, then sold it to Mr. Sam Walker. After Mr. Walker's death, it became the property of his daughter, Mrs. John Shinholser. Mr. Shinholser now owns the place.
     Mr. Whitaker rented the plantation, after it passed from his hands, and lived there until his death. He was married three times and reared two sons and three daughters: the late William Whitaker was his elder son; the younger son was Dr. James M. Whitaker, for many years on the staff of physicians of the State Sanitarium. The three daughters were Mrs. Elbert Bivins, Mrs. H. D. Allen and Mrs. O. M. Cone.18,19
The Whitaker Place
Death*17 Aug 1821 He died at Milledgeville, Baldwin Co., Georgia, on 17 Aug 1821
The Georgia Journal, August 21, 1821:
Died in Baldwin County at William Rutherford's in the 67th year of his age, Major Francis Boykin on the 18th instant [18 Aug 1821]. His life furnished an example of that steadfastness of habit which should characterize the Christian walk of all professors of religion. In self-denial particularly, he gave evidence of his having soared superior to the natural man and whilst most of the world are engaged in defending their actions with the coloring of words and correcting the misconceptions of others respecting themselves, he hath remained the same silent and cross-bearing personage, seemingly well convinced that error corrects itself, while merit gains its own reward.20 
Burial*after 17 Aug 1821 His body was interred after 17 Aug 1821 at Samuel Boykin Family Cemetery, Milledgeville, Baldwin Co., Georgia. Directions:
From the Baldwin Co Courthouse, go east on Hancock St and follow highways 22/24 SE for 4.4 miles. At the split of 22 and 24, bear right on 24. Go about 7.6 miles on Highway 24 to the old Torrance homeplace on your right (approx. 901 Hwy 24 East). If not blocked by a locked gate, go down the driveway to your right and go for about 1/2 mile or 2600 feet. The drive goes past a grove of pecan trees and the old home place. The cemetery is located to your right and beside a field road that turns off to the right. The cemetery is surrounded by a wrought iron fence.
     If access is not available through the old Torrance home place above, an alternate is to go down the previous driveway at the Meeks property. Go 0.4 mile on the gravel-covered driveway into the Meeks property to a gate on the left. Turn left through the gate and go 0.1 mile on a field road to an opening in the fence. The small cemetery is in the field to your front left about 200 feet from the fence opening. It is enclosed in a wrought iron fence under a chinaberry tree.
     GPS coordinates: 32 59' 29.5" N 83 05' 09.9" W
     The gravestone for "Major Francis B. Boykin, S.C. Mil., Rev. War" is the only one in the cemetery. Some letters of the gravestone are missing, but some of the impressions remain readable.
     Photographs of cemtery and gravestone will be found on the website for Friends of Baldwin Cemeteries, Inc.. See: http://www.friendsofcems.org/Baldwin/.21 
Biography* From "Oconee River Tales to Tell"
     Settlements along the east bank of the Oconee River, on land that was to become Baldwin, were in Washington County from its founding in 1784, with the Oconee as the western frontier, until Baldwin County was organized in 1803. The first federal fort was built at the Rock Landing site in 1789, at the head of navigation of the Oconee River. Federaltown grew around the fort.
     This first white settlement contained fifteen houses-four framed, the others log cabins. A peltry warehouse was built to handle the skins and furs sent down river by pole boats to Darien. From there these were reloaded for shipment to Philadelphia, New York, and Europe. Rock Landing had long been the junction for several Indian trading paths. Because of several shoals, for another score of years, and after many efforts on the part of the Georgia Legislature and private enterprise, shipping would continue from the Rock Landing boat docks, before it was possible for boats to navigate the Oconee River or to land nearer Milledgeville.
     A tobacco warehouse and inspection station was also located at Federaltown. John McKinzie was granted a license by the Georgia Legislature to operate this. One of the first ferries across the Oconee was operated by Aaron McKinzie.
     Federaltown proved an unhealthy site. Several deaths resulted from sickness. The garrison was moved to a new fort built higher up the Oconee. Fort Fidius, completed in 1793, was located two miles below Fishing Creek. Col. Henry Gaither was made commander of what became the largest garrison south of the Ohio River. The raids of the Creeks in the Oconee War were so frequent and violent that the Georgia Legislature raised militia to strengthen the federal forces….
     The path also crossed the upper comer of Elijah Clarke's bounty warrant grant of fifteen hundred acres, immediately below Dysart's land. Clarke's land east of the Oconee was only a portion of the grant awarded him for his invaluable service to Georgia in the American Revolution. His larger tract lay on the west side of the Oconee, as did his son John's grant. Because the Treaty of New York, in 1790, invalidated the previously made Georgia-Creek treaties, the Georgia Legislature was unable to fulfill their commitment to pay the Clarkes and hundreds of other veterans with land.
     Elijah Clarke never cultivated or lived on this land. When not in active service for his state and fellow Georgians, he continued to live in Wilkes County. This tract of Washington County, later east Baldwin County land, was sold and likely purchased to be incorporated into the vastholdings of the Boykin-Whitaker and eventually Shinholser estates, to become the property known as Indian Island Farm and Ranch.
     Three interrelated families, the Boykins, Canteys, and Whitakers, came from the Carolinas in 1785 to take up the bounty warrant grants given them as American Revolution veterans in 1785. They each had sizeable tracts bounded by the Oconee River on the southwest and on the southeast by an island Immediately they purchased additional land and continued to add to their holdings whenever any vacant land became available. Part of Boykin's land had originally been a Head-Right Grant of 287.5 acres to Samuel Bloodworth. Boykin soon acquired all the land between Gum Creek and Town Creek until he owned 2886 acres.
     Major Francis Boykin and Captain James Cantey were from Camden, South Carolina. Ensign Hudson Whitaker was from Halifax County, North Carolina. Boykin was married to Catherine Whitaker and Cantey was married to Martha Whitaker. Hudson Whitaker's son William married Mary Cantey. All the families became extensive planters. Their joint holdings were ten to twelve miles below present-day Milledgeville, off Georgia Highway 24 to Sandersville.
     Boykin was appointed an Oconee River commissioner with supervisory responsibility for improving navigation. All people living within five miles of the river were required to work five days a year on the shoals, rocks, and fallen trees that might impede river navigation. Permission must be obtained to build dams for fish traps or to build a grist mill along the river.
     Boykin's son Samuel studied medicine and practiced his profession in Milledgeville. When his father died, he returned to the plantation and became an equally successful scientific farmer. On most of his acreage he grew corn and cotton, but his interest in sugar cane made him the first farmer in the region to succeed in its production. His cotton gin was also the first in operation in the area.
     Samuel Boykin built the imposing two-story white classical-revival home known in his time as "Me White House," because then it was the only white house in the vicinity. Later, this home came to be called "Boykin Hall.
     John Linley, in "Architecture of Middle Georgia: The Oconee Area", wrote that certain characteristics of the house, such as the fan in the pediment, can be attributed to Daniel Pratt as the architect. The wood and plaster work of the house are particularly noteworthy. The half-mile tree-lined drive approaching the house made it an impressive sight to guests, and to the stagecoach riders who stopped there when this was a relay station.
     A later generation of owners built a new modern house. For some years "Boykin Hall" stood unoccupied and suffered neglect and deterioration, but it has endured more than a century and a half. In more recent years, a subsequent owner has made restorations.
     Dr. Samuel Boykin followed the western migration movement, first to Columbus in 1836, later to Alabama. When Boykin left east Baldwin, William Whitaker bought the nearly three thousand acres, adding it to his adjacent holdings. The Whitakers moved into Boykin Hall. The merged plantations remained Whitaker land until after the Civil War. It is on this land, later known as Shinholser Indian Island Farm and Ranch, that the "Shinholser Prehistoric Earth Mounds" are located.
     Mary Cantey Whitaker, wife of William, was remembered for holding Sunday School classes on the "Boykin Hall" front porch for the children of the plantation slaves….22
 

Family

Catherine Whitaker (say 1748 - after 1800)
Marriage*circa 1780 He married Catherine Whitaker at Camden, Camden District, South Carolina, circa 1780. 
Children
ChartsWLC / Warren L. Culpepper Ancestral Chart
WLC / Edward Boykin: Descendant Chart
Last Edited27 Feb 2016

Citations

  1. David Robert Wooten et al., We All Became Forefathers: Genealogies of the Wooten, Boykin, Whitaker and Broadhurst Families, 1993, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. 929.273 W889.
  2. Bobby Gilmer Moss, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1983.
  3. DAR Patriot Index, Washington, DC: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 2003.
  4. Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas Jr., Index to the Headright and Bounty Grants of Georgia, 1756-1909, Vidalia, GA: Georgia Genealogical Reprints, 1970.
    Cites Book III, page 462.
  5. Katherine Bowman Walters, Oconee River Tales to Tell, Eaton, Putnam Co., GA: Eaton, Putnam Co. (GA) Historical Society, 1995.
    Chapter 5, pp 53-57.
  6. Mrs. Bun Wylie -- State Regent 1930-32, Boykin Family Bible (Given to Emily Boykin Tichenor on 16 Apr 1861 by Sam and Laura Boykin), Transcription contained in "Historical Collections of the Georgia Chapters, DAR, Vol. IV Old Bible Records and Land Lotteries, 1932.
  7. Albert M. Hillhouse, History of Burke Co., GA, Magnolia Press, Swainsboro, GA, 1985, Repository: Georgia Historical Society Library in Savannah, Call No. F292.B95 H535 1985.
    Page 313.
  8. Brent Howard Holcomb, Kershaw Co., SC: Minutes of the County Court, 1791-1799, , Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. 975.761 P2h.
    pages 3, 13, 19, 26,50, 52, 63, 72, 80, 81, 88, 91, 100, 108, 109, 115 and 121.
  9. E-mail written 22 Aug 2007 to Warren Culpepper from Catherine Reuther (A Terry family researcher), Atlanta, GA, e-mail address.
    Typed transcription of the transcription of the will sent to Catherine Reuther by the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, SC, in 2007 Kershaw County Wills.
  10. Boykin Family Papers, Collected by Eleanor Boykin (#9929) and given to Warren Culpepper, 1983.
  11. Katherine Bowman Walters, Oconee River Tales to Tell, Eaton, Putnam Co., GA: Eaton, Putnam Co. (GA) Historical Society, 1995.
    Chapter 5, pp 53-57. Assumption on place of birth based on fact that his father had relocated to south of Milledegville in 1785.
  12. Anna Maria Green Cook, compiler, History of Baldwin County, Georgia, Anderson, South Carolina: Keys-Hearn, 1925, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. 975.8573 H2c.
  13. Virginia S. and Ralph V. Wood, 1805 Georgia Land Lottery, Greenwood Press, Cambridge, 1964, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. 975.8 R2WY 1805.
    page 35.
  14. Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas Jr., Index to the Headright and Bounty Grants of Georgia, 1756-1909, Vidalia, GA: Georgia Genealogical Reprints, 1970.
    Cites Book G.5, page 438.
  15. Frances T. Ingmire, Baldwin Co., GA 1813 Tax List, page 2:
    Francis Boykin, Brown's District
    James Boykin, Brown's District
    Samuel Boykin, 1 Poll.
  16. Georgia Journal, 1819-1823.
  17. 1820 Federal Census, United States.
    page 34; Ancestry.com image 9 of 17.
  18. Anna Maria Green Cook, History of Baldwin County
    , Anderson, SC: Kays-Hearn, 1925 (Pages 115-117).
    Article by Mrs. O. M. Cone, 1925, Pages 476-478.
  19. Warren L. Culpepper (#1942), Former publisher of Culpepper Connections, e-mail address.
    photo by Warren Culpepper, 2015.
  20. Tad Evans, compiler, Milledgeville, Georgia, Newspaper Clippings: Southern Recorder, 1820-1827, Vol. I, Savannah, GA: T. Evans, 1995, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. 975.8573/M1 B3e v. 1.
    p. 78.
  21. Elizabeth L. Dawson et al., compiler, One Hundred Three Lost or Found Cemeteries of Baldwin County, Georgia, 1814-1999, Milledgeville, Georgia: Mary Vinson Memorial Library, 1999, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. 975.8573 V3d.
    p. 36.
  22. Katherine Bowman Walters, Oconee River Tales to Tell, Eaton, Putnam Co., GA: Eaton, Putnam Co. (GA) Historical Society, 1995.
    Chapter 5: Oconee River Frontier Settlements: East Baldwin County While in Washington County", pages 53-57.