Captain Thomas Marshall 1761 thru 1817

Source – Entry #56 in Paxton’s Marshall Family (written circa. 1885)

(a)    Captain Thomas Marshall, b. in Fauquier Co., Va., October 27, 1761; d. in Washington, Ky., March 19, 1817,= 1790, Frances Maitland Kennan, b. in Va.,July 24, 1773; d. in Washington, Ky-, November  19, 1833. Mr. Marshall  received his education from his father, sisters and the tutors employed in the family.

At the age of seventeen he volunteered as a private in his father’s regiment, and served until the close of the Revolutionary warat which time he held the commission of a Captain. He saw hard service, and participated in many of the bloody battles of the war of Independence.

At the end of the war he married Susanna Adams , b. April 1, 1769, daughter of John Adams and Sarah Stacy Gibbons. She died childless after one year. See the Adams Gen. (32).                        .

Capt. Marshall spent several years on his farm in Fauquier. In the fall of 1788, or the spring of 1789, he came to Kentucky The following letter, dated June 14, 1789, without postmark, is directed to his cousin and brothers–in-law, Thomas Smith (32). It shows that he was in Kentucky at its date, and its reference  to his grain, not yet thrashed, indicates bis departure from Virginia was but a few months earlier.

  • DEAR Sir: We are at a very great distance, and opportunities seldom offer for me to write. You, I understand from Susans letter, do not intend to write until you receive a letter. I have written before; but this, I hope, will remove all obstructions. I hope you will write me by the the first opportunity. I have nothing of consequence to write you. So I shall not refer to any particular event. The most of us do as well as we can ,but not as well as we wish. I am sorry to learn my grain hs not threshed, for I am in great want of money; and  I  hope you will proceed to settle the small matters you promised todo, against the fall. Without some unforeseen accident should prevent me, I intend to go into Virginia this fall. You must give my respectful compliments to Cousin Betty and family, and my good old neighbors. You are pretty well acquainted with them I esteemed as neighbors, so I need not mention them particularly. I am, dear cousin, aftectionately — THOMAS MARSHALL, Jun.
  • P.S. DEAR Susan: (Mrs.Susan Morgan, his late wife’s niece). I received yours by my brother. It gives a singular satisfaction to find you still affectionate; for’you are the only one of my friends, of either sex, that shows any sensibility. I expect to see you  this fall if  please God I live. I  wish you all the  happiness I  can a friend or relation, for as such I esteem you. And I hope that you will act with all the pru­ dence that becomes your sex. Let me hear from you by every opportunity.                                        THOMAS MARSHALL.

(d)    Capt Marshall, as he promised in the above letter, re­turned to Virginia in the fall of 1789, and in the spring of 1790, we find him descending the Ohio to Maysville, in a flatboat. See 2d Collins, Ky., 569-71. His adventure with the Indians,  and  his almost miraculous escape, is recorded by McClung in his ” Western Adventure.”

Shortly after Capt.  Marshall’s arrival, he  was married to Miss Fanny M. Kennan. His first residence was on Clark’s Run, four miles west of Washington. Here he built a fine log house, with substantial stone chimneys. In the old cupboard he kept the county records for a time. In this old house my childhood was passed, and it was still standing when I last  visited it in 1872.

Capt. Marshall was the first clerk of Mason County, and was, perhaps, still in office when he died in 1817. He was a member of the convention that formed the first constitution of Kentucky.

Mason County Clerk’s office at Federal Hill

His father, Col. Thomas Marshall, left “Buckpond” in 1800,  and  came to Mason to live with his son Thomas. Capt. Marshall had, I think, moved into Washington as early as 1795, and  built a frame house on what was, and is, known as “The Hill.” But when Col. Marshall came to Washington in 1800, he assisted his son in the erection of the spacious brick mansion, which is still the Marshall homestead.

House at Federal Hill

Here, Capt. Marshall, for seventeen years, dispensed his noble char­ities. Here, “Aunt Fanny,” during the sixteen years of her widowhood, entertained  her  relatives with  profuse hospitality,  and Judge J. J. Key,  Dr. J.  A. McClung and Martin P. Marshall made the old residence a home for all who were of their blood. It was sometimes called the “Federal Hill,” on account of the political proclivities of Capt. Marshall and his chosen friends. The following letter of Capt. Marshall to his first wife’s niece will interest his posterity. It is directed to Mrs. Susanna Morgan, Oakhill, Fauquier Co., Va.,­ by the hands of H. W.Barnett, and dated October 12, 1810:

DEAR SUSAN: After a silence of all my friends and acquaintances for nearly twenty years, I was sometime ago agreeably surprised by the receipt of a letter from you, which showed I was not entirely forgotten by the whole of you. But your letter, agreeable and interest­ing as it was to me, might have been rendered much more so if you had gone more into family details. Things that to you, on the spot, who see them as they pass, appear of no consequence, to a friend at a distance, who still feels strong interest in your welfare, things which appear to you as nothing, are of consequence to me. I wish to hear how each of your brothers and sisters are settled, and what they  are  about- how your mother is doing, and everything relating to all my friends and rel­atives in your quarter, for I still look upon you  all, and  feel that  you are all my relatives. I am now growing old fat  and clumsy, with a  house full of children, and  am very sure shall never go to your county again and feel angry and hurt at any one’s coming to this country without calling on me. I was informed sometime ago, that Jo. Chilton passed through this place without calling on me. I was much surprised. at it, as I live in town, and it hurt me very much. Don’t expect to have regular answers to your letters from an  old  fellow like me;  but don’t let that prevent you from writing, as I really receive a great pleasure from finding myself st.ill remembered by you. I always feel an interest in the welfare of the people of that part of the world, where I have spent so many of my happy, as well as unhappy hours. I still look upon my­ self as your uncle, and therefore shall subscribe myself as your uncle, T Marshall

(J) Aunt Fanny was a short, stout woman, and full of life and energy. She gathered into her large drawing-room the intelligent, the beautiful  and  the chivalrous  of  the West.  Many interesting and memorable events transpired under her roof, and make her a historic character. In my early days, when homeless and parent­ less, I found a welcome and motherly attention on “The Hill.” Though  Aunt  Fanny’s temper  was  terrible in threats, she seldom struck a blow. When I would steal her preserves, her short, heavy form  would  rise on tiptoe, her head would shake, and her trembling forefinger would point upon my crouching figure, and wrath and threats would pour as a river; and the next moment the poor orphan child would be led to her larder and treated to delicacies. Her table was prodigal in its abundance, and the more company she had the better she was satisfied. Capt. and Mrs. Marshall lie side by eide in the “Hill” cemetery. His epitaph reads:

(g) Thomas Marshall, son of Thomas and Mary Marshall; was born the 27th of October 1761, and after serving his friends, his family, his country and him self, departed this life the 19th day of :March, 1817. To all, especially to the widows and orphans of the poor, to one as a friend, and to the other as a benefactor; To his memory his affectionate widow and children have constructed this monument.

Aunt Fanny was raised  an Episcopalian, was  somewhat  in­clined to the Baptists, but joined the Presbyterian Church,  that she might be with  her friends. She joined the church in 1818, and from that day her house was the home of all Presbyterian minisers.

Her epitaph reads:

Erected to the memory of Mrs. Frances Marshall, who died Novem­ber 19, 1833, in the 61st year of her age. During the vicissitudes of long life, chequered, as is the lot of humanity, with much of happiness and more of sorrow, the character of the deceased remained the same. An affectionate wife, a fond mother1an humble but ardent Christian, a warm-hearted and devoted friend, sne will long be remembered in that extensive circle of friends and relatives who, for many years met at her hospitable board, and  to whom her  house was a home.  In the bosom of that numerous connection, who had known her worth and shared her aflection, she expired calmly, cheerfully, happily, in the full hope of a joyful resurrection.

THE Kennan Family


(k) William Kennan married a Gardener, and they had four children: ‘

  1. William Kennan, = Sally Berry. He was the first Sheriff’ and first representative of Fleming Co. ,Ky.,and left posterity. See Collins Ky., and McClung’s Western Adventure.
  2. Mollie Kennan;= Griffin Taylor. He died in Clarkes Co. ,Va. ,leaving one son John D. Taylor of Saratoga Va.
  3. Sallie  Kennan,=John Taylor.     Issue:  1, WilliamTaylor,= Harriet Milton, of Clarke Co., Va., and died in Frederick County.
    1. Their daughter, Florinda Taylor,= W. S. Jones (804);
    2. Benj. Taylor, a merchant of Baltimore;
    3. Richard Taylor, died inWinchester, Va.;
    4. Griffin Taylor, merchant of Cincinnati, Ohio;
  4. Mrs. Ware, of Frederick Co.,Va.
  5. Fanny Maitland Kennan,= Capt. Thomas Marshall (56).