Robert Gordon

Robert Gordon was born February 14, 1763 and died June 6, 1847 in the Richland Creek settlement, Giles County, Tennessee. As the next oldest son in his father's family - in his late teens or early twenties-he doubtless was a mainstay to the family when it moved to Madison County, Kentucky in the early
1780's. He married Mary Kennedy on June 1, 1791 in Garrard County.

In 1782 the North Carolina legislature passed an act setting aside a reservation in Middle Tennessee for the benefit of North Carolina revolutionary officers and soldiers. The act was amended in 1783, and the
reservation was laid off in 1784, under the direction of Isaac Shelby, Absalom Tatum and Anthony Bledsoe, Commissioners. The boundary of the reservation was known as the Continental Line. The Commissioners had a guard of 100 men, of whom Robert Gordon was one. On October 27, 1784 he was granted 320 acres on Red River for services as a soldier in the Commissioners' Guard; and again on
February 4, 1785 he received another warrant for "320 acres on Station Camp creek, adjoining Elmore Doulas' preemption."

It is said that Robert, on leaving Kentucky, sold his land to his brother--in-law General Thomas Kennedy, of Garrard County. About 1806 he moved with his family to Tennessee, settling first in Williamson County, near Franklin. Two years later the family moved to the southern part of the county, which later became Giles. Robert, with his two sons, Thomas aged 16, and John aged 10, and his two slaves, Jack and Bob, went ahead and settled on Richland Creek near what was to become the Brick Church neighborhood, at what was long known as the "Gordon Place" , the third of March, 1808. They made a crop that year, cultivating eleven acres in corn. He was in the outside settlement when he
lived in Williamson.

This area had not been opened to settlement until the Dearborn Treaty of January 7, 1806, under the terms of which the Cherokee Indians ceded it to the United States. It had been considered to be a part of Williamson County (established in October 1799); then of Maury (established November, 1807);
until Giles was formed in November, 1809. Much of its best land had previously been located and entered, and grants had been issued under the North Carolina Act of 1783; but surveys, marking of lines and actual settlement had not been permitted until after this January 1806 treaty. This delay brought about such confusion of land titles that Robert Gordon found it necessary to pay for some of his land three times before he obtained clear title to it.

The early settlers in Giles County did not suffer from continuous Indian hostility, but they were alarmed at times about threatened attack. "The terror and confusion of whole families in flight from a supposed hostile advance of Indians is absolutely indescribable", wrote McCallum. "I witnessed several of these flights when a boy. My father lived about ten miles from the nearest point to the Indian line. He never left home, but two or three times made preparations to go, hid his valuables, and had his horses and wagon ready. One time the settlers south of my father went back to Gordon's twelve miles northeast of where we lived.

"On such occasions those who would remain would assemble three or four families at the strongest and most secure house in the neighborhood, and prepare for defense. At night they would carry the axes into the house, stretch chains across the door to keep the door shutters from being broken in suddenly, load their guns , have their butcher knives close at hand, select their cracks in the house to be used as port-holes, put down the fire - and one man would sit up as sentinel while the others slept."

By 1830, or perhaps a little earlier, Robert Gordon built a commodious brick house of eight rooms. This house was to remain the family home until his wife Mary's death in 1853, when it went into the hands of their daughter, Margaret Gordon Rothrock. It passed out of family ownership about 1900. Robert had a leading part in erecting the original brick church about the same time. It was replaced later by a frame building. Upon Robert's death in 1847, a substantial estate in land, said to have been 1,000 acres, and slaves passed to his heir.

See Bible Record of Robert Gordon

Submitted by Steve Gordon