Sutherland—some sources give his name as Southerland—was one of the pioneer settlers of Franklin County. You can see
where he was on this part of the settlers’ map of Franklin County.
plantation was located between where I currently live and my Union Hall farms. The pictures below are how some of his fields look like now.
Sutherland was born before 1758 in Prince Edward County, which is a few
counties east of Franklin County. He and his brother William—they were known as
Phil and Bill—enlisted in Captain John Morton’s rifle company at the beginning
of the Revolutionary War. They were to serve a two-year term. The company
marched to Norfolk and then went to Philadelphia, where Phil joined General
Washington’s army and was in the Battle of Trenton in December 1776. Then he
was apparently mustered into Daniel Morgan’s division and fought in the Battle
of Brandywine. At some point, while the brothers were up north, Bill was
killed. (For a while, there was some confusion as to which brother had been
out his two years and returned home to Prince Edward County. But he again
volunteered and “marched to Little York in Virginia, and aided in and was
present at the capture of Cornwallis [19 Oct 1781].”
war, Phil married Frances “Fanny” Penick, daughter of William and Judith
Penick, on 9 April 1782 in Prince Edward County. They were soon living in
Franklin County, where their children were born: Polly (1782), Nancy (abt.
1783), Ransom (abt. 1787), Philemon II (abt. 1789), Judith (1791), Joseph (abt.
1797), Anna (20 May 1799), Hope Ann (abt. 1800), and Louise Keziah (23 Nov. 1806).
From various online sources, I know that he was fairly
wealthy. The inventory of what he owned when he died on 11 July 1811 covers pages
450 to 454 of the Franklin County Will Book 1 that covered the years from
September 1786 to July 1812. It’s also online, here: http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/franklin/wills/sthrlnd1.txt
have been a learned man. The books he owned included a Johnson’s dictionary, 2
Bibles, and English reader and Bible, 3 volumes of Davies’ sermons and 1 of
Martin Luther’s, Watt’s hymn book, a Guthries grammar, and others.
At the time
of his death, he owned considerable livestock: a yoke of work bulls and a yoke
of steers, 26 head of cattle (and an additional 2 cows), 26 head of sheep, 65
head of hogs, and 10 pigs. He also owned 9 horses: a black mare, a bay mare, a
sorrel filly, 2 sorrel horses (I assume “horse” means gelding), 2 bay horses, a
sorrel stud, and a bay stud colt.
owned slaves: Ephraim, Ned, Isaac, Peter, Riley, Hercules, Abednigo, Andrew,
Eady and her child Betsey, Agnes, Dicey, Milley, and Jane.
in 1811, leaving his widow Fanny with 14-year-old Joseph, 12-year-old Anna, 10-year-old
Hope Ann, and 5-year-old Louise at home. Daughters Polly and Nancy had married
a few years earlier. Were any of the older sons still at home, or had they
married also? How did Fanny manage? Might this have been the house where she bore and raised her children and lived out her life? Or was this dwelling built later?
remarried. In March of 1840, when she was in her mid-70s, she applied for a
widow’s pension. (In 1838, Congress had passed an act “granting half pay and
pensions to certain widows” of Revolutionary War veterans.) She died in 1863.
Part of Phil and Fanny Sutherland's old farm is now our new farm. My husband
and I recently acquired 120 acres of what was once part of the
Labels: Franklin County history