Benjamin Maddox (II) was a Revolutionary militiaman and planter in Charles County, Maryland, who later moved to the farmland of Abbeville County, South Carolina, where he would live out his days in peace.
Like his father and grandfather, Benjamin (II) was a tobacco planter. As the first born of Benjamin (I)’s second wife Frances Posey, he inherited from his father both the 100 acre plantation Posey’s Chance and the adjacent 150 acre Hornfair plantation — in the once thriving and profitable farmland of Nanjemoy in Charles County[i] — which had been purchased from Frances’ father, John Posey. Benjamin would have been severely impacted by the burdensome paper taxes imposed by the British to fund their war on the French, and most likely was influenced by the rhetoric of his leading neighbors – the Stones, Dents, Smallwoods (General William Smallwood would lead the Maryland militia) and others, with whom the Maddox family had business and familial relationships – to join the Revolutionary effort.[ii]
Benjamin’s first wife was Mary Posey, and his second wife was Elizabeth (LNU).[iii] The 1790 Abbeville, South Carolina census lists one son over 16, seven sons under 16, and two daughters—a total of ten children, with Benjamin and a wife. Walter Maddox (his oldest son), Ignatius Posey, and other familiar names lived nearby.[iv] [v] [vi] The 1800 Abbeville census shows Benjamin and his wife over 45 with three sons (one 10-15, one 16-25 and one 26-44) and two daughters (one 10-15 and the other 26-44). He also is shown with one slave. In total, Benjamin had eleven children – nine sons and two daughters – but his will cannot be found to resolve the list of children.
1. Walter Maddox, probably named after his uncle who died in the Revolution, was over 16 years old and lived alone next door to his father Benjamin (II) in Abbeville, SC, in 1790, according to the 1790 census.
2. Henley Maddox, 1761-1806, married Jannett Luckett (the widow of Pryor Posey, 1745 – 6 November 1782, with whom she had David, Massa and Hebbert. Pryor Posey was the son of Humphrey and Mary Maddox Posey.) in 1784 and both were buried at Turkey Creek Baptist Church, Ware Shoals, SC, where she died in 1815.[vi.a.] Henley is proven to be the son of Benjamin (II) through Maryland census records describing him as “Hendley of Benjamin.” [vii] [viii] [ix] [x] [x.a.] Based on his 29 May 1806 will in Abbeville, SC, his children were Auguston, Lawson, Samuel and Caty. Henley’s wife’s gravestone is marked with a medallion from the Daughters of the American Revolution.
3. Benjamin Maddox (III), 1776-1855, married Charlotte (LNU). Benjamin (III) is proven to be the son of Benjamin (II) through 1780-1786 Durham Parish vestry records where his father is listed as “Maddox, Banjamin Senr,” as well as through Maryland and South Carolina census, estate and deed records that describe him as “Benjamin Jr.”  [xi] [xii] [xiii] Benjamin (III) is our direct ascendant and his full biography can be read here.
4. William Maddox, circa 1776-1867. William and his son Benjamin, along with the sons of Thomas and Henley Maddox, moved from the Abbeville area into Georgia and then Alabama around 1810. William Maddox’s 1867 will in Tuscaloosa lists Benjamin as a son. This Benjamin was married to Elizabeth (Donaldson) Maddox, based on an 1828 Ware-Donaldson suit clearly showing Benjamin Maddox married to Elizabeth Donaldson, living outside of SC.
5. Charles Maddox
6. Thomas Maddox, married Cloe and died in Abbeville, SC, in 1805 based on his estate administration. Chandler, William and Lanty Maddox were present at his estate administration and could have been his sons. Robert Posey, Edmund Ware and Edmund Gaines also were present.
7. John Maddox, married Elizabeth [LNU]. A John Maddox was a member of the Port Tobacco Mason Lodge (St. Columbia Lodge #10), which existed in 1792-1798 and included notables like George Washington’s doctor, Gustavus Brown.[xiii.a.] John died in Abbeville, SC, in 1810. His wife and Benjamin (III), Chandler, Lawson, and Augusta Maddox attended his estate sale. Edmund Ware, Charles Posey and many Gaines family members also were there. His wife was Elizabeth. The 1810 census shows Elizabeth Matox living next door to Benjamin Matox Senior. The census shows her, three white males under 10 and two white females under 10, and one slave. Elizabeth Mattox, widow, was listed as the wife of (FNU) Long by 1819 in a Laurens County estate record.[xxv] The Maddoxes would live next to the Long family in Christian County, Kentucky by the 1820s.
8. Henry Maddox, born 1785 in Charles County, Maryland and died 29 May 1839 in Abbeville, South Carolina. Henry’s great grandson, Henry Silas Maddox married Janie Robbins Gaines in South Carolina.
Benjamin (II) signed an oath of fidelity against the British on 2 March 1778 and voluntarily joined Captain Walter Hanson’s infantry company of the 12th Maryland Battalion, probably with all of his brothers and many nephews, all of whom joined various battalions of the Maryland Militia. They were also joined by numerous family relations, including the Poseys, Wares, Lucketts, Donaldsons and Greys. Far from a localized militia, the Maryland troops would see action in some of the fiercest and most important fighting of the war, including the battles of Trenton, Monmouth and Princeton, under the leadership of the celebrated General Nathanael Greene and Colonel William Smallwood – an uncle to Benjamin (II). The Maryland troops distinguished themselves by their bravery early in the Revolution, and remained among General Washington’s favored troops, notably remaining true to the Cause even during its dimmest hours in the winter of 1776-1777.[xiv] Benjamin (II) lost two brothers to the war – Ignatius (1777) and Walter, a fifer (1778).[xv] [xvi]
Shortly after Benjamin’s return from the war, one of the worst recessions in American history devastated the tobacco industry (the British market had dried up).[xvii] Josiah Henson, a slave in Nanjemoy some time later, described the neighboring planters as “dissipated” and wrote that “one of [the planters’] frequent practices was to assemble on Saturday or Sunday, which were their holidays, and gamble, run horses, or fight game-cocks, discuss politics, and drink whiskey, and brandy and water, all day long.”[xviii] The Maddoxes most likely partook in at least the horse races, judging by a 1759 newspaper advertisement of races to be run on Walter Maddox’s field.[xix]
In 1783, as the new nation was taking stock of its assets, Benjamin (II) was listed as the owner of Posey’s Chance, 100 acres, valued at £50, with a small dwelling house, corn house and meal house on site, in the Maryland General Assembly’s Assessment Record of the Durham Upper Hundreds (plantations) of Charles County.[xix.a.] The land was described as “poor forrest.” The same record shows that his brother Leonard had taken ownership of the 150-acre Horn Fair, which Benjamin (II) had inherited from their father in 1770. In 1782, Benjamin (II) also was assessed for property in the Port Tobacco West Hundreds area of Charles County, but the property was unnamed in the record. [xix.b.]
The recent opening of the Carolina frontier and resulting cheap land probably were encouragement enough to seek more profitable soil. On 3 March 1790 Benjamin and Mary sold Posey’s Chance to Samuel Hanson for £100 and Horne Fair to Thomas How Ridgate for £75.[xx] In late 1790, Benjamin (II), along with members of the Ware, Grey, Hanson, Luckett, Night/Knight and Posey families, moved to the “dales and hollows” of Laurens County and Abbeville County, South Carolina, where they purchased land along the Saluda River for $1.00 per acre.[xxi] [xxii]
The Maddox family had attended Durham Parish, an Anglican church in Maryland, according to the parish’s vestry notes from 1780-1786, listing “Maddox, Benjamin Senr” along with many relatives.[xxii.a.] But shortly after their arrival in South Carolina they joined the newly established Turkey Creek Baptist Church in nearby Ware Shoals, under the preacher Absolom Bobo. With turmoil in the Anglican church after the American Revolution, the Baptists were evangelizing successfully throughout the western Carolinas at the time, and the family might have been influenced by the church’s impassioned spiritualism and strong disassociation from British authority. Benjamin’s close neighbors — the Niblits, Neighbors and Greens — were all active members of the church.[xxiii] Benjamin’s son Henley’s grave may be found in the church’s cemetery, near other Maddoxes and members of the Ware and Luckett families (Henley’s wife was a Luckett).[xxiv]
Benjamin’s end is detailed in county records. In 1808 Benjamin purchased 165 acres of land in Laurens County, South Carolina. On 20 January 1811, Benjamin sold the 165 acres for $300 to Patrick Sperin, witnessed by William Maddox and, on 9 February 1811, his wife Elizabeth released her dower rights. In August 1811, notes were paid to the estate of Benjamin Maddox, deceased, on land he sold to Patrick Sperinn.
The Maddox family left a fading mark on the Abbeville and Laurens county areas. Maddox Road leads from Ware Shoals to the remains of the original covered Maddox Bridge, which once spanned the Saluda River just south-east of Benjamin’s land. Only its piers remain, and it was replaced by a concrete eyesore in the 1950’s. Nearby Maddox Shoals — a landmark of rocks and rapids within the river — is marked on some maps and is considered an excellent fishing spot by the locals. Maddox Mill was a dominant Laurens County landmark in the 1800-1900’s, but has since disappeared (the 20 March 1912 Keowee Courier locates the mill next to Ware Shoals’ biggest iron bridge, which was washed away the day before by a freshet).
This family narrative was written and placed online by Narratio Vitae.
 Family histories list Benjamin as the fourth son, despite his siblings’ cloudy dates of birth, but it is likely that Benjamin (II) was the first child of his father and Frances Posey. This would explain why Benjamin (II) received the two properties that Benjamin (I) had purchased from Frances’ father, John Posey.
 Benjamin (II) is first called “senior” in a will dated 28 Feb 1784, in Charles Co., MD, according to CC Wills, 1780-1791.278, sourced in “Early Families of Southern Maryland,” Volume 9, Elise Greenup Jourdan, Heritage Books, 2007, p. 202. Benjamin (II) is listed on the 1790 Charles County, MD, federal census, but without the “senior” title because his son was only 14 and not old enough to be listed separately. Benjamin (II) sold his plantations – Posey’s Chance and Hornfair – in Charles County and moved to Abbeville County, SC, in 1790. Benjamin (II) also is listed on the 1790 Federal Census in Abbeville, SC (p. 468), which was administered later in the year.
Both Benjamin (II) and Benjamin (III) are listed in the 1800 Federal Census of Abbeville, SC, on pages 22 and 19, respectively. Benjamin (III) was 24 and running his own farm by then. Their names still did not include their “senior” or “junior” titles. They’re distinguishable by their ages and the ages of their family members on the census.
Benjamin (III) is first officially listed as “junior” in his brother Thomas Maddox’s inventory, taken on 7 February 1805 in Abbeville County, SC (Abbeville County CC Box 12, Pack 1459).
Benjamin (II) is listed as “senior” on the 1810 Federal Census of Abbeville County, SC, on roll 60, page 57. Benjamin (III) is listed without his “junior” title on the same census, on roll 61, page 325. Their ages and the ages of their family members on the census again confirm the distinction.
Benjamin (III) is listed one last time as “junior” on the estate sale record for his deceased brother or uncle John Maddox on 9 November 1810 in Abbeville, SC (Book 3, page 92). Benjamin (II) is listed without his “senior” title in his January 1811 sale of his above-mentioned 165 acres in Abbeville, SC, to Patrick Sperrin. His wife Elizabeth released her dower rights. Benjamin (II) died shortly after his 1811 sale of the 165 acres.
One unrelated family historian has argued that Benjamin (III) is identifiable with a Benjamin who was the father of Chandler and Lawson Maddox (who are later orphaned in Georgia), and who lived in Laurens County, SC in ca. 1790-1810. They also argue that Benjamin (father of Lawson and Chandler) moved to Georgia, and later to Alabama, with many other Maddoxes. This historian’s argument has proliferated on the Internet. However, the genealogist Joyce Smelley Odom has demonstrated that Chandler and Lawson were actually Benjamin (III)’s nephews. The Benjamin who moved to Georgia also was Benjamin (III)’s nephew – the son of William Maddox (1776 MD – 1867 AL). Further details are here.
[ii] The Price of Nationhood: The American Revolution in Charles County, Jean B. Lee, W.W. Norton & Co., 1994.
[iii] Elizabeth is proven to be the wife of Benjamin II because on 20 January 1811, Benjamin sold 165 acres for $300 to Patrick Sperin, witnessed by William Maddox and, on 9 February 1811, his wife Elizabeth released her dower rights, according to a 15 Feb 1811 Laurens Co, SC deed. In August 1811, notes were paid to the estate of Benjamin Maddox, deceased, on land he sold to Patrick Sperinn.
[iv] 1790 Federal Census, Abbeville, SC, p.5.
[v] Mary is shown to be Benjamin’s wife in Abstracts of Charles County, Maryland, Court and Land Records (3 volumes, 1658-1722), Elise Greenup Jourdan, Family Line Publications, 1994, 1995, K#4.4; K#4.1.
[vi] Benjamin’s land in SC is sold in 1811 and his second wife Elizabeth releases her dower rights, according to 15 Feb 1811 Laurens Co, SC deed.
[vi.a.] Probate 61/1433 Jennet Maddox https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-19364-11628-36?cc=1911928&wc=MMBR-74B:n1063803018 image 16/271. Transcription:
Pg 16. Will of Jennet Maddox. To my son, Hebbert Posey, a girl named Poll. Liquidate the remaining assets and pay the following of her children: 1.David P Posey, 2. Massa Posey, 3.Hebbert Posey, 4.Cata Halin? (Nolin) Fruman (Freeman)(three people? No. That’s the 4th child) the heirs of my dtr Peggy dec. who together get one equal share with the former 4 children. Then to my sons Augusta Maddox, Richard Maddox, Samuel Maddox, each five shillings. She appoints David P Posey and William Norris, lawful Execs of her estate. 1 Mar 1813. Edmund Ware appears before Taliafero Livingston proving the will 7th Feb 1815.
Inv Done by Edmund Ware, John Finley, Wm Barmore.
Buyers include Lain? Posey – mug, teapot, tea Ware, Price Posey 1 bole, Ed Ware, Charles Cullens, Richard Maddox, Augustin Maddox William Powell. James Leach, Francis SimsThomas Ware, Francis Conner.
Accounting done 1815? On image 22, her name is spelled Janet. SEE EQ 58/3221 Probate 61/1433
[vii] Personal visit to the Turkey Creek Baptist Church, Ware Shoals, SC, November 2009, revealed Hendley’s grave, as well as that of his wife, Jannett.
[viii] Hendley is listed as Henley of Benjamin in 1790 Federal Census, Charles County, Md., p.
[ix] The following Maddox and Maddox-related gravestones were in legible condition at the Turkey Creek Baptist Church cemetery in November 2009.
-Jinnett L. Maddox, born 1749, aged 65, consort of Henley Maddox
-Henley Maddox [bro of Benj II], born 1761, died 1806
-Margaret Maddox, consort of Richard Maddox [prob bro of Benj II], died Jan 1852, aged 76 years
-William Maddox, born Nov 20, 1812
-General Edmund Ware, died 15 Apr 185(8?), aged 58 years
-Mrs Margaret Ware, consort of GEN Wm Ware, died 25 Mar 1834, aged 46 years
-William Marshal Maddox, son of W and CC Maddox, born June 27, 1878
-Samuel Maddox, died Feb 25, 1857, aged 6(0?) years
-Col William Ware, born Nov 1774, died 18(xx)
[x] Another source describing the movement of the Maddox family, with the Posey family, from Maryland to SC is “The Posey Family in America,” Floyd Franklin Posey, University of Southern Mississippi, pp. 58-59 and 78-82.
[x.a.] Jannett Luckett, daughter of Ignatius and Margaret McCane Luckett, married Pryor Posey in either 1765 or 1769. Pryor died in 1782, and Jannett Luckett Posey, his widow, married Hendley in 1784. Hendley died in 1806. In the 1810 Abbeville census, what may be Jannett is listed over 45 with 1 son 16-25, and 1 son 26-44, and 6 slaves living next to Benjamin Posey, Benjamin Senior’s nephew (Mary Maddox Posey’s son) and near Benjamin Matox Senior.
[xi] Benjamin (III) is the son of Benjamin (II), and both moved from Maryland to South Carolina, based on the following evidence: Benjamin (II) is first called “senior” on 28 Feb 1784, in Charles Co., MD, according to Christ Church (Old Durham Church) Durham Parish, Nanjemoy, MD, microfilm M226 and according to CC Wills, 1780-1791.278, sourced in “Early Families of Southern Maryand,” Volume 9, Elise Greenup Jourdan, Heritage Books, 2007, p. 202. Benjamin (II) sells his land (Horne Fair and Posey’s Chance) in Charles Co., MD, in 1790, according to Charles County Land Records K#4.2 and #4.4, sourced in “Early Families of Southern Maryand,” Volume 9, Elise Greenup Jourdan, Heritage Books, 2007, p. 203. He can then be found living in Abbeville, SC, later in 1790, according to the 1790 Federal Census, Abbeville, SC, p.5. Thereafter, both Benjamins can be found living close by in the 1800 Federal Census, Abbeville, SC, pp. 20 & 22. Benjamin (III) is called “junior” in Abbeville, South Carolina, in multiple estate administration records as early as 1805, most notably in the 1805 estate administration of his brother Thomas Maddox, according to Abbeville, South Carolina Estate Administration records, 1805, Box 61, Pack 1457.
[xii] Evidence of Benjamin (III)’s birth date/location: Benjamin, Sr., gains his “senior” title by 28 Feb 1784, in Charles Co., MD, according to CC Wills, 1780-1791.278, sourced in “Early Families of Southern Maryand,” Volume 9, Elise Greenup Jourdan, Heritage Books, 2007, p. 202. Also, Federal census, 1850, Crawford Co., IL, p. 22, shows birth date.
[xiii] Evidence of Benjamin (III)’s date/location of death: “Merle Richard’s Cemetery Book,” Crawford County Illinois Historical Society, ca. 1940, unnumbered. Also, “Wilma Roesler, Imogene Baily Cemetery Book,” Crawford County Illinois Historical Society, 1971, unnumbered. Benjamin Maddox no longer shows up in Crawford Co., IL, census records after 1850.
[xiii.a.] Source of Port Tobacco Mason Lodge membership roster: Schultz, Edward T., History of the Freemasonry in Maryland, of All the Rites Introduced into Maryland, from the Earliest Time to the Presnt. Volume I. (J.H. Medairy, Baltimore, 1884).
[xiv] Maryland troops were among Washington’s most loyal and dependable, according to 1776, David McCullough, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2005, p. 171.
[xv] Revolutionary service recorded in The Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War, S. Eugene Clements and Edward Wright, Heritage Books, 2006, pp. 158-164.
[xvi] The Maryland Militia’s service in the Revolution is well-described in The Price of Nationhood: The American Revolution in Charles County, Jean B. Lee, W.W. Norton & Co., New York,1994.
[xvii] The Price of Nationhood: The American Revolution in Charles County, Jean B. Lee, W.W. Norton & Co., New York,1994.
[xviii] Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, narrated by Josiah Henson, Arthur D. Phelps, Boston, 1849, p. 14.;
[xix] Along the Potomac: Extracts from the Maryland Gazette, 1728-1799, Edith Moore Sprouse, Heritage Books, 2003, p. 20.
[xix.a.] The Maryland Society of Sons of the American Revolution have provided the Maryland General Assembly Assessment Record for Charles County, 1783 (and other years), at http://www.mdssar.org/sites/default/files/archives/1783taxlists/Charles_Co_MD1783OPT.pdf. Benjamin (II) is listed on page 147.
[xix.b.] The Maryland Society of Sons of the American Revolution has provided the Maryland General Assembly’s 1782 “Charles County, Maryland, Assessments in Different Monies,” at http://www.mdssar.org/sites/default/files/archives/1783taxlists/Charles_Co_MD1782OPT.pdf. Benjamin is listed on page 51 (Port Tobacco West Hundreds).
[xx] Charles County Maryland Deed Book K 4, pages 2, 4. Includes his wife, Mary’s, release of her dower rights. Both deeds were recorded 4 March 1790.
[xxi] Associated families are listed next to Benjamin in the 1790 and 1800 Federal Censuses, Abbeville Co., SC, and Laurens Co., SC.
[xxii] Plat map is from Laurens County, SC, Deed Book P, p 191, 9 April 1808.
[xxii.a.] Christ Church (Old Durham Church) Durham Parish, Nanjemoy, MD, microfilm M226:
Monday May 3d Vestry met. [1786?]
Present: Warren Dent, Will Elgin, Will Winter, Zephaniah Franklin, Fras B. Franklin, & George Dent
Ordered. That the Register make out & sign & present to The Register of Wills for his passing against the following deceased Person Estates, to wit, Burditt Hamilton, John Baptist Stromatt, Francis Taylor, Ann Ratcliff, Frances Maddox, John Bowie, George Gray, Pryor Posey, John Perry Senr, George Maddox, Humphrey Posey Senr, Richard Price.
Subscriptions to the Vestry:
Persons Names No. Taxables WToll-30 1780 1781 1782 1783
William Maddox 2 60
Leonard Maddox 1 30 30 30
Frances Maddox 2 60 60 60
Benjamin Maddox 1 30 30 30 30 30
(note – there are a number of Posey’s)
Rhoda Maddox 1 30
George Maddox 1 30 30 30 30 30
Persons Names No. Taxables Toll 26 Total Amt 1784 1785 1786
Maddox, Walter 1 75
Maddox, Henry 1 75
Maddox, Aleson 1 75 25 25 25
Maddox, Saml 2 150 50 50 50
Maddox, Leonard 1 75
Maddox, Benjamin Senr 1 75 25 25 25
[xxiii] The early members of the Turkey Creek Baptist Church, as well as their activities, are listed in South Carolina Baptists, 1670-1805, Leah Townsend, University of South Carolina, 1926, pp.182-192. The original meeting house was erected on Dicky (Richard) Maddox’s land. Among the Maddox associates in the parish were Martha Ware, Nicholas Ware, Caty Gaines, Henry Gaines, Molly Gaines, Susannah Gaines, Barbara Long, Elizabeth Long, Nicholas Long (the Longs would live near the Maddoxes in Kentucky), Michael Magee, Benjamin Neighbours (who lived next to Benjamin (II) along the Saluda River), and Rev. Joseph Redding.
[xxiv] Personal visit to the Turkey Creek Baptist Church, Ware Shoals, SC, November 2009.
[xxv] “Laurens County Marriages, 1793-1909, Implied In Laurens County Estate Records,” Laurens Estate Box 44, pack 11, flourished 1819.