Category Archives: Tennessee Pryors

Samuel Pryor, President Andrew Jackson, and a Horse Named Truxton

Samuel Pryor Race Horse Trainer

It’s been about 7 years since I wrote about Samuel Pryor and his brother Thornton Pryor and a race horse named Truxton (see https://tennesseepryors.com/pryor-brothers-thornton-and-samuel/) I’ve turned over some new information on this Samuel Pryor and hopefully it clarifies yet another Pryor who was in Tennessee.

Samuel Pryor appears in several contemporary newspapers in association with future President Andrew Jackson. Whether it was truly a military title or a title of respect, he is referred to as Capt. Pryor in some articles. Pryor was the trainer of Jackson’s race horse named Truxton.

(The Impartial Review and Cumberland Repository, Nashville, April 11, 1807)

A letter from Pryor to Jackson in early 1807 reveals some genealogy clues: Samuel Pryor offered greetings from his wife to Jackson’s wife. Samuel was married and she was alive in 1807. Pryor wrote at the top of the letter that he was in Woodford County, KY which would correspond with a Samuel Pryor recorded on that county’s tax list in 1800. The letter also offers a possible example of Pryor’s signature.

Woodford County Kentucky March the 5th 1807
Dr Sir
As I find it will be out of my power to be in Tennessee in time to prepare the horses for the spring races owing to my illness as I am now not able to [rouse?] my self in my bed without assistance nor have I been —-ly able since I was taken which was the first day of February as the manner in which I was taken with a violent puking and dysentery which weakened me so fast, took me of my feet immediately though I think I am now mending a little and am in hopes will be able to be down to the races but shall not be able to give you any assistance must request it as a favor of you to make provision for the people at the Jockey club races and prepare the nags and any part of the profits that you think equitable you shall have as your know General that if the place was not provided with proper accommodations it would loose its credit and would injure me very much must therefore request you to manage it just as your own and take what part you think right for trouble, I wish you to run the filly when and where you please and do with her just as your own believe me my General that as soon as I can get up and be at business I shall — my self to make you restitution and shall not think hard to make any sacrifice to comply with my contract with you. Present my most worshipful compliments to your Lady. Mrs. Pryor presents hers to your Lady. I am with respect. Your —
Saml Pryor
[The envelope states it was posted from Frankfort KY on March 13 to General Andrew Jackson in Tennessee near Nashville.]
Letter is from the Library of Congress website https://www.loc.gov/resource/maj.01007_0310_0312/?sp=1

Saml. Pryor (Samuel Pryor)

“In 1805 a friend of Jackson’s deprecated the manner in which Captain Joseph Erwin had handled a bet with Jackson over a horse race. Erwin’s horse, Ploughboy was scheduled to race Jackson’s horse, Truxton… Erwin’s son-in-law, Charles Dickinson became enraged and started quarreling with Jackson’s friend which led to Jackson becoming involved”…a duel ensued on May 30, 1806. Jackson was hit in the chest and Dickinson was killed. (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Dickinson_(historical_figure)

I had searched the National Archives website hoping to find another letter that was referred to in the press twenty years later (1827). I didn’t find the letter which would have been dated around 1806 (the time of the duel), so perhaps no letter existed and the 1827 article was meant damage the character of Jackson before his run for the presidency (he became president in 1829). Or perhaps the letter disappeared with Pryor’s effects since the letter was sent to him.

“Soon after the duel, Jackson wrote a letter to Sam. Pryor, a noted gamester, and a crony of the General, then residing in this state, giving him an account of it. In the letter the HERO expressed himself to this effect–‘I reserved my fire, and when I did shoot him, you may be assured I left the damned rascal weltering in his blood.” It is many years since our informant heard the letter read. But the expressions, he says, and we can believe it, made an impression upon his mind which time cannot obliterate while memory endures.”
National Standard, from Middlebury, VT, dated July 10, 1827… from the Richmond Whig (VA) on June 22, 1827

I have a few more bit of information on this Samuel Pryor for the next post.

Alice M. Pryor from Overton County, TN

We have a researcher who in interested in the family tree of William H. Pryor and Rutha Dial. They have an old tin-type portrait that is believed to be Alice M., daughter o William H. and Rutha.

Alice was identified as a 10-year-old daughter in William H.’s household on the 1880 Census. This record may be the only record of her made during her lifetime. If she was born in 1870, it was likely after the census as she does not appear on the census in that year.

In 1900 a grandson named Eddy C. Pryor was recorded in William H.’s household. Although this boy carried the Pryor name, it’s believed that his mother was Alice because his death record in 1958 identifies his mother as Alice Pryor.

Does anyone have any information on Alice– when she died, where she is buried, who was the father of her son Eddy?

1822 – Peter Pryor and Green Pryor of Tennessee in NC Estate

State of North Carolina.
Rockingham County. Inequity.
April term, a d 1822.
Robert Galloway, administrator of the estate of Charles Galloway, deceased, against Elizabeth Gentry, administratrix of the estate of James Galloway, deceased, and others. It appearing to the court the
Thomas H Perkins
Nicholas Perkins
Peter Pryor
Green Pryor
Edward Williams
Green B Williams
Thomas Williams
Alexander M Williams
Thomas Worsham and Nancy his wife
Steven Coleman and Polly his wife
John T Johnston
Luis Dillabunty and Lucinda his wife
—- Hardy and Sally his wife
Meredith Johnston
Minerva C. Johnston
Nicholas Scales
Joseph H Scales
Robert Scales
Constant Scales
Peter Scales
George W. L. Man
John Man
William M Man
Sally Man
Constant H. P. Man
Peter N. Man
Agatha Man
Matthew Daniel and Agatha his wife
reside without this state, and they being part of the defendants to the bill of complaint filed in this state, it is ordered, that publication be made for 6 weeks in the Raleigh Register, for the above-named defendants and each of them to appear at the next term of this court, on the 5th Monday after the 4th Monday of September next, then and there to answer, plead or demur to the said bill, or the same will be taken Pro confesso against them, and heard ex parte. Test. James T Moorhead, c. M. E. May 4th 1822.
(Weekly Raleigh Register June 7th, 1822)

I took a look to see what I could find out about the people named in this notice.

Peter and Green Pryor

Peter and Green Pryor, the orphans who were raised in Williamson County, Tennessee. Peter and Green Pryor Pioneer Children of Williamson County by Dorris Callicott Douglass concludes they were the children of John Pryor and Elizabeth Perkins, who married Headly Stone after the death of John.

Nicholas Perkins

It’s probable, although there were several men who were named Nicholas Perkins, this Nicholas Perkins was one of the 3 men of this name counted on the 1820 Census in Williamson County, Tennessee.

Alexander M. Williams and Green B. Williams

He is possibly the Green B. Williams who was counted on the 1820 Census in Maury County, TN. Alexander M. Williams was counted in the same county in 1820.

Nicholas Scales and Peter Scales

Nicholas Scales married Elizabeth Perkins – Their children moved to Williamson County, TN (Clarion Ledger, Jackson MS August 27, 1963). Nicholas Scales was the Principal Assessor for the 5th Dist, Williamson County, TN (Nashville Whig, June 25 1816)

Peter Scales appointed assistant marshal for Rockingham County, NC in 1840 (North Carolina Star, March 25, 1840)

Amherst County Legislative Petitions Pryor Signatures

Pryor signatures

Hello all, I’m back with some new Pryor posts. The Pryors are not my full-time job so sometimes like in these past month, I have to focus on work first. Thanks for inquiring about my good health while I was on a hiatus. My health is fine– I’ve just been blessed with a busy schedule.

I’m still intrigued by Pryor signatures. It’s interesting that on some documents (like census record) a Pryor claims not to be able to read nor write and yet they sign their name to another record years before or years later. Some documents, like petitions appear to be have been signed by one person (all the signatures are the same). That issue led me to question if some documents were merely transcriptions of the original.

Pryor Signatures

I’ve collected some Pryor signatures from Amherst county, VA. Some of the signatures, because of the date of the petition, help to place when a Pryor lived in the county. Sometimes the signature helps to place where the Pryor lived (ie. upper Amherst county). The nature of the petitions also give clues to what the Pryor was interested in. And at times when more than one Pryor signature appeared on a page, it could be a clue to who were Pryor kin or even Pryor neighbors.


Hartwell T. Pryor 
1849



1.23.1847
Jno Pryor (Jno Pryor)
Flour Inspection
Accession Number 36121, Box 13, Folder 25

1.6.1845.
Jno. Pryor, secretary
John Pryor, Director
President & Directors of the Lynchburg & Buffalo Springs Turnpike Company: Petition
Accession Number 36121, Box 13, Folder 23


12.20.36
Hartwell T. Pryor, Robert H. Pryor, Wm Pryor Jr., Nicholas Pryor, Richard I Pryor. 
Inhabitants of Amherst & Lynchburg: Petition
Accession Number 36121, Box 307, Folder 25


1.3.1833
John Pryor
Citizens Petition regarding bridges
Accession Number 36121, Box 12, Folder 76a

12.31.1830
John Pryor
Inhabitants of Amherst & Nelson: Petition
Accession Number 36121, Box 12, Folder 71


12.28.1829
Richard I Pryor
Elections petition
Accession Number 36121, Box 12, Folder 65


12.7.1827
Ro H Pryor (Robert H Pryor)
Residents of Amherst, Nelson, & Albemarle: Petition
Accession Number 36121, Box 12, Folder 61



12.21.1826
John Pryor and Thomas M Pryor (signature below Wiatt Gatewood)
Inhabitants of Amherst, Campbell, Bedford, & Lynchburg: Petition


12.22.1807
William Pryor and Wm Pryor Junr. (William Pryor Jr.)
Inhabitants petition
Accession Number 36121, Box 307, Folder 19

12.9.1807
John Pryor
Inhabitants of county: division of county
Accession Number 36121, Box 307, Folder 18

12.9.1803
Wm Pryor Jr. (William Pryor Jr)
Jesse Pryor
Inhabitants Petition: Flour Inspection
Accession Number 36121, Box 12, Folder 9


12.18.1800
John C Prior
Citizens of Upper Part of Amherst County Petition
Accession Number 36121, Box 11, Folder 99


12.15.1800
David or Daniel Pryor, Wm Pryor?, John C Prior
Inhabitants: Remonstrance – Division of county
Accession Number 36121, Box 11, Folder 98


12.15.1798
William Pryor
Freeholders & Inhabitants: Remonstrance
Accession Number 36121, Box 307, Folder 13



Nicholas Pryor
Inhabitants Petition, Tobacco
Accession Number 36121, Box 307, Folder 9


Nicholas Pryor
Inhabitants Petition, Tobacco
Accession Number 36121, Box 11, Folder 73 


10.11.1792
William Pryor (near Zedikiah Shoemaker and Hugh McCabe), Nicholas Pryor, David Pryor
Flour Inspection Petition
Accession Number 36121, Box 11, Folder 65

1790 – Earliest Pryor Signatures

10.20.1790
William Pryor (near Zedekiah Shoemaker), Wm Pryor
Inhabitants of Lexington Parish: Petition
Accession Number 36121, Box 307, Folder 2

*Pryor and Shoemaker were both living in Lexington Parish when they filed their applications for Revolutionary War pensions in 1832.

Category: Tennessee Pryors

Pryor Inheritance Announced for Noble Descendants

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When I came across this a news article of a Pryor inheritance; I thought of all the Pryors who hope to find their ancestry in Wales:

A Fortune for somebody. The Marquis of Cordoroy, a Welch nobleman, whose family in a direct line has become extinct by his decease; has left a large personal property, worth, it is said, seven millions sterling. The family name is Pryor. which has been modernized into Pry. Numerous descendants are in America, and they are called upon by the Crown-officer, who has charge of lapsing estates, through the columns of the London Times. There are branches through the female line, entitled to shares, of the names of Smith, Tompkins, and Shores; and the Crown-officer says if there are any persons in America, by these names, they will notify him of that fact, their address, residence, &c. &c.— Not time should be lost in making applications they ought by all means to telegraph.
Arkansas Intelligencer, May 4, 1848

My suspicious were aroused by the use of “welch” rather than “welsh”. I think this akin to the modern-day email offers from Nigerian princes, although not on such a grand scale. I’ve searched for this article in other newspapers from the time and there are no other reports. There is no such person as the Marquis of Cordoroy, nor is there a Marquis of Corduroy. There’s not even a place named Cordoroy/Coorduroy.

I think this was a spoof played upon one of the Pryors living in Van Buren, Crawford County, AR. Cornelius D Pryor (a son of Nicholas Ballow Pryor of Nashville, TN) had been one of the editors of the Arkansas Intelligencer from 1845 to 1847. Perhaps the story was aimed at him or one of his kin living in the area.

If anyone can find anything different, let me know — willing to reconsider this one!