Samuel Pryor of Nashville, TN (died about 1811)

I’m looking at Samuel Pryor of Nashville again to hopefully separate the lives of a couple of Samuel Pryors (see previous post samuel-pryor-president-andrew-jackson-and-a-horse-named-tuxton). The following pieces of data are attributable to one Samuel Pryor Andrew Jackson’s horse trainer:

  • 1800 Tax List in Woodford County, KY (connection to Woodford county hinted in 1809 ad in Nashville). He was probably over 21 years old at that time.
  • 1806 Letters held at Nashville Post Office for Samuel and Thornton (politician Henry Clay from Kentucky thought they were siblings)
  • 1806 Training Andrew Jackson’s horse Truxton. Samuel Pryor was referred to as “Captain” Pryor in racing articles–possibly a respectful title; if he had served in the military during the Revolutionary War he may have been in his 50’s or 60’s at the time he was training horses in Nashville.
  • 1807 possibly the Andrew who started a dry goods store in Nashville
  • Name of store “Samuel Pryor and son” in Nashville hints that he had children.
  • 1808 TN Supreme court case Samuel PRYOR vs. Jackson-Hutchins. Contract dispute. Case names Andrew Jackson (Yes, same Samuel because his estate lists one of the purchases resolving a debt from this case)
  • 1809 Ad for Wiatt (spelled Wyatt in other documents), a runaway slave in Nashville. Said slave was brought from Woodford County, KY. Wyatt is listed in the inventory of Samuel’s estate in 1811.
  • Died in late 1810 or early 1811 – He left an estate in Nashville and a Susannah Pryor was appointed the administrator.

The 1800 will of Luke Pryor in Woodford county names his brothers Edward and Joseph Pryor, uncle Luke Pryor and aunt Susanna. Samuel was alive 10 years after Luke’s will and not mentioned–does that mean they weren’t all related?

The administrator of Samuel’s estate was Susannah Pryor. In February 1811 she placed a notice of the estate sale in The Democratic Clarion and Tennessee Gazette, hinting that Samuel had died in late 1810 or early 1811. Who was Susannah?

  • She’s probably not the Susannah Pryor who married Jasper Sutton in Nashville in May 1808 because her married name of Sutton would likely have been used on the estate in 1811.
  • Was she “aunt” Susannah, probably the wife of Luke Pryor?– she died in 1817 in Jessamine county, KY.
  • Another possible candidate is Susannah Ballow Pryor, widow of David Pryor of Buckingham County, VA– she died in Nashville in 1832 and her son Nicholas B. Pryor was in Nashville as early as 1811 and just guessing–she came with him at that time. This Susannah was probably 60 years old or older in 1811–would she have been capable of handling the disposal of the estate? Her son Nicholas was active in Nashville business and would have been a more likely person to handle an estate.
  • Was she Samuel’s wife (and possibly the mother of Susannah who married Jasper Sutton?). The previous post resolved that Samuel was married in 1807. He may have been still married at the time of his death.
  • Or was she Samuel’s wife and the administrator of his estate in February 1811 and married to Jasper Sutton on May 6, 1811.

A notice of Samuel’s estate administration was filed in court on 17 May 1811. Men who purchased from the estate sale were Willie Barrow, Nicholas Raymond, Wm T Lewis, Joseph Coleman, John Bernard, Benj. W. Pryor, Peter J Voorhies Thomas G Bradford, John S Williamson, Moses Eakins, James McBride, Hinson Hardy, Robert Wood, Danl McBean, E. Bennet, Metcalf, John Moore, John C. Hall, B. P. Pryor, Jasper Sutton, George Poyzer (see TN Probate Records,, Image 731-732/1007, page 112-113.

  • Willie Barrow (his will probated July term 1825). Barrow not only purchased from the estate, he later offered a property for rent in 1812 stating “it is the place where the Nashville turf formerly was kept by Samuel Pryor, deceased.”
  • John Bernard married Laura L Pryor (born about 1792 in VA) in Davidson county in 1808. They are on the 1850 census in Tipton County, TN, ages 68 and 58 respectfully. Laura’s first son was named Samuel Pryor Bernard and another son was named Benjamin.
  • Benjamin W. Pryor (born about 1788 in VA). He had a letter at the Nashville Post Office in 1807. Benjamin’s son , William Oscar Pryor, married Laura Pryor Bernard’s grand-daughter, Laura Elizabeth Bernard in 1850 Tipton Co., TN.
  • B. P . Pryor may be an error (actually B.W.?) or an unidentified Pryor
  • Jasper Sutton married Susannah Pryor in Davidson County in 1808. Jasper offered a horse for sale in a Nashville newspaper in 1813 and was counted in Maury County in 1820 (Jasper born 1790-1800 and if the older woman in the household was Susannah then she was born 1780-1790). In 1850 Jasper was counted in Hickman county living with Laura Humphreys born about 1830– a possible daughter.

This estate helps to scoop us some of the stray Pryors I have in my notes and at least move them into a potential family line.

The estate sale not only names possible relatives of Samuel Pryor, but it also ties up some of the another documented event in Samuel’s life: the runaway slave Wyatt (aka Wiatt) was found and sold in the estate to resolve the judgment of the TN supreme court case that named future US President Andrew Jackson.

And sold to George Bell the following negroes to wit Wyatt, Charlotte, Sally, Sucky, George, Patsey, and Parralee for the sum of $2727.50 appropriated to the payment of a judgement in favour of Jackson and Hutchings for $2597.50 and a judgment in favor of Lassley $130.

Notices appearing in the Nashville press offer insights into where Samuel worked and how he lived.

  • The location was described in a 1812 ad as 8 miles above Nashville and “the place where the Nashville turf formerly was kept by Samuel Pryor, deceased.”
  • His estate consisted of stock of horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs, all the household and kitchen furniture and utensils of different kinds (from estate sale announcement in 1811)

Was Samuel a sibling of the Pryors who purchased from his estate? Or was he their father?

So Samuel wasn’t named in Luke Pryor’s will, it’s troubling that a Samuel Pryor was named in Joseph Pryor of Bourbon County, KY will. Because Samuel was deceased years before Joseph. However, statesman Henry Clay provided the clue that Samuel and Thornton Pryor were brothers (see post Pryor Brothers: Thornton and Samuel). Something to explore.

I’m left with eraser in hand. I had previously connected Samuel of Montgomery County, TN to Thornton Pryor and Andrew Jackson and Nashville. Since that Samuel Pryor lived into the 1830’s I’ve erased the connecting dots and moved this second Samuel onto a branch of his own.

Category: Tennessee Pryors