Tag Archives: War of 1812

Letters on General Brazure Williams Pryor Land Grant

In an older post ( Widow Pryor’s War of 1812 Land Bounty Letter ) I shared the transript of a letter written by Elizabeth A De Neufville Pryor, widow of Brazure Williams Pryor. I had misplaced other letters related to her request for bounty land. Ah Ha… found at last! This is the first post, more to come. Enjoy the transcripts.

King and Queen Co, July 23 / 52
[to] Mr. Martin

Dear Sir,
Mrs. Eliza Pryor requests with [obscured by tape] say to you that whe had been informed through Carter B. Fog (sic), of your having located Warrant a [obscured by tape] land of her husband the late General Pryor and that you desired to purchase same. She is willing to sell it to you for the same price offer her by others, and rather to give your the posession, you will please therefore answer this immediately stating the no of acres contained in said Warrant and the amount you are will to giver there for.
Yours respectfully,
John Washington Jr.
Eliza Pryor
Bestland, Essex Co.

—————————————– Next letter ———————————————-

Richmond, Va, July 26th, 1852
[to] Mrs. Pryor

Dear Madam,
Your friend Mr. Washington is mistaken in supposing that your Land Warrand is [?] which is sugested to some order. You can dispose of your warrant or have located++ just as you please. Your warrant is for 8 acres which when the assignment is made is worth now $63 less my commission. I would be pleased to hear from you on that subject. Immediately on receipt of the Warrant by mail I advised you find Mr. Carter B. Fogg of that part.

—————————————– Next letter ———————————————-

Caroline, August 13/52

Mr. John K Martin

Your communication to Mrs Elizabeth Pryor of [obscured by tape] seems have been answered at an earlier day, but for a [darn tape again!] attack which frustrated me for several weeks. She is willing to take your offer for her warrant. You will therefor write upon the back side an assignment as the law requires, enclose it to her and she will sign it [can’t read the word] it to you. You will send her for the balance of the deducting your com- ($63 – 6.30= 56.70) a certificate of depoist in a check that she can pass off without having to go to the bank for the money. Say to her in your letter that you have said this of me.

Yours respectfully
Jno. Wasthington Jr.
Elizabeth A Pryor
August 13, 1852

—————————————– Next letter ———————————————-

[Small inscription at top of letter, perhaps back of warrant was coppied over the letter?
Wrote said day August 26th to Clerk of Court Essex Rappahannock and ??? 37 County and asked the clerk to put his certificate and seal on Warrant as soon as Mrs. Pryor sends it to hime and return the same to me.]

Richmond, Va
August 16, 1852

Dear Madam,

In reply to Mr. John Washington Jr letter of the 13th said and in compliance with his request will enclose to you Land Warrant No. 36.562 with the view to get your assignment and with it will endorese a certificate of Deposit No. 902 for $56.70/100 which will enable you to check out any amount under that sum as by [can’t read the word] your name on the back of the certificate you can pass it away to any body for the full amount.

This will pay you for your warrant, any deducted my commission therefrom for [?] the same.

The Warrant is already for your signature when the paper has been exectuted by you before a [witness?]. It will have to be sent  to the CH* to get a certificate and seal from the clerkof the court. And as you will have an opportunity to send the Warrant to the court house from Bestland**. I will trouble you to do so for me. I have this day written to the clerk of the court upon that subject.

You will be kind enough to acknowledge the receipt of the Warrant and said in your letter what disposition you have made with it. or in other words when did you send the warrrant to the CH.

Mrs. Eliz A Pryor
Bestland PO

Very respectfully yours,
John K Martin

* I believe “CH” stands for Court House
** Bestland is located in Essex Co., VA
++This sounds like Mrs. Pryor and her friend Mr. Washington wanted to know where the warrant was located and that Martin was offering to buy it but not locate it.

More Pryors and the War of 1812

Another Pryor marriage from the War of 1812 Pensions: John Bohannon married Sarah PRIOR on 6 Jan 1812 in White County, TN. They were married by Thomas Bounds Esq., a justice of the peace.  The marriage information is a big find because there’s a note in the pension file from the county clerk in 1871 searched for the marriage record and deemed it lost or destroyed. The Bohannons were living in Putnam County in 1850 and at the time they were applying for pensions. John Bohannon used attorney Winburn W. Goodpasture in Livingston, TN to apply for his pension in 1850. It’s been speculated that Sarah Pryor was the daughter of William Pryor of White County. Witnesses who swore on the character and knowledge of their marriage were J. D. Hyder, John Barnes, Curtis Mills, William Bohannon, Vivrett Henry, Susan Roberson (speculated by researchers to be a sister of Sarah Pryor Bohannon), H Denton, B. D. Hunter. There’s an additional application for William Bohannon, John’s brother.  For Bohannon researchers — William Bohannon married Polly Job on 9 January 1816 at Winchester, TN (that’s in Franklin County). Both men claimed to have served at the Battle of New Orleans.

In a recent post I referred to an older post about William G. Pryor of Overton County who served in the War of 1812.  William married Spicy Taylor in 1809 in Campbell County, VA and it appears that he was in Tennessee before the death of his father-in-law, Edmund Taylor (after Edmund’s death in 1824 Spicy’s siblings moved from Virginia to Tennessee).  Here’s the complete list of the company in which William Pryor served.


John Allen
William Allen
John Armstrong
James Atkins
William N Barham
John Batts
George Black
Lewis C Bryant
Alexander H Clifton
John Cobler (or Cobbler)
John Collins
William C Drew
William H Elam
E Folks
Abel Fulks
Daniel Fultrill
John Garrett
Samuel Gealnet
Corace Harding
Isaac Henry
Thomas P Henson
Joseph Herton
James B Hindman
Anderson Howell
Herbert J Lee
James Lewis
John Marchant
James Markum
William McCandless
John McClure
John Merchant
James Nail
John L Nail
Joel Parrish, Capt.
John Pintard
William G Pryor
Wright A Reeder
Ebelleam Reaves
Henry Redley
John Ross
William Russell
Jerres Rust
Gabriel Taylor
William Thompson
Grain Townsend
John Waggoner
Richard B. Walthall
Eser Whytus (Whitis?)
Jesse Wilkinson
Benjamin Williams
James Williams
Etheldridge Williams

Widow Pryor’s War of 1812 Land Bounty Letter

Colonial Woman-Tappan Historiical Society 9-25-2010 (11) I have some more information on the widow of War of 1812 general Brazure Pryor. Mrs. Pryor was alive in 1851 and had started a query into her husband’s military bounty land. I have obtained a letter from the Library of Virginia.

Envelope: from Newtown, 5 February, 1851
To John K. Martin, Esq, Richmond, Virginia


New Town, King and Queen County
February 5, 1851

Mr. John K. Martin

Dear Sir, I am unacquainted with you but seeing your card in the Richmond Enquirer as a collector of claims, I wish you to attend to a claim for Mrs. E A Pryor who is entitled to a claim by the act of Congress in Sept. last. It is for the services of  her husband in the War of 1812. Her husband’s name was Brazure Williams Pryor. In the commencement of the war he was Captain of the Artillery Company and before the war closed was promoted to Brigadier General  and served at Hampton.  He was married to Elizabeth A De Neufville the 24 Sept 1807 by Parson Bracken at the time Professor of Wm. And Mary college.  There is a private record of her marriage ina Bible which Mrs. Pryor has—she thinks there is one in the clerks office at Williamsburg where she was married.  Her age is 58 years— is still a widow.  Her husband died in Norfolk on the 15 April 1827.  Are the facts can be established here, except in what company he served that I suppose can be established from the pay roll.  Mrs. Pryor refers you to John G. Mosley, R. G. Scott, —-? Richmond, and President Tyler, who were all intimately acquainted with her husband.  Perhaps the member from Hampton S___? Esquire could give you some information on the subject.  I should like to hear from you as early as possible to know if any thng can be done with her claim.  My address in New Town, Post office, King and Queen County, Va.

Very Respectfully yours,

Carter B. Fogg

The letter helped to establish that she was living in King and Queen County and can be found on the 1850 Census (see census extract).  I hadn’t found anywhere online a reference to the marriage date of Brazure Williams Pryor to Elizabeth A Deneufville— we now know it was in 1807.  I had in my notes that Brazure had died on the 21st, however that later date may have been when his death was announce in the press.

I suspect that we also discovered that Brazure and Elizabeth also had children.  I found an article: Hawes Family of Caroline Co., Va. Elizabeth Hawes Ryland, The William and Mary Quarterly– it states that Walker Hawes (the head of household on the 1850 Census) was married to Mary Pryor. I’m not finding any other writing which even speculates on the parents of this Mary Pryor. She’s certainly the right age to be a daughter of Brazure and Elizabeth Pryor.

I love it, so many loose ends in VA and they are getting tied up!

Major John Pryor of Richmond, b. 1750

Musket Smoke

I’ve pulled together everything I can find on the life of Major John Pryor. You’ll see below it’s suggested that he’s connected to the line of Gen. Roger A Pryor and Col. William Pryor and perhaps also John Pryor and Mary New of Goochland County, VA. Any ideas?

1777 – Captain-Lieutenant 1st Continental Artillery, 13th February, 1777 [Richmond During the War of 1812 ,  The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Apr., 1900), pp. 406-418] Note: the 1777 date matches the 1807 sworn statement for Pryor’s Revolutionary War land bounty warrant.

1779-1783 – Major Aid-de-Camp to General Alexander, 9th June, 1779, to 14th January, 1783

1782 – Major Pryor’s mother was still living in 1782? Capt. Pryor’s letter to Col. Davies asking leave to visit his mother “in great distress with the probability of losing her husband, who is my Father in Law (his step father?) by sickness, and wishes much to see me.”  On Oct  10 1782 from Richmond.  [Calendar of Virginia State papers and other manuscripts …, Volume 3  By Virginia, Henry W. Flournoy]

1796 – John Pryor married Anne Beverly Whiting in Richmond.

After Revolution –  Secretary of the Jockey Club. Owned Haymarket, a pleasure park in Richmond, VA

1800 – A Comprehensive Catalogue of the Correspondence and Papers of James Monroe, Volume 1,  By Daniel Preston. John Pryor was the subject of allegations of misconduct during the Revolution: alleged he did not examine arms thoroughly. Pryor sent a letter on 5 Feb 1800 from Haymarket stating he would refute the charges.  William Preston mentioned in 28 Jan 1800 correspondence. (Is this the William Preston who lead Preston’s Rangers? — See Botetourt County records)

1802 – Samuel Coleman (society’s treasurer) and John Pryor were recorded at a meeting of the Society of Cincinnati in Richmond, VA on 13 Dec 1802 [The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 1,  By Philip Alexander Bruce, Virginia Historical Society, William Glover Stanard] – Note: Samuel Coleman provided a sworn statement in 1807 for John Pryor’s Bounty Warrant. An online family tree shows that Samuel Coleman was married to Nancy Ann Wright a daughter of John Wright and Ann Pryor of Goochland Co., VA– Ann Pryor was the daughter of John Pryor born abt 1689 and Mary New of Goochland Co.

1804 – Board of Hampden Sydney College

1807 – I do certify that John PRYOR was c—  (commissioned?) in a Captain Lieutenant in the first Regiment of Artillery on Continental  the 13th of January 1777 – in the service until the end of the war. Given under my hand this 29th day of June 1807. Samuel Coleman. [from Revolution Bounty Warrants, Library of Virginia  online Catalog.  The back side of this document states that Captain Pryor was given 4000 acres. ]

1812 – “I see Major Pryor* frequently; he is now very fat, and still active as military agent.
(Footnote on the same page) John Pryor, Captain-Lieutenant 1st Continental Artillery, 13th February, 1777; Major Aid-de-Camp to General Alexander, 9th June, 1779, to 14th January, 1783; retired on last-named date. After the war Major Pryor resided in Richmond, and was for a time military agent of the State. Like many retired officeers, he was in reduced circumstances, and for a time kept apleasure resort called Pryor’s Garden, situated on the river side near the present Byrd street station. While residing here his wife separated from him, and soon after became the wife of Mons. Fremont, dancing master, and the mother of John C. Fremont. Author John Bigelow, in a campaign life of Fremont, published in 1856, makes a very pretty story of youth and beauty chained in unbearable union to age and decripitude, of separation by mutual consent and a happy second marriage; but the real story, as told by documentary evidence, is of a very different sort.” Richmond During the War of 1812 ,  The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Apr., 1900), pp. 406-418

1815 – John Pryor married  a second time to Elizabeth Quarles Graves (per her statement in Revolutionary War pension application).

1823 – Death notice was in the Richmond Enquirer on 23 Mar 1823.

1823 – John Pryor’s heirs are first listed in an 1800 will that was drawn up while he was still married to Anne Beverly Whiting.  [The Great Catastrophe of My Life: Divorce in the Old Dominion, by Thomas E. Buckley]

“…bequests to two living sisters, Elizabeth Hankins and Mary Quarles, and to the children of his deceased sister, Sally Taylor” (Note: this same book states Robert Quarles of Richmond, VA was married to John Pryor’s sister.  I found a publication Boulder Genealogical Society, Virginia Genealogical Society, published 1977 states that Robert Quarles widow completed a Revolutionary War Pension Application stating that Robert was the son of James Quarles and Mary Pryor. I have reviewed the Pension Application #W9868 and note his mother only recorded as Mary, however their James and Mary’s first born was named Pryor Quarles.  The Pension Application contains information from the Quarles family Bible, stating Mary died 1 December 1816 in her 73rd year – born 1743. Mary would be a contemporary of Maj John Pryor and that agrees with her being the named sister in the will. In Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans by William S. Speer, published 1888— page 163, “…James Quarles, was the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He married a Miss Pryor, of the Pryor family of Virginia, from whom Gen. Roger A Pryor, the brilliant criminal lawyer, now of New York, is descended.” Family trees on Ancestry.com place Mary Pryor Quarles as a daughter of Col. William Pryor and Sarah Wood—They are probably not aware that she is the sister of Maj Pryor and other known siblings Elizabeth and Sally/Susan )

After his death in 1823, his final will was filed in Pulaski Co., KY – is that because he owned property there?

“PRYOR, John (of the City of Richmond). Will proved there March 1823. Names wife, Elizabeth Graves; nieces, Dorcas Bryan, Elizabeth Taylor, Rebecca Taylor, Charlotte Morrison (of Williamsburg, Va.), Elizabeth Hazelwood; nephews, Thomas Pryor and Archer, William, Romert, John, and Pryor Hankins. Friend, Lewis Burwell. First wife was named Ann. “ [http://www.newrivernotes.com/va/pulwb.htm]
(Note: I found Pryor and Archer Hankins on the 1800 Tax list of James City, VA and  census records in the same county).

1856 – His widow, Elizabeth Quarles Graves files for a pension from his service during the Revolution.  Pryors ex-sister in law (Susan Lowery, sister of Anne Beverly Whiting) filed an affidavit stating:

  • He was an aid to General Lord Sterling (Note: Stirling was stationed in NJ and NY during the war and was in charge of Washington’s Army in the North and died in Albany in 1783.)
  • He received a “considerable” land bounty for his war service.
  • He had no children – only nieces and nephews in Charles City and James City by the name of Hawkins or Hankins. [see Rev. War application of Edmund Beadles http://revwarapps.org/s17842.pdf.

Yet Another Look at Brazure W Pryor of Charles City and Hampton City, VA

Shirley Plantation - Charles City, VA
I’ve written about Brazure Williams Pryor a few times ( February 28, 2011 | March 23, 2011 | April 11, 2011 ). I keep coming back to him because I think he’s a link that can tie together lines of Virginia Pryors.  This weekend was time to look at him again.

I found that an online researcher had posted that Brazure’s  namesake was a Mary Brazure who had married Captain Thomas Cocke of Henrico County. If you’ve been reading my posts on Nicholas Pryor you probably know I (see May 3, 2012 post)– Nicholas Pryor was brought to Henrico County aboard ship by Captain Thomas Cocke in 1688! I didn’t quite spring out of my chair, because the reseacher blew the theory by basing it on bad “genealogy” by assuming there was a connection to Mary Brazure because Brazure Pryor was named “Brazure.”

There could be a connection… we just don’t know yet. For now we know that Brazure was named for his grandfather Brazure Williams and that is proven by his inclusion in his grandfather’s 1790 will.

Brazure Williams’ will is an intriguing thing. I haven’t seen the will or even a transcript. Researchers have posted online that it mentions his son in law Samuel Pryor. Is this the father of Brazure? I found the will indexed in Genealogical Abstracts from 18th-Century Virginia Newspapers, by Robert Kirk Headley:

WILLIAMS — Brazure Williams’ will; names grandson Brazure Williams Pryor , son -in-law Samuel Pryor, granddau. Elizabeth Smallwood, wife Frances Williams. Dated July 20, 1790; proved October 17, 1793.  (view source)

Who was the Samuel Pryor who was connected to Brazure Williams? Brazure died around 1790 or so.  I haven’t found a Samuel Pryor on the 1790 Census in Virginia. That would be too easy! I found a Samuel Pryor and John Williams had witnessed the will of Henry Duke in Charles City in 1795.  Was this this the right Samuel — I’m optomistic because of the Williams connection. Also wondering, was this Samuel Thornton Pryor whose sister Judith Neville Pryor married Fontaine Duke? I’m stuck on that questions because in all the family trees and records Samuel Thornton appears to be of the same generation as Brazure W. Pryor (born in the mid 1770’s), and Samuel Thornton Pryor is not known to have a brother named Brazure.

It looks like there’s were two Samuel Pryors in Charles City.

  • Samuel W Pryor who was perhaps the father of Brazure W Pryor and definitely the son in law of Brazure Williams. He was probably born about 1775 to 1795. He is possibly the Samuel Pryor on the 1830 Census in Charles City, the man who ran for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1821, but was rejected because he didn’t have enough land,  and last seen in the records in 1835 when he was elected barkeeper by the court. I think he may be the same Samuel Pryor who married Sarah Dudley Graves on 12 Feb 1824 in Charles City.
  • Samuel W. Pryor born 1830 is probably the son of Samuel and Sarah. He was living with George Marabel on the 1860 Census (the older Samuel had witnessed a will for Elizabeth Gill in 1828 where one of the heris was a Judith P. Marable.

I located a marriage for  Brazure W Pryor to Elizabeth Antoinette DeNeuville (William and Mary Quarterly). Yes, her family was French and it may explain why Brazure was part of the delegation that hosted General Lafayette upon his visit to Virginia. Christopher J. D. Pryor of Hampton City sued the estate of Brazure W Pryor in 1827 after his death. The suit claims that Brazure had been Christopher’s guardian and that the estate’s administrator John A. DeNeuville had withheld Christopher’s property and slaves that Brazure had in his posession. (summary on the Digital Library of American Slavery). It also looks like Elizabeth DeNeuville Pryor was alive as late as 1851 when ex-president John Tyler wrote a letter asking that she be given a land grant for her husband’s service in the War of 1812. I haven’t found her on the 1850 Census.

I don’t know the parents of either Brazure or Christopher J D Pryor, but it gives some hope in solving this mystery of a couple of Pryor lines.  I found a reminicence online in 2011 (A New Look at Old Virginia Pryors) that stated Skaife Whiting Pryor was a son of Christopher J D Pryor. This is incorrect because a 1846 lawsuit identified Skaife as the son of John Clayton Pryor and a grandson of Christopher Pryor of Gloucester County, VA.  But isn’t it interesting that a first hand recollection places Skaife in Christopher J D Pryor’s family line? Does this mean that Brazure and his ward Christopher J D are related to John Clayton Pryor and Christopher Pryor of Gloucester? I think we’re on the right track!

Does anyone know where Elizabeth DeNeuville (or DeNeufville) Pryor was in 1850? Can you connect the line of Christopher Pryor with Brazure Williams Pryor? Who are the Samuel Pryors in Charles City and how are they related to Brazure?