7/7/13

Eight Is Enough...Second Son's Testament to the Scriptures

To say that Lucy Eunice Marshall Pittman must have been one tough woman would be an understatement. With her right hand on the Bible and the left carrying a switch, it's not hard to imagine her riding roughshod over a bunch of boys.

After all, Lucy was raised with seven brothers who as youngsters lived among a tribe of Mohawk Indians on the Susquehanna River. Her father, Daniel Marshall felt called to the Missionary service of converting the Mohawk to Christianity.  That experience and Lucy's education on living with a tribe of wild children has been written about in the Colonial period...Making Tracks Out of Virginia.

It is with this background, a strong moral character, and prominent and successful husband that Lucy Eunice raised eight sons and one daughter.  Her husband as a large land owner and farmer, relied on those sons to become caretakers of their properties and to carry on the family ethics of hardworking, Christian and community minded citizens.

The first born, and my direct ancestor was Ichabod Byrd, and although there is a question as to the exact date of his birth was born  about 1782.  Because he is the Direct Ancestor and the link to the next  generation of Pittmans in Tracks of My Georgia Ancestors, his 'Profile and History' will be last in the list of Second Generation Pittmans.
That brings us to Marshall, the second son, third great uncle and father of  eleven First Cousins 4xRemoved.   His given name of Marshall was his mother Lucy's maiden name and bestowed in honor of her father the Reverend Daniel Marshall.  He shared that namesake honor with  brother Daniel, ten years younger.  Marshall was born in March 1783 in Franklin County, Georgia, most likely at home on the property his father had earned for his service in the Revolutionary War.  His birth would have been remarkable and memorable as he was one of the first children born in the newly formed county.

Franklin County, located in Northeast Georgia was the first county established in the state after the American Revolution.  At that time members of the Lower Cherokee Indian tribe lived there until the Treaty of Augusta established the land claim from the native residents.   The county was named after Declaration of Independence signer Benjamin Franklin.  Marshall's father Ichabod was no doubt one of the first settlers to make a claim to the heavily forested land that was covered with mainly oak and hickory trees which were cleared for large tracts of land devoted to agriculture.

At age 29, Marshall married 19 year old Priscilla Ann Harden on November 17, 1812.  Two years later on July 7, 1814 his brother Jefferson married Priscilla's sister Rachel making their combined 17 children 'Double Cousins' with 9 sons to carry on the Pittman name.  Marshall and Priscilla's  eleven children were all born in Georgia.  Several of their sons headed west to Arkansas and Nevada, son Calvin died at age 15, and son John died at age 41 on June 18, 1865, a casualty of the Civil War.  His biographical sketch will be presented in the Civil War section. 

Marshall and Priscilla were residents of Macon, Georgia in the years after their marriage in Columbia County.  Sometime after the birth of their last child, a daughter, the family moved to Mississippi.  The reason for the move West has been documented by earlier family historians as a way of protecting the property rights of their daughters.  At the time, these rights were better protected by Mississippi statues than those of Georgia.  This change to an out of state residence was common among wealthy land owners.

Priscilla died in January 1845 in Mississippi.  She was 52 years old, and Marshall was 62.  Her death took a toll on Marshall, and not long after he returned to Georgia.  The last years of his life were fraught with bouts of erratic behavior as described in a letter written by his niece Abigail, daughter of his brother Daniel.


 In 1914 she wrote to her Pittman cousin, "Your grandfather Marshall was immensely wealthy and lived in Macon, which is a hundred miles south of here.  He was a southern cotton planter and buyer and his wife, Aunt Cilla, said he went wrong.  I remember when he passed our house and she begged my father to persuade him to buy a farm near us on the Chattahoochee River, but they could not do a thing with him.  He seemed to quote scriptures all the time, and was down on Masons and Methodists.  He was as fine a looking man as you ever saw.  He was well educated and talented but got wrong, his daughters said...or he would have never left Mississippi." (this in part letter submitted to ancestry.com on July 23, 2010)

Marshall Pittman died on September 14, 1861 in Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia, where he had been confined in the Milledgeville State Hospital.  He was interred at the Central State Hospital Cemetery #2...Find A Grave Memorial
Through out his life and to the very end, Marshall's one constant was
his namesake minister grandfather Marshall's legacy of devotion to the scriptures.

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