Name: Samuel Lihu Knowles
Given Name: Samuel Lihu
Birth: 15 JAN 1797 in Nottingham,England
Death: 15 FEB 1887 in Pontotoc County,Mississippi
Burial: Camp Creek Cemetery,Lee County,Mississippi
Supposedly participated in the Battle of Waterloo and the War of 1812.
Change Date: 16 APR 2000 at 01:00:00
Shows up on the 1850 Federal Census in Pontotoc County, Mississippi as Samuel Knowly, along w ith Elizabeth (52, b England), Frederick (19, b TN), Thomas (17, b TN) and Benjamin (15, b TN ). Found on page 121, line 3. Is found in 1870 census of Guntown, Lee County MS on page 377 . In 1880,he is located in Lee County, MS census page 20B on the same page as John Frankli n Knowles.Samuel is 83 and living with wife Mary A., age 56 and son Samuel, age 18.
It is told that his parents fled Ireland before his birth (Note: this conflicts with info h e provided on the 1880 Lee County, MS census which lists both mother and father as born in En gland). It seems that his father disappeared from the scene and Samuel was reared by his mot her and her two sisters who he called "mother". His mother was probably named Mary and his tw o aunts named Emma and Jane. At an early age he was an apprentice to a pinmaker and probabl y received little or no formal education. At the age of 18 he enlisted in the British Army an d served under Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon. Dec. 22, 1816 he marrie d Elizabeth Providence Johnson. She was b. 9 Oct. 1796 on board the British Man of War "Provi dence" on the South Atlantic Ocean. It is said that her father was the Captain of the ship. H er parents were John and Ann Lowe Johnson. In the spring of 1820 part of the family, if not a ll, was crossing the Atlantic to America. A story is told that Samuel and a cousin (unnamed ) had stowed away on a ship earlier and came to America. When he got situated, Samuel sent fo r Elizabeth and the two children. Unfortunately, the younger child, Samuel L. Knowles II die d in transit aboard the ship and was buried at sea. The family first settled in Alexandria , Va. where their third child was born. Two years later (1823) they were in Scottsylvania whe re another son arrived. In 1825 they were in Perry Co. TN. Another child was born there. 1829 -1831 they were in Henderson Co. TN. Two more children were born during these years. From 183 2 to 1834 they were in Hardeman Co. TN. where two more sons were born. In 1836 the Chickasa w lands of north Mississippi were opened for sale. Samuel and his family arrived in Mississip pi about this time. He bought a section of land (Sec 21 T7 R5E) in Pontotoc Co. and becam e a fairly prosperous planter. He owned slaves and had his own cotton gin. The deed book of o ld Tishomingo Co. shows that he also owned land which he and Elizabeth sold in the late 1840' s. The Civil War ruined the economy of the south, and Samuel was not one who escaped the rava ges of war and Reconstruction. Besides having his whole way of life disrupted, two of his son s were killed in the war. The Knowles family must have been good to their slaves for the 187 0 Census showed a former slave woman and her three children as members of the Knowles househo ld. Samuel also bought land in Hamilton Co. TX. which he still owned at the time he drew up h is will in 1884. Elizabeth died 6 Dec. 1852 and was buried in the Camp Creek Cemetery in Pont otoc (now Lee) Co. MS.
THE ENGLISH YEARS 1797-1820
His mother and her two sisters reared Samuel Knowles, born 1797 in Nottingham, England. It i s unlikely that he received much formal education. At an early age, he enlisted in the Arm y and was in Wellington’s Army at the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon. In 1816, he marri ed Elizabeth Providence Johnson, who was born on board the British Man of War "Providence" 17 96 in the south Atlantic. Economic conditions were bad in those years. Many young men cam e to America. It has been reported that Sam and another young man stowed away on a ship comi ng to America. The ship docked in the Chesapeake Bay. Sam probably found lodging and employ ment in Alexandria, Virginia. Afterward he sent for his wife to join him. Elizabeth likel y told her parents of her plans and was given funds for the trip and some money for her and t he two children. Mary Ann and the children sailed for Virginia. During the crossing, the ba by died. Since they were several days at sea and no way to care for the corpse, the baby ha d to be buried in the Atlantic Ocean. It was a bitter- sweet reunion. Sad because of the lo ss of the baby, but, Good to reunited with Samuel. Life had to continue.
THE VIRGINIA YEARS 1820-1823
When Samuel’s little family arrived, they settled at Alexandria, Virginia, a short distance a cross the Bay from Washington, D.C. In 1821 another child was born, Samuel James, born at Al exandria, Virginia. As soon as they were able to travel, they moved south in eastern Virgini a to Spotsyvania where in 1823 William Henry was born. By this time Samuel and Elizabeth wer e realizing that life in Virginia was not suitable for them. The large plantations had absor bed most of the land. The planters were prosperous slave owners with fine mansions; fine hor ses and lived a life that was not suitable for the newcomers. Travelers from the southwest , brought news of the opportunities there for young growing families. Sam and Elizabeth deci ded to move in that direction and began to prepare for the move.
THE WANDERING YEARS 1824-1836
In southwestern Virginia and eastern Tennessee, there is some very rugged mountainous country . This is the lower part of the Appalachian Highland, which begins in northern Georgia, cros ses northern Alabama, eastern Tennessee, and western Virginia and continues northeastward. O ne section of this area is especially rugged. This is the Cumberland Mountains.
Frontiersmen had blazed a trail through the mountains, which came to be called the Cumberlan d Trail. One section appeared to be impassable but a gap had been discovered which came to b e called the Cumberland Gap. It led into eastern Tennessee. Sam and family began moving i n that direction probably in the summer of 1823. They may have traveled alone or joined wit h others in the southwestern move. The average family traveled with their belongings in tw o wagons drawn either by horses, mules or oxen. They did not try to make it through the moun tains during the winter and likely camped for awhile east of the mountains. It is possible t hat during this time, they came into contact with semi-civilized Cherokee Indians who might h ave taught them wilderness survival. After the spring thaw, they slowly moved southwestwar d again. Their travels were along the Cumberland Trail, through the Gap and on into easter n Tennessee. After passing through the mountains, travel speeded up because; the land was le ss rugged. By the end of 1824 or early 1825, they were not far from Nashborough (Nashvilll e today). Continuing westward, they came into the valley of the Tennessee River. Crossing t he river was a dangerous task at best. The river overflowed frequently during the winter an d early spring. The family was now in Perry County. Elizabeth was expecting another baby an d it was born during their stay there. Emma was born in October 1825. The family stayed the re at least another year or two. During this time Sam probably found employment. After the y crossed the river, they went across the Decatur County southwestward in Henderson County . Again, they settled for awhile. During the stay in Henderson County, Tennessee, two mor e babies were born. Elizabeth Jane 1829, and Fredrick Withers 1831. During these years Sa m probably farmed. The farmers of the area grew Tobacco, corn and cotton. The next move, ag ain southwest, was into Hardeman County. The two Mississippi counties of Tippah and Tishomin go were across the state line from Hardeman County. They probable were east of the Hatchie R iver, which flows north into Tennessee from Tippah County. On a present day map the county o f Alcorn is east of Tippah and Tishomingo.
In 1832 by the Treaty of Pontotoc with the Chickasaw Indians, the last land in Mississippi be longing to Indians was taken over by the State.
During the Hardeman County years, two more sons were born. In 1832 Thomas Jefferson Knowle s and in 1834 Benjamin Lihi Knowles.
With the hope of buying some of the cheap land in Mississippi, Sam was ready to move south . This was to be the last leg of their long journey, which had begun over ten years earlier , when he left Spotsyvania, Virginia. The family now included eight children.
In the last move, they came probably east of the Hatchie River. The land west of the river i s hilly, but the land eastward is more level. When they finally arrived at the place they ch ose, Sam bought a section of land (640 acres). The land was located in the northeastern par t of old Pontotoc County in a narrow strip that in 1866 was taken from Pontotoc and made a pa rt of the new county of LEE.
Much of the land Samuel bought at $1.25 per acre was well suited for farming. He built a lar ge home using 60-foot poplar logs. The house had several rooms. There were eight children a nd Mary Ann, the oldest, was a grown young lady. Sam also needed laborers for the land, so h e bought some slaves. It has been said, he owned one hundred slaves; but that is unlikely si nce he did not have enough land for that many people.
The origin of the name is unknown. It is possible that is the name Samuel gave to his Planta tion. Among some old papers, there is a letter that is addressed to Corrona, Mississippi. T he name is still kept alive by there still a voting precinct in the area by that name. The e lection is held in the Jeff Claunch Store. Jeff Claunch was a descendant of John G and Mar y Ann Knowles Claunch. See the Knowles Book for that story.
MORE BABIES AND DEATH IN THE FAMILY
After the arrival in Mississippi, two more babies were born. In 1837 Susanna and in 1839 Ado plhus Napoleon. Both died less than a year old. In 1844 Samuel James died leaving a widow an d a daughter, Sophronia. She was named in Sam’s will of 1884; but no information about her e could be obtained. In 1852 Elizabeth died and was buried in the Camp Creek Cemetery (see p hoto 1998) It is said, Sam donated the land for the Church and Cemetery.
RE-MARRIAGE AND MORE CHILDREN
In 1853, Sam married Mary Ann Hardin born 1823 in Hardin County Tennessee. The Tennessee an d the south by the northwestern county of Alabama border Hardin County on the west and north . Diagonally across the river southwest is Tishomingo Co., MS. The Hardin's were probably l iving in Mississippi when the marriage occurred. To this marriage were born: JOHN FRANKLIN 1 854; JASPER NEWTON 1856; MARTHA ANN 1859; AND SAMUEL 1861. All were born in Pontotoc County.
THE WAR AND POST WAR YEARS 1861-1890
Soon after the War Between the States started, Mississippi seceded from the Union. Three o f the KNOWLES me went the short distance to Elliston where they enlisted in the Confederate A rmy. Fred and Tom Knowles were assigned to Company ‘K’ and Ben to Company ‘E’ in the 31st Mi ssissippi Inf. Almost immediately, the company joined the Army at Saltillo and was sent nor th to help defend Corinth, which was an important rail center. In June 1862, Fred became il l and was sent home where he died of his ailment. More Confederate soldiers died of diseas e than from wounds. Tom and Ben saw actin in the Jackson-Vicksburg area and at Baton Rouge.
During the winters of 1862-63 the Army sent into winter quarters at Twenty-mile bottom nort h of Tupelo. During this time Tom and Ben went home to see their families on furlough. Th e Army fought in Alabama and eastern Tennessee in 1863-64. Tom Knowles was wounded in easter n Tennessee in December 1864. With the help of a former slave of his father who had followe d the army, Tom was able to get home where he died December 25, 1864. Ben fought on with th e army as it moved toward North Carolina where it surrendered in the spring of 1865. After h e returned home, Ben was ver dissatisfied with conditions? He and his older brother, Willia m Henry Knowles, who lived at Burnsville in Tishomingo County finally, decided to go west.
During the war, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation (freeing the slaves in the state s that were at war with the north) effective January 1, 1862. He tried to it appear that th e war was over slavery which it certainly was not. All of Sam’s slaves except one woman an d her children left. It was impossible for Sam to work his entire plantation. Taxes were hi gh under the Carpetbagger government which was composed of northern adventurers, scalawags (s outherners who joined them) and Negroes. Sam had to sell off half of his land as time passe d and the economy worsened.
When Sam made his will 1884, he owned only half of the original land he had previously owned . According to his will he also owned some land in Hamilton County, Texas where Betty Putma n and John Knowles made their home.
In 1876 William Henry and Benjamin moved to Texas settling in Williamson County. Ben later m oved to eastern New Mexico. John Franklin moved to Texas in 1889 and Martha Ann Seay and fam ily moved in 1890.
Samuel Knowles died 1887 at the age of 90 and was buried beside Elizabeth his first wife. I n 1980 both markers were badly in need of repair. Both were broken and lying on the ground . Orval Knowles from Blue Mountain, Mississippi (1790 CR 706) zip 38610 made concrete slab s and placed the markers in the wet concrete.
After Mary Ann died in 1901, the younger Sam who was single, lived alone for awhile then empl oyed a young lady to be his housekeeper. In 1925, at the age of 64, he married Icie L. Hall , his housekeeper.
Mary Ann Hardin was from Hardin County, Tennessee. She and Samuel Knowles were married Augus t 25, 1852 in Tippah County, MS. She was the mother of John Franklin b 9-26-1854; Jasper New ton b 12-16-1856; Martha Ann b. 7-5-1859; Samuel K. b. 7-6-1861. Mary Ann was a member of th e Camp Creek Baptist Church for 42 years. This in on her tombstone. She is buried by Samue l and his first wife.
Mary Ann Hardin b: 23 NOV 1823 in Hardin County,Tennessee
25 AUG 1853
in Tippah County,Mississippi
- John Franklin Knowles b: 26 SEP 1854 in Pontotoc County,Mississippi
- Jasper Newton Knowles b: 16 DEC 1856 in Pontotoc County,Mississippi
- Martha Ann Knowles b: 5 JUL 1859 in Pontotoc County,Mississippi
- Samuel K. Knowles b: 6 JUL 1861 in Pontotoc County,Mississippi
Elizabeth Providence Johnson b: 9 NOV 1796 in In the South Atlantic
22 DEC 1816
- Mary Ann Knowles b: 28 AUG 1817 in Nottingham,England
- Samuel L. Knowles b: 28 NOV 1819 in Nottingham,England
- Samuel James Knowles b: 12 MAR 1821 in Alexandria,Virginia
- William Henry Knowles b: 2 MAR 1823 in Spotsylvania,Virginia
- Emma Knowles b: 28 OCT 1825 in Perry County,Tenn
- Elizabeth Jane Knowles b: 30 MAY 1829 in Henderson County,Tenn
- Fredrick Withers Knowles b: 30 JAN 1831 in Henderson County,Tenn
- Thomas Jefferson Knowles b: 25 NOV 1832 in Hardeman County,Tenn
- Benjamin Lewis Knowles b: 21 OCT 1834 in Hardeman County,Tennessee
- Susanna Knowles b: 24 APR 1837 in Lee County,Mississippi
- Adolphus Napoleon Knowles b: 20 MAR 1839 in Pontotoc County,Mississippi