JOHN NELSON SMITH

 


My Great Grandmother’s Father


1799: Born in Tennessee.


1814: On Nov. 13, enlisted in Captain Thomas Gorrans (or Jordans) company of the 10th Regiment of the Tennessee Militia, at Giles County, Tenn. He fought in the Battles of Horse Shoe and New Orleans in the War of 1812.  When he was applying  for a pension in 1873 when he was 74 years old he wrote in his application:  "While employed by a contractor who furnished cattle and hogs to the army I reached Horse Shoe Bend just at the time of the battle with the Creek Indians. I volunteered and fought in that engagement."  He also said "When Gen. Andrew Jackson called on Tennessee my Mother state for volunteers to meet the British foe at New Orleans  I responded to his call and volunteered on the 13 of Nov 1814 to then become a soldier and according to my best  recollections we reached New Orleans on the 1st day of Dec 1814.  Skirmishing was going on almost every day until the 8th of January 1815 when the memorable Battle was fought.   NEVER NEVER shall I forget that time I was in the Ranks and in the ditch and owing to a dense and dark fog we could not see the British Troops but about 8 or 9 o'clock a little wind rose and the fog disappeared and ...Great God to my youthful eye I thought we had met a British well-armed foe to the amount of millions.  I felt miserable but after a few rounds of firing I did not feel so bad."


1815: Was discharged on the 25th of January in Nashville, Tenn. Sometime after the war "Pres. Jackson appointed John Nelson Smith to appraise the land claimed by Indians.  When they were paid off Smith bought several hundred barrels of whiskey and sold to them.  They were so eager and so thirsty for the drink each came with a canteen and rushed in saying 'Me first, me first,' until the last one was gone.  The Government tried to prosecute Smith but he was too shrewd for he had gotten on a strip of unsurveyed land and the Government had no authority.  As Indians were paid for their land they packed and moved." (From Delilah Cloud)


She also said that "Smith then put up first store at Memphis."


1836: Married Mary Izora Hinkle, a wealthy widow, on Jan. 7 at Lownds (Lounge?) County, Ala.  They had 2 children, a son named Morgan, and a daughter.


1849: Daughter, Mary Izora, was born at Lions County, Ala.  Her mother died at the time of her birth. After their mother's death her brother, Morgan, wanted to keep his sister, but his father took her and a trunk of gold to a farm.  Morgan had his father arrested but Smith was clever and put his daughter on a boat to evade his son. Then he slipped her out to Louisiana and kept her hid in a convent school.  Mary Izora Smith (Delilah's mother) "was educated in Huntsville, Ala. Natchitoches and Alexandria, La."


1856: "The entire Negro slaves camped at Natchez, Miss where he treated Negroes to cider and candy for New Years.  Moved on in wagons and one buggy with trunk of gold.  Moved on Black Lake and married Mrs. Moore.  Had 2 children; boy died; Emily married Judge Stone.  He carried them both back to Ala. and both died.  Billie Pierce came with a squad of Negroes and Billie Woods another.  There was about 310 Negroes."


1866: His daughter, Mary Izora, married Noah Cloud Jr. in Natchitoches, La.  Apparently "Colonel Smith" disapproved.


1873: Living in New Iberia, La.; on June 2 applied for a Pension for serving in the War of 1812.  (See information on Pension application above.)  "His claim was not allowed, as he failed to furnish proof of the alleged service, as was required by the pension laws."  His second wife, Dorothy B. Moore, was deceased at this time.


1874?: According to tradition "Captain Smith" became wealthy in New Iberia "owning a large portion of the town."  He decided to come visit his daughter, then married about 7 years, and living at Cloud's Crossing in Natchitoches Parish.  The story is that he buried his gold on the way, and died while visiting there (see D3, p.2).


John Nelson Smith is buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery with no dates on his grave.



Hinkle, Mary Izora


A "wealthy widow"


1836: Married John Nelson Smith on January 7. Had son named Morgan.


1849: Had daughter, Mary Izora; died when she was born.