Benton-Preston Family Go West



historysoc20Thursday, I took the train to Portland, the ‘Rose City’. Heading to the art museum, I saw a building with a mural on the side of it. There were covered wagons, and I assumed this had something to do with John Fremont ‘The Pathfinder’. Being kin to John, his wife, Jessie Benton, and the late muralist, Garth Benton, I wondered how much family history I could discover in Rose Town.

Lucky for me the research room was open, and taking a seat a small book was put before me by the Oregon History Librarian, titled ‘A Year of American Travel’ written by Jessie Benton who came West following her husband’s footsteps. When I read the following paragraph, I saw the light;

“At the Astor House where we were staying, we found a party favorite relatives, my cousin, General William Preston, and his family assembled to welcome back from Europe a member who had been away for years.”

Odd that this person is not named. Is there a reason? In studying the Fremont history I am struck by how sparse and scattered it is. There are gaping holes in their story that begs one to read between the lines. I have contended the history of John and Jessie has been disappeared, their true motive for their explorations, made vague and elusive. With the mention of the Astor House, I may have found the key to reading the Fremont Rosetta Stone.

John Jacob Astor was considered one of the richest men in the world. His fortune came from beaver pelts. When he sold the Oregon Territory to the British, he may have made the biggest bad business deal of his life – that he was determined to reverse. To this end, he may have employed his attorney, Thomas Hart Benton, the father of Jessie, and perhaps John’s right-hand man. Senator Benton was a promoter of ‘Manifest Destiny’.

What does this have to do with the price of rice in China?

This morning, I read a news article that the new Attorney General of the United States confronted the Chinese Army about their attack in our cyberspace. The Benton-Preston genealogy is Who’s Who in American History. In the paper he authored, Senator Benton suggests Americans should rule the West and Asia that lie across the Pacific. In response to the accusation China is invading our space, a female major defended this attack from the Chinese Manifest Destiny;

“His comments triggered a wry response from Maj. Gen. Yao Yunzhu, director of the Center for China-America Defense Relations, at the People’s Liberation Army’s Academy of Military Science, who challenged him to better explain America’s intentions in its building up of the military across the region.”

“General Yao Yunzhu is suggesting ‘The Pathfinder’ has beat a path to China’s door, and thus it is permitted for the Red Army to invade our cyberspace. One can conclude that ‘The Manifest War of Cyberspace’ is on. I know how the United States can win this war, because I saw it coming in my novel ‘The Gideon Computer’. The cyberspace battle I depicted in 1986, was fought between the homeless hippie, Berkeley Bill Bolagard, and Thomas Gideon, the wealthiest man on earth. It is alleged the hippies invented cyberspace. If true, then only a real hippie can defend this space.

China became a capitalist nation in order to defeat its foes. John Astor would be worth 200 billion dollars by todays standards. When the librarian put a letter Jessie wrote, before me, I feasted on The Truth. In this historic document Jessie Benton defends the accusation folks are making that her father is pro-slavery. At the same time she suggests his manifest destiny is still alive, and the “temperate zones” are there for the taking. These zones appear to include Mexico and all of South America.

What this letter suggests, is that Jessie is assuring Britain slavery will not go West, and take root in the Oregon Territory. This letter, may have convinced the abolitionists in Britain it was moral to sell back the land – this space that once belonged to John Jacob Astor, back to American business men who were overcoming the Western hemisphere.

Outside the OHS, is a life-size equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt, a rose name. Stay tuned folks, for her come the ‘Last Hippie on Earth’ to save the day. With joy he is aching to tell the head of the Center for China-America Defense Relations, where to go……for he is all INCLUSIVE! On some days, he thinks he is God. In America this hippie is entitled to his opinion, and can vent his spleen on any given day. Not so in China! Indeed Gen. Yao Yunzhu’s words have gone though committee. She can not just go online to give her opinions. Not too many Chinese leaders own such a privilege, and, not too many Chinese citizens. What I am saying is, there may be more Chinses people in the world, but, very few of them dwell in cyberspace. We the People of the Unite States – got them outnumbered!

Get out! Get out of our cyberspace – and stay out!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2013

Speaking Saturday at a security conference in Singapore that he helped to form more than a decade ago, Hagel said: “The United States has expressed our concerns about the growing threat of cyber intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military.” While he is not the first U.S. official to publicly blame China for computer-based attacks that steal data from U.S. government and corporate networks, he delivered the rebuke in China’s backyard, with members of Beijing’s government in the audience.

In 1810, John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company sent the Astor Expedition that founded Fort Astoria as its primary fur-trading post in the Northwest, and in fact the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific coast. It was an extremely important post for American exploration of the continent and was influential in establishing American claims to the land. Fort Astoria was constructed in 1811.

Senator Thomas Hart Benton on Manifest Destiny (1846)
It would seem that the White race alone received the divine command, to subdue and replenish the earth: for it is the only race that has obeyed it-the only race that hunts out new and distant lands, and even a New World, to subdue and replenish . . . .

The Red race has disappeared from the Atlantic coast; the tribes that resisted civilization met extinction. This is a cause of lamentation with many. For my part, I cannot murmur at what seems to be the effect of divine law. I cannot repine that is this Capitol has replace the wigwam-this Christian people, replaced the savages-white matrons, the red squaws . . . . Civilization, or extinction, has been the fate of all people who have found themselves in the trace of the advancing Whites, and civilization, always the preference of the Whites, has been pressed as an object, while extinction has followed as a consequence of its resistance . . . .

The van of the Caucasian race now top the Rocky Mountains, and spread down on the shores of the Pacific. In a few years a great population will grow up there, luminous with the accumulated lights of the European and American civilization. There presence in such a position cannot be without it influence upon eastern Asia. . . .

The Mongolian, or Yellow race is there, four hundred millions in number spreading almost to Europe; a race once the foremost of the human family in the arts of civilization, but torpid and stationary for thousands of years. It is a race far above the Ethiopian, or Black-above the Malay, or Brown, (if we admit five races)-and above the American Indian or Red; it is a race far above all these, but still far below the White and like all the rest, must receive an impression from the superior race whenever they come in contact . . . .

The sun of civilization must shine across the sea; socially and commercially the van of the Caucasians, and the rear of the Mongolians, must intermix. They must talk together, and trade together, and marry together. . . . Moral and intellectual superiority will do the rest; the White race will take the ascendant, elevating what is susceptible of improvement-wearing out what is not. . . . And thus the youngest people, and the newest land, will become the reviver and the regenerator of the oldest . . . .

It is in this point of view, and as acting upon the social, political, and religious condition of Asia, and giving a new point of departure to her ancient civilization, that I look upon the settlement of the Columbia river by the van of the Caucasian race as the most momentous human event in the history of man since his dispersion over the face of the earth.

Congressional Globe, 29:1 (1846), 917-18.

John L. O’Sullivan on Manifest Destiny, 1839


Excerpted from “The Great Nation of Futurity,” The United States Democratic Review, Volume 6, Issue 23, pp. 426-430. The complete article can be found in The Making of America Series at Cornell University


The American people having derived their origin from many other nations, and the Declaration of National Independence being entirely based on the great principle of human equality, these facts demonstrate at once our disconnected position as regards any other nation; that we have, in reality, but little connection with the past history of any of them, and still less with all antiquity, its glories, or its crimes. On the contrary, our national birth was the beginning of a new history, the formation and progress of an untried political system, which separates us from the past and connects us with the future only; and so far as regards the entire development of the natural rights of man, in moral, political, and national life, we may confidently assume that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity.

It is so destined, because the principle upon which a nation is organized fixes its destiny, and that of equality is perfect, is universal. It presides in all the operations of the physical world, and it is also the conscious law of the soul — the self-evident dictates of morality, which accurately defines the duty of man to man, and consequently man’s rights as man. Besides, the truthful annals of any nation furnish abundant evidence, that its happiness, its greatness, its duration, were always proportionate to the democratic equality in its system of government. . . .

What friend of human liberty, civilization, and refinement, can cast his view over the past history of the monarchies and aristocracies of antiquity, and not deplore that they ever existed? What philanthropist can contemplate the oppressions, the cruelties, and injustice inflicted by them on the masses of mankind, and not turn with moral horror from the retrospect?

America is destined for better deeds. It is our unparalleled glory that we have no reminiscences of battle fields, but in defence of humanity, of the oppressed of all nations, of the rights of conscience, the rights of personal enfranchisement. Our annals describe no scenes of horrid carnage, where men were led on by hundreds of thousands to slay one another, dupes and victims to emperors, kings, nobles, demons in the human form called heroes. We have had patriots to defend our homes, our liberties, but no aspirants to crowns or thrones; nor have the American people ever suffered themselves to be led on by wicked ambition to depopulate the land, to spread desolation far and wide, that a human being might be placed on a seat of supremacy.

We have no interest in the scenes of antiquity, only as lessons of avoidance of nearly all their examples. The expansive future is our arena, and for our history. We are entering on its untrodden space, with the truths of God in our minds, beneficent objects in our hearts, and with a clear conscience unsullied by the past. We are the nation of human progress, and who will, what can, set limits to our onward march? Providence is with us, and no earthly power can. We point to the everlasting truth on the first page of our national declaration, and we proclaim to the millions of other lands, that “the gates of hell” — the powers of aristocracy and monarchy — “shall not prevail against it.”

The far-reaching, the boundless future will be the era of American greatness. In its magnificent domain of space and time, the nation of many nations is destined to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles; to establish on earth the noblest temple ever dedicated to the worship of the Most High — the Sacred and the True. Its floor shall be a hemisphere — its roof the firmament of the star-studded heavens, and its congregation an Union of many Republics, comprising hundreds of happy millions, calling, owning no man master, but governed by God’s natural and moral law of equality, the law of brotherhood — of “peace and good will amongst men.”. . .

Yes, we are the nation of progress, of individual freedom, of universal enfranchisement. Equality of rights is the cynosure of our union of States, the grand exemplar of the correlative equality of individuals; and while truth sheds its effulgence, we cannot retrograde, without dissolving the one and subverting the other. We must onward to the fulfilment of our mission — to the entire development of the principle of our organization — freedom of conscience, freedom of person, freedom of trade and business pursuits, universality of freedom and equality. This is our high destiny, and in nature’s eternal, inevitable decree of cause and effect we must accomplish it. All this will be our future history, to establish on earth the moral dignity and salvation of man — the immutable truth and beneficence of God. For this blessed mission to the nations of the world, which are shut out from the life-giving light of truth, has America been chosen; and her high example shall smite unto death the tyranny of kings, hierarchs, and oligarchs, and carry the glad tidings of peace and good will where myriads now endure an existence scarcely more enviable than that of beasts of the field. Who, then, can doubt that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity?

Cyberspace is a word that began in science fiction literature in the 1980s, was quickly and widely adopted by computer professionals as well as hobbyists, and became a household term in the 1990s. During this period, the uses of the internet, networking, and digital communication were all growing dramatically and the term “cyberspace” was able to represent the many new ideas and phenomena that were emerging.[1]

According to Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer, cyberspace is defined more by the social interactions involved rather than its technical implementation.[4] In their view, the computational medium in cyberspace is an augmentation of the communication channel between real people; the core characteristic of cyberspace is that it offers an environment that consists of many participants with the ability to affect and influence each other. They derive this concept from the observation that people seek richness, complexity, and depth within a virtual world.

Videogames differ from text-based communication in that on-screen images are meant to be figures that actually occupy a space and the animation shows the movement of those figures. Images are supposed to form the positive volume that delineates the empty space. A game adopts the cyberspace metaphor by engaging more players in the game, and then figuratively representing them on the screen as avatars. Games do not have to stop at the avatar-player level, but current implementations aiming for more immersive playing space (i.e. Laser tag) take the form of augmented reality rather than cyberspace, fully immersive virtual realities remaining impractical.

American counterculture exponents like William S. Burroughs (whose literary influence on Gibson and cyberpunk in general is widely acknowledged[18][19]) and Timothy Leary[20] were among the first to extoll the potential of computers and computer networks for individual empowerment.[21]

English: This painting shows “Manifest Destiny” (the religious belief that the United States should expand from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean in the name of God). In 1872 artist John Gast painted a popular scene of people moving west that captured the view of Americans at the time. Called “Spirit of the Frontier” and widely distributed as an engraving portrayed settlers moving west, guided and protected by a goddess-like figure of Columbia and aided by technology (railways, telegraphs), driving Native Americans and bison into obscurity. It is also important to note that angel is bringing the “light” as witnessed on the eastern side of the painting as she travels towards the “darkened” west.

O’Sullivan’s second use of the phrase became extremely influential. On December 27, 1845, in his newspaper the New York Morning News, O’Sullivan addressed the ongoing boundary dispute with Britain. O’Sullivan argued that the United States had the right to claim “the whole of Oregon”:
And that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.[17]
That is, O’Sullivan believed that Providence had given the United States a mission to spread republican democracy (“the great experiment of liberty”). Because Britain would not spread democracy, thought O’Sullivan, British claims to the territory should be overruled. O’Sullivan believed that manifest destiny was a moral ideal (a “higher law”) that superseded other considerations.[18]

British explorer David Thompson was the first European to navigate the entire length of the Columbia River in 1811. Thompson reached the partially constructed Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia, arriving two months after the Pacific Fur Company’s ship, the Tonquin.[9]

The Pacific Fur Company failed, however, and the fort and fur trade were sold to the British in 1813. The house was restored to the U.S. in 1818, though the fur trade would remain under British control until American pioneers following the Oregon Trail began filtering into the port town in the mid-1840s. The Treaty of 1818 established joint U.S. – British occupancy of territory west of the continental divide to the Pacific Ocean. In 1846 the Oregon Treaty ended the Oregon Boundary Dispute; with Britain ceding all right to the mainland south of the 49th parallel north.

Washington Irving, a prominent American writer with a European reputation, was approached by John Jacob Astor to mythologize the three-year reign of his Pacific Fur Company. Astoria (1835), written while Irving was Astor’s guest, cemented the importance of the region in the American psyche.[10] In Irving’s words, the fur traders were “Sinbads of the wilderness”, and their venture was a staging point for the spread of American economic power into both the continental interior and into the Pacific.

For All the World to See
Visual Culture and the Struggle of Civil Rights
June 16 – August 11, 2013
Exhibit Hours

For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, a nationally touring exhibition from NEH on the Road, opens June 16 at the Oregon History Museum. Through a compelling assortment of photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts, the exhibition traces how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the modern civil rights movement and jolted Americans, both black and white, out of a state of denial or complacency.
Visitors to the immersive display will explore dozens of compelling and persuasive visual images, including photographs from influential magazines, such as LIFE, JET, and EBONY; CBS news footage; and TV clips from The Ed Sullivan Show. Also included are civil rights-era objects that exemplify the range of negative and positive imagery—from Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers and 1930s produce advertisements to Jackie Robinson baseball ephemera and 1960s children’s toys with African American portraiture. For All the World to See is not a history of the civil rights movement, but rather an exploration of the vast number of potent images that influenced how Americans perceived race and the struggle for equality.

The Research Library provides many resources, materials, and services for genealogists. Whether you are looking for an obituary, a photograph, a genealogy workshop, or the history behind an Oregon family, institution, building, or event, the library has something for you. Our library staff, including an onsite trained genealogist, is waiting to assist you.

Boileau was born in Canada in 1863 (some say 4). He was the son of a diplomat and his early life involved time spent in Canada, America and France. He received his education in England and in his early 20’s studied Art in Italy. The subsequent decade was spent in various European locations after which he decided in 1897 to emigrate to the United States. While always a passionate artist it was this move to the USA that would secure recognition of his talents.

The next few years were spent painting American society portraits. During this time he met his future wife, a very young actress named Emily Gilbert, and images of Emily began to feature in his work. By 1902 Boileau had established a studio in New York and his works started to achieve recognition and then commercial success. In 1907 he married Emily, he was at that time more than twice her 21 years of age. Over the next ten years he continued to produce his images of beautiful women and children.

The artist, Philip Boileau, was the son Susan Taylor Virginia McDowell Benton, the sister of Jessie Benton, the daughter of Thomas Hart Benton, whose grandson was the famous artist of the same name, who was the cousin of Garth Benton, who married Christine Rosamond Presco, who is kin to Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, according to Jimmy Rosamond, the Rosamond Family genealogists.

The Astor House was originally built by John Jacob Astor, who assembled the building lots around his former house until he had purchased the full block in the heart of the city’s most fashionable residential district. The hotel opened in June 1836 as the Park Hotel. It was located on the west side of Broadway between Vesey and Barclay Streets, across from New York City Hall Park and diagonally across from the offices of the New York Herald. The building was designed by Isaiah Rogers, who had designed the first luxury hotel in the United States, the Tremont House, in Boston (1829

Their house was one of six on the point. Jesse remodeled the house and added roses, fuchsias, and walkways on the 13 acres. Their home became a salon for San Francisco intellectuals. Thomas Starr King, the newly appointed minister of the Unitarian church, was a fixture for dinner and tea. Young Bret Harte, whose writing Jesse admired, became a Sunday dinner regular, as did photographer Carleton Watkins. She invited literary celebrities when they came to townó including Herman Melville, who was trying to get over the failure of Moby Dick. Conversations in her salon led to early conservation efforts when Jesse and a group including Watkins, Starr King, Fredrick Law Olmsted, and Israel Ward Raymond lobbied Congress and President Lincoln to preserve Yosemite and Mariposa Big Trees. Jesse’s husband, however, often away on business ventures, was not a regular at her gatherings.

On returning from Oregon, John Fremont was required to report his findings to Congress, but suffered writer’s block. As Jesse later recalled, “the horseback life, the sleep in the open air” made him “unfit for the indoor life of writing.” She offered to write as he dictated to her, and the report with its descriptions of the western lands was a success. Succeeding expedition reports made Fremont and his scout Kit Carson famous. People heading west for gold bought copies with their supplies. Historians are mixed on who was the actual writer. One, John W. Caughey, indicated that Fremont was one of those writers who “acquired by marriage a very attractive literary style.”

During an 1846 expedition to California, Fremont found himself caught between conflicting orders of feuding Army General Stephen Kearny and Navy Commodore Robert Stockton. He declared himself military governor and was subsequently arrested and court-martialed. In a strange twist of fate, Fremont asked American Consul Thomas Larkin to purchase land in the San Jose area before he left California for his trial. Larkin instead purchased land in Mariposa, where a few years later gold was discovered, making the Fremonts very rich.

When civil war seemed likely, the Fremont family returned east for John’s new Army appointment, which lasted only a few months. (He decreed his own emancipation proclamation in Missouri, which angered Lincoln.) He lost control of his mines, and after a number of other job attempts declared bankruptcy in the 1870s. Jesse supported the family with her writing. Fremont died during a trip to New York in 1890, and Jesse died twelve years later while living in Los Angeles.

Black Point was taken by the military for defense during the Civil War, and the Fremont home was demolished. One of the original six houses is used today as the Fort Mason Officers Club. Jesse filed lawsuits for compensation for the property, but the government countered that the families living on the point were squatters and produced documentation from President Millard Fillmore reserving it for military use. After Jesse’s death, her daughter continued to file claims, but the family was never reimbursed. Some of the heirs of Black Point families, including the Fremont’s great-grandson, were still pursuing legal action in the 1960s. The area was renamed for Colonel Richard Masonóappointed military governor of California in 1847 when his predecessor, Stephen Kearny, went to Washington to testify against Fremont in his court-martial.

Jesse Benton Fremont
by Susan Saperstein
She is thought to be the real author behind the successful writings of John C. Fremont (general, senator, presidential candidate, and the Pathfinder of the West) describing his explorations. Jesse Benton Fremont (1824– 1902), Fremont’s wife, was also the daughter of Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, a leading advocate of Manifest Destiny, a political movement pushing expansion to the West. And in her event-filled life, some of her happiest times were at her house in San Francisco’s Black Point area, now known as Fort Mason.

The Fremonts lived there between 1860 and 1861. The prop- erty included three sides of the point, and Jesse described it “like being on the bow of a ship.” They had a clear view of the Golden Gate, so named by John when he first viewed it in 1846. Alcatraz was so close that Jesse is said to have called the lighthouse on the island her nightlight.

The Astor, on Broadway between Vesey and Barclay Streets, was built by beavers, specifically the beavers whose pelts first gave John Jacob Astor his wealth, $20 million by the time of his death in 1848. Severe and granite-faced, Astor House was designed by Isaiah Rogers, and was quite similar to his 1829 Tremont House in Boston, often described as the first hotel in the United States with a real plumbing system.

John Jacob Astor IV (July 13, 1864 – April 15, 1912) was an American businessman, real estate builder, investor, inventor, writer, lieutenant colonel in the Spanish-American War and a member of the prominent Astor family. In April 1912, Astor earned a prominent place in history when he embarked on the ocean liner RMS Titanic, which hit an iceberg four days into its voyage and sank in the early hours of April 15. Astor was among the 1,514 people on board who did not survive. He was the richest passenger aboard the Titanic, and was considered to be the richest person in the world at that time.–brags-hell-sell-fortune.html

Col. William Preston 1730-1783
Smithfield Prestons

Col. William Preston, only son of John Preston and Elizabeth Patton, was born in Lima Vaddy, Ireland and died in Montgomery County, Virginia. He came to this country with his parents in 1738. He was born 12-25-1730 and died 7-28-1783. He married Susanna Smith of Hanover County Virginia on July 17, 1761. She was born 1-4-1739 and died 6-19-1823.

Sources: “The Family Tree” by Mary Preston Gray 1980-1984, “The Preston Genealogy” edited by L. A. Wilson under the direction of William Bowker Preston pub. 1900 and “The Preston Family” compiled by John Mason Brown 1870.

William built his home called “Smithfield” in what is now Blacksburg, Virginia. The original name of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University was Olin and Preston Institute, named after William Preston, then Virginia A&M and finally Virginia Tech.

Susanna was the daughter of Francis Smith and Elizabeth Waddy, granddaughter of Capt. William Smith and Elizabeth Ballard. Elizabeth Waddy was the daughter of Anthony Waddy and Sarah Parke of New Kent County, Virginia.

Another source shows different dates for many of the dates shown on this page as follows:

Susanna Smith b.1-23-1740 or 1-4-1739 ?, John Preston born at Greenfield, Botetourt Co., 5-2-1764 or 5-12-1764, William Preston was born at Greenfield 9-5-1770 or 9-3-1770, Susanna Preston born at Greenfield 10-7-1772 or 2-12-1769 (looks like confusion with Ann Preston – I didn’t show a date but other source has 2-12-1769, she died at 13 years of age.), Mary Preston born at Smithfield 9-29-1776 or 10-7-1772 ?, Letitia Preston born at Smithfield 9-29-1779 or 9-29-1776 ?, and Thomas Lewis Preston born at Smithfield 8-19-1781 or 1780. My source was Mary Preston Gray’s “The Family Tree” and the other source is from the Preston Family Bible, #26190 at the Library of Virginia. At the time it was photocopied it was in the possession of N. Floyd Holmes in Florida. What is confusing is Mary Preston Gray refers to this document so she obiously knew it existed and since her livelyhood was genealogy, I would ass-ume she used it. Any comments on these dates would be appreciated, especially those several years apart. The new information was provided by Carolyn M. McDaniel.

William and Susanna Smith had twelve (12) children:

Elizabeth Preston b.5-31-1762 d. 2-4-1837 m. William Madison (1753-1782) on 1-1-1778 at Smithfield. They had two daughters.
John Preston b. 5-12-1764 d. 3-27-1827, a member of the legislature and for many years Treasurer of Virginia. First to Miss Mary Radford of Richmond. They had 5 children. Secondly he married Miss. Elizabeth Carrington Mayo. They had one son.
Gen. Francis Smith Preston born at Smithfield 8-2-1765 and died in Columbia, SC at the home of his son, Hon. William C. Preston, 5-26-1835. He married Sarah Buchanan Campbell, daughter of Gen. William Campbell on Jan. 10, 1793. Sarah was born 4-21-1778 and died 7-23-1846. They had 15 children.
Sarah Preston was born at “Greenfield” on May 3, 1767. She married Col. James McDowell of Rockbridge Co., Va., an officer in the war of 1812, and they had three children:
James McDowell married Susan Preston, a cousin and daughter of Gen. Francis Preston. James McDowell became Governor of Virginia 1843-1846, a member of Congress 1846-1851. See Gen. Francis Preston for info on their 9 children.
Susan S. McDowell married William Taylor of Alexander, Va., a lawyer and member of Congress from Virginia. They had 6 children:
James McDowell Taylor, unmarried.
Robert Taylor m. Miss Elizabeth McNaught and they had 3 children:
Susan M. Taylor.
Maggie Taylor.
Robert Taylor.
Susan Taylor m. John B. Weller, of Ohio, a member of Congress from Ohio (1839-1845) afterwards a United States Senator from California and Governor of California. He also served as the United States Minister to Mexico. They had 2 children:
William T. Weller died unmarried.
John B. Weller, Jr.
Edmonia Taylor m. Mr. Levy of Portsmouth, VA and they had 2 children.
William Taylor moved to California.
Thomas B. Taylor m. a daughter of Rev. N. L. Rice. They had 3 children.
Elizabeth McDowell married Hon. Thomas Hart Benton, senator from Missouri, who held a continuous term of 30 years in the US Senate. They had 6 children:
Eliza P. Benton m. William Cary Jones a lawyer of New Orleans. After he died she moved to San Francisco. They had 3 children:
Betty Jones
Benton Jones
Cary Jones
Jessie Benton married Major Gen. John C. Fremont, explorer of the Rocky Mtns, and first Republican candidate for President of the United States. They had 3 children:
Lily Fremont.
Charles Fremont.
Frank P. Fremont.
Sarah Benton married Richard T. Jacob, Colonel of United States volunteers, member of the Legislature and Lieutenant-Governor of Kentucky. They had 2 children:
Leila Jacob m. her relative, D. V. Woolley, of Lexington, KY.
Richard Jacob, Jr. Lt. in US Army.
Randolph Benton died unmarried.
McDowell Benton died as a youth.
Susan V. Benton married Baron Gauldree Boilleau, French Minister to Peru. They had 8 children:
Elizabeth Boilleau dead bef.1870.
Benton Boilleau.
Charles Boilleau dead bef.1870.
Desiree Boilleau dead bef.1870.
Philip Boilleau.
Claude Boilleau dead bef.1870.
Augustine Boilleau dead bef.1870.
Mary Boilleau.
Ann Preston, born at ‘Greenfield’, Botetourt County, Va., died at 13 years of age.
Susanna Preston b. 2-12-1769 d. 6-25-1833, born at ‘Greenfield’ and died at ‘Smithfield’. She married Nathaniel Hart of Kentucky and they had 7 children.
Letitia Hart
Sally Hart
Nathaniel Hart II
Louisiana Hart
William Hart
Virginia Hart
Mary Hart
William Preston b. 9-3-1770 d. 1-29-1821, born at ‘Greenfield’. He became a Captain in General Wayne’s Army, probably in his expedition against the Indians. He resided in Louisville, Ky. He married Miss Caroline Hancock and they had 6 children.
Henrietta Preston married Albert Sidney Johnston who commanded he army that invaded Utah in 1857, known as “Johnston’s Army” and who afterwards was killed, April 6, 1862, while General In Command of the Confederate forces at the battle of Shiloh. They had 2 children:
William Preston Johnston, a Col. in the Confederate Army, confidential Aide to President Jefferson Davis, and a Professor at Washington College in Virginia. He married Miss Rosa Duncan of Natchez and they had 6 children:
Mary Johnston
Henrietta Johnston
Rosa Johnston
Albert Sidney Johnston
Margaret P. Johnston
Caroline Johnston
Henrietta Johnston, unmarried.
Caroline Preston married Abram Woolley , later a Colonel in the Union Army, they had one child, Abram Preston Woolley who died unmarried. (Another source shows their child to be William Preston Woolley, also died unmarried.)
Josephine Preston married Capt. Jasine Rogers who became a Captain in the Union Army. They had 5 children:
William Preston Rogers m. Sophia L. Ranney, of Louisville, KY. They had 3 children:
Josephine Rogers
Adeline Rogers
Ella R. Rogers
Susan Rogers m. J. Watson Barr, a lawyer of Louisville, KY. They had 5 children:
Anna W. Barr
John W. Barr
Caroline H. Barr
Susan R. Barr
Jason R. Barr
Sidney Johnston Rogers m. Belle Brent, dau. of T. Y. Brent of Louisville, KY.
Maria P. Rogers m. her relative, Dr. Thos. P. Satterwhite, of Louisville, KY. They had 3 children:
Lilly Satterwhite
Thomas P. Satterwhite
Preston P. Satterwhite
Jason Rogers, Jr. died in youth.
William Preston Jr., born near Louisville, Ky. Oct 16, 1816, married a relative, Margaret Wyckliffe (also spelled Wickliffe), daughter of Robert Wyckliffe, of Lexington, Ky. He died Sept. 21, 1867. He was a lawyer, became a member of the Constitutional Convention of Kentucky, a Congressman from that state 1852-53; Lt. Col. of the Kentucky Volunteers in the Mexican War, Minister to the Court of Spain in 1858-61, and a Major-General in the Confederate Army. William and Margaret had 5 children:
Mary Owen Preston who married John Mason Brown a relative, a colonel of Cavalry in the Union Army, a lawyer of distinction and a genealogist.
Caroline H. Preston married Robert A. Thornton a lawyer of Lexington, KY.
Margaret H. Preston who married George M. Davis.
Robert Wickliffe Preston who married Miss McDowell.
Jessie Freemont (or Fremont) Preston who married Mr. Draper.
Susan Preston married first Howard Christy, of St. Louis, MO, and second H. P. Hepburn of San Francisco but had no issue.
Maria Preston married John Pope of Louisville, Ky. No issue.
Mary Preston b. 10-7-1772 d. 2-24-1824 born at ‘Greenfield’ and died at her home in Sweet Springs, West Virginia. She married Capt. John Lewis of Sweet Springs, b 8-24-1758 d. 6-5-1823. They married Oct 1793 and had 9 children.
James Patton Preston b. 6-21-1774 d. 5-4-1843 born at Smithfield. He married Miss Nancy Taylor of Norfolk, Va. on June 13, 1801. He was Governor of Virginia, 1816-1819. They had 6 children.
Letitia Preston b. 9-29-1776. She married Gov. John Floyd (Governor of Virginia 1830-1834) and they had 9 children. See her memoirs under Documents
Thomas Lewis Preston b. 8-19-1780 d. 8-12-1812. An attorney at law, became Attorney-General of the United States, a member of the Virginia Legislature and a Major in the War of 1812. He married Miss Edmonia Randolf, dau. of Edmond Randolf (or Randolph). He was buried in the Presbyterian Church yard in Lexington, Va. They had 2 children.
Elizabeth R. Preston married William A. Cocke, of Cumberland, Virginia and they had 4 sons:
William A. Cocke fell at the battle of Gettysburg.
Thomas L. P. Cocke married his cousin Letitia P. Lewis and they had 2 children:
Letitia P. Cocke
A son died in infancy.
Edmond R. Cocke, unmarried.
John Preston Cocke, unmarried.
John Thomas Lewis Preston married first Sally Carruthers (Caruthers ?) of Lexington, Va. and second Margaret Junkin also of Lexington, the poetess. Margaret Junkin’s sister married ‘Stonewall Jackson’. John Preston became a colonel in the Confederate Army and a professor in the Virginia Military Institute. John and Sally had 7 children:
Edmonia R. Preston died young.
Thomas Lewis Preston who married Lucy Waddell and became a minister. They had 3 children.
William C. Preston who was killed while serving in the Confederate Army.
Phebe A. Preston unmarried.
Francis Preston unmarried.
Edmond Russell Preston married Julia Jackson, granddaughter of Thomas Jonathan Jackson (Stonewall Jackson). (In Brown’s “The Preston Family”, he indicates that Edmond R. Preston died young.)
John T. L. Preston.
John had by his second wife, Margaret Junkin, two children:

George J. Preston.
a son.
Margaret Brown Preston (“Peggie”) b. 2-23-1784 d. 5-4-1843. Born at Smithfield seven months after her fathers death. She married Col. John Preston b 7-8-1781 d. 10–1864 in 1802. Col. John Preston is of the Walnut Grove Prestons. They had 14 children.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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