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Thomas Poe (Powe)

Spotsylvania County, Virginia

Cheraw District, South Carolina

Selected records and data


Spotsylvania Records from



Marsom Poe was first in Caroline County. He seems to be a  relative of the other Poe families in Caroline County. In the Spotsylvania records we see Benjamin Poe and wife Elizabeth; Samuel Poe is in records. We also see an unidentified Edward Poe. The Browning and Sutton families who were neighbors of the elder Samuel Poe (d. 1725) are present in these Spotsylvania records. Edward Herndon is related to the Caroline County Herndon family who were close to the Simon Poe SR group. Simon Poe makes a court appearance in Spotsylvania County for a James White in 1738. In 1772 Thomas Powe is associated with a James White. Additionally, the Watts family is present in the Spotsylvania records. This family was also close to the Simon Poe group.


Another Thomas Poe, born in 1749 in Spotsylvania moved to Henrico County, Virginia. It is not clear to which family he belongs.


17 August 1754

page 197

Samuel Waggener and Bettie, his wife, of St. George Parish Spots. Co. to Edward Coleman of Co. and Par afsd pounds 40 curr 100 a in St. George Par. Spots Co. Joseph Allen, Richard Long, Mossom (X) Poe. Oct 1, 1754. (note that Elsie Chapman alters this spelling to Powe in her book).


Deed Book F 1761-1766

Nov. 8, 1763 (recorded)

9 August 1763

John Benger of Spts. Co. to Larkin Chew of same Co., Gent. Mortgage. Several slaves. Witnesses, Thomas Powe, George Stubblefield, Richd. Johnston, John Roy. Nov. 8, 1763



6 September 1768 (recorded)

Feby. 2, 1768. Benjamin Winslow of Spts. Co. to Beverley Winslow of same Co., Gent. Mortgage. 595 a., part of the tract whereon sd. Beverley now lives, and given the sd. Benjamin by his mother, Susanna Winslow, etc. Also several negroes. Witnesses, O. Towles, jr., Thomas Powe, Jos. Herndon, Harry Winslow.



Massom Powe

7 August 1769

Jany. 26, 1769. John Glenn of Spts Co. to Richard Coleman of Co. afsd Pounds 21 5s 3d curr. Mortgage. 200 a. in St. Geo. Par., Spts. Co.,  adjoining lands of James Davis, Jno Jinkins (sic), Massom Powe and Garretts, which land sd. Glenn purchased of Wm. Garrett., etc. Witnesses, Bevy. Winslow, John Chew, John Gadbery.



From Caroline County court records


15th of June 1771

p. 234 Court 15th of June 1771

Ordered Thomas Tiller pay Coleman Ross fifty pounds of Tobo for attending this court two days as an Evidence for him at

the suit of Thomas Powe.


p. 235 Court 15th of June 1771

Thomas Poe against Thomas Tiller. On Petition came the parties by their attorneys, and on hearing the testimony on both

sides, It is considered by the Court tht the same be dismissed and that the Deft. Recover of the petitioner his costs by him

in this behalf expended


The Biography below states that Thomas Powe began acquiring land in South Carolina in 1771. It is not clear when he actually relocated.


Spotsylvania County


21 April 1774

Will Book E 1772-1798



Rice Curtis Spotsylvania Co., d. Aug 8, 1763, p. Apr. 21, 1774. Wit. Larkin Chew, George Stubblefield, Thomas Powe, John Standly, Ambrose Smith. Ex. Joseph and Edward Herndon. Leg. daughter Jane Curtis, all my right, title and interest which I now have, or hereafter shall or may have in two tracts of land, one lying in Louisa Co., and the other in King William Co., which said lands I purchased of John Waller, Junr. and Elizabeth, his wife, and William Carter and Frances, his wife, it being the land the said Waller and Carter held in right of their wives under the will of John Benger, Gentl. decd. as by said will proved and recorded in the County Court of King William Co. and by Bond duly executed and bearing date May 27, 1763, from said John Waller, Junr. and William Carter; also I give one negro girl named Jenny, which was given her by her grandfather Rice Curtis, Gentl. decd. children Mary Vass, Martha Pendleton, Rice Curtis, Elizabeth Waller, Frances Carter and Jane Curtis (page 63)



Marsom Powe

Died 13 August 1782

page. 38

Powe Marsom Berkley Parish Spotsylvania Co. d 13 Aug. 1782 Executors bond dated 21 Nov. 1782. wit. Gibson Jenkins, James Abbett, Jno. Jenkins. Ex. son Thomas Powe and friend Beverley Winslow. Leg. daughter Lucy; and son Thomas Powe "All the lands I now live on etc. .. balance of estate to be divided among all my children."



Biographical Directory of the South Carolina Senate 1776-1985

Volume II



N. Louise Bailey

Mary L. Morgan

Carolyn R. Taylor

Univ. of SC Press



THOMAS POWE (Sr.) (1747-1817).

Grandfather of THOMAS ELLERBE POWE (1800-1879);

father-in-law of JOHN DEWITT, JR. (b. 1765?).

Thomas Powe, son of Marsom Powe, was born 17 May 1747 in Virginia.

He came to South Carolina in the early 1760s, settling in Cheraw District.

Residing first on Cedar Creek, he later moved to the Great Pee Dee River near Cheraw.


Between 1771 and 1802, he obtained grants for 9,805 acres, including 640 acres on Thompsons Creek, 6,700 acres on Westfield Creek*, and 275 acres on Lynches Creek.


* Heads in North Carolina, flows southeast to join the Pee Dee River to form the Great Pee Dee River, 2.4 km (1.5 mi) north of Cheraw.


Furthermore, he and WILLIAM DEWITT (d. 1813) together were granted 1,000 acres along the Pee Dee (1804).


According to the 1810 federal census, he owned 100 slaves.


Public service for Powe began during the American Revolution. In 1775 he was named a member of the committee of observation for St. David Parish and was commissioned a first lieutenant in the militia. Subsequently, he served as commissary of Colonel George Hicks (1730?-1793) Regiment (1779).


After the war, St. David elected him to the House for the Fifth (1783-1784) and Sixth (1785-1786) General Assemblies. The newly es­tablished election district of Chesterfield chose him for the Ninth General Assembly (1791), but he declined to serve in the House.


Elected to the state Senate in a special election, Powe qualified 30 April 1794 to represent Marlboro, Chesterfield, & Darlington election district in the Tenth General Assembly (1792-1794) and continued service in the Eleventh General Assembly (1794­1795).


Following another special election for the Senate and qualification on 25 November 1801, he served Marlboro, Chesterfield, & Darlington in the Fourteenth General Assembly (1800-1801).


Other offices he held included ves­tryman (1776-1778, 1780-1781, 1785-1786) and churchwarden (1783-1784) for St. David; tax inquirer and collector for St. David (1778, 1779); clerk of the Court of General Sessions and Common Pleas in Cheraw District (1778­1779); commissioner, for auditing public accounts in Cheraw District (1783); commissioner, for dividing Cheraw District into counties (1783); commissioner, for clearing the Great Pee Dee (1784) and the Great and Little Pee Dee (1785); commissioner of location for Cheraw District (1784); justice of the peace and county court justice for Chesterfield County (1785, 1791); commissioner, to build and repair the courthouse and jail of Chesterfield County (1799); and commissioner, to receive fines collected for obstructing navigation of Thompsons Creek (1813). He was a charter member of the St. David's Society (1777).


Prior to 22 October 1766 when their first child was born, Powe married Rachel Allen, daughter of Sarah and Erasmus Withers Allen of Virginia.


Seven children were born to them:

William Erasmus (1768-1831), Mary (m. 1st William Falconer [d. 1805],' 2d James Howze, 3d John Clark),


Rachel (m. Allen Chapman),

Nancy (m. John Dewitt, Jr.), and

Thomas (1793-1866).


His second wife was Rebecca Ford, daughter of George Ford (d. 1776) and widow of Calvin Spencer (d. 1801). No issue resulted from their union.


Survived by his wife and children, Thomas Powe died sometime in 1817 and was buried in Ches­terfield County.


Tenth General Assembly Marlboro, Chesterfield, & Darlington 1794*

Eleventh General Assembly Marlboro, Chesterfield, & Darlington 1794-1795

Fourteenth General Assembly Marlboro, Chesterfield, & Darlington  1801


SOURCES: Aud. Accts., 6079. Biographical Directory of the House, I: 196, 205, 229; 3: 579-81. Census, 1790, 49. Census, 1800, Chesterfield Co., 105. Census, 1810, Chesterfield Dist., 297. Darlingtoniana, pp. 29, 262. Elsie Chapman Edmonds, John Chapman of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Thomas Powe of Cheraw, South Carolina and Related Families (n.p., 1971), pp. 53, 56-57, 222-24, 226­29, 286, 321, 331, 360, 382, 387. Eligibility Lists, p. 29. Sam J. Ervin, jr., "The Powe Family of Cheraw, South Carolina," ms. on file in office. Grand jury Lists, 1778, 1783. Gregg,pp. 102-3, 237,415,430, 432, 433, 451-52, 453, 460. Misc. Recs., 2U: 7, 77, 278. Moore, Wills, 3: 279. Petit jury Lists, 1778, 1783. Reynolds & Faunt. Royal Grants, 24: 494; 26: 603; 29: 107; 31: 366. S1. David's journal, pp. 40, 41, 45, 49, 54. SC Counties. SCHM, 2: 265; 18: 96n; 26: 152. SC Statutes, 4: 417, 490, 561, 649; 7: 532,538; 9: 468. Senate Journals, 1794 (Special Session), 178; 1801,3­4. State Grants, 9: 125, 126, 127; 13: 205,684; 14: 7; 22: 160; 49: 175,176, 177; 51: 178.


THOMAS ELLERBE POWE (1800-1879). Grandson of Thomas Powe (1747­1817);

grandfather of Edward McIver (1858-1922);

brother-in-law of John Ellerbe (1787-1854) and James Robert Ervin (1788-1836).


Thomas Ellerbe Powe, son of Erasmus Powe (1768-1831) and Esther Ellerbe, was born in late February 1800 near Cheraw.

He attended the University of Pennsylvania from which he received a medical degree in 1823.


Returning to South Carolina, he settled as a physician in Chesterfield District. A planter also, he owned Homestead plantation.


According to the 1860 federal census, his real and personal estates were valued at $35,000 and $110,850 respectively; slave schedules for that year listed 136 slaves as his property. Following a special election to the House, Powe qualified 23 November 1835 to represent Ches­terfield in the Thirty-first General Assembly (1834-1835) and was reelected to the Thirty-second General Assembly (1836-1837).


House committees on which he served included medical (1835-1837), privileges and elections (1836-1837), and ways and means (1836-1837).


Elected to the state Senate, he represented Chesterfield in the Thirty-third (1838-1839), Thirty-fourth (1840-1841), Thirty­ninth (1850-1851), and Fortieth (1852-1853) General Assemblies. However, he was chosen in a special election to the Thirty-ninth General Assembly and qualified 24 November 1851.


While in the Senate, he was a member of the committees ,on accounts (1838-1839); claims (1838-1839); engrossed bills (1838­1839); federal relations (1838-1839); medical accounts (1838-1839); South Carolina College, education, and religion (1840-1841); legislative library (1840­1841); commerce, manufactures, and the mechanic arts (1852-1853); and the lunatic asylum and medical accounts (1852-1853). Other offices which he held were commissioner of free schools for Chesterfield (1842, 1851, 1853); commissioner, to represent the state's stock in the Cheraw and Darlington Railroad (1856-1859); and president of the Pee Dee Medical Society.


Powe was also an active layman in St. David's Episcopal Church. On 18 January 1826, he married Charlotte Harriet Harrington, daughter of James Auld Harrington (1785-1834) and Eleanor Wilson. They were the parents of ten children:

Sarah Ann,

Caroline Harrington (m. Henry McIver),

Erasmus William (1833-1836), 

James Harrington,

Thomas Erasmus (1838-1863),

Eleanor Esther,

Harriet Elizabeth (m. Samuel Gillespie Godfrey),

John Henry,

William Alexander (1847-1851), and

Charlotte Rosanna. His wife predeceased him 22 June 1859. Survived by four children,


Thomas Ellerbe Powe died intestate 14 August 1879.


Thirty-third General Assembly  Chesterfield (all below as well)

Thirty-fourth General Assembly

Thirty-ninth General Assembly

Fortieth General Assembly



1838-1839 1840-1841 1851* 1852-1853

SOURCES: Acts & Resolutions, 1838,7,8. Biographical Directory of the House, I: 330, 334. Census, 1840, Chesterfield Dist., 363. Census, 1850, Chesterfield Dist., 104. Census, 1860, Chesterfield Dist., 114. Census, 1870, Chesterfield Co., 270. Chesterfield Co. Probate Recs., #182. Clark Cox, General Henry William Harrington and the Harrington Cemetery (Rockingham, NC, 1979), p. 7. Davidson, pp. 86, 114, 240-41. Elsie Chapman Edmonds, john Chapman of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Thomas Powe of Cheraw, South Carolina and Related Families (n.p., 1971), pp. 222, 286, 295, 296, 305-11, 319, 320-21. General Assembly Petitions, n.d., #1965, #2069. Gregg, p. 102. Holcomb, Notices

from Camden Newspapers, p. 84. Holcomb, St. David's, pp. 38, 41, 42, 44, 46, 47, 49, 53, 58, 92, 100, 107, ll5, ll8, ll9, 126, 129, 141. House Journals, 1835,22; 1836,3-4,6. Mise. Recs., L: 441; 0: 156. Mortality Schedules, 1880, Chesterfield Co., 1. Report5 & Resolutions, 1841, Ill; 1851, 235; 1853,224; 1856, 340; 1857,426; 1858,446; 1859, 577. Reynolds & Faunt. Senate & House journals, 1840, 9. Senate journals, 1851, 3; 1852, 17. Slave Schedules, 1850, Chesterfield Dist., 10-12, Slave Schedules, 1860, Chesterfield Dist., 11-13. USC Alumni Recs. Wallace, History of SC, 4: 870.