INSISTS "EMILY GEIGER'S GRAVE"
IS INVENTION BY MYTH BUILDERS
Secretary of Historical Commission Cites Records in His Office as Events in Threewits Family.
To the Editor of The State:
I am sorry that Mrs. Sallie Lou Watson Strother rejects the two distinguished officers of the Revolution whom I had graciously placed first and second in her line of Threewits ancestors, and insist on making her descent from one of the numerous husbands of Emily Geiger.
If her contention is correct, then most of the evidence given in fire proceedings in the court of equity of South Carolina 1510 to 1844 was false. Some Of that evidence was given by the mother of the man Mrs. Strother shows was her grandfather's grandfather and by that man himself. If Mrs. Strother will turn to page 560 of the fourth volume of DeSaussure's Equity Reports she will find Chancellor DeSaussure's resume of the evidence given in the case of "Catherine Threewits by her next friend, vs, Llewellin Threewits", which was heard at Columbia in July 1 15. She will observe that Mrs. Thomas," the mother of the defendant 'was a witness at the hearing; that Captain Thomas, step-father of the defendant, was a witness; that Major Threewits, 'the uncle of the defendant', also testified; that "Colonel Chappell, a near relation of the defendant," had interviewed both parties to the action with a view of bringing about a settlement.
How did Mrs. Thomas happen to be the mother of the defendant? She was the widow of Llewellin Threewits, son of Capt. Joel Threewits, who died during the Revolution, end brother of Major John Threewits, captain in the Revolution, major of militia and for many years senator from the election district of Saxe Gotha, later Lexington. He had himself been a soldier of the Revolution, attaining the rank of Lieutenant and acting as regimental adjutant for two regiments on different tours of duty. After his death about 1796 his widow, Mrs. Eleanor Threewits, married Capt. John Thomas in 1800.
Major Threewits, "the uncle of the defendant" was Major John Threewits. He was at that time one of the best known men in the state from his long service in both branches of the General Assembly and from his war record. That is why Chancellor Deseussure refers to him intimately as "Major Threewits".
"Colonel Chappell, a near relation of the defendant", was John Joel Chappell, first cousin of the defendant. Colonel Chappel's mother was Elizabeth Threewits, daughter of Capt. Joel Threewits, and sister of defendants father, Llewellin Threwits, of Major John Threewits, "the uncle of the defendant", and of Joel Threewits, the father of that other Llewellin T. Threewits, whose wife, Josephine Loire Threewits, is buried on Major John Threewits' old place out on Highway No. 2.
Mrs. Strother will also observe that Chancellor DeSaussure refers to a marriage bond executed by Llewellen W. Threewits October 20, 1813. That bond is recorded in my office. By it he deeded property in trust for the benefit of his wife to Jesse Daniel, her brother, and Joel Adams, Jr. This same LlewellenWilliamson Threewits had on January 3, 1810, filed in Equity a "Bill to Account' against John and Eleanor Thomas, "Humbly complaining sheweth unto your Honors your orator Llewellen Williamson Threwitts of Lexington District and State aforesaid that he is the son and only child of Llewellen Threewits late of the said District and State Deceased and that your Orators and Father died about fourteen years since leaving a widow (Eleanor by name) your orators mother".... "that his Sd. Father departed this life when your orator was very young".... "that about the year eighteen hundred the said Eleanor ye. orators mother intermarried with a certain John Thomas."... "that having lately arrived at the age of twenty one years" he asks for an accounting. He secured possession of his property and in February, 1810, married Catherine Daniel, and on the 24th of June, 1811, Llewellin W. Threewits and wife filed a "Bill of Relief" in Equity against John Daniel wherein they themselves "your orator Llewe1lyn Threewits and your oratrix Catherine Threewits of the District of Lexington" and speech of "William Daniel late of the district of Edgefield in the State aforesaid father of your oratrix'.
That should be sufficient to convince Mrs. Strother that she does not descend from John Threewits and Eleanor Fitzpatrick, but from John's brother Llewellin and Eleanor, but if she is not convinced I can show her many records that cannot be boiled down for newspaper consumption, and if she wil1 come over I wjll show them to her.
By the testimony in the cases in equity of John T. Heath et el vs. John H. Threewits and Joel L. Tucker vs. John H. Threewits it is established that John Threewits married several years prior to 1786 Mary Thomas, one of the two daughters of John Thomas Jr., and that she lived with him until her death in 1840; that John Threewits could not have married Emily Geiger after June or July, 1781, when she is alleged to have taken her ride; have begotten a child by her; have had that child to grow old enough to make sufficient impression upon its surroundings to cause a relative to name a child for it and then have married Mary Thomas several years prior to 1786. Mary Thomas' sister, Sarah, died in the latter year. She had had two children who survived her. She and Mary had received their lands at marriage. ~1aj. John Threewits had acquired the plantation out on Highway No. 2, heretofore referred to, upon marrying her. If Emily Geiger was his first wife, did he bury her on his prospective second wife's land?
If Emily was the first wife of Llewellin Threewits, so as to bear out Mrs. Strother's tradition about her great-grandmother having been named for Emily's child, why should her husband have buried her upon this Thomas plantation about that time it was acquired by his brother?
The fixing of Emily Geiger's grave on that tract of land came about in this way. Some writers said she married John Threewits; others said she married Llewellin Threewits. That stone to Josephine Love Threewits, wife of One of the two first cousins of the name Llewellin Williamson Threewits furnished a cue to someone not critical of dates end ages who forthwith invented her burial place. The burial of Josephine out back of the house took place in 1813. The old major, his wife a~. John Hawkins Threewits, the next owner of the place, are probably buried in the enclosure in front of the house which has the name Threewits wrought in iron at the opening. I have not claimed that the absence of a tombstone negatives the existence of Emily Geiger, but I claim that the absence of a tombstone near that Of Josephine Love Threewits on the Plantation of John Threewits to prove that she was buried there; that the facts disclosed by these chancery or equity cases showing that there was no connection between the Geigers and John Threewits until after l8l8, when a niece married William Geiger; that no records have yet been produced to show the existence of Emily Geiger prior to the publication of Mrs. Ellet's book in 1848, constitutes strong, presumptive evidence that-the spot that for about 30 years has been shown as her burial place has come to be such merely because it has been mothered by necessity.
The Geiger wills I have referred to as ignoring Emily were all made prior to 1731, when she is alleged to have been very much alive. I have a great collection of material on the history of the Geiger family, which I will publish at a future date, and if I ever find a record of Emily Geiger I am going to give her the fullest page therein.
Since the publication of my story November 6, I have received a copy of a letter from a lady in Johnston which had come from a gentlemen in Lafayette, La., who traced his ancestry right back to Emily Geiger and her husband Drury Culpeper. I will have to indict Emily for bigamy yet.
As to the spelling of the name, I have nine autographs of the old major and he spells it Threewits every time. I have two of Llewellin and he used the same spelling, and that spelling is used generally in documents and contemporary newspapers.
A. S. Salley Jr.
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Comment by ye webmiester: Mr. Salley is, if I may say so, and I will (grin), pedantic at best, in these letters.