Monday, April 15, 2013

Thomas Brown In The Hornet's Nest

The Hornet's Nest, A novel of the Revolutionary War by Jimmy Carter, is concerned with the war "as it was fought in Georgia and the Carolinas...".

The character of particular interest is Thomas Brown, "organizer and leader of Florida Rangers," who is one of the characters "mentioned in history books, actions fictionalized."

Thomas Brown was Donald Cameron's father-in-law; Donald Cameron MIGHT be an ancestor through his first wife (the jury is still out on that one).

Chapter 21 is entitled, "Thomas Brown, British Spy."  Brown approached Orangeburg [South Carolina], which was sixty miles from his house.  The locals learned from a visitor from Augusta [Georgia] that Brown was "...the king's man... ."  "He's just a damned lieutenant in the British army, but they say he's the bastard son of Lord North....". [He wasn't, according to the novel]  "My cousin went to his house across the Savannah River...where [he's] been given five thousand acres of land...".  "Governor Wright made him a magistrate... ."

According to The Hornet's Nest, "Thomas Brown was actually a native of Yorkshire, born in 1750, and the eldest son of Jonas Brown, a prosperous shipowner."

From the website My Georgia History:

"Thomas Brown, the name can bring cold shivers.  Thomas Brown was born  May 27, 1750, in Whitley of Yorkshire.  His dad was Jonas Brown, and his mother, was Margaret Jackson Brown."

"In 1774, Thomas moved to Georgia and became the next door neighbor to Daniel Marshall, the great pioneer preacher of the “Separate Baptist Movement.”  Marshall had arrived in what is today called Appling [Columbia County, Georgia], then known as Brownsboro."

The King's Ranger: Thomas Brown and the American Revolution..., by Edward J. Cashin, added the following details:

--A member of the family that included Sir Anthony Browne, who was Master of the Horse for King Henry VIII

--Jonas's great-grandfather may have been disinherited because he was Protestant

--Jonas was a native of Whitby

--In 1739 Jonas married a widow, Margaret Jackson (nee Hustrodes?), who was 10 years older and was part of the Newton family

--Jane Browne Linskill was Jonas's aunt from whom he inherited a house

--Children of Jonas and Margaret Browne were Jane, Mary, Margaret, Jonas and Thomas

--Bagdale Hall, where Isaac Newton (a possible relative of Sir Isaac Newton), Thomas's great-grandfather had lived, along with Thomas's grandmother, Adeline (Adeline and Margaret, Thomas's mother, were dead by 1771)

--Jonas remarried

An article about Thomas Brown was published with information about his post-Revolutionary War life.

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