“Susannah Ware and Daughter Ann Payne “Take Tea” with “Aunt” Dolley.”

A Story, as told by daughter Agnes Ware Sergeant to Family.

Taken from the “Richardson/Ware/Stanfield” notes:

Selected by Betty Jean (Davis) Fitzgerald.


The story is based on the following quote:  “1800 Grandmother Ann Payne Ware 1.  James Richardson,  2. Steven Sergeant , often spoke to Mother (Agnes Ware Sergeant nee Stanfield wife of Dr. Josiah Asbury Stanfield of Leasburg, Caswell Co., NC.) of her many pleasant visits to her Aunt Dorothy Payne nee Madison, living in Virginia, when she (Grandmother) was twelve to fifteen years of age, as she being the oldest “niece” was a special favorite.”

We have to turn “history” detective and try and place the “visits” within dates, and correct certain statements.

First:  Dolley (named “Dolley” at birth, and she always signed that way) called all her host of relations her “nieces”.  Actually, Susannah was a first cousin, once removed, as she was daughter to Dolley’s uncle; Robert Payne and Ann (Burton) Payne of Goochland & Henry Co., VA.  Susannah was born near Leaksville, Rockingham Co., NC, on “Cascades”, the Robert Payne plantation near the Dan River., which she as her husband’s 2nd wife, (William Ware) would inherit from her father.  From here she raised a large family.

Daughter, “Nancy” Ann (Payne) Ware, b. 1792,  would return from her new home, “The Brickhouse” four mile south of Danville, in “Providence”, Caswell Co., NC, to her mothers, by horse & wagon, to give birth to her first two of five children by James Richardson.  A long time custom.  (Future president James Madison’s mother did the same thing in VA.)

A few miles east of “Cascades” was the plantation of  Andrew & Anna (Payne) Harrison , sister of Robert & John, and many other Goochland cousins whose parents had migrated into Pittsylvania Co.’s (old Lunnenberg,) and NC’s Granville land Grant.  While Robert & Anna Paynes brother, John & Mary (Coles) Payne married in 1761 and set up housekeeping on Little Byrd Creek, VA.

In 1765 Now “Quaker” John Payne and his wife & son Walter moved to North Carolina, bought land, established their home in the “Quaker” settlement of New Garden, and became members of the “Quaker” New Garden Monthly Meeting.  They were located, only about 15 miles south of their cousins, and grandparents, Josias Payne & Anna Flemming, all on the Dan River.  In 1766, June 17,  a son William Temple was born.  Followed in 1768, May 20, Dolley Payne was born in the very large, two storied log cabin home of her parents, at New Garden.  (Present, Guilford College, Rowan Co., NC.)

Note:  The British spelling is “Guildford”, as in “The Battle of Guildford Courthouse”, between the troops led by Col. Cornwallis against the Patriot army led by “Quaker” General Nathanial Green.)  Before that the Regulator Movement, segues into the battle of the Alamance.  Family on both sides will later be involved with the MS/LA war of 1812.  For ex:  The king’s “High Sheriff, Tyree Harris, of Orange Co.), NC, and others who are involved in the later conflicts, with passions still hot.

Dolley in VA.

In 1769 they move back to VA.  Their journey takes six weeks.  With a young family, a baby and a toddler, Dolley, they surely stopped and visited with brother, sister & parents along the Dan River.

Upon arrival in VA they will purchase Scotchtown, and in 1771 will sell it to cousin Patrick Henry.  Mary Coles Payne will grow to womanhood at their new plantation on Coles Hill.  Five more children: Isaac. Lucy, Anna, Mary, and John.

Dolley’s other “first cousins”:  Agnes and Mary Woodson Payne.

Dolley’s other “first cousins”, two younger sisters of Susannah, are Agnes and Mary Woodson.   Both will marry sons of the famous High Sheriff of Orange Co., Tyree Harris.

Agnes m:  1. Robert Harris, 1795.  He dies while they are still in Caswell Co.`  2. Marmaduke Williams:  “He was born in Caswell County on the 6th of April1772.  Married 25 Dec. 1798 in Yancyville to Agnes Harris, maiden name Payne.  In 1802 elected to the State Senate, and the next year elected to Congress to succeed his brother, Robert Williams, who was appointed by Mr. Jefferson, Governor of Mississippi.  He remained in Congress until 1809.

In 1810 he removed to Tennessee with his mother-in-law, “widow” Ann (Burton) Payne.  There he practices law for a year and ½, as the new county’s courthouse is located in the famous “Widow” Payne’s tavern/courthouse, on the road between Knoxville, TN & Nashville.  Following her death in 1810, he and Agnes move to the Territory of AL, where he looses by 12 votes becoming first governor.  The goes from Huntsville, to Tuscaloosa, where he helps establish the new state gov.  In 1832 elected judge of Tuscaloosa.  Dies, 29 Oct. 1850.

His brother, Robert Williams b. Oct 30, 1766, m. after Oct. 2, 1790 another Patrick Henry cousin, Elizabeth Winston, b. 1772, d. Jul 25, 1814, Washington, MS is appointed the Gov. of the Territory of MS by Jefferson.  She came to MS by wagon to marry him.  Another romantic story, in an age of high adventure and daring.

Note:  These are sons of Nathaniel Williams and Mary Ann Williamson.  Both born in Hanover co., VA, a leader and congressman from Rockingham, Co., NC.

Youngest sister Mary Woodson m. Christopher Harris, and will migrate with other Harris lines to Henderson, TN., where he dies 12 Jan. 1801.  She then m. 2nd. John Cooper, and they move to Nashville, TN.

In Feb., 1801 In VA, James Madison, Sr., Dolley’s father-in-law, died.

There would seem to be several strong reasons to journey from “Cascades” on the Cascade River, feeding into the Dan River, out of the “frontier” western edge of Henry Co., over to the new center of Danville, VA, and from there to Washington, DC.  A long, difficult trip.  A coincidence, perhaps, that Marmaduke Williams was in Congress, 1803-09, fitting the dates that the young girl, Ann Payne Ware passed from childhood, age 12, to young maidenhood, 15, standing on the threshold of her “coming out”.   Who better to launch her than the appointed “social leader” of the new society in the “new country” at it’s center,  Washington.   Dolley knew that the unspoken duty of every mother was to “arrange” a proper “match” for all her female offspring’s, including cousins, and she filled that role with relish.

Dolley was the acknowledged hostess of Jefferson’s “Presidents House”, and the leader of the ladies of the new government, coming from all points and backgrounds of the country, and foreign ministers.  In 1802 Mrs. Madison aided President Jefferson with the entertainment of his two daughters, Mrs. Thomas M. Randolph, (The Payne/ Woodson/ Flemming line and Mrs. John Wayles Eppes, who made their first visit to Washington.   (The Payne/Pocahontas line.)

Dolley’s husband was appointed by him to be the Secretary of State.  He assisted President Jefferson in the negotiations for making the Louisiana Purchase.  Also in 1803 Dolley took great interest in the Lewis & Clark expedition, and helped organize preparations for her cousins Merriweather Lewis and Clark.

She excelled in all things, writing in the “Italian” style, formally used by Queen Elizabeth for state documents, as well as the common “Secretarial”, which was considered perfect.  As for her race horses, she had the best.  That being the one activity considered appropriate for all the high-spirited young persons.

“Taking Tea” was serious business.  What we would call today, a window of opportunity.

Any knowledge of these three years, regarding the actual travel, made popular by some new invention will be gratefully acknowledged.

Best Regards,

Betty Fitzgerald

909 Yarmouth Road

Raleigh, NC  27607







“Susannah Ware and Daughter Ann Payne “Take Tea” with “Aunt” Dolley.” — 2 Comments

  1. Sorry for spelling errors. Also, hope to get any additions. This is done in the spirit of discovering the real people. Dolley has taken so very much from those who “envy”.
    No one can fill her shoes today.
    Betty Fitzgerald.

  2. This is a treasure of family history. May it always be preserved for future generations. Thank you for sharing this.


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