The Hobbs Family as early settlers of California. Nancy Kelsey the First American Woman in California 1841, Sarah Jane Hobbs Lewis Stubblefield came on a 1853 Wagon train. Mahala Gann came with her parents in 1847 on the Hopper Wagon train. In 1846, John Wheeler Green, abt. four years old, the family crossed the plains as members of the ill-fated Donner Party, but left that group in, joining the Wheeler/Harlan Wagon train, thus escaping the fate which befell the Donner’s. From Olive C. Hobbs

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vincent Hobbs, Jr.

Notes for Jr Vincent Hobbs:
Vincent Hobbs, Jr. who killed the Indian Benge, April 9,1794. The following is an account given by Mrs. Elizabeth Livingston, who was one of the people captured by the Indian Benge. The full account is in the book "Southwest Virginia, 1746-1786 - Washington County, 1777-1870".

Just the last day of capture is given here.

"April, 9th. After traveling about five miles, which was over Powell's mountain, and near the foot of the Stone mountain, a party of thirteen men under the command of Lieutenant Vincent Hobbs, of the militia of Lee county, met the enemy in front, attacked and killed Benge the first fire, I being at that time some distance off in the rear. The Indian who was my guard at first halted on hearing the firing. He then ordered me to run, which I performed slowly. He attempted to strike me in the head with the tomahawk, which I defended as well as I could with my arm. By this time two of our people came in view, which encouraged me to struggle all I could. The Indian making a effort at this instant pushed me backward, and I fell over a log, at the same time aiming a violent blow at my head, which in part spent its force on me and laid me for dead. The first thing I afterwords remembered was my good friends around me, giving me all the assistance in their power for my relief. They told me I was senseless for about an hour." Vincent Hobbs was a Lieutenant in the militia of Lee county and, at the time in question, he was attending the court of that county which was in session. Upon the arrival of the express with the news of the Indian invasion, the court immediately adjourned and a party was organized upon the spot., under the command of Hobbs, to waylay a gap in Cumberland mountain called the Stone gap, through which, it was supposed, the Indians were most likely to pass. On his arrival at the gap, Hobbs discovered that the Indians had just passed through before him; he therefore pursued with eagerness and soon discovered two Indians kindling a fire; these, they instantly dispatched, and finding some plunder with them, which they knew must have been taken out of Livingston's house they at once came to the conclusion that these two had been sent forward to hunt for provisions and that the others were yet behind with the prisoners. "The object of Hobbs was now to make a quick retreat, to cover his own sign if possible, at the gap, before the Indians should discover it, and perhaps, kill the prisoners and escape. Having gained this point he chose a place of ambuscade; but not exactly liken this position he left the men there, and taking one with him by the name of Van Bibber, he went some little distance in advance to try if he could find a place more suitable for his purpose. As they stood looking around for such a place, they discovered the Indians coming up with their prisoners. They cautiously concealed themselves and each singled out his man. Benge, having charge of the younger Mrs. Livingston, led the van, and the others, followed in succession; but the Indian who had charge of the elder Mrs. Livingston was considerably behind, she not being able to march with the same light, elastic step of her sister. When the front came directly opposite to Hobbs,and Van Bibber they both fired, Hobbs killing Benge, and Van Bibber the one next behind him. At the crack of the rifle the other men rushed forward, but the Indians had escaped into a laurel thicket, taking with them a negro fellow. The Indian who had charge of the elder Mrs. Livingston tried his best to kill her, but he was so hurried that he missed his aim. Her arms were badly cut by defending her head from the blows of his tomahawk. The prisoners had scarcely time to recover from their surprise before the two Livingstons, who heard the guns and were now in close pursuit with a party of men from Washington, came running up and received their wives at the hands of Hobbs with a gust of joy. Four Indians were killed and five had escaped, and it appears they were separated into parties of three and two. The first had the negro fellow with them, and, by his account, they lodged that night in a cave, where he escaped from them and got home.

In the meantime a party of the hardy mountaineers of Russell County collected and proceeded in haste to waylay a noted Indian crossing place high up on the Kentucky river. When they got there they found some Indians had just passed. They immediately drew the same conclusion that Hobbs had done, and hastened back to the river for fear those behind should discover their sign. Shortly after they had stationed themselves, the other three made their appearance; the men fired upon them, two fell and the other fled, but left a trail of blood behind him, which readily conducted his pursuers to where he had taken refuge in a thick canebrake. It was thought imprudent to follow him any further, as he might be concealed and kill some of them before they could discover him. Thus eight of the party were killed and the other perhaps mortally wounded." Colonel Campbell communicated to the Governor of Virginia the circumstances attending this raid by the Indians, along with the written statement of Mrs. Livingstone, as heretofore given. Colonel Campbell in his letter to the Governor, says: "The scalp of Captain Benge, I have been requested to forward to your Excellency, as Lieutenant Hobbs, in killing him and relieving the prisoners. Could it be spared from our treasury, I would beg leave to hint that a present of a neat rifle to Mr. Hobbs would be accepted, as a reward for his late services, and the Executive may rest assured that it would serve as a stimulus for future exertions against the enemy." The General Assembly of Virginia, pursuant to this recommendation, voted Lieutenant Vincent Hobbs a handsome and costly silver-mounted rifle. Many of the descendants of Lieutenant Hobbs live in Southwest Virginia at this time, and are highly respected and patriotic. One of the principal creeks in the county of Wise, at this day bears the name of the Indian chief, Benge. This is the last recorded invasion of Southwest Virginia by the red men.


[This is an excerpt from "Frontier Forts," by Emory L. Hamilton found on Scott County, VA genweb, Historical Sketches, at: http://vagenweb.org/scott/HSpubl27.html. There is another article about Chief Benge's last raid by Luther F. Addington which gives a lively account by Mrs. Livingston and speaks of the special rifle presented to Vincent Hobbs, Jr.]

By Emory L. Hamilton
"...Benham's Fort
Located on the North Fork of the Holston River near Mendota was the fort of John Benham. This was perhaps only a family fort for no mention is made of militia troops ever having been stationed there, or that it was in use after the Revolutionary War. The date the fort was built is unknown, but John Benham settled there in 1769.
He owned a thousand acres of land along the Holston River about four miles below the village of Holston. (39) John Benham was evidently a brother-in-law to the elder Vincent Hobbs, and Benham had a son named Vincent as did Hobbs, and both had sons named Joel. The Hobbs and Benhams lived on adjoining farms. There was also a connection between these families and the family of John Douglas who was killed by the Indians at Little Moccasin Gap in 1776. (40) John Douglas who lived with his father Edward Douglas on Clinch River, near Flour Ford in present day Scott County, Virginia, may have been returning from a visit with these relatives when slain by the Indians. John Benham, builder of Benham's Fort died in 1800..."


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