Jonathan Magness

Male 1757 - 1834  (~ 77 years)


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  • Name Jonathan Magness 
    Born 0___ 1757  Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Also Known As John Magness  [2
    Died 0___ 1834  Magness, Independence County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    Buried Magness Cemetery, Magness, Independence County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID I4140  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 11 Jul 2014 

    Father Peregrine Magness, Jr.,   b. Abt 1722, (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1800, (Warren County, Kentucky) Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 78 years) 
    Mother Mary Naylor,   b. ~ 1725, (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1800  (Age ~ 76 years) 
    Married Abt 1745  (Prince George's County, Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Family ID F1556  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Martha "Patsy" (Nowlin),   b. 0___ 1758, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Mar 1832, Magness, Independence County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 74 years)  [5
    Married Y  [2, 6
    Children 
     1. William Magness,   b. 1780-1783, Prince George's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Dec 1844, White County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years)
     2. John Magness,   b. 0___ 1785, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Feb 1844, White County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 59 years)
     3. David M. Magness,   b. 0___ 1785, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 0___ 1851, Independence County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 66 years)
     4. Perry Green Magness,   b. 22 May 1786, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 May 1829, Independence County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 43 years)
     5. Morgan Magness,   b. 18 Dec 1796, Davidson County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Sep 1871, Big Bottom Township, Independence County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
    Last Modified 18 Sep 2018 
    Family ID F10386  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Rebecca Hammonds,   d. 0Mar 1834, Independence County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 3 Jul 1832  Independence County, Arkansas Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Last Modified 18 Sep 2018 
    Family ID F10387  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 0___ 1757 - Prince George's County, Maryland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 3 Jul 1832 - Independence County, Arkansas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 0___ 1834 - Magness, Independence County, Arkansas Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Magness Cemetery, Magness, Independence County, Arkansas Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Jonathan Magness, also known as John, was born about 1756 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and is said to have died in 1834 in Independence County, Arkansas. he married about 1779 Patty------, by whom he had several children. She died at age 74 on March 8, 1832, in Independence County, Arkansas. (21) Jonathan married second on June 3, 1832 in Independence County, Rebecca Hammond. The Arkansas Gazette of July 18, 1832, in reporting their marriage mentions that Jonathan was 76 and Rebecca was 20. They are said to have had one daughter Mary Ann, who died young.

      Jonathan in 1779 was granted 150 acres on Big Hickory Creek in Tryon County, joining land of his father. He sold this land in 1790, having in 1788 bought 300 acres on Brushy Creek in Rutherford County, which eh sold in 1794, it being the “Place where said John Magness now lives.” (22) He had five more tracts of land, but in the summer of 1796 they were sold by the sheriff at the same time that much of Jonathan’s father’s land was sold by the sheriff. Apparently this was a result of Jonathan’s making bond for his brother George in the Rutherford County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in October 1794. When George did not fulfill his obligations, the bond was forfeited, and the sheriff sold the land of both Jonathan and Perrigreen Magness. Both of them had also made bond for Robert Magness with similar results. Jonathan apparently left North Carolina about this time. He may have gone with his father to Warren County, Kentucky, or to Davidson County, Tennessee. A few years later he was in neighboring Wilson County, Tennessee, where on 24 August 1806 he paid $800 for 640 acres near Stones River and the Davidson County line. Witnesses were his sons Perry Green and John. On 3 Sept. 1807 he paid $640 for another 640-acre tract on Stuart’s Creek in Wilson County, Tennessee; his sons John and David M. were witnesses. (23)

      About this time Jonathan Magness and his sons became involved with a man named Patton Anderson, an involvement which would have a profound effect on their lives for years to come. The precise nature of their quarrel is not known; it is said to have begun in a land transaction. Whatever it was, it developed very strong feelings on both sides, with bitter disputes between Anderson and Magness whenever they met. They met in October 1810 at the Bedford County courthouse, where the case was to be heard. Before the judge arrived, Jonathan Magness and Patton Anderson began to discuss their old grievance, and both became highly excited. Jonathan’s sons Perry Green and David were standing near, and when Patton Anderson raised his hand with a large knife in it, David Magness drew his pistol and shot Anderson dead. He then gave himself up to the authorities, saying that he did it to save his father from being killed.

      The trial was held in November 1810 at the Williamson County courthouse in Franklin, Tennessee. A rather detailed account of the proceedings is given by John B. Cowden in his book Tennessee’s Celebrated Case, published in 1958. Cowden’s basic account is factual, but he had the mistaken idea that the Perry Green Magness involved was Perry Green Magness (1796-1884) of DeKalb County, Tennessee. (Perry Green Magness of DeKalb County was actually a son of George, making him a younger first cousin of the Perry Green Magness involved in this case. See George Magness listing.)

      Andrew Jackson was a friend of Patton Anderson, and he vowed that all three Magnesses would hang. Jackson appeared as a character witness for Anderson, but the Magnesses had hired the very able Felix Grundy as their attorney; he would one day be Attorney General of the United States. The trial is said to have lasted two weeks and had dozens of witnesses, but when the verdict was returned, David Magness was found guilty not of murder, but of manslaughter. He was sentenced to eleven months imprisonment and to have his left hand branded with the letter M, which was done.

      Jonathan Magness was returned to jail to await his trial, which for various reasons was delayed until May 1812, when he was acquitted by the jury. David then had served his eleven months, but both were still in jail in Nashville. Good lawyers were expensive then, as they are now, and evidently legal charges had taken all the money and property of Jonathan Magness and his sons. When they were required to pay the court costs of some $800, they were unable to do so. They were then held in jail until they should pay. They applied to the Circuit Court to be discharged under the law for the relief of insolvent debtors, but were rejected and so faced the prospect of “perpetual imprisonment.” On September 9. 1812, both Jonathan Magness and his son David petitioned the Tennessee Legislature to release them. No record of action on these petitions was found in the Journal of the 1813 General Assembly, and exactly when the Magnesses were released is not now known.

      Apparently all of them left Tennessee. Jonathan’s son Perry Green was in Arkansas in 1814, and on January 5, 1815, was appointed a justice of the peace in Independence County. Jonathan’s son David Magness, who was branded, apparently became a major in the militia in Arkansas, and on July 4, 1822, made an outstanding patriotic speech at the Independence County Grand Jubilee. (24) Jonathan Magness in 1817 was in Lawrence County, Missouri Territory; (25) in 1819 he was still in Missouri. By 1826 Jonathan was living in Independence Co., Arkansas, (26) where he apparently spent the remainder of his life. Little information is available to me on the children of Jonathan Magness and his wife Patty. [7]
    • Posted By: Shirley M Carter
      Email: scarter@alaweb.com
      Subject: Re: PERRYGREENE ,MAGNESS FAMILY
      Post Date: May 25, 1998 at 10:46:07
      Message URL: http://genforum.genealogy.com/magness/messages/54.html
      Forum: Magness Family Genealogy Forum
      Forum URL: http://genforum.genealogy.com/magness/


      Frieda,

      There was a book written about the trial of the Magnesses and Patton Anderson by John B. Cowden, though it is not quite accurate. He for some reason wanted to change the facts and attribute it to Perry Green Magness of DeKalb Co. TN. It actually involved Jonathan Magness and his two sons Perry Green and David M. Magness who later migrated to Independence Co Arkansas. Evidently Patton Anderson a pal of Andrew Jackson, tried to cheat Jonathan Magness out of some land. Had gone to court in Bedford Co. TN to settle their differences. Why waiting for the court proceedings to begin, there were words between the Magnesses and Anderson. Evidently David M. Magness was the one who shot Patton Anderson, thought he was threatening his father Jonathan. I found among the papers of Judge John Overton of Williamson Co. TN, on reel 6 at Tenn. State Library. It only contains letter written by Judge Overton requesting the witnesses to write an account of how Patton Anderson was killed and a diagram showing the courthouse and the house where the killing took place. I believe it was called a ordinary house or place where liquor was served.
      Due to the efforts of Andrew Jackson, the Magnesses were kept in jail after their trial in Williamson Co. TN, because of indebtedness, resulting from the trial. After they were finally released, the family migrated to Independence Co. Arkansas.
      Are you related to this branch of the Magness family?
      Shirley M. Carter






      [8]

  • Sources 
    1. [S4586] MacKenzie,David;Pedigree,3215 Gold Court,Lafayette,CA 94549-5405.

    2. [S7891] Thomas G. Webb | DeKalb County, TN Historian | 835 South College Street, Smithville, TN 37166 | Abstracted from his, "Ma.

    3. [S1519] http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Magness&GSiman=1&GScid=54887&GRid=128064387&.

    4. [S4304] "The House of Magness", by John B. Cowden, 1876-1965, published 1956,, p. 7.

    5. [S36924] genforum.genealogy.com/cgi-bin/pageload.cgi?independence::magness::61.html.

    6. [S11224] "William Magness", Cemetery Profile, https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=magness&GSfn=william&GSbyrel.

    7. [S806] Thomas G. Webb | DeKalb County, TN Historian | 835 South College Street, Smithville, TN 37166 | Abstracted from his boo (Reliability: 3).

    8. [S1491] http://genforum.genealogy.com/magness/messages/54.html.