Bio: James Patteson
James Patteson was born 29 February 1784, probably in Cumberland county Virginia. He was the first born son of Nelson Patteson and Rebecca Markham, and was
likely named for his grandfather, James Patteson. His family lived in Cumberland county through most of his childhood. As a young man, he moved with his
family to Giles county Tennessee.
Shortly after his family's move to Tennessee he "set out to seek his fortune in the lead mines of Missouri Territory." From there he moved on with several
companions, traveling southwest through Texas and into New Mexico. Somewhere around Santa Fe, about the year 1809, he met up with trouble. Several accounts
of what happened next have been published. Each one gives slightly different details. The account below comes from a recently published (2012) book by
In the spring of 1809 another incident would disturb the King of Spain. United States Captain James Patterson [sic] along with Josiah McClannahan,
William Smith, a Spaniard, an Indian guide and his three negro slaves were involved in a public disturbance insisting independence from Spain in northern
New Spain. He and his men were arrested and served an eighteen month sentence in Chihuahua City. Captain Patterson was imprisoned alongside a priest named
Don Miguel Hidalgo who had just started the Mexican Independence movement in the southern area of New Spain. Captain Patterson and his men were eventually
released but were not allowed to leave the city. Due to pressure from the United States they were later allowed to leave the Spanish colony and return to
the United States . .
[source] Coyame a History of the American Settler; Francisco Natera; Xlibris Corporation, 2012.
Patteson descendant and researcher, Brian Bivona, has done extensive and well documented work on his Patteson family. His work includes a retelling of of
this incident, referencing "James Patteson's Experience in the West". It is a fascinating account and those interested need to contact Brian for
After a harrowing, cross-country "escape", James Patteson returned to Pulaski in Giles county Tennessee. A local history tells us,
" . . returning to Giles County, Patteson joined Jackson's expedition against the Creeks and distinguished himself in the Indian Wars. Afterwards, he
was a prominent and useful citizen in Pulaski . . "
A Giles County History notes that James Patteson was operating a hotel in 1818. He also served as a commissioner for turnpikes and railroads, supported
bridge and telegraph projects, and for a number of years served as a trustee for the Pulaski Female Academy.
On the 25th of March 1815, when James Patteson had just past the age of thirty, he married Sarah McCormack in Giles county Tennessee. She was the daughter of
John McCormack and Leanah Masterson, another Giles county Tennessee family. James and Sarah Patteson were the parents of nine identified children: John
Nelson Patteson, Rebecca Catherine Patteson, Bernard Markham Patteson, Mary Anderson Patteson, James Masterson Patteson, Daniel McCormick Patteson, Leanah
Louise Patteson, James Patteson Jr, and Alfred S. Patteson. Three of these children, Rebecca, James and Leanah, died in childhood, and Daniel died at the age
Like his father before him, James Patteson held an interest in the settlement of Texas, and participated in the Texas Association. Though he remained a
resident of Tennessee until his death, two of his sons moved on to Texas and were among that state's early settlers.
James Patteson died on the 3rd of August 1856. He did not leave a Will. He was buried in the Patteson family cemetery in Giles county Tennessee. Sarah
McCormack Patteson moved with her sons to Texas and died in 1863 in Delta county Texas. She was buried in the Waller Cemetery near the town of Ben Franklin
in Delta county Texas. Following her death there was a lawsuit among family members regarding the distribution of property. Researcher and descendant Brian
Bivona located the Case File in Giles county Tennessee which gives many interesting details about the family in 1866.
Do you want to know more?
Link to James Patteson
Sketch: Notes on the Patteson Graveyard, near Pulaski in Giles County Tennessee.
Sketch: The Patteson Men in the War of 1812.
Case File in Giles county Tennessee, 1866.
Bio: James Patteson; written by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for John Markham of Chesterfield website; 2014.