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In the fall of 1816, Jesse Cox, the son of James Cox, Jr., moved into Williamson County, Tennessee, on Beech Creek. On the first Sunday in October, 1817, he was baptized in the Big Harpeth Church known as the "Baptist Meeting House" and which existed prior to May of 1811. 70 & 187 In February 1820, Jesse Cox moved from Beech Creek to the Big Harpeth, four miles Southeast of Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee. At that time, there were 5 ministers (or "elders") at the Big Harpeth Primitive Baptist Church, McConico (“Garner McConico” & "Garner McConnico"), Atkerson, Anderson, Ezell and Craig. 167 & 175 In The Last Will and Testament of William Tarkington which was executed in Williamson County, Tennessee on April 22, 1832 and was probated in January 1833. He mentioned his son-in-law, James Cox, Jr., and his grandson, Jesse Cox, the son of James Cox, Jr. Thus, James Cox, Jr. apparently married a Tarkington. On May 22, 1780, James Cox, Jr. was born to James Cox, Sr. and a Molley or Mary in Northumberland County, Virginia.

In 1850, the Silas Cavender family was then living in Graves County, Kentucky and his family at that time comprised himself, age 45 and born in Virginia about 1805 (actually July 4, 1804), his wife Rachel Cavender age 53 and born in Tennessee about 1797, and their children: Stephen Cantrell Cavender (“Stephen Cavender” & “S.C. Cavender”) age 18 and thus born about 1832 and who may (or may not) have married Catholene Goya (“Cathaline Goya”?, “Catholene Gaughey”? & “Cathelene Goya”?) on October 8, 1858; John Calvin Cavender (“John Cavender” & “J.C. Cavender”) age 18 and thus born about 1832 in Graves County, Kentucky; Joseph M. Cavender (“Joseph Cavender” & “J.M. Cavender”) age 16 and thus born about 1834; Thomas W. Cavender (“Thomas Cavender” & “T.W. Cavender”) age 14 and thus born about 1836; Nick Harriet Cavender (“Nick Cavender”, “N.H. Cavender” & “Harriett Cavender”?) age 12 and thus born about 1838; and, R. Caroline Cavender (“Caroline Cavender”, “R.C. Cavender” & “Rachel Cavender”?) age 9 and thus born about 1841.464

Jessee Cox, the brother of Rachel Cavender, stated in his diary that, on October 7, 1848, he had visited his sister and that it was the first time he had seen her in 9 years. Thus, Silas Cavender was living in Graves County, Kentucky by October 1839. Also recorded in the diary of Jesse Cox, on June 15, 1849 he had rode 30 miles and reached Cavinder’s and that he had met my mother that he had not seen for some 12 years, she being 77 years old. Thus, Silas Cavender must have been living in Graves County, Kentucky by 1837. According to the publication “The Old Bethel Primitive Baptist Church Story” by Wendell H. Rone, Sr., 1967 86, as early as 1833, Silas Cavender had served as a “messenger” to the Obion Primitive Baptist Association from the Old Bethel Primitive Baptist Church which was located in the Felisciania settlement of Graves County, Kentucky, which was a thriving town until 1854 when the railroad was built in Graves County and by-passed the town. In 1835, Silas Cavender moved his membership from the Old Bethel Primitive Baptist Church to Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church located nearby in Tennessee and having a membership of approximately 13, and was ordained that year as its first pastor. He continued as the pastor of the Brush Creek Church through 1842, and in 1843 returned to his home church, Old Bethel Primitive Baptist Church, and was ordained as its fifth minister. On December 13, 1836, Silas Cavender was given a land grant of 160 acres for the sum of $40 and which was located Old Bethel Church near Felisciania.93 He served as pastor of the Old Bethel Church until shortly before his death on July 28, 1872 and is buried in its cemetery.

In the above published history of the Old Bethel Primitive Baptist Church, it is erroneously stated that Rev. Silas Cavender was born on July 4, 1801 and "departed this life on July 28, 1872 at the age of 71 years and 24 days." The engraving on his tombstone is covered with dirt and moss, when removed, clearly states that he was born on July 4, 1804 and died on July 28, 1872 at the age of 68 years and 24 days. However, according to the 1850 census for Graves County, Kentucky taken in August of 1850, i.e., after his birthday on July 4, he listed his age as being 45 years and that he was born in Virginia; therefore, he would have been born in 1804- 1805.128 Again, according to the 1860 census taken in August of 1860, he listed his age as being 55 years and again the fact that he was born in Virginia; therefore, again confirming that he was born in 1804-1805, therefore confirming the date of decease engraved on his tombstone.

According to the 1820 Census for Williamson County, Tennessee, the James Cavennour ("James Cavender") family at that particular point in time consisted of the following persons: 4 males and 2 females below the age of 10 years; 1 male and 1 female between the ages of 10 to 16 years; 1 female 16-26 years; 1 female (his wife) 26-45; and, 1 male (himself) 45 and over. Assuming the correct date of his birth was in fact July 4, 1804, then Silas Cavender must have been the listed 10-15 year old male then living in the household of Eudaley James Cavender when the 1820 census was taken, provided the census was taken after July 4, 1820.

The older brother of Rachal Cavender, Jesse Cox, was born on July 19, 1793 in Sullivan County, Tennessee to Greenberry Cox and Temperance _?__, and later became a Baptist minister at the Big Harpeth Baptist Church. He was the author of two books, both of which were entitled "An Exposition of the Revelations of St. John the Devine" and are in the Tennessee State Library in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, and also kept a diary throughout his life. Set forth below are excerpts from book entitled Narrative of the Birth and Life of Jesse Cox:



"Jesse Cox was born July 19, 1793, in Sullivan County, East Tennessee to Greenberry Cox and Temperance _?__ who were from Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland, but were partly raised in Sullivan County, Tennessee. After they married and had one daughter, they moved in the year 1791 to the new country then called Cumberland in Davidson County, near Nashville, then with a population of ten or twelve white male inhabitants, and remained only to the first of the winter of 1792. Having been much harassed by the Indians and having lost their house all they had in it by fire, they returned to Sullivan County. Here they bought 100 acres of broken land on which they continued to live and improve for nine years. Both parents united with the Baptist Church on the same day in the fall of 1793. In October, 1803, the family moved back to Davidson County, Tennessee and rented a small farm. There were now six children. The father lived only a few months after their return to Middle Tennessee and died about the first of September with a "bilious fever". Jesse, then ten years of age, was his mother's oldest son on whom she depended for cultivating the crops. The estate, consisting of only personal property was all sold (the mother's portion of a child's part was $318) and they rented a small place. In 1814 Jesse visited his relations in East Tennessee and in 1816 he married Elizabeth Brown, daughter of Charles and Michel Brown. His eight children were Garner, Sarah Pearce, William, Martha Ann, Mary, Jane, Elizabeth, and Jesse, Jr. He does not give the names of his brothers and sisters, yet there were six by his own statement. The three boys all became preachers. Jesse was interested in preaching, but at first could not make up his mind to. One of his brothers who was ten years younger decided to become a preacher and went to Alabama to live. Jesse began to conduct Prayer Meetings in 1832. In March, 1833, his next oldest brother "being only three of us, he being 18 months younger than myself" decided to preach. Jesse mentions having taken one of his sisters into his home. She was a widow with four children. Jesse Cox served in the War of 1812. He was involved with a disturbance at the Wilson Creek Primitive Church in 1853."

Jesse was living in Williamson County, Tennessee at the time of his death on August 23, 1879 at the age of 86 years, one month, and 4 days. Below are excerpts from his lifelong diary:

"December, 1810, there was an earthquake that was very alarming. (Apparently this was the date that Reelfoot Lake formed in the Northwestern part of Tennessee.)

In 1813, I went into the ("Creek Indian") Creek Nations and engaged in three battles.

October, 1814, went to East Tennessee to visit relatives. On the way home I took the mumps and lost 20 pounds (from 195).

May 1815, hired out to work for my Mother's uncle.

January 18, 1816, I married Elizabeth Brown, daughter of Charles and Michel Brown (“Mitchel Brown”?).

In the fall of 1816 I moved to Williamson County on Beech Creek.

On the first Saturday in 1817 I united with the church of Big Harpeth. October, 1820 became a deacon in the church of Big Harpeth.

In April, 1824, my brother (ten years younger) asked the church permission to preach.

In February, 1820, I moved to Big Harpeth, four miles Southeast of Franklin. I settled in a track of land in the woods, living in a camp until I put up a cabin. We now had two living children. My wife became a member of the church in 1832.

In 1832, I began to conduct Prayer Meetings.

June 20, 1834, I was ordained to the ministry by Elders Atkerson (“Atkinson”?)and King.

During 1834 preached at various places. Preached 73 sermons, baptized 15 persons, preached 7 funerals, administered sacrament 5 times, and attended 20 prayer meetings.

During 1835 preached 176 sermons, baptized 6 persons, preached 17 funerals, administered sacrament 11 times, and attended 41 prayer meetings.

July 22, 1935, preached at Elder McFaddens.

In March, 1833, my next oldest brother, "being only three of us, he being 18 months younger than myself", decided to preach.

December 19, 1835, my son started to "Talidego" (“Talladege, Alabama”?) to live with my brother.

June 10, 1836, visited my brother-in-law.

June 12, 1836, at Antiock, Davidson County.

During 1836 preached at various places, preached 170 sermons, baptized 17 persons, preached 24 funerals, administered sacrament 8 times.

January 27, 1837, started to Alabama and traveled 30 to 40 miles when my horse got sick and had to return home.

August 28, 1837, started with my mother in company with others to Alabama. Lord help us and be with us until we meet again.

Saturday, September 2 reached my son.

September 3, preached at Capaba meeting house. (Jefferson County, Alabama)

During 1837, preached 140 sermons, baptized 10, preached 15 funerals, administered sacrament 9 times, and attended 15 Prayer Meetings.

September 1838, preached at R. McFadden's.

During 1838, preached 177 sermons, baptized 11, funerals 18, administered sacrament 8 times, heard at least 40 sermons by others, and traveled more than usual.

May 1840, wife very sick for five weeks.

July 25, 1840, preached at Big Harpeth (Williamson County, Tennessee) and it was the first time my wife had been able to go to church in six months.

September 10, 1840, preached at Flat Creek in Bedford County, Tennessee and went to "cousin" Sarah Crismans at night.

October 4, 1840, at my cousin Capt. Looney's. Funeral of his little daughter.

October 11, 1840, preached at Providence. Returned home 16 miles to find family in good health.

In year of 1840, preached less than in four years, but published articles in various papers.

Preached at various places during the years 1841-1845.

August 17, 1845, funeral at Franklin of "Aunt Brown".

Preached at various places during the years 1846 & 1847.

August 15, 1848, preached at Johnston Schoolhouse and rode 8 miles to home.

October 6, 1848, rode from Walnut Forks 32 miles and reached my brother-in-law's, R. S. McFadden in Kentucky.

October 7, 1848, stayed and rested with a great deal of satisfaction for the first time I had visited my sister in nine years and the first at this place.

October 8, 1848, rode 3 miles and preached at Rocky Spring, Fulton County. Here I met several acquaintances, then rode 17 miles and preached at Mills Point. Stayed with Bro. H. C. Cottell.

October 9, 1848, remained until after dinner, then rode 17 miles and stayed at McFaddens.

October 10, 1848, rode 10 miles and preached at Bethel. Here I met many of my relations and acquaintances. Stayed at Cavender’s.

October 11, 1848, rode 3 miles and preached at Dukedom. Stayed at A. Willingham's.

October 12, 1848, rode 13 miles and preached at Taylor's Schoolhouse.

October 13, 1848, rode 3 miles, preached at J. Little's, then rode 8 miles and preached at night at McFadden's to a good congregation and most attentive I ever saw.

October 14, 1848, at Rocky Springs, a good congregation. then rode 5 miles and stayed at McFadden's.

October 20, 1848, rode 38 miles from Trenton, Tennessee, Gibson County, where I had stayed with Cousin C. Himo. Here in Haywood County I met Bro. S. Cox and Peebles and family with pleasure.

October 21, 1848, rode 8 miles and preached at Brussess Creek. Then returned 2 miles and stayed at S. Cox's.

October 23, 1848, preached at Bro. S. Cox (5 miles from Brownsville). He gave me 5 dollars.

October 25, 1848, started for home.

October 30, 1848, rode 40 miles and reached home after an absence of nearly five weeks. Found all well. Had ridden 585 miles and preached 27 sermons.

April 23, 1849, preached at Murphreeborough.

June 11, 1849, started to Kentucky and rode 27 miles.

June 14, 1849, reached Henry County and preached at Walnut Forks.

June 15, 1849, rode 30 miles and reached Cavinder’s. At Cavinder’s I met my mother that I had not seen for some 12 years, she being 77 years old.

June 16, 1849, preached at Bethel, then rode 12 miles and stayed at my brother-in-law's, R. S. McFadden.

June 17, 1849, preached in the woods to a large crowd of friends and returned to Cavinder’s, 10 miles.

June 18, 1849, started home with my mother, rode 30 miles and preached at Bowdens.

June 22, 1849, reached home to find all well. Since leaving some 200 had died in Nashville of cholera. From Cavinder’s he traveled 146 miles crossing the Tennessee River to home.

In 1850 various preaching engagements.

May 4, 1850, preached at Wilson Creek nine miles from home.

July 19, 1850, today is my birthday, 57 years old. I mowed and made hay.

October 3, 1850, attended Flat River Association in corner of Lincoln County.

During 1850, I rode 1963 miles for the purpose of preaching alone. I had been through many difficulties but had enjoyed better health than for a long time although cholera was in our midst. I had been able to labor more for the support of my family having no one to help me except a woman and a little boy who were servants.

In 1851 many preaching engagements.

First two weeks in August 1851, rode 240 miles preaching.

September 27, 1851, son Garner M. Cox, practicing physician, was very ill with pulmonary today. October 2, 1851, he died at his father's residence on Sunday morning, age nearly 30 years. Buried in Big Harpeth Churchyard. Obituary of Garner's life written by David B. Hairgrove ("David Hargrove"?) on November 5, 1851. In 1848 he worked hard in treatment of typhoid fever in Bedford County. He was a doctor of the botanic school. (He had started practicing medicine in 1847 and had practiced at Eaglesville. Garner Cox's brother was Dr. William C. Cox and his wife was named Martha).

November 10, 1851, returned home and found four daughters sick with the measles. (His 4 daughters were named Martha Ann Cox ("Martha Cox"), Elizabeth Cox, Jane Cox, and Mary Cox.) Mary Cox especially sick.

November 17, 1851, Mary Cox died, age 23 years, 10 months, 28 days. Her sister, Sarah Pearce, did not get to come to see her before she died. (Note: Dr. William C. Cox lived at Franklin, Tennessee. Also, there was another son named Jesse T. Cox.)

November 18, 1851, rained all day. Buried Mary beside her brother according to her request.

In 1851 rode 1758 miles and preached 115 sermons.

January 20, 1852, thermometer 8 below zero coldest it has ever been here (Big Harpeth).

1852, he gets involved in dispute in the Wilson Creek Church. Does not want to combine Wilson Creek and Big Harpeth Churches.

May 31, 1852, funeral of Mary at Big Harpeth. Because of so much sickness in the family at the time of her death, the funeral had to be postponed.

July 4, 1852, cutting oats, very tired and unable to hire anybody.

July 10, 1852, left half of oats standing and rode to Cool Spring to preach.

July 11, 1852, friends from Cool Spring came to help gather the oats.

October 18, 1852, Sarah Cox Pearce's child dies.

In 1852, rode 1894 miles, preached 110 sermons. My lungs greatly affected by asthma. Had more trouble due to difficulty at Wilson Creek Church than in all 34 years of my preaching. All false reports removed.

In 1853 many preaching engagements.

June 7, 1853, cut clover after riding 50 miles yesterday.

June 16, 17, cut rye.

June 20-22, finished cutting rye. Very hot.

July 19, 1853, this is my birthday and I have reached my three score years. Thanks to the Lord I enjoy usual health and good strength for my age.

October 31, 1853, Wife and I went to Franklin and stayed all night. William Cox's children have been sick.

November 1, 1853, Went home 4 miles.

In 1853, rode 1707 miles to preach. Have labored at home more than have for several years. Although the church difficulty has been settled there seems to be a coldness that never appeared in Big Harpeth before. Throughout this section the Baptists seem to be more worldly minded.

September 10, 1854, from Mount Olivet (“Mount Olive”?) rode 8 miles and reached daughter, Sarah Pearce, generally fatigued and hoarse.

September 18, 1854, at Cool Spring my son, Jesse T. Cox, (my youngest) came forward as a candidate for baptism. I have not experience such feeling and shed so many tears for a long time.

October 7, 1854, rode 35 miles to my son-in-law's with my wife. Wife remained. I returned to stay with my children and had to fail to preach at my church appointments.

In 1854 rode 2213 miles, preached 142 sermons. Preached at various places that I have never preached before.

April 25, 1855, rode in train 18 miles to Nashville with youngest daughter, Jane J. Cox. ("Jane Cox") We were on a preaching tour and got back home May 1, 1855.

September 5, 1855, went to Bro. Waggoner’s 2 miles from Dechard, then went 4 miles and preached at Winchester.

September 11, 1855, preached at Tullahoma.

In 1855 rode 1855 miles and preached 125 sermons.

February 20, 1856, rode to Franklin and then to Nashville to assist my son William and family in moving. Returned in the evening leaving them on the boat going to Mills Point.

June 30, 1856, preached in Winchester again.

July 1, 1856, preached Sister Waggoner's funeral.

October 2, 1856, at Cool Spring had 9 mourners and after praying with them exhorting and singing, two came forward and joined by experience, one of them being my youngest child Jane J. Cox ("Jane Cox"), the other daughter having been a mourner up to this time. One other of my daughters is among the mourners and has been from the first and has not professed. All of the 9 mourners are young ladies, but one young man.

October 12, 1856, met at the water at 9 o'clock and baptized 8 converts among them my youngest daughter.

October 17, 1856, rode 4 miles to Franklin and then got on the cars and rode to Nashville 20 miles.

In 1856, traveled 2512 miles and preached 140 sermons.

During 1857, preached at various places, traveled 1857 miles and preached 165 sermons.

April 21, 1858, started to Kentucky with my wife (in buggy) to see our children and friends.

April 26, 1858, reached my brother-in-law McFadden. Then rode 6 miles and reached our son William Cox, finding all well.

April 27-29, preached in Kentucky.

April 30, 1858, rode 6 miles and preached at night at McFaddens.

May 1, 1858, at Cavender's (Silas Cavender ?) and I preached at Willingham’s.

May 2, 1858, preached at Brush Creek and rode 15 miles to son William's.

May 3, 1858, started home. Stopped at John Beard's and at McFadden's, then rode 12 miles and dined in Felesianna at A. McFaddens. Then rode one mile and stopped at Cavender's ("Silas Cavender"?). We then rode 2 miles through the rain the road desperate and preached at night at Sister Hopkins at Dukedom, Tennessee.

May 4, 1858, bid farewell to kin and friends and started home. Drove 36 miles to Paris, Henry County, Tennessee and stayed with cousin Ames James that I had not seen for 42 years.

May 8, 1858, reached home. Found all well.

June 15, 1858, went to Franklin, Tennessee to examine the proof sheet of part of my book.

Preaching at various places.

November 9, 1858, went to Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee to see about binding my book.

December 1, 1858, returned home after 14 days preaching and found my son-in-law had died with consumption in my absence.

December 25, 1858, today Bro. Stevens married my daughter Martha Ann Cox to T. W. Pettuce ("T.W. Pettus"?) at 9 o'clock.

In 1858, traveled 3311 miles, preached 148 sermons and 28 funerals. Wrote and published a book.

January 4, 1859, left Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee by boat, reached Cairo, Illinois, changed boats and went to Kentucky City.

January 7, 1859, got my books off the freight cars and got a 2-horse wagon to take them and me to McFaddens 8 miles. Got dinner at Willingham.

January 8, 1859, rode 4 miles and preached at Rock Springs, then rode 2 miles in an oxcart to my son William Cox and found all well.

January 10, 1859, preached at McFadden's 5 miles from Rock Springs.

January 11, 1859, rode to Felesiana, Kentucky, Ed (Elder?) Cavender with me. At night, preached in town at A. McFaddens. Cavender ("Silas Cavender"?) preached also.

January 12, 1859, preached at Bethel (Old Bethel Primitive Baptist Church), rode one mile and preached at Cavender’s.

January 13, 1859, rode 2 miles to Dukedom, Tennessee. Elders Cavender, Bowden, and Howard at Sister Hopkinses.

January 14, 1859, rode to Cavender’s to dinner and then to McFadden's making 13 miles. I am quite unwell.

January 15, 1859, rode 5 miles to son Williams (2 miles from Rock Spring).

February, 1859, back home .

May, 1859, withdrew from church (Big Harpeth) also wife and daughter.

During 1859, many preaching engagements. Traveled 2535 miles and preached 102 sermons. Traveled extensively, but sick the last 4 months of the year for being caught in a storm and being wet. Had pneumonia and asthma. In my traveling I have met with universal approbation almost, while in this section I have met with great opposition from a few men who have a name with the Baptists.

January 16, 1860, rode around the farm for the first time in 4 1/2 months.

January 22, 1860. Difficulties about Wilson Creek Church believed to be settled.

January 26, 1860, Rode 12 miles and stayed at T. Pettus.

May 18, 1860, started for Kentucky and, after traveling several days, stopped at Ed (Elder?) Cavender’s, it being my sister's.

May 19, 1860, preached at Cavender’s.

May 20, 1860, preached at Bethel, Cavender with me. Then drive 11 miles and stayed at McFaddens, my brother-in-law.

May 21, 1860, drove 5 miles to my son William C. Cox (“William Cox”) and found all well. I have improved in strength.


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