Submitted by Phyllis Dye Slater.
Joseph Tomlinson Jr. was the very first settler at Grave Creek, Elizabethtown, now known as Moundsville, WV. Along with his brothers, Samuel and James, they scouted this area in the 1760's. They built cabins and planted their corn. Joseph returned to Little Meadows, MD to marry Elizabeth Hartness. He returned, bringing his mother-in-law (Mary nee Scott) and sister-in-law, Mary, along with others. He built his fort at the site of the old Moundsville High School. While hunting one day, he discovered the mound. The ownership stayed in the family until the 1860's when a granddaughter sold it.
Oldest son, Robert, was killed by a runaway slave in 1808. Before being killed he had two sons, Robert and Joseph. Robert was my ggg grandfather. Mary Delong Tomlinson later married Fleming Davidson and had more children.
Alfred and Mary Jane Porter Tomlinson children:
Harrison m. Florence Jewell
John m. Elizabeth Cross
Samuel m. Delilia Braden
Cleona Belle m. Chas. Vauple
Eliza Luella (Ella) m. John W. Giffin (my grandparents)
Lelia Virginia m. Eugene C. Pickett
TRAGEDY ON THE MUSKINGUM
by Henry Robert Burke
NOTE: This is a revision of the original article that I wrote from some sketchy information I had gathered here and there. Some decedents of Joseph Tomlinson (II) read the article which is posted on my web page HENRY ROBERT BURKE'S SOUTHEASTERN OHIO and offered me information about their genealogy. This is a corrected version of the incident, along with some additional information of interest.
In 1800 there were 61 slaves listed in Wood County, Virginia, and 257 slaves in Ohio County. As our story unfolds, we find Joseph (II) owning a plantation at the Flats of Grave Creek in Ohio County, Virginia, (Moundsville, Marshal County, West Virginia since 1863), and also owning a farm at William's Station, Wood County, Virginia (Williamstown, Wood County, West Virginia since 1863). Joseph Tomlinson (II) used slave labor to work farms at both locations, taking them up and down the Ohio River as needed.
In 1804 while working at William's Station two of Joseph Tomlinson's slaves ran away. They crossed the Ohio River at Marietta, and traveled about thirty-five miles north on the Muskingum River to Owl Creek, where they stopped at a farm settled by William Craig. The fugitive slaves reportedly had been working at William Craig's place for some time when Joseph Tomlinson II received information about their location from a man traveling down the Muskingum River by canoe, who had visited with Craig and the two errant slaves. Joseph Tomlinson (II), accompanied by his son Robert, and three other men, immediately left, traveling up the Muskingum River to retrieve the fugitive slaves.
William Craig saw the slave owners coming and gave the alarm. The two slaves started running away, but Robert Tomlinson was very swift of foot and soon overtook Mike. Robert knocked Mike to the ground by using his rifle as a club. When Mike regained his feet, Robert again knocked him to the ground.
Robert and Mike were reported to have been around the same age, and had even been born and raised together at the Flats of Grave Creek. The treatment that Mike was receiving from Robert, who had always been his friend, enraged Mike. After repeatedly being knocked down by Robert, Mike pulled a knife from his belt and stabbed Robert Tomlinson. Robert ran back to his father and cried out, "Father he has killed me", then he died!
The other fugitive slave, who remains unnamed, managed to escape, but Mike was captured. After burying Robert, the slave hunters took Mike and started back across country headed for Grave Creek, Virginia. The first night, they camped three miles west of Cumberland at Negro Run, where they encountered two travelers, Mr. Reeve and Mr. Cockayn, who were on their way to Kentucky on business. Both men witnessed Joseph Tomlinson execute Mike at Negro Run. Mr. Reeve and Mr. Cockayn reported this murder to authorities in Muskingum County, Ohio and a coronerís inquest was held by Henry Smith, Esq. of Putnam. Ohio Governor, Edward Tiffin, was notified and he sent a written notice to the Virginia Attorney General for Joseph Tomlinson II to be extradited back to Ohio for deposition, but the request was denied. Mike was never even given a proper burial. His bones eventually lay scattered around the area where he had been killed, according to Mr. Reeve, claimed to have seen the bones scattered about on many later occasions when he camped at the same spot.
In 1835, after Joseph Tomlinson II had been dead for about a decade, his wife Elizabeth emancipated their slaves. So in the very early days of slavery in the Mid-Ohio River Valley, tragedy needlessly struck down two young men before they had even begun to experience life. The beginning of Ohio's Underground Railroad was signaled by the deaths of the two young Americans!