Appalachian Thursday–Elijah Phillips

The PioneerToday I thought I’d share another installment from the 1976 edition of The Pioneer–a booklet put out periodically by the Descendants of the French Creek Pioneers. This one is about Elijah Phillips who was brother to my great, great, great, great-grandfather David Phillips.

Elijah Phillips married Cynthia Goodwin of Ashfield, Mass. They had seventeen (!!) children. Four died in infancy, four stayed in Massachusetts, and the remaining nine came with their parents to French Creek in 1814. They came by ox team and traveled for six weeks. In French Creek, they established a home on Mulberry Ridge. Cynthia died in January 1829 of consumption at the age of 69.

Elijah was described as being “low in stature with dark eyes and hair, inclined to corpulency, full of life, a great talker, a man of good sense.” His wife was “slender, of medium height, fair complexion and blue eyes, modest and quiet.”

Elijah left home because of a dispute over the Revolutionary War. He was a Patriot and his father–Phillip Phillips–was a Loyalist. The disagreement and move effectively severed relations with most of Elijah’s family except for his brother David who also left home due to his Patriot leanings.

One of these days I may have to go all the way back to the early 1800s for the setting of a novel. I surely have plenty of material . . . If nothing else, I think I can take a lesson in describing my characters. Elijah sounds like a good fella to know.

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