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Norm's News of Florida

From: Norman Williams
Date: 12/23/99
Time: 8:11:22 AM
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Norm's News Hello Waynet. I often write a little newsletter I call Norm's News. I would like to write to Raquel Moores to thank her for her letters in response to my piece about horses in the "Talk of The Town." My grandfather King Rider Williams lived with his father Daniel Williams who was a Quaker minister. Daniel Williams traveled all over the country and to England speaking at Quaker meetings. I am told he was a very kind and gentleman with a soft-spoken voice. His farm was at the turn on Palmer Road north of Greens Fork where the road turns to go to Webster and Fountain City. The farmhouse is still there and I stopped by to stand in the living room where my grandfather and great grandfather lived. I have a story of a letter being found when an old fireplace was torn down and a letter from my grandfather's half sister was found in the wall. It was written many years ago to her sister who was in a Quaker school somewhere in the east. Also a letter, I discovered at Earlham College, written by Archilles Williams was about all the Williams family that he remembered from Guilford County, North Carolina. He wrote of Silas, Jesse, and Richard Williams my great, great grandfather who came from North Carolina with Levi Coffin and Levi's mother Prudence Williams was Richard Williams's sister. Levi Coffin the Abolitionist whose mother was Prudence, the daughter of Richard Williams the 1st. Levi writes in his book "Reminiscences": "The battle of Guilford Courthouse, fought about the close of the Revolutionary War, commenced near the New Garden Meeting house and continued along the old Salisbury Road. This was a distance of about 3 miles to Martinsville at the old Guilford Courthouse where the main battle was fought. A number of soldiers were killed near the Meetinghouse along the road and the roadside in the Friend's burying ground buried them. Levi said, I have often seen their graves. After the battle the Meetinghouse was used as a hospital for the sick and wounded. The Coffin's and the Williams farms adjoined. My Grandfather Coffin's house was used as a hospital for the American's. Richard Williams caught smallpox that broke out among the British officers and my grandfather Williams caught the disease and died. Richard Williams the 1st died the 5th month on the 6th and was buried at New Garden cemetery. Richard Williams the 2nd was born at New Garden, North Carolina September 22, 1755, the fourth child of Richard Williams 1st. They were named Richard after Sir Richard Williams their ancestor in the court of King Henry VIII. Richard Williams the 2nd my great great grandfather owned a plantation of 400 acres at New Garden. I have a copy of the deeds showing many conveyances of land from 1787 to 1805. The Guilford College at New Garden stands on a hundred acres of property that he sold when he moved to Wayne County Indiana. Richard Williams sold all his North Carolina lands having previously liberated his slave before moving to Indiana. A large number of Friends migrated to Indiana about this time due to their conscientious scruples against slavery. Richard Williams married Sarah Baldwin. Sarah was a daughter of William and Elizabeth Baldwin who purchased a 600.000 acre plantation along the Horsepen Creek. I have seen this creek and I think it is called Horsepen because it had such dense growth of underbrush that it was used to pen in the Quaker horses that were raised here. The Quakers liked fine horses to pull their buggies and wagons. I am sure they raised horse here along the Horsepen Creek. My grandfather had only one eye because a horse kicked out his other eye. Richard Williams came to Wayne County together with his sister Prudence Williams and the Levi Coffin family. Richard Williams's farm in Indiana was located just out side of Fountain City where Levi Coffin had his store and business. I visited the Coffin House where Levi Coffin lived and helped to free the slaves before the Civil War. In his book he calls Richard Williams, "mean old Dick Williams." I suppose that accounts for my contrary nature. Thanks for reading this. Norman Williams in Florida at cknorm@ij.net

Revised: January 20, 2006