An American Family History

Captain Charles Fox

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves,
and, under a just God cannot retain it."
― Abraham Lincoln
Washington County, Pennsylvania, was created from Westmoreland and Fayette Counties in 1781. Originally it was a part of Virginia. Washington County split into Allegheny, Greene and Beaver Counties.
An early American tavern (or ordinary) was an important meeting place and they were strictly supervised. Innkeepers were respectable members of the community. Taverns offered food and drink. An inn also offered accommodation.

Charles Fox was born in 1759 in Loudoun County, Virginia. He was the oldest son of Absalom Fox and Christian Bonham. He was a tavern keeper.

In 1786 a return of the militia officers elected in the county of
Washington, First Battalion, First Company, included Ensign Charles Fox.

He married Mary in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Mary was born in 1755.

Charles and Mary's children included:
Christian Fox (1787, married John Adams),
Eliza (Betsy) Fox (1790, married William Lowry),
Margaret Fox (1792, married Moses B. Corwin),
Sarah B. Fox (1794, married William McLean), and
David Fox (1795).

In 1789, tavern keeper, Charles Fox, was assessed 83 cents in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

The family appeared in the 1790 census of Washington County, Pennsylvania. The household consisted of three females and two males.

In 1794 Charles signed the oath to support the Constitution.

In 1796, Captain Charles Fox appeared on the return of the first First Regiment, 1st Company of the Washington County brigade. The return recorded the election of militia officers whose commissions were signed by the governor.

In 1797, his father's heirs transferred land to him. Charles received the part of land called Prospect Hill near David Sutton, David Fox, and Tobias Friend.

In 1798 he voted against smallpox innoculations.

They were still in Washington County in 1800. The household consisted of

a man between twenty six and forty-five - Charles age 41
a woman between twenty-six and forty-five - Mary
a boy/man between sixteen and twenty-six -
two girls between ten and sixteen - Christian age 13 and Eliza age 10
two girls under ten - Margaret age 8 and Sarah age 6
a boy under ten - David age 5
a slave.

The records of Genevieve Hawk from September, 1944 say that Caroline Adams said that he and John Adams, his son-in-law, had been in business in Washington County before moving to Ohio. They made trips between Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

They family left Pennsylvania for Ohio about 1803.

1803. Book S L, page 265. William Seaman of Washington, and Charles Fox, and Pentecost, Trustees of the new market. Sum of $10. paid, also yearly reserved rent of ½ cents to be paid April 1 if demanded every year. Hath leased to -------- and rest of subscribers to New Market, being part of lot numbered one in the plan of Washington.

James Dunlap begs to inform the public and his friends that he has just opened a Public House at the sign of "General George Washington" (lately that well-known stand "The Black Horse," occupied by Capt. Charles Fox) in the town of Washington, where he intends to lay in a choice assortment of wines and spirituous liquors.
The Western Telegraph, February 3, 1804

After moving to Ohio, Charles ran an inn on the Cincinnati waterfront.

His wife Mary died in 1821. She was 66. Her death was recorded in the Adams family Bible, published by Mathew Carey, Philadelphia, in 1809. "Mary Fox, mother of Christian Fox, died in Lebanon, July 23, 1821, aged 66 years."

No record of Charles' death has been found. He was alive within the remembrance of his granddaughter, Caroline S. Adams, who was born in 1841. She remembered seeing him in her childhood home and said that he was the last man in the vicinity of Lebanon to wear knee buckles and a queue.

A Charles Fox between seventy and eighty years of age was recorded in census for Deerfield Township, Warren County, Ohio in 1840.

Descendants of Absalom Fox and Christian Bonham are Mayflower Descendants.

  • Samuel Fuller
  • Hannah Fuller Bonham
  • Hezekiah Bonham
  • Amariah Bonham
  • Christian Bonham Fox
  • Children of Absalom Fox
    and Christian Bonham
  • Captain Charles Fox
  • Bonham Fox
  • Mary Fox Frazee
  • David Fox
  • Anchor Fox Sutton
  • Iva Fox Sargeant
  • Jonathan Fox
  • Rebecca Fox Dearth
  • The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America and was ratified in 1789.

    Champaign County, Ohio was created March 1, 1805 from Greene and Franklin counties. On March 1, 1817 the present boundaries were established when Logan and Clark counties were formed.  An 1800 census counted 100 settlers.
    Warren County is in southwest Ohio and was formed in 1803 from Hamilton county. Lebanon is the county seat.



    John Adams, Jr. (1735-1826) was the second President of the United States (1797–1801), the first Vice President (1789–1797).

    From History of Washington County by Boyd Crumrine

    At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town at the courthouse at the ring of the bell on Wednesday, 25 January 1798 to consult whether it will be proper to introduce the smallpox into their families at this time, the following present answered.
    David Morris No
    Charles Fox No
    John Wilson No
    Resolved, That it is agreed that no person here present shall introduce the inoculation into their families without having given like public notice as at this time, so that the inhabitants may have the opportunity of remonstration against it or take such measures as may be necessary.
    Isaac Kerr, Sec.

    Smallpox is caused by of two viruses: Variola major and Variola minor. Symptoms include a rash and blisters. The mortality rate for V. major is 30–35% and for V. minor is about 1%. Long-term complications include scars, blindness, and limb deformities.

    from Deeds, Washington County, Pennsylvania Book L Q, page 543.

    Hugh Wilson et ux. to Charles Fox,
    June 24, 1801.
    Between Hugh Wilson, merchant of the town, and Rachel, his wife, and
    Charles Fox, tavern keeper, of the same place.
    Two hundred pounds.
    Lot on Market Street on west and extending thereon sixty feet, being lot 21 in the original plan of the town. It is the lot which John Hoge and William Hoge granted to Hugh Wilson on August 15, 1792.


    Death of Hou Moses Corwin Mosks Bledsoe Cobwin died at his residence in this city Thursday evening last April 11 aged 82 years and 3 months He was the first child of Ichabod and Sarah Corwin and was born in Bourbon county Ky January 5 1790 and six years later the family removed to Lebanon where ho grew up to manhood June 4 1811 ho was married to Margaret ox of Lebanon and in 1812 they moved to Urbana ar riving here June 18 and here they spent the remainder of their lives Upon his arrival here Mr Corwin began the publication of the Watchtower the first newspaper published' in the then large county of Champaign introducing press and types into the vast wilderness undismayed by the popular illiteracy of most early settlers and less annoyed by the competition of other presses a hundred miles away Early in 1811 he had been admitted to the bar and ho began his practice here which became very extensive his circuit including Cincinnati and Detroit at which places he was an attendant at Court In those early days the lawyer traveled like an old style gentleman astride the best horse in the country his legal acumen stored in his brain and legal authorities in the saddle-bags The journey of a circuit then was no trilling trip as it now would be but occupied weeks always and frequently extending into months In 1838 Mr Corwin was elected Representative from Champaign and Union counties to the State Legislature and was re-elected in 1839 He represented this District (then composed of Champaign Logan Union Delaware and Clarke counties) in Congress in 1849-50 and again in 1853 4 serving faithfully and acceptably the people of the 8th District in times when political strategy and high-toned compromise were actively engaged in preparing evil webs for a future day to unravel On all the measures of those days Mr Corwin entertained and advocated advanced ideas which eventually led him to enroll himself in the ranks of the Republican party early in its career in which he lived politically until his natural death His social life was a thread of interesting portrayals of the character of true friendship The fire of love burned brightly in his heart and the sun never set upon his anger To a friend he was all friend in adversity or thrift In the hour of trial of deep despair his friend found him strong to avert any danger and with a will to do it An incident occurs to us that is fruitful of the lessons of friendship and shows the true tests It was told by Jonathan Chaplin in the irst Church many years ago in an address on Temperance And ta make this incident the more fully understood it must be known that in his early manhood Mr Corwin was an intemperate man beyond the ordinary dram drinking customs of the day and Mr Chaplin was his chosen companion of the hour In the fall of 1830 in November if we mistake nob the naturally religious faculties of Mr Corwin assumed supremacy over his grosser passions and led him to unite himself with the Church He closed his lips against liquor in all its forms and became totally abstinent The great change in so prominent a man was the theme of every tongue and excitement even resulted from so great a reformation and so prominent an example The example was not lost on his most valued and truly honorable friend Jonathan Chaplin and he too made the effort to abstain from the cup or days and nights he wrestled with the demon appetite and fought manfully against the love of that which he knew would drag him down to destruction At the morning of the eighth day he succumbed to the demands of his tottering brain and with shaking nerves and mind racked with the torture of an appetite freed from resistance he arose long before dawn and maddened crazed he awaited the coming of the first grey streaks of the day that he might go downtown awaken a store-keeper anu appease his appetite with knew he would surely obtain Day dawned and throwing him he started down town the wind blowing fiercely and rain falling frozen upon the ground and soon reached North Main Street As he turned into that Street he met a strong blast of wind that nearly carried away his hat and blanket and he pulled the blanket over his head and groped his way onward not earing what might be in his way and seeing nothing Ont of a little nook near where Cigar Store now stands stepped a manly form and seized him firmly by the shoulder turned him around and in a friendly voice said come And God be praised Jonathan went He who had saved his friend from that most hope less uncharitable road to destruction was Moses Corwin and for eight early mornings had he watched and waited theie knowing the cravings of appetite that would afflict him in whom he had the strongest interest the hour it would come the strongest to attack him and he put forth the strong and resolute band Jonathan Chaplin became an honored and exceedingly popular minister of the Gospel Such an event is worth the living of an ordinary life time but Mr life exhibred many such incidents showing his valuation ot the fraternal ties of manhood and theircorrect uses The declining days of such a man are full of peace and his retrospect of a long life was fruitful of comfort and contentment that made him happy even when surrounded with affliction Seeing he heard not but his thoughts of the good the world has and had were the solace of a good old man


    from Cincinnati Commercial Tribune
    Thursday, December 18, 1879

    Death of a Pioneer Mother
    Mrs. Sarah F. McLean died yesterday afternoon at the residence of one of her daughters, Mrs. J.D. Minor. The lady, nee Sarah F. Fox, was a native of Washington County, Pennsylvania. She was in her eighty-sixth year.

    She was brought to this city in 1804 and here was married to William McLean, brother of Judge McLean. She lived in this city and in Piqua, mostly here. Her husband represented the Piqua District in Congress from 1823 to 1827, inclusive. It was this gentleman who sent General O.M. Mitchel to West Point and Vice Admiral Rowan to Annapolis.

    Mrs. McLean was for seventy-three years a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was prominent and highly esteemed in church and social circles. She was the mother of twelve children, five of whom are living. They are Colonel Nathaniel H. McLean, Mrs. E.W. Sehon, Louisville, Mrs. E.L. Dunham, Chicago, Mrs. Belle Probasco, Washington, D.C. and Mrs. J.D. Minor, Cincinnati.

    The funeral will take place Friday, at 10AM, from Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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