Rives, Abraham Timothy Orville Chastaine
SummaryFather: Anthony Rives
Mother: Mary Browne Green
Birth: 8 Mar 1802, Dinwiddie County, Virginia
Birth Source: Reliques of the Rives
Spouse1: Mary Eliza Ruffin, m. 22 Sep 1822
Spouse2: Mary Williamson Rives, m. 10 or 11 Dec 1835, Lynchburg, Virginia
NarrativeChildren of Abraham Timothy Orville Chastaine Rives and Mary Eliza Ruffin:
- William Henry Binns Rives, b. 19 Sep 1823
- Sarah Virginia Rives, b. 30 Nov 1825
- John Early Rives, b. 5 Sep 1827
- Orville Chastaine Rives, b. 9 May 1829, d. 6 Oct 1830
- Orville Chastaine Rives, b. 30 Jun 1832
Children of Abraham Timothy Orville Chastaine Rives and Mary Williamson Rives:
- James Mason Rives, b. 28 Mar 1837, d. 30 Sep 1862
- Mary Elizabeth Rives, b. 18 May 1839, d. 2 Jul 1845
- Nathaniel Binns Rives, b. 18 Jun 1840, d. 24 Sep 1840
- Ann Maria Rives, b. 2 Jan 1842, d. 15 Apr 1880, m. James W. Rives
- Martha Anderson Rives, b. 9 Aug 1843
From Reliques of the Rives:
Abraham Timothy Orville Chastaine Rives, known always as Orville C. Rives, was born at "Chalmaria," Dinwiddie county, Virginia, on March 8, 1802. He married, 1st, September 22, 1822, Mary Eliza Ruffin (2.June 28, 1803, d. Jan. 22, 1835), daughter of John Ruffin and his wife, Sarah Browne, daughter of Henry Browne, of Surry county, and his wife, Elizabeth Willoughby (supra). In 1824 he accompanied his father to Tennessee, but returned to Virginia for his second bride and third cousin, Mary Williamson Rives, daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Rivers) Rives, whom he married on December 10, 1835, "at the home of her sister, Mrs. James W. Saunders, in Lynchburg, Virginia, Rev. John Wesley Childs, officiating." They traveled by carriage to La Grange, Tennessee, where they resided until the birth of their first child in 1837, removing thence to a plantation in Hinds county, Mississippi.
Mr. Rives was always kind and considerate in the treatment accorded the slaves belonging to him, being in this respect like the vast majority of Southern slaveholders who, even had they not been actuated by humanitarian motives, would hardly have found it advantageous to mistreat these living chattels upon whose good health and happy disposition they were dependent for their own economic wellbeing.
After his second marriage, Mr. Rives had occasion to return to Virginia and there became very much attracted by a little negro boy belonging to a certain Mr. Langley. He induced the latter to dispose of the boy who, when learning of the contemplated sale, begged his prospective master to purchase his sister, alleging that they were orphans without near relatives and that they desired to remain together. Mr. Rives consented; but, some time after, Mr. Langley endeavored to obtain the return of the boy whom he regretted having sold. The boy, however, clasped Mr. Rives around the knees and plead with him not to separate him from his sister, promising him that they would serve him faithfully all their lives. This boy was Jacob Langley, and his sister was Louisa Langley. Both faithfully discharged the promise made by Jacob, and lived and died in the service of Orville Rives. Jacob became the most trusted of the servants and had charge of the work on the plantation when Mr. Rives was absent. Louise became the family cook. They died at “Orvilla,” the home of Orville Rives in Washington county, Mississippi, long after the close of the war.
At the time of the settlement of Mr. and Mrs. Orville Rives in Mississippi, that State still harbored Indian tribes. A band of Choctaw Indians camped at one time near the home of Mr. O. C. Rives and his wife while they were residing at Rocky Springs. A young Indian girl, taken ill with fever, was found by Mrs. Rives in the act of being subjected to exorcisms to drive out the evil spirits which were thought to plague her. A deep ditch had been dug in which a slow fire had been built, over which green logs covered with green boughs had been placed as a bed for the girl who had been placed thereon swathed in heavy blankets. Mrs. Rives persuaded the Indians to permit her to take the girl to her home for treatment where she was given suitable medicines and kept on a pallet in her own room until the girl was well. After recovery the girl’s gratitude was such that she begged to be allowed to remain as a personal servant but this offer was refused for fear of discord arising between the girl and the negro servants.
At the outbreak of the War for Southern Independence, Mr. Orville Rives was too old for service, but he not only encouraged every living son to take up arms for the defense of their country but also gave liberally of his substance to the Confederate cause. It was known that he never turned away a soldier from his door. His home contained four large rooms on the ground floor some twenty feet square, separated by a hall of equal size; and, when the bedrooms upstairs were filled, blankets were spread in the rooms and hall downstairs until every available square inch of space was occupied with soldiers.
Once when his home was filled to overflowing with troops, still another tired and hungry squad of men applied for a resting place. When the commanding officer of the troops which were already established in the house informed the latecomers that there was no place left, one of the soldiers cried out, “Ask Mr. Rives; he never turns a soldier away.” Mr. Rives and his wife, who had retired, heard the appeal, and with one accord they arose, summoned the sleepy cook, and caused to be prepared for every man in the squad the best meal their scanty larder afforded, as well as seeing that they were accommodated with resting places in the only available roofed space left, the corn cribs of the barn.
It was in such a spirit that the South defended its own and defied successfully for four years all the material power of the North.
SourcesMarriage2: Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940 (FamilySearch)
Census: 1830 Census - Fayette County, Tennessee
1840 Census - Hinds County, Mississippi
1850 Census - Claiborne County, Mississippi
1860 Census - Issaquena, Mississippi
1870 Census - Washington County, Mississippi
History: Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p513