Mother: Sarah Cook
Birth: c. 1749, Brunswick Co., Virginia
Birth Source: Estimate
Death: 1810-1820 Chester Co., South Carolina
Death Source: Estimate
Spouse1: Mary, possibly nee Robinson
From Reliques of the Rives:
Benjamin Rives was a native of Brunswick county, Virginia, and died in Chester county, South Carolina, 1810- 20, to which he removed about the time of the Revolutionary War with his mother, Sarah, his brother William Rives, and his sister Frances Jordan.
He appears in the records of Brunswick county on December 19, 1772, when he purchased for £65 from John and Mary Brewer, of Meherrin Parish, 200 acres of land in Brunswick on the southside of Beaver Creek, the witnesses to which were Littlebury Robinson, William Robinson, Jr., and William Peebles. The following year he purchased for £140 from William and Elizabeth Massey 200 acres on Cattail Creek, the deed being witnessed by Wm. Wren, Richard x Massey, and James Avent. On August 23, 1773, he was appointed guardian of Frances Rives (his sister) "orphan of George Rives, deceased," his sureties being Robert Rives and William Rives. In October of that year he conveyed for £90 to William Rives (his brother) 200 acres on the southside of Beaver Creek, his wife, Mary, waiving her dower rights by the making of her mark, and Benjamin and James Avent and William Wrenn acting as witnesses. On June 18, 1776, Benjamin Rives and his wife, Mary, deeded for £135 to Richard Clifton land on Cattail Creek in Brunswick which had been granted August 16, 1756, to James Massey and which had fallen apparently to Benjamin Rives from his father's estate. Benjamin Rives was a neighbor of James Young, father-inlaw of his brother, William Rives, according to a deed which mentions that Benjamin Rives' land adjoined that of James Young. In 1777 Benjamin Rives purchased for £100 from George and Abigal Col lier 150 acres on the southside of Beaver Pond which he disposed of on November 24, 1779, for £150 to Littlebury Robinson, the land being described as that "which Charles Collier Maid a gift of to his son Henry Collier."
Some time after November, 1779, or early in 1780, Benjamin Rives removed with various member of his family from Virginia to South Carolina; but, as a result of the British offensive against the American Colonies directed from the South and into South Carolina, Benjamin Rives and his brother and sister had returned by October 23, 1780, to Brunswick.¹ There is recorded under the latter date in the Brunswick deed books the following entries:
The Following Lists of Slaves being returned into Court by the Proprietors who removed into this Commonwealth from the Neighboring States for Protection are Ordered to be Recorded:
Benjamin Rives, South Carolina:
Dick, Peter, Phebe, Hannah, Dorias.
Benjamin Rives, Guardian for Frances Rives:
One Woman Dinah, one Boy Dick.²
(D. B. 14, p. 104.)
That Benjamin Rives had served in the South Carolina militia in the Revolutionary War in 1780 before seeking a haven in Virginia, is evident from the payment to him on April 1, 1785, by the State of South Carolina of "four pounds Sterling for 28 days Militia Duty in 1780 as pr account audited, Book No. 267, Book N" (A. S. Salley, Stub Entries, p. 293). Following his return to South Carolina, Benjamin Rives received on December 4, 1786, a grant of 396 acres of land in Camden District from the State (S. C. Land Books, 14, 594). On October 18, 1789, he was made an executor of the will of Nathaniel Rives, of Chester county, South Carolina. The first Federal census of 1790 shows him, with his brother William Rives, a resident of Chester county, Camden District, South Carolina, and the head of a family of two white males over, and two white males, under sixteen years of age, and three white females. At this time he was the owner of eight slaves. On April 24, 1790, "Benjamin Rives, Yeoman," deeded for £5 to "Wilson Henderson, Planter," 100 acres on the west side of the Catawba river in Chester county. The witnesses to this transaction were William and Wilson Henderson and Sarah x Rives, the last-named evidently the mother of Benjamin Rives. A year later, on January 15, 1791, "Benjamin Rives and wife, Planter," deeded for £5 to Sharod Willis a tract of 100 acres in Chester county "it being the left end by Benjamin Rives land Bounded * * * by Adkin's land * * * on the right side of the Catawba river." The deed was signed by Benjamin and Mary x Rives and was witnessed by Wilson Cooper, Jacob Cooper, and Thomas Neely. During the years 1791-99 there are a series of his accounts recorded in Chester county covering his guardianship of Irvin and Nathaniel Rives (sons of Nathaniel). Benjamin Rives appears in 1804 as the witness to a deed of John Rives (his son), and on October 11, 1805, as "Benjamin Rives of the State of South Carolina, Chester District, Planter, for and in consideration of the love and good will and affection which I have towards my beloved Daughter (Sarah Harper) (and) children, have given and granted * * * unto my grand children after the death of their mother Sarah Harper * * * (a part here indecipherable) four negroes Lucy, Mary, Dick, and Cato." To this deed of gift, Middleton McDonald, Henry Turner, and Wm. x Crowder were witnesses. The Federal census of 1800 records him as "Benjamin Reves," with nine slaves, and as the head of a family of two white males between the ages of ten and sixteen, one between sixteen and twenty-six, two young girls, and he and his wife both over the age of forty-five. He makes his final appearance in the census for 1810 as "Benjamin Rives."
The fact that Middleton McDonald was a witness on the deed to Sarah Harper's children is interesting, given that the wife of Middleton McDonald Sr. was thought to be an Elizabeth Reeves/Rives.
There is a deed of trust from York County recorded in Chester in which a Benjamin Reeves/Rives gifts a slave to his daughter Nancy Horne. It's not known at this time if this is the same individual. If it is, it's likely he moved to York County and was the Benjamin Reeves who appeared on the census there in 1820.
In another deed from Chester County, a Benjamin Reeves received land from a John Fleming.
¹In October, 1778, the Virginia Legislature authorized the dispatch to the assistance of South Carolina of a number of men not exceeding 3,000 (Tyler's Quarterly, vii, 185).
²Benjamin Rives' slave Peter, and Frances Rives' two negroes were bequests to them from their father's estate. Others whose names appear recorded in this list, and who would seem to have been also of South Carolina, were: Benjamin Hicks, George Hicks, Daniel Dubose, and William Rives.
1790 Census - Chester County, South Carolina
1800 Census - Chester County, South Carolina
1810 Census - Chester County, South Carolina
SC Archives S213190, Vol. 12, p218 - RIVES, BENJAMIN, PLAT FOR 396 ACRES ON WEST SIDE OF CATAWBA RIVER, CAMDEN DISTRICT, SURVEYED BY HENRY MASSEY
1790 Deed - Benjamin Rives to Wilson Henderson
1791 Deed - Benjamin Rives to Sharord Willis
1805 Deed - Benjamin Rives to Sarah Harper's Children