Rives, Frederick (c1736 VA - c1815 VA)

Rives, Frederick

Rives, Frederick, Capt.


Father: Joseph Rives

Birth: c1736, presumably in Prince George county, Virginia
Birth Source: Reliques of the Rives

Death: c1815, Franklin county, Virginia
Death Source: Reliques of the Rives

Spouse1: Mary Magdalene (Stegall)


Children of Frederick Rives and Mary Magdalene (Stegall):
  1. Burwell Rives, b. about 1762
  2. George Rives, b. about 1763
  3. Alexander Rives, b. about 1765
  4. Martha (Patsey) Rives, b. about 1767, m. Charles Lumsden
  5. Phoebe Rives, b. about 1770, m. Still
  6. Sarah Rives, b. Dec. Rives, 1773, m. John Brown.
  7. Elizabeth Rives, b. about 1775, m. James Quarles
  8. Lucy Rives, b. about 1777, m. James Cowden
  9. Mary Rives, b. about 1779, m. Bottom
  10. Joseph Rives, b. 1781

From Reliques of the Rives:
Captain Frederick Rives was born about 1736, presumably in Prince George county, Virginia, and died about 1815 in Franklin county, Virginia. Rising to a position of commanding influence in his community, he served as one of the Gentlemen Justices of Henry county when that county included his home on Pig river, and was one of those appointed to choose the present site of that courthouse. He was a Captain of the Pittsylvania county militia as early as 1772 and served therein until almost the close of the Revolutionary War. In 1779 he built for his family on Pig river, in what is now Franklin county, a substantial home which remains as a monument to his memory and within the shadows of which he is buried.

There has been noted his purchase, with his brother Burwell Rives on April 26, 1757, of 330 acres of land in Brunswick county on Briery Creek. He had evidently removed from his early home in Bristol Parish, Prince George county, about the time of the attainment by him of his majority. That he was a resident of St. Andrews Parish, Brunswick county, in 1763 is proved by an entry in the vestry-book of that parish according to which Frederick Rives, Benjamin Johnson, and David Merideth were ordered in that year to procession all the land between Ingram's Road, Miles' Road, Pennington's Road and the Great Creek (p. 104). By the year 1769 he had removed to the frontier county of Pittsylvania which had been formed two years previously, for in that year he disposed of the 330 acres in Brunswick county he had purchased with his brother Burwell 1n 1757.

From the time of his departure from Brunswick county until his death there are frequent transfers of land recorded in the name of Frederick Rives. On March 30, 1769, George Stegall and his wife, Agnes, of Brunswick county, sold for £150 to Frederick Rives, of Pittsylvania county, 5,400 acres in the latter county which was described as being "all the land that Frederick Reaves and George Stegall bought of Robert Wickly lying on both sides of Pigg River," it being situated in a section later to become Henry, and eventually, Franklin county. In July, 1770, he purchased for £70 from Lewis Jenkins, of Pittsylvania, 400 acres "on both sides pigg River * * * beginning at the mouth of Jacks Creeck on Pigg River thence up the River to Thomas Pallirs line." Of these holdings of 5,800 acres, Frederick Rives now disposed, in quick succession, of one track of 1,000 acres "on the south side of Pigg River * * * to William Stegall's line" for £100 on July 6, 1770, to William Dyson, of Brunswick county; on July 13, 1770, to David Kerby for £250, a tract of 1,500 acres "on Both Sides of Pigg River"; on July 27, 1770, to Ralph Grisham, of Brunswick county, for £200 a tract of 600 acres "on the North Side of Pigg River * * * Beginning on the South Side of Jacks Mountain"; and on March 26, 1772, to Samuel Canterbury, planter, of Camden Parish, Pittsylvania county, for £35 a tract of 100 acres "on Mountain Creek a branch of Pigg River." In this last named deed Frederick Rives is described as "of the Parish of Camden in the County of Pittsylvania." His wife, Mary Magdalene Rives, joined with him, as she had in 1769, in affixing her signature to the deed.

From these conveyances Frederick Rives is shown to have fared very well in his land speculations by means of which so many aggran dized their fortunes in Colonial Virginia. For the 5,800 acres for which he had paid a total of £220, he had, within a period of three years, repaid the purchase price by the sale of 3,300 acres, and had enriched himself to the extent of £365 while still retaining title to 2,500 acres. It is no wonder that under such circumstances he became a person of influence upon whom responsible positions were quick to revolve.

At a court held on June 23, 1774, "Frederick Reeves" took the oath as a Captain of the Pittsylvania county militia.¹ At a meeting of the Committee of the county on September 27, 1775, "among the gentlemen nominated as officers of the county militia agreable to the Ordinance of Convention" was Frederick Rives as Captain, a nomi nation confirmed again in 1777.² On September 13, 1777, in Henry county he renounced allegiance to Great Britain and took the oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth of Virginia. He apparently continued to hold the rank of Captain when Henry county was formed from Pittsylvania in 1777 for he did not resign the office until August, 1780, when his resignation was presented to the Henry county court.³ The military service which he saw included not only that incident to the Revolutionary War but also duty against the Cherokee Indians in 1776. His resignation immediately preceded the dispatch of the Henry county militia in August, 1780, to quell a Tory insurrection which had broken out in that part of Virginia now included within Patrick county.

At the Henry county court of April 10, 1778, Frederick Rieves was one of five members of the court appointed "to view the Center of this County or the most Convenientest Place thereto for fixing the Courthouse & make a report thereof to the Court." In the same year he was one of the justices present at a trial held at Pittsylvania Courthouse at which "James Bryan was arraigned on suspicion of stealing a Pockett Book with £39:00 therein, the Property of Thomas Cardwell."⁴

In 1786 his home on Pig river fell within the newly established Franklin county which was formed in that year from Bedford and Henry counties and a part of Patrick. The tax lists of Franklin show him as the owner of 14 slaves, 6 horses, and 38 cattle in 1787, and in 1791, of two tracts of 1,500 and 750 acres, respectively. Ac cording to the federal census of 1810, he owned in that year 17 slaves.

Frederick Rives married Mary Magdalene Stegall, daughter of John Stegall, according to a marriage bond recorded in Amelia county, Virginia, on July 21, 1761. This John Stegall would appear to have been identical with the John Steagell, of Raleigh Parish, Amelia county, whose will, recorded in 1769 in Amelia, mentions his wife Winifred, and his daughter Lucy True. Mary Magdalene (Stegall) Rives was a granddaughter of Thomas Bottom, the elder, of Amelia county, who, in a deed dated February 28, 1762, conveyed to "Mary Magdaline Rives (wife of Frederick Rives) of Brunswick county" one negro woman slave named Anaky, and one negro girl named Doll about five years old, and one negro boy about five months old named Hampton "for and in consideration of the affection he hath for his granddaughter Mary Magdaline, wife of the said Frederick." Thomas Bottom, Sen., made his will in Amelia county May 10, 1765, mentioning his daughter Jane Vaughan, his granddaughters Frances Worsham and Mary Hubbard, and his son Thomas Bottom.

One of the last recorded acts of Frederick Rives was on April 13, 1812, when he made a grant of 500 acres of land in Franklin county on Pig river and its branches to "Patsey Lumsden, Phebe Still, Sally Brown, Elizabeth Quarles, Lucy Cowden, and Mary Bottom, formerly Patsey Rives, Phebe Rives, Sally Rives, Elizabeth Rives, Lucy Rives and Mary Rives * * * in consideration of the natural love and affection which I bear to my beloved Daughters before mentioned also for * * * one Dollar," stipulating that the land should be reserved for the use of the grantor until his death. He died before January 19, 1815, when his personal estate was appraised at $3,681.22.


Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p349
¹Pittsylvania County Judgment Book, ii, p. 402
²Pittsylvania Deed Book, iv, pp. 293-294
³McAllister, Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War, p. 209
⁴Miss Elizabeth T. White, of St. Louis, to whom I am indebted for these notes, writes that they were copied from the Henry county Order Books, the pages of which are unnumbered.

Franklin County, Virginia Will Book 2, p91 (Estate Inventory)
Franklin County, Virginia Will Book 3, p12, 14, 19 (Estate Sale)
Franklin County, Virginia Will Book 4, p229 (Estate Sale Account)