Birth: 14 Sep 1776, Dinwiddie County, Virginia
Death: 29 Jul 1859, Lincoln County, Tennessee
Death Source: Biography of son R. C. Rives
Spouse1: Mary Hardaway, m. c1805
Spouse2: Frances Markham Hardaway, m. 9 Dec 1817, Granville County, North Carolina
Spouse3: Susan Woodard
NarrativeChildren of Green Rives and Mary Hardaway:
- Thomas H. Rives, b. c1806
- John Rives
- Mary Rives, b. c1813, d. 1 Sep 1882
- Henry Hardaway Rives, b. 13 Aug 1817, d. 2 Dec 1866 (He is generally considered to be the child of Frances Hardaway and Green Rives but based upon their date of marriage, he is probably the child of Mary Hardaway, not Frances.)
- Elmedia A. (Almedia) Rives, b. 20 Apr 1819, d. 4 May 1856
- Willis Green Rives, b. 21 Sep 1821, d. 27 Dec 1860
- Frances Markham Rives, b. c1823
- Littleberry William Rives, b. 14 Mar 1828, d. 1911
- James Monroe Rives, b. 16 Jul 1832, d. before 1880
- Benjamin Watkins Leigh Rives, b. 7 Jun 1835, d. 3 Oct 1913
- Robert Clay Rives, b. 13 Mar 1837 in Marshall County, Tennessee
- Susan Elizabeth Woodward "Sue" Rives, b. 29 Sep 1839, d. c1915
Reliques deduces that he was likely a son of an unnamed son of William Rives (c1712-1786) of Prince George and Dinwidde Counties.
From Reliques of the Rives:
Captain Green Rives was born in Dinwiddie county, Virginia, and died July 29, 1859, in Lincoln county, Tennessee. He appears in the Federal census for 1810 from Dinwiddie as the head of a family and the possessor of eight slaves. As early as 1804 he is recorded in the Dinwiddie tax lists——hisname being conjoined with that of Henry Hardaway, his father-in-law——asthe owner of four slaves, a number which had increased to eleven in 1826. In 1812 he is shown as the proprietor of 455 acres of land lying on Birches Road in Dinwiddie on which he paid taxes of $3.08. In 1820 he received 45 acres on the Turkey Egg Road from Thomas Rives, "atty. for Kunninghams," and on January 5, 1826, he deeded 168 acres owned by him in Sussex county to David Rowland.
Green Rives served as a captain in the local Dinwiddie county militia in 1810 and 1811; for, in the Dinwiddie tax lists for those years, he appears listed as "Capt. Green Rives." His home was on what is now known as the "Locust Grove Farm," near McKinney, Virginia, his neighbors being the Wells, Gills, Scotts, and the Rogers, some of whom became his neighbors later in Tennessee. The old home where Capt. Green Rives resided is gone, only the foundation stones and chimney remaining to mark the spot. One of his schoolmates was Winfield Scott and when, years afterwards in 1852, General Scott was a candidate for president, Green Rives. who was a zealous Whig, took an active part in the electioneering campaign in his locality and celebrated in great style when news was brought that Scott had carried Tennessee.
At the beginning of the 19th century there was a considerable movement of population from eastern Virginia to Tennessee, a movement particularly marked amongst Dinwiddie county families. Abram and Aaron Wells, brothers of Balaam Wells, of Dinwiddie, the Gills and the Rogers who had intermarried with the family of Green Rives’ uncle, Robert Rives, and the family of Anthony Rives and his nephews (who had settled in Dinwiddie from Sussex) were amongst those who removed to Tennessee. Green Rives, presumably accompanied by some of these neighbors, moved "with a large wagon train and an overseer * * * named Jolley" about the year 1828.
In October, 1906, there was published in the Fayetteville (Tenn.) Observer in a series of sketches entitled Pioneers of Lincoln Co., an account of Green Rives and his family by the Hon. John M. Bright, who represented Tennessee several terms in Congress, from which account the following is taken:
Green Rives, born September 14, 1776, came from Petersburg, Va., in 1828, settled near Petersburg, Tenn., on the Griffith Leonard farm. He afterwards acquired a large farm of his own and lived on it many years, pursuing the honorable avocation of the farmer. From circumstances I infer that he belonged to a family of high descent and of the primitive Cavalier stock, who settled in Virginia at an early day. He was related to the distinguished statesman, Wm. C. Rives, and the popular authoress, Amelia (Amelie) Rives, of Virginia. His life was without striking vicissitudes or the display of great actions. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, strong attachments and devoted friendships. He perhaps was at one time an innocent victim of financial misfortune. The flush times and wild speculations and uncalculating ventures between 1836 and 1840, induced many incompetent young men to quit the fields and to embark in mercantile pursuits. Mr. Rives became the surety for one of his sons (John) and Norfleet Hays, who went into business under the firm name of Rives & Hays. At last the financial storm swept over the land and left a scene of desolation in its wake. A grim vision of bankruptcy struck Rives & Hays in the face, and sureties and endorsers saw a fearful reckoning with them. In 1842 (I think it was) I filed the petition in bankruptcy of Rives & Hays in the Federal Court at Nashville and had them discharged. But they left a large incumbency of debt which came on the shoulders of the elder Rives. Col. James Fulton received the security claimed against the old gentleman for collection, obtained judgments and had executions issued and levied on his property. He and Col. Fulton were mutual friends. Col. Fulton was the soul of generosity to a friend in need. On the day of sale he was present and bid in all the property and turned it over to the old man to keep and use and pay for it when he was able, except one old servant, Berry. It is my understanding that the old gentleman Rives recovered from the wreck of his fortune and accumulated enough for a comfortable support.* * * Extended comment on individual members of the Rives family would be impracticable. * * * As a summary of the large family of Riveses, it may be said that they were intelligent, industrious, honest, public-spirited and highly respected citizens, and a valuable contribution to our Tenn. population by Old Virginia.
Green Rives is buried in a private graveyard on land now owned by Warren Gill, of Petersburg, Tennessee, alongside his third wife, the following inscriptions marking their last resting places:
BORN SEPT. 14TH 1776
DIED JULY 29, 1859
‘HE LIVED AND DIED A WHIG'
THIS INSCRIPTION BY HIS REQUEST
DIED MAY 24TH 1846
Green Rives married three times, “each time in Virginia. His first two wives were sisters,” Mary and Frances Hardaway, daughters of Henry Hardaway, of Dinwiddie county, Virginia, who was evidently a son of John Hardaway (b. 1708, son of Thomas and Jane (Drewry) Hardaway) by his wife, Frances Markham. Green Rives married 3rd, June 14, 1827, “Miss Susan Woodward at Balaam Wells,” the marriage being performed by Rev. John Grammar.
SourcesCensus: 1810 Census - Dinwiddie County, Virginia
1820 Census - Dinwiddie County, Virginia
1830 Census - Lincoln County, Tennessee
1840 Census - Marshall County, Tennessee
1850 Census - Marshall County, Tennessee
History: 1853 Will - Green Rives - Marshall County, Tennessee Will Book A, p308
Reliques of the Rives, p272
Fayetteville (Tenn.) Observer, Oct 1906