Birth: c1777, Virginia
Birth Source: Reliques of the Rives
Spouse1: Sarah Harper
Robert Rives was born in Virginia about 1777, and accompanied his parents to South Carolina. He married before 1803, Sarah Harper, previously identified by the gift made her on October 11, 1805, by her father-in-law, Benjamin Rives. There is also a deed dated March 11, 1805, in Chester county from James Hamilton to "Sarah Reaves and Henry N. Carter," the consideration being $500, of a "plantation of 250 acres being originally at ract granted to Mary Hamilton," to which deed William Hamilton and Robert Robinson were witnesses. Some years later, in 1819, "Robert Reives, Sarah H. Reives, wife of Robert Reives and Henry N. Carter, all of Chester District," for an amount of $300 sold to "John Reives all that plantation or tract of land containing 125 acres on the waters of Fishing Creek of Catawba River being one half of a tract conveyed to sd. Sarah Reives and Henry N. Carter by James Hamilton." The deed, signed by Robert Rives, Sarah H. Rives, and Henry N. Carter, was witnessed by Alexander Cowen and Charles Boyd.
Robert Rives does not appear in the Federal census for 1810 from Chester county, as he was probably residing with his father at that time. He does appear in the census of 1820, however, with four children: one son over eighteen years, a daughter between ten and sixteen, two sons under ten, he himself being listed as under forty-five years.
On September 17, 1819, William Richardson Davie, late Governor of North Carolina, made his will which was probated in Chester county, South Carolina, on February 5, 1821, in which, in addition to bequests to his daughters Mary Haynes Davie, Sarah Jones De Saussure, Martha Rebecca Davie, and his sons Hyder Allen Davie, Frederick William Davie, Allen Jones Davie (his son's grandfather General Jones), and his son-in-law Wm. F. De Saussure, he states that "being desirous to provide a residence for life for my friend and kinsman Robert Rives it is my will and I so desire that he be permitted to reside on the land I bought of John Rives, during his natural life, with liberty to cultivate so much of the cleared land as he may think fit, and get what timber he may want from any of the adjacent land."
I have been unable to determine the relationship to which Gov. Davie makes reference, nor has such a student of Gov. Davie's life as his descendant, Mr. Preston Davie, of New, York, been able to enlighten me when replying under date of July 7, 1926, to an inquiry which I had directed to him, and when he wrote as follows:
I have your letter of May 18, 1926, written from Bucharest, Rumania, in which you refer to the will of William Richardson Davie, wherein he mentions his "friend and kinsman Robert Rives" and also "land I bought from John Rives." Your letter asks whether I can inform you of the nature of the relationship referred to.
I have been for some years past collecting data relating to Governor William Richardson Davie, with the idea of writing a biographical sketch of him, and amongst other matters in going over his will I also noticed this statement, and like you have not been able to check up the relationship.
Governor Davie was brought over to America in the year 1764 from Great Britain by his father Archibald Davie, the latter also bringing with him his wife Mary Richardson Davie and two other children, an older son named Joseph Davie and a daughter named Mary Davie. Archibald Davie settled near his brother-in-law, the Rev. William Richardson, a graduate of Glascow University, who came over to this country in 1750 and was one of the first Presbyterian ministers in Carolina. Both settled on the Catawba River in a section known as 'The Garden of the Waxhaws," which extends across the boundary line between North and South Carolina. When the line between the two states was eventually run it was determined that this portion of the Waxhaws in which they lived fell on the South Carolina side.
Rev. William Richardson was for many years pastor of the Waxhaws Presbyterian Church and is buried in the Waxhaw burying ground near Lancaster, S. C.
Gov. Davie graduated from Princeton College in 1776, served as Colonel in the Revolutionary War, was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Governor of North Carolina in 1799, resigning to act with Oliver Ellsworth and Vans Murray as Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extra ordinary to France during the Consulate. Thereafter he returned to North Carolina, retiring from active life after practicing law for some years, and finally settled in South Carolina on the Catawba on his plantation known as "Tivoli," where he died in 1820. He married Sarah Jones, daughter of Allen Jones, who with his brother Willie (pronounced Wiley) Jones were graduates of Eton in England, and returned to this country and were prominent figures in the Revolutionary period. They were the sons of Robin Jones, a representative of Lord Granville, who owned enormous stretches of land in North Carolina which he had inherited from one of the original Lords Proprietors of North Carolina.
I neglected to say that prior to coming to this country Archibald Davie and his family at one time lived in Whitehaven, near Cumberland, England. There is a conflict as to where Governor Davie was born, an old family bible stating that he was born in Argyle, and most of the printed sketches stating that he was born at Egermont, a small village near Whitehaven, in Cumber land, England, but which is right I have been unable to ascertain.
Just where the Rives connection comes in, I am unable to state, and have given you the foregoing in the hope that possibly it may give you some clue * * *.
So far as concerns Robert and Sarah (Harper) Rives there remains only to be added that there is no further record of them, and their descendants remain untraced.
1820 Census - Chester County, South Carolina