John Brockinton Pressley

(18 Feb 1810 - 7 May1863)

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Pressley Family Cemetery, Williamsburg County, South Carolina

Headstone of John Brockinton Pressley






DIED 7TH MAY 1863.




John Brockinton's epitaph is from Psalms 37, verse 37.

John Gotea Pressley, John B. Pressley's son, wrote of him:

John Brockinton Pressley (son of John and Mary B. Pressley) married Sarah Gotea (daughter of John and Elizabeth Gotea) on the 5th day of January A.D. 1830.

To write sketches of their lives that would give my children an adequate idea of the respect, love, and affection which is in my heart for them would furnish me with employment to the exclusion of other occupation for a much longer time than I have a right to take from the public,* and I shall therefore not attempt it. I hope my children will talk to me about them; I will tell them all that I know about them if they would like to hear. Bless God: there is nothing that they have ever done that is a family stain or discredit. Let my children who may read this be assured by me that they may feel an honest pride in knowing that they have descended from respectable, intelligent, upright, Christian grandparents on both sides.

My father when a young man was a sufferer with dyspepsia. It never entirely left him during his life, but he grew better as he grew older, and looked healthier and very little older in 1863, the hour he died, than when I first knew him.

My father took up residence in the house of his mother-in-law upon his marriage. He and my mother lived there, and father managed the plantation for the benefit of the whole family until 1839, when he moved to Turkey Creek and settled on the place at which his family were reared, and to which I have so often referred. He left my grandmother Gotea and Aunt Maggie on the Cold Water Run (Gotea Plantation) but still had a general supervision over their business till the marriage of my Aunt Margaret. Four of my father and mother’s children were born in the old Gotea house, Sister Mary, I, my brother James, and sister Martha Fowler.

My father had very little school education, but by his study and reading acquired more than an average store of learning. A good many years of his boyhood and early manhood were spent in the employ of Black Mingo’s Cleland Belin .This Cleland Belin is a descendant of one of my Brockinton ancestors.

My father was much given to politics, but never for himself. He was a “power” for his friends in local elections.

He had a passion for hunting and fishing, the favorite sports of the Southern gentleman....

My father was very liberal to his children. Three of us had left the paternal roof before his death, and, when we set up for ourselves, he made a liberal division of his Negroes with us.
When the war commenced, Father wished to volunteer, but his boys would not consent. He had two sons in the service from the beginning and five before the end came. We thought he was giving enough and that he could serve his country best at home, making provisions for the soldiers at the front.

John Brockinton Pressley, died on the 7th of May, 1863, of a fever and disorder which brought on hemorrhage of the bowels. I was with him in his last illness. We laid him to rest with his forefathers in our private graveyard at “Boyd’s Old Field."

My mother survived him and, in 1869, she and her whole family left S.C. and came to California.

* John Gotea Pressley, at the time of this writing, was a Superior Court Judge in California.


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