Biographical Sketch of William Campbell Mayfield (1783-1857)
of Pickens District SC and Hall County GA
By Phil Norfleet
Cherokee Heritage of William Campbell Mayfield
William Campbell Mayfield was apparently a half blood Cherokee Indian. He probably was named after Brigadier General William Campbell (1745-1781) of Washington County VA, who commanded the American forces at the Battle of Kings Mountain on 07 October 1780. In 1783, the approximate time that William Campbell Mayfield was born, it was very common for people living on the Frontier to name their children after heroes of the Revolution.
William Campbell Mayfield was born in North Carolina - probably in Washington County, about 13 years before that county became part of the new state of Tennessee. In the early 1780's the Cherokee Nation directly bordered Washington County and there were many Cherokee towns nearby. In the early 1780's several Mayfields were living in Washington County, some of these men may have taken Cherokee wives from the nearby Cherokee towns. During the late 1780's, most of these same families removed to Greenville and Pendleton Counties in South Carolina.
William's parents are unknown, but his father is almost certainly one of the early Mayfield settlers of Pendleton County who took up land along one of the creeks (probably Goldens Creek) which feed into Twelve Mile River in northwestern South Carolina. Prior to 1777, this area had been an integral part of the Cherokee Nation but, after several major military defeats suffered by the Cherokees in the Revolutionary War, they reluctantly ceded the territory to the State of South Carolina on 20 May 1777. Due to continued fighting in the South Carolina Backcountry during the Revolution, few if any whites settled in the area until the 1783-1785 time frame.
William's mother probably was a Cherokee of either mixed or full blood. At the time the Mayfield settlers entered into the Twelve Mile River area, there were probably many Indian families still living there. White men who had Cherokee wives would have found the transition to life in this area of frontier South Carolina much easier. Some of the Mayfields may have acquired Indian wives when they were still residing in Washington County NC. We do know that one of the early Mayfield Settlers, Stephen Mayfield (d. 1834), took a Cherokee wife named Jack or Jock in around 1785, when he was either in North Carolina or South Carolina.
In support of the Cherokee heritage of William Campbell Mayfield and Pearson Mayfield (son of William), a sworn statement was executed by a certain Green Bean, in Crawford County, Arkansas, probably in about 1896. The statement was part of a descendant's unsuccessful application to the Dawes Commission. Unfortunately the application was rejected. The statement is as follows:
State of Arkansas
County of Crawford
Personally appeared before me the undersigned, a Notary Public within and for the County aforesaid duly commissioned and acting as such, Green Bean, who makes affidavit and states on oath;
My name is Green Bean. I am 82 years of age and reside in Van Buren, Arkansas. I was acquainted with William Campbell Mayfield, who was known as “Fox Hunter Mayfield” at the time I knew him, which was about from forty to forty-five years ago, or some years before the War of the Rebellion. Some years before the war I was running a carding factory at Dutch Town near Cane Hill, in Washington County, Arkansas, and while there I got acquainted with said William Campbell Mayfield and saw him frequently around the Factory for a month or two, after which he went away and I was informed that he had gone back East to the Old Cherokee Nation. He was a one -eyed man, and about one-half Cherokee Indian to the best of my judgment. He associated with the Cherokee Indians who lived just across the line in the Cherokee Nation, and was generally received and recognized by them as a Cherokee Indian. He was introduced to me by some of the Cherokees, as a Cherokee who had come out there from the old Cherokee Nation back East. The Indians who came with him and associated with him had been acquainted with him back in the Old Cherokee Nation.
I was also acquainted with Pearson Mayfield, who was a son of William Campbell Mayfield, and who came to this country from the Old Cherokee Nation and settled near Van Buren. Pearson Mayfield showed Cherokee Indian blood and was about one-quarter Cherokee Indian.
/S/ Green Bean
Subscribed and sworn to before me this last day of August 1896. And I further certify that the said Green bean is to me well known, and that he is a credible person.
My Commission as a Notary Expiring Oct. 22 1898.
[Copy of the above was graciously provided to me by a direct descendant of Pearson Mayfield, Mr. Larry Mayfield of Stephenville, Texas.]
Pertinent Land Records
The early Mayfield settlers of Pendleton County (later Pickens District) acquired land lying on the tributaries of Twelve Mile River. In particular, many of these Mayfield settlers, including William Campbell Mayfield, and his sons: Pearson Mayfield, Israel Mayfield and Reuben Mayfield; all seem to have resided on Goldens Creek at one time or another. The following land records from Pendleton County and later Pickens District support this conclusion.
6 April 1785: A 240-acre tract of land on Goldens Creek, a tributary of 12 Mile River, in what would, in 1789, become Pendleton County, is surveyed and certified for Elijah Mayfield. [See SC Plat Book 17, page 113]
5 February 1787: Elijah Mayfield receives the grant for the 240-acre tract on Goldens Creek, surveyed for him in 1785. [See SC State Grant Book 17, page 613]
07 March 1789: Pendleton County is created from a previously unorganized area of South Carolina that had formerly belonged to the Cherokee Nation.
19 February 1791: Pendleton becomes part of newly created Washington District.
15 July 1791: A 428-acre tract of land situated on Goldens Creek, a tributary of 12 Mile River, is surveyed for Isaac Mayfield. The same survey document indicates that the land was certified to him on 15 December 1791. The plat map associated with the survey document indicates that Isaac's land is directly adjacent to land surveyed for Elijah Mayfield. [See SC Plat Book 27, page 563]
27 July 1791: A 338-acre tract of land situated on Goldens Creek, a tributary of 12 Mile River, is surveyed for David Hamilton. The same survey document indicates that the land was certified to him on 3 December 1792. The associated plat map indicates that David's land was directly adjacent to land surveyed for John Mayfield (see below). [See SC State Plat Book 31, page 145]
25 October 1791: Ambrose Mayfield surveys a 45-acre tract of land on Goldens Creek, a tributary of 12 Mile River. However, the same survey document indicates that this land was subsequently certified to Robert Waring, on 20 July 1793. The plat map associated with this survey document indicates that Ambrose's land was directly adjacent to land previously surveyed for David Hamilton. [See SC Plat Book 31, page 301]
02 January 1792: Isaac Mayfield receives the grant for the 428-acre tract of land on Goldens Creek, surveyed for him in 1791. [See SC Grant Book 29, page 318]
13 October 1792: Elijah Mayfield conveys his 240-acre tract on Goldens Creek to James Brown. [See Pendleton County SC Deed Book C-D, pages 375-376]
07 January 1793: John Mayfield receives the grant for the 303-acre tract of land on Goldens Creek which he had surveyed in 1791. [See SC State Grant Book 31, page 460]
15 January 1794: Isaac Mayfield conveys his 428-acre tract of land on Goldens Creek to James Brown. [See Pendleton County SC, Deed Book C-D, page 376]
01 January 1800: Pendleton District created from Washington District, having the same boundaries as Pendleton County.
29 March 1808: John Mayfield conveys a 100-acre tract of land, situated on Goldens Creek, to William Mayfield. [See Pendleton District SC, Deed Book I, page 174]
19 December 1816: Pendleton District gains additional territory up to the Chattanooga River; the Cherokee had ceded this land to South Carolina by treaty of 22 Mar 1816.
02 February 1818: William Mayfield conveys a 112-acre tract on the waters of Goldens Creek, to Isaiah Prater. [See Pendleton District SC, Deed Book O, page 53]
20 December 1826: Pendleton District abolished by being divided into two new districts - Anderson and Pickens.
01 October 1830: Gideon Ellis conveys to William Mayfield, for $500, both of Pickens District, a 270 acre tract of land originally granted to John Boyd. [See Pickens District SC, Deed Book A-1, page 336]
14 April 1834: Leonard S. Hamilton conveys to William O'Dell, for $595, a 170 and 1/2 acre tract of land, lying on Goldens Creek of 12 Mile River. The tract consists of two parts: One part was granted to Samuel Martin in 1787, who sold to Absolom Martin, who sold to William Mayfield, who sold to Isaiah Prater, who sold to Leonard Hamilton. The other part was granted to John Brady in 1789, who then sold to Aaron Boggs, who then sold to Leonard Hamilton. [See Pickens District SC, Deed Book C-1, page 1]
29 July 1840: Pierson Mayfield conveys to Lyman Thayer, for $360, a 50 acre tract of land "whereon I now live" lying on Brushy Creek, waters of Saluda River. Being part of a tract of land whereon George Edmundson formerly lived. Note: Pearson (Pierson) Mayfield is William Campbell Mayfield's eldest son. [See Pickens District SC, Deed Book D-1, page 263]
14 November 1840: Isreal Mayfield conveys to Reuben Mayfield, for $500, a 177 acre tract of land lying on the branches of Goldens Creek waters of 12 Mile River. Land was originally granted to Henry Norton on 03 Dec 1792. Note: Both Israel (Isreal) Mayfield and Reuben Mayfield are sons of William Campbell Mayfield. [See Pickens District SC, Deed Book D-1, page 407]
13 February 1841: Reuben Mayfield conveys to Isreal Mayfield, both of Pickens District, for $250, a tract of land lying on Wolf Creek waters of 12 mile River, adjacent lands of James Mansell, Widow Cannon and others. Note: Both Reuben Mayfield and Isreal (Israel) Mayfield are sons of William Campbell Mayfield. [See Pickens District SC, Deed Book D-1, page 322]
William Campbell Mayfield and His Children in the Federal Census Records
I have not been able to find William Campbell Mayfield (1783-1857) in the Federal Census reports for 1800, 1810 and 1820. However, he does appear in the Pickens District SC Federal Census enumerations for 1830, 1840 and 1850. William died in Hall County GA in 1857. Enumerations for his six sons and three daughters appear in the Federal Census reports for 1850, 1860 and 1870. These enumerations are summarized below.
1830 - Pickens District SC:
1840 - Pickens District SC:
1850 Census - Pickens District SC:
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