Vol. 1; No. 2 Barbara Inman Beall, Editor Nov/Dec 1994


Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego Inman
Descendancy from Shadrach Inman
Meshach Inman's Death
Abednego Inman


In my last newsletter, I cited an anonomously written manuscript I acquired via tape through the LDS Library in Salt Lake City. The early section of that tape deals with the English history of the Inman family, while the balance pertains to three Inman brothers, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who arrived in America from England in 1765. The following is a portion of that manuscript:

In the preceding pages we have set before us the energy, thrift, success and patriotism of the English family. Some losing their lives fighting for Parliament and other members fighting for their king, even losing their ancestral homes, so dear to them, having been handed down from generation to generation. The reasons we have for thinking we are descended from this branch of the Inman family are more than one: Family names are similar, also characteristics and family resemblance. Some of the southern Inmans, while crossing the ocean were told that they closely resembled the English Inmans who were the owners of the steamship line.
We shall now pass to the American family and compare traits which are so akin to the English family. Prior to the revolutionary War, 1765, three brothers left their home in England, tradition said on account of a step-mother, and came to America, settling in Virginia, then to North Carolina, afterward to Tennessee. Being accustomed to the luxuries of an English home, it must have required much courage to come to a wilderness where their lives hung by a thread. These three brave souls knew no fear, and upon their arrival became Americans, and in the dark struggle which followed, fought, and one gave up his life for his country.

It is of SHADRACH, MESHACH, and ABEDNEGO INMAN of whom we speak, being sons of John Inman and Henrietta Hardin. John Inman is believed to have followed his sons to this country in 1771. There is no record of other siblings, though the great ocean may have separated them from loved ones in their English home.

We first hear of these brothers in history as starting from North Carolina about 1767 with a party of hunters led by Daniel Boone, on their way to explore the country west of the Cumberland Mountains. One night, after having traveled for days in the snow without food, they were surprised and attacked by the Indians, while asleep, in Middle Tennessee-then a wilderness--near a cave, presumably what is now known as the famous Nicka-jack Cave; nearly all were killed, among them Meshach Inman. Shadrach and Abednego survived, but Shadrach was wounded in the side by a spear. This weapon is still in the possession of his descendants. Abednego was wounded in the forehead by a tomahawk which scar he carried the rest of his life. He hid in a hollow tree where he lived nine days without food. The following statement of Ramsey, the historian, is about what Tennessee was like at this time:

"Of the country included within the present limits of the State of Tennessee, little was known for more than 250 years after the discovery of America. Until that time, with perhaps a single exception the foot of no European adventurer had touched her soil. The vast interior of North America was a terra incognita, and till long after the skill, science, and cupidity and arms of Spain had crossed the continent further South, and reached the shores of the Pacific Ocean."

There were numerous Shadrach Inmans, so in order to distinguish them, we will number them: Shadrach Inman (1st), son of John Inman and Henrietta Hardin, was a Revolutionary officer, and his commissions as Lieutenant, May 7, 1774, and Captain, Jan. 5, 1777, are in the possession of one of his descendants. Mrs. Mamie Inman Watkins of McComb City, Miss. He was a man of much energy, ambition, and patriotism, his services for his country having been mentioned previously. He was also a Godly man and raised us his children in the fear of the Lord. He married into one of the best families of our mother state, being Miss Mary Jane McPheeters, whose mother, Mary Jane McDowell, was the sister of Governor John McDowell of North Carolina. He accumulated considerable property and owned a valuable farm on the Nolachucky River, Jefferson County, Tennessee, where he was one of the best known and most highly honored citizens of his day, and some of his descendants are today the best people of Tennessee and Georgia. His will was made July 24, 1827, and a codicil added Sept. 20, 1830, after the death of his wife, Mary. John and Jeremiah Inman were executors of their father's will. Henrietta Hardin Inman, the mother of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego Inman, requested at her death that her name be preserved through each generation, hence the frequency of Hardins, Henriettas and Hannahs. Our record is not complete as to births, deaths and marriages of Shadrach Inman's (1st) family, for we have been unable to find the family Bible. Shadrach Inman (1st) and Mary Jane McPheeters produced: 1st, Shadrach; 2nd, Daniel; 3rd Ezekiel; 4th, Charles; 5th, Thomas; 6th, John; 7th, Jeremiah; 8th, Hannah; 9th, Sarah; 10th, Susanna; 11th, Rachel; 12th, Ann; 13th, Prudence; 14th, Margaret; 15th, Elizabeth.
Shadrach Inman (2nd) was Captain of a Georgia Militia in the Revolutionary War, and was killed at the Battle of Musgrove's Hill, August 19th, 1780. The following account of his bravery and death is copied from Wheeler's History of North Carolina, p. 57.

At Musgrove's Hill on the south side of Enoree River, Col. McDowell learned that a party of 500 Tories had assembled. He dispatched Shelby, Williams and Clarke to attack them. Col. Ferguson with his whole force lay between them. They left the camp on the evening of August 18th at Smith's Ford on Broad River and taking a circuitous route through the woods avoided Ferguson's forces. They rode hard all night and at daybreak met the evening's patrol in strong force. A skirmish ensued; the Tories retreated. They then advanced on the main body of the Tories. At this juncture, a countryman living near, a friend of liberty, came to Shelby and informed him that the enemy had been reinforced the evening before, by six hundred regular troops and the Queen's American regiment from New York commanded by Col. Innes marching to join Ferguson. Here is a position that would have tried the talent and nerve of the most skillful and bravest officer. Advance was hopeless, and retreat impossible. But Shelby was equal to the emergency. He instantly commenced forming a breastwork of brush and old logs, while he detailed Capt. Inman with twenty-five men to reconnoitre and skirmish with the enemy as soon as they crossed the Enoree River. The drums and bugles of the enemy soon were heard approaching upon this devoted band. Capt. Inman had been ordered to fire and retreat. This stratagem was advanced in great confusion believing that the whole American force was routed. When they approached the rude ramparts of Shelby, they received from his riflemen a most destructive fire, which carried great slaughter among them. This gallantry was kept up. All the British officers were either killed or wounded, the Tory leader Hausey, shot down. They then began a disorderly retreat. The Americans now pursued; and in this pursuit the brave Capt. Inman was killed, fighting hand-to-hand with the enemy. The British loss was 63 killed and 160 wounded and taken prisoner. The American loss was only 4 killed (among them the gallant Capt. Inman) and nine wounded. A more brilliant battle fought with an inferior against a superior force with a more complete triumph did not occur in the whole Revolutionary War.(Anonymous, The INMAN Family History. America.) 


[Editor's Note: I believe Shadrach (2) Inman, who died during the Revolutionary was, was the oldest son of Shadrach (1) Inman. At least this manuscript gives such an impression. Other records may challenge this assumption. I invite comment from the readers. While Shadrach (1st) came to this country in 1765, he married shortly after his arrival. The Battle of Musgrove's Hill happened late in the Revolutionary War, so his eldest son could possibly have been Shadrach (2), even though still in his teens.]

According to the anonymous manuscript, Shadrach (ist's) line of descent runs as follows:

Daniel Inman, son of Shadrach Inman (1st), married Ava Allen. He died May 16th, 1837. She died June 15th, 1837. Their issue numbered 8.

  1. Alfred; b. Nov. 16, 1787; ?
  2. Rachel; b. Nov. 16, 1797; d. Nov. 7, 1861
  3. Mary; b. Aug. 30, 1800; d. May 4, 1837
  4. Elizabeth; b. April 18, 1804; d. Sept. 12, 1846
  5. Allen; b. Oct. 10, 1806; d. Feb 24, 1859
  6. Jeremiah; b. Mar. 26, 1809; d. May, 1868
  7. Sophia; b. Oct. 25, 1813; d. Feb. 24, 1844
  8. Daniel; b. Oct. 24, 1816; d. young

Alfred Inman, b. Mar. 14, 1795, married Sophia Sneed, Jan. 1, 1815; their issue numbered 6:

  1. Elizabeth; married James Smith; no issue.
  2. Mary Ann; married Frank Cox; no issue.
  3. Daniel; married Mary Forte; issue, 9:
    a. Indiana E.; b. Oct. 4, 1851
    b. Malvina V.; b. Nov. 1st, 1852
    c. Charles D.; b. Jan. 1, 1854
    d. Allen D.; b. Apr. 3, 1855
    e. Elizabeth S.; b. Jan. 10, 1857
    f. Leslie M.; b. Dec. 28, 1858 
    g. Alfred J.; b. Sept. 26, 1861
    h. Gardonia; b. Jan. 31, 1863
    i. Sarah; b. Jan. 31, 1863
  4. Jeremiah; married Miss Frances ?; issue, 6:
    a. Sophia
    b. Daniel
    c. Sue
    d. James
    e. Frank
    f. Hattie

Alfred and his two brothers, Allen and Jeremiah, were wealthy businessmen in Burke Co., Georgia; all were planters. Alfred was a conscientious church worker in the Baptist Church. He died suddenly of heart failure at his front gate, a man greatly honored by his community.

Rachel Inman, b. 1797, married Levi Spain in 1814. Their issue numbered 2:

  1. Sarah Ann; b. July 10, 1815; d. young
  2. John William; b. Dec. 4, 1818; d. Nov. 7, 1870

Rachel Inman Spain was married the second time to Francis Jones; no issue.

John William Spain married Elizabeth Young in 1839; their issue, 4:

  1. Sarah P.; b. Dec. 4, 1840 - Sarah Spain married Mitchell Jones, Oct. 12, 1859
  2. Rachel L.; b. Aug. 30, 1844 - Rachel married George McRee, Dec. 20, 1863
  3. Infant; died
  4. Frank J; b. about 1848 - Frank married Lizzie Stapler

John William Spain moved to Lowndes County when it was a veritable wilderness; he became a prosperous planter; he was the first to put into successful operation a postal system for his district, voluntarily acting as postmaster for a period of time. His first post office was at Piscola, which has been wiped out, perhaps in the division of the lands embracing the counties of Lowndes and Brookes. He was a gallant Confederate soldier.

The children of Sarah Spain and Mitchell Jones:

  1. Florence V.; b. Feb. 13, 1861; d. July 25, 1861
  2. Rachel Eliz.; b. June 29, 1862
  3. Ada Inman; b. May 19, 1864
  4. Minnie Theodore; b. Feb. 14, 1866; d. Apr., 1899

Rachel Eliz. Jones mar. Thompson P. Smith, June 15, 1882; their issue numbered 7:

  1. Simeon Alexander; b. Sept. 22,
  2. Mitchell J.; b. Jan. 9, 1885
  3. Thompson H.; b. Dec. 19, 1886
  4. Georgia E.; b. Jan. 1, 1889
  5. Chandler H.; b. July 31, 1894;
  6. Frank S.; b. Jan. 24, 1896
  7. Charlie P.; b. Nov. 2, 1900 1883 d., 1895

Ada Inman Jones mar. Chas H. Paine, Nov. 8, 1883; issue, 7:

  1. Mitchell J.; b. July 13, 1886
  2. Sallie J.; b. May 13, 1887
  3. Charlie H.; b. Apr. 20, 1887; d. Sept. 15, 1901
  4. Augustus H.; b. Nov. 16, 1888
  5. John S.; b. Sept. 6, 1890; d. Apr. 8, 1893
  6. Traverse W.; b. Oct 25, 1892
  7. Leon A.; b. Sept. 9, 1895

Minnie T. Jones mar. W. B. Johnson, Oct. 26, 1888; issue, 1: Walter B. Johnson. (Anonymous. The INMAN Family History. America. pp. 8-11.)

[Editor's Note: The balance of this genealogy will be printed in the next newsletter]


I discovered my relationship to this Inman line a little over a year ago when I discovered that the wife of Samuel Spence (Elizabeth) bore the surname Inman. It took me several months to tie her in with the correct parentage and to discover that her grandfather was Meshach.

Although the anonymous manuscript states that Meshach was killed around 1767, I have discovered other records indicating that the attack occurred during the winter of 1771. While in Pennsylvania this past summer, I scoured through shelves of books in our campus library hoping to find more information about Meshach's death. I remember stumbling across something about it. Unfortunately, I did not realize what I had found at the time and did not bother to copy the pages.

As I recall, Daniel Boone led his party into the woods the winter of 1771. When the men became weak from lack of food and weary from lack of sleep and warmth, Boone left his men to rest by a campfire and traveled on, hoping to bring back food. As I recall, a party of nine men remained at the campsite. Boone took a scout or two with him. When he returned, he found his men dead, all victims of an Indian massacre. The only two survivors were apparently Shadrach and Abednego. I regret not copying pages from that old book so that I could set them out in full here. But on my return to Pennsylvania this summer, I will try to find it once again.

Meshach also married after arriving in America, although the name of his wife is unknown. They had only two sons: Lazarus, born about 1765 in North Carolina, and Samuel, born about 1767 in North Carolina. I do not know what happened to Meshach's wife after his death, but I have an idea that she moved into Tennessee with her sons. Lazarus married Susan Stoval and settled in Williamson County, Tennessee. Samuel Inman married a Graham (some records indicate that her name was possibly Rebecca). While he initially settled in Williamson County, his family moved on to Perry County.

Some of Lazarus' children were:

Samuel's children were:

[Editor's note: For a continuation of Elizabeth Inman's line through her marriage to Samuel Spence, see Spence Spectrum, another newsletter published by this press.]

While I was in Tennessee this past summer, I tried to locate the Nick-a-jack Cave. If this was the site where Meshach was slain, I wanted to visit the location. Try as I could, I could not find the cave listed on any map. I asked some friends in Eastern Tennessee about it and that's when I learned the story: The Nick-a-Jack Cave was flooded long ago by a WPA project and is now known as the Nick-a-Jack Dam. My friend told me, jokingly: "I suppose you could take up scuba-diving if we really want to see the cave." So much for visiting a possible grave site.

I am only beginning to discover Meshach and will talk about him more in the future.


While Shadrach became a wealthy southern planter and while Meshach died during a hunting expedition, Abednego became a well-known leader in Jefferson County, Tennessee. He is not mentioned extensively in the old manuscript I have cited. Whether another portion of the manuscript exists, I do not know. But I have gathered information about him from the town that became his home: Dandridge.

Abednego's name appears on a tablet erected to the memory of Revolutionary Soldiers. According to Worth S. Ray:

"On a lot back of the square that the courthouse occupies in DANDRIDGE, the county seat of JEFFERSON COUNTY is a monument and Tablet:
On one side appears the following inscriptions:

Erected by
in Memory of
- - -

On the reverse side of the tablet is this inscription:

Burial Ground at the
site of the original
in Jefferson County 1785
(Ray, Worth S. Tennessee Cousins: A History of Tennessee People.
Baltimore: Genealog. Pub. (1971) p. 98.)

In the same edition is the following notation:


The oldest church in DANDRIDGE, according to both records and traditions, was the HOPEWELL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, which was established in 1785, eight years before the town of Dandridge, itself, came into existence. It is believed that either Dr. HEZEKIAH BALCH or REV. ROBERT HENDERSON was the organizing minister, and that both preached to the original congregation there is no question. The latter was pastor of the Church as late as 1810 or 1811. The elders in 1816 were:

Alexander Shadden
Samuel McSpadden
John Blackburn
Thomas Rankin, Sr.
James McSpadden
Anthony Caldwell.

Likewise it is known that the Trustees in 1810 were:

Andrew Henderson
Andrew Edgar
William Caldwell
Alexander Caldwell
Thomas Rankin
Richard Rankin
James Scott.

Others known to have been connected as Trustees and elders even before that time, were

Hugh Martin
Charles F. Keith
John Fain
Samuel Bicknell
George Branner
Jacob Fouts
William Mathis
Samuel Lyle
and perhaps Abednego Inman,
and the McQuistians, Galbraiths and Newmans. (Ibid.)

Abednego Inman appears on a passenger list from England:

Abednego Inman (1752-1831) from England came 1765-67, settled at Limestone VA, then at Dandridge TEN; Major, American Revolution. M. 1778, Mary Ritchie (1757-1836). (Virkus, Fred Adair. Immigrant Ancestors: A List of 2500 Immigrants to America before 1750 Baltimore: Geneal. Pub (1972).)

His land entries appear as follow: 

p. 118. Bedigow Inmon: 2 entries

#1272, p. 419, 100 acres on north side of Catawba River between Robert Cain and John Forsith, including both sides of fork and an Island on fork for complement. Entered 25 Dec. 1778 (1).
#1273, p. 419, 100 acres first or below north fork of Catawba River on branch between said Emmons and fork above path, up river, past Montgomery & Catheys, branch for complement. Entered 25 Dec. 1778.

p. 59. Bednego Inmon, 2 entries

#624, p. 209 100 acres main fork of north cove of north fork of Catawba River, beginning John Davidson's line, up for complement. Entered 9 Aug 1778 (1).
#625 p.209 200 acres. Linvills Cove including old field "oposite" to end of Dan Hills (?). Entered 19 Aug. 1778. Transferred to Waightstill Avery by order of _______ (not legible) 29 May 1778 (2) (Warren, Edith. Huggins, Burke Co.. NC Land Records 1778. Vol 1. (1977))

Alednego's children by his wife, Mary Ritchie, are:

  1. William Hardin Inman, b. 1779, North Carolina
  2. Hannah Retta Inman, b. 1782, Tennessee
  3. Fannie Jean "Jennie" Inman, b. 1784, Tennessee
  4. Ezekiel Inman, b. 1786, Tennessee
  5. John Ritchie Inman, b. 1788, Tennessee
  6. Benjamin Inman, b. 1790, Tennessee
  7. Shadrack Inman, b. 1793, Tennessee
  8. Mary "Polly" Inman, 1795, Tennessee
  9. Annis Inman, b. 1797, Tennessee
  10. Susannah Inman, b. 1800, Tennessee
  11. Margaret "Peggy" Harriet Inman, b. 1805, Tennessee (LDS records.)