Tuesday, June 3, 2014

135. and 136. Edwin and Joseph Drake

I've mentioned already that sometimes, especially early in the school's era, local boys were enrolled at the Mordecai school.  Two boys, Edwin and Joseph Drake, were there a little later:  Edwin was a student at the school from 1813 to mid-1815, five sessions; Joseph was there for all of 1815.  Caswell Drake might be an adult associated with their account in the school ledger.  Caroline Mordecai Plunkett mentions "Joe Drake" in a list of Warrenton friends in an 1829 letter (Caroline to Ellen, 5 April 1829, Jacob Mordecai Papers, Duke).

Drake's a common name, of course, but Caswell stands out as a first name, and we know the family will be Warren County residents (because boys didn't board at the school).  That makes it fairly easy to find this pair of students:  Edwin and Joseph Drake were two of the sons of Rev. Caswell Drake (1776-1860), a Methodist minister in town, who also served as Warren County Clerk of Court (1819-1833).  Their mother was Mourning Drake (1772-1841) (she was a Drake by birth and by marriage); their older brother Matthew Mann Drake married another Mordecai student, Winnifred Fitts (more on her when we get to the Fs).

Joseph J. Drake was born around 1805. Looks like he might have become a physician and married Harriott (Harriet) Eliza Sessums (born around 1815).  They don't seem to have had children together, but in middle age, the couple raised a niece, Lucy Sills Sessums (aka Lucy Drake), whose mother died soon after her birth in Mississippi.  They turn up in the 1850 census living with her father, Dr. Isaac Sessums, in Nash County--maybe Joseph and Isaac practiced medicine together?

Edwin D. Drake (not that Edwin Drake) was apparently also born around 1805, and married Rebecca Edwards (1797-1869), and stayed in Warren County, where he was also Clerk of Court, after his father. They had sons Joseph and Francis born in the 1830s.   He may have been a North Carolina state senator during the Civil War.

Both men kept their names, kept local, and were fairly prominent--but I can't find a death date or gravestone for either one.  They must be out there; if you know, leave a comment.