Return to Genealogy


A Biographical Sketch written by
William Clifford Tucker,Jr.,
copyright 1999.

Right: James William Boykin's unmarked grave in Linwood Cemetery,Columbus, Georgia

Photo by Rachel Dobson, 1998

James William Boykin was born in 1792, lived for years near Milledgeville, Georgia, but had moved to Columbus by 1830, where he died in 1846. He married Clarissa Ann Owens, daughter of Elijah Owens and Nancy Ann Howard. Nancy Ann Howard's parents were Nehemiah Howard and Edith Smith who have numerous descendants in Columbus, Georgia. In 1830, as Ambassador of Indian Affairs, James Boykin responded to a request from Georgia Governor George R. Gilmer for information regarding a Creek Indian Council held near Fort Mitchell, Alabama. Boykin wrote the governor that he believed that Cherokee chiefs Van and Ridge attended the council to encourage rejection of proposals made by the United States government. In 1831, Boykin, along with Grigsby E. Thomas, wrote the governor again, lamenting the desperate state of our "red brethren of the Creek nation" in Columbus, Georgia, and suggesting that the President of the United States could reduce the starvation and suffering and encourage emigration so "they may [again] become a happy people."
(Originals in the Georgia Department of Archives and History)

James Boykin was a founder of Mercer University and an early deacon of the First Baptist Church of Columbus, Georgia. He built his home, "Rose Hill," around 1834. That same year the Creek Indian Tukosayoholo, sold him numerous tracts of land, which were in conformity with the treaty made with the Creek Nation on March 24, 1832. Records of the conveyances are in the Russell County Courthouse in Alabama. Some of these tracts were, in turn, sold to his brother, Dr. Sam Boykin, a botanist and plantation owner whose former house still stands in Baldwin County, Georgia, about twelve miles south of Milledgeville. (Dr. Sam Boykin also had a house on Jefferson Street in Milledgeville where he entertained General LaFayette in 1825.) James Boykin's will was probated September 7, 1846, and is recorded in Muscogee County, Georgia, Will Book A 1838-1862. Witnesses included John H. Howard, Boykin's wife's uncle, and Marshall Wellborn. He is buried in Linwood Cemetery, Columbus, Georgia.

The Columbus Enquirer published on August 12, 1846, a resolution offered by Hines Holt, Esq., of the Inferior Court of Muscogee County, which was a tribute of respect for James Boykin, Esq., whose plantation home was in Stewart County, Georgia. James Boykin's father was Major Francis Boykin (1754-1821), Revolutionary War officer, from Camden, South Carolina, and his mother was Catherine Whitaker. Through the Whitaker family and the Bourchier family with which it connects, there is a direct descent from King Edward III of England through his youngest son, as well as from several barons who were sureties of England's Magna Carta. James William Boykin has numerous descendents in Georgia and Alabama, one of whom is William Clifford Tucker, Jr., writer of this sketch.

SOURCE: Documents in the Georgia State Archives
This essay is copyrighted. If you quote or use information from this essay in your research or on your webpage, please cite this webpage as you would any source quoted.

Ancestors of Rachel Dobson