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Denah McEwen Witherspoon

(1837-1859)

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At a Glance

Denah McEwen Witherspoon of Camden, SC attended the Burwell School in the early 1850s, only a few years after her aunt, Mary Nash Witherspoon , completed her education at the Burwell School [1].

Story

Denah McEwen Witherspoon was the daughter of John Knox Witherspoon, [Jr.] and Elizabeth McEwen of Camden, SC. Denah's father was the third child of the Rev. Dr. John Knox Witherspoon, [Sr.], organizer and first pastor of the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church in Hillsborough, NC, and his wife Susan Davis Kollock. John Knox Witherspoon, [Jr.] was born in Hillsborough, NC on September 25, 1816, the historic day on which the church was dedicated.

John Knox Witherspoon, [Jr.], met Elizabeth McEwen in Camden, SC during his father's brief pastorate of Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Camden, SC on DeKalb Street from 1833-37. The voluminous McDowall Papers describe the Witherspoons' Camden years in detail as well as their succeeding year and a half in Columbia, SC before their return to Camden, SC. John Knox Witherspoon, [Sr.], returned to Tusculum Farm in Orange County, NC, south of Hillsborough, NC.

In Camden, SC, the elder Witherspoons lived in a pleasant house which still stands, with ample grounds at the corner of York and Lyttleton streets. It may be that the John Knox Witherspoon, [Jr.], and his new bride continued to live there after their marriage. John Knox Witherspoon, [Jr.] spent his entire life in Camden, SC, became an elder in his father's former church, and operated a telegraph line from Camden, SC to Columbia, SC.

Denah Witherspoon is known to have been a student at the Burwell School in 1851, when she was fourteen, but she probably entered at least a year earlier. She of necessity would have been a boarding student since the tragic circumstances in her paternal grandparents nearby Tusculum Farm in Orange County, NC would scarcely have permitted an additional person to join the household. Denah married James Jones of Camden, SC as his first wife, and the couple lived in the Jones home on Lyttleton street. She died in 1859 at the age of twenty-two [1].

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Denah McEwen Witherspoon was born in 1837. She died in 1859.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended

  • Burwell School, from 1850. Denah Witherspoon is known to have been a student at the Burwell School in 1851, when she was fourteen, but she probably entered at least a year earlier. She of necessity would have been a boarding student since the tragic circumstances in her paternal grandparents nearby Tusculum Farm in Orange County, NC would scarcely have permitted an additional person to join the household [1].

Relatives

References

  1. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).