The first three Hooper men to settle in Union were all sons of the Revolutionary War soldier, Absalom Hooper (Sr.). Some of the exploits of this soldier show his bravery, daring and determination. He was born about 1764 in South Carolina in the vicinity of the Green and Main Broad Rivers. His father died when he was a youngster. His mother sided with the Tories (those favoring the British). But Absalom Hooper definitely had sympathies for the colonists and left home to join the U. S. forces in 1776. His pay was to be in bounty of $30.00 and $5.00 per month, plus 640 acres of land at the close of the war. However that payment was not forthcoming according to his signed statement in 1833.
His military service saw him in many places during the war. He was under the command of General Howe at Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina. But the British General Sir Henry Clinton conquered the island and Howe and his forces went to Florida and fought against the British forces at the St. Mary’s River. From there they returned to Charleston, to Purrysburg, SC, and finally into Georgia. He was in the attack against the British at Stono Fort on the Edisto River. From thence his regiment went to Beaufort Island. Back to Savannah, he was with the American and French forces, allies, in the siege of Savannah. There Absalom Hooper was wounded in the right arm. From there they returned to Charleston where Absalom received another wound, that time in his left thigh. He was imprisoned and was in the enemy prison hospital until he somewhat recovered. He escaped and went to Georgia to find refuge in his uncle’s frontier home. The Tories captured him, held him five days and brought him to trial, but released him.
He heard of the whereabouts of his group, and joined up again at Augusta in Captain Daniel Gunnals’ regiment. They had skirmishes around the Augusta area, especially with parties of Tories. Then his regiment went to South Carolina and joined forces with General Pickens around the Little River area and Ninety-Six District. The Cherokee during the Revolution sided with the British. Absalom and his regiment were in the Battle of Long Swamp against the Cherokee but were defeated. They returned to Long Swamp, and awaited the end of the war.
Absalom Hooper married Sarah Salers at Pistol Creek in Elbert County, Georgia about 1783. Ten years after they married, they moved from Georgia to Table Rock, South Carolina. Their next move was about 1810 to Haywood County, North Carolina (later that area was named Jackson County). Along the Tuckaseegee River where they settled, some of the highest peaks in North Carolina towered above their land. There they reared their family of twelve children: James (1784), Elizabeth (1786), Andrew (1792), Kissiah (1794), Nancy (1797), Mary (1798), Absalom, Jr. (1880), Eleanor (1800), Margaret (1802), Enos (1805), William (1806), and Isaac (1807).
Three of these children of Absalom and Sarah Salers Hooper moved to the new county of Union sometime in the late 1830s and were counted in the 1840 Union census. Also Hooper sisters moved to the area. Kissiah married Milton Brown. They were living in Union when the 1834 census was taken, with eleven in their household. She and Milton preceded her three brothers, Absalom, Jr., Andrew and Enos in settling in Union. Mary who married Henry Brown lived in the Hightower section of Union that became a part of Towns County when it was formed in 1856. In fact, most of the Hooper households were on land that became Towns, so they automatically became citizens of the new county of Towns. Nancy Hooper and her husband, Benjamin Chastain, were in Union by 1850 and their farm at Hightower was absorbed into Towns.
Next week’s column will present more on the Hooper family that still has many descendants with multiple last names still remaining in the Towns and Union County areas.
c 2010 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Oct. 21, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.