Col Robert Hays

Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina, USA
Death 15 Sep 1819 (aged 60–61)
Haysboro, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Non-Cemetery Burial, Specifically: Buried in Haysboro, 6 miles east of Nashville
Memorial ID 151620165 · View Source
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Col. Robert Hays
Revolutionary War officer , DAR Patriot, and original member of the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati.
“Pioneer of the Cumberland.”
Revolutionary War land grant took him to middle Tennessee where he met and married his wife. Had land six miles east of Nashville which he called Haysboro where he is presumed to have been buried. Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary War Patriots says he is buried “Haysboro TN 24.”
Close friend and brother-in-law of Andrew Jackson. Married to Rachel Jackson’s sister Jane Donelson.
Father of six children who grew to adulthood and moved west with his widow Jane to found Jackson, Madison Co., TN. Three of his children married the children of Col Thomas Butler who were wards of the Jacksons. Rachel, Martha “Patsey” and Stokely.
The following is a timeline of his life taken from research found in “Robert Hays, Pioneer of the Cumberland.”
Born: Salisbury, NC 1758
Military Service: 1777 16 Aug. Enrolled as Ens. Rev. War in 4th NC Infantry; 1 Jan, 1778 Promoted to 2nd Lt. in 4th NC Infantry; 1778, 1 Jun, 1778 Transferred to 1st Regiment under Col Thomas Clark; 16 Feb 1780, Promoted to 1st Lt.; 12 May 1780 captured by the British at Charleston; 14 June 1781 Exchanged by the British after 1 yr., 1 mon., 2 days; Jul 1784 Discharged, Total Military Service 84 months
1784 Jul Returned to Salisbury, became a practical surveyor
1784 Jul Became original Member NC Society of the Cincinnati
1784 Jul Land grant 2560 acres NC Land Grant on West Harpeth River, TN, for 84 months service as 1st Lt; additionally he acquired 36, 762 acres whether by purchase or in exchange for his work as surveyor.
Immigration: 1784 Sep to Davidson Co., TN, from Salisbury, NC. Erected Station east bank of the Cumberland, Hayesborough or Haysboro, TN, originally named by Robert " Fort Union"
Occupation: 1785 Robert Hays, Esq. Appointed a Trustee of the Davidson Academy by NC Legislature; its beginnings in Rev. Thomas B. Craighead's "meeting house' 6 miles east of Nashville, in the "suburbs of Hayesborough” Robert remained a trustee until 1805 when he resigned.
Marriage: 1786 27 Jan to Jane Donelson, daughter of John Donelson, founder of Nashville, at Haysboro on the Cumberland River, Davidson Co., TN
Military; 1787 Jul As Col., commanded Coldwater Expedition with James Robertson, co-founder of Nashville, to put a stop to Indian Raids.
Occupation: 1787 Chosen as Representative of Davidson Co., to NC House of Commons
Census; 1787 Tax roll with 4 taxables
Occupation: 1788 Apr Davidson Co. Court appointed Hays to inspect and destroy counterfeit currency
Military: 1788 1 Dec Appointed Colonel of Cavalry of Mero District by NC Assembly
Occupation: 1789 NC commissioned him Justice of the Peace, Davidson Co., TN
Residence: 1790 Jul Rachel Donelson Robards, after leaving her abusive husband, stays at the Hays residence in Haysboro
Occupation: 1790 15 Dec Gov. Blount, a close friend, commissioned Hays as Justice of the peace and Lt. Col of the Cavalry Mero District
Occupation: 1792 1 Mar Commissioned Muster Master for the district of Mero
Occupation: 1794 27 Sep Territorial Legislature passed an Act placing a civil responsibility on Hays to authorize the raising of a fund to defray the cost of cutting and clearing a wagon road from present-day Kingston to Nashville
Military: 1794 Sep. Planned the Nickajack Expedition, according to his son's Samuel’s memory.
1794 As Justice of the Peace, married Andrew Jackson, his close friend, and Rachel Donelson Robards, his sister-in-law, when they discoverd their first marriage was invalid.
Occupation: 1795 Jul Surveyed and built road over the mountains and by the next year over 300 wagons had passed over it.
Property: 1796 Boundary Land Warrant 1098-200
Military: 1797 13 Jan Commissioned by Gov. Sevier Lt. Col. Commanding Cavalry Mero District", Tennessee Militia
Occupation: 1797 17 Feb Appointed Marshal of West TN by George Washington; paid $200 per year in 1802.
Military: 1812 11 Nov Volunteered as Deputy Inspector with rank of 1st Lt.
Military: 1813 26 Sep to May 13, 1815 Creek Wars under Jackson, Asst. Inspector Gen., also Muster Master
Military: 1813 14 Oct In Huntsville, AL, mustering men
Military: 1818 11 Jul Applied for pension to Federal Govt. "old and very infirm and in reduced circumstances"; received before he died $276.12
Death: 1819 13-18 Sep, Age: 61, Haysboro, TN
His son Samuel Jackson Hays wrote to Lyman Draper years later, “Robert Hays was proverbial for his hospitality and benevolence, full of humerous anecdotes. He laid the ground for an ample fortune for his children thro his liberal and considering disposition, he became embarrassed in his latter years and died poor.”

Note: Col. Robert Hays was not the father of Harman Hays, father of Capt. Jack Hays of the Texas Rangers. He was Harman's uncle. See this website.
Also, Robert's son Samuel Jackson Hays wrote to Lyman Draper that his only brother was Stokely Donelson Hays.

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  • Created by: Jean M. W.
  • Added: 2 Sep 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 151620165
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Col Robert Hays (1758–15 Sep 1819), Find A Grave Memorial no. 151620165, ; Maintained by Jean M. W. (contributor 46600816) Non-Cemetery Burial, who reports a Buried in Haysboro, 6 miles east of Nashville.