American Patriot. Joseph "Quaker Meadows" McDowell was a planter, soldier, and statesman who was born in Winchester, Virginia to Joseph McDowell (1715 – 1771) and Margaret O'Neil McDowell (1723 – 1780) but moved to North Carolina when he was two years of age. He was often known as "Quaker Meadows Joe" to distinguish him from his cousin Joseph "Pleasant Gardens" McDowell, who was also a legislator and American Revolutionary War soldier from North Carolina serving in the same campaigns and same units as his cousin which results in some confusion between the two. Joseph of Quaker Meadows married Margaret Moffett (1763 – 1816) in 1783.
Joseph served in the same North Carolina Regiment as his older brother Captain Charles McDowell at the start of the American Revolution. The two McDowell brothers served under General Griffith Rutherford in his campaign against the Cherokee in 1776.
Charles and Joseph are credited with formulating the plan for the Overmountain Men and the North Carolina militia to engage the loyalist forces of British Col. Patrick Ferguson when the frontiersmen gathered at Quaker Meadows on September 30, 1780. At the resulting Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780, Charles had earlier consigned his troops to his brother after having been dispatched to General Horatio Gates. The bayonet charge down the mountain by British Col. Ferguson's Loyalists was driven back by the well directed fire from the rifles of the Overmountain men commanded by Col. Isaac Shelby and the North Carolina militia commanded by Col. Joseph "Quaker Meadows" McDowell. The entire Loyalist force of Col. Ferguson was killed, wounded or captured. The Battle of Kings Mountain was noteworthy in that American victories to this point in the Revolution were scarce but now became more frequent as confidence increased eventually resulting in the successful conclusion to the American Revolution.
Joseph also fought with the militia at Ramsour Mills on June 29, 1780, Musgrove's Mill on Aug 19, 1780 and the Battle of Cowpens in January 1781 where the milita defeated the forces of General Banastre "Bloody" Tarleton who was portrayed as the brutal Col. William Tavington in the movie "The Patriot" staring Mel Gibson.
Joseph went on to serve in the North Carolina state legislature and the Constitutional Conventions along with his brother Charles. Joseph also served in the 5th United States Congress from 1797 to 1799.
Joseph and Margaret had the following children:
Sarah McDowell Feb 5, 1784 – Aug 19, 1828.
Elizabeth McDowell Feb 5, 1786 - Aug 25, 1821.
Margaret McDowell Oct 26, 1787 - Mar 21, 1808.
Hannah McDowell Dec 24, 1791 - Aug 25, 1850.
Hugh Harvey McDowell Jun 23, 1792 - Apr 1859.
Celia McDowell Feb 20 1795 - Apr 12, 1859.
Clarissa McDowell Jan 10, 1798 - 1863.
Joseph Jefferson McDowell Nov 13, 1800 – Jan 17, 1877.
Joseph had the following brothers and sisters:
Sarah Nancy McDowell (1739 - ?).
Elizabeth McDowell (1741 - 1825).
Hugh McDowell (1742 - 1772).
Charles McDowell (1743 – 1815).
Hannah McDowell (1747 - 1817).
Jane McDowell (1750 – 1838).
John McDowell (1751 – 1822).
Joseph is buried at Quaker Meadows in an unmarked grave beside his brother Charles at the base of a white oak tree with the letter "J" carved in its trunk. The white oak tree existed in 1890 but has long since been removed so Joseph is probably located in what appears to be a vacant unmarked space beside his brother Charles on the oppsite side of Charles' wife Grace Greenlee McDowell who is known to be buried next to her husband.
Margaret Moffett McDowell
1763–1816 (m. 1783)