Charles Rufus Ayres (23 Dec. 1826-11 Nov. 1859)

Charles R. Ayres was the son of Charles Wesley Ayres (ca.1805-before 1829) and his wife, Catherine A. M. Flowerree (b. ca. 1805) of Fauquier County, Virginia. (“Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940”) Young Charles Ayres attended the University of Virginia in sessions 24-25 (1847-1849), and became a lawyer by profession. However, he apparently did not practice and instead farmed. In 1850, he was was living in Turners District, in Fauquier Co.

In 1859, Ayres was shot and killed in a street fight in Rectortown, VA. (“William H. Payne, exr. of C. R. Ayres vs. W. Kemp Floweree, et al.”) The Richmond Daily Dispatch for 14 Nov. 1859 contains the following article:

“Fatal Affair.–On Friday evening last, at Rectortown Station, Va., on the Manassas Gap Railroad, C. B. Ayres was shot and instantly killed by Jas. Phillips. The difficulty between them originated about the location of a road. Ayres struck Phillips with a cowhide, when the latter drew a pistol and shot Ayres, killing him on the spot.”

A notice on 11 April 1860, in the Richmond Daily Dispatch reads:

“Convicted of Manslaughter.–W. W. Phillips and his son James Phillips, who killed C. R. Ayres, at Rectortown, in Fauquier county, Va., on the 11th of November, 1859, have been convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in the penitentiary.”

In his will Ayres freed several of his slaves and directed that the children of Jane Payne, Mary Fletcher, and Gleaves receive $100 annuities to support and educate them. (On 13 Mar. 1861, these freedwomen, “Jane Payne, Mary Fletcher, and Glives,” who had each petitioned the Virginia General Assembly to give up her freedom and to choose a new master, were given the right to re-enslave themselves. (Virginia General Assembly)) C. R. Ayres also bequeathed funds to Harriet E. Rector upon certain conditions, and in a codicil written later that year, took back the bequest because he thought she didn’t meet the conditions of the will.

In depositions taken in 1871 and 1889 in the chancery suit “William H. Payne, exr. of C. R. Ayres vs. W. Kemp Floweree, et al.”, the children of Mary Fletcher stated that their father was C. R. Ayres, and that his mother was their “Grandma Kidda,” and that Ann Rector was C. R. Ayres’ half-sister.

The 1850 U.S. Census for Fauquier County shows the family of Alfred Rector, with wife[?] Catherine A. M. Rector, [daughters?] Virginia, Harriet, and Ann M. Rector, [son?] John Rector, two other female relatives, Ann E. and Catharine Floweree, and apparently a free black laborer, Henry Payne. Next to this household lives William K. Flowerree. The 1860 U.S. Census shows Alfred Rector, Catharine M. Rector, Ann M. Rector, Clarisa Reid, and stone fencer Harry Payne, designated as mulatto. I also found a marriage license for Alfred Rector’s marriage with Catherine A. M. Ayres in 1837. This accumulated evidence indicates that this family is likely the family of C. R. Ayres.

[Note: I have transcribed and appended these transcriptions of the C. R. Ayres will and the depositions regarding his former slaves for those who are interested.–JLC]

References:

  • “Convicted of Manslaughter.” The daily dispatch. (Richmond [Va.]), 11 April 1860. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024738/1860-04-11/ed-1/seq-1/>
  • “Fatal Affair.” The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, VA), 14 Nov. 1859, p.2.
  • “United States Census, 1850,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M881-JVN : accessed 6 July 2012), Charles R Ayres in household of John A Adams, Fauquier county, part of, Fauquier, Virginia, United States.
  • University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
  •  “Chap. 167. An act providing for the voluntary enslavement of Jane Payne, Mary Fletcher, and Glives .” in Virginia. General Assembly. Acts passing at a General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1861. (Richmond, 1861), p. 253-254.
  • “Virginia, Deaths and Burials, 1853-1912,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X5RH-SJP : accessed 05 Sep 2013), Charles Rufus Ayers, 1824.
  • “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XR8Z-MLF : accessed 06 Sep 2013), Alfred Rector and Catharine A. M. Ayres, 21 Jul 1837.
  • “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XR8C-LZD : accessed 06 Sep 2013), Joseph S. Flowerree and Catharine A. M. Flowerree, 05 Nov 1829.
  • “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XR8C-XB6 : accessed 06 Sep 2013), Charles W. Ayres and Catharine A. Flowerree, 13 Feb 1826.
  • “William H. Payne, exr. of C. R. Ayres vs. W. Kemp Floweree, et al.” – Petition of complaint, 4 Sep. 1889.” Virginia Court of Chancery. Fauquier County. #1897-002.
  • “Will of C. R. Ayres, 28 Jun. 1857, Rectortown,” in “William H. Payne, exr. of C. R. Ayres vs. W. Kemp Floweree, et al.” Virginia Court of Chancery. Fauquier County. #1897-002.
  • “Depositions,” in “William H. Payne, exr. of C. R. Ayres vs. W. Kemp Floweree, et al.” Virginia Court of Chancery. Fauquier County. #1897-002.
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