Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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CLEVELAND, Benjamin, soldier, born on Bull Run, Prince William County, Virginia, 26 May, 1738; died in October, 1806. His education was very limited, and he became a hunter and led a shiftless life for several years. About 1769 he removed to the Upper Yadkin, in North Carolina, where he acquired a reputation for industry and good habits. Learning from Daniel Boone of the promising country of Kentucky, he formed a party and departed to visit that charming E1 Dorado; but, after passing Cumberland Gap, they were robbed by a band of Cherokee hunters, and returned to the settlements well nigh famished. Cleveland was made an ensign in 1775, and promoted to a captaincy the following year, serving against the Tories in the Wake Forest region, and in the autumn of that year he led his company in Rutherford's campaign against the Cherokees. In 1777 he served at Carter's Fort and the Long Island of Holston, in East Tennessee. In 1778 he was made a justice of the peace of the new county of Wilkes, and colonel of the militia. In June, 1780, he aided in driving the Tories, who had assembled at Ramsour's Mills. From the country; and next performed the great service of his life at the battle of King's Mountain. He was a terror to the Tories ; but once, in 1781, they got the better of him for a brief period, capturing and conveying him to the woods. They were soon overtaken, however, by Cleveland's friends, who routed the marauders and rescued their leader. He subsequently removed to the Ingals country, on the western border of South Carolina, where he became judge of the court. He grew to enormous proportions, reaching the weight of 450 pounds, and died in his chair. On 29 July, 1887, a monument to his memory was dedicated at Fort Madison, South Carolina
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