How do we know that Jacob Troxel = "Big Jake"

+5 votes

Use this thread to discuss the evidence in support of (or against) associating Jacob Troxel with "Big Jake".

  1. "Big Jake" first appeared in written record in the largely fictional 1958, 45-page book by Thomas H. Troxel called Legion of the Lost Mine. He did not associate Big Jake with Jacob Troxel.
  2. Jacob Troxel's association as being the same man as Big Jake first appeared in 1975 in a publicity piece for the national forest written by Collins, A history of the Daniel Boone National Forest, 1770-1970. This association has been repeated by other writers subsequently, including Tankersley and Walker.
WikiTree profile: Jacob Troxel
in Genealogy Help by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (883k points)
Jacob's own statements on his  Revolutionary War pension application, U.S. census records for Jacob Troxel, and the fact that he died in Alabama in 1843 all contradict the information about 'Big Jake'in the Troxell and Collins stories. Jacob entered the military from Virginia and was also a different man from the Pennsylvania militiaman whose gravestone is in Kentucky.   It doesn't seem possible that the Jacob Troxell who lived in Wayne County and 'Big Jake'  could be the same man.

2 Answers

+3 votes
There is also no evidence that the Wayne County Jacob Troxell was ever in Kentucky before 1800.  His war service was in Virginia and in Ohio, and he lived in Virginia, Maryland, and Tennessee before moving to Kentucky.  Most of his children were born in Virginia.
(And the stories about "Big Jake" place him in Kentucky long before 1801, first record of Jacob Troxel in Kentucky.)
+1 vote

"Big Jake" was introduced to the world in 1958 by Troxel descendant Thomas H. Troxel in a 45-page book called Legion of the Lost Mine. In his forward, the author admits to fictionalizing some of the characters.

About Big Jake's origins, T. Troxel writes that Big Jake was born in Philadelphia in 1757 "of Swiss parentage and had received his education in the city of independence and brotherly love.  He enlisted in Washington's Colonial army when he was sixteen years old [1773] and served nearly four years [1777] during the Revolutionary War." (p 9)

Jacob Troxel's own testimony when applying for a military pension is that he was born in 1759 in Frederick Co., Maryland (not Philadelphia), and that he enlisted in 1777 (when he would have been about 20) in Loudon County, Virginia; his service in the war was on again, off again, and concluded his service in late 1781 after having marched to Yorktown, Virginia where Gen. Washington obtained the surrender of Lord Cornwallis.  Some of that on again, off again service included time in Pennsylvania; none of it included time in Kentucky; per his own testimony, Jacob Troxel did not arrive in Kentucky until 1801/2.

Therefore "Big Jake" -- if he existed at all -- who supposedly married a daughter of a Cherokee chief in Kentucky before the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, could not have been this Jacob Troxel.



by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (883k points)

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