Jonathan E. Spilman

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Jonathan Edwards Spilman
Black and white photograph of Jonathan Edwards Spilman
Jonathan Edwards Spilman
Born(1812-04-15)April 15, 1812
Greenville, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedMay 23, 1896(1896-05-23) (aged 84)
Flora, Illinois, U.S.
Resting placeElmwood Cemetery
Alma materIllinois College
SpouseEliza Sarah Taylor

Jonathan Edwards Spilman (15 April 1812 – 23 May 1896) was a Kentucky lawyer, minister, and composer.

Jonathan Spilman was born in Greenville, Kentucky to Benjamin Spilman and Nancy (Rice) Spilman, and graduated from Illinois College in 1835. While at Transylvania Law School, 1837, he wrote the music for Robert Burns' "Flow gently, sweet Afton", the best remembered of his seven melodies. An adaptation of this music was used for "We Hail Thee Carolina", the alma mater of the University of South Carolina.

He was married to Mary V.J. Menefee, who died prematurely in 1843. Two years later, on 10 April 1845, he married Eliza Sarah Taylor (1822–1866), a niece of U.S. President Zachary Taylor.[1] To them were born ten children, of whom six survived: Charles, Louise, William, Byrd, Clara, and Lewis.[2] His wife Eliza died on 10 August 1866, as the result of a fire aboard the steamboat "Bostona No. 3" in Maysville, Kentucky.[3][4]

Working as a lawyer for 18 years, he became a Presbyterian minister at the age of 46. A Historical Marker was erected in the city of Greenville in his memory.[5]


  1. ^ Family Tree of President Zachary Taylor
  2. ^ SORLEY, Merrow Egerton: Lewis of Warner Hall: the history of a family, including the genealogy of ...
  3. ^ Carter, L.D. Burning of Bostona No. 3. Gallipolis Journal. 1866. p. 1.
  4. ^ "Burning of the Steamer Bostona No. 3." New York Times. August 12, 1866. p. 10.
  5. ^ "Historical Marker Database Search". Archived from the original on 2011-08-04. Retrieved 2010-05-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)


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