Joseph "Pleasant Gardens" McDowell

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For other people with the same name, see Joseph McDowell (disambiguation).

Joseph "Pleasant Gardens" McDowell (February 25, 1758 – March 7, 1799) was an American lawyer, soldier, and statesman from Morganton, North Carolina.

His estate was named "Pleasant Gardens", and he was nicknamed "Pleasant Gardens Joe" to distinguish him from his cousin, Joseph "Quaker Meadows" McDowell. The two men are not always clearly distinguished in historical records: both were at the 1780 Battle of Kings Mountain, one as a major leading the Burke County militia, and the other in a subordinate role as a captain. Although "Quaker Meadows" Joe is usually hailed as the Major McDowell who was the hero of the battle, some descendants of "Pleasant Gardens Joe" maintain that it was their ancestor who led the Burke County militia, a claim which, according to the Dictionary of American Biography, is contradicted by contemporary evidence.

According to the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Pleasant Gardens" McDowell was later appointed a North Carolina militia general, and served in the 3rd United States Congress from 1793 to 1795. However, these accomplishments are sometimes credited to Joseph "Quaker Meadows" McDowell, although the Dictionary of American Biography notes that the Congressional directory may be correct.

McDowell died on March 7, 1799 on his estate in what was Burke County, North Carolina but is now part of McDowell County, North Carolina.

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United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Steele
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
James Holland