Dr. Francis Meriwether, son of Thomas Meriwether and Elizabeth Thornton Meriwether, (1737 - January 2, 1803)
Francis Meriwether (b. 1737) married Martha Jamison (b. 1743) of “Liberty Hall” of Essex County in 1760. He studied medicine at the College of William and Mary 1753-1755 and later practiced medicine. While studying at Williamsburg, Francis (Frank) became close friends with a fellow student, Peachy Ridgeway Gilmer. They went off with other students to join the Virginia militia to fight in the French and Indian War. (Speed and Minor, p. 19) Later, while visiting his friend’s home, Peachy fell in love with Francis’ sister, Mary, and married her.
Peachy Ridgeway Gilmer was the son of Dr. George Gilmer, Sr. and his wife, Mary Peachy Walker, of Williamsburg. A Gilmer descendent stated, “The Meriwethers were then, as they are now, plain people in manners and dress. Peachy Gilmer, from being the most dashing beau of the metropolis of the colony, became as unpretending in his appearance and manners as any of his new relations.” (Speed and Minor, p. 19)
Francis was a member of the Amherst County Virginia Revolutionary Committee in 1775 and provided provisions for the army during the Revolutionary War.
Francis’ family joined his sister Lucy and John Marks’ family in their move to Georgia in 1784. Francis’ family (ten children) lived on the Westside of Millstone Creek, in the Broad River Settlement. Since his father, Thomas Meriwether, was known as a healer, perhaps Thomas is the one who taught Lucy her skills in treating patients and encouraged Francis to study medicine.
"Within the circle of Francis Meriwether's acquaintance [sic], the opinion prevailed that he was the best man in the world. The first settlers of Upper Georgia suffered much from sickness. Francis Meriwether laid out a portion of the proceeds of his crop every year in medicines, and devoted all his time, if called for, in attending upon the sick without charge. The equanimity [sic] of his temper, kindness of heart, and clearness of his understanding enabled him to do in the best manner all that duty and benevolence required of him. He had no pride or vanity. His house was the collecting place for the poor and ignorant, the rich and learned, where he made himself equally acceptable to every one." (Gilmer, p.75)
Francis Meriwether died on January 2, 1803, and is buried in the Goose Pond Meriwether cemetery.
Patricia Zontine, April 2009