17561801, Feb 5
an American planter, soldier, and statesman from North Carolina. He was known as "Quaker Meadows Joe" to distinguish him from his cousin Joseph "Pleasant Gardens" McDowell, who was also a legislator and American Revolutionary War officer from North Carolina. The two men are not always clearly distinguished in historical records; both were in 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" maintained 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. McDowell served in the 5th United States Congress from 1797 to 1799. He is sometimes credited as also having served in the 3rd United States Congress (1793–1795), but according to the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, it was his cousin, Joseph "Pleasant Gardens" McDowell, who served at that time.
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