Diary Index

Clay County

Dicky Diary

Submitted by: THEPURDYDAWG@aol.com



Henry Lucas-- Manchester, Kentucky-- December 22, 1897

General Hugh White, when drinking fell into a salt kettle and came
near his death from the burn. He sent for Dr. William Reed, father
of Dr Stephen Reed, he refused to come. "Let him die and go to hell." said he. He had refused him his daughter Susan in marriage.
"Old" Alex White, his self a great drinker, a brother in law of Dr Reed, married sister Brauners, persuaded him to go. After he dressed the burn, General White handed him $100.00, expecting him to give him change, he held out his hand.
"Another" said Reed. "No by heavens, do you mean to break me up? "Would
you have died for $1000.00? said Reed and he did so.

General White, was a noble specimen of manhood, one of the handsomest
of men. He could primp his mouth and give a face a peculiar charm. He
was a heavy drinker, but quit later in life.

General Garrard was in the legislature when his sister married James
White, son of General Hugh White. So bitter was the feeling between
the two families that he wrote that he would sooner see her go to her
grave. "Old" Alex White drank heavily. He was the father of Moss
Captain Byron. Mrs James White is still living. She lives at Richmond,
Kentucky. She visits Clay County every summer.

When Garrard was perhaps 75 years old he went to Beatyville and
proposed marriage to Priscilla McGuire, a daughter of James McGuire,
a sister of John G McGuires wife, and half sister of Mrs Harvey Lucas,
deponent. She was a old maid, 50 years old. She declined his offer.

I was an overseer for the White's, have known them all well. They
were great money makers. I worked for James and Daughtery White. My
stepfather Pierce Cottingim used to steer salt boats. I never did.
My grandfather Richard Lucas was a man of great physical power. He was
a drummer in the militia. A man named Butts from Tennessee, rode 400
miles to whip him. He rode up to grandfather's saddler shop and called,
"Does drummer Lucas live here?" Yes sir. Well, I live in Tennessee, 400
miles from here, and I have come to whip you. What have I done to you?
Oh nothing, I am the bully of Tennessee and I understanf that you are
the bully of Kentucky, and if I whip you, I will be the bully of the
world. Well, do you wanna fight now, or can it wait til morning? Get
down and go in. I keep a motel and it shall cost you nothing. No, I
won't whip a man and live off him too. Well, it may not turn out that
way, said grandfather. He went to another motel. The next morning they
fought after the manner of times and grandfather was victorious. The
Tennessean seemed perfectly satisfied and returned to his home. My
grandfather afterwards joined a Methodist Church. He was a big hearted
hospitable man. My Materal Grandfather was John Cundiff. My father died
when I was 6 years old, it was about 1828. Grandfather Cundiff was a
loyal friend, he would do anything in his power for his friend, was a
great power of elections. My Uncle John Cundiff killed Eli Bowlin.
Bowlin was a bully, a man of great power. He led my uncle to, Old Bill
Duncil's house, where ol Molly Henson lived. They had a quarell about
the woman. Bowling kicked my uncle, a small man. He went away and came
back with a dirt knife. He called Bowlin to the door and plunge it in
to him. He died in a few minutes. My Uncle left the country and never
returned. Uncle Sam Lucas took his wife to him. Eli Bowlin was a bad
man. His son, James Bowling was hunting for Uncle John when he met my
grandfather Cundiff. "Jim put that gun down", we have gotton rid of 2
bad men and let the matter stop. The Cundiff's of Breathitt are of the
same stock.

Eli Bowling was a great rogue. I have heard him tell of stealing his
neighbors horse, put him in a cove, fatten him up, and cut off his tail,
trimmed his ears and fed him right at his neighbors door a few months
afterwards and he did not reconize the horse. He would laugh when he
told me. He told it at a horse race at the old tan yard which was
above town. He also said he bet a fellow $5.00, he could steal his
blanket as they were camping on a hunt, and he got it.

Old George Stivers, a methodist preacher, taught school. I went to
school to him. He was a man of much prayer. He held family prayer,
night and morning. Also at school, said he did not sin. At family
prayer, his son Simon put a pin in the toe of his sock and while I was
kneeling at family prayer, he stuck it into my body. "This made me
jump and I struck Brother Stivers. After prayers his father said, "I
will make you pay for that Simmie" and he did give him a severe
thrashing, this was Manchester in 1847. I was 29 years old. I went
to school to Milton Pigg, a cripled man. Mershon was a teacher in the
county also.

Reverend George Stivers had a large family of sons, who were the most
reckless men ever reared in the county. Sim Stivers wanted to kill
General Garrard. In order to get a chance at hin he stabbed a man
named Fitz, perhaps Fitzgerald thinking Garrard would come to Fitz's
defense and then he could kill him. Fitz died and Stivers left the
county never to return. General Garrard was a man of great physical
strength, a very brave man and men feared him. He rarely, if ever had
to fight, he was a peaceable man, himself.

George Stivers Jr who lives near town with his nephew, James Stivers
was seen in his office in the court house, naked with a woman. The
grand jury saw him but did not indict him. James Stivers, lawyer,who
now lives near this place, killed a man at Irvine.

Reverend David Weaver of Laurel County had family prayer. (Mrs.
Burchell told me last Sunday Night that Mr Cornahan was the man in Clay
County that holds family prayer, as far as she knew.J.J.D.)

George O Barnes told te people when at Boonesville, where I heard him
preach to come drunk or sober it would all be the same , if they only

Reverend A.D. Collins who lives on Laurel, Clay County now, lived
then in Owsley. He wanted to turn his members out who shook hands or
joined Barnes. He is a missionary Baptist. I left the church and joined
the reformers.

Barton Potter was a merchant in Manchester as far back as I can
remember . He was a drinking man, never to drunk to attend a business,
a clever man. Made money, left a large amount to his childern.

Howard Redneor killed Dan Price, James Price's brother. It was he who
went to the Virginia caves and committed suicide to escape arrest.

James and Daughtery White each had a great many slaves. Dough would
get on a stump when he whipped a negro. The slaves liked James but did
not like Dough. When I was working for James White we killed 60 hogs
before daylight. We scalded them in a salt kettle, handled them in a
sweep. We were the only white men at it.My stepfather, Pierce Cottingim
gutted them.

David Walker was the bully of Clay County when I was a young man and
my uncle James Cundiff was almost equal. James Cundiff was killed by
Lewis Stivers, son of Reverend George Stivers. I think Stivers was
insane. He wanted to kill General Garrard. He was a soldier in Colonel
Lucas' company, when he killed Cundiff. They were camped at Manchester.
Cundiff was in the same Company. Stivers was court marshalled and shot.
Every ball took affect. General George Morgan was in command. There
were 12 soldiers, 6 guns loaded. I came into town a few minutes after
he was shot.

My grandfather was a bully, a dissipated man. He whipped James Crum
out of the house and cohabited with his wife and she had 3 childern by
my grandfather. These were good men and women. Grandmother raised them
these childern. I have seen him shoot a candle 60-100 yards at $1.00
a shot. He usually shot the candle out. Beef shooting was common in
those days. He usually won the stake. My grandmother was a pious woman,
she did whatever her husband asked. The Cundiff's of Breathitt are my
cousins. So is the present jailor of Clay County.

Dr Abner Baker was hung here for killing Daniel Bates. After his
conviction the jail was strongly guarded to prevent his friends from
rescuing him. Fortifications were built around the jail and guards of
150 men from Madison County and 150 men from Clay County were on duty.
The friends of Baker let drop remarks about a canon that was coming for
their use, in order to intimidate the guards. One night somebodies
built fires like a camp and made a demonstration which caused a stamp-
ede among the Clay County MIlitia. They threw away their guns and ran like
scared dogs. The next morning all that run, were discharged. It was a ruse
of Baker's friends. I was one of the guards. John Cole was jailor at
that time. A party was organized to rescue Baker but never made an
attempt. Baker was crazy. He was jealous of his wife, who was as pure
as the mother of Jesus.It was jealousy that caused him to kill Bates.
He was jealous of negros and others. A man named Bledsoe stabbed him
through a cloth cutting him in the back and about the bowels. He lived
10 years but was never himself again. Bledsoe fled the country. Uncle
William was a tanner. The rebels took him prisioner at Wildcat Mountain.
He said there was terrible screaming among the Rebels. Colonel Garrard,
General Garrards father was a southern sympathizer. He told General's
wife that the rebels would whip at WildCat.

When brother John went to California, I loaned him $300.00 and paid
$4100.00 of debt for him. General Garrard and John went off together.
John paid me.


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