TRADES AND PROFESSIONS
Source: The Early Life of Lexington [KY] before the Year 1820, Mary Estelle Delcamp, A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Transylvania College in Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Arts June, 1916
Lexington had a number of trades and professions, which deserve especial notice, but which were not sufficiently well-developed to permit of lengthy treatment. There were the bookkeeper and accountant (Aug. 22, 1814); the mason, plasterer and stucco worker (Sept. 12, 1789); the sign painter, paper hanger and room decorator (Aug. 13, 1796 and July 9, 1805); the architect (Dec. 25, 1804); the photographer (May 22, 1804); the portrait painter (Jan. 12, 1813 and Oct. 3, 1814); the well-digger (Dec. 6, 1803); the barber, hairdresser and peruke-maker (Nov. 28, 1805).
As early as 1790 doctors began to put their notices in the papers (July 6, 1790). Among the physicians recorded in the files of the Gazette from 1797 until 1820 were: Samuel Brown (Sept. 6, 1797); C. Freeman, from Indian towns of the Northwest territory (Aug. 8, 1798); Essex, pupil of Dr. John Hunter of London (Sept. 19, 1798); M. Schaag (July 4, 1799); Walter Brashear, in conjunction with E. Warfield (Jan. 3, 1814); Cochran in partnership with James Overton; (Jan. 3, 1814); John Todd (Jan. 3, 1814); Pindell (Jan. 10, 1814); Ridgely (Feb. 28, 1814); Burrell, late of New York (Apr. 4, 1814); Richardson (May 2, 1814); B. Longbottom, surgeon-dentist from Charleston (Jan. 30, 1815); Joseph Boswell (Mar. 12, 1802); Fishback (Feb. 12, 1805).
A great scare arose in 1801 over small-pox. It was so widespread that the paper saw fit to publish the following: "A report having been circulated that Drs. Brown and Ridgely have inoculated with the infection of small-pox in this town, the editor thinks it his duty to inform the public that the report is absolutely false. Two young men have been inoculated with the vaccine, or cow-pox, infection; no medical facts are better established than that the cowpox cannot be communicated by any other means than inoculation, and that the person who has once had it is forever afterward incapable of taking small-pox in any manner (May 25, 1801). In order to satisfy the public further, the doctors and twenty four of the leading citizens signed a statement that there was no small-pox in the town (June 8, 1801). The next year Dr. Boswell placed the following notice in the Gazette: "Having procured the matter of vaccine, or cow-pox, I shall now commence the inoculation; being perfectly satisfied that it will eradicate the principle which small-pox acts on (Mar. 12, 1802). In 1805 Mr. Bradley had to contradict a report that small-pox was in Traveller's Hall (Jan. 22, 1805). In the same year Dr. Fishback felt that "it was to be much lamented that the mild disease of cow-pox had not been encouraged in this state; as no doubt could remain that it would effectively prevent small-pox , which had raged with considerable violence on Licking and in the lower parts of the state (Feb. 12, 1805). Four years later Dr. Warfield received some genuine vaccine, and inoculated at his 'shop' every day from eight to nine o'clock a.m. (Apr. 11, 1809). In 1812 a warning was issued that small-pox was rapidly approaching Lexington, and the trustees advised everyone to be vaccinated. Very generously the physicians did it for nothing (July 12, 1817).
The people, human as ever, did not rely on the doctors entirely for cures. In 1805 Mr. Delisle claimed the ability to cure rheumatism, apoplexy, paralysis, and epilepsy by means of electricity (Nov. 28, 1805). Patent medicines were also popular. Merchants usually included drugs in the lists of articles brought from the East. In 1795 Andrew M'Calla had 167 medicines listed in his advertisements (Sept. 26, 1795). At first patent medicines were few in number, and given very little notice; but gradually they became more and more popular (Dec. 15, 1787; Dec. 29, 1792; Sept. 26, 1795; June 11, 1796; Mar. 27, 1810). In 1810 Richard Lee and Son had the following patent medicines for sale: Lee's Worm-destroying Lozenges; Lee's Elixir; Lee's Essence of Mustard; Lee's Grand Restorative; Lee's Anti-Bilious Pills; Sovereign Ointment for Itch; Invaluable Ague and Fever Dropts; Genuine Persian Lotions; Genuine Eye-water; Toothache Drops; Cornplaster; Damask Lip Salve; Restorative Powder, for teeth and gums; The Anodyne Elixir; and the Indian Vegetable Specific (Mar. 27, 1810). It will be seen that most of these, if not all, were made by the firm selling them. The inventor, Edward West, in 1799 discovered an 'effectual cure' for rheumatism, rheumatic pains and cramps, by means of metallic rings. In order to make a greater impressions on the public, the advertisement was followed by the recommendations of ten people cured in this manner (Dec. 19, 1799).
The bank existed as an institution, altho it was looked upon with disfavor in many quarters. With the founding of the Kentucky Insurance Co. in 1802 the first bank was established. The purpose of organising this institution was to cover the property shipped on board any boat or vessel navigating western waters (Jan. 29, 1802). The next year, according to an act passed by the legislature, the capital stock was increased to $50,000 by disposing of shares at $100 each (Feb. 1, 1803). In the same year Thomas Hart, John Jordan and William Leavy were appointed as a committee to draw plans of a house and vault for the company, and to make inquiry whether a building could be rented on Main, between Cross and Limestone (Feb. 22, 1803). The institution prospered. In 1804, 143 shares were sold at public auction in ten minutes at $105 per share (Jan. 31, 1804). In that year a dividend was declared of $.65 on each $5 share (June 10, 1804). The following year there was paid a semi-annual dividend of $8 on each share (Jan. 22, 1805). The officers at this time were: president, William Morton; directors, Alexander Parker, Thomas Hart Jr., John Jordan, Jr., and James Morrison; Auditors, Thomas Lewis, Thomas Wallace, and John Bradford (Apr. 2, 1805). In 1806 there was a bill up before the legislature to repeal the charter of the company. The majority of the legislators, however, were favorable to the institution (Jan. 30, 1806).
In the same year, 1806, the citizens of Lexington met at William Satterwhite's to consider the propriety of petitioning for a branch bank of the United States (Jan. 16, 1806). Four years later, this same bank, which in the meantime had been established, was opposed on these grounds; first, it was an institution employing foreign capital, and the country would thus be drained by profits and dividends going to the mother bank; second, the twelve directors were elected by the directors in Philadelphia, and thus created an aristocratic Junto; third, it destroyed a lucrative branch of profit to other institutions by knocking up business of advance on bills of exchange (Nov. 6, 1810). Yet, for all these hostilities towards the institution, Lexington was much chagrined in 1816, when Louisville tried to get the bank. The Lexingtonians pointed with pride to the fact that they had taken shares equal to $701,000.00, while Louisville had taken only $163,000.00 worth, and all the rest of the state combined had bought to the amount of only $97,600.00 (Sept. 12, 1816). In 1819 a great complaint was made, because the personnel of the directors was changing. Old men were being pushed out and new ones put in their places. James Morrison felt the change so keenly that he refused the presidency (May 21, 1819).
One other bank should be mentioned, the Farmers and Mechanics. This was an independent institution, and as such was labelled by its enemies as a confederacy of usurers, who had combined their talents and money (Jan. 7, 1820). The officers of this institution were: president, J.W. Hunt; directors, E. Warfield, William Pollock, O. Carr, R. Higgins, William Morton, E.J. Winter, J.E. Davis, and William Worseley (Jan. 17, 1820).
Transcribed February 2001 by pb