PART FIVE: A MEMOIR OF LEXINGTON AND ITS VICINITY
With Some Notice of Many Prominent Citizens and Its
Institutions of Education and Religion
By WILLM. A. LEAVY
Continued from the January  Register
Source: Register, Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 41, Number 135, April 1943, pages 107-137. This is the fifth of eight Register articles containing a transcription of a photocopy of the original William Leavy manuscript located in Special Collections, Transylvania University, Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky.
NOTE: Page numbers and headings of the manuscript appear in parentheses as in original copy. Pages 1-23 are in Part 1. Pages 24 - 37 are in Part Two., 38 - 62 in Part Three, 63-82 in Part Four, 83-113 in Part Five, 114-123 in Part Six, 124-163 in Part Seven, and 164-208 in Part Eight.
Frederick Lauman & John Seitz, Seitz & Lauman were merchants in Lexington from 1793 or 1794 to 1800 and John A. Seitz alone to about 1803 or 4. Mr. Seitz's store was on N.E. corner Main & Mill street the old stone store; he removed to Natchez. He was German or Dutch, and a public spirited citizen.
Alvan Stephens the oldest son of L.S. pursued business a few years after the firm. He was a man of fine humor and wit, a Trustee or Councilman, a Director and warm patron of the Lexington Library, and was an active and useful Citizen. He removed to Missouri in the year ____ and died there. Edwin Stephens a while engaged in the Hardware business, and removed to Missouri after having like his brother, been a few years married before his removal.
Joseph H. Hawkins Member of Congress from this District in the year ____ and a Lawyer of great respectability engaged also in the Mercantile business in partnership with his brother Littleberry W. Hawkins who had been brought up to business in the year 1815, in a white frame house immediately opposite our corner, on N.W. corner Mill & Main Streets. It was a bad year to embark in business, and they continued in it but a short time with considerable loss. Jos. soon went to N. Orleans to practice his profession, and went shortly after to Texas, where he became largely interested in much of the valuable lands. His adventure there was either with Stephen F. Austin or consequent upon it. John Love came to Lexn. from Ireland and embarked in the Dry Goods business showing a good knowledge & management of it to success. He took Edwin Upshur Berryman into copartnership. They carried on a flourishing
Jeremiah Neave, A Quaker from England, and a zealous Democratic politician, opened a Store on Main Street about the year 1808 and after a residence of a few years here with his amiable and interesting family made a prosperous removal to Cincinnati, where he established himself and his sons in the Hardware business in that City; his oldest son Thompson he took into partnership with two others sons Charles and Alexr. were smart and promising boys when they left here.
Jas. Coleman, who had been one of Col. James Morrison's Clerks for some years established himself in business became married to Miss Elizabeth B. Merrideth and taking as his partner Robert C. MegowanColeman & Megowan 2d. house from Mill St. on Main and carried on business for several years 1812-17 with great spirit but ultimately Failed. They had Mr. Joseph Towler as their Book keeper, who was an accomplished clerk, subsequently Clerk and afterwards Cashier of the United States Bank. He married Megowan's widow, a pleasant and agreeable lady. Mr. Towler was an esteemed member and Elder for a number of years in 2d. Presbn. church, and died of cholera 1833.
In a season marked with Speculation and small capital 1812-14 a number of stores were started among others John Bobb and John Vigus the first a Bricklayer the other a Saddle tree maker made a flourish for a short timethe latter closed his residence in Lexington by absconding with the wife of a neighbor to Ohio, the former removed to St. LouisAn amusing anecdote was told me by Danl., Bradford who had bought a Note of Vigus for Mr. John L. Hickman of Paris who when apprised of the fact exclaimed holding up his hands! Heavens God, my money's gone!
Robt. Bywaters & Elijah Noble the former a plasterer the latter in the employ of Mr. Hart had their store of Noble & Bywaters carried on but a short time. Wm. W. Grimes who had acted for a year or more as Clerk for my father opened a store also on Main Street. James P. Parker a fellow student of mine and Wm. W. Graves, Parker & Graves in the store house of Robt. Parker decd. carried on business for some time.
Thomas H. Pindell after marrying Miss Mary Edmiston engaged very actively in the Mercantile business, and other pursuits, besides being a large
David Williamson first a successful Grocer on Mill Street commenced business as a Mercht. on Main Street 1809. Pollard Keene who had been some years a Clerk for my father was taken into partnership by him, they soon after removed to Nicholasville and failed 1813.
Wm. J. and James H. Holloway who carried on business on Main Street in the years ______ with tolerable success and removed.
Wm. B. and Hugh Todd were merchants here for several years but not experiencing that success they expected removed the former to Missouri the latter to various locations as a Teacher of youth of some pretension.
James Morrison from Maysville a Merchant of talents and success opened here in the year _____ after him his brother Ritchieson they were Irish Richieson Morrison & Thos. C. O'Rear carried on a lively business for some years in Mr. Gatewood's Store room but were not successful, and then each carried on a separate store. They were very industrious men of some excellent Maxims of businessearly risers, and late at business, to get through their work. R. Morrison's want of success I think was a principal cause of breaking up his health. He died of consumption at the residence of his brother Moses on Limestone St.
Robert A. Gatewood having been a Clerk with my father and his brother in law was taken in as his partner for the year 1806 and after erecting his Dwelling house & Store a 3 story brick below and adjoining my father's property, brought out from Philadelphia a Stock of Goods carrying on business in his own name carefully, and well for some years being esteemed in his calling rearing up a large family with care. His wife an excellent lady was daughter of Col. Anthony New, M.C. in 1806She was a valuable acquisition to our society, and made his house for its hospitality attractive to their friends. He had a length without there seeming
Bird Smith & Robert S. Todd engaged for several years in the Grocery Business they had a pretty fair business but continued only a short time.
Augustus F. Hawkins married Harriet Leavy on _____ 1819.....out of 8 children 2 only John & Strother survived him, commenced the Dry Goods business in 1819 and had for his partner Jas. J. Hunter, and subsequently they took in John Morrison and they carried on a pretty active business on Main Street Hawkins, Morrison & Hunter three doors above Mill and closed it in the year 1822 becoming Clerk in the U.S. Bank and subsequently Clerk and Cashier in the Northern Bank of Kentucky having had 40 years honorable service in the BanksNote his death 19 May 1876 My Scrap Book p. 332
Joseph Hudson came to Lexn. from Penna. in the year ____ the house below Major Parker's. He was an excellent man and esteemed as a merchant 1795 to 1815. He had as his partner for a part of the time Jos. H. Hervey, under the firm Hudson & Hervey. They were esteemed members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hudson's son John became a minister of the Gospel, and is now residing in Iowa. Mr. Hervey married as his second wife Miss Lex. in Philadelphia and kept store there in his own name she was also an esteemed member of the Presn. Church but at the death of her husband, she moved back to Phila. Mr. Hervey's son W.R. Hervey a young man of talents bred to the bar, removed to Louisville, and had two sisters, much esteemed young ladies went there also they were children of his first wife.
Willm. H. Rainey from Pena. a much esteemed elder in the Presbn. Church and Merchant for many years came to Lexington in 1815 and after carrying on business alone took Jas. Ferguson in as a partner, Rainey & Ferguson, and after being a number of years in business was compelled to close with a loss Mr. R. was much esteemed as a Citizen and a man from his first residence to the present period of more than sixty years.
Dr.Joseph & Bushrod Boswell were in business a short time on Cheapside
Bushrod & Thos. E. Boswell, carried on the business together on N.E. Corner of Main & Mill St. under the style of Thos. E. Boswell & Co. They had two excellent clerks and accountants.from Baltimore John & Cyprian Wells. Bushrod had good talents for business and was at one time a Director in the branch Bank of the United States but was totally ruined by his passions.
Thos. E. Boswell became a partner with Wm. W. Ater in the Rope & Bagging business and carried on a farm near Lexington for some years married a handsome and agreeable lady Miss Campfield of New York by whom he had an agreeable family & then removed to Paducah.
Dr. Jos. & Geo. Boswell his nephew, were partners in business on Cheapside. Saml. & Geo. Trotter in the Dry Goods business largely on S.E. Corner Main & Mill Street 1802-12 and before 1798 to 1802 on Main Street, took as partners for a retail store next door to the corner of Cheapside my cousin Levi I. Gist, and Barnet Metcalfe who had been a Clerk with them for some length of time under the firm Gist Metcalfe & Co. 1813-15 built their brick store & Warehouses Mill Street 1812-15 and Samuel his dwelling.
Saml. & Geo. Trotter also took into their partnership in their store corner Main & Mill Street Robert G. Dudley who had also been their Clerk under the firm Robt. G. Dudley & Co. they done a very large business Wholesale & Retail 1815, and Saml. a number of years very largely in his own name as a Merchant, a Manufacturer of Gunpowder, and Farmer to the period of his death 1833.
Thomas Wallace a native of Ireland came to Lexn. and established his Store on Main Street nearly opposite the Court House about the year 1794 & continued it till about 1819. He bought the handsome lot S.W. corner High & Mill St. and erected a neat 2 story dwelling afterwards Pilkington's, now Mr. Letcher's.
His lady was an agreeable member of Society and their son John was an amiable and highly esteemed young man a Student of Dr. Dudley died of consumption and his remains interred in Trotter's Family Vault.
Mr. Wallace's affairs did not wind up well. He acted as Clerk on Mrs. W's removing to her friends in Shelbyville. Her sister Miss Huldah Chiles after Mrs. Standiford, & the Misses Thomas her nieces from Frankfort, charming ladies were often her visitors. Mr. Wallace was an active and respected citizen. A director in the Ky. Insurce. Co. and a Trustee of the College.
James Campbell a native of Ireland was esteemed as a Merchant came to Lexington in the year _____ and had his store on Main Street N.E. side 2d or 3d door from Mill on the West. He married before he left Lexington in Philadelphia or near it a most agreeable lady.
Saml. Thompson & Ebenezer his brother from Ireland Sam Thompson & Co. sold Goods several years after which Ebenezer removed to Somerset, Pulaski County and carried on business there.
Saml. Pilkington succeeded them & carried on the Grocery business with vigour from the year _____ when he bought of Saml. Trotter for his stand his Store S.E. corner of Main & Mill Street at $8,000 Cash including the adjoining brick dwelling & Lot:and soon after made purchase as a Dwelling house the property that had been built and occupied as his residence by Thomas Wallace S.W. corner Mill & High Street. He made money fast, had several children and left them a good property.
Thos. Huggins who had been a clerk with Saml. Trotter and subsequently in the Grocery business first in Nicholasville and married Miss Crow a sister of Mrs. Pilkington, had several children by her removed back to Lexington, & married the widow of Mr. Pilkington, who was a pious exemplary member of the Episcopal church. Mr. Huggins though a worthy and industrious man was not successful.
Edward Crutchfield afterwards Crutchfield & Tilford first in S. Trotter's Warehouse afterwards in the brick stand on Main St. & Mill N.W. cor, commenced doing a very active and large business. As also subsequently John B.Tilford & Co. s.s. Main St. from _______ to _______ with Gross his partner to Mr. T. subsequently became a Banker, first in Lexington, Tilford & Barclay and had been for some years past in New York doing I learn a large & lucrative business. John McCauley done a large business in the Grocery line after having carried on with success for some years the Manufacture of Rope & Bagging at his farm 1 1/2 miles from town on Russell's Road, but subsequently met with considerable losses. He married a daughter of Mrs. Elisabeth B. Coleman and left several daughters & a large residence on Maxwell St. beyond Limestone.
John G. Dudley & John Carty as partner Dudley & Carty done a very large business Wholesale & Retail Grocers, from the year ______. John Carty also acquiring a handsome fortune in the Grocery business afterwards alone, and continuing a very extensive business in his new 3 story Warehouse lower part of Leavy's corner Mill & Water streetsthe lot bought of D.A. Sayre about 1858 & the Store erected by himself.
John B. Wilgus, afterwards, with Hartnet, J.B. Wilgus & Co. sold a large amount of Groceries at their store s. side of Main Street about 4 doors from Mill,then a Private Bank, in all very successful built a large 3 story block Main Street N. side 3 doors from Mill; and an elegant residence, in place of Mrs. Robt. Parker's on Short Street.
William Swift & Stephen Swift brothers from New England Grocers on Cheapside, came to Lexington and commenced their business in 1815. They discontinued on the year ____ Stephen having made some successful speculations in property in the City of Chicago retired from business. Willm. became Mayor of the City in the year _____ and held that position several years, and not engaging again in business. Men of good talents and reputation.
George Trotter Senr. from Staunton Augusta County, Va. and younger brother of Col. James Trotter came to Lexington and Commenced business as a merchant in the year 1794 and had as partner his brother in law T. Scott firm of Trotter & Scott. They were very attentive to business and Mr. T. for a long series of years was a popular and agreeable merchant, of soft and kind and amiable manners. For some years he carried on business in his own name, at one time Geo. Trotter & Son., and Trotter & Tilford & Tilford Scott & Trotter. They sold a large amount of goods. the various firms had two stores adjoining, and at one time for some years Mr. Scott in Philadelphiathe firm there Scott Trotter & Tilford. His own firm in his own house in which his principal business had been done failed and he wound up his business with considerable loss about the year 1830 to 33. His dwelling house & store was a large three story brick building on Main Street replaced in part by the Store used at present by Mr. AdamsMr. T. had a large and amiable family. The oldest daughter Mary was married to John Tilford, the second Rebecca to Jeptha Dudley of Frankforthis 2d. wife and the 3d. Margaret, to Leslie Combs. Esqr.
Wm. Smith had been a successful hatter in Lexington, and about the years 1810 or 11 embarked in selling goods he had taken as his partner Henry Von Phal, who was acquainted with business. After a short season in business here they removed to Saint Louis and found it profitable. the firm was Smith and Von Phal. I have understood each party had become wealthy Smith sent his son Jack to Philadelphia to buy a stock of goods as long ago as 1815 or 16.
Henry Bell possessed of fine talents for business came to Lexington from Baltimore about the year 1832 bringing with him a stock of goods. He took as a partner Garland B. Hale they carried on the business, mainly retail, for several years and dissolved. Mr. Bell by degrees enlarged his business until before he closed his Store on Main Street the selling goods by Wholesale was his principal business, and in it he was eminently successful. His sons have been established by him in St. Louis, and are very successful. Perhaps no Lexington Merchant has made and saved an equal amount with Mr. Bell and the same time confined himself so strictly to the line of his business. He resides at present 1874 at his residence near town built by Thos. Smith esqr. and may be considered as having retired from business.
G.B. Hale continued the Retail business & at one time took his brother Abraham Hale into partnership the business proved unprofitable & Mr. Hale has mostly acted as Clerk & Salesman for others.
Dudley M. Craig for some years a successful & respectable merchant, afterwd with J.M. Elliott, Craig & Elliott, then alone, but left a very small property at his decease in the year ____
James M. Elliott has devoted himself to the Retail business for a number of years but after seasons of very extensive sales, and some changes may be considered to have, like many others, laboured long to little purpose.I have made my list of Lexington Merchants longer and in some instances came down to a later period than I intended. Other matters are at least as well entitled to attention.
Leonard Wheeler first came to Lexington in the employment of J.B. Borland from Boston in 1816 having been unfortunate in business in the city of Richmond Va., having failed there; after remaining with Mr. Borland until his death, he went along with George Chambers who was an assistant at the same time to Mr. Borland to the store of Elisha I. Winter, both employed as salesmen, Winter was his own book keeper, and after a length of time discovered his dissatisfaction, and fastening his suspicions in Wheeler went to Richmond & procured old claims on Wheeler and pursued him here in the U.S. court. But no man stood fairer than Wheeler with all his acquaintances in Lexington and all believed Winter vindictive, and, without cause in his persecution of Wheeler. George Chambers who owned with his family at the time a handsome property in Woodford in this neighborhood where he is well known and highly esteemed, is at present a man of wealth & family in Jacksonville, Illinois, has expressed to me the highest esteem for Mr. Wheeler and belief in the total injustice & untruth of Winter's charges. He says there was another clerk in the store at the time Thomas Curry who had by no means so high a place in his esteem as Mr. Wheeler (Chambers was for years after with Love & Berryman). In his residence of nearly fifty years in Lexington I may safely say no man was more generally esteemed as a man of integrity and general benevolence than Mr. Wheeler. He transacted a considerable amount of business for many years through the name of his brother Abel Wheeler. He sold Hatters Trimmings, paper & occupying the same store of N. & H. Shaw. He showed great kindness to poor worthy colored men, and as a disinterested Agent, often served his friends at home and abroad. He was a valuable useful member of society in Lexington having the friendship and esteem of many of the best inhabitants of the place. I have made particular mention of him in my article in the Lexington Library. He has long enjoyed the esteem and friendship of my brother in law A.F. Hawkins and of Madison C. Johnson, and my own I have been indebted to him for friendly offices.
Dr. Samuel Brown, one of the esteemed Professors of the Medical College came to Lexington about 1795. He kept an Apothecary Store about 1800 or after it in addition to his Practice. Dr. B. was a handsome man of very fine person and appearance, of polished manners and address. He was an accomplished and agreeable lecturer, and was a highly acceptable professor to the classes, during a continuance of his stay in the University. I Held him in very high personal esteem, and was indebted to him on his trip for the College to Europe for bringing me from Paris a small box of books ordered.He was a younger brother of our distinguished citizens the hon. John and James Brown.
Dr. Benjamin W. Dudley who was the family physician of my father, of Mr. Saml.Trotter my father in law, of my Uncle Robt. A. Gatewood, and myself for a number of years, was, beside his world wide fame as a Surgeon, held by us all in the highest esteem as a man and physician. He was too our friend, and we all know him well. He was the leading Professor in the Medical Collegethe Professor of Anatomy & Surgeryand was a principal attraction to the young men of the South at least in the earlier part of its history. And he took every pains and means to render his services valuable in his power. Among other things he established a hospital of his own
Dr. James Fishback, the immediate medical instructor of Dr. Dudley, and to whom his Medical graduating thesis was addressed, was one of the earliest appointed Professors in the Medical Department, though of very short duration, was a prominent citizen of Lexington for many years. He was a very handsome and fine looking man and of very pleasing address. He had a very active and enquiring mind. The practice of his profession was early discontinued, and he applied his mind to theology, and became a preacher in the Baptist church; differing in some respects from the regular Baptist church, he was a principal subscriber to a Brick Baptist church erected on Mill Street nearly opposite the College in which he ministered for some years, and preached to two churches of that denomination in the country, but finally, especially after a visit of Alexr. Campbell to Lexington and Kentucky, changed very materially his views. I always thought the Dr. evangelical & liberal.He wrote a Volume on Philosophy, mainly intended as a reply to the publication of Dr. Joseph Buchanan, on the same subject Buchanan's Views were sceptical and Antichristian Fishback's a vindication of Christianity. Neither of the works became popular reading. He also published a small volume of Religious Essays. Dr. Fishback was highly esteemed in his long residence in Lexington as a citizen, and as a man. His first wife to whom he was a very few years married, was the daughter of Col. Wm. Christian and niece of Patrick Henry. His last who survived him was the daughter of Govr. Isaac Shelby and her fourth husband. I had an intimate acquaintance with Dr. Fishback and with Mrs. Fishback for many years, and had with him the most friendly relations.
Dr. Charles Caldwell, who as a Writer and Orator was one of the leading Professors of the Faculty, came here from the City of Philadelphia, had already gained some distinction there by his writings, attained a considerable popularity among the students. His manner and address were imposing and his conversation showed a rich fund of knowledge with a happy fluency
Dr. Daniel Drake was a Professor of distinguished talent and genius, a Native of Kentucky, but early a citizen and long a resident of Cincinnati. He had begun to be well known as a writer, and as a successful student. His picture of Cincinnati has been published and he showed himself a man of philosophical enquiry and research. The Students spoke highly of his Lectures, and the amount of instruction they received from him. He was acute and logical in debate, as well as discursive, from his well stored mind. He commanded the admiration and esteem of the community and the public. He was certainly an original genius and a most successful Student.
Dr. Willm. H. Richardson, son of Esqr. John C. Richardson of Fayette, was an esteemed practitioner of Medicine, of standing in the community, and was universally considered in the University and out of it specially well instructed and qualified for the department he was called to fill (Obstetrics & Diseases of Woman & Children) and was a popular and agreeable man.
Dr. Charles W. Short was an excellent Physician of some years practice in Hopkinsville and afterwards in his residence in Lexington. He early turned his attention by taste and inclination to the study of the Materia Medica; and applying a well cultivated and educated mind to it made great proficiency in it, so that no man in all the western country was so well qualified to teach it. I think he gave universal satisfaction in his chair. I knew him well as a fellow student in College, and particularly well in his long stay in Lexington with his very amiable family. I considered him highly respectable as a Physician and one of the best of men.
Dr. Lunsford P. Yandell, from Tennessee who was considered in some sort of protege of Dr. Caldwell, who was much attached to him and very prominent in bringing him forward, who although the youngest member of the faculty I considered one of the brightest, having no doubt, from the talents and genius he displayed, he would one day distinguish himself as a writer and lecturer, Mrs. Yandell whom he brought with him was a charming member of our Society. I saw a good deal of him while here, and held him in very high esteem. When about to leave Lexington I felt under some obligations to him, for giving me the preference in the Sale of a valuable lot adjoining my farm at the same price it had cost him $100 per acre nineteen acres. I am happy to know that as a diligent student and writer Dr. Yandell has well kept up his early promise to the present hour, and that he has the sin-
Dr. John Esten Cooke from Virginia had considerable learning as a Physician and a very high standing as a Practitioner of Medicine and had become favorably known by his work on Fever when he came to accept his appointment as a Professor. He was also a polemical writer on theological subjects as a strenuous supporter of Episcopalianism. His standing was very high among the students.
Dr. James Conquest Cross I considered from a good opportunity of judging one of the most talented and brilliant of all the young men that emanated from the School of TransylvaniaHe aspired to a Professorship, and would have made a fine lecturer. He distinguished himself as the Author of several Medical Prize Essays, and an eloquent Pamphlet on the establishing another Medical College. I have lately presented a copy of this pamphlet with others to the Lexington Library.
Note1 The father of Dr. Cross, John Cross was a small retailer in Lexington at an early day. He owned and occupied the old log or frame house on the site now occupied by Bassett & Emmal with their handsome Shoe Store. Yet the most of these Teachers of Medicine, who had contributed to the renown of the Transylvania School, concluded to go in a body to Louisville, to establish one there; believing that the advantage of that city as a location were all sufficient to give it the preference over Lexington.
From the manner in which the University had suffered in popular opinion in consequence of a prejudice against the Acting President Dr. Blythe since the year 1812 and a belief that it was aimed by the Trustees and Faculty to be guided and governed with Sectarian views a scrutinizing enquiry was instituted by the Legislature of 1815 through a Committee of which F. Johnson, Esqr. was Chairman. It was productive of a spirited response in pamphlet form from the Trustees from the pen of Rev. James McChord at that time one of their number. To shew the impossibility of Political or Sectarian bias directing the operations of the Board They subjoin a List of the Trustees appointed and elected at various periods from the year 1798 to the fall of 1815 which list is before me now, and of Professors during the same period. The following gentlemen were the acting Trustees of Transylvania University at that time: Alexr. Parker, James Trotter, Andrew McCalla, James Maccoun, Thomas Wallace, Charles McPheters, John McDowell, John W. Hunt, Edm Bullock, Wm. T. Barry, Chas. Humphreys, Robert Stuart, Frederick Ridgeley, Lewis Sanders, Ro. M. Cunningham, James Prentiss, James McChord, J.R. Witherspoon, Wm. H. Richardson, John D. Clifford and John Tilford.
Doctor Horace Holley was elected President of Transylvania University on the 11th Novr 1815.
Rev. Robt. H. Bishop, and Mr. E. Sharp, were elected Professors in Transylvania University on 29th April 1815 and the Rev. James Blythe on the 4th June following 11th Nov. 1815 Doctor Cooper of Carlisle was elected Professor of Chemistry Minerealogy Natural History &c.Drs. Dudley, Coleman Rogers, Samuel
It will appear that Dr. Holley was first elected to the Presidency as early as Novr. 1815.
The Rev. Dr. John B. Romeyn of New York had been corresponded with by the board with a view of taking the appointment but declined. The letter of the Trustees written by McChord a copy of which I have bears the date Lexington June 10th 1815. Mr. McChord had been elected a Trustee on Octr. 8th 1814 on Mr. Clay's vacating his seat. My father was a Trustee from Apl 1809 to his resignation Augt 1815. He was reelected in _____ and continued till my appointment in the year 1821, and I continued a member of the Board for several years after Mr. Holley left.
Rev. Horace Holley was again elected by the Board in the Spring of 1818 came to visit the place with a view of forming his opinion whether to accept in the Summer of the same year, all that the Board & the friends of Transylvania had in the meantime heard of him only confirmed them in a wish to obtain a man of his renowned eloquence and intellectual ability. His reception here led him to decide before he left Kentucky to accept. In August he received a dismissal from his church the Hollis street church in Boston. In October he gave his farewell discourse, and came immediately to Kentucky to commence the laborious duties of his office. (Note page 194) Though coming from the large body of Congregational Christians of New England. He was scarcely seated in his chair when he was assailed with bitterness by certain Presbyterian Clergymen as a Unitarian of _____ and Arian sentiments in fact classed with infidels and corrupters of the youth of the land; but he was indefatigable in the discharge of his duties and the fulfillment of the discharge of those branches of study which it was his office to fill. The selection of professors and general arrangement of the course with his occasional Addresses gained him the esteem and confidence of the friends of the College. The Greek professor John Everett, brother of the hon. Edward Everett, had the mental endowments of the family, he was an acceptible professor, and a good speaker and writer. In connection with the accomplished professor P.D. Mariano an Italian exile, and transient resident and Teacher of Music, he started a literary journal called the "Journal of Belles Lettres," which was however discontinued after a few months. The Trustees proceeded at once to build and complete an elegant College edifice, in
I take from the same production the following short biographical sketch. Horace Holley the fourth minister of this church, and first President of Transylvania University, after its reorganization in 1818, was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, in February 1781. He was the son of Luther Holley, and was one of six brothers, one of whom Myron Holley was Canal commissioner of the State of New York under DeWitt Clinton and to all of whom the creative spirit, both physically and intellectually, had imparted largely of his best gifts. He was graduated at Yale College, 1803, with one of the highest honours of that institution, at that time under the presidency of Dr. Dwight. Immediately after leaving college Mr. Holley entered upon the study of the law, with Peter W. Redcliff, esqr. a highly reputable lawyer of New York; with whom, however he did not remain many months before he gave up his flattering prospects of distinction at the bar, and returning to New Haven in 1804 entered upon his theological studies with president Dwight, by whose counsels he was probably not a little influenced, in determining to change his professional course. Early in the year 1806, soon after he had completed his course of theological studies preparatory to the Christian ministry,
Another door of useful and honorable employment for his splendid talents was opened to his hopes in the immediate vicinity of New Orleans; before entering which however, he determined to spend two or three months with his little family in the Northern States. He embarked for New York on 22d. But he had remained too long on the fertile, but too fatal banks of the Mississippi. A plague that falls upon so many of the children of N. Englandthe pestilence that walketh upon these shores in darkness, and waited on those waters at noon day, had marked our friend for its victim. When but a few days at sea, the yellow fever shewed itself on board. One after another fell before the destroyer. It was a scene of suffering and of horrible fear. So intense was the heat, that the deck was the couch of the sick and the well alike. By night as well as by day, a canvas sheet alone shielded them from the sun and storm. She who, for so many years was with you my brethren in your daily walks, and you weekly worship, was the only one of her sex on board. She was herself wasting and withering under the dreadful maladyOne fellow sufferer breathed his last at her bedside in the dead of night in the midst of a thunder tempest. He who had watched over with a husband's love, and with a father's fears, had trembled for his son, felt at last the blow upon his own brain. His reason reeled under the shock. His noble form fell down when that fell down which was its glory. The mighty in form and mind, wrestled strenuously, wrestled madly with death; but what is the strength of man when wrestling with that dread Angel of the Lord? On the morning of the 31st
"Mr. Holley's exposition of Brown's Philosophy, and his own, concludes with this afternoon's Lecture. And I regret that they are so soon over. The talents and acquirements of this extraordinary man have struck me in this course of Lectures with more admiration than ever. I have not time or room to tell you how much I have been delighted and edified, week after week, in listening to him: and now when the course is concluding how readily I allow him a place among the great and original geniuses of the day, in common with whom notwithstanding the readiness and profusion with which he communicated his
I wrote to Mr. Holley in the early part of April 1827. Received one from Mrs. Holley Apl. 20th and one from himself May 7th 1827, with his plans and expectations in N. Orleans, where he had determined upon founding a College to be entirely under his control. His friends there both French and American were immediately to set about the work of subscription and endowment.
Note from page 8. Col. Abraham Bowman first came to Kentucky in company with his brother John in the year 1775, Col. John B. settled in Lincoln now Mercer Co. and was appointed one of the first Justices of the County of Kentucky in the year 1777 and the first Col. of the Militia in the same year. Col. A. Bowman informed me that he bought his own valuable estate on South Elkhorn where he resided till his death (about 1837-8) in the year 1777 of Col. Philip Love of Virginia, at the rate of Seventy five pounds Virginia money per thousand acres and this thousand acre survey he was three years in Kentucky before he could find the corners, and they were found for him by col. Levi Todd the County clerk and this thousand acres measured fourteen hundredas was often the case in these early surveys. Col. A. Bowman remained a short time with his family in Lincoln before his removal to Fayette, and was on officer in several excursions against the Indians. The sons of Col. B. were Abraham my uncle by marriage of Aunt Nancy Gatewood who yet survives at the age of ninety four (1876). John of Mercer decd. within the last 2 or 3 years, Willm,. and George H. who are both deceased, and two daughters Mrs. Woolfolk & Mrs. Jos. Bowman. These two splendid estates of Col. John Campbell and Col. Abm. Bowman cost their owners the one one shilling per acre, the other twenty five cents at the time of the purchase.
Settlement and Preemption Land claims explained in Butler's Histy of Ky. pages 99 and 100. Commissioners were appointed by the State of Va. their first meeting opened at St. Asaph's 13th Octr 1779. The first claim passed in favor of Isaac Shelby to a Settlement and Preemption, for raisingcrop of corn in the country in 1776. A Settlement, consisted in an allowance of "four hundred acres or such smaller quantity, as the party may choose to include
A Preemption was nothing more than a right (which every person entitled to a settlement possessed) to pay the State price for any quantity of land adjoining this settlement, not exceeding One thousand acres. These latter claims were to be paid for, at the rate of Forty dollars per hundred acres; &c.
The emigration to the State that year 1779 was considerable, and these liberal terms were embraced by many valuable settlers.
John Bradford, James Trotter, George Anderson, Nathan Burrows, James Lorry, MacGregor, John Jordan Jr., John M. Boggs, Wm. Macbean, Thos. Scott, William Ross, James Weir, Benj. Foley, William West, William Leavy, Thos Hawthorn, Thos Reed, Henry Marshal, Andrew Holmes, Jos Boswell, John Coons, John Downing, Nicholas Bright, Peter J. Robert, Nath. Lowrey, Mathew Shryock, Daniel Starke, Saml. Trotter, Jona. Holmes, Patrick McMans, Jeremiah Murphy, James Rose, George Brownlee, Geo. A. Weber, John Hall, Edward West, John Cross, Richd. Smyth, Robt. Holmes, George Adams, Danl. Weibel, Martin Hougland, Jacob Keiser, P.D. Robert, Christ. Keiser, C. Freeman, Jacob Claar, Wm. Huston, J.P. Wagnon. 49 names
The original printed Handbill of the Constitution, with my Letters 1874 (The names underscored all personally known and remembered by me W.A. L. (1877)
The Transylvania Botanic Garden Association started by Subscription procured by C.S.Rafinesque in 1824 Robt. Wickliffe elected President, and John M. McCalla, Jas. M. Pike, Wm. H. Richardson, Wm. A. Leavy and Joseph Ficklin Directors, James Harper, Treasurer, and C.S. Rafinesque Superintendent. The scite chosen was a ten acre lot leased of Joseph R. Megowan opposite the Megowan residence east Main Street. The amount of Cash received from the Subscribers, the first year a few hundred dollars was mostly paid out for materials, trees and arbor the same year. W.A. Leavy succeeded Mr. Harper as Treasurer May 1825. Among his papers is Mr. Rafinesque's Plan submitted to the Directors including the draft of an Octagon building, to be built of brick, 25 feet each side, three of the rooms to be for Green-House, Museum, Library and seed roomSpecifications made out in full for the cost of all materials and labor, the whole amounting to the sum of Five thousand dollars, also his list of sums
From the copy of an original letter of Daniel Boone to Col. Thos. Hart left in the Public Library of Kentucky at Louisville furnished me at my request by my friend Darwin A. Kean 1872
(verbatim ad literatim).
Col. Hartt &
Rochester Hager Town.
Your Very Omble
Col. Hartt &
James Prentiss whose name I have mentioned on page 76 as a buyer of the stock of the Kentucky Insurance Company, and again at page 94 as one of the Trustees of the University, who along with revd. James McChord agreed in the election 11 Novr. 1815 of Dr. Horace Holley to the Presidency. I remembered to have heard at the time that he had suggested his name to the Board, and was probably the principal means of his appointment. He was perhaps the only member of the Board who had ever seen or heard Dr. Holley. There was no opposing voice that I have ever heard to his election.Mr. Prentiss was a man of unparalelled business talents, and qualifications. The amount of business transacted by him in person seemed almost incredible. He was a citizen of Lexington for five or six years, and seemed always to take a lively interest in its prosperity. He had an amiable and elegant lady for his wife. His brother Thomas G. Prentiss & wife were also amiable and of a social turn. Mr. Prentiss was a liberal and hospitable man, in his general character, and a very handsome and portly man, of pleasant manners and an agreeable addressPersonally I know nothing derogatory to his character, as a man of honour and a gentleman. After his failure in business he returned very soon to New York and Boston
The name of John Cock signed as a Trustee of Transylvania Seminary page 104 reminds me that so conspicuous a citizen for those early times deserves a line in this memoir. The historian of Kentucky makes memorable mention of our respectable citizens of Fayette County. John Higbee who at his Mill, 6 miles from Lexington on South Elkhorn, made in 1785 the first flour made in the State; in like manner Mr. Cock made at his own mill the first flour made in Lexington, and not very long after him. Mr. Cock's Mill, which I remember perfectly well for a number of years, he built immediately below and very near where the trestle work of the Covington and Lexington Railroad passes over the Town Fork and had there his Millrace and dam, on what is now called after him "Cock's Street." He was a resident here certainly before 1790, and he added the Baking business, to his enterprisefurnishing to the citizens the first good loaf bread they had the opportunity to buy. His daughter Rebecca was a very handsome brunette, and married one of our highly respected and wealthy citizens Mr. John Hall. His second son Mr. John A. Cock, was a worthy citizen, and, after being in various occupations for some years in Lexington, removed to the southern part of the State. Another son carried on a hatter's shop and store with partners Cock, Trimble & Fowler. Mr. Cock was a highly esteemed citizen of Lexington for a number of years.
JUVENILE LIBRARY & LEXINGTON LIBRARY
The Lexington Library in the year 1817 contained in all according to printed Catalogue, to that date, less than four thousand volumesof this number the Encyclopedia Brittanica # 21 vols. was presented by an early citizen and merchant of Lexington Mr. Andrew Holmes about the # See p. 28 & 29 of A. Holmes and his gift, and of Wm. Tod, and John Jones.
from a Report of Directors Lexington Juvenile Library
"The example of our senior citizens and a generous literary ambition first stimulated a few of the youths of Lexington to the formation of a library for their mutual culture and benefit.
About the middle of February 1812 it comprised about 60 volumes, commonly worn out duodecimos with about 25 or 30 shares each holding a share kept in a private house and formed by voluntary contribution of 2 vols. for each share; from the best estimate we are capable of forming was worth in books and some little money arising from contributions about $40. At a Meeting of Share holders the Library was altered into something more permanent, Directors were appointed, a constitution and by-laws were made for its regulations, and the number of shares increased considerably. The expenses of the library increasing it was necessary for the Director to use some method for increasing the funds and rendering the library more respectable. A Lottery was resorted to by them (as it had been by the Directors of the Lexington Library 2 or 3 years before) and with the assistance of a few citizens was carried into effect and drawn on the 1st Septr. last the gain of which exceeded expectations realising $307: Of this sum $190 was sent to Philadelphia to buy books $117 worth brought here, and 340 volumes in the library63 octavos, 277 duodecimos, a handsome bookcase, a neat room, all debts paid, and $30 in the treasury;making in the course of ten months an increase of 217 duodecimos 63 octavos and 53 Shareholders. "I made some handsome additions to it by purchase at the Sale of the Library of Henry Purviance Esq. in 1812-13 particularly of an excellent copy of the British Classical Essayists 30 or 40 vols.From 1814 to 1816 it was kept in a neat accessible room a rented small frame house at 50$ pr. year on Market Street year 1800; and the Edinburgh Review ordered to be subscribed and paid for to the amount of $100 by Mr. James Ogilvie, from Virginia, proceeds of an Oration and Recitations delivered by him in Lexington in the year 1813. Other donations were presented but these were among the most conspicuous to that period. By the addition of the Sharers of the Juvenile Library the income was nearly doubled. Prominent Directors
In the month of Novemr 1843 the spacious room, formerly used by the Medical College for their Library, was granted by its owner for the temporary use of the library and accordingly fitted up with shelving and counter and arrangements were made by the Directors and others to procure by donation and purchase a sufficient number of Shares in the building stock, to give us a right jointly with the City of Lexington who were procuring the other part of the building for City Hall and City Clerk's office, to ownership in the property; which was partially accomplished.Five hundred dollars were also raised by Sale of shares at $5 each by Subscribers, procured mostly by our indefatigable librarian Mr. Logue, for the purchase of some new books, and repair of old. The librarian entered first upon his duties in this room 30th March and the Institution was once more thrown open to its Shareholders and the public on 1st Saturday in May 1846. The additional Catalogue was published by W.A. Elder in 1852, containing 113 pages. It is classified and arranged like that of the one published in 1821, but without giving generally the full title and date, and place of publication. The number of volumes at this time in the library in both these Catalogues amounted to Eight thousand seven hundred and thirty four, Viz. in Duodecimo 4730, Octavo 3696, Quarto 308. At that time, by the aid of these two Catalogues, the contents of the Library might be seen at a glance. The Library was much injured and came near to being destroyed by the fire which consumed this building on 25th July 1854. Happily by the habitual precaution of our Treasurer Mr. Leonard Wheeler in having a certain amount of the books insured against firethe Directors received on 14th October 1854 the sum of Three Thousand dollars, from Mr. James W. Cochran, Agent of Franklin Fire Insurance Co. of Philadelphia.
At a meeting of the Directors of the Lexington Library Co. June 4th 1856, present T.B. Baxter, J.C. Butler, J.C. Darby, Robt. Long, and C.D. Carr, it was ordered that Will A. Leavy be released from the payment of Contributions on his Share in the Lexington Library. This compliment I need not say was wholly unanticipated by me, For more than twenty years of the early period of the Lexington Library more was due to Thomas T. Barr, Esqr.
From the year 1816 or 17 when he first came to Lexington to the period of his death in 1865 Mr. Leonard Wheeler was a very active friend to the Institution, as Treasurer much of the time, and after as a Director. He kept the property insured, and received the amount for the Co. The Library has ever had the intelligent and valuable services of John S. Wilson, as a leading director, and the promoter of its best interests, more especially since the purchase of the building on Jordan's row, and the interests of the Institution have been growing, and assuming its present consequence. Before closing this account of the Lexington Library it is right to name as contributions to its historical department the large number of Newspapers given by individuals:
From Mr. W. Worsley Esq. decd. Papers of his own publication in Virginia & Kentucky including the Reporter of Lexington from the year 1802 to 1815 Norfolk & Richmond, 1802 to 1806, Lexn. Reporter 1808 to 181511 volumes.
From Thomas Smith Esq. decd. Kentucky Gazette 1811-14 3 vols., Kentucky Reporter 1819-32, 10 vols.13.
From Mr. A. Leavy, Ky. Gazette 1810-14, & 15 & 1816-17, 5 vols., Reporter 1808-12, 4 vols., American Republic 1810-12, the Supporter, Chillicothe, O. 1809-17, 8 yrs. 4 vols., New York Herald 1809-177 vols., Ky. Reporter, West Monitor, Ky. Gazette & Lexn. Public Advertiser 1819-22, 2 vols.in all 23 vols.
From Mr. F.A.A. Giraud, of France, Daily Philada. Aaurora 1796 to 1817. 9 vols. Gazette Nationale, on Le Moniteur Universel, Paris 1800-3, 5 vols., Journal du Commerce &c 1806-6 1 vol. 15 vols.
Thos. B. Baxter Esq., Universal Gazette of Washn. City, National Intelligencer, & Philada. papers 1800 to 1841 10 cols.
besides other donations of the same description from other citizensmaking in all over 100 vols. of Newspapers interesting for research and reference.
The celebrated French of D'Alembert & Diderot in 33 volumes in folio 1770-1789 was presented by M.C. Johnson, Esq. and Bayle's Historical & Critical Dictionary 5 vols. folo. 2nd. ed. 1734 by W.A. Dudley Esqr. And many other valuable works at different times presented by others:
A large number of Miscellaneous works have been given by several liberal donors within the last year or two. Let us hope this spirit of liberality will be caught by many others. And that the liberal donations by the citizens will give the Library an increase unprecedented in its history.
Andrew McCalla was the first Librarian, the books were all kept by him in one case. The first three in the building in the Public Square ____ years, the next three in the building on Main Street for _____ years, the next seven in the house on Jordan's Row for the space of _____ years also successively by Lewis H. Smith, David Logan, Thos. M. Prentiss, James Logue, L.W. Seeley, James Logue, W.W. Payne, W.M. Mathews, H.C. Brennan, A.G. Hunt, Joseph Wasson, Wm. Swift and Joseph B. Cooper. Mr. Logue's was the longest service, being for over twenty five years. Mr. Cooper's services have been untiring acceptible to the Directors and share holders and have been given ever since the removal of the Library to its present location.
No printed catalogue has been made since the fire of 1854 the number of volumes must be considerably over ten thousand, notwithstanding all losses of books by fire and otherwise.
Recapitulation:1800 Library incorporated, 4 years with A. Maccalla Librn. to 1803
1804-21 on public Square from 1804 17 yrs. 1st Fire July 25, 1854. Insured for amount of $3000: pd. by J.W. Cochran (?) agent.
1821-4 at Giron's room Short St., 3 yrs 2nd Fire Oct. 12, 1854, Insurce 750 amt. collected Home I. Co.
1824-41 at Insurce Co. Library building 17 yrs. Around the 4 walls and in cases in space the books are conveniently arranged1841-2 In care Stephens & Winslow 2 yrs. A separate room with tables Etc. is set apart for a Reading room, and a number of Newspapers & periodicals are read and placed on file in the Room. 1843-54 In the Medical College Library room entrance on Church St. 11 yrs. They are daily consulted by the subscribers, and the City of Lexington has been solicited to have the Rooms regularly lighted by gas. Within the last week or two the Law Library of Transylvania University has been conveniently arranged in an upper room for access to whoever it concerns.
1854-5 D.M. Payne's Room Short St., less than 1 yr.
1855-69 On Jordan's Row, 14 yrs.
1869-74 In present Room, N.W. corner of Market & Church 74 yrs. including year 1874 & 78 if including the time kept in Trans. Univ.
It will be seen from page 108 that the number of volumes in the Lexington Library in the year 1817 after it had received in 1816 the addition of 1135 volumes from the Juvenile Library was just 4000 vols: and, from the same page, the whole number of volumes after the publication of the Catalogues in 1821 and 1852 amounted exactly all counted to 8734.
Mr. Cooper the attentive Librarian, has been (May 1875) just rearranging and Catalogueing the Books, and says they are only about nine thousand in all, or but little over it. It would seem, if he is nearly right in this statement, the Number of volumes is really but little more than it was 23 years ago. Yet the library has made great progress:witness the elegant and convenient building and roomsthe number of new books to be seen on the shelves,the neat arrangement and excellent order in which they are found in the shelves, new numbers on eachthe spacious room, and, neat cases and shelving. the number of share holders and visitors every day either looking over the late papers, neatly arranged, on counters or tables, or served by the Librarian or his Assistant with booksand the Gas Lights, and Visitors at nightall exhibits of life and convenience & prosperity delightful to behold.
The Library of Cincinnati first opened in 1814 contained only in 1826 the number of 1300 volumes This is from Cincinnati in 1826 by B. Drake and E.D. MansfieldIt now probably contains 25 or 30,000 Vols. from their printed catalogue in the Lexington Library. And the Mercantile Library at Cincinnati contains about the same number or nearly so.(1875OverThe Mercantile Libraries of St. Louis and of Louisville only created within a few years are about equally as large as the one in Cincinnati.
To be continued.
Transcribed January 2002 by pb