PART EIGHT: A MEMOIR OF LEXINGTON AND ITS VICINITY
Some Notice of Many Prominent Citizens and Its
By WILLM. A. LEAVY
Continued from the October  Register
Source: Register, Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 42, Number 138, January 1944, pages 26-53. This is the last 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.
THE CHOLERA OF
On my return at this time from a visit to some friends in Upper Main street I called in to see Mrs. Thomas J. Skillman, a pious member of the Presbyterian church; she was much concerned, and told me she did not know whether under existing circumstances to wish for the return of her husband, who was daily expected from the General Assembly to which he had been sent as a Delegate, or not, In a day or two more we buried an excellent friend & brother elder from her
"Never in the course of life have I spent such a week as the past. I would incomparably prefer a seven months campaign in a furious war, than to undergo another seven days such as these. In my own family I have lost Mrs. Johnson, who died last week, and my dear Mother is now breathing her last, in the agonies of that dreadful scourge; my son Thomas, who was taken early last week, and was as we thought, relieved, relapsed yesterday morning, and is now in a critical state, although still not hopeless. Two or three of our servants are getting about after an attack last week, and our old nurse in now in bed, being taken this morning. Our house is a kind of hospital, and since my return, I have not pretended to do anything else than nurse the sick, and guard the well. And our neighbors nearly all of whom are as bad off as ourselves, and some of them worse, afflict me with their hurried and distracted movements, and not unfrequently with their sighs and groans. The Physicians are nearly worn out, nurses cannot be had, the coffin-makers are almost broken down, and the disease still spreading. Among its victims is our brother, T.T. Skillman, who arrived from the General Assembly on Friday last, attended service yesterday morning, was taken on his return from meeting, and died in twelve hours afterwards. The number of cases yesterday was equal to and perhaps greater, than on any former day. The change in the weather we hope will abate it, but it has not yet done it, We are in the hands of Godlet him do what seemeth good. P.S. My mother died at 3 o'clock p.m. after closing this letter." New York Observer June22d 1833. In Lexington the deaths by Cholera on 9th were fifteen, and the whole number from the commencement on the 3d was stated at 100. The inhabitants were much terrified and had deserted the town in great numbers. Lexington June 4th, 17 Or 18 cases in 2 days and seven deaths. In Maysville Ky.
At my residence my sister Eleanor's was the only death. She was taken Friday 7th June & died Monday 22 July 1/2 past 2 o'clock. At Mr. Trotter's my sisters in law, Mrs. Holland and Sarah K. Trotter, aged 14, and Mr. Trotter himself were all numbered among the victims. Mrs. Holland died 1/2 past 2 o'clock Saturday Aug. 24th. Sarah L. Trotter at 1/2 past 9 o'clock 12th Augt. 1833 after 4 or 5 days illness of Bilious Fever, Saml. Trotter died 23d 1833 aged 54 yrs. 9 months 25 daysSister Eleanor's religious convictions were very decided, affecting and consolatory. The Epidemic was very bad on Water Street, particularly the upper part of it. There were fifty deaths sometimes per day particularly in the early part of the visitations. There is a vivid and faithful picture of the scenes in Mr. Ranck's history p. 325-6 and the worst comes short of the reality it is literally true what he says of the trenches the coffins and the boxes for the dead p. 324 7th line I do not remember the family spoken of consisting of 19 persons 17 of whom died.
On the same width of our lot, on the opposite side of Water Street there were 12 deaths in 2 or 3 tenements. In visiting the sick during this season it was a very usual thing to carry with us pills of the most approved kind to administer.
Beside white friends and acquaintances, I visited several worthy blacks, with whom I had particular acquaintance, and feelings of friendship, among those I call to mind especially Hannibal Straws (whose wife had been an excellent nurse in my family) the keeper of a livery Stable, on Limestone between Water & high Streets, his residence same street near High, he was far gone when I called to see him, and I think I gave him the last pill he took, also Simon Stilfield the celebrated Whistler, whose picture was for some years hung in the F.C. Clerk's office, he was at his lodgings then in a negro room of Squire Oliver Keen, on Short Street, he was near or in a state of collapse when I saw him. Alas poor Yorick! a merrier soul never rejoiced more in his existence than Simon.
A Member of the City council I was appointed one of a Committee from
"The bold they kill, the unwary they surprise!
Who fights meets death, and death finds him who flies!"
The reign of death on the spot,the dread stillness and silence on the streets,every house in the city shut upNow and then dead Carts moving with the smallest possible number of attendants.These awful realities,death in every householdmay be felt with solemn awe on the spot, they cannot otherwise be realised. I felt it was a presence enough for a lifetime, and more than enough One would suppose the rational being who should be permitted to pass through such an awful season would henceforth live only in the presence of God and eternity!
At the commencement of it, or just before, I had a most striking occurrence personally with our then excellent City Marshall, Barnet Rucker, a pious member of the Methodist Church, whom I regretted to see cut down in the midst of his usefulness;a more vigilant and impartial officer we never had,He called upon me in the Store and seemed much excited, said he had called to let me know I was a breaker of the Ordinances, or Byelaws of the City, and that it was his duty as an impartial officer to have me reported and fined &c. I think the offense was an omission to have my cellar door put down, or to have my boxes removed from the side walk,
A Deputy Marshall, Sam Young, the same season called on me in some haste requesting the favor of me to supply him with a black silk dress for his sister, as mourning, that he would pay me as soon as he drew his wages from the City. He lied: the dress was not for his sister but for some other femalehe never paid a cent of the money till long afterwards while a resident of Paris. I collected it by law through my friend Wm. O. Smith. I well knew his sister Margaret Hunter, an esteemed and respected Mantua maker who was doing well
I am happy to add that Young soon married, went to Missouri, became a better man and was elected to the Legislature.
What contrasting scenes present themselves in the presence even of calamity and death.
Among our faithful physicians during this season I think none were more attentive or successful than Dr. R.C. Holland.I called several times to see Dr. Dudley to request his presence to my sister, and to Mr. Trotter, when I found him lying on a pallet in his bedroom,he was endeavoring to keep a moisture on his skin. He visited our families, but not as often as we thought desirable.
The Physicians during this season were generally laborious and attentive to their duties, and in some instances literally broken down. Their treatment of the disease was very various, and often conflicting. Among the deaths were many affecting and interesting cases. Perhaps the loss of no citizens was felt more in Lexington than those of Samuel Trotter and Genl. Thomas Bodley, Dr. Boswell and Capt. John Postlethwait by their families and
Extra ordinary meetings were held in the Churches in Lexington commencing 5th Novr. 1833. Addresses and Sermons were delivered for several days in succession by Rev. Robert Baird, Agent A Sunday School Union, Rev. Dr. Cogswell, Secy American Education Society, Rev. Mr. Storrs Assistant Secretary of A Home Missionary Society, Rev. Lyman Beecher, D.D., Rev. Mr. Kirk of Albany, & Rev. Mr. Brainerd of Cincinnati. The Inauguration of Rev. Benj. O. Peers, President of Trans- Univ. on the 4th inst. Annual Meeting Fayette Co. Temperance Society addresses by Dr. Beecher & Mr. Kirk in a most forcible & eloquent manner at Methodist Church,
The deep impressions made upon our society by the cholera had its effect soon in solemnizing the hearts of the christian people, leading to deeper seriousness, and more frequent meetings in the ChurchesThe Prayer Meetings were deeply interesting in Jany & Feby 1834. A season of Revival was the consequence in the early part of the year 1834 which extended more or less to all the churches. 1st Feby continuing for about 3 weeks, Rev. Mr. Brainerd assisted a part of the time also Rev. A. Bullard, Agent for Missionary Society of the Valley of the Mississippi, and Rev. Dr. J.C. Young of Danville.
In these meetings which for a season were alternately held in all the Evangelical churches, except the Episcopalian, and all participated in the blessingthe Sectarian feeling seemed to be laid aside it was truly a season of social Christian love. Many were added to the Churches, first & second Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist churches. And these were all followed the following year 1835, November 9th to 15th by a Season of very interesting Anniversary celebrationsSermons and Addresses by able ministers from Boston, New York and Cincinnati, mostly of our own denomination, whose effect I thought highly salutary to our community and the churches. These seemed to be in imitation of the Great Anniversary Meetings of the month of May in New York City and continuation of those begun here two years beforewhich had been held in that city for a number of years, and to a partial extent I thought attended with the same happy consequences.
The Cincinnati Journal & Luminary for 1835 which I have in a volume with other religious papers contains many of these addresses, but very short notices of the Meetings held in the churches. 1834 Nov. 4th to Friday night 7th we had in Lexington a truly religious and literary feast in a Week of Interesting
The Rev. Wm. Patton was our guest, and the whole family were more than gratified at his sojourn with us. He preached in the 1st church at the Sacramental meeting, on Sunday 9th Novr., and same evening at the 2d., the Services were deeply interesting in both instances. At one of these series of meetings Rev. Mr. Bullard and his interesting wife and child passed several days at our house. They were a most devoted interesting couple I would say of Missionaries. We were much pleased with their companyMr. Bullard removed in a few years to Saint Louis, and in a Passenger car falling through a bridge was killed. During all these interesting seasons in the first, and in the latter part of the year 1834 Rev. Nathan H. Hall Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church and Rev. Robert Davidson, of the Second, took active part in the Meetings to the great satisfaction of the churchesJany 1835 Rev. Danl. Baker assisted Mr. Hall with good results
In the month of October we had several very able Sermons from Revd. Joseph C. Stiles.
Among the good fruits of the Cholera was the establishment of an Asylum for Orphan children who had lost both parents, there were a number of children thus deprived during the Season of the Cholera 1833, a meeting was called of Citizens at the court house in July, and the Institution at once organized, $4,400 had been subscribed, a house and lot bought for the purpose on Third Street the names of the ladies as first Directors page 326 of Mr. Ranck's history. I was a subscriber to this object at the time of the One Hundred dollars.This Society receives its Annual Support by voluntary contributions of citizens and churches & continues
(Thirteen pages of original manuscript missing here.Ed.)
With Judge Fielding L. Turner I had a friendly intimacy for many years. He was a diligent and successful student and reader He was a Deputy clerk of the Fayette C. Court in the year 1796 by which he became familiar with legal forms, and acquired habits of business, and a practicing Lawyer at the bar in Lexington in1800. He waited on my father-in-law Saml. Trotter at his marriage to my aunt in the year 1801, emigrated to New Orleans to practice his profession in the year and by his success in it and his appointment as Judge which he held for a number of years and above all by his savings and sagacious investment of his means brought with him on his return to Kentucky and retiring from business over One hundred thousand dollars in money, some of which he made a happy investment of in valuable lands in the Southern part of the State. He settled here on a farm which had been his father's 5 miles west of Lexington and built on it a handsome residence, in which he resided with his family till his death. It is now the property and residence of Isaac C. Van Meter, Esqr.
His eldest daughter, Josephine an amiable lady is married to Profr. John Lutz Mansfield, now Genl. Mansfield of the State of Indiana. His younger daughter Mary to a Mr. Marshall of Paris, and a second time married is the wife of Mr. Armstrong a lawyer of Louisvillethey both have families. The eldest son Oscar Turner, Esqr. is and has been for years the esteemed Senator of Ballard Co., the other son Henry F. Turner is a Judge of reputable standing in the county of _______ Judge Turner was a man of excellent talents, of general knowledge, and of a fine commanding person and address, and was certainly one of the most eminent and distinguished men ever reared in the county. He possessed one of the most valuable and costly private libraries in Fayette County which occupied a prominent room in his new residence. I attended the funeral of one of their children on the farm Dr. James Fishback an old friend of the judges performed the interesting servicesthe parents were deeply affectedMrs. Turner was a lady of great beauty and vivacityShe was the natural daughter of Governor Sergeant of Mississippi. She was well educated
The judge and his lady both remembered our family by some acceptable presents from the farmthe judge's orchard had some of the finest Queen apples which he sent us, and Mrs. Turner was liberal with the nicest butter of her preparation. But their peace became blightedfrom inequality or incompatibility of temper, mostly I suppose on her part, for she was very quick, the harmony was broken up. He at length made the attempt to have her placed in the Lunatic Asylum, but only partially succeeded. I was brought as a witness in one stage of their troubles before a Magistrate, James E. Davis Esqr., both parties present, to give my opinion as to the value of his estate and especially of the means he was possessed of on coming from New Orleans with a view no doubt to separate allotment for her maintenance. It was painful to all. They lived afterward togetherthe judge came more seldom to town and mixed less with his friends. He died in the yearAfter his death some time she was choked to death at the family residence by one of their own negro men, for some grudge or offense he had against herhe expiated his crime on the gallows. The only book presented to the Lexington Library by Judge Turner of which he was an early director that I know of was Volney's Ruins, given whilst a resident and before his removal to New Orleans. He lived without the faith and hope inspired by Christianity.
the Citizens raised by subscription the sum of $535which was publicly offered by advertisement of the coroner Mr. Benj. Stout for the apprehension and conviction of the murderer. A near relative of the deceased came immediately to Lexington and erected a handsome tombstone over his remains in a high and handsome part of the old City Graveyard (Baptist) with the inscription, "Here lies the body of John Bibb of Va
Peace to the memory of a man of worth,
A man of Letters and of Morals too.
John W. Tilford cousin of Majr. John came to Lexington from the State of Tennessee about the year 1810 and was engaged as an Assistant or partner in the book store then established and carried on for several years under the firm name of Maccoun Tilford & Co. an amiable christian gentleman possessed of a fine person, of mild and agreeable manners, and of good business qualifications was much esteemed during his residence in Lexington but removed to the city of Philadelphia, and established himself as a broker there, making friends by his knowledge and attention to business, his character leading to that confidence in him as an Agent or dealer which secured him a profitable business for some years he was
A Society or Club Literary and Social was commenced in Lexington about the year____whilst I was a Trustee of Transylvania, consisting mainly of the President Holley and Professors of the University in all its departments with some of the Trustees including its chairman, Robt. Wickliffe, esqe. and Col. Josiah Dunham, the principal of a large & respectable Female Academy who came to Lexn. and established himself about 1819. It was commenced under the name of the Transylvania Institute the object the meeting together at each others houses in Alphabetical order the member at whose house the meeting was held to read an Essay or Paper of his own writing, and after the conversation was over to furnish a supper for the entertainment of the Society. When it was at our house I read a paper on the subject of Popular Education; and when it came to the turn of Charles Humphreys esqe. he furnished an Essay on the same subject taking another aspect of it.
This club was kept up in its number and with spirit for some length of time but was finally discontinued.
Another Association of the same name Transylvania Institute was established or begun in the year____ the object of which was to raise a sum by individual subscription $500 each to add the sum of $______to the College funds the Subscriber entitled to the benefit of a Scholarship in the College for his subscription.
My sudscription or Scholarship in the College I sold at public Sale, in 1885 to G. B. Kinkead Trustee, for a trifling sum $42.
T. University Oct. 7 1811. To William A. Leavy. the Author of the best Essay in the Second Class Composition.
Dignum laude virum musa vitat more.
The Professors this year were Rev. Robt. Hamilton Bishop, Professor of Logick and Moral Philosophy, with Lectures, also of History: Revd. James Blythe, Professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Astronomy and Chemistry. Mr. Ebenezer Sharpe, Professor of the Latin and Greek Languages, and Mr. Bertrand Guerin Professor the French Language.
Two of my fellow students and classmates in this Composition Class with whom I was most intimate, and whom I visited in their rooms, Joseph R. Underwood and Thomas A. Marshall.
Nil sine magno T. University April 1 1811.
Vita labore dedit mortalibus. (Handwriting Professor Sharp's) And October 7th 1811 I received Le Cure de Wakefield as a Premium Lingua Gallico premium meritus et consectus ect. &c.Aut Cosar Aut nullus.
Oct. 7 1811 T. University - B. Guerin
The French Class was not a large one, my only real competitor in it was my friend John M. McCalla, who like myself, loved the language and had considerable proficiency in it. McCalla in 1810-11 and I think James P. Parker and J.R. Underwood graduated as B.A. this fall being their last year in college. I need scarcely add
Memo. Aug. 24th 1876. the death of Judge Underwood is announced in the Courier-Journal as having taken place at bowling Green on 23d inst in the 85th year of his life having been born on 23d October 1791 with a short biographical Sketch.
My wish was to go to Yale with my friend Marshall and afterwards to commence the study of Law; but it was soon changed, knowing that my father's heart was in my entering at once in the store, and acquiring a knowledge of his business, the intimation was at once given by our excellent friend Mr. Macbean, in the presence of my father in his counting room, and I determined to know no other will but his own. He had indulged me in everything, and on this subject his mind had been set. I went at once behind the counter and to the desk. He had taken me to Philadelphia with him on horseback in the year 1808 in my 12th. and again in 1810 in my fourteenth year, introducing me to his excellent friends Jacob Ruse, Matthew Carey and others whose hospitality and friendship I experienced for many years' and had me to go along for a Stock of goods in the year 1815, and again in 1817 made me a full partner in his business.
My fondness for reading and study led me to seize at night and at intervals the opportunity of reading as my taste and inclination directed from the time I left college, and my father allowing me to gratify it from time to time by purchases of favorite authors I accumulated a respectable library. The first importation for my library was through my friend H.C. Carey of Philada. 1815 or 16 of a splendid copy of the British Classical Essayists 20 vols. with illustrations by the best artists including Dr. N. Drake's Biographical & critical Sketches of the Authors at a cost of around 150$. I subscribed and received as they came out Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopedia from the year 1813 completed in about 20 vols. I also bought Dobson's Encyclopedia 21 vols. I took from 1815 the North American, American Quarterly, Edinburgh Reviews a portion of which last I was compelled to import. The sett complete of the Edinburgh for many years I parted with my brother in law Morehead. The North American I bartered for other books with Mr. Carey. The encyclopedia Brittanica 7th edition I received regularly from London first in numbers then in half volumes complete in 22 vols 4 to at over the cost
In this little memoir I cannot help devoting a few lines to the memory of my noble friend Matthew H. Jouett, whom I remember with the deepest feelings of love, admiration, and regard; having with him a pleasing intimacy and uninterrupted friendship for many years. I was plodding over the Latin Grammar in 1803 or 1804 when 7 or 8 years of age when he a grown up young man first took up the study bounding forward and soon left the juniors out of sight. After finishing his collegiate course he studied law but very soon gave it up for his darling preference of the pencil. His name as a man of genius and skill as an Artist illustrates Lexington and Kentucky. The pursuit of his profession led him to Boston to study and practice a season with the celebrated Stuart.
His portraits of President Holley and Col. James Morrison and of Mr. clay are beautiful pictures, and life-like and striking, those of Mrs. Jouett and Mrs. Nannette Smith are very fine portraits. I have a very fine portrait of Col. Geoe. Trotter, Junr. painted for his brother Saml. now hanging in our parlor, and an excellent one of my brother Laurence with whom he was very intimate painted for me by him just before he left Lexington for N. Orleans in the year 1822, an accurate copy of which he painted for the hon. Wm. T. Barry, and presented by his widow to my brother-in-law Mr. Hawkins.
In addition to these I now have in my parlours the portrait of my sister Harriett & her husband A.F. HawkinsJouett's portraits in style and colouring I do not think have been surpassed. He was in the city of New Orleans during past of my brother's residence there, and I had the satisfaction of some very interesting letters from him at that point. Though he felt compelled to pass much of his time from his family no man could enjoy his home while there more than he. His pure and natural affection, made his home a special delight upon his returns from his distant professional engagements. When he gave himself to it he was a successful reader and student, and if his reading was not extensive it was choice and select. Dr. Johnson was a favorite author and he had an excellent copy of his Works in his Library. His conversation was lively natural and rich. He was visited in his
#Note referred from page 95. I wrote to Dr. R. Peter 7th Septr. 1875 in reply to his letter of enquiry my recollections and opinion of President Holley and other matters relating to Transylvania University three sheets of letter paper I copied the extracts from my letters to brother Laurence in page 100 and gave with much more fulness my impressions and vivid remembrance of his eloquence. I mentioned in it that I visited Boston winter 1818 after his election and before his final removal. By introductory letters from Philadelphia I had during my short stay there the opportunity of knowing some of the most wealthy and prominent members of the church he had leftthe high respect and regard for him could not be surpassed and they gave the strongest possible testimony in his favor. I saw particularly at her elegant mansion and a number of her friends the widow of the hon. John Gore, ,whose language was enthusiastic in his praise, and in the consideration he enjoyed with a very large and cultivated society and congregation. They felt a great solicitude that his ardent anticipations should be realised of which they could not doubt. From my previous reading and course of studies at college I felt well prepared to enjoy popular lectures on Moral Philosophy, taking Brown's Philosophy as his main subject. A year or two before leaving the University (which was in 1811) I attended the interesting and copious Lectures of Dr. R.H. Bishop on Logick and Moral Philosophy I had read Paley, Adam Smith's theory of Moral Sentiment, Stewart's Elements and Lectures, Hume's Philosophical Essays,
I dwelt in my letter on the excellent opportunity I had of being well acquainted with the personal character of Dr. Holley from frequent and intimate intercourse during the whole of his residence in Lexington up to the time of his leaving for New Orleans in the spring of 1827 and repeated emphatically my knowledge & estimation of his unblemished & honourable career in addition to his very liberal unparalelled hospitality and with the best opportunity of forming an opinion I never knew a man more remarkable for punctualto all his engagements other than Horace Holley. I rode a few miles with himself & Mrs. Holley on their way and had received a letter from him and from Mrs. Holley from New Orleans and before their fatal voyage from that city. These letters I have placed with many other letters in my "scrap book" of Letters &c in a bound volume in my library.
Memo. made September 3d 1877: On 7th August 1877 through the politeness of my friend Silas P. Henry with whom at his hospitable residence in Lexington I had passed the previous night I was favored by the use of his buggy and servant man,which I used for the purpose of going to see in what condition I should find "the Vault" and surroundings on Col. Jas. Trotter's old farm (now Mr. Wm. Berry's) The inspection showed the premises in much worse condition than I expected although it had been visited by my daughter Mary within the last year with her cousin Mrs. Lilla McClure of Xenia O who was at that time paying us a visitI found the Rails of 36 pannels fence (4 sides 9 panels each) every one
I have a lively recollection and a regard bordering upon veneration for the three excellent men then the Professors in college. And first I must give expression to the very high respect I have ever had during my course for the excellent and learned Dr. Robert Hamilton Bishop, who from the Sciences he taught Logick, Rhetorick and Moral Philosophy gave us the first outlines of Thought, Literature and Religion. He endeared himself to me by the kind and special notice and attention with which he honoured me during and after the college course. He was very full and satisfactory in his instructions in each of his departments, and particularly in his examinations. He seemed to us all an eminently qualified professor, and loved the office of teaching. Occasionally in the advanced classes he examined the scholars separately in the class as to their miscellaneous reading. his remarks in these cases were very instructive and it
underneath this rough, uncouth disguise,
the amiability sincerity and excellence of his heart caused him to be universally esteemed, and the vast number of those who enjoyed the advantage of his instructions were his representatives scattered widely throughout the western country.
Dr. James Blythe, the President of the University and Professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy was a very successful and acceptable instructor in all branches. He was a most diligent Student to qualify himself to the last for teaching with the latest improvements in each science he taught, and he spared no pains wit all the improved Apparatus at his command to render the instructions attractive to his students. He was animated in his manner, and being of a sanguine temperament, and one who magnified his office, though affectionate and kindly in his nature, was magesterial in his manner. His large heavy eyebrows of a light colour added to the strikingness of his physiognomy. He was an active and earnest minister of the gospel, sincerely devoted to his work; and
Mr. Ebenezer Sharpe the amiable Professor of the Latin and Greek Languages was a ripe scholar, and had the best capacity for acquiring and imparting his knowledge. He loved the Languages and the Classics, and delighted to kindle up the same love in his scholars. He had a good voice with musical taste and clear enunciation, and occasionally repeated lines and passages in the Latin and Greek Poets while engaged with his classes with great beauty and effect. Though a modest man he was possessed of a fine and expressive countenanceof a fair and florid complexionof a person rather shorter than average height, but corpulent, to reduce which tendency he occasionally practiced the exercise of long bullets, after the morning session of the school was over in a lane (3d street) back of the college lot. Mr. Sharpe was universally beloved and had always the respect of his pupils. He was mild in his character, and had a great ______ of manners,though there was no laxity of discipline in his school. His amiable lady was the daughter of Mrs. Lake, an early resident, whose other daughter became the wife of Mr. Wm. Henry an elder in the Presbyterian Church and Clerk in the Branch Bank of Ky. after first being Clerk of Chas. Wilkins Esqr. A son of hers, Adam Lake, was a college student when I first entered. From being at the head of a respectable academy in Lexington Mr. Sharpe became a Professor in Transylvania in 1804.
The course of instruction in Dr. Bishop's class a course of Lectures on Logick, accompanied with a small pamphlet of printed Outlines of the same handed to each scholarA course of Lectures on moral Philosophy with a pamphlet also of printed outlines of the same. These courses of Lectures were full and instructive. In them there was no attempt at ornament or eloquence, but plain, intelligent and well delivered; Many of the students took notes of their contents and order at the time of their deliveryand myself of the number. We read and were examined on Blair's Lectures 2 vols. And the following authors were readCampbell's Philosophy of Rhetorick, Dugald Stewarts Elements and Lectures, Reid's Works 4 vols., Paley's Philosophy and Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments with other works illustrative of the subjects taught.
In Dr. Blythe's class we had as text books, Euclid's Element by Simpson, Simpson's Algebra, or Sanderson's, Ferguson's Natural Philosophy, 2 vols., Ferguson's Astronomy, Guthrie's Geography, and Morse's Geography with Map and instructions in the use of the Globes Terrestrial and Celestial. Also the use of the Philosophical Apparatus illustrating all the Branches including Galvanism and Electricitythe Sciences of Optics and Acoustics. In a very pleasant manner the Professor took pains to make all these matters intelligible to every one, and sometimes with illustrations not contained in the books.
In the department of Languages under Professor Sharpe. We had as text books Rudiman's Latin Grammar, or Ross's, Latin exercises, Corderii, Erasmus, Selecti e Veteri, Selecte Profanis, Caesar's Commentaries, Ovid, Virgil, Horace, Cicero, Wittenhall's
Mr. B. Guerin the French Professor of 1810-11 deserves a line of remembrance from me in this place. He was ambitious and pretentious in his character and was a literary adventurer of more sail than ballast. He married the sister of Judge Thomas M. Hickey and daughter of Mr. Simon Hickey and thus became identified with the Catholic Society of Lexington. Soon after marriage he set up or established a weekly newspaper in Lexington which he called the "Impartial Observer" in the year 1812 In an early number of the paper he gave "An exact account of the Battle of Maringo by an eye witness." I enquired of him if he was on the spot at the time, and wrote the account himself? he answered in the affirmative. Now I happened to have in my possession at that time a few numbers of Walker's Hibernian Magazine printed in Dublin in the year 1801 or 1802 from which the account of my professor Guerin including the title was taken verbatim. His literary and political essay in the newspaper line was but of short duration. He removed from Lexington in a few months for Hopkinsville or some other respectable town in the Southern part of the State.
In one of these same old numbers of the "Hibernian Magazine" 1801 or 2 was published an Essay of that gifted genius Henry Kirke White with his name appended. As it is worthy of his pen at so early an ageabout 16I wonder, although short, that it escaped the scrutinizing eye of his biographer the poet Southey in his 'Remains,' This piece is entitled Happiness a fragmentCommencing with The scenes of my life have been sad said a poor old man as he scrambled up one of the precipitous mountains of North Wales, &c. showing the secret of happiness to be contentment.
paid at different times for Land &c.
Sale of 300 Acr to J Brown & what the same cost mebarn cost me 2000. post & rail fence 700,$21386.51 Jos. Brown pd. me for 300 acres15000.Loss by the sale$6386.51 beside $600 pd yr. 1836 to 1841.
Bill of sale v Nov 1792 from Robt Patterson, John Maxwell, Robt Megowan, Henry Marshall & John McDowell Trustees of the Lexington Presbyterian Congregation to Jas. Trotter by virtue of an Act of the Virginia Assembly passed in the year 1789sold by the Trustees of the Town of Lexington to the said Congregation professing the principles of the New York and Philadelphia Synod as will appear by the Deed recorded Lot. No. 3, 25 feet 5 inches pr foot (& built on by him of brick) Ground rent 99 years and renewable No. 1 corner, Stone of Mill street Irwin & Bryson's No. 2 Elisha Winters & co. of brick No. 4 Stone corner to Byers & Co. & built in 1793 by Geo. Anderson.
The trustees empowered by Act. of Va. Legislature to lay off the Town of Lexington, make Deeds of lots to settlers and purchasers bearing date of 1 July 1782 to Wm. Mitchell, Andw. Steel, Wm. Henderson, Wm. McConnell, Robert Todd, & Robt. Patterson are named in the Deed 5 of the number of a majority are signed in the original Deed before me of Lot No. F containing 4 1/2 acres in the town platt to Francis McDermid, as a settler; It bears the date 22 March 1783 and the same on which he then resided.
The town was laid off on 640 acres given by the state of Virginia and 70 acres Town of Lexington and 70 acres bought by the Trustees making 710 acres. The Deed was acknowledged before Levi Todd Clerk Fayette Co. Aug, 13, 1788 by Mitchell McConnell, R. Todd & R. Patterson 4 of the Trustees. Recorded in book A. & examd by Levi Todd. S. Trotter's Residence Lot, High St. & Mill, built 1812, Original Deed 1st by Thos. Bodley but completed Jas. Masterson & Margaret his wife for $13003d. July 1805 contract with T. Bodley 23 Feb. 1805 Lot 407 feet on Mill street 197 feet on High Street to Dodge's Rope Walk the Deeds, S. Trotters corner Lot Main & Mill St. by Deed George & Rhoda Anderson secure an open Alley to be 27 ft. kept open 50 ft. on Main street to Geo. Teagarden's Lot, and 13 poles on Mill street for L 750 wide called Masterson street to the perpetual use thereof.
Sale S.T. Lot &c Short & Mill. The corner Short and Mill Street sold by the Executors of S. Trotter to the Trustees of Polly L. Ficklin on 1 Jany 1835 for $5,500not so long on Mill Street as below bot of BrownDeed of Jas Brown to Saml & Geo Trotter 26 Dec. 1805 for $3100.Lot extending to 1st or Church Street 93 feet by 13 poles and was brought by him in 2 deeds of George & Rhoda Anderson 31 July 1800 sum not mentioned.
James Prentiss Deed to the Proprs. Lexington White Lead Mang. Co., S&G Trotter 20 Aug. 1814, for the sum of $410843 acres and 34 poles being part of the White Lead Co. property.
Lead Factory Lot. Where are all the other Deeds? S. Trotter's PapersNo. 11 John Cook's Agreement
No. 12 Deed for W.
W. Leavy's Lot corner Main & Mill Street bot of Colo Christo Greenup Octr 5th 1793, as will appear by Contract and Agreement for Deed at $1000 with all the buildings then on the same. Original Deed of the Trustees to Col. Greenup bears date 4 July 1789 and is signed by the following Trustees Robt Patterson, Saml Blair, Jas Parker & Robt Parker also Trustees named in the Deed Robert Todd, John Coburn, and Robert Barr 4 of the 7 acknowledged the same in open court, 2 of the number R. Patterson & Saml Blair April 1790 before Thos Arnold D.C. and in July court 1790 Robt Parker and Apl court 1791 Jas Parker before T. Bodley D.C. F. Co. Greenup's Deed to W. Leavy dated 23 Augt 1802
Store house sold M.A.L. From este C. Trotter M.A.L. negroes & farm 7,000 1st cost see Jour. 1,150 212, 214 3, 350 $95 or acre 279
John Fowler's Deed to Wm. Leavy Novr. 14 1804 700 acres in Campbell Co. &c refers to a Deed of Trust made John Fowler to Cuthbert Banks and Tho. Bodley date 16 Dec 1800 presume settled,
Two of my friends merchants
It was while Mr. Sutton lived here that he bought for his son George Washington Sutton whom he had made acquainted with his business, and had made a partner in it, the farm 4 miles from Lexington on Georgetown road and carried on very successfully the same business in which and in everything else which he touched seemed to surpass his father. Geo. W. Sutton was one of the most remarkable as he was one of the most successful business men that has distinguished himself in my day. He was at least 10 or 12 years younger than myself of few words, and but little pretention, almost of taciturnity, rather saturnine in his habits, but of close observation and keen sagacity. Not apt to be communicative, and might be thought unsocial. Went but little into company, and scarcely saw anybody at his housetherefore more than commonly economical in his management. He would be decided in his action and ways of business, but not free in communication. I remember once in some casual conversation together on Cheapside in Lexington, where he occasionally resorted, astonishing him by telling him my "Family Expenses had not been less in amount than 1500$ pr annum for a number of years."Sutton's parsimonious habits I have no doubt he learned from his father. Only two other individuals in Lexington had acquired and amassed as large an amount of money and valuable property up to the time of his death.John W. Hunt and David A. Sayre.He married the sister of Mrs. Elijah W. Craig, Miss Laura Grosvenor, by whom he had an only daughter, who became the wife of Revd. Mr. Norton of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Sutton left between 5 and 6 hundred thousand dollars in U.S. Bonds and valuable property in Lexington and elsewhere. He was tall and thin in person and of a rather dark complexion.
William May was the only brother of the Miss Mays was about my own age, he was amiable, and an agreeable companion. We grew up together. He emigrated to Illinois when at maturity, and I think subsequently to Louisiana or Texas. Harriet near my age very fair complexion and blue eyes married a merchant, Thomas Q. Roberts, but moderately successful, and Miss Kitty who remained long single, a brunette of dark skin but lively manners married Mr. Lawson, who had been first a Carpenter with David Sutton, but made his fortune by the bagging and rope business & bought a farm 2 miles from town near Russell's Road on which his widow resided
I mentioned at the top of page 206 that David Sutton married the eldest Miss May on second thought I no not feel certain that she was not the second. Gwinn R. Tompkins Sheriff of the county for several years may probably have married the eldest. He was sheriff in the year 1801 and they had a large and entertaining family sons and daughters most if not all of whom I knew. The oldest son John I think died a Midshipman in the Navy the second son Gwin married a daughter of my esteemed friend Mr. Walter Dunn now of Ohio. My friend Robert C. Harrison Jnr. who removed to Missouri married a daughter and an elder daughter to a Mr. Powell. It was a highly interesting and affectionate family.
near Midway Septemr. 1st 1875
Your letter of 1st. inst. came duly to hand and I shall endeavor to comply with your wishes as I have it in my power. The Discourse of Dr. Holley of which you make particular enquiry I cannot find a copy among the numerous bundles of Pamphlets the titles of which are labelled on each bundle being 2 or 3 hundred in number, and bear dates from 1824 to 1853. The copy of the Discourse I had was bound up with some 22 bound volumes of Pamphlets were included in the Sale of my Library in the Spring 1855. They were bought by person at a distance my brother-in-law Morehead & Rev. Mr. Shane an indefatigable collector of old pamphlets relating to the history & especially the religion of the State and whose collection like a similar one of the late Revd. Joel R. Lyle brought an enormous price at public sale in Cincinnati. My pamphlets on hand nearly all bear long after Dr. Holley's removal and decease. I have just looked over Hurt's Western Review 1819-21 4 volumes published in Lexington and find no trace of it there. I have still one or two old College Catalogues which I will send you. I should have been much gratified with the sight and perusal of the Articles on Transylvania communicated by you to the 'Lexington dispatch'; but I never see that paper, nor the Daily News and am ignorant about Lexington affairs except from the abbreviated and slender intelligence of it furnished by Mr. Gratz in his Ky. Gazette.
Of my own opinion on President Holleyof his talents and endowments, of him as a man and an orator, of his lectures and claims to distinction I almost hesitate to inflict you with what I have written and embodied in some loose sketches I have at leisure recently made of Lexington its merchants citizens and Institutions.He graduated at Yale with the highest honours, with the President Mr. Dwight he was a favorite. In a few years he was called (in) 1809 to take charge of the Hollis Street church in Bostona church of the numerous body of Congregationalists.
From his first coming to Lexington to take charge of the University to the close of his career I enjoyed his intimacy and friendshipthough always from my college training and most intimate associations being decidedly presbyterian I never for a moment joined or participated in the crusade which was early begun and kept up against him by leading ministers in Kentucky of that denomination. My sympathies and leaning were with him. For him I had always a most unqualified admiration and respect, and for his amiable and accomplished wife the most respectful and affectionate regard. I accompanied them a few miles from town at their departure for New Orleans and received a letter from each of them whilst they sojourned there before their fatal voyage. I was a frequent visitor, and partaker of their hospitality and had the best opportunity of knowing him in every respect.
He was marked and distinguished for his attention to Strangers and among others to the parents of young men from the South who came to Lexington to see them. There had never been exhibited before his time in Lexington the same free and open hearted hospitality. I never knew a man more remarkable for his punctuality and for keeping engagements of every kind. I always considered him as a strictly honest and honourable man and above any suspicion to the contrary. The fame of Dr. Holley for his intellectual eminence, his accomplishments and oratorical powers and pulpit eloquence had reached Lexington several years before his first election which was in the year 1815. I think it was most specially then brought before the Trustees and friends of Transylvania November 11th 1815 by James Prentiss Esq., then and for some years before one of the most prominent and active and influential of the citizens,a large manufacturer, merchant, and monied man, from the best associations in New England, representing one of the wealthiest houses in Rhode Island in his outlays for years in Lexington. He was at that time and from October 1814 one of the Trustees of the College as was also Rev. James McChord for whom the 2d Presb. Church had been recently built. In looking over the list of Trustees at that time 20 or 21 in number, there was considerable diversity of religious sentiment, and several without any; but half or nearly half of the number were presbyterian. Dr. Holley's distinction was very great for so young a man. Crowds always pressed to hear him in Boston from the commencement of his ministry. He did not then exceed thirty four and had been preaching for six years that something prevented his even visiting us at that time.
He was again invited in 1818. He determined then to visit Lexington and the result was his acceptance of the invitation with all its responsibilities & trials.
In Nov. 1815 there was an attempted new organization of the college in the academical Medical and Law Departments. The College soon under President Holley had a distinction it had never before known. Crowds flocked to it from other states as well as our own. It claimed high position among American Universities. Travellers and respectable foreigners gave it their homage and all more from its illustrious head and those he had been the means of calling around him to fill important professorships. In the month of December 1815 the Trustees of the Univ. in response to the inquiries of a Committee of the Legislature Frank Johnson Esq Chm. in defending the Uni'y & its government under President Blythe published in pamphlet form their answer (written by Mr. McChord one of their number) which has appended to it a List of all the Trustees and Professors including those of Law & Medicine from its first organization in 1788 to Nov. 1815 unfolding the causes of the crusade against it principally with a view to show it was under no sectarian influence.
By special invitation from the Legislature Rev. James McChord delivered them a Sermon at a day appointed as a day of National Fasting 12 January 1815 which was published afterward by request. It is entitled "National Safety" and I think one of his best sermons. He was licensed to preach in 1809 having recently passed through his theological course of Study in New York under the distinguished Dr. John M. Mason with whom he was a favorite pupil. Like Mr. Holley he was early called into the ministry and like him took and maintained the highest position.
You may well suppose I was prepared to relish such a course. I had listened with special interest a year or two before leaving college which was in 1811 to the interesting course of Lectures on Moral Philosophy of Profr. Bishop on which I had taken notes had read Paley and Adam Smith Hume and Dugald Stewartthe Introductory treatises on Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy of D. Stewartthe Introductory treatises on Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy of D. Stewart and Sir James McIntosh to the Encyclopedia Britannicapart of Tucker's Light of Nature pursued and of Cudworth's Intellectual System, and other Authors. beside Brown's Lectures which I had recently imported from England in 4 vols. (the American edition not yet being published) it was to me an indescribable treatit was receiving from an accomplished living teacher with a life and spirit and manner peculiar to himself the topics I was delighted to hear such as I believe no other living professor or orator could give. He was at home in the Philosophy of Mind. His fluency and command of language, his clear, distinct and sonorous utterance made it a pleasure to hear himit was at the same time a lesson to the hearer. Collins an English actor who played in Lexington more than half a century ago, for a season in the best characters of the drama is the only pronouncer & enunciator of pure English I have ever heard to compare with him.
Such was the impression made by Dr. Holley upon me at a time when I think I was well able to appreciate and judge of such excellence and enjoy it. I suppose there were very few of his Public orations, Lectures and Sermons at the delivery of which in all his stay in Lexington I was not present including some debates and discussions with those accomplished Professors Caldwell & Drake in which he showed his usual ability, knowledge and self possession the last one with Dr. Drake in the Episcopal Church I regretted to see terminated with bitter personality especially on the side of Drake it was just before Drake had determined to resign his professorship: It was I think though seemingly incidental a premeditated attack to injure Dr. Holley but I think it missed its aim so far as the citizens of Lexn. were concerned. My father had a second time resigned his place as Trustee and I became a Member of the Board not very long after the commencement of Dr. Holley with some other new names by appointment of the Legislature. His recommendations and plans for the advancement of the University were wise. Grants were made by the Legislature and appropriations and appointments by the Trustees agreeably to his suggestions as far as possible. For years by the unmistakable evidence of the young men trained under his instruction and by the prosperity of the College in its various departments Transylvania University was universally considered in the most flourishing condition. Some other religious elements joined in it. The hue and cry against a Teacher of youth for giving his personal attendance to large parties and to the public Races raised soon after he came to Lexington and was kept up and continued to the closethough at one period his unexampled success and perseverance had almost put it down. He at length became uneasy and having received such letters and pressing solicitations from patron & others in Louisiana mostly the parents of young men who had been under his instruction in Transva. to found an Institution of Learning there that he determined in the Spring of 1827 to visit them at New Orleans with a view of location there should circumstances be satisfactory.
Transcribed April 2002 by pb