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The Memories of
Hubbard Taylor - 1840
Written by Hubbard Taylor in 1840, age 80. Clark Co., Ky
Submitted by Anne Baker
NOTE: No list of children remains with this memory, perhaps as Hubbard Taylor died of Typhoid Fever on 7 Oct 1840 and never completed his manuscript. See the last statement of this memory.
Hubbard Taylor & his wife Clarissa (Minor) Taylor are buried with many of their family at the "Old Taylor Burying Ground" about 5 miles from Winchester on the Colbyville Pike.
Hubbard Taylor........2 Aug 1760 - 7 Oct 1840
Clarissa Taylor...... 8 Nov 1762 - Jun 1841
Written by Hubbard Taylor in 1840, age 80. Clark Co., Ky.
At the request of my son Hubbard I make the following condensed statement of some of the occurrences of my past life.
I am the second child and the oldest son of James and Ann Taylor of the County of Caroline and state of Virginia (my mother was Ann Hubbard). I was born in said county on the 2d day of August 1760. I went to school between the ages of 8 and 12 years to 4 different teachers, one only of whom was competent to teach the English grammar, and I was thought too young at that time to be put to that study; between the age of 12 and 15 I was under the tuition and care of a teacher by the name of Samuel Kemp who resided at my Father's, this man was a great imposter, had a sketch of the arts and languages, but was incompetent to teach any of them, to the benefit of his student's advancement - this brought the period of my life to the year 1775 - when the revolutionary troubles with Great Britain had commenced to hostilities, this year a ship of war came up the Potomac; a call was made for men from Caroline County I volunteered with the party and marched with them; on our arrival at the river the ship was on her return down the river about two miles distant - From this period I never had any schooling.
I remained with my father's family, he was much from home on public business, being the County Lieutenant,and Surveyor, as well as a magistrate, and one of the Committee of public Safety and a member of the Legislature so that my presence was required for the protection of the family in his absence, while I was not making tours of duty as a soldier in voluntary trips - the last of those was as far as Philadelphia in 1778 in a company of Horse, each man finding his own horse and equipments - In the following winter my father resigned the office of Surveyor of the County of Caroline and I was appointed to that office - It was of very little profit, the war raging paper money was of but little value, I did not make my cloathing. In the fall of 1779 the land office in Virginia opened for the sale of land warrants - My father purchasing some and some of acquaintances also.
I proposed to my Father to permit me to come to Kentucky to locate his, some friends put theirs into my hands, to act with them as I thought best and I procured an office of Deputy Surveyor for Kentucky; and set out for the County, (then called Kentucky) in February 1780. The land office was to be opened for Entries of locations on the first of May of that year - On my arrival in the then settled part of (now) this State, I located in April some Military Warrants for my Father and Geo. More on the Ohio joining that river and Licking river at the mouth, and after making some enters on Treasury Land Warrants, I made an engagement to survey a quantity of land under the direction of Hancock Lee and [Abraham] Haptonstal on Panther Creek and Green river to the mouth of Panther Creek to wait our arrival by land - The want of knowledge of the County and the want of energy and perseverance of our guide caused us to arrive at the place of meeting some days after the other party had left it, - Thus we were deprived of supplies which they had taken down for us. Here the want of energy of my employers and some of my associates was fully felt.
Instead of proceeding to survey, two hands set out for Louisville to get other hands, and Haptonstal our best hunter one of them - Had they remained we could have effected all our work - before the time he got back and his delay was so long that the remaining 4 of us lost in conjectures of the cause of the delay had left Panther Creek, and in making our way to Louisville fell on Hardin's Station, where Hardinsburg now stands on the 21st of Sept. 1780 - and there heard our party had gone by there to the place appointed for meeting us, they soon came to us at Hardin's Station and another attempt made for surveying, but one of our hands got sick and so ill we could not leave him. Thus another defeat and I lost the summer and fall's work or surveying - we got to Harrodsburg (then a Station) late in December - I agreed with Lee and Haptonstal to fill their engagement of Surveying on Panther Creek or have it done, and they returned home.
I proceeded to make some surveys for such as called on me, on the waters of Kentucky and Dick's river, the latter part of that winter and spring of 1781 - in May of this year I returned home to Caroline Va. during my stay there my Father's absence in the Legislature and other public Services - this being the year Virginia was much oppressed by the British, driving the Members from Richmond to Charlottesville and from thence to Stanton - my Mother and the rest of the family flying from home - I had to remain to take care of the negroes, stock and other property - After all was again quietly settled, I set out again in Sept. for Kentucky.
I omitted in its proper place that while I and my company was on our tour to Panther creek Ruddles Station was attacked by the British and Indians and taken and the Indians troublesome in other parts of Kentucky. When I arrived in Kentucky in fall of 1781 - I found the Indians were often stealing horses, killing men and women and taking prisoners, in this State of the Country it was deemed imprudent to go the trip to Panther Creek - therefore I turned my attention to another quarter; I had joined Col. James Knox an experienced woodsman and hunter, in locating lands and made many entries for various persons - I returned again to Virginia in the spring of 1782, during this year warrants of a vast amount was sent to me by some other persons with many of whom I had no acquaintance - At this period I sensibly felt the loss I had sustained in neglecting to improve myself preparitory to active business in the western country; for want of which I have suffered considerable losses.
During the summer of 1782 on the 27 day of July I married Clarissa Minor of Spotsylvania Va. and in Sept. leaving my wife with her Mother, I again set out for Kentucky - owing to Indian depredations on the Road (near 200 miles of which was uninhabited) did not reach the Settlements till Nov. The Battle of the Lower Blue licks was fought and lost this year in August - Knox and I had intended making large locations near the Ohio above the Big Bone Lick - now Boone County - but owing to our delay on the road the Surveyor of Fayette County had opened his office, arranged all warrants presented and had closed it before our arrival until the return of an expedition across the Ohio against the Indians. Not getting our warrants arranged Knox and I abandoned our views in that quarter and turned them otherwise - I considered the warrants of many of my friends, to other hands, which afterward caused me much trouble, time and expense without a cent of profit. Had I been less tenacious of the interest of others, and paid more regard to my own, and located those warrants myself - its very certain I should have added much to my own interests and as things have resulted, much more advantageous to the owners of the warrants. But it, may be, that it was better as it is for myself - not being able on acct. of the Indians in finishing my business the winter of 82' 83' it was the most unpleasant few months of my life - bound to do that it was out of my individual power to perform.
Nine months absent from my wife was distressing. I had many restless days and gloomy nights - However not altogether idle, made some entries and did considerable of surveying during the winter - and then I employed a faithfull friend, Mr. James Hord than whom no man was more honest or worthy - to finish the business I had undertaken for most of the Panther Creek and Ohio engagements - He did it faithfully - it is true I had to pay him well and that lessened my own profits considerable but still I made a handsome one in lands for myself.
A Co. and I returned to Va. in the spring of 83. I had told my wife to meet me at my Grandfather's in Orange and I would be there on the first day of May - I got there on the 2d. after an absence of nine months - True to her promise she was there - The fall of 83' my father wished to see Kentucky he was in feeble health and I could not let him come alone, none of my brothers were old enough to accompany him. I determined to do so myself, during the trip I made some surveys on Floyd's fork and Harrods Creek in Jefferson Co'ty now (not legible) on my return to (not legible) by James Hord's Station he had returned from the completion of his engagements I aided him in completing his and others returns in all that I was concerned closed all money expenditures, - and then accompanied my old venerable father home with other friends that came with us -
This period brought me up to about the first of Dec. 1783 - The spring and summer of 1784 my wife and I spent most of our time with her widowed mother in Spotsylvania, Va. and a visit to my grandfather. In the County of Orange Va. in the summer of this year he died, his farm and half of the other property was willed to my Father who requested me to take charge of his part and to reside there and cultivate it and divide the proceeds - including my negroes given me by him, those I got by my wife and some I had bought - I remained on it 4 years, I bought a Tract of Land in Louisa County, Va. and exchanged it with my father for this place of his, I was then residing on. Previous to my going to Orange to live our first child was born on the 20th. Febry. 84' - I was appointed and acted as a Magistrate in Orange County, Va. - Previous to the first of Nov'r. 1788, we had three other children born, the second died under a year old.
I then determined to remove to Kentucky with my family as soon as I could sell my land in Orange and preparitory thereto in the last mentioned year I bought of Doc'r. Thos Hinde 500 acres of his military tract in Kentucky - then Fayette County, brought out a part of my negroes, search'd out the tract with my own hands, where my son Hubbard now resides - employed a man to assist my hands in building some cabbins (Here I must mention, the friendship rec'd from Mr. Jacob Fishback and his lady, it lasted uninterrupted during their lives, and I with gratitude revere their memory to this day) - I also employed Tho. Minor a nephew of my wife's to take charge of my new intended home, and return'd to Orange got there on Christmas day 1788. And in the Fall of the next year I sold my Orange Farm, wound up my business in the state of Virginia, and prepared for the removal of my family to Kentucky - Set out on the first day of April 1790, came by the way of Brawasville on the Monangehala down the river and the Ohio to Limestone, now Maysville, in Company with Mr. James Eubank and his family who married my eldest sister Lucy - at this time I had three children living Mildred, Lucy and Hubbard.
We arrived at our new home on the 13 day of May 1790 - found about 16 acres of land opened, some Cabbins, and the hall of a house without floor chimney or door - The Indians had taken several boats on the river and killed several persons Just before we descended the river - but we were fortunate enough to escape in safety, tho some Indians were seen by some of our party traversing the Indian shore, on our way down - I made the building I found as comfortable as I could for temporary use for the summer and began in July to get material for building the present house at Springhill (as I named the farm) and so far got it advanced as to get into it at Christmas following, the log house built for our reception has been three times moved and is now in use for a kitchen at Springhill. In the year 1791 - I built on a Horse Mill, more on account of convenience than a view to profit and after a few years sold it and it was removed.
In 1792 I was appointed a Magistrate; this year a Convention was held to form a Constitution, I was chosen a member of that body for Fayette County, it convened at Danville, the uninimity that prevailed it was soon affected a legislature, was elected I was chosen a member of it, and it met at Lexington, organized such measures to put the new state of Kentucky in operation and adjourned until September - during that session Clarke was erected into a separate County, quarter session Courts was established in the state and I was made a member of that body for Clark, I was tendered the Office of Colonel of the county of Clark by Governor Shelby but I declined acceptance, and requested him not to nominate me for that office, and he did not - When there was a change latter, and some time after resigned, I was then chosen a member of the legislature and afterwards a Senator, and again a second time to fill that office and then declined at the end of that time - I was five times in succession elected as an Elector to choose a president and Vice president - after which I determined to decline all public business whatever - I ever did and do now, feel grateful to all those whose partiallity had conferred those honors on me - far beyond the merits of my capacity but in taking a retrospective view of the various duties I had to discharge in those various appointments, I feel a conscious approbation that I acted in good faith up to the capacity and abilities I was endowed with; that I may have erred in some cases is not to be doubted, but I can truly say where I have it has been that of the head, and unintentional and not a wilfull one of the heart.
My advocation through life has been exclusively agricultural - I gave my children as good an education as the difficulties of our country and my means would admit. I could wish it had been better on their account and my own and my beloved wifes satisfaction.
Having closed up all my partnership land concerns and made amicable division thereof with those interested in the same tracts, I proceeded on the 27th. day of July, 1832 being the 50th. anniversary year of the marriage between me and my beloved wife - to make a further donation to my children as in my best Judgment would be equal under existing circumstances, as to their relative standing as to advancements, in land, negroes, money, etc previously made - holding the remainder to be disposed of by will on the death of both my wife and myself -
In Novr. 1837, By arrangements between my sons Hubbard and Pendleton, all of which is in writing, and an understanding with the rest - my son Hubbard came to reside at Spring Hill my wife and myself removed to our sons Doc. Tho. M. Taylors he having only 3 children and sufficient house room. Mildred Lane on my reserved part of the Spring Hill tract during the life of myself and wife, W. Smith and family removed to my tract that I got in exchange from my son Hubbard.
I have made and received all conveyances of land, necessary to be done, no law suit on hand but one and that not of much importance and can produce no loss - I have a sufficiency of annual income for the support of myself and wife - All my children beyond want if not in affluence - I ought to be content with my lot in this world altho I have met with some difficulties, I have received more of the blessings of life than ills, for which I hope I am truly thankfull to him who is all wisdom, goodness and mercifull to man. I thank and adore my God, who has blessed me with dutifull and affectionate children, whose love with that of those with whom they have united themselves I feel confident we daily enjoy.
My head has now felt the frost of 80 winters, and my beloved wife as many - We have both enjoyed a great share of health - She has been an affectionate and loving wife and mother of indefatigable industry and. careful economical manager of all domestic business - On the 27th. day of July next we shall have been united in the sacred bonds of matrimonial union 58 years, we have raised nine children to mature age, all married (but one J. K. Taylor who is dead) also my daughters Lucy and Nancy. Seen also six of Grandchildren married and all of them imitate their parents in their love and affection for us, adding pleasure to satisfaction in our bosoms, more easily conceived than expressed. Surrounded by most of them, I am patiently waiting the call for my exit from this world and I pray for an early one to a better and more glorious one beyond the grave. I will close this desultory statement with a list of all my children and some short reference thereto - up to this ? day of 1840.
[Signed] Hubbard Taylor
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