Adams County, Ohio Articles
Shortly afterwards Mr. MEEK moved to West Union (OH), I remember a circumstance that took place before Mr. MEEK moved away. I was working with my horsed in his barn yard and got in a pet and used words that I ought not to have used Mr. MEEK thought it was his duty to chastise me. I did not like it and you may depend my answer was not such as one he should have been returned to a preacher giving me good advice. My father sold his road wagon for $175, and his negro woman for $500. In the fall of 1818 he went into Logan co, Ky, and bought 365 acres of land and was to give $1110 for it. What amount he paid down I do not know, but he did not pay all. At that time he got out of the notion of moving into Kentucky and gave his papers into JOHN WILKIN'S hands, to sell or trade for land in Ohio. My mother and myself were very much opposed to trusting it in WILKIN'S hands but whenever I said any thing to father about it he would say "whenever I want to do any thing my wife or children are against it." I then desisted and WILKINS cheated him out of his land. All he ever got for it was a rifle worth $87.50 and one barrel of cider. WILKINS was man of property but he put it all out of his hands so it could not be come at, and so it stands to this day. In the spring of 1819 my father built a house on Mr. JOHN LANEY'S land, joining Mr. MEEK'S place and there remained some years. He and myself turned in to making wheat fans and trunks. We also made considerable by Wagoning, for wagons were very scarce in this country at that time. My father was a very industrious man and a man who strove hard to bring his family up in credit though he had become poor through the rascality of others. It is the worst plan in the world to trust too much to other people's honors.
This accident, as you may judge, was quite disheartening, but thanks to my kind neighbors I was soon on my legs again; for they contributed liberally of their substance, and turned in and put me up a cabin, and left us in nearly as comfortable circumstances as we were before the accident happened. I turned in to clearing land again, and was obliged to sell two colts to pay my debts. I still continued to drink whiskey and very often got drunk and sometimes would fight. My father expostulated with me again and again, but all to no purpose. I raised a first rate crop this year. We all get in a great notion of moving off to Illinois. That fall I sold most of my property but my father having a good many hogs concluded to fatten them and gather his corn and settle up his other business. So I took his family by land and he was to come by water and bring the heavy lumber to St. Louis, from which place it was to be hauled to Springfield (IL), Sangammon county. Some time late in October we started. My brother in law, HENRY S. GAMES; lived near Frankfort, Ky. and as he was going to Illinois, would have us come by that way so we could all go together. This was more than a hundred miles out of my route, but as my sister would not consent to go unless we did so, we went there, having remained here a few days we started and went on to Louisville, and crossed the Ohio at New Albany. A few miles from this place we had the severest pulling we had ever come across, over what is called Albany hill. This hill is half a mile from the bottom to the top. Two men went with us to see us pull up the hill and they said we would be obliged to double teams. I told them my horses were all true and if a team had ever pulled over it, mine would go it! But you may depend it was severe pulling. When we got to Vineenues we crossed the Wabash river. Here are two roads, the straight road and the shortest to Vandalia, is called the purgatory road, and from all accounts must be the worst road in the fall or spring , that ever man traveled. Even in Kentucky, we were advised to shun that road and also the Vandalia swamps. We took the left hand road at New Marysville and went on to Carlisle within fifty miles of St. Louis, and there turned to the right and went to Springfield. This is the prettiest country I ever saw and also the richest land. My brother in law's father ABSOLOM GAMES, lived east of Springfield about fifteen miles, on the north fork of the Sangamo River. So when at Springfield we struck out for that place. When we came on the main Sangamo river, we found the ferry boat very bad, and being heavily loaded I was afraid to risk it. So I took out one of my horses and tried the ford. Although it was tolerably deep I preferred it to the old boat. The women and children were taken across in the boat, and I, by hard pulling, succeeded in crossing the ford. My brother thought, as he was not heavily loaded, be would try the boat and being as awkward driver, made a false motion getting into the boat, and his saddle bag fell down, and his saddle fell into the river. He and the ferryman were both so frightened they knew not what to do. I took one of my horses out and went to them and backed their horses out and persuaded to ford it. We went to his father's that day. Winter now set in and empty houses were scared, but I had the good luck to get one, and good luck it was for there were so many people moving to that country that many were obliged to camp in the timber and erect some sort of shantee to winter in. My brother in law's father gave his son eighty acres of land and gave me privilege to build on his land and live there so long as I pleased by taking care of the land. So my brother in law and myself built each of us a cabin and we moved into them. Our third daughter, SARAH, was born on the 6th of March 1830. Shortly after this the old Mr. GAMES died, he was a sincere Christian and died triumphing in the hope of a glorious immortality beyond the grave. He suffered much in his last sickness, yet not a murmur nor a word of complaint escaped him. "Thy will, O Lord, be done," was his constant exclamation. Often did he desire to see my father, for though not related being close friends in youth, they were dear to each other as brothers. This was in the spring of 1830, and my father did not reach there until some time late in July. He appeared to be very sorry that he did not get to see Mr. GAMES before he died. My mother had rented a house about one mile from SAMUEL COX'S at whose house Mr. GAMES died. My brother in law and myself lived about five miles from this place. My wife had not yet got well, having recently had a child. But very few had settled yet near where we lived and it was with difficulty I was enabled to get any land to put in corn. I at last obtained six or seven acres of land about five miles from home, and raised a noble crop of corn. Some time in the last of June or first of July I was taken sick with the fever and was very bad for some time. I got better and myself and wife went down to my mother's and whilst there I relapsed, and lay under the doctors's hands some two or three weeks, and it was thought I would never get over it.
But God through his tender mercies, raised me to my feet again, and about this time my father returned and you may depend there was great rejoicing. My father was very much pleased with the country, and he said such as were not pleased with this country, ought not to live in any country. But alas poor man! he know not it was so sickly. Shortly after that my poor old mother and all the rest of the family were taken sick; some with the fever and some with the fever and ague. The sickness prevailed all through the neighborhood, so much so, that it was a thing almost impossible to find enough persons in good health to attend upon the sick. My father was taken sick with the chills and fever and the fever fell on his lungs and he lasted but a few days. I was just able to ride about and had been down to see him, two or three days before his death. He was at work hanging some scythes. I enquired how all were; and he said he was well but very week. Son, says he, I want to tell you some thing and desire you to keep it to yourself. Just as he said that I looked around and saw a neighbor riding up to us, and says my father some other time will do. But the next time I saw him he was speechless and dying. The day of his death I was at the mill and news was brought me that my father was dying! When I got my grinding, I came by to see him. What a distressing sight met my gaze! My poor old father lying on one bed dying, and my mother on another not expected to live from one hour to another, and on a third a sister and brother very sick! My dear reader, you may imagine my feelings at that time. No tongue can express, or pen describe them. After a short time I was obliged to leave, to go home and attend to my own helpless family. Next morning my brother in law started to see them, and went past THOMAS SWEARINGEN'S, my wife's cousin, and enquired how there child was, and was told it was dead. SWEARINGEN, himself, had no idea his child was in any danger, and had gone over to my father's to see how they all were. We went down and found my fathers corpse; my mother and the rest were on the mend. We had a sad duty to perform in communicating to SWEARINGEN the news of his child's death. We buried my father near his old friend Mr. GAMES, who had desired him often in his last sickness. I trust they have had a joyful meeting in Heaven, where they will never more part but continually praise the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, in songs of rejoicing, forever and forever more! God through his tender mercies restored us all to health again. We had a very hard winter, for the snow fell four feet and half deep on an average and lay on from January till March. The stock suffered severely, for nearly all the hogs that run out in the woods perished and abundance of deer and turkeys starved. There were several crusts on the snow so that deer could be caught with dogs wherever people could come across them, and it was almost impossible for people to travel with a horse even to go to mill. Many had to live on hominy but as luck would have it I and one of my neighbors not having much to do concluded to improve our leisure time in getting in our winter's meal, that we might have time to hunt. We lay in as much as we could find room for, but when pinching times came we had plenty of neighbors, who borrowed and continued borrowing till we were put to shift ourselves. Living in the timber we fared tolerably well for fire wood, but those who lived in the prairie suffered severely, for they had to burn rails and any thing they could come across that would make a fire. I heard of one man who lived about a mile from timber who had to burn the puncheons, sleeper, clapboards and joists of his house. My poor old mother had to burn several hundred rails, and as soon as a track was broken I hauled her some wood, though at five miles distance. Spring coming on I rented a farm adjoining the place where I lived. I put in this spring about twenty five acres of corn and raised a noble crop. There was a great stir among the people this spring, for the Indians broke out about a hundred miles from where we lived and volunteers were raised to go out and subdue them. There was no need of a draft, for more volunteers turned out than were called for. They all met at Boardstown and then went to Rock Island to join Gen. GAINES, and his regulars. When they all got to the Indians' town they went on the other side of the river and then concluded to make a treaty with Gen. GAINES, and thus ended this affray. This being a sickly country, my mother and brother in law determined to move back; my mother to Ohio, and my brother in law to Kentucky. My wife also became dissatisfied, and said if they all went back she would not stay, so I concluded that as she humored me in leaving all her friends in Ohio to go with me, I, in turn, ought to humor her, by coming back. So we made sale of our property, and started. We got on board a steamboat at St. Louis, and were obliged to pay $4 per head, for grown people, and $2 for children, for passage to the falls of the Ohio.--- From the falls we got so much of our property as we had not sold hauled to the mouth of Beargrass, and there got on board another steamboat and came on to Cincinnati. We there got on board the steamboat, Gyan, which conveyed us to Maysville where my father in law's team was waiting for us with which we hauled our goods out to his house and there was great rejoicing, you may depend. I continued with my father in law some time, and then rented a house from THOMAS BOWLES, and lived there until the spring of 1832, and then concluded to go and build on the same tract of land that we lived on before going west. I did so, and turned into real hard labor, cleared a patch of ground, and worked at my trade to get money enough to buy a horse, for at this time I had neither horse nor cow. Hard work it was too you may depend, to keep my family in provisions, buy a horse, and have enough of grog money, for getting among my old comrades I must needs renew my acquaintance with the whiskey bottle. O yes, whiskey I must and would have. Thus I continued working and drinking and sinning, and yet my blessed Lord and Master, who is slow to anger, bore with it all. I struggled along until I got a right smart place open. My poor old mother settled on a piece of vacant land about four miles from where we lived, and she is living there at this time. On the 4th of Oct. in this year, my sister (ELIZABETH) was married to JOSEPH SHELTON. We still scrambled along and although at times it was pretty tough, yet thank God, what es did get we got honestly, and although rough enough, it was at least as food as I deserved. On the 5th of Dec. 1833, we were blessed with a son, our first male child, whom we named, JOHN P. GLASSCOCK. At that time we had four children and all in their right shape. Some time in this year my second sister departed this life to go home to rest. This is the child whom my mother took to raise when she was two weeks old. She seemed as dear to me as did any of my brothers or sisters. I made no difference, nor did my parents make any, that I could ever perceive. On the 4th of August, 1833, the Lord blessed my youngest sister, ELIZABETH SHELTON, with a fine son, and she called him, LEMUEL, after me. I still continued on my new place and cleared more or less ground every season, for the Lord bore with us and gave us our health, so that every thing around us seemed to prosper; and yet, we still continued in wickedness and rebellion against our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us that we might live. I might go on and dwell on the mercies of the Lord, but I will advise those who read these lines to search the scriptures for their own satisfaction, and if there be any who hear these lines read, and can not read the scriptures for themselves, let me persuade you, as a friend, to go to meeting and hear the precious gospel preached while you have the chance, lest you meet with the same misfortune that your unworthy writer has fallen into and be deprived of the blessing of hearing the gospel preached. When I had this blessed opportunity, I did not make a good use of it, for many others, I preferred the grocery and tavern to the church. O wretched man! that would thus go on in the broad road to destruction, having the devil for his preacher and the world and whiskey for his God. It makes me tremble to look back and see how I have been sinning, so many years, against a holy, just and upright God. Yet he bore all this and more, for I would get drunk and sometimes fight and was not very easily handled unless very drunk. I was very good natured when drunk save when imposed upon and if obliged to fight I fought with all my might, and never did I have to cry enough but once since I became of age, and since that time I have bad seven fights and some of them very bard ones. But my dear readers, this thing of fighting is poor business, and it is hateful in the eyes of God. We still continued to live at the same place and by this time had got a right smart farm opened so that we could live tolerably well, by hard scuffling. I worked hard and still continued drinking and sinning against my maker. O it is wonderful, that God will bear with such miserable, sinful creatures! Yet he bears it all, and showers down blessings upon us with out number, and gives us warning to flee the wrath to come in many ways, sometimes, by sending afflictions on us or our children, our relations or dearest friends; at other times, by sudden deaths or night visions; we are warned in many ways, and yet will not take heed until it be eternally to late. During the fall of 1835, there was a great uproar among the squatters that lived on this land, for there was every now and then a land jobber coming around, pretending to own it , and trying to get them all under rent. This was a hard matter for them to do, for some of the squatters were very stubborn. There were forty five families of them and all too poor to go to law, which, in fact they had no right to do, having no right save that of possession, nor do I believe the land jobbers had a much better right though they produced some sort of a title, which, of course, was sufficient to overthrow a squatter's claim. For my part, I scarcely knew what to do, for I had labored as well as a great many others and had cleared considerable land and received but little benefit, as yet, for my labor. I did not like to give it up. I resolved to quit clearing, but determined to hold fast as long as possible, and not be scared at trifles. I did hold on for a year after all the rest except two had rented. So they went around hunting the corners with some of their lickspittles, pretending they wanted to buy, and I believe some of them were partners with the jobbers, but were afraid to own it for fear of catching a drubbing, for they would persuade those who held out to come under rent.
In the fall of 24, a curious circumstance happened to one of these land jobbers living in this settlement, which undoubtedly put a stop to his career, for he was going about, trying to bring the people under rent, and taking the bread out of the children's mouths, and distressing the poor that lived on the land. The circumstance is this, somebody was so kind to this gentleman, that they made him a coffin and took it to him. This was shocking news indeed, for a man to have his coffin made and taken to him and he alive and in perfect health. It is said the horrid sight was first discovered by his son in law, who was living with him. This man made a practice of going or sending to Maysville market once or twice a week, and being busy that morning, sent his wife, a while before day. There being some two or three fences of bars to go through, he went with her to let her through the plantation out into the main road. On his return home at a pair of bars, between a quarter and a half mile from the house he made a discovery of the coffin, which, he says, was not there as he went out. I do suppose the man was prodigiously frightened, and it is said, the little man ran home about as quickly as it is possible for one of his size to do it. When he got to the house he was so much exhausted as to have nearly fainted, and was some time unable to tell what had happened him. This alarmed the old gentleman, and I do believe was the principal cause of his quieting the land jobbing business, for I never beard of his being engaged in it afterwards.
In the spring of 1836, these land jobbers that pretended to own the land having finished their surveying, and got all the people to come under rent, came to me with one or two of their lickspittles and asked me if I wanted to rent. I told them I believed not at present, for I had a small place here of my own, which, I thought, would do me awhile longer, as my family was yet small. I had been taking a dram and was in tolerably good plight to talk to them. The owner, as he called himself, Mr. WALTER DUNE, said, "Sir, if you will not come under rent I will fetch the Sheriff and throw your property out of the house." "Very well sir, when you go at that I will help you," responded I. He was kind enough, however, not to come that year. I put in a tolerably large crop of corn and as the Lord would have it, raised a noble crop and had no rent to pay for it, for I sold a part of it as soon as it would bear to be gathered and the remainder I hauled to my brother in law, HENRY SWEARINGEN'S. I raised that year, twenty on bushels of Orleans beans which sold $1.12 per bushel. I raised a considerable chance of potatoes and a food many pickle cucumbers and sold them. All my neighbors except JAMES HUGHES, had bound themselves to come under a rent of $2.50 per acre. This they began to dislike as they saw that HUGHES and myself had no rent to pay. They then wished they had not rented, but it was too late, for when they rented they gave possession at once. I continued on this place until the next spring and, at sugar making, turned in and made as much sugar as I could. God blessed us all with good health, and he also blessed us by sending us another son, whom we named SAMUEL A. GLASSCOCK. He was born on the 31st day of August, 1835. When the spring came on, my old father in law persuaded me to move my family up to his house and have no more dispute with the land jobbers. I did so. About this time ROBT. LATTY was going out to Illinois, and wanted me to go with him to help build a steam mill, and offered me very good wages. My old mother in law and father in law were anxious for me to go and see that part of Illinois, as I had never been up the Illinois river. So they said they would take care of my family, if I would go, for they had heard such great accounts from that country, that they wanted to know the straight of it. My wife being willing I concluded to go. So I got together my tools and clothes, and agreeably to a previous appointment, met Col. LATTY, at Aberdeen, on the morning of the 7th of April, 1837. We started for Cincinnati on board the steamboat, Swift shore. When we arrived there we learned the engine was not done and would not be for ten days. So LATTY gave ANDREW LYTLE and myself the choice to stay there or go on. So we concluded to go on, and got on board the Paris, bound for St. Louis. We had a very pleasant trip and a quick one, for the waters were up in beautiful order for steam boats. When we got there we shipped on board the steamboat, exchange, which was going up the Illinois river to Peru. There were a great many passengers on board this boat. Numbers had been to New Orleans and several families were moving to that country.
We continued our journey up the river, which was very high, having overflown its banks in many places, and entirely covered many fine bottoms. This put LYTLE and me out of heart, for the boat stopped at a certain warehouse, where a town was laid out, to unload some articles, and they were obliged to scaffold up to take out the goods, and we were told that the water was at this place twelve or ourteen miles across. Had an opportunity offered at this time, we should certainly have returned to Ohio, but none presenting itself, we pushed on. We landed at a little town called Henry about two miles below the place where the mill was to be built. There was not the first lick struck towards the mill as yet, although LATTY had told us the frame was to be up and ready when he should come along with the engine, but a dispute arising among them, they had done nothing towards it. I went to work a few days after my arrival, for wages were very good; $20 a month for a common laboring hands; from $1.50 to $2 a day for mechanics. I thought this was the prettiest country I had ever seen. LATTY was so long coming that we became quite uneasy about him, and I planted some potatoes and cabbage and other vegetables, as I then thought I would move my family to this place. Such time as I was not attending my vegetables I worked at the mill or something else, for there was always plenty of work to do; as the people living here are the laziest I ever saw. The land in this prairie has not yet come into market, and there are but few who have deeded land. They hold the land by making some little improvement on it and then claim it as their own. And this is the way they get along in that country. This is the greatest country for fish I ever saw. The man with whom I lived, and myself set a trot line and caught a prodigious lot of fish. We caught one catfish that measured nine inches between the eyes and weighted 125 lbs. We many mornings took off the line a number of fish, weighing from twenty to fifty pounds; this country is chiefly settled with New Yorkers, and real skinners they are too. When a stranger comes among them, they flock around him like swarm of bees, especially, if they think there is money to be made out of him, and each one having one of the before described claims endeavors to cheat him into the buying of one, to support their laziness, for work they will not if they can help it. Col. LATTY came on at last with the engine, which weighed 7300 lbs. You may depend it was a great disappointment to him to find that nothing had been done towards the mill. All the parties concerned soon got together, settled their disputes. And employed a man to frame the mill. They went to work in fine spirits and all things went on smoothly. They laid off a town which was called Webster, after Daniel Webster, who passing through that country called to see it. Learning his intention of visiting the place some time before hand, the proprietors of the town sent off and got some power and for want of a cannon charged a stump to give him a welcome gun. When the boats came up there were two lashed together, escorted by many others, landed to take a view of the city. He spoke to us all as he came up the bank and said, that it was really as pretty a site for a city as he had ever seen, and hoped, as it had been named after him, that it might prosper. Business went on quite flourishing and LATTY sold lots very fast and at a high rate. There was a great strife among the purchasers to obtain the lots nearest the steamboat landing, but for my part I concluded if the town did prosper, the main steamboat landing would be at the mouth of the creek. I went to LATTY and asked him what he would take for the lot. He said he would let me have it for $200, and give me two years to pay it in, and take it out in work. I thought that at the wages I was then getting I could soon pay for it, and therefore took it. The rest of the boys took their lots as near the public square as they could get them, and laughed at me for picking my lot in such an out of the way place. I told them to never mind, that if the town ever went on that was the place. And in the course of a short time I sold my lot for $250. The man, who bought of me, said, if he only had the lot adjoining this one, he would be satisfied. I said nothing but went to LATTY and told him I wanted to buy the lot adjoining mine on the river. He told me I could have it. I immediately returned to the man and told him I could sell him the lot he so much desired. After some conversation he agreed to give his obligation to LATTY for the two lots and me a yoke of oxen and $25 for my bargain. Now the time came on that I laid by my corn and I could work for wages, which I did and made money very fast, but spent a good deal more than I need have done; my dram of coarse, I must have.--- about this time the carpenters had got the mill ready to raise, and a heavy raising it was, for it took us two days with as many as could get round it.