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Jacob Lawson (1763-1854) Interview

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Sherburne, Fleming, Kentucky, United Statesmap
Surname/tag: Lawson
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Someone interviewed Jacob Lawson at some time after the 18 Mar 1832 death of his brother, William Lawson. The interviewer's transcribed notes are preserved in the Data Files of another brother, James Lawson, a Revolutionary War soldier, in the D.A.R. Library in Washington, D.C. The following interview was typed on a manual typewriter and includes many abbreviations. The parentheses appear in the document itself. Perhaps, Jacob Lawson was the fifteenth person interviewed in this project.

14. Thos: McKinney. . . .

15. Jacob Lawson. To the right of the south road from Sherburn to Flemingsbgh:. Say 3 ms. fr: Sherburn. Man of no intelligence. Kind & hospitable, but unable to communicate what he knows. Born Nov. 1763, in Shrewsbury Township, Pa., 25 ms. this side of Baltimore. (lived in Pa., in a place called the Bar---- of York: a poor place). My father had purchased lands on the S. branch; but the indns: were troublesome, and he didn't move for a year, or 2 yrs. after. He wasn't one of the earliest settlers. I was small when we moved there. The people forted up on the S. branch: Ashby's Fort on Patterson's Cr.:, and Parker's fort, on the S. Branch. Patterson's Cr:, came into the south side of the N. fork Branch. The indns: broke up Ashby's fort, on P's br:. They killed a good many, so that they cleared off. There was a grave containing 7 persons in one hole, on my f's place, adjoining Patterson's Cr:. They had been killed in Ashby's fort. From where the N & S ford conjoin, was called the Potomac river. At the point of the junction, on the Md. side, was a place called Old Town-which the indns: had settled. Parker's fort was 9 ms. from the fork; up the S. branch. We lived on the south branch.; a m. below Parker's fort. Romney was immediately on the river, 8 ms. from us. From Romney to to Parker's fort, was 7 ms. We lived up the S. Branch, before we moved on the Patterson's Cr:- We moved on to Patterson's Cr. on a/c of the range. Our land on Patterson's Cr. didn't bind on the river. The farms where the fort was, was between us and the Creek. We were four miles up Patterson's Cr. from the mouth. The mountains hemmed in the cattle, so they couldn't get over.

Fairfax's Manor, now Moorfields, was on the S. Br. The Manor was the choicest spot. that was on all that river. Largest body of pretty land.

Jas: Lawson, in Greenup, (married Sophia Johnson, old Wm. J's dau.) my bro:, Wm: Lawson, another bro:, now dead. I came in Nov. 1789, from Hampshire, 8 ms. ? Romney. This in Nov. & Lymmes settled the Big Miami, & Stites settled the Little Miami, where the city is, the next spring, 1789. When I landed at Maysville, one of the first men I saw, was Sam: Blackburn. I had been often to his f's mill, on Patterson's Cr:. B. was early in the campaigns; a wild, wicked, young man. He wanted me to stay at Limestone, but I wouldn't; and went on from there to Lower Blue Licks that night.

Congress granted 100 acres to all that sho'd go there, (to Cti:.) for the support of those 2 stations, & raise corn there. Jeremiah Johnson, that marrd: my 1/2 sister, & Michael Shanks, concluded to go together. They std. awhile, and the indians stole all their horses. They became afraid, came away, never raised corn, & so got no land. they went late in the spring 1790.

As we came along that day to Lower Blue Lick, we met the Drakes going back (w. thr. axes on their shoulders) to Washington, where their fams: were. they had raised the only cabin at Mayslick. Nobody had lived there yet. (When we got to Mayslick, there was but the one cabin raised, and covered, wh'h: I suppose the Drakes had done that day, and logs for another, not raised, laying there.) Next spring they came and settled. Honnel setled about the same time w. the Drakes. (at Mayslick) but his house was outside, & some mischief being done by the indns:, he got afraid, & moved up on to N. Elkhorn. There was but one shingled roof at Maysville. The people lived in boats, knocked to pcs:, and stuck up.

10 of Mar: (1790) Wm. & I started from Bryans, and were gone about 5 weeks; and as we took water at Limestone, they (jerH. Johnson & Michael Shanks above) started on down. This spring, when we went fr: Bryan's, 10 Mar., the Drakes were at Mayslick.

etc etc etc

(no more mention of Johnsons or Drakes).[1]


  1. Data Files of James Lawson, DAR Library, Washington DC, ; accessed 1993.

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