Monday, December 11, 2017

Old Kentucky

"All of Kentucky history is not confined within the geographical limits of the State In a large measure, Missouri character in the early days was but an outgrowth of Kentucky character, for Missouri is a part of Kentucky as Kentucky is a part of Virginia. The three States stand in the relation of mother daughter and granddaughter."

Monday, December 4, 2017

Washington Nearly Worsted

Near Historic National Road (Western Pennsylvania)

From The Plains of Abraham by Brian Connell:

 ...just after sunset on a lowering December day, the weary young giant rode into the clearing before Fort Le Boeuf. Legardeur de St. Pierre received them civilly, but George was very nearly worsted in the encounter. He had no French, was a novice in Indian affairs, and almost had the Indians with him suborned by his adversary.

....As to the summons you send me to retire, I do not think myself obliged to obey it. On the return journey Washington and Gist barely escaped with their lives. ...making for the post of an English trader named Frazier on the Monongahela. Near an Indian village with the ominous name of Murthering Town, they were shot at.G.W. back to Williamsburg in January 1754.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Early Records In Niagara


Is my Mary (maiden name unknown) Howard who was born in Canada circa 1791, hiding in plain sight in these records?  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Maria Smith Wait And Letters From Van Dieman's Land

"The book from which the most of this story is derived is a rather rare one. "Letters from Van Dieman's Land...".

A Wife's Devotion (transcript):

"The story of the heroic exertions of Maria Wait during four years, first to save the life of her husband and next to obtain a full pardon or some amelioration of his sufferings when a prisoner in Van Dieman's Land ( Australia)...".

The story of Maria Smith Wait, who saved her husband from a traitor's death (from an earlier blog post): "Unfortunately, Benjamin had participated in the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion and in August of 1838 he was sentenced to hang."

Famous Canadian Women website:
The final execution was stopped with only one half hour to spare!! Benjamin was sent to Tasmania, Van Diemen’s Land for life.

Benjamin escaped from prison in 1841 and two years later the family was reunited in New York State across the boarder from Canada. Marie died a short time later giving birth to twins. [Benjamin remarried and died in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the age of 82.]

Maria was an heir of Robert Randall, who also had an interesting life (see Robert Randall's heirs):

Frederick Smith, of Willoughby, aforesaid, farmer, and his children, Thaddeus, Maria, Frederick and William, Edwin and George, 3/10 of the whole.... .  

Robert Randall's documents for probate and his influence on William Lyon McKenzie can be seen here.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"Stations" On A Narrow Strip Of Michigan


Underground Railroad Statue In Battle Creek, Michigan

"There were a few places of deportation in southeastern Wisconsin for fugitives that had avoided Chicago and followed the lake shore or the Illinois River farther northward. A rather narrow strip of Michigan adjoining Indiana and Ohio was dotted with stations."