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Clark December

1 December –

1802 – Clarksville, IN. George Rogers Clark writes to Thomas Jefferson: I have long since laid aside all Idea of Public affairs, by bad fortune, and ill health. I have become incapable of persuing those enterpriseing & active persuits which I have been fond of from my youth – but I will with the greatest pleasure give my bro. William every information in my power on this, or any other point which may be of Service to your administration. He is well quallified almost for any business. If it should be in your power to confur on him any post of Honor and profit, in this Countrey in which we live, it will exceedingly gratify me. [Potts, p. 78]

1882 – Louisville, KY. Cuthbert Bullitt tells Lyman Draper that he attended the funeral of George Rogers Clark. Yet, about 1902, reminiscing with Alfred Pirtle, Bullitt stated: I frequently spent a good part of the summer at my uncle’s, who lived on the bank of the river not more than a mile from the house of William Croghan, where General Clark lived, and I can remember him in 1816 and 1817, such as a little boy would remember an old and crippled man. … He was about 5 feet 8 or 10 inches high, quite heavy and partly bald; what hair he had was gray, showing through red or sand hair. He walked with a crutch, having only one leg, and he was a very cross and disagreeable old man. He was a terror to the boys if they were playing anywhere about the house, because he would threaten and “holler” at us with a loud voice, and we would run away. I remember seeing him sit on the porch at his sister’s house; he had a chair with rollers on it, which he could roll about…I was a boy of eight years old when he died; I cannot tell for what reason I missed the funeral. I did not attend the burial. [Potts, p. 92] Editor’s note: if Bullitt was eight years old when the general died, in 1818, that would make him about 92 at the time of the 1902 recollection; 72 in 1882.

2 December –

1769 – Pittsburgh, PA. George Croghan buys out 99 other patentees for 5 shillings each, thus consolidating “The Great Croghan Patent.” [Potts, p. 186, note 89]

1809 – Louisville, KY. Dr. Richard Ferguson describes George Rogers Clark’s health problems: a violent Rheumatic affection of the left Hip & Knee joints…attended with such general weakness of the Extremity…that in walking the body was rendered tottering and unsteady… In addition to the above an unfortunate accident, which happened to him, in the month of March Last, made Amputation of the opposite [right] Limb necessary.

  He continues: it is the belief of the Genl. (nor do I hesitate to Subscribe to the opinion) that the Fatique and exposure to weather, which he underwent, whilst engaged in the Service of his Country, was the cause. [Potts, p. 87]

  He continues that Clark: is now Seated in a Chair, depending upon the assistance of others to move him, even across his room. …doomed, I am fearfull, never to walk again. [Potts, p. 88]

3 December –

1887 – Louisville, KY. Mrs. Henry Clay Pindell (James Ann Pearce Pindell), in an affidavit, recalls details of the Joseph Bush portrait of George Rogers Clark. Apparently done in early 1814, this is the only likeness of the general done “from life.” 

  Mr. [Joseph H.] Bush at my dinner tale calling attention to the portrait told me that it was the first portrait he had ever painted, and that whilst he had painted many finer he had never painted one which was a truer likeness than this one of Genl Clark. He said that Genl Clark was the most striking looking man he had ever seen and it would have been difficult for an artist to fail to catch his likeness in a portrait. (See 10 July 1883.) [Potts, p. 91-2]

4 December –

1841 – Louisville, KY. Dr. John Croghan proudly reports to his brother-in-law Thomas Sidney Jesup, who was doubtful about the former’s purchase of Mammoth Cave: the profits of this place surpass my expectations. The accommodations are now extensive and comfortable. [Potts, p. 106]

5 December –

1805 – Louisville, KY. The Kentucky Gazette reprints “From the Palladium [Frankfort, KY]” countering assertions, chiefly from James Wilkinson, favoring the Indiana canal route. (See 19 December 1805.) [Potts, p. 81]

1819 – Washington City. Thomas Sidney Jesup writes to William Croghan Jr.: The Society of Kentucky is more to my taste than that of the Atlantic… They have here, more of the fripperty of fashion, the trappings of State, and, perhaps, of the refinements of literature than they have in the West; but they are without that manliness of mind, that enthusiasm of chivalry which form so prominent a feature in the character of Kentucky. [Potts, p. 98]

1847 – Louisville, KY. John Croghan writes to Lyman C. Draper: You ask from whom did I receive the information of the tempting offer of the British to Genl. Clark? It was from Gov. Floyd. He remarked that his impression was that the British had offered to make him a “Peer of the relm” if he would become a subject of Great Britain. [Potts, p. 71] As George Rogers Clark points out to his brother Jonathan, 11 May 1792, he would have made a formidable adversary had he turned his coat.

6 December –

1801 – The Tuileries, Paris, France. Robert Livingston is presented to Napoleon Bonaparte, who is rude to him. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, France’s foreign minister, has already been decidedly cool in receiving Livingston’s credentials. His reception is hardly surprising, considering that France, under the leadership of these two individuals, has stolen some $12 million ($200 million today) in United States goods on the high seas. The Marquis de Lafayette remains a staunch friend to the United States and its citizens. [Potts, p. 77]

1946 – Louisville, KY. The Courier-Journal carries the news that John Scott Henshaw Waters, age 77, has died at Locust Grove. [Potts, p. 125]

7 December –

1868 – Louisville, KY. Lyman C. Draper interviews Jonathan Clark’s son William about the time he discussed with his uncle George Rogers Clark, the presentation of the second sword from the state of Virginia. “Yes, sorrowfully; but it’s too late. I have no use for a sword.” “He seemed mortified & hurt,” Dr. Clark reported, then said he regretted telling of the incident “as it seemed to suggest unhappy reflections in his uncle’s mind.” [Potts, p. 90]

  Dr. William Clark also remembered: A delegation of some forty or fifty chiefs & warriors accompanied Gov. Clark from Missouri to Washington, soon after the close of the war of 1812, & visited Maj. Croghan’s near Louisville, & the Major entertained them with a dinner in his yard. 

  Draper recorded: Prior to dinner they had been introduced to Gen. Clark in his room (subsequently a separate small building was erected for his occupancy [There is no evidence to corroborate this statement, although Dr. William Clark, the son of Jonathan Clark, was born in 1795 and would have had personal knowledge of such a structure. Potts, p. 201, note 18] & he seemed much interested by the visit. Among the delegation was an aged chief (probably a Shawnee) now a short, bow, shriveled man, evidently well built when young. He had rather the features of the French, more intelligent & better looking that the ordinary Indians. This old chief seemed to eat his dinner hastily, & then went to Gen. Clark’s room (as if he sought a fuller interview than he could have had with the crowd before. Informant was present. The chief spoke quite broken, but Gen. C. seemed fully to comprehend his Indian mixture of words & pantomime. He said “You have saved the life of any a man.” How so? “I and my warriors waylaid the trails around the Falls & along the Beargrass many a time for the special object of killing you, and suffered many a pass by untouched, hoping & expecting you might soon pass by, & we should destroy our mortal enemy, & receive a large reward for your scalp; & thus many escaped.” “Ah,” Clark soliloguized, “then I have saved the life of many a man.” The idea seemed a pleasant reminiscence to him. [Potts, p. 91]

  In this same interview, Dr. Clark reports that Kitt was freed after George Rogers Clark’s death, but “not succeeding well for himself,” had gone to live with William Clark in St. Louis. 

  Meriwether Lewis Clark, Sr, however, son of William Clark stated in 1868, that, “Kitt died at C.W. Thruston’s home 30 years ago.” [Potts, p. 201, note 34]

  Dr. William Clark remarks to Lyman C. Draper: Gen. Clark regarded himself as a pauper, & Maj. Croghan assured him he was not. He left a large body of wild lands on the Ohio & Tennessee, below the latter, which were devised among his brothers & sisters & their families. 

8 December –

9 December –

10 December –

1807 – Louisville, KY. James Montgomery Edwards marries Elizabeth Rudy. [Renau, p. 32]

11 December –

12 December –

13 December –

1778 – George Washington writes to Myles Cooper: It is a fact well known, and every age evinces it, that no country ever was or ever will be settled without some indulgences. What inducements do men have to explore uninhabited wilds but the prospect of getting good lands? [Potts, p. 10]

1881 – Richmond, VA. Richmond Dispatchrelates of George Rogers Clark: “He captured Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes, after exposures and adventures which caused him to be justly styled by John Randolph of Roanoke ‘the Hannibal of the West.’”

14 December –

1797 – Louisville, KY. William Clark writes to Edmund Clark: I set out in a day or two to see about his business with Marshall &c.

  Marshall will later testify that he suffered a stroke and turned the contract over to his son. Both Marshalls continue to dodge paying for the land. (See 16 March 1970; 11 May 1792; 15 September 1795; 15 August 1796; 5 October 1796; 18 August 1797; 28 July 1803; 5 November 1815; 10 July 1826; 4 October 1830; 8 May 1835.) [Potts, p. 93-4]

15 December –

1825 – Louisville, KY. John Croghan writes to Thomas Sidney Jesup: Should I not succeed [in salt producing, see 11 November 1820) I am determined on purchasing 10 or 20 acres adjoining the town of Louisville, improve it in a manner commensurate with my means and preserve my profession…I will have an acre or two expressly for a botanical garden, where I am in hopes of having the most indigenous plants and a great many exotics, and I will improve myself in the science of botany; I will have a considerable portion of the tract appropriate for the culture of the grape, and those vegetables which bring the best markets price and from the latter source I will derive a revenue amply sufficient to supply my grounds, my books & my practice. I will be fully occupied and this is what the most of us require to make us happy. [Potts, p. 101-2]

1828 – Louisville, KY. George Hancock, at Locust Grove, writes to William Croghan, Jr., in Pittsburg: “I very much fear…some difficulty with Colonel Taylor about the lines of this place…his farm is for sale and some person may get it who will cause some trouble about the lines.” [Renau, p. 74]

  The transfer of Locust Grove from William Croghan Jr. to George Hancock is not recorded in Jefferson County, but is implied in this letter. [Potts, p. 203, note 69]

  Hancock continues: I found the Place not so much out of sorts as I had expected – though it will take one years hard labour to get it in order. The fencing is out of repair; and the Barn &c wants repairs; but I hope to get it in order for the year after the next to see what can be made here by farming. Since bringing out my Negroes I find that there are too many on the farm, and most of them here entirely worthless – so much so that I intend getting them off the place. The food they eat is to be sure a trifle, but the example set my own of idleness is intolerable. I can well imagine that with such a site that you should have been entirely tired of a farm. I yesterday finding rail timber scarce purchased of Charles his 300 acres, and if I can only have my health here I hope I can get through the payments. From the proceeds of Bonds now due me I hope to be able to pay you, then my bargain with Charles is to pay him for his place $6,000 - $4,000 of it in buildings in Louisville and $2,000 in money – and until I am able to put up the buildings and pay the money I am to pay him the rent which he now gets for it. [Potts, p. 101]

1838 – Louisville, KY. George Hancock writes to Thomas Sidney Jesup recounting the division of the enslaved people devised in William Croghan Sr.’s will: …division was made between the Doctor, Colonel Croghan & myself in 1829. And by it James and Warren fell to Charles, Sylvia and Nany to Charles as heir of Nicholas, Jess to Colonel Croghan, Malinda and Winston to Dr. Croghan, Criss and Amos to William, Isaac and Becky to Mrs. Hancock, Jim and Humphrey to Mrs. Jesup.

  In exchange for $400, Charles assigned his interest in James, Warren, Sylvia and Nanny to Hancock, 1827. [Potts, p. 101]

16 December –

1809 – Louisville, KY. William Croghan Sr. writes to William Croghan Jr., who has graduated from Transylvania College, Lexington, KY, and gone on to Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, where his great-uncle George Croghan had resided more than 60 years before. “I lately received a letter from your Brother George, and got two from your Sister Ann since I saw you. Ann & Eliza are much pleased with their situation. I have not heard from your Brother John since he started for Philadelphia. A Mr. Walker of Lexington has taken charge of our school he is to have 25 Scholars, and to receive $350 pr year, I purpose sending your Brothers Nicholas & Charles to him. You are now well situated to improve your self, and flatter myself you will, as the old saying is, make hay when the sun shines, you have it now in your power to be acquainted with the Sciences, by knowing them well you will find them pleasing and profatable to your self and highly gratafying to your Mother myself & all your friends…Your Mother says you must purchase warm socks for your self, as she cannot Knit & send you the socks so soon as she expected. [Potts, p. 67]

17 December –

1778 – Vincennes, IN. British Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton arrives from Detroit, retakes the fort and settles in for the rest of the winter. [KE, p. 195-6]

18 December –

19 December –

 1805 – Louisville, KY. The Kentucky Gazette reprints “From the Pallidium,” counter the Ohio Canal Company’s claims (see 5 December 1805), asserting they were “calculated to deceive the public, and to misrepresent the proceedings of the Indiana Canal Company.” [Potts, p. 81]

1882 – Louisville, KY. Christopher Columbus Graham, M.D., born 1784, to Lyman C. Draper: [George Rogers] Clark lived at the Point in a double hewed log cabin with a 3 cornered cupboard, the then high style of Kentucky. [Potts, p. 83]

20 December –

1767 – Louisa County, VA. Fortunatus Cosby Sr. born. [EL, p. 223]

21 December –

22 December –

1764 – Pittsburgh, PA. Henry Bouquet complains of George Croghan to Thomas Gage: It is so disagreeable to have anything to do with savages, that every officer in the army must think himself happy to have no further concern with them, tho’ at the same time, one can not but regret that powers of so great importance to this country should in this instance have been trusted to a man so illiterate, imprudent, and ill bred, who subverts to particular purposes the wise views of the Government, and begins his functions by a ridiculous display of his own importance.” [Potts, [p. 185, note 52]

23 December –

1774 – Williamsburg, VA. Land grant entered for Colonel William Peachey, 1,000 acres, surveyed by Hancock Taylor 1 June 1774, for service as a captain with George Washington in the French and Indian War. The grant has been signed by Governor Thomas Jefferson. A 200 acre parallelogram chunk of this grant will become part of Locust Grove. [Potts, p. 65]

1793 – Manuel Gayoso de Lemos writes to Baron de Carondelet: Clark…having all the power in his hands began to despise O’Fallon, which has caused many discussions…so much so that O’Fallon has parted from his wife, who has withdrawn to the house of Clark, her brother, and he, in resentment of this offense has maltreated O’Fallon, even going so far as to break his stick over his head. [Potts, p. 71; p. 197, note 16]

24 December –

1798 – Louisville, KY. Ann Rogers Clark dies at Mulberry Hill farm; George Rogers and William Clark are currently residing there. [Potts, p. 62]

25 December –

1776 – Boonesborough, KY. George Rogers Clark begins to keep a diary. He will make sporadic entries until 30 March 1778. [Potts, p. 26]

 1810 – Louisville, KY. Eliza Croghan writes to William Jr: I suppose you will be surprised to hear we are at home we went as far as Uncle Andersons but when we came to part somebody began to cry can you think it was me Mama got uneasy and said she could not part with us so here we are at home. I am trying to learn what I can under the tuishion of Papa Mama and Cousin Emelia. [Potts, p. 67-8] Eliza and her sister Ann had been students at the Domestic Academy, near Springfield, KY. They had spent the previous school year there with Mrs. Louisa Keats, and had attended the fall term. Perhaps they were to continue on with their Anderson cousins, when their mother could not part with them. One might hope that their home instruction would include punctuation, to say nothing of spelling, but such things were not standardized at the time, and of little import to 18th and 19th century writers. 

26 December –

27 December –

1829 – Pittsburgh, PA. William Croghan Jr. writes to his sister Ann Croghan Jesup: The Doctor…has met with quite a calamity. He obeyed the prescription of some quack, as to the method of restoring the hair. He writes me, he is in consequence to loose all his hair & begs me forthwith to send him on a wig…the truth is, he could not be much worsted by the prescription. [Potts, p. 103]

28 December –

29 December –

1763 – PA. (Uncle) George Croghan leaves for England. [Renau, p. 13]

30 December –

1826 – Philadelphia, PA. George Croghan is recuperating from an apparent suicide attempt. William Croghan Jr. writes to Thomas Sidney Jesup: My efforts to raise money have proved abovtive. Application has been made to Mr. Livingston to borrow $6000…I had almost as soon lay down my life as to suffer the mortification & humiliation I have had since my arrival here in trying to borrow (I hate the word) the money necessary. [Potts, p. 103]

Deaths –

1946 – Louisville, KY. Rogers Clark Ballard Thruston dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 6 November 1858.) [KE, p. 883-4]

31 December –

1776 – Williamsburg, VA. At George Rogers Clark’s prompting, legislature creates Kentucky County. [EL, p. 197-8]

1793 – Shelby County, KY. Benjamin Logan, recently critical of Clark, now writes: If it appears to be the general opinion that the interest of this country requires that a spirited Enterprise by undertaken against the spanish posts on the Mississippi in order to carry this business into effect I have once more offered my feeble aid knowing you are onored with a commission from the Minister of france and is to be at the head of the business undertaken…I have taken leave of appointments in this state of the united states and do presume I am at liberty to go to any foreign country I pleas and I intend to do so. [Potts, p. 72]


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