The Life and Times of Robert B. McAfee, continued ______________
The people of Kentucky, therefore, cannot be charged (as they have been by some ignorant philan- thropists) with robbing and taking by force the lands of the innocent natives. They had driven each other off ages before and in addition to the purchases of the pretended titles of the northern Indians at Fort Stanwix in 1768 and by Henderson in 1775 of the southern Indians we found the country unoccupied & the state of Virginia could have used by the best of titles, derived directly from the God of nature—
My father’s land suit came on for trial in the Su- preme Court for the District of Kentucky at Danville on the caveat, a jury was empanelled, a verdict was found that his improvement was the eldest & of course the caveat was dismissed. Harry Innis, Esq., was the lawyer of William & John Brown Esq., for my father & John Magee. Innis and Brown went on that fall to the Virginia legislature.
The former was instructed to file a new caveat & the latter took with him the record of the court ordering the dismissal of the suit. They traveled in company until within two or three days journey of Richmond, when Mr. Brown suspecting that Innis intended to file a new caveat, hired an express and sent him on with instructions to present the record and get out my father’s patent as soon as he could.
Mr. Brown was then in no great hurry to get on and when he and Innis arrived, the patent had issued, to the no little chagrin of Mr. Innis. [This] finally secured the land, although Williams, by the advice of his counsel, afterwards filed a bill in chan- cery, which cost my father and myself much money and trouble until it was finally settled in my favor in June 1820.
other near Lexington. The Salt River people were in- cluded in the Cane Run church and in March 1784 Mr. Rice baptized their children. My grandfather, James McCoun, & uncle, George Buchanan, were among the first elders, and for several years after- wards the men always carried their guns with them to church, ready to defend their wives & children.
In the fall of 1786, my father prepared hewed logs to put himself up a house, which he erected in the spring, 1787. [It was] 26 feet in the clear with neat dovetailed corners eight feet on the north side cut off by a log [partition] for a shed one story high, the main part two stories, which he finished that fall & moved into it. I(t) was then the best house in the country. The carpen[try] was done by Nathan Nield, who afterward married my eldest sister, Margaret, in April 1787.
The Indians came to my father’s place one dark rainy night and stole all his horses but one, which he had in a pound near his house. They took them out of his meadow about 150 yards north of his cabins. They also at the same time took Capt. Peter Casey’s horses, and my uncle John Magee’s. Next morning, as soon as the horses were missed, my father raised a company to 10 or 12 men and made pursuit, as their trail could be easily followed.
The Indians passed down west of Salt River and crossed below the mouth of Hammond about three quarters of a mile at a place afterwards called the Indian gap, a low place in the ridge leading over to Indian Creek, now in Anderson County, and up that creek to its head over to Benson and down Benson to its mouth, crossing the Kentucky River at the present Lock & Dam below Frankfort, and thence to Eagle Creek in the direction of the Shawnee tribe on the Miami.
The spring 1785, New Providence Church was erected.
My father continued to extend his farm, and raised an abundant crop, which he sold to new set- tlers which poured into Kentucky every year.
In the fall 1783, the Rev. David Rice came to Kentucky & Rev. Adam Rankin. The former settled near Danville and the latter in Lexington. Mr. Rice organized a Presbyterian Church on Cane Run, three miles east of Harrodsburg. [Mr. Rice organized] an-
After crossing Eagle Creek in ascending a long ridge, the Indians had passed along on the north side of the ridge near half a mile, gradually approaching the top when crossing directly over to the south side of the ridge, they had returned back near a quarter of a mile so that they could watch their back trail. About 10 o’clock a.m. on the third morning, my father’s company approached them, and the sign of their trail being fresh, one of the company who was on the flank rode near the top of the ridge [and] discovered the Indians, who had halted & taken off their packs.
2007 Kentucky Ancestors V42-4