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The Life and Times of Robert B. McAfee, continued ______________

A charge was instantly ordered, with the usual yells & the whole company rushed upon them, being about equal numbers. The Indians, taken by surprise, immediately fled, leaving one of their number killed, and all their plunder with the horses. These were soon gathered up, as they were hobbled, and before night, the company were many miles on their way back toward home, where they arrived next night, all safe with their horses & the Indian packs in which were found many silver broaches, rings and other ornaments. This event I can distinctly recollect, particularly the congratulations on their return and seeing the silver ornaments spread out on the floor.

My father seldom took any part in the political discussions of the day except as a private individual. He was a decided Whig, the friend of John Brown and Christopher Greenup, who often called to see him. His education did not justify him (as he thought) to aspire to any office, although he was popular and much beloved by all who knew him. … He was always sociable & cheerful under the most difficult and trying circumstances. … No person every applied to him in distress without being aided to the extent of his power, and his word and honor was implicitly relied on….

He was a great admirer of Patrick Henry, and I can recollect his attempted description of his elo- quence, as he had several times heard him speak. He always concluded that he believed that [Henry] had not his equal in this world, and that no language he could use, could describe his powers.

This year a family by the name of John Goudy moved on my father’s place.

1788

On the 21st January in this year my youngest Brother John was born and during this year my father had a man by the name of Leary for a miller (his farm & other business requiring all his atten- tion) whose wife was very fleshy and weighed at least three hundred. He lived in my father’s old cabin near the mill, and the back door being very narrow, I often amused myself with watching the old woman. In trying to pass out and in she always had to turn sideways. A little adventure took place at this time which although a trifling matter in itself, always made me cautious in striking any living animal af- terwards. My mother had made me a pair of leather

breatches out of dressed deer skin which was the first pair I ever recollect of having. After I got them on I sallied out to show myself to old Mrs. Leary as proud as Julius Caesar. I sauntered along on the side of the hill toward the river, making a considerable noise, and at length got hold of a stick, five or six feet long (one end of a small fishing pole) and went on with it, striking right and left until I got among the old [la- dy’s] hens, when swinging my stick around I struck one of them on the head and down it fell, looking at it and seeing that I had killed it, I took to my heels back to my mammy, with my pride all gone, expect- ing to get a good switching, the old woman came out as I ran and exclaimed, “o that bad boy.” I received a sound lecture from my good mother, and never put on my breatches afterward without thinking of the old [lady’s] chicken, and my foolish pride. I never was proud of fine clothes afterwards. This adventure always kept me humble.

1789

My elder brother, Samuel, who was now sixteen years of age had not made very rapid advances in learning [although] he learned well what he did learn yet he did not get along as fast as my father desired, who was impatient to have a son capable of attend- ing to all his business now determined on giving me as good an Education as he was able. My brother could read, write and cipher, all of which he done well, but he was too slow for my father’s temper- ant. Capt. John Thomas had been their teacher of my father’s elder children but his residence being two miles distant towards Harrodsburgh, my father and Capt. Peter Casey built a small schoolhouse at the side of the bottom on the East side of Salt River about one hundred and fifty yards below the mouth of the Fontain Blue Branch. Robert Pogue (after- wards Genl. Pogue of Mason County, Ky.) Then a young man and brother to Mrs. Thomas took up school for a quarter and I was started to school with my youngest sister, Anne, being furnished with a paddle with my letters and Ab’s pasted on it,and, to the great joy of my Father in two or three days, I had mastered my paddle and demanded a Primer or Dilworth spelling book, which were procured and before the quarter was out I could read tolerable well. This was my first school and I had acquired the character of a very promising boy.

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2007 Kentucky Ancestors V42-4

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