The Life and Times of Robert B. McAfee, continued ______________
year built his stone house where my son, William, now lives; his stone masons were James Curran and Joseph Adams, who after married my sisters Sally and Mary, and William Davenport, one of his carpenters, married his daughter Elizabeth, being industrious steady young men; being as good matches as could be had in those days of pristine simplicity.
I went to school to an Irishman by the name of John Forsythe. He was a good teacher, especially in arithmetic and writing. I went to him six months in a school house built by my father and John Threlkeld and Ben and Walter Bohon who had settled on Cane Run west of Salt River. This school stood on the point of the ride on the west side of the river about two hundred yards from my father’s saw mill. I soon became a favorite with this teacher, who often boasted of it long after I had entered public life. His school extended to Christmas of this year, and my father was often pleased with seeing the exploits of school, have erected a brewery in which he had employed an old Dutchman by the name of Rupertsburgh, promised to treat us to as much beer as we could drink. If we would turn Forsyth out to get holiday, accordingly the day before Christmas we met early and barred the doors well and provided ourselves with clubs and sharp sticks in warlike style, many of the boys boasting of their prowess and what they would do if our
Teacher ventured near; none talked louder than a large Flax headed boy by the name of Bill Bowling in whom we thought we had a generalissimo. It was not long before Mr. Forsythe made his appearance, and we rallied to our portholes. He came up to the door and pushed at it, and demanded admission. I told him he must give us a holliday or he could not come in. He made some heavy threats which were replied to by a majority of us – the girls included who if anything was braver than the boys. Not hearing Bill Bowling’s voice, we looked round and found him hid under one of the writing benches, looking pale and confused. The girls approached him but he was so confused and alarmed that he could say nothing. After parrying some time longer Mr. Forsythe turned off and went to my father’s mill pond where finding a cane he crossed over to my father’s, leaving us to ourselves. We did not think of sallying out on him
until it was too late. We remained in possession until evening, making merry when finding that he had no intention of returning; we broke up and went home feeling that we had been outwitted and had got nothing. We have ever got Christmas day, and my fa- ther treated us as well as laughed at us in the bargain. It being the latter part of the week, we all returned to school on Monday following and things went on as if nothing had taken place. This little incident pro- vided to me that those are not the bravest who talk the loudest or have the most of their valor.
In this year the first constitution of Kentucky was formed, I recollect the deep interest my father took in the event and of his attending the convention in Danville.
In the spring of this year I went with my father in his wagon to Louisville after a load of goods to Capt. Casey and John Waggoner who put up a store house on the spot where Thomas Hutchinson has built his present brick house in which he now resides. It was considered dangerous on account of Indian depre- dations and had only one other wagon with us. I well recollect my father’s caution where he camped, always preparing himself for a night attack. We went past Kincheloe’s station and returned by Bardstown. Louisville at that time was but a small place confined to one street on the second bank below the mouth of Bear Grass, and all the houses hewed logs and frame. I do not recollect of seeing a brick house in the place; it was but a small village. The sight of the Ohio river and the roading of the Falls was a grand thing to me. I was never tired in looking at them, and it filled me with enlarged & astonishing views of the greatness of the Western country, and its increasing prosperity.
On my return I was sent to school to a Mr. Work who taught near Col. Geo. Thompson’s where I boarded a week or two & was afterwards placed at Col. Gabriel Slaughter’s (afterwards Governor of this State) where I was treated with the utmost kindness, as much so as if I had been his own child, but my heart was at home, and this first experiment of living from home taught me how deeply I loved my native place. I could not learn as I used to and not long af- ter a distant relation by the name of Thomas Adams took up school in my old school house on the west side of Salt River & I returned home to my great joy.
2007 Kentucky Ancestors V42-4