The Life and Times of Robert B. McAfee, continued ______________
new furniture to me. I hesitated to walk on it until my uncle seeing my embarrassment ordered me to walk on. Mr. Breckinridge was not in at the time but came in soon after & after inspecting me very closely told my uncle that Small Pox had made its appearance in town & that he thought he ought not to have me as his own family had not had it and he thought it would be dangerous. The small pox origi- nated in the army, then stationed at Cincinnati, and was then spreading all over the country. I was glad to hear this, as notwithstanding my high anticipations, I was truly glad to get back home, as I had left with a heavy heart, so much so that I had slept none the night before, but lay and tossed all night, and when the cocks began to crow for day, I had taken a hearty cry. I thought I was doomed to a hard lot & all my ambition had evaporated, my mental sufferings were extreme, but when I heard that I could return home I was supremely happy as the thoughts of my kind & indulgent parents rose before.
We staid that night at a Mr. Keiser’s on the hill on High Street, and next morning the ground was covered with snow, but I was happy. My uncle had to go about two miles East of the Town to the oil mill owned by a Mr. ------ and we had to pass through the Transylvania Seminary lot which was then unenclosed & we had to pass near the old Brick Seminary. I was mounted on a pack saddle and in this style rode over the lot, (something like Franklin when he first entered Philadelphia). The school boys were out snowballing each other & as I approached I good several at me which I thought very unman- nerly of them. I took a good view of the house as I knew I was destined to go to school there as it was agreed that I should return as soon as the small pox ceased. It came to Lexington sure enough and the town suffered severely as all who could not get away were inoculated. The Kine Pox was not then known, Mr. Breckinridge was near dying with it and I made a fortunate escape as its ravages were principally confined to the North side of the Kentucky river. As soon as I returned home I went back to my school dressed in my fine clothes as I was anxious to show off to the best advantage to my pretty Miss Curry
which added to my enjoyments.
But my dark days were now rapidly advancing when I was destined to pass through the crucible of adversity. The health of my mother was declining
and she was confined to her bed. I well recollect her kind anxious looks as I passed through her room when her eyes would follow me as long as I was in view. She at last after being confined for several months expired like one going to sleep. I was at home and myself and younger brothers slept up- stairs. I remember my deep feelings, when awakened by my sister about day break on the morning of the 25th ---- to come down and see my mother die. It was a solemn moment. My father stood by her side and all the family round in silence while her breathing became feebler and shorter, until it was announced that she was gone. We burst into tears and my hap- piness seemed extinguished forever. I then began to feel my true situation. All my acts of disobedience and neglect of attention rose in judgment against me and I would have given worlds if she could have only come to life that I might prove to her how much I loved her, as in many instances I had not waited on her as I should have done. These feelings have been so deeply impressed on my heart that I never see children disobey their parents and especially their Mother without admonishing them and having my own disobedience brought to my view, and I fully believe that disobedience of Parents and particularly of the Mother is more offensive to the Almighty than almost any other sin. When I see children act thus or abuse their parents I always remember what Solomon says “whosoever curse the father or Mother The Eagles shall pluck his eyes out,” and I hope this reflection will have an influence on my posterity as long as any of them remain in this world.
After the death of my Mother, I was boarded with my Brother-in-law, James Curran, who married my sister Sally and lived about a mile and a half N.E. of the present village of Salvisa near a large swampy pond & went to school to Mr. Joseph Bomar (a Brother of Major Harman Bowmar near Versailles) who taught in a small log cabin on Cedar Run, a short distance above a fine spring. My Brother Samuel went with General Scott’s mounted men on Wayne’s Campaign against the Indians and was in the battle of the 20th August at the foot of the Rapids of the Maumee.
The balance of the family, consisting of my Sisters Mary & Anne & my youngest Brother John, re- mained at home with my father, and during that fall my sister Mary married Mr. Joseph Adams of Mary-
2007 Kentucky Ancestors V42-4