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Copyriehted 1921 
Morristown. New Jersey 

Printed by the 
Morristown, New Jersey 







3N writing this little sketch which is in- 
tended to serve as a souvenir of an old 
historic land mark, it is found neces- 
sary to review certain events of that 
epoch. The "Old House on the Hill" possesses 
more than a mere personal interest due to its 
age and the primitive conditions which existed 
at the time of its foundation. For this reason 
it is deemed appropriate to take a birdseye sur- 

vey of the stirring incidents of that period. A 
casual examination will suffice to show that the 
life of the Old House was interwoven with some 
of the most thrilling and important events of 
American History; that it was in fact an out- 
post, a point of observation during a critical 
period when premature disorganization and dis- 
ruption of the national government was 


/ ^ I HIS is not an age in which one can 
M I safely trust to tradition to preserve 

^^^' the records of the past. A few words 
to explain the purpose of the illus- 
trations contained in this publication, therefore, 
may not be amiss. The "House on the Hill" or 
"Federal Hill" as it was formerly called, was in 
the early days of our Country, one of the bul- 
warks which marked the frontier of the United 
States west of the Alleghanies. The house is 
built of brick manufactured in the neighborhood. 
It was a substantial structure and made to with- 
stand a siege. 

A brief description of the conditions that 
existed in the United States at the time the house 
was built will give a better idea of the part it 
played in the National Life. 

The Old House served as a headquarters for 
loyal patriots to assemble as well as a frontier 
post. At the time it was built danger lurked in 
the foreign intrigues which threatened the free 
navigation of the Mississippi and also the peace- 
ful possession of our western domains from the 
Ohio River to the Lakes. Internal disaffection 
moreover required attention. Lawless characters 
chafed at the supineness of the new Federal Gov- 
ernment in guarding their rights against foreign 
agression, while with-holding from the Govern- 
ment the support necessary to give it proper 
vigor to assert itself. The social agitator was 
ever ready to work upon this seething element 
of discontent. These observations serve to re- 
call to mind the chaotic mass out of which our 
Government was composed, while taking shape 
under the master hands of Empire Builders. 














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Jri)E(J^lb louse on tfje J^iU" 

/ -^ HE Village of Washington, K\'., calmly 
4 I reposes among the hills of northern 

^^^^ Kentucky several miles from the 
Ohio River in what is known as the 
"Blue Grass" region. A stranger traveling 
through the country would hardly be tempted to 
delay his journey to make extended inquiry 
about the town, which, at first acquaintance, 
would strike one as modest and commonplace. 
In the midst of the village, located upon a small 
elevation which overlooks the immediate neigh- 
borhood, is an old brick house which has the 
appearance, in spite of its dilapidation and age, 
of having seen better days. A long sweep of lawn 
extending a considerable distance in several 
directions seems to forbid the encroachments of 
the squalid hovels and modern dwellings that 
have sprung up in later years. Formerly a hand- 
some grove of locust trees adorned the slopes 
that nature graded up to the Old Mansion, but 
they have yielded to the decaying process of 
time which leaves them only a memory of the 
past . 

Not far from the Old House, about a stone's 
throw, is a little cemetery where repose some 

generations of those who first established the 
Old House and the estate which formerly sur- 
rounded it. 

It is hardly necessary to say that the "Old 
House on the Hill," by which name the mansion 
is familiarly known, has a history, (a) The most 
interesting part of that history cannot be told 
because those who knew it in its best days are 
taking the "sleep that knows no waking." 

The stranger wandering about the village 
should be on his guard against some unpleasant 
reminder of pioneer days. When the country was 
being settled, occasionally the prudent back- 
woodsman dug a well inside of his cabin to pro- 
vide against a cruel want in case he should be 
besieged and forced to defend himself. There 
was no means of forecasting when the savage, 
brooding over his wrongs, might "dig up the 
hatchet" and painting himself in hideous colors 
indicative of his purpose, make an attack upon 
the unsuspecting settler. After the dangers of 
Indian warfare disappeared and the old cabins 
were abandoned, the wells still remained and 
were sometimes discovered in the streets merely 
covered with boards. 

QlDl0iti4(Ei)omaj3 iEarsi^aU 

JN the year 1783 Col. Thomas Marshal! 
received from the State of Virginia the 
title of Surveyor of Kentucky County. 
This County originally comprised a 
very large section of the country. It was soon 
after divided into other counties. The name 
was finally given to the state when it was created. 
Col. Thomas Marshall and that part of his 
family which located in Kentucky acquired con- 
siderable real estate even for that era. The to- 
tal amount acquired was about 500,000 acres. 
Soon after his appointment, Col Marshall organ- 
ized a small party and shouldering his rifle left 

the more settled regions east of the Alleghanies 
to take possession of his new estate. 

Starting out on its career the Government 
at Washington, D. C, found it sufficiently diffi- 
cult to stand on its feet without trying to enforce 
writs of ejectment against the "Red Skins" of 
the wilderness. The savages thought they had 
a proscriptive right against all comers. If a 
cloud rested upon the title, which, according to 
their way of thinking meant possession and a 

(a) It was sometimes called "Federal Hill" on ac- 
count of the political proclivities of Captain 
Marshall. "The Marshall Family," by Wm. M. 
Paxton. p. 49. 

hand strong enough to retain it, it was due to 
the fact that most of the region now known as 
the state of Kentucky was formerly a debatable 
hunting ground where the Northern and South- 
ern Indians often met in pursuing their pastime 
of the chase, (a) This diversion was sometimes 
varied by strife among themselves. In keeping 
with this tradition was the name of the state. 
This was of Indian origin and was first given 
to a river known as "Kentucke," which signifies 
bloody water, and is rather suggestive of its 
savage christening. 

There has been some dispute respecting the 
reason which influenced Col. Marshall and his 
sons to penetrate the wilderness and locate in 
Kentucky. The spirit of adventure which ani- 
mated many in those days might be assigned as 
the impelling motive; a desire to settle in a 
region which was destined to become of great 
importance and where land could be obtained 
for practically nothing. It has also been stated 
that policy and patriotic motives dictated their 
actions. It seemed that a vigilant eye was re- 
quired on the frontier to observe the course of 
events and a masterful mind to inspire a senti- 
ment of loyalty. 

The following correspondence between Col. 
Thomas Marshall and Washington throws con- 
siderable light on this subject. 

On February 12, 1789, Col. Marshall wrote 
a letter to Washington in which he speaks of an 
interview between General Wilkinson and the 
Spanish Government at New Orleans, afterwards 
published by General Wilkinson. The Governor 
requested General Wilkinson to write him a 
letter "respecting the political interests of Spain 
and the Americans * * * inhabiting the western 
waters. This he did in an essay, as he calls it. 
Col. Marshall continues as follows: "I saw the 
Governor's letter to him acknowledging receipt 
of it, and informing him he would lay it before 
the King of Spain; a copy of this essay he pro- 
duced and read in our late convention for the 
district; as well as my memory (which is not 
very accurate) serves me, the substance of it is 
as follows: "He urges our natural right of fol- 
lowing the current of rivers flowing through the 

country into the sea. He states the e.xcent of our 
country etc., * * * proper for foreign markets, 
to which we have no means of conveying them, 
should the Mississippi be closed against us. He 
states the advantages Spain might derive from 
allowing us the free use of the river. He states 
the general abhorrence with which the people 
of the western waters received the intelligence 
that Congress was about to sacrifice their dear- 
est interest by ceding to Spain the navigation of 
the Mississippi for twenty or thirty years and re- 
presents it as a fact that they were on the point 
of separating themselves from the Union on that 

"He addresses himself to their fears by a 
pompous display of forces, etc. * * * "Great 
Britain stands with her arms expanded ready to 
receive us" and assist our efforts for the accom- 
plishment of this object, etc." 

"This essay was, I am told, laid before the 
Court of Madrid; and as a violent separation 
from the United States seems to be laid down 
as the ground work upon which every other con- 
sequence depends, I think it probably has pro- 
duced instructions from the court to the repre- 
sentative at Congress that if the westward 
country should declare itself separate from the 
Union, to avail himself of the event etc." (But- 
ler's History of Kentucky, p. 519). 

The following passage occurs in a letter 
written in reply to Col. Marshall, March 27, 
1789 by Washington: 

"It is true I had previously received some 
verbal and written information on the subject of 
a similar tenor, but none which placed the affairs 
in such an alarming point of view as that in 
which I now behold." 

To explain the situation more fully it is nec- 
essary to recall the conditions e.xisting in the 
United States when the National Government 
was being formed and the parts of its great 

(a) Speaking" of Kentucky occurs the following 
passage in Collins' History of Kentucky: "The 
dark forests and cane thickets separated the 
Cherokees, Creeks and Catawbas of the South 
from the Shawnees, Delawares and W^yandots 
of the North. (Collins' History, Vol. 1. p. 247) 



widespread domain representing so many and 
diverse political units were being knit together. 
The wild and inhospitable character of that re- 

gion must be understood to form a correct im- 
pression of the hardships and difficulties that 
had to be borne, (a) 

^tmmi (iliarartrr of ll^r Cnmttri| at (El^at jpprtn^ 


SHORT recital of some of the inci- 
dents of this period will give a better 
idea of the actual state of things in 
that part of the Country. 

In the year 1775 occurred the Braddock 
Massacre near Fort Duquesne, not far from the 
present city of Pittsburg, but far to the eastward 
of the town of Washington, Ky. The battle of 
the "Blue Licks" a few miles east of Washington 
was fought in 1732, where the whites lost sixty 
men, about one-tenth of the fighting population 
of the State. (6) It is said that in 1768 an ex- 
plorer by the name of John Finley did not find 
one white man's cabin in all of Kentucky. Even 
as late as 1810, Wilson, a naturalist, speaking of 
Lexington, Ky., writes: "Within the memory of 
a middle-aged man who gave me the information 
there were only two log huts on the spot where 
the city is now erected, while the surrounding 
country was a wilderness rendered hideous by 
skulking bands of bloody and ferocious Indians." 

In fact, it was even thought expedient in 
certain quarters to delay the development of 
that region. It was the policy of Lord Hills- 
borough to prevent colonization and hold the 
country through the friendship of the Natives. 

(d) Washington, actuated by a more progress- 
ive spirit, had ideas of colonizing this section. 

(e) In 1784, he made a tour through the re- 
gion west of the Alleghanies. (/) 

No less important, it is necessary to appre- 
ciate the character of the former occupants of 
the Old House and the part they played in the 
early history of the country, as well as the spirit 
which animated them in their devotion to the 
new Government and its ideals. 

At the end of the Revolutionary War when 
the welcome news was spread abroad that the 
struggle with the Mother Country had ended in 

the emancipation of the Colonies from her do- 
minion, the joyful tidings were soon marred by 
the realization of the formidable obstacles yet 
to be overcome. Each colony had a tradition 
and a history of its own; an individuality, so 
to speak, which it had no intention of yielding. 
To understand their feelings it would be neces- 
sary to go back to the first settlers who estab- 
lished them and follow their history through 
their rivalries and political conflicts to the time 
when it was plainly evident that a new combi- 
nation was necessary for mutual protection to 
take the place of the royal Government from 
which they had separated. Social equality had 
already begun to manifest itself but had not 
been clearly defined in a political sense; religious 
tolerance, or perhaps indifference, characterized 
the sentiment of the day and religious differences 
had not for a considerable period disturbed the 
peace of the Colonies, in either a political or 
personal sense; in fact, there had succeeded the 
religious discord of an earlier period in certain 
quarters, a tendency to free thinking and agnos- 
ticism; a disposition to question all authority, 
whether religious or political. The Mother 
Country frequently left the Colonists to shift 
for themselves which developed a spirit of inde- 
pendence to which the frontiersman had already 
become accustomed. 

(a) Kentucky Tvas regarded as a hunting ground 
by tacit agreement and "reserved from perma- 
nent occupation." (Butler's History of Ken- 
tucl-;y. introduction, p. XIII.) 

"As late as the peace of Aix La Chapelle in 
17S4, the Western country of the British Col- 
onies was in the possession of the native 
tribes, undisturbed by the white man." (But- 
ler's History of Kentucky, introduction, p. 

"The exploration of Boone in 1769 and Knox in 
1770 were the only ones considered worthy of 
notice." (Collins' History of Kentucky, Vol. 1, 
p. 24S.) 

(b) International Enclyclopedia, Vol. 1.3, p. 1S2. 

(c) Wilson, Vol. 1, p. LXXXIIII. 

(d) Bancroft, Vol. 6, p. 222. 

(e) Bancroft, Vol. 6, p. 380. 

(f) Spark's Washington, Vol. 1, p. 408. 

It is readily seen that a disposition had de- 
veloped in the Colonies which invited trouble 
the moment a narrow-minded despot sought to 
hold the reins of control over the colonies with 
too tight a hand. This state of mind, after the 
successful revolt of the Colonies, intensified by 
the ordeal of war, threatened to render abortive 
all attempts to form a National Government and 
to wreck it after it was formed. 

A better idea might be formed of the un- 
settled state of affairs when it is recalled that as 
late as 1804 the Burr expedition was organized 
in this locality giving some anxiety to the au- 
thorities. It is doubtful if it ever will be known 
what was the real object of the venture, but the 
loose ties of allegiance which held the early 
settlers to the Federal Government gave occasion 
in certain quarters to a great deal of uneasiness. 
The general opinion entertained of the organizer 
of the expidition by no mctms helped to allav a 
feeling of uneasiness. It is significant of the pre- 
carious character of the period that Aaron Burr, 
who organzied this expedition missed securing 
the office of President of the United States by 
a narrow margin. 

In this connection it seemed appropriate to 
review the dangers that were menacing the newh' 
formed Government of the United States. 

There was solicitude concerning suspected 
British intrigues to alienate from their allegiance 
the people of Kentucky, who were apprehensive 
about the free navigation of the Mississippi 
River. "Affairs in the western country wore an 
unfavorable aspect. The people of Kentucky 
were looking with a great deal of solicitude to 
the result of the pending negotiation respecting 
the navigation of the Mississippi and it would 
seem that the British at the North thought that 
this was a good opportunity to tempt them with 
secret propositions and to try the strength of 
their fidelity; and the Spaniards of the South 
were equally ready to scatter the seed of dis- 
affection and to encourage in the inhabitants of 
the West a separation from the Federal Govern- 

The following observations of Washington 

indicated the feeling of apprehension that posses- 
sed him respecting the future of the Western 
Country. "There is nothing which binds one 
country or one state to another but interest. 
Without this cement the Western inhabitants, 
who more than probably will be composed in a 
great degree of foreigners, can have no predi- 
lection for us, and a commercial connection is 
the only tie we can have upon them." (a) 

The possibility of a new political division 
being created that might prove a thorn in the 
side of the American Government is here clearly 
set forth. New arrivals from Europe could have 
no tradition in common with the earlier settlers, 
and in many cases not even racial ties; but the 
attachment to the principle of a free Government 
was not at that time sufficiently realized. The 
forecast was more gloomy than the facts war- 
ranted. The principle of the free representative 
Government was a leaven that had already be- 
gun to work and in time was destined to make 
its influence felt among peoples and nations 
where the idea at that time Vvas hardly known. 

While powerful European Governments were 
playing a game of political intrigue, in which at 
a later period the infant Hercules of the West 
took a hand, the vast undeveloped territories 
of the New World being the stakes, an incident 
occurred, quite as amusing as it was pathetic, 
which recalled to mind the aborigine despoiled 
of his birth-right. An e.xplorer by the name of 
Gist went over the Alleghanies in 1751 on a 
tour of discovery for the Ohio Company. He 
met an Indian who said that their great men. 
The Beaver, and Captain Appamaquish (two 
chiefs of the Delawares) desired to know where 
the Indian land lay, for the French claimed all 
on one side of the Ohio and the English on the 
other. The savage was considered quite as ser- 

(a) "Stated on good authority that it Kentuclcy 
would form an independent commonwealth, it 
n^ight have special privileges from Spain on the 
Mississippi River." (Collins History of Ken- 
tucky, p. 37.) 

Col. Marshall was decided and uncompromis- 
ing in his opposition to separation. (Collins' 
History of Kentucky, Vol. 1., p. 269. 
Spark's "Washington, Vol. 9, p. 473. See also 
letter to H. Innes. 

See also letter to R. H. Lee relative to com- 
merce on the Mississippi. (Spark's Washington,. 
Vol. 9, p. 119.) 



iously as some wild beast, disturbed in its lair, 
(a) The native had an undefined idea of his 
rights without any conception of legal principles 
which could reduce them to a certainty and pro- 
vide a remedy for their violation. To continue 
his mode of life would necessarily condemn vast 
areas to the condition of a primeval wilderness 
so that he might enjoy the pastime of the chase. 
It would require a despotic authority like that 
of William the Conquerer, sustained by the 
power of a feudal state, to perpetuate this state 
of things against the wishes of a civilized com- 
munity. ( b ) 

If further evidence is essential to prove the 
critical conditions that existed in this region, it 
is sufficient again to refer to Washington's own 
statement: "The Western States (I speak 
from my own observations) stand as it were 
upon a pivot. The touch of a feather would 
turn them any way. They have looked down 
upon the Mississippi until the Spaniards, very 
imprudently, I think, for themselves, threw diffi- 
culties in their way." etc. (c) 

(a) Neither the French nor the British seemed to 
regard tlie paramount rights of tlie aborigine 
any further than military policy might dictate. 
(Butler's History of Kentucky, intrc. p. XIX.) 

(h) Thierry's Xorman Conquest, Vol. 1, p. 307. 

(c) Spark's Washington, Vol. 9, p. 63. 

(d) This was 1TS5. Collin's History of Kentucky, 
Vol. 2, p. 562. 

(e) The story would not be complete without giv- 
ing some idea of the kind of neighbors the 
frontiersmen had to deal with. The following 
account given by Dr. Knight of the execution 
of Colonel Crawford, who, with himself was 
captured by the Indians, will serve as an illus- 
tration. "When w-e were come to the fire, the 
Colonel was stripped naked, ordered to sit 
down by the fire, and they beat him with sticks 
and their fists. * * * They then tied ropes to 
the top of a post about fifteen feet high, bound 
the Colonel's hands behind his back and 
fastened the rope to the ligature between his 
wrists. The rope was long enough for him 
to sit down or walk around the post once or 
twice and return the same way. The Colonel 
then called to Girty and asked if they intended 
to burn him. Girty answered "Yes." The Col- 
onel said he would take it all patiently. Upon 
this. Captain Pipe, a Delaware Chief, made a 
speech to the Indians. • * 'When the speech 
was finished they all yelled a hideous, and 
hearty assent to what had been said. The 
Indians then took up their guns and shot 
powder into the Colonel's body, from his feet 
as far up as his neck, • • * They then crowded 
about him and to the best of my observation, 
cut off his ears, &c. The fire was about six 
or seven yards froni the post to which the Col- 
onel was tied; it was made of small hickory 
poles, burnt quite thru in the middle, each end 
of the poles remaining about six feet in length. 
Three or four Indians by turns would take up 

It is not difficult to understand why rivers 
and navigable waters were the favorite means of 
traveling in the old pioneer days; the scarcity 
of roads of any kind, the dangers and privations 
of the wilderness were serious obstacles. During 
this period flat-bottom boats were employed on 
the Ohio River to carry passengers and freight. 
Wheeling, West Virginia, was often chosen as a 
point of embarkation. Precaution had to be 
taken to guard against shots fired by an enemy 
from the river banks. For this purpose the 
sides were constructed sufficiently high and 
solid to serve as a protection against injury. 

Capt. Thomas Marshall made use of this 
means of transportation going West. Before 
taking his departure, he was warned by a brother 
of Simon Girty, the notorious out-law and rene- 
gade, against a stratagem the Indians were likely 
to make use of. (d) White captives v/ere some- 
times sent to the river banks to implore help. 
If the unsuspecting crew drew sufficiently near 
the shore where the savages were lying in am- 
bush, they were in danger of a murderous 
attack, (e) 

individually one of these burning pieces of 
wood and apply it to his naked body, already 
burned black with powder. These tormentors 
presented themselves on every side of him so 
that every way he ran around the post they 
met him with the burning fagots and poles 
so that in a short time he had nothing but 
coals of fire and hot ashes to walk upon. 

Colonel Crawford, at this period of his 
sufferings, besought the Almighty to have 
mercy on his soul and spoke very low and 
bore his torments with the most manly forti- 
tude. He continued in all the extremities of 
pain for one hour and three-quarters longer, 
as near as I can Judge, when at last being 
almost spent, he lay down on his belly: they 
then scalped him, and repeatedly threw the 
scalp in my face telling me "that was my 
great Captain." Incidents of Border Life, p. 

This presents the terrible side of tlie Indian 
character. It is only fair to state that on a 
former occasion when a hostile move was con- 
templated against the savages. Colonel Craw- 
ford is said to have made the declaration that 
'*no Indian was to be spared, friend or foe; 
every redman must die." (J. M. Browne's 
Oration, Centennial Battle Blue Licks, p. 12.) 
On the border of civilization where there could 
be no orderly administration of justice, the 
savage of the stone age gratified his love of 
revenge without restraint. With few excep- 
tions thf only change that had been wrought 
in his condition, since the time of LaSalle, who 
was the first white man to traverse the country 
from the Lakes to the Gulf, was the substitu- 
tion of the rifle, the steel tomaliawk and the 
scalping knife in place of the crude imple- 
ments he formerly used. Instances might be 
given to show tlie better side of his nature, 
but one could never be certain whether he was 
to deal with Dr. Jeckel or Mr. Hyde. 

The warning was given Capt. Thomas ISIar- 
shall in requittal of an act of kindness which he 
performed for Simon Girty on a previous occa- 
sion. During the French and Indian War an 
English officer for some reason was going to 
have Girty flogged but through Capt. Marshall's 
interference the punishment was not inflicted. 
Girty remembered the friendly act and adopted 
this means of returning the favor. Altho Girty 
abandoned the association of his own people and 
cast his lot among the savages, he proved that 
he had one of the good qualities of the Indian 
of remembering an act of kindness even though 
he became more cruel and bloodthirsty in grati- 
fying his revenge. 

The journey to Maysville or some place near 
that locality where Capt. Marshall landed his 
party was made without mishap. It was by no 
means a pleasure excursion. A fusilade of bul- 
lets indented the boat. The trunk of a tree 
served as a guide for the rudder, which rising 
above the elevated sides of the flat-bottom boat 
afforded considerable protection. This position 
of danger was taken by Capt. Marshall and he 
was very careful to keep the trunk between him- 
self and the flying bullets, which proved a wise 
precaution. It was discovered afterwards that 
the trunk was riddled with bullets, (a) 

In addition to the dangers mentioned, for- 
eign agents were busy stirring up trouble 
amongst the native population who were none 
too steadfast in their allegiance to the new Nat- 
ional Government. 

Organizations knowm as "Democratic Socie- 
ties" which had been recently created were in 
close sympathy with the Jacobin Clubs of 
France. Washington considered that these so- 
cieties which were patronized by Genet, were for 
the purpose of drawing a line between the People 
and the Government, {b) 

It is credibly stated that upon his arrival he 
planned an expedition against the Floridas and 
another against Louisiana, the latter to be car- 
ried on from the western part of the United 
States. It was reported on good authority that 
the principal officers were engaged for the 
futherance of this project. "The Temper of the 

people inhabiting the western country was such 
as to furnish some grounds for apprehension 
that the restraints, which the executive was 
capable of imposing, would be found too feeble 
to prevent the execution of the plan." (r) "T/ie 
Governor of Kentucky 'was requested to co- 
operate to jriistrate this improper application of 
the military resources of the state." (d) 

"It would have been difficult to find a part 
of the United States in which anti-federal pas- 
sions blazed more fiercely than in Kentucky. 
The French emissaries found their project re- 
received with the warmest favor." (e) 

The authority of the Federal Government 
rested upon such a flimsy foundation that at- 
tempts were inade to ignore its existence, both 
through domestic disaffection and unscrupulous 
foreign agents. The Whiskey Rebellion in Penn- 
sylvania in opposition to collecting the excise 
tax and the discontent in Kentucky and else- 
where for a similar reason manifested the law- 
less spirit that arose in opposition to the exercise 
of Federal authority. When open rebellion 
against the enforcement of the law had subsided 
the illicit manufacture of spirits under condi- 
tions of secrecy had enriched their vocabulary 
with the descriptive expression of "Moonshine." 
This industry has been attended with violence 
and lawlessness from its inception and many a 
grewsome tragedy has served to keep alive its 
unsavory tradition. 

The imposition of a tariff to supply the 

(a) Concerning firing on Boats, see N. J. Historical 
.Society. Vol. 4, p. 114. 

(b) Spark's Washing-ton. Vol. 10, p. 438. 

There wa.'^ a considei-able element of the -Amer- 
ican people who were consistent in their friend- 
ship for Prance. This attachment dated back 
to the days Avhen the French iMonarchy sent 
its fleet and army to battle for American in- 
dependence. This friendship abated none of 
its constancy to Prance thru all of her kaleid- 
oscopic changes. 

(c) "Two circumstances occurred which tended to 
create unfa^'orable impressions in Iventucl^y 
toward the Government of the Union. One 
was the utter inability of Congress to protect 
them from the Northwestern tribes by com- 
pelling the surrender of the posts or otherwise; 
the other was the tendency of Congress to 
surrender the rights to navigate the Missis- 
sippi to the Ocean." (Collins History, Vol. 1, 
p. 261.) 

"(d) Marshall's Washington, Vol. 5, p. 435. 

Collins' History of Kentucky, Vol. 3. p. 277.. 
(e) Collins' History of Kentucky, Vol. 2, p. 4S. 



Government with means to operate was a skill- 
ful device which made it possible to hold the 
reins of government without those subject to its 
authority being too conscious of the fact and be- 
coming restive under the curb. 

When Cornwallis struck his colors at York- 
town the difficulties that stood in the way of 
forming a new Government destined to take its 
place among the Nations of the Earth were by 
no means overcome. In fact, the very act of 
removing the common danger which the war 
with the Mother Country created seemed to oper- 
ate as a dissolvent of the enforced unity of the 
several colonies. The occasion of unity did not 
arise from v/ithin except so far as mutual re- 
sentiment against outside interference with 
domestic concerns might be so considered. 

The travail of the long struggle with the 
Mother Country had brought into existence a 
new Nation, but it was doubtful whether it 
was not a still birth. No National lije or spirit 
seemed to animate the masses and the antago- 
nistic colonies. The love of independence might 
easily be carried to an extreme. The bonds 
which hold one in subjection to civil authority 
were weakened when the Colonies were estab- 
lished in the New World. The life of the frontier, 
where frequently the pioneer had to depend 
upon his own resourcefulness, and occasionally 
the provincial Government, tended to wean him 
from the Mother Country. The same spirit 
served to make the people of the Colonies averse 
to sacrificing any part of their independence 
even though necessary for the formation of a 
National Government strong enough to preserve 
what had been acquired through so great a 

At this time Great Britain still retained 
possession of a number of frontier posts south 
of the Great Lakes and it was generally believed 
that they were responsible for the uncompro- 
mising attitudes of the natives, (a) 

Washington appeared distrustful of the de- 
signs of our European neighbors. In a letter to 
Thomas Jefferson he writes: "If Spain is really 
intriguing with the Southern Indians I shall en- 

tertain strong suspicions that there is a very 
clear understanding in all this business between 
the courts of London and Madrid and that it is 
calculated to check, as far as they can, the rapid 
increase, extension and consequence of this 
country." (6) 

It was quite manifest that Great Britain 
and Spain were planning mischief while the 
French Republic sought to drag the nation into 
the vortex of a European conflagration which 
made an armed camp of the principal nations 
of Europe. The aborigine, wedded to his savage 
life was almost compelled by the law of neces- 
sity to continue a struggle which could only 
end in his extermination or conquest. The na- 
tional government at this period was considered 
almost as a foreign government by many of its 
citizens, and the wholesome and necessary exer- 
cise of its authority was seriously challenged by 
some who stood in positions of grave responsi- 
bility, (c) 

The relations of the new national government 
to the Indians involved complications. The 
changes that had taken place might well confuse 
the simple mind of the savage. After a long 
rivalry between France and England he witness- 
ed the breaking out of the French and Indian 
war when most of the Indian tribes allied them- 
selves with France; then followed English occu- 
pation of Canada; afterwards the revolt of the 
English colonies from the mother country when 
the colonies and France were at war with Eng- 
land. The Indians instinctively sided with 
England against the Colonies perceiving that 
the American government threatened them with 
more immediate disaster. Notwithstanding this 
they still retained their love for their old allies, 

(a) Marshall's AVashington, Vol. 5, p. 642. 

(b) Spark's Washington, Vol. 10, p. 280. 

Lord Dorchester does not appear in the role of 
a peace maker in delivering a speech to the 
Grand Council ot the Miami's, 1793, when he 
state.s that a war between Great Britain and 
the United States was likely and that a "line 
between the two Nations must be drawn with 
the sword." Such observations were calculated 
to excite trouble. It was like throwing a fire- 
brand into a magazine filled with explosives. 

(c) Efforts made by General H. Lee to obtain a 
continental force of 700 or even 300 to protect 
the western frontier were opposed lest it con- 
fer too much po^vcr on the Federal Govern- 
ment. Collins' History of Kentucky, \'ol. 1, p. 33. 

the French. Colonel Clark, who was so ac- 
tive in reducing the redmen to order also 
appreciated the importance of obtaining the co- 
operation of the French inhabitants in the newly 
acquired territory. Through the latter the 
Indians were told that "their old father, the 
King of France, was come to life again and was 
mad with them for fighting with the English; 
that if they did not wish the land to be bloody 
with war, they must make peace with the 
Americans." (a) 

Peace was finally concluded with the Indians. 
"The various parties were assembled, white and 
red; the Chief who was to open the Council, 
advanced to the table at which Col. Clark was 
sitting, "with the belt of peace," in his hand, 
another with the sacred pipe, and a third with 
the fire to kindle it. After the fire was lighted 
it was presented to the heavens, then to the earth 
and completing a circle was presented to all the 
spirits, invoking them to witness what was about 
to be done. The pipe was presented to Col. 
Clark and afterwards to every person present." 
When these formalities were finished the speak- 
er addressed himself to the Indians as follows: 
"Warriors, you ought to be thankful that the 
Great Spirit has taken pity on you, has cleared 
the sky and opened your ears and hearts, so 
that you may hear the truth and we hope that, 
as the Great Spirit has brought us together for 
good, as he is good, so we may be received as 
friends and peace may take the place of the 
bloody belt." The speaker then threw in the 
middle of the room the bloody belt of wampum 
and flags which they had received from the 
British and stamped upon them in token of re- 
jection. Afterwards Col. Clark made his reply; 
then the pipe was again kindled and presented 
to all the spirits as witnesses." (b) It was smoked 
and the Council was concluded by shaking hands. 

The Western Country along the Ohio and 
Mississippi appeared to be the storm centre (c) 
where a post oj observation had to be main- 
tained to guard against the intrigues oj Great 
Britain on the North and the designs oj Spain 
in the South and West, seeking to control the 
natural outlet oj a large part oj the commerce oj 
the United States by the Mississippi River. 

The Northern and Southern Indians who had 
been accustomed from an early period to invad- 
ing the state in pursuit of game or for war-like 
purposes created another element of disturbance. 
There was a great deal of disaffection among the 
white population of the state and a considerable 
portion of it was suitable material for designing 
and intriguing mischief-makers. 

It is quite clear that the situation required 
the presence of a clear-headed and dominating 
personality to confirm the wavering in their al- 
legiance and guard against the dangers along 
the frontier. 

The stars of our political firmament were still 
nebulous and unformed and the Nation had not 
yet become an "Indestructible Union of Inde- 
structible States." 

In support of this supposition, it is well 
knov.n by the student of American History that 
during the early days of the Republic only the 
feeblest tie held the citizen in his allegiance to 
the Federal Government. The Colony, and after- 
ward the State seemed to engage his affection 
and appeal to his loyalty. It must be borne in 
mind that the supremacy of the Federal Gov- 
ment and the indissolubility of the Union was 
only finally settled by the Civil W'ar. In 
fact, at this period the Federal Government was 
regarded with suspicion and at times with dis- 
trust. To explain this more fully a brief review 
of the events of that period might suffice. Before 
Kentucky became a state nine constitutional con- 
ventions were held, 1784-1790, demanding a 
separation from Virginia, (d) 

The State of Virginia consented on condition 
that Kentucky would be admitted as a State in 
the Federal Union. Afterwards there was a 
strong sentiment manifested in favor of a separa- 
tion from the Federal Government due in a great 

(a) Butler's Hi.story of Kentucky, p. 63. 
(h) Butler's History of Kentucky, p. 71. 

(c) Kentucky lies topographically in the center of 
the grouping- of states." Collins' History, Vol. 
1. p. 335. 

(d) General Wilkinson formed the Kentucky seces- 
sion movement and declared his intention of 
becoming the "Washington of the West." Bev. 
Mar. Vol. 3, p. 2S4. CJeneral Wilkin.«on .said 
"Spain might concede to Kentucky alone what 
she would not to the United States." (Collins" 
History of Kentucky. Vol. 1, p. 270 > 

Ooohnir It >*„-. A/A, j;- 

D^n. (E^is DB'Gi; 11 



measure to the Jay Treaty with Spain which 
deeded to that Nation the rights of navigation 
on the Mississippi River for twenty-five years. 
The supposition was advanced that most of the 
settlers were loyal and that this means was em- 
ployed to bring pressure to bear upon the Fed- 
eral Government. Resolutions were drawn up in 
1798 by Thomas Jeft'erson condemning the 
Alien and Sedition Laws as being extra-consti- 
tutional, (a) This meant practically an asser- 
tion of state sovereignty, equal if not superior 
to the National authority. The Supreme Court 
of the United States was not even considered as 
the proper authority to pass on the question. 
It affords matter for serious consideration when 
one recalls that Thomas Jefferson, who after- 
wards became president of the United States, 
was the author of these resolutions. 

The following quotation at a considerably 
later period is interesting reading for the present 
generation: "The Federal Government is in 
truth our foreign Government, which depart- 
ment alone is taken from the departure of the 
several states." (b) We pass to a later period 
to search for responsibility for the nullification 
and secession doctrines, but who can say how 
far declarations of this character were the real 
cause of crystalizing sentiment in opposition to 
the Government? 

There was one central idea around which all 
the Colonists rallied, the principle of local selj- 
government. This principle furnished a basis of 
union against the Mother Country when the 
attempt was made to govern the colonies without 
giving them representation, and against their 
consent. This principle carried to an extreme 
greatly embarrassed the work of creating a Na- 
tional Government. 

An external danger imperfectly furnished a 
common basis for union and co-operation but 
when this was removed the victory threatened 
a disaster almost as great as defeat. The suc- 
cess of \^'ashington in the field, the statesman- 
ship of Hamilton, and the long and powerful 
efforts of Marshall upon the bench to impart 
vitality to the constitution of the United States, 
barely sufficed to hold the Union intact until 

the "inevitable conflict" broke out, and the Na- 
tion was finally established upon a permanent 
basis, (c) 

The Continental Congress was only a league 
representing the several colonies; the Articles 
of Confederation, while an improvement upon 
what might be described as an "Entente" be- 
tween the Colonies was little better than "a 
rope of sand" except so far as it was an earnest 
of more than complete accord and harmony of 

It seems likely that the secession movement 
at a later period was only the reanimation of the 
old disunion feeling which almost prevented the 
formation of a National Government. One 
might look in vain in the debates between the 
statesmen on the question of the relation of the 
state to the Federal Government for the explan- 
ation of the division of public sentiment. It ante- 
dates the foundation of the National Govern- 
ment; the attachment to the state as distinct 
from the National Government was inherited 
from the old Colonial system, and when new 
states were formed, they were considered by 
many as the creations of a confederacy, not of 
a National Government. This view has no bear- 
ings upon the subject of how the Constitution 
should be considered or construed as a legal 
document. The statesmen who framed it had 
their own views respecting what it meant, and 
it is certain, they were seriously divided on the 
subject. The debates undoubtedly furnished up 
to date arguments, but the sentiment of loyalty 
to the State as distinct from the National Gov- 
ernment, had its origin in the colonial period, 
the final adoption of the Constitution of the 
United States, after considerable delay and with 

(a) Kentucky declared "that the Con- 
stitution of the United States is a compact be- 
tween the several states, as states; each sover- 
eign state being- an integral part to the com- 
pact. That as in other compacts between equal 
sovereigns, who have no judge, each party has 
a right to interpret the compact for itself, and 
is bound by no interpretation but its own. 
That the general governmnt has no final right 
in any of its branches to interpret the extent 
of its own powers." (Col. Vol. 1, p. 2S5 by Jef- 

(b) Jefferson's Letter to Robert Garnet, February 
12, 1S26, Henry Adams, Vol. 1. p. 216. 

(c) As late as 1S04 there was a strong Fpileralist 
sentiment in favor of secession. (Bev. Mar. 

Vol. 3, p. 26.) 

the greatest reluctance, affording no great as- 
surance that the sections out of which a National 
Government was to be formed had really be- 
come fused into a national unit; a national pub- 
lic sentiment had not as yet been created or de- 
veloped. Even at the late period of the crisis 
which brought on a Civil War the habit was 
greatly prevalent of looking to the state as the 
final source of authority, and many, if not the 
majority of the people, during that conflict 
were decided by the action of their native states. 
The most notable instance was that of General 
Robert E. Lee who refused the command of the 
Federal Army and followed the action of his 
state, although personally opposed to secession. 

The present generation, educated in a differ- 
ent social and political atmosphere, are unable 
readily to appreciate the weakness of the senti- 
ment of nationality during the early days of 
the Republic. This state of mind transmitted 
to a later period influenced the secession move- 
ment which brought on the Civil War. Per- 
haps this mental attitude on the part of a large 
portion of the public had more to do with the 
final outcome of the controversy between the 
sections than the arguments or theories of John 
C. Calhoun and other statesmen of that school. 
Altho the individual is apt to suppose that he 
acts on his own initiative, it would probably sur- 
prise him to learn that he is to a large extent 
merely a creature of circumstances which have 
moulded him. 

The population of the United States at the 
close of the American Revolution was well under 
four million inhabitants spread over an area 
that e.xtended from the St. Lawrence and the 
Lakes to Florida, and west to the Mississippi 
River, already an immense empire, altho occu- 
pying less than half of its present area. The 
means of communication were of the most prim- 
itive character and consequently hindered to a 
great extent that social intercourse which tends 
to create a National public opinion. The press, 
that powerful agency for giving e.xpression to 
public sentiment and creating it, possessed a 
very feeble and uncertain existence. Illiteracy 
was quite prevalent throughout most of the 
country and the difficulty of reaching a public 

so scattered and almost inaccessible still further 
curtailed the influence of the press. The great 
bulk of the population lay east of the Alle- 
ghanies and along the navigable water courses 
which provided natural means of communication 
and intercourse, (a) 

The development of the modern agencies 
of communication were in those days unknown; 
it was before the days of railroads, steamboats 
automobiles, telephones and telegraphy, which 
are now so potent in facilitating the interchange 
of ideas. 

If one bears in mind the foregoing facts it 
may be possible to imagine the conditions that 
existed when Col. Thomas ^Marshall exiled him- 
self and several members of his family from 
his native state of Virginia and sought a new 
domicile in the Kentucky wilderness. 

The region west of the Alleghanies in those 
da3's was hardly effected by the tide of immi- 
gration which had been confined chiefly to the 
Atantic sea-board. It was still practically the 
wilderness of the savage and the trapper; a few 
hardy spirits formed the pioneer class living 
on the outskirts of civilization, and established 
a fringe of settlements in this region. 

It appeared that at this period Kentucky 
was the center of disaffection in the western 
country. It was quite evident that a careful 
supervision was required in that locality. Col. 
Thomas IMarshall seemed to be the man the 
situation especially demanded. 

In this connection it is well to consider what 
inflamable material was ready for the purpose 
of a designing schemer. The weakly assembled 
parts of the Federal Government and the slender 
tie that held them together made them a tempt- 
ing prey for political intrigue. Taking advantage 
of this state of affairs, Genet, the French Min- 
ister, (as heretofore indicated) sought to em- 
broil the United States in a European War al- 
most in defiance of the Federal authority. (/>) 

(a) Smith's Wealth of Nations, p. 26. 

(b) It would have been difficult to find a part of 
the United States in which anti-federal pas- 
sions blazed more fiercely than in Kentucky. 
The French emissaries found tiieir mission re- 
ceived the utmost favor. (Collins' History of 
Kentucky, p. 4 8.) 


^V vt ■•■■ ' ~ " ' " 

-Vv-- ■■*■ ^ir* ?/*■-- -. ■ 

A''.- 9^ ; 

.; I 

■^■; ^/ /'::-- 


Summing up the situation, then, we iind 
that Kentucky was the center of all the disturb- 
ing elements that threatened the solidity, if not 
the very life of the new Republic. Spain and 
afterwards France were disposed to impose con- 
ditions for the privilege of using the Mississippi 
River; England found a pretext for retaining 
the posts on the Lakes; the savage viewed with 
well grounded apprehensions the growth of the 
new government and the settlement and occu- 
pation of Kentucky was the first formidable 
advance of civilization across the Alleghanies 
and was a rude thrust into a veritable hornet's 
nest of savages; the independence of its pio- 
neer population verging to lawlessness could 
hardly brook the assertion of this strange nation- 
al authority though imposed ever so gently; and 
finally, to crown all these hardships and trials, 
influential public men sought to undermine the 
Federal authority which might have been 
reasonably considered more a phantom than a 

When all these sinister tendencies are con- 
sidered and that in Kentucky they reached 
their most acute state, it is easy to understand 
what must have inspired the migration of Col. 
Marshall to that region and from what source 
came that inspiration. The thought turns our 
attention to the man who for nearly eight years 

(a) We have certain pertinent facts before us, but 
the actual' truth will never be known. The 
clear perception of Washing"ton g'rapped the 
situation; he was fully aware of the dangers 
to the new g"overnnient from disorganizing^ 
tendencies. He must have known and appreci- 
ated the character of Col. Marshall and have 
relied upon him to exercise a vigilant super- 
vision in that important section. 

During the early days in Virginia, Beveridge 
says, "Thomas Marshall always acted with 

bore the burdens of a struggle checkered with 
many reverses and at its conclusion might well 
have his misgivings whether the victor's wreath 
was not a crown of thorns. 

Col. Marshall, when he emigrated to Ken- 
tucky, being fifty-three years of age, was past 
the time of life when youthful ardor and love of 
adventure would be likely to cause him to turn 
his back upon a life of ease and comfort, which 
must have been to him a welcome relief after his 
strenuous experience during the Revolutionary 
War. It was of the utmost importance, how- 
ever, to establish a post of observation during 
this unsettled period in a section which more 
than any other seemed to concentrate the dis- 
affection so rife in the Republic; someone was 
required with sufficient influence to curb the 
lawless spirits who are apt to mistake license and 
insubordination for the proper exercise of their 
liberties. The backwoodsman and Indian fighter 
were bold, open-hearted and adventurous, but 
they might easily become pliable material in the 
hands of a plausible and designing man. (a) 

A candid review of the foregoing statement 
of facts would therefore corroborate the tradition 
that policy and patriotic motives more than per- 
sonal interest inspired Col. Marshall with the 
idea of forming a settlement in Kentucky. 

Washington." This tends to show how close 
were their relations. (Bev. Marshall, Vol. 1, 
p. G4-note.) 

Colonel Marshall had also served under Wash- 
ington during the Revolutionary War. 
"In his boyhood. Colonel Marshall is said to 
have attended with George 'Washington the 
school of Rev. Archibald Campbell, Rector of 
Washington Parish. He also accompanied 

Washington in his surveying excursions for 
Lord Fairfax." &c. (The Marshall Family, by 
Wm. M. Paxton.) 

^ 3m iMitniam 

JT is hard to conceive at the present time 
of the obstacles that stood in the way 
of the statesman who undertook the work 
of construction at the end of the Ameri- 
can Revolution. The common danger having 
been removed, it remained to be seen what in- 
ternal tendencies might operate to draw the col- 
onies together. 

The first settlers, restless under political 
and religious restraints, sought in the Xew World 
a freedom denied them on their native soil. 
Their influence was considerable in shaping the 
early life of the colonies but subsequent migra- 
tions were of a different character and greatly 
modified social conditions. 

A virgin country where a totally new en- 

vironment gave scope to the development of 
free thought, produced a population quite dis- 
similar to the Mother Country and likewise jeal- 
ous of their rights and independence as separate 

Account must also be taken of the new lib- 
eralizing spirit of the age which made its effect 
felt in the Old World as well as the New. This 
spirit tended to question all sources of authority 
and was the fore-runner of the conception that 
government should be based upon the consent of 
the governed. The soil of America where the 
colonists had become accustomed to depending 
upon themselves in so many ways was congenial 
to the development of this theory. It was a logical 
sequence to the overthrow of the divine rights 
of kings, but it still left the question open re- 
specting the source and center of political author- 
ity. Evidently the people were compelled to as- 
sume this responsibility. 

It was easier to unite the Colonies for a 
common defense, imperfect as that Union man- 
ifested itself, than to establish a Government 
which embodied the principle of permanent au- 
thority. To subject the public will to self- 
imjjosed limitations in adopting a Constitution 
easily led to misconceptions respecting the 
necessity for such a limitation. Yielding to the 
natural tendency for considering the British form 
of Government as its pattern excepting in re- 
spect to certain changes that had already been 
determined, it became necessary to give the 
United States Constitution a character that 
made it radically different. A conservative 
sentiment which would preserve inviolate time- 
honored traditions had not yet been developed. 
It was obvious that constitutional safeguards 
must be rendered secure against a capricious 
popular sentiment. At a later period the de- 
cisions of Chief Justice Marshall pointed the 
way to establishing the United States Supreme 
Court as its true guardian. It was true that 
Great Britain had a Constitution, but Parlia- 
ment was the sole judge respecting its limita- 
tions and upon the judgement of Parliament the 
electorate could finally decide. The nescessity 
for imposing rules upon oneself is not readily 

preceived by most people; especially is this the 
case among those who are accustomed to taking 
the law in their own hands. It is significant 
that even the Almighty exercises His Will thru 
established laws. It is undoubtedly true that 
the greatest progress has been made in govern- 
ment when settled rules have been substituted 
for the exercise of capricious will power. 

The spirit which arose in opposition to 
governmental authority exercised in disregard 
of public sentiment was tempted to lawlessness 
and defiance of all authority. ((/) Instances of 
this evil tendency were frequent in the Colonies, 
and even to a far greater extent in France at that 
time, whose autocratic government was overturn- 
ed by a popular uprising shortly after the Ameri- 
can Revolution. Its successive revolutionary 
governments wanting in stability, seemed to rest 
upon quicksand. 

Perhaps the worst besetting sin of a popular 
government is disregard of legal authority. The 
ex-pression of "dead-letter laws" has passed into a 
by-word and is a symptom of this malady. 

Popular self-government has been tried in 
early times, under very difl'erent conditions. The 
experiments attempted in Greece and Rome were 
soon abandoned when their authority was ex- 
tended over a great extent of territory and over 
alien peoples. With the increase of wealth, the 
corruption of the franchise rapidly undermined 
the free expression of the popular will, while the 
vast alien population within the government 
proved a menace to the small number who exer- 
cised it. 

Before the establishment of the government 
of the United States, a subject or citizen en- 
tered into that condition by virtue of birth. It 
was a condition created by the operation of a 
natural law and not by the act of the individual. 
The necessity of readily absorbing the ever in- 
creasing population largely made up of foreign 
immigration resulted in devising a plan for 
naturalization. This made considerable addi- 
tion to the number of citizens of foreign birth. 
The development of this policy essentially mod- 

(a) See Bev. Marshall. Vol. 1, p. 275. 


ifies the conception of allegiance; it implies the 
right of the native born to change his allegiance 
and is a direct denial of the contention that it 
is an unalterable condition of birth. It gave 
expression to an advanced idea that attachment 
to a principle of government took precedence 
of natural allegiance. 

The liberal policy pursued by the United 
States in admitting to citizenship people of for- 
eign origin evaded the danger of having a large 
alien population within its borders bound by no 
ties of allegiance. With the gradual weakening 
of racial prejudice and the development of class 
antagonism, which did not confine itself to any 
country, but rapidly extended thruout a great 
part of Europe as well as in the United States, 
civilization was entering upon a new phase. 

In what way was the United States related 
to this change? Is it conceivable that estab- 
lishing a government based upon self-determina- 
tion, already timidly manifesting itself in the 
Old World, could of itself give such a vigorous 
impulse to the advancement of popular govern- 
ment. It would certainly be rash to claim that 
organizing such a Government in the New World 
was sufficient of itself to bring about the great 
social upheavals that almost immediately follow- 
ed in Europe and within a decade led to the es- 
tablishment of Republics to the south in Spanish 
America. The spirit to effect such a change had to 
some degree already manifested itself. But the 
example of such a government being already 
established, produced a tremendous impression 
and gave more definite direction to the yearning 
for a new order of things where the popular will 
might find expression. 

Now when authority, based upon hereditary 
principle, had been overthrown and a new basis 
of government was sought, the difficulty of 
creating a legal mechanism thru which the pop- 
ular will might function presented itself. The 
conser\'atism that still tenaciously held to the 
colonial government had to be respected while 
making effective the principle of popular gov- 
ernment. The result was about what might have 
been expected, declarations of broad and gen- 
eral principles embodying the most advanced 

ideas in government and a complicated system of 
checks and balances in distributing the powers 
of government between the state and National 

It is doubtful whether the people of the 
several states had a clear conception of the 
scheme devised to furnish them with a new 
government. Two ideas were clearly defined; it 
meant the destruction of the hereditary principle 
in government and a closer union of mutual pro- 

Obediance to laws imposed by an hereditary 
authority so long as the public conscience feels 
it a duty to respect that authority can be readily 
understood, but the duty to respect laws and 
authority self-imposed might easily lead to con- 
fusion in the minds of many. It might impress 
them more as a question oj expediency than a 
civic duty. The will of the majority is a vague 
and undefined sovereignty which is not likely to 
impress the imagination. Too often that major- 
ity is obtained thru the default of an awakened 
public sentiment to assert itself. Experience of 
the present day rather tends to indicate lax 
obedience and disrespect for official authority. It 
is instructive to study the practical working out 
of this principle in the United States at the 
present time. Colossal corporations, formerly of 
capital and afterward of labor, have appeared to 
overshadow the majesty of the law. The means 
provided by government for the redress of 
grievances are too frequently regarded with 
suspicion even tho emanating from the popular 
will. The tendency of society to break up into 
classes and the classes into groups, having 
special interests, is plain to the most casual 
observer. The result is the formation of organ- 
izations to promote the welfare of special inter- 
ests. This tendency is natural and, kept within 
reasonable bounds, serves useful purposes, but 
the temptation to abuse the possession of power 
is often too great to be resisted. 

The autocratic demands of labor leaders 
within a recent period have not infrequently 
prostrated the business and the transportation 
systems of the country; not satisfied with inter- 
fering with the enforcement of the law to pro- 

tect the rights of the community, they have not 
stopped short of overawing the officials in charge 
of the Government and compelled the enactment 
of the so-called Adamson law. This law was not 
enacted in compliance with a popular demand, 
but under compulsion. It was the summit to 
which labor autocracy has yet attained and 
marks the crowning official humiliation of our 
representatives in authority. The national crisis 
when the government became involved in the 
World War afforded an opportunity to exact 
demands favorable to certain organized groups 
from which the great mass of the people could 
derive no benefit. These instances indicate the 
danger to which a popular form of govern n\ent 
is exposed; the corrective remedy seems to be in 
an enlightened public opinion and in electing to 
public office servants with sufficient courage to 
maintain the ascendance of the law, and protect 
the public welfare against the assaults of an 
organized self-centered minority. 

Popular control in Government, means that 
social tendencies shall have free scope to develop. 
It is undoubtedly true that a definite policy can 
be conceived and carried out better under a 
strong autocratic government; it has more cer- 
tainty of purpose. It may be questioned 
whether the ship of state does not drift with 
too little guidance under the former, and whether 
under the latter failure to appreciate the signs of 
the times may not lead frequently to wanton and 
useless obstruction of necessary social changes. 
It may be that the attempt to attain perfection in 
the art of government or in creating the mechan- 
ism to that end is visionary, but assupiing that 
popular control which is bound to have its day is 
the best, what are the chances of its submitting 
to capable and conservative leadership? The 
question is easily asked, but how will it be 

The political organism bears an analogy to 
the body, being subject to certain physical laws, 
which have to be recognized. Social tendencies 
are no less insistent, whether they manifest tliem- 
selves as a disease that must run its course, or as 
a wholesome change that will ad\ance the well 
being of society by its acceptance. 

It is not at all unlikely that society in the 
long run will fare better under a form of govern- 
ment, which reflects its moods, Iho sometimes 
wrong, than under the wisest statesmanship, (ii 
that can be found,) which may occasionly op- 
pose the social tendencies that must be worked 
out by actual experiment. 

The advent of the American Republic be- 
tokened the dawn of a new era, destructive of the 
hereditary principle in government and fixing 
official responsibility. The hope of the future 
lies in the successful working out of this theory 
which at first was regarded as an experiment, but 
which has now well passed beyond that stage, 
yet stands in need of greater improvement 

The foregoing narrative deals mainly with 
political conditions explaining the purpose Col. 
Marshall had in view in migrating to Kentucky 
and establishing there his headquarters and 
post of observation. The following, however, 
seems worthy of being recorded: 

An adventure of Col. Thomas Marshall dur- 
ing the early days of his sojourn at the Old House 
has been preserved by tradition. It is related 
that riding home one evening, he became aware 
that he was being pursued by a band of Indians. 

Me acted as tho he suspected nothing. Being 
faintly visible in the twilight he rode his horse 
under the shade of some trees whose dense foliage 
served as a screen to hide him from \'iew. He 
then quickly dismounted and gi\'ing the horse a 
smarting cut with the whip, hid among the 
bushes at the road-side. The excited animal 
immediately started off at full speed and true to 
its instincts directed its course toward home. 

The Indians having discovered that their 
presence was known, but believing that the 
rider was still on the horse, started off in pur- 
suit. When the savages, like so many spectres, 
had vanished in the darkness and the clattering 
hoofs of the terrified horse were heard no longer, 
Col. Marshall made his way to Maysville, or 
Limestone, as it was formerly called, where he 
soon collected a party of hardy backwoodsmen 
to go to the rescue of his family, whom he had 
reason to believe would require help. 





Being continually exposed to the danger of 
sudden attacks, the frontiersman was trained to 
quick thinking and prompt action. Col. Mar- 
shall rightly conjectured that the horse would 
run home. He was not deceived in his calcula- 
tion. Mrs. Marshall, when she saw the riderless 
horse knew that there was danger near at hand. 
There was no time to speculate respecting the 
fate of her husband. His remains might be 
lying somewhere tomahawked and scalped, or he 
might be in a life and death grapple with his 
treacherous foe. It was the time for decision and 
cjuick action. The house was put in a state of 
defense. Scarcely were the doors and windows 
barricaded (a) than the savages arrived and sur- 
rounded the house. The attack was continued 
for quite a while against its resolute defenders 
until Col. Marshall and his ])arty arrived and 
routed the savages, who were in the act of set- 
ting fire to the house. 

An incident of the Old House at a later per- 
iod of its history may be of interest. It is well 
known that Kentucky was quite equally bal- 
anced in its sympathies between th? North and 
South during the crises of the Civil War. One 
acquainted with the state's history recalls the 
patriotic service rendered Ly Martin P. Marshall, 
the adopted son of Chief Justice Marshall, in 
keeping the state from straying out of the fold. 
There should be added to the Roll of Honor on 
account of their support of the Union cause the 
names of Hon. James K. Speed, Attorney-Gen- 
eral in President Lincoln's cabinet, and Benja- 
min A. Bristow, afterward Postmaster-General 
in President Grant's cabinet, and Kemp Goodloe, 
a prominent lawyer of Louisville. (/)) 

The language used by Washington at an 
early period about the western country, repre- 
.sented principally by Kentucky, would have 
been quite as applicable at the commencement 
of the Civil War: "Standing as it were upon a 
pivot, the touch of a feather would turn it 
either way." (r) 

In the year 1874, as nearly as can be 
ascertained, Hon. jNIartin Marshall received a 
visit from his loyal L^^nion compatriots above 

mentioned, whose services were so decisive in 
keeping the state loyal to the Federal Govern- 
ment. These gentlemen journeyed by boat from 
Louisville to Maysville, where they were met by 
the conveyance of Mr. Marshall and driven to 
the "Old House on the Hill." It would hardly 
seem a mere accident that such a place was 
selected as a rendevous for these loyal souls. 
Tradition has not preserved a detailed account 
of the conversation among them, but it is 
creditably reported that it was replete with 
anecdotes and reminisences about the "(_)ld 
House on the Hill' and the part it played in 
the National life when the Federal Government 
was being formed and its discordant elements 
were being knitted together. Still true to its 
traditions there survived the spirit that would 
preserve what had been created. 

When the hour of parting drew near all 
realized that it was for the last time. It is not 
necessary to intrude into the affecting farewell 
that was taken of the old place and of each 

'iVhen the walls of the "Old House on the 
Hill" rose above their foundations, the pioneer 
dressed in "homespun" clothes or skins of wild 
animals, and the savages were the only inhabi- 
tants of Kentucky. The region west of the 
Alleghanies was practically an unbroken wild- 
erness. Great herds of buffalo, elk, deer and 
other wild animals, also feathered game which 
came in immense flocks that darkened the sky, 
supplied in abundance the needs of the few in- 
habitants. The old flintlock (muzzle-loading) 
rifle was the constant companion of the frontiers- 

fa) T have Vipen told by a later g'eneratinn tliat 
the orisinal window.s of the house were quite 
.■iinaU and were afterward enlarsed. 

(hi The foUowing- graphic account is given of the 
la.ft ses.sion nf the Kentucky Legislature at- 
tended hy Unionists and Confederates before 
thpv had actually taken jiart in the struggle' 
"When the final session closed, as its members 
parted and clasped hands in adieu, they bade 
each other Good-Speed, well knowing that 
commissions in the Federal Army were already 
signed for many, and that for many more Con- 
federate soldiers were waiting as leaders: 
knowing too that when they met again to 
argue the question, it would be the assize of 
blood, and decided by the wager of }iattle." 
Collins' History of Kentucky. Vol. 1, p. 341. 

(c) .'^park's Washington. Vol. 9. p. G3. 

man, even when cultivating the ground. Only 
the savage or the pioneer skilled in woodcraft 
could safely venture in the great wilderness 
which lay west of the AUeghanies. 

"The Old House on the Hill" in those days 
was an imposing edifice with its walls of brick in 
a great wilderness, where only the log-cabin or 
the Indian wigwam furnished shelter for human 
beings. The few luxuries for the Marshall 
homestead, after being transported thru miles 
of wilderness to Wheeling and from that point 
floated down the river, presented a strong con- 
trast to the simple life of the backwoodsman. 
For many years this mansion continued a social 
centre after the savage had disappeared. With- 
in its walls have assembled the leading citizens 
of the state up to the period of the Civil War, 
and even afterward its prestige was not for some 
time dimmed. It had not long to wait to see 
itself displaced as a frontier post. The Louis- 
iana purchase, 1803, removed the barrier which 
held back the tide of emigration that has con- 

tinued to press westward until the frontier has 
finally disappeared. The business and indus- 
trial development of the state and the increase 
of wealth have revolutionized the social life and 
architecture. Today the sight-seer would hardly 
regard the Old House as an object worthy of his 
attention because of its imposing appearance. It 
possesses, however, a character and a history 
which leaves it without a rival. It has witnessed 
the painful struggle of the Federal Government 
to establish itself and take its place among the 
Nations of the earth; it has watched like a sen- 
tinel in the wilderness guarding against the in- 
roads of the natives, the intrigues of the courts of 
London and Madrid, the questionable adventurer 
of the Burr type seeking to stir up the elements of 
disaffection in a population too much accustomed 
to the unrestrained license of the frontier: it has 
felt the thrill which vibrated from the French 
Revolution, while Genet craftily sought to inflame 
the embers of discontent into a blaze, and having 
watched like a faithful guardian, it has grown old 
and been forgotten. 

'&ir IranBit gloria mmtftf* 






I— I 














Thomas Marshall, Sr., 1730-1802. 
Mary Keith M., his wife, 1737-1809. 

Their children buried here are: 
Thomas Marshall, Jr., 1760-1817. 
Frances Kennan, his wife, 1772-1833. 
Susan McClurg, 1774-1858. 
Charlotte Marshall Duke, (doubtful) 1777-1817. 

Children of Thomas Marshall, Jr: 
Thomas Marshall III, 1793-1853 ( no others of 

his family.) 
John Marshall, 1795-1859; 
Lucy Marshall, 1796-1835 (daughter of A.K.M.) 
Mary K. Green, 1797-1887; 
Eliza C. Marshall, 1801-1874; 
Martin P. Marshall, son of Charles M., Sr., 

Lucy Ambler Marshall (wife of N. D. Coleman) 

Charles A., 1809-1896; 
Phoebe A. (his wife) 1817-1902; 

Children of John and Lucy Marshall: 
Ann Maria (James Paxton, her husband) 
Fanny M. Chambers, 1818-1840; 

Mary McDowell Marsliall, 1837-1899; 
John Marshall, 1830-1896; 
James Marshall, 1835-1913; 

Children of M. P. and Eliza Marshall: 
Mary Willes Marshall, 1829-1908; 
R. M. Marshall, 1832-1911; 
Susan M. :\Iassie, 1838-1915; 
Phoebe A. Marshall, 1840-1915; 

Children of Charles A. and Phoebe Marshall: 
Maria, 1836-1862; 

Eliza (wife of Maurice Waller) 1841-1909; 
Sarah P., 1854-1854; 
Charles A., Jr., 1855-1859; 
Susan, 1843-1849; 
Sarah Belle Waller, 1878-1914; 
Fannie (daughter of Frances Marshall) 1854- 

Children of A. M. and Eliza F. Marshall: 
William F., 1861-1873; 
Eliza, 1857-1858; 
Thomas, 1871-1876; 
Louis, 1874-1910; 
Hester (wife of J. P. Marshall) 1852-1908. 



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