Who reads The Western American Newspaper in 1805? What today sounds like someone from California, or at least Arizona, in 1805 we are talking about Bardstown, Kentucky – Nelson County! How times change, and talk of western lands in one century is definitely not the same in another! Personal information was found in ads that were run in the paper. Most of the other written words were about the laws of Kentucky, items concerning the court, and in one, the second Inaugural Address of Thomas Jefferson! In 1805 it wasn’t quite as easy to visit Washington for the inauguration, or watch it on television!
I found this newspaper while searching for something else, but couldn’t believe my luck! Several extended family members are mentioned!
On page four of the January 11, 1805, paper is an advertisement to be inoculated for the ‘Cow Pox’ by Dr. Burr Harrison. He has ‘just received the genuine infection from Philadelphia.’ Notice the insertion of ‘f’ for ‘s’ – makes it a bit difficult to read. Burr Harrison was a descendant of the family of Susannah Harrison who married Moses Linton. I descend from his second marriage with Susannah Hancock.
On the same page is a list of letters remaining in the Bardstown Post Office. If they are not collected by April 1st they will go to the dead letter file. Benjamin Mason, Joseph Lewis, Mrs. Anne Lewis, are all in my lines. I can’t imagine why they didn’t pick up their mail. Getting a letter was a rare treat in those days. News from loved ones was a treasure to read and re-read many times.
On page three is a notice of leave by George Berry and Willis Hairgrove, to lay out a town on their land in Logan County, on big Muddy Creek, a branch of Green River. I found Muddy Creek on the map. It is rather long, but the only town on it today is where it starts on the Green River, a little town called Mining City, now in Butler County. I can’t say if this is the town, or if Mr. Berry and Mr. Hairgrove were able to sell lots in their town, or if the project fell through. Some of my Linton family went to Logan County.
David McClellan was in need of lots of butter in 1805. Was he starting a bakery? ‘I will contract for any quantity (not exceeding 2000 weight) of good Butter to be delivered in this place, any time between this and the first of April next, for which I will give a generous price in Cash or Merchandize – Any person on whose punctuality I can rely, that will contract for 100 weight or upwards, may receive their pay at any time, by giving their obligations to deliver the Butter in the time above specified.’
On page one was this advertisement wanting furs. William King, located at Mr. J. McMeekin’s Store, is going to open a furriers business in Bardstown, and offers the highest prices in merchandise for skins that will be used in his business – bear, black and red foxes, martins, minks, fishers (?), wolverines, raccoons, wild cats, black and spotted tame cats, rabbits, etc.
Several ads like this were on the first page. Plum Run is located near Fairfield in northern Nelson County close to the Spencer County border. Nicholas Minor, who was a Justice of Peace for Nelson County, was married into the Linton/Mason families. It is so interesting to find these little tidbits to make the lives of our ancestors come alive. Each time we find a little piece of information that person becomes more of a real person, that lived, worked and loved just as we do today.