Tag Archives: War of 1812

Remember the Raisin!!

This marvelous tale of Larkin Nicholls Akers during the War of 1812 is discussed in Otto Rothert’s 1913 book, A History of Muhlenberg County.  I have an original copy, which was dedicated ‘To the memory of the Pioneers of Muhlenberg, who by their resolute deeds and heroic lives made possible the achievements of a later day, this History of Our Own Times and of theirs is dedicated.’  This book was given by Bettie J. Earns, to her mother, Effie Earns McNary, on January 1, 1914.  When looking at county history books it is always best to find the early ones.  The people that wrote these early books – 1870’s through 1930’s – generally knew the people they were writing about, or knew them through their parents or an older generation.

Today I want to share information with you about Larkin N. Akers.  He is listed as a hero of the War of 1812, and is buried in Old Liberty Cemetery in Muhlenberg County.  His gravestone has been painted to represent the flag of our country, the one he served so well.  I have not seen anything similar.

Larkin Nichols Akers, born 1794, Shelby County, Kentucky, died 1865, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.  War of 1812 – Private.  Old Liberty Cemetery, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

From the book –

A century has passed since the War of 1812 began.  It is said that for many years after this war accounts of daring deeds performed by Muhlenberg men were told by the soldiers who participated in some of the battles.  With the exception of a few, all of these old stories, although handed down for a generation or two, are now forgotten.  Most of the men who saw service in the second war with England passed away before the close of the Civil War.  George Penrod, who died January 22, 1892, at the age of about one hundred, was the last of the Muhlenberg veterans of 1812.

Practically all that is now told in local traditions of this war forms part of the story of the life of eight well-known local men:  Larkin N. Akers, who ran the gantlet after the battle of the River Raisin; Charles Fox Wing and Mosely Collins Drake, who took part in the battle of the Thames; Ephraim M. Brank, Alney McLean, Isaac Davis, Joseph C. Reynolds, and Michael Severs, who took part in the battle of New Orleans.

Larkin Nicholls Akers came to Greenville about twenty-five years after his miraculous escape at River Raisin.  He was a private in a company organized in Central Kentucky, where he lived at the time he enlisted.  The famous massacre of River Raisin took place in Michigan on January 23, 1813, and was one of the most cruel and bloody acts recorded in all our history.  The American forces, mainly Kentuckians, after fighting a fierce battle against a superior number of British soldiers and their Indian allies, surrendered under promise of protection from the Indians.  But the British made no attempt to carry out their promise.  On the contrary, they encouraged the bloodthirsty Indians by offering them pay for all the scalps they would bring in.  The unprotected and defenseless American prisoners, who were crowded into a few cold houses and pens, were soon in the hands of the merciless savages.  Some of them were killed outright or cruelly burned to death; a number were scalped alive.  Many were tortured in various ways, some by being compelled to run the gantlet.  In the confusion not many made their escape.  But of those few who ran the gantlet and came out alive, Larkin N. Akers was one.

Akers often told the sad story of his River Raisin experience to his family and friends while sitting around the fireside or while working in his tailor shop in Greenville.  The treatment he received during that massacre was almost beyond human endurance.  His body was virtually covered with scars.  Up to the time of his death, which occurred in July 1865, he frequently suffered intense pain from a fractured skull and other wounds inflicted by the Indians.

This surgeon’s affidavit was made in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, on February 23, 1828.  It says that Larkin N. Akers was a Private in the Company of Captain Thomas Lewis in the 13th Regiment of the United States Infantry, and is rendered incapable of performing the duty of a Soldier.  It continues that on May 5, 1813, ‘being engaged in a fight with the British and Indians, at or near a place called the Rapids of Miami, in the district or territory of Michigan, he received four wounds in his head, seemingly with a tomahawk.’  He was considered three-fourths disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor.

Larkin N. Akers married Sally Harrison, who was related to General William Henry Harrison.  Mr. and Mrs. L. N. Akers were the parents of five children:  Anna Akers, who married John A. Stembridge; Jane Akers, who married William Lindsey; Matilda Akers, who after the death of her first husband, David Donevan, married Joseph Randall, both of whom lived in Hopkinsville; Thomas Akers, who married Lera Boswell, of Princeton; Sarah Catherine Akers, who married Charles W. Lovell, of Muhlenberg.

Thomas Corwin Anderson Biography

Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, Battle & Kniffin, 1888

Montgomery County

Thomas Corwin Anderson, one of the most noted short-horn cattle breeders of the United States, was born August 24, 1845, in Montgomery County, Kentucky, at ‘Side View’ farm, where he now lives, on the turnpike between Paris and Mt. Sterling, and which is one of the most beautiful tracts of land in the Blue Grass region.  He is the only child of John Jay and Margaret (Mitchell) Anderson, both of pioneer families of Kentucky.  His grandfathers were Captains in the War of 1812, and his great-grandfather Anderson a conspicuous officer in the war of the Revolution.  Between fourteen and fifteen years of age the subject of our sketch enlisted in the Federal army, where, by his youthful acts of bravery, quick intelligence, and manly deportment, he soon won the admiration and esteem of officers and men.  He attracted the attention of General Nelson, who suggested that he should receive a military education.  This meeting the approval of his family, he was recommended to the U.S. Naval Academy, and received the appointment through Colonel William H. Wadsworth, Representative in Congress from his district.  he remained at the academy some three years, but, preferring an independent life on a farm to that on the ocean wave, he gave it up, and finished his education at Yale College.  October 12, 1870, he was married to Miss Annie English, of Louisville, Kentucky, daughter of Colonel Sam S. English, a prominent lawyer of that city.  He has two children, handsome, intelligent boys:  English and Jay; the fifth generation who have occupied this farm.  From early childhood Mr. Anderson has been a sufferer from weak lungs, yet he is a man of great energy and nerve.  He is thoroughly informed in regard to his business, and having a library well supplied with herd books, Short-horn histories, etc., no one is better posted in knowledge of pedigrees.  He is very fond of reading, and is a man of varied information.  He is pleasing in manner, exceedingly hospitable, and has many friends.  Mr. Anderson owns the largest individual herd of Short-horn cattle in the United States.

James C. Miller Biography

from History of Daviess County, Kentucky, Inter-State Publishing Company, 1883

Masonville Precinct

James C. Miller resides on the same farm in Masonville Precinct where his father settled in 1824, and where he was born August 26, 1830.  His father, Fleming Miller, was born in Henrico County, Virginia, November 1, 1791.  He followed teaming until the outbreaking of the War of 1812, when he enlisted in Captain De Val’s company.  After the war, he returned to Virginia and married Elizabeth Ally, and they came to Shelby County, Kentucky, where they had a family of four children, one living – Pleasant J., a tobacco merchant of Owensboro.  The mother died in Shelby County, and Mr. Miller then married Rosa Boswell, and then moved to Daviess County in 1824; soon after his arrival here she died.  He then married Sallie Crawford in 1829, a native of Shelby County, Kentucky.  He died June 28, 1860, and his wife died December 23, 1844.  James C., subject of this sketch, was the oldest of their eight children.  He was married to Amy S. Miller, January 23, 1852.  She was born in Ohio County, Kentucky, and was a daughter of James and A. (Anderson) Miller.  After his marriage, he settled on the old homestead with his father one year; then moved on a farm in Ohio County, Kentucky.  His wife died July 22, 1854, leaving one daughter – Sallie C., born February 27, 1853, now the wife of Dr. J. C. Sutton, residing in Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.  After his wife died, he returned to Daviess County with his father.  He married Frances Y. Haynes, February 12, 1856.  She was native of Ohio County, Kentucky, born December 20, 1832, and was a daughter of Josiah and Frances Y. (Howard) Haynes.  After his marriage Mr. Miller settled on his farm in Ohio County and remained until 1870, when he returned to Daviess County and settled on a farm, two miles east of Whitesville, in Boston Precinct, where they remained until December 1878, when he purchased the old farmstead farm in Masonville Precinct, where he and family still reside.  Mr. and Mrs. Miller have had seven children, six living – Emma N., born March 14, 1857; Josiah H., born April 12, 1860; Henry C., born June 26, 1862; Fannie R., born July 12, 1866; Mary E., born January 27, 1869, and Amy B., born Jun 11, 1872, all residing with their parents except the eldest son, Josiah H., who is teaching school in Western Kentucky Normal School at South Carrollton.  Mr. and Mrs. James C. Miller are members of the Baptist church at Bethabara, as are all their children.  Mr. Miller is a member of Hodges Lodge, A. F. & A. M., at Whitesville.  He was Justice of the Peace in Ohio County four years; was appointed in Daviess County in 1880, to fill out an unexpired term, and elected in 1882 for whole term.  He was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Daviess County in 1875, and held that office three years.  He has held various other local offices of trust in his precinct.  Mr. Miller owns a fine farm of 165 acres where he resides, 125 under cultivation.  In politics, he is a Democrat.  He is of Irish and German descent.  Mrs. Miller’s family was English and Welsh decent.

Peter Jett – Culpeper County, Virginia, to Franklin County, Kentucky

Just an interesting tidbit, I’m now reading Capital on the Kentucky by Carl E. Kramer, a two hundred year history of Frankfort and Franklin County – absolutely fascinating!  William L. Jett, son of the Peter Jett of this biography, is mentioned in the book as being a law partner of Patrick U. Major, in the late 1870’s to 1880’s.

from Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, 1887

Franklin County, Kentucky

Peter Jett was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, June 3, 1804, and is a son of Matthew and Susan (Tapp) Jett, also natives of Culpeper County, and of English origin.  Matthew Jett was born about 1776, served in the War of 1812, came to Kentucky in 1830 and settled on a farm between Frankfort and Lawrenceburg, in Franklin County, and died in 1854.  Peter Jett was reared a farmer, but also learned carpentering, and for years was a contractor and builder.  He settled in Franklin County, Kentucky in 1827, was appointed county assessor, and after the adoption of the new constitution was elected to that office, in which  he served eighteen or twenty years.  May 27, 1829, he married Miss Julia Ann, daughter of Stephen Arnold of Franklin County.  Mrs. Julia Jett died in 1865, and in 1871 Mr. Jett married Mrs. Caroline Cromwell Giltner, a native of Fayette County.  To the first marriage of Mr. Jett there were born three children:  Martha J. (Mrs. Reid), Matthew Edgar and William L.  The last named was born in 1841, and was a Confederate soldier, married Miss Susan Gresham, of Monroe County, Georgia, and was appointed post office inspector under Cleveland.  Peter Jett has been chairman of the Franklin County Democratic County Committee for twenty years.

Franklin Gorin Obituary

img_6009Franklin Gorin, May 3, 1798 – December 8, 1877.  Glasgow Municipal Cemetery, Barren County, Kentucky.

from The Glasgow Kentucky Weekly Times, Barren County

13 December 1877

Hon. Franklin Gorin

With the death of the venerable gentleman whose name heads this article almost the last of the first inhabitants of the county have passed away. Franklin Gorin was the son of Gen. John Gorin, one of the first settlers of this part of Kentucky, and was born in this place on the 3rd of May, 1798. Around him clustered many memories of the past, as he was the first white child born in Glasgow, if not in the county, and the best part of his long and eventful life was spent among the scenes of his boyhood and friends of his youth. When he reached the years of maturity and assumed the responsibilities of life he chose the profession of law, and soon by his diligence, backed by his native brightness of intellect, won for himself an enviable name and fame in those days when no man of mere ordinary ability could hope to make much mark in the State, and when Kentucky was in her palmy days of great lawyers and intellectual men. He for a while lived in Nashville, and while there entered into a partnership with Judge Bell, who afterwards ran for the presidency of the United States on the celebrated Bell-Everett ticket, and was by many thought to be even the sounder and abler lawyer of the two. In the course of his long career at the bar he measured swords in forensic debate with some of the ablest of Kentucky’s lawyers and never with discredit to himself, and formerly was the peer of any lawyer in the State. He represented this county in the Legislative halls more than once and could have done so oftener had he wished, as he was at one time the most popular man in the district and as well-known as any in Kentucky, and always until his retirement from active life took a leading position in the political struggles of the day. While he was a man of great and varied knowledge of all branches of his profession, he was also a lover of society, and wealth had no higher purpose with him than to minister to the wants of his family and many friends. His tastes were emphatically of the cultivated and social order, and no one can say aught against his charity, while many will remember with pleasure his plain and lavish hospitality. He was once the owner of the world renowned curiosity, the Mammoth Cave, and of much years ago was numbered among the wealthy as well as brilliant men in the district. A man of bright intellect, cultivated and polished by continual association with the highest classes of society he adorned the circle of his friends and associates and was looked up to and respected by all. Many will hear of his death with regret and drop a tear of sympathy and remembrance of the times of long ago when he was in the zenith of power, and many who have long since been laid to rest were playing their part on life’s checkered board. He was buried at the old family burying ground in this place, verging at the time of his death upon the close of his four-score years. Few men have been more prominently before the people and sustained a more unblemished character for a longer period than Franklin Gorin.

img_6010Deborah P. Gorin, wife of Franklin Gorin, born in Cherry Valley, New York, 1820 – 1900.

img_1288John Gorin, Sargent Continental Line, Revolutionary War, War of 1812.  May 15, 1763 – August 5, 1837.  Father of Franklin Gorin.

Since it mentions that Franklin Gorin was buried at the old family burying place in the obituary, I believe the graves were moved the municipal cemetery at some point, or the family cemetery became the city municipal cemetery.

Louis A. Bersot Biography

from Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, 1887

Oldham County

Louis A Bersot was born in Carroll County, Kentucky, in 1842.  His father, Julius Bersot, was born in Switzerland in 1803, was of French parentage, and came to America in 1816; settled in Carroll County, and married Miss Maria Poindexter, daughter of Robert Poindexter, of Frankfort, Kentucky, who was in seven campaigns, and twice wounded during the War of 1812, and who was a brother of Governor Poindexter of Mississippi, a trusted friend of Henry Clay.  Mrs. Maria Bersot died in 1868, and her husband, Julius, in 1875, both being members of the Baptist Church.  Louis A. Bersot is the eighth of eleven children, and was reared on the home farm near Ghent, in Carroll County.  He was educated at Eminence College, afterward taught school at Jericho, Henry County, and in 1870 entered the ministry in the Christian Church.  He has had charge of Westport Church about seven years, and the Sandhill Church, about four years, and also of the South Jefferson Church, twelve miles below Louisville.  His residence is on his farm of ninety acres, near Brownsboro.  In 1864 he married Miss Ada R. Smith, of Jefferson County, a daughter of Benjamin Smith, who was a soldier in the War of 1812, a native of Virginia, and of German descent.  The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bersot are eight in number, and named as follows:  Panolia E., Lizzie J., Letellier F., Julius S., Louis O., Addie M., Vernon C. and Vassie M.  Mrs. Bersot is also a member of the Christian Church, and Mr. Bersot is a Knight of Honor.

Preston J. Hill Biography

from Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, 1887

Warren County

Preston J. Hill, second of the three sons of Elijah W. and Susan (Potter) Hill, was born April 14, 1853, five miles east of Bowling Green.  Elijah W. Hill is an extensive farmer, and formerly owned a large number of slaves.  He is a leading member of the Baptist church; also of the K. of H. [Knights of Honor]; before the war he was a Whig, but is now a Democrat.  He is a son of Nathan and Ann Hill, both natives of South Carolina, born respectively in 1799 and 1802.  They were brought to Warren County, Kentucky, in an early day.  Nathan Hill was the owner of a large form and some forty or fifty Negroes.  He died in 1875, his widow in 1881.  He was a son of Joseph Hill, of South Carolina.  Mrs. Susan Hill’s parents, Frederick and Elizabeth (Kirby) Potter, were natives of South Carolina, and were brought to Warren County in childhood.  Frederick Potter was a son of Thomas Potter; was born August 12, 1785; was a soldier in the War of 1812, and died in November 1868.  His wife was born in January, 1790, and died in January 1867.  Thomas Potter was one of the first settlers of Warren County, where he became a large land and slave owner.  Mrs. Elizabeth (Kirby) Potter was a daughter of Jesse Kirby, a soldier in the war for independence; he emigrated from South Carolina to Kentucky about 1795; was born in October, 1757, and married Sophia Choice in 1778.  She was born in September, 1760; they lived together seventy-five years.  Preston J. Hill was reared on a farm and educated at Bethel College.  He now resides on a farm two miles east of Bowling Green, where he is engaged in farming, and in breeding short-horn cattle, Berkshire hogs and Cotswold sheep.  October 25, 1877, he married Nellie R. Sansom, of Evansville, Indiana, who has borne him one child.  Mrs. Hill is the daughter of Saunders and Susan (Watts) Sansom.  Her father was born in England, came to the United States in 1852, and settled in Evansville, Indiana.  He was a contractor and builder, and died in 1878.  His wife is a daughter of William Watts, and was born in Indiana in 1829, shortly after her parents came from England.  Mr. Hill and wife are members of the Baptist Church; he is a member of the K. of H.  In politics, in which he takes but little interest, he is a Democrat.