Micah Taul memoir

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[Right side of page torn and sometimes unreadable] Talladega County, State of Alabama January the 1st 1848 I design the following, very imperfect Memoir of myself and family, sofar, as I have any informa tion [information], for the benefit of my descendants. I am the young est [youngest] of six sons. My father, Mother & brothers are all dead, and if I were to be cut off, my young Chil dren [children], would know but little of the paternal [?] or stock of their ancestors. Indeed my own infor mation [information] in relation to them is very limited. My father was an early emigrant to Kentucky. (1787) None of our relations on either side accom panying [accompanying] him - tho' a few years afterward two of my mothers brothers, & one of my fathers sisters, removed to & settled in our neighborhood with their families. My father & mother, uncle &c. have been dead many years - without my having obtained any particular information from them, in relation to our ancestors - in either line. My life, has been somewhat eventful, and I desire that my descendants, shall know at least something of it - and yes I am almost ready to shrink from the undertaking. I have passed them many painful and tragical scenes the remembrance of which is very poignant almost beyond endurance. And yet, I have been long impressed with the duty, which I am under to my children to leave them some ac count [account] of myself and of my [caried?] in life a portion of which I may well present to them, as a model for their imitation. Other portions, as examples, not to be followed. In fullfilment of this duty, I will with as little delay as possible, prepare this memoir which I have above proposed. Micah Taul

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The Autobiography of Micah Taul loaned the Kentucky State Historical Society by Jessie Roach Davis a Granddaughter of Col. Taul.

November 10, 1925. Brewton, Alabama.

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I was born in Montgomery County, State of Maryland about 12 miles north of the city of Washington, on the 14th day of May 1785. My fathers name was Ar thur Thomas, & my Mothers name was Mary Anne (her maiden name was Johnson). My father as I alway understood, was born in Bladensburgh 5 miles from Washington. My Mother was born & raised in Montgomery County, Md., near a small village, called Clarksburgh - where the family of her brother Regin Johnson, resided in 1815.11.17 when I was at Washington. My mother had six sons, Benjamin Johnson, Pentecost, Jonathan - Sevi, Samuel & Micah. (for our ages see family Bible). My father removed with his family, to Ken tucky in the fall of 1787 - and settled on Marble Creek, in Fayette County, 12 miles south of Lexing ton, and about 2 miles from the Kentucky River. The County was then a Wilderness - Lexing ton was a small village, consisting of a few cabins - only one covered with shingles. Our im mediate [immediate] neighborhood was pretty thickly settled. I distinctly remember two circumstances that oc curred, as we descended the Ohio River - One was I fell from the boat into the River. My father who was a very stout, active man, & possessed great firmness & presence of mind on all occa sions, sprung into the water, and saved me. The other was, two negro men were sent from our boat, in a canoe, at some point on the River, to the opposite side, & the canoe turned over, near the Bank - the negroes were both drowned - they were got out of the water, in a short time, & taken to a cabin, on the bank of the River where I saw them, lying on the floor by a fire. Attempts were made to resusitate them, but without success all tho' occasionally it was said, there were signs of life. I have at the time of writing this (13th of January 1848) a distinct impression on my mind of the features & appearance of the drowned negroes; and it is, I presume because the

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[in margin: 1787] (2) impression was strong & deep, on my infantile mind that it has been retained; the same may be said, of the other circumstance, in addi tion [addition] to which, the dry clothes that were put on me after being taken out of the water, were kept for 3 or 4 years, & wearing them only occasionally when put on, they were spoken of as the clothes that I was dressed in, after having been taken out of the River. I have no recollection of any parti cular [particular] circumstance for years afterwards. I cannot recollect, when I could not read. The first particular that I remember, at school was on a Monday. The father & mother, were members of the Baptist Church, of which the Revd. John Price was pastor. I was taken to church on Sunday. Parson Price preached & several persons were baptised. On Monday at noon, I separated from the boys, & joined the little girls at play. Whether Involuntarily offered, or the little girls at play. Whether I voluntarily offered, or the, little Girls out of mere wantonness got me to preaching, I don't remember. So it happened however, I preached them a sermon & baptised them, one and all. Of course the boys heard of it and I did not hear the last of it, for years. I must have been very young, probably not more than 5 years old. My brother Benjamin taught school. He had taught in Maryland before we left, being then only in his 17th year. He was a good, old fashioned English scholar, wrote a good hand. Was a good Arithmatician, Mathematician &c. and a youth of pure & unblemished morals and so continu ed [continued] to the day of his death. He was indeed a most extraordinary man He was temperate in every thing - never drank spirits - professed great equa nimity [equanimity] of temper - was always gay, lively & cheer ful [cheerful] - fond of company - and when pressed to take a social glass, would decline in the most pleasant manner, saying to his companions "drink as much as you please Gentlemen to keep up

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(3 your spirits - I can be as happy & as merry as the best of you, without drinking." He taught school for several years in fact until he married which I suppose was in 1795 or 1796. He married his cousin Mary Harris, who was an orphan without property - but a young Lady of great per sonal [personal] beauty and much admired. She was a [underlined: good] woman - a kind, affectionate wife, tender mother, tender & indulgent to a fault.

All the "school" education I ever received with a very small exception was from him. At the country schools, in those days, nothing was taught but reading, writing and "cyphering". The Bible & Testament, with Delworth's spelling book, were the only school books. I cyphered, thro' Del worth's [Delworth's]; arithmatic, twice. I went to school 3 months to an old named Dejarnett & 3 or 4 months in 1798 to an old man named Stephen Wood - a worthy, good old man, wrote against Lands & was a good [underlined: Arithmatician] - all said. About the year 1791, my uncle Samuel John son [Johnson] (mother's brother) wrote that he was de sirous [desirous] to remove to Kentucky, but could not could not think of coming without a pilot. My brother Pentecost was after great consultation selected to return to Maryland for Uncle. I distinctly remember the great interest that seem to be felt in the family on the subject. Great preparations were made, a horse had to be fattened - this rifle gun must be put in good order, and all the parapharnalia for a journey "thru the Wil derness" [wilderness], all the country at that time between the Crab Orchard, in Lincoln County & Cumber land [Cumberland] Gap, being unsettled, was called "the Wilderness". It was dangerous to travel the road which was infested with hostile "Indi ans" [Indians] and hostile "Whites" who robbed & murdered on the credit of the Indians. The travellers generally rendevouzed [rendezvoused] at the Crab Orchard, on an appointed day - and passed thro "the Wil

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