[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
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.
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 [Arthur] 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 [Kentucky] in the fall of 1787 - and settled on Marble Creek, in Fayette County, 12 miles south of Lexing ton [Lexington], and about 2 miles from the Kentucky River. The County was then a Wilderness - Lexing ton [Lexington] 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 [occurred], 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 [occasions], 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
[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
(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 [rendevoyed?] at the Crab Orchard, on an appointed day - and passed thro "the Wil