James Mason Rawlins
What we Know - Second Generation

The information on the above JAMES MASON RAWLINS has been passed down orally and has been published. However, at this time the Compiler has no proof by virtue of Bible, Record, or Letter of the facts of descent from James Mason Rawlins other than the fact that both JAMES RAWLINS, JR. and his Uncle REVEREND RODERICK RAWLINS, made claim to the same set of facts.

The information regarding the rest of the individuals in this compilation are documented whensofar as has been possible.

James Rawlins, Sr. *

Rutherford County, North Carolina, circa 1766

[Lincoln County, Kentucky was created 1780 from Kentucky County, Virginia.]

[Logan County, Kentucky was created 1792 from Lincoln County, Kentucky.]

[Warren County, Kentucky was created 1796 from Logan County, Kentucky.]

[Barren County, Kentucky was created 1798 from Green and Warren Counties, Kentucky.]

[Washington County, Tennessee embraced what is now the entire state of Tennessee and included part of what is now North Carolina.]

[Davidson County, Tennessee was created 1793 from Washington County, Tennessee.]

[Rutherford County, Tennessee was created 1803 from Davidson County, Tennessee.]

[Bedford County, Tennessee was created 1807-08 from Rutherford County, Tennessee.]

Warren County, Kentucky 16 April 1799.

Warren County, Kentucky 1800/1801 tax lists.

Warren County, Kentucky 1807 bought land from Frederick Edwards on Big Sinking Creek, 100 acres on the North side of said Creek.

Warren County, Kentucky 1808 conveys 70 acres of above land to John Johnston.

Founder of Smith's Grove, Warren County, Kentucky.

Appointed Captain of 61st Regiment of Militia by Governor Christopher Greenup, at Frankfort, Kentucky of 11 October 1805.

Barren County, Kentucky June 1806 [Compiler notes - see conveyances of land in Warren County, Kentucky in 1808.]

Bedford County, Tennessee circa 1810.

Served in War of 1812.

Orange County, Indiana circa 1813.

Appointed Justice of Peace in Harrison County, Vincennes, Territory of Indiana on 18 August 1814 by Governor Thomas Posey.

Orange County, Indiana, Jackson Township, 1816.

Appointed Justice of Peace in Jeffersonville, Orange County, Indiana in 1816 by Governor Thomas Posey.

Crawford County, Indiana 17 November 1818 he gives consent for the marriage of Elizabeth Sharp to James McNairy by William Hart, Justice of Peace.

Lawrence County, Illinois, circa 1819.

Saint Clair County, Bellville, Illinois in 1826.

Greene County, Illinois April 1826.

Adams County, Illinois 1835.

Lived 1/2 mile North of where Wilmington now stands at time of his death, Will County, Illinois.

Born: circa 1766, Rutherford, North Carolina.

Married: circa 1780, North Carolina.

Death: 6 August, 1843, Greene County, Illinois.

Burial: Rawlins Cemetery, Patterson, Illinois, no marker (1976).


Born: North Carolina.

Died: 13 August 1843, Greene County, Illinois.

Burial: Rawlins Cemetery, Patterson, Illinois, no marker (1976).

Issue: 11 Children,

  • 1. Charles Rawlins, born circa 1791, North Carolina (unfortunate), [idiot] did not marry, NO ISSUE - LINE ENDS.
  • 2. Mary (Polly) Rawlins, born circa 1794, North Carolina.
  • 3. (Elder) William Martin Rawlins, born 5 July 1796, Kentucky, (father of John Martin Rawlins, married Polly Minerva Parks, note made because of confusion of names).
  • 4. James Rawlins, Jr., born 16 April 1798, near Pilot Knob, Warren County, Kentucky.
  • 5. Nancy Rawlins, born circa 1804, Kentucky.
  • 6. John Rawlins, born 14 September, 1805, Warren County, Kentucky.
  • 7. Samuel Rawlins, born circa 1815 (unfortunate) [idiot] did not marry, NO ISSUE - LINE ENDS.
  • 8. Rebecca Rawlins, born 27 May 1810, Kentucky.
  • 9. Roderick Rawlins (may have died young).
  • 10. Robert Rawlins (may have died young)
  • 11. Sarah (Sally) Rawlins, born circa 1818, probably in Indiana.


Will of James Rawlins, Sr.

Filed: Greene County, Illinois, 25 September 1843 in Book A, Page 392-3

Completed 7 October, 1843.

Know ye, that I, James Rawlins, of the County of Greene and State of Illinois being admonished by my advanced age, infirmity and declining health that my time is short upon the earth, Am finding it to be my duty to so dispose of my property as to do justice to my wife and children who may survive me, And whilist I can now in a comfortable state of health and aged nearly 76 years, And being of a sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and declare this as my last Will and Testament.

First, I desire my body to be decently buried in a piece of ground now used as a burying ground in the North West corner on the North half of the West half of the North West quarter of Section Eighteen in Township Twelve North of Range Twelve West of the third principal meridian, being the same tract on which I now reside in Greene County.

Second, I give, bequeath and devise to my beloved wife, Lydia Rawlins, the following tracts of land to wit, the North East quarter of the North East quarter of section thirteen in Town Twelve North of Range Thirteen West. Also all of the North half of the West half of the North West quarter of Section Eighteen in Town Twelve North of Range Twelve, West of the 3rd Meridian in Greene County, exception acre and a half out of the North West corner of the last described tract of land in an oblong form, running North and South, which is hereby devised and set apart as a burying ground for my family, thru connections and descendant, to have the use and occupancy of said tracts of land during her natural life. And after the decease of my said wife, I give and devise said tracts of land except the burying ground, to my two unfortunate sons, Charles and Samuel who now live with me, to be used and occupied by them jointly during their joint lives, and so thru to the survivor, - And not to be sold by them or either of them or encumbered by them or either of them without the consent of my sons Will and John Rawlins who are hereby appointed Trustees to superintend the property hereby devised to said Charles and Samuel, - I further give and bequeath all my personal property and household furniture of every name and description to said wife, Lydia, during her natural life and all the personal effects hereby bequeathed after the death of said wife I give and bequeath to my said sons Charles and Samuel jointly and to the survivor, subject however in the sale or disposition of any part or it to the supervisions of my said sons William and John, Trustees as aforesaid of the survivor of them. It is my desire that my sons Charley and Samuel reside on the premises with their mother and be kind to her during her natural life.

Third, I give and bequeath to my sons William, James and John each one dollar. I give and bequeath to my daughters, Rebecca Cotter, Polly Spencer and Nancy Compton each one dollar. These small bequeaths are made in consideration of my having settled upon each of them heretofore an amount equal to the devices and bequeaths herein made to my wife and unfortunate sons Charley and Samuel, - hereby appoint my wife Lydia and my sons John, William, and James as Executors of this Will, without giving bond or security.

Fourth, and last, I hereby declare and publish this my last will and testament given under my hand and seal this 12th day of June 1842.

Signature looks like Jamy Rawling (Seal)


See: 1800 Tax List for Warren County, Kentucky

See: Deed dated 1827, Warren County, Kentucky for land on Sinking Creek to James and Lydia Rawlins while they were living in Greene County, Illinois.

See: 1830 Greene County, Illinois Census.

See: Page 97, 1850 Greene County, Illinois Census for Samuel Rawlins.

See: Page 241, Second Census of Kentucky, 1800, Taxpayers in 79 Manuscript Volumes Extant of tax lists of the 42 counties of Kentucky in 1800, by G. Glenn Clift, Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1960.

See: Page 17, Deed Abstracts of Warren County, Kentucky, 1791 - 1812 (Deed Books A1, B2, C3, D4, E5) Compiled and Edited by Joyce Martin Murray of Dallas, Texas: "Page 43, 16 October 1798 Note from LAURENCE SMITH for 1,000 Pounds payable to JAMES RAWLINS, in payment for 200 acres of land including Rawlins land and the improvements of John Walker in South part of big grove 4 miles South West from Dripping Spring. Wit: Charles Rawlins, Jeremiah Wright, Peter Prat_____."

See: Page 5, Warren County, Kentucky Marriages, 1797 - 1851, form the Original Marriage Bonds and Consents by Helen Thomas, Mary Rabold and Elizabeth Price, 1970: "Manley, Johnathan and Poly Pittman, April 1, (1800 or 1807), her consent by Step-father (Peter Brunt) witness by James and Lydia Rawlins."

See: Page 12, Barren County, Kentucky Order Book Number 3, 1806 - April Court 1812, by Eva Coe Peden, 1979: "June Court 1806: Alderson VS. Manley Appeal Dismissed & former Judgement affirmed with Cost. Ord that Johathan Manley pay Peter Brents one days attendance & traveling 15 miles both made Ads Alderson same to pay James Rollins one days attendance & traveling 15 miles Ads Alderson. Same to pay Roderick Rollins one days attendance Ads same.

See: Page 35 Deed Abstracts of Warren County, Kentucky, 1791 - 1812 (Deed books A1, B2, C3, D4, E5) Compiled and Edited by Joyce Martin Murray of Dallas, Texas: "Page 445 14 November 1807 FREDERICK EDWARDS, Jefferson County, Kentucky, to JAMES RAWLINS for 50 Pounds, tract on Big Sinking Creek containing the half of a 200 acre Survey made for said Edwards by JOHN HALL. Wit: JAMES RAWLINS, WILLIAM WRIGHT, LEWIS PITMAN."

See: Page 67, Deed Abstracts of Warren County, Kentucky, 1791 - 1812 (Deed Books A1, B2, C3, D4, E5) Compiled and Edited by Joyce Martin Murray of Dallas, Texas: "Page 211, 8 September 1808 and in 33 year of American Independance, JAMES RAWLINS conveys to JOHN JOHNSTON, for 50 Pounds, 70 acres, part of tract originally granted to FREDERICK EDWARDS assign of JAMES MONTGOMERY. Wit: JOHN BICKHAM, LEWIS PITMAN, MOSES JOHNSON."

See: Page 13, Volume V, Number III, The Hoosier Journal of Ancestry.

See: History of Greene County Illinois, Its Past and Present, Illustrated, Chicago, Donnelley, Gassette & Loyd, Publishers, 1879.

See: Page 263, Book ____, Deed Records, Greene County, Illinois, Recorded 6 April 1827, James Rawlins and wife to Samuel Allen, Jr., Indenture, 13 December, 1826, between James Rawlins and Jane his wife of Greene County, Illinois and Samuel Allen, Jr., of Greene County, Illinois for the sum of $130.00, all for the South half of the North East quarter of Section One in Township Eleven North of Range Twelve West in the District of Edwardsville, containing 80 acres. Signed James Rawlins, Jane (her mark) Rawlins. Witnesses were David Barrow and George W. Allen.

See: Page 195, Book F., Deed Records Greene County, Illinois, Recorded 19 November, 1835, James Rawlins and wife to Roderick Rawlins and Rachael Morrow, executors, Indenture, James Rawlins and wife Jane, of Adams County, Illinois and Roderick Rawlins, Executor and Rachael Morrow Executrix of the estate of Samuel Morrow, deceased of Greene County, Illinois. James Rawlins and Jane, his wife, for the sum of $50.00, convey a certain tract of land in Greene County, Illinois unto Roderick and Rachael for the use and benefit of Rachael Morrow and the rightful heirs of Samuel Morrow deceased for her lifetime and then to descend to his heirs, North half of the West half of the South-West quarter of Section ten in Township Eleven North of Range Eleven West of the Third Principal meridian. Signed James Rawlins, Jane (her mark) Rawlins. Witnesses Edward B. Magruder, Seth Chipman.

See: Page 569, Book F, Deed Records, Greene County, Illinois, Recorded 26 May 1836, James Rawlins and wife to George G. Chapman, Indenture, James Rawlins and wife Jane of Green County, Illinois to George G. Chapman of Greene County, Illinois, for the sum of $320.00, half quarter section containing 80 acres being the East half of the North East quarter of section Twelve in Township Eleven North of Range Twelve West. Signed James Rawlins, Jane (her mark) Rawlins. Witnesses John Allen, Alden Rhoads.

See: Page 531, Book H, Deed Records, Greene County, Illinois, Recorded 24 July 1837, Joshua Hanks and wife to James Rawlins, Indenture, 11 April 1836, Joshua Hanks, and Emelia Hanks of Greene County, Illinois to James Rawlins of Greene County, Illinois for the sum of $350.00, for the North half of the West half of the North West quarter of Section 18 of Town Twelve North of Range Twelve West of the third principal meridian, 42 acres and 68/100ths; and the South West quarter of the North East quarter of Section Thirteen Township No. Twelve North of Range No. Thirteen West of the third principal meridian, 40 acres; and the South East quarter of the North East quarter of Section No. Thirteen Township No. Twelve North Range No. Thirteen West of the third principal meridian, 40 acres.

See: Page 509, Book K, Deed Records, Greene County, Illinois, Recorded 21 April 1838, James Rawlins and his wife to William Douglas, Indenture 4 October 1847 between James Rawlins and Elizabeth his wife of Greene County, Illinois and William Douglas of Greene County, Illinois for the sum of $70.00 29 acres and 50/100 of the East side of the North East quarter of the North West quarter of Section No. One Township No. Twelve North Range No. Thirteen West of the third principal meridian, James Rawlins and wife Lydia warrant unto said party of the second part [William Douglas - Compiler's note]. signed James Rawlins, Lydia (her mark) Rawlins. NOTE: In all other instances she is called Lydia in this document.

Page 181, Book L, Deed Records, Greene County, Illinois, Recorded 17 June 1839, Samuel Monday to James Rawlins, Indenture, 18 May 1839, Samuel Monday and Angeline his wife of Greene County, Illinois and James Rawlins of Greene County, Illinois, for the sum of $600.00, tracts being the North West quarter of the North West quarter, also the North East quarter of the North West quarter of Section fifteen; also the North West quarter of the South East quarter of Section ten in Township twelve North of Range Eleven West of the third principal meridian, 120 acres. Signed Samuel Monday, Angeline (her mark) Monday. Witnessed Susanna (her mark) Peters, John Thompson.

NOTE: Marriage records of Lincoln County, Kentucky checked - no record.

NOTE: Marriage records of Logan County, Kentucky checked - no record.

NOTE: Page 137, Crawford County, Indiana Probate Book A, 8 June 1831, shows Wilson Scott guardian of Elizabeth Sharp, minor, heir to James Sharp - Elizabeth now wed to Benjamin Gregory.

NOTE: James Sharpe, Josiah Sharpe and William Sharpe appear in the 1812 Bedford County, Tennessee tax records.

NOTE: Veterans Records have no Bounty Land Warrant of record.

Rev. (Elder) Roderic(k) Rawlins

Guilford County, North Carolina, 1776

Campbellite Preacher

Barren County, Kentucky 1800, tax list

Barren County, Kentucky June 1806

Bedford county, Tennessee 1812 Tax Lists.

Lawrence County, Indiana 1812 on White River

Member of Company of Rangers while in Indiana - 2 years against Indians.

"First Settlers in Bono Township, (Lawrence County History) seem to be Roderick Rawlins and his 2 nephews, James and Joseph, who settled in the spring of 1812 in section 22 near Scotville. The town of Bono is the oldest in the County having been laid out and settled in 1816 by William Hoggatt, Marston G. Clark and Joseph Kitchell."

Bono Township is in the South East corner bounded on the North by the East fork of White River and on the West by Marion Township.

War of 1812 and Black Hawk War.

Member of Company of Rangers while in Indiana - 2 years against Indians.

Monroe County, Indiana, 23 September 1816 purchased North West 1/4 Section 3, Township 9 North, Range 2 West.

Monroe County, Indiana, 26 September 1816 purchased North West 1/4 Section 20, Township 9 North, Range 1 West.

Monroe County, Indiana, 11 March 1818 purchased West 1/2 Section South East 1/4 Section 9, Township 9 North, Range 1 West.

Monroe County, Indiana, 11 May 1818 purchased South West 1/4 Section 9 North, Range 1 West.

1818 - late 1820, County Treasurer of Monroe County, Indiana.

1818 designed and built first jail North from courthouse in Monroe County, IndianaIn Monroe County, Indiana he farmed near Elletsville.

**Monroe County Deed Book A, Page 27 he is on bond for John Ketcham to build Bloomington Courthouse within 3 years. Then elected County Clerk, Monroe County, Indiana, gave name to Bloomington, Indiana.

In 1823 moved to Greene County, Illinois until September 1844.

Arrived in Lamar County, Texas in November 1844.

Came to Ten Mile Creek, Lancaster, in 1844, Robertson County, Texas, member of Peter's Colony (with headrights) with wife, Mary.

First housed established in "Hardscrabble" latter called Lancaster, Dallas county, Texas.

Whig in politics.

Baptist Church until 2nd marriage and then Christian Church.

Voted against annexation of Texas.

Born: 11 March 1776, Guilford County, North Carolina.

Married: 7 May 1799, Warren County Kentucky.;

2nd marriage: 1 November 1814, Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana.

Died: 27 April 1848, Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas.

Burial: Edgewood Cemetery, Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas.

First Wife: Sarah (Sallie) King, member of the Van Renssalaer family

Born: by 1778, Bedford County, Tennessee, as she was over 21 at date of her marriage to Roderick Rawlins.

Died: circa 1814 in Lawrence County, Indiana, near White River


Children from first marriage:

  • 1. (Elder) William (Billie) Rawlins, born 19 March 1800, Kentucky.
  • 2. James Staton Rawlins, born 6 March, 1802, Kentucky.
  • 3. Angelina Rawlins, born 1 May 1806, Kentucky.
  • 4. Asa Rawlins, born circa 1808, Kentucky.
  • 5. Elizabeth Rawlins, born 8 September, 1811, Kentucky.

Second Wife: Milly Parks, daughter of George Parks of Monroe County, Indiana and his first wife, Millie Davidson Parks (D.A.R. line)

Born: 6 December 1793, North Carolina.

Died: 20 July 1875 (Tombstone) Dallas, County, Texas.

Burial: Edgewood Cemetery, Lancaster, Dallas County, Texas.

Children from second marriage:

  • 1. Pleasant King Rawlins, born 1 September, 1817, Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana.
  • 2. Nancy Priscilla Rawlins, born 10 May, 1820, Monroe County, Indiana.
  • 3. Eluzia Catherine Rawlins, born 5 September, 1822, Illinois.
  • 4. Lucinda Ann Rawlins, born 13 January, 1825, Illinois.
  • 5. Mary Parks (Polly) Rawlins, born 5 October, 1826, Illinois.
  • 6. Mildred Talitha Rawlins, born 5 September, 1828, Greene County, Illinois.
  • 7. Hannah M. Rawlins, born 1 September, 1831, Greene County, Illinois.
  • 8. Captain Roderick Alexander (Eck) (Aleck) Rawlins, born 20 January, 1833, Greene County, Illinois.



King & Lydia

A line to let you know that I am well hoping these lines will find you all well. I am better contented that I expected to be thouth destitute of almost every convenience. Your father has been gone about 2 weeks. We will look for him in a few days. He has never wrote a line to any of you yet but expects to when he returns. I want to see you all very bad and we'll hear of you. Well have no more but remind you of your affectionate mother.

Millie Rawlins

[Compiler notes that this letter must have been written shortly after Roderick and Milly arrived in Texas in 1844 and is thus placed before the essay dated 1857.]





MARCH 16, 1845

Pleasant and Lydia Rawlins Greetings,

This is the first time that I have undertaken to you or to any of our friends since I left Illinois. From which you may understand that we are all in good health. Better far than we enjoyed in Illinois and sincerely hope these lines may find you all enjoying like blessings. We had a long tiresome journey, that from that to this country and what added to the difficulty the great part was sick during our voige or untill we crosst Red River. After that we began to recover and soon had good health. We stopt nor very far from the Red River and went into different parts of the country in search for homes and finally after examination continued our voige to the section of the country we started for, to-wit: not far from the forks of the Trinity River on the West side of the River on a creek called Ten Mile or Pleasant Run. There was no settlement on it until we come. Though we had much sickness there was no death among us and all that started of us continued together and have set down in close order so as to form a tolerable settlement. The creek that waters our neighborhood is of good sise for miles and has sufficient water for that purpose the greater part of the year. We also have goodly number of steady running branches by which we can build. We are about six miles from Trinity River where it can be navigated and where are fish in great abundance especially the catfish. The land is or was vacant on which settled and we shall be entitled to 320 acres for settlement, that is, families, young men half that quantity though the timbered lands are mostly taken in old surveys, yet is very genarally to be sold, price varying from 50 cts to one dollar per acre and that princilally in trade. The prairie land in our section of country appears to be of superior quality to any I saw in any other country. The soil is as deep or deeper than that of Illinois and of a darker color and is very pleasantly rolling though not hilly in fine as far the land in the country as far as I have seen which is about 200 miles from where we crosst the Red River. It is the best I ever saw in any country in general. The greatest objection that can be raised against it is the scarcity of timber. To remedy this difficulty I have undertaken to cut a ditch around forty acres of land and the work is now progressing and I think will be completed against the middle of April next. The work costs 25 cts pre rod (a rod is 5 1/2 yards or 16 1/2 feet-compilers note) besides boarding the hands. I expect to get it principally broke which will cost near three hundred dollars per acre. Having this enclosed I think I may calculate to raise plenty this season for our support. The season though we were in camp, and moving from the time we left Illinois until very lately we have not suffered but little with either wet or cold. The weather has been very mild, we have had plenty of grass for our horses and what cattle we brought, though our horses got pore but are now recruiting. There was muck talk of war with Mexico and the Indians before we left Illinois and in the way but when we came here it ceased except the Indians. They continue to infest the country not so particularly to kill but to steal horses -(and it is said perhaps true) that they are the most efficient hands for that that can be found in North America though the greatest cowards known. However, they have not got any of ours yet. We have brought our bread from the Red River the distance of perhaps 10 miles. We got it at 75 cts per bushel and have generally enough to do us. Pork has sold for from 3 to 4 cts pre 1 lb. Beef where cattle is plenty at 1 1/2 cts. We bought one near this place some days since at 2 cts. It was a 3 year old and weighs 600 lb. Was as good as I ever saw but I have not said as yet (you may say) how I like the country. To that I can answer although I would wish it could have some properties it has not, yet, as it is, it suits me better than any other I ever saw. Speak of the waters of the Trinity River, the water, the land and prospect for health are three of the best properties that I have seen united in any country and there is . . . sufficient if wisely used to supply . . . one thing were just naming there has not been one of us that has had a bad cold nor cough since we come nor have I seen the like in others. I want you and others that may purchase take it in head to move to this country to prepare as well as possible. Have good horses, wagons and harness and try to have double the money that you think would answer and don't stay too long in St. Louis. From St. Louis take the road to Springfield Missouri thence cross the Red River near the upper settle of the same thence to Dallas, the forks of the Trinity, thence to Ten Mile or the Greene Settlement. If you should write, direct your letters to Rawlins or Ten Mile near Dallas. I shall hope to hear from you as soon as you can hear. When I have stopt it has been frequently said in Illinois the inhabitants of this country are uncultivated rough people - to which I answer that I have not seen in any country in proportion to the inhabitants thereof a more friendly intelligent people than I find here. It is in vain for me to undertake to write all that I wish and shall . . .

Subscribing ourselves yours in affection.

R. and Milley Rawlins



Dallas County, Texas, February 20, 1848

Beloved Children,

I take my pen in hand to inform you that we received your letter this morning which gave us great satisfaction to hear that you are all in reasonable health at the time you wrote your letter but regret to hear of your poor state of health for some time past. I am in a very poor state of health and have been for some time past. As to giving you my advise about moving to this country, I cannot advise you as to what would be the best for you to do. I should be glad for you to come here if you could be satisfied with the country. This is a very mild climate and I think quite likely that you would have better health here, although I am not able to say the reality of it. Lucinda (Lucinda Ann Rawlins, wife of Samuel Keller - Compiler's note) thinks she has not had the phthisic so bad as she used to have it. We have had a beautiful winter here. There has not been but one day and night that I can call always cold. Our wheat is as beautiful as ever I saw in in May. People is generally ready for planting corn and some is finished planting. I shall now come to a closebut remain your affectionate father and mother.

Roderick and Milly Rawlins



I 1857 while teaching school near Matrinsville, Indiana, Miss Catherine Rawlins (1), daughter of James S. Rawlins and wife, Cynthia Stout Rawlins, wrote an essay entitled "My Grandfathers", which essay copies from the original text is set out below.


As it becomes my duty to read a composition today, I thought that I could not write one on a more suitable subject than to give you a sketch on truthful life history of my grandfathers. It contains true pictures of scenes, society, and characters affording clear traces of their trials, hardships and sufferings that the early settlers of this State were compelled to endure; and is rife with incidents of a romantic character, a few of which I will state in my sketch. I hope it will meet with your approbation although there is danger that the picture sketched by love and fancy may look pale and insipid in the staring sunlight. To make my simple story intelligible, I will relate it in the simplest possible manner.

In 1811 my grandfather Rawlins (2) removed from Tennessee to this State and settled in Lawrence County on the East fork of the White River , within ten miles of Maxwell's Fort, which is situated on Lost River. He was a Campbellite preacher, and he always observed the golden rule "To do unto others as he wished them to do unto him." His dwelling was a long log cabin erected in the forest, with no habitation nearer than the Fort, that, as I previously remarked, being ten miles away. It was remarkably well secured; the shutters to the doors were made of strong oak prucheons made smooth and put together with such skill that it was impossible for the Indians to force them open. Between the logs of the cabin were small holes called port holes, through which they would project the muzzles of their guns. The ground was well cleared around the house, so that the Indians could not approach in day time without being discovered and if they made an attack on the door, they would be shot at thru the port holes of the other. But they seldom ventured so far as to make attacks in day time, especially if they wished to do much harm; but chose the cover of the night to execute their deeds of outrage. Therefore, grandfather would not keep his family on the farm, for fear the dwellings would be fired in the night by the Indians, and they would all be killed; but left them at the Fort, with the exception of my uncle [Rev. William Rawlins, compiler's note] and father, who were his two oldest boys; these he took with him, and a few work hands and would go to his farm, to clear ground to raise bread to support his family; carrying his implements of war with him. And while part of them worked the others with loaded guns and faithful dogs watched. Once when they were at the farm a body of Indians were supposed to be skulking about the premises; so all day long they kept a sharp lookout, and about nightfall they heard the Indians chopping across the river, and they supposed, and very truly, too, that the Indians were constructing a raft to cross the river that night in order to massacre them. So they left the house without fastening the doors, and proceeded to the woods where they put my father [James S. Rawlins, Compiler's note] beside a log and covered him up with leaves and charged him on his life to move neither hand nor foot, but keep very quiet. They then concealed themselves and watched for the Indians. About three o'clock in the morning they heard the low but audible whistle of an Indian close by, then another, and others. Presently they saw them approaching the cabin, entering and finding no one there they whooped and yelled, and plundered the house, and finally took their leave in no vary amiable mood, at the idea of being so badly disappointed in their prey; but they did not set fire to the dwelling. Grandpa immediately awoke my father, who had fallen asleep, and dispatched him to the Fort for assistance; and told him to run for his dear life, and if he saw an Indian to run around him. He made the trip in an hour and delivered his message, and a company of some 20 or 30 were sent in pursuit of the Indians. They crossed the river in the raft the Indians had made, and pursued them forty of fifty miles but did not succeed in overtaking them.

Sometime after this, Grandpa went to Louisville to join the Rangers and left his work hands on the farm; but told them go to the Fort at night for the Indians might kill them if they remained there. One of them by the name of Spears said one night that he ....

Back to top