ENTRY 18 – SEPTEMBER 13, 1829 It being Sunday we laid by to rest man and horses, Rain in the morning. Crossed the river in a skiff and took a walk in the great free State of Ohio.*
ENTRY 19 – SEPTEMBER 14, 1829 In passing through Lewis County we saw a poor broken country. The county seat is call Clarksville; a miserable village of 8 families with a log courthouse and jail.*
ENTRY 20 – SEPTEMBER 15, 1829 Hard rain in the morning. Very wet. Proceeded to Flemingsburg, a flourishing town of about 1,000 persons. It has a large proportion of well buillt brick houses. Saw a cotton factory, on a small scale. Encamped at Sulphur Spring one mile from Flemingsburg.*
ENTRY 21 – SEPTEMBER 16, 1829 Rain. Fleming County is richer then those we had before passed through; some good houses.*
ENTRY 22 – SEPTEMBER 17, 1829 Traveled 17 miles. Passed over Fleming River into Nicholas County. County and roads rough. Crossed Licking River. Passed through the county town of Nickolas County, a handsome town with a fine courthouse.*
ENTRY 23 – SEPTEMBER 18, 1829 Entered Bourbon County. A fine rich county with elegant brick houses. Went through Millersburg, a small town with four churches and Paris the County town. In and about Paris are a number of extensive hemp and cotton factories. Traveled 23 miles and encamped on the land of James McDowell.*
After a long hard week of rain, the caravan is slowly making its way across Kentucky. They are on the road to Lexington and will stay at the homes of relatives. They end the hard week at the home of James McDowell, who had been born in Rockbridge County, where the caravan originates from. The McDowels of Rockbridge County in Virginia lived at Cherry Grove, the grandparents of Jesse Benton Fremont where she spent time as a young girl growing up. Her mother was Elizabeth McDowell before marrying her father, one of Missouri’s first State Senators, Thomas Hart Benton.
James served as a Private in the Continental Army during the Revolution. He would marry into another Scotch Irish family, Mary Paxton Lyle, and then moved to Fayette County Kentucky, with his wife, about three miles east of Lexington. When the War of 1812 broke out he organized and commanded a Company, that grew into a Regiment, and then into a Battalion. His voice gained him the name of “Old Thunder” as everyone could hear him lead the charge.
*This is the journal of William Campbell (1805-1849) leading four families from Lexington, in Rockbridge County, Virginia to St. Charles County Missouri, written in 1829. There are now 53 people in this caravan, 25 of which are enslaved, among them is Archer Alexander, born in 1806, in Rockbridge County, Virginia This journal is located in the collections of the Leyburn Library, Special Collections and Archives, located at the Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia, and for which we are deeply indebted to Lisa McCown. Editor is Dorris Keeven-Franke.