xt71c53dz585 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt71c53dz585/data/mets.xml Price, Samuel Woodson, 1828-1918. 1902  books b92-56-27063305 English J.P. Morton, : Louisville, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Artists Kentucky. Jouett, Matthew Harris, 1788-1827. Bush, Joseph H., 1794-1865. Grimes, John, 1799-1837. Frazer, Oliver, 1808-1864. Morgan, Louis, 1814-1852. Hart, Joel Tanner, 1810-1877. Kentucky Biography. Old masters of the Bluegrass  : Jouett, Bush, Grimes, Frazer, Morgan, Hart / by General Samuel Woodson Price ... member of the Filson Club. text Old masters of the Bluegrass  : Jouett, Bush, Grimes, Frazer, Morgan, Hart / by General Samuel Woodson Price ... member of the Filson Club. 1902 2002 true xt71c53dz585 section xt71c53dz585 


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            Member of The Filson Club


   rtnttrs tX tht Filson VuVx




        1 902













... . . .  69

  . .      85

... . .  . 93

..1.. . . I25

. I.. .. 145



LIKENESS OF GENERAL SAMUEL W. PRICE ... ... . .. Frontisfijece

, KING SOLOMON, BY PRICE..... .  .   I .E.l... .   I.. .   .  xi



JOUETT'S WIFE AND CHILD, BY HIMSELF,. .. . . . . . . . .     38

PORTRAIT OF JOHN GRIMES, BY JOUETT  .        .... . . . . . 32

PORTRAIT OF JOSEPH H. BUSH, BY HIMSELF.. .. . . . . . . . . 71

MRS. ANSELEM BUCHANAN, BY BUSH.. . . ..      .                 75

BOY ON HOBBY-HORSE, BY BUSH..... .  .  ..S.o. .. .  ..  .  . 80

"- COUNTRY BOY," BY JOHN GRIMES.      ....... . ........ 91

PORTRAIT OF A LADY, BY GRIMES.. .. . . . . . . . .. . . ..    87

LIKENESS OF OLIVER FRAZER..... . .  ..  . ..  .. . . . .   . 95

FRAZER'S WIFE AND CHILDREN, BY HIMSELF, . . .  . . .. . . .. I04

MATTHEw T. SCOTT, BY FRAZER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

SIMON KENTON, BY LOUIS MORGAN.... . ..     .   ..     .     127

REVEREND W. L. BRECKINRIDGE, BY MORGAN.... . .1. ....        36

LIKENESS OF JOEL T. HART.............. .                   . 149

STATUE OF HENRY CLAY, BY HART    .         ... . . . . . . . 155

1 WOMAN TRIUMPHANT,' BY HART.  .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163



THE seventeenth publication of The Filson Club is
      a kind of miscellany, consisting of biographical
      sketches of six of Kentucky's most eminent artists.
Five of the artists sketched are painters, and the sixth
a sculptor.  They are Matthew H. Jouett, Joseph H.
Bush, John Grimes, Oliver Frazer, Louis Morgan, and
Joel T. Hart.
  General Samuel W. Price, the author of these sketches,
is himself a distinguished artist, and it seems that if his
book must have a preface, a biographical sketch of him
would be the most appropriate thing in that line.  If
his book is to be taken as a presentation of Kentucky's
most distinguished artists, it would not be complete
without General Price, and therefore a biographical
sketch of him will here be given as a preface, to round out
his work and bring it that much nearer to completeness.
   Samuel W. Price was born in Nicholasville, Ken-
tucky, on the fifth of August, 1828.  He was the fourth
and last son of Daniel Branch Price and Eliza Crocket
Price, a daughter of Colonel Joseph Crocket. His paternal



and maternal ancestors were distinguished for both
military and  civil service in this country, and long
before they came to America the Prices looked back
with pride for three or more centuries to their origin
in Wales, while the Crockets were equally proud of
tracing their descent from French gentlemen and ladies
of the age of Louis XIV. Before the beginning of the
eighteenth century both families had settled in America,
where, on the battlefield and in the forum, on the farm
and in the office, in public and in private life, different
members have helped in the grand progress of their
adopted country.
   General Price was educated in the Nicholasville
Academy until he was old enough and advanced enough
to be sent to college. He then entered the Kentucky
Military Institute, in 1846, at the age of eighteen. In
a short time he was appointed professor of drawing, with
the rank of lieutenant.  As he had paid more attention
to drawing in the Nicholasville Academy than he had
to his lessons, so in the Military Institute he paid more
attention to drawing than to his military exercises. This
he continued until a public parade showed his deficiency
in military evolutions.  He then went to work and
studied the military part of his education until he
mastered it. The knowledge thus acquired was a great




benefit to him in the Civil War when he was commanding
troops upon the battlefield.
   While he was in the Nicholasville Academy and in
the Kentucky Military Institute he was thinking of some-
thing not in the text - books and that was not taught
by the teachers or the professors.  His mind was inter-
ested in transferring the forms and faces of human
beings to paper or to any smooth surface he could
command.    He could think of this kind of work and
never weary of doing it, and he was so constituted that
he could not help thinking about it and wanting to do
it. He was like a delicate colorist in a sign - painter's
shop, or a sculptor in a stone-mason's yard. What he
needed was a school of design, but he did not know it
himself, and neither was it known to his father, who
sent him to these schools.  The same mistake is made
in a majority of our children.  If we but knew what
they are fitted for, and would then direct their educa-
tion to developing their natural faculties instead of trying
to create new ones, our education of them would be far
more advantageous.  The misfortune is that we do not
learn what our children are really fitted for until they
grow up and develop their natural endowments.
   At a very early age General Price showed a remark-
able talent for drawing. His first efforts were in drawing



viii                    Preface

the capital letters while he was learning the alphabet.
During his first school days he spent his Saturdays and
other holidays in sketching various things that attracted
his attention.  Not only would he thus be employed
when out of school, but during school hours instead of
working sums he would be sketching the faces of his
companions, very much to the annoyance of the teacher.
On one occasion he sketched one of his companions
fast asleep on all fours, and his teacher seeing him thus
employed slipped up behind him to give him a whip-
ping, but before the switch came down he cast his eye
on the sketch and laughed at it instead of punishing
the draftsman. At the age of ten he was in the court-
house at Nicholasville to hear the Honorable Thomas
F. Marshall speak in an important trial. A prominent
farmer was there for the same purpose, and presented
such a comical appearance that the youthful artist was
asked by the sheriff to sketch him.  He did so, and
handed the sketch to the sheriff, who as soon as he saw
it burst out in a big laugh. The sheriff then handed
it to the judge, who laughed heartily and handed it to
a member of the bar, who passed it around. All laughed
heartily, and finally one of them showed it to the old
farmer who had been sketched.   He looked at it for
a moment and exclaimed, -Why, that's me!"



  The reputation of the boy artist was now well estab-
lished, and he was employed by different members of
the bar who had seen his sketch of the old farmer to
make sketches of them.    He had not yet, however,
gotten beyond the pencil and charcoal in making his
sketches, and of course only used black and white.
Good luck, however, soon came to him.      When he
had reached his fourteenth year an itinerant artist
came along and was found dead on the roadside near
Nicholasville. No one knew who he was nor whence
he came. He left a lot of paints and brushes, and they
were sold at auction. A friend of the boy artist bought
the lot for him.   He was now   prepared to give his
lead pencil and charcoal a rest and to paint in colors.
He was tendered a room in the Nicholasville Hotel for
a studio, and began work like a real artist.
   His first effort in oil was a flag ordered by the
ladies of Nicholasville, to be presented to Captain
Harvey's company just returned from the Mexican War.
The design was an eagle hovering over a lone star.
The eagle being on the United States' flag and the
lone star on that of Texas, the design might be easily
interpreted to mean that if the eagle got the star the
United States would get Texas. Both the design and
the execution of the work were much admired, and the




young artist was justly proud of his first attempt in oil.
He had now taken the first step toward portraiture,
and all he had to do was to study and learn the value
of colors as well as the art of putting them on canvas.
As he was lucky in securing a lot of paints when least
expected, so he was again lucky in finding an artist
who taught him the color value of the different pigments
and the art of combining them   so as to produce the
desired effect.  This was William  Reading, of Louis-
ville, who had come to Nicholasville to paint some
   In 1847, when he was nineteen years of age, he began
the study of art in earnest under Oliver Frazer, at
Lexington, Kentucky.   Mr. Frazer accepted him  as a
pupil only after carefully examining his present work in
drawing. After satisfying himself that there was, as he
expressed it, "something in the young man," he took
him  into his studio.   Young Price rented an office
near his preceptor and began to take lessons in por-
   His first effort in color was the portrait of Major
Harvey, an old gentleman who sat for him after being
solicited so to do.  When the portrait was finished it
was satisfactory to the subject and to his preceptor.
When this portrait was seen by Mr. George Jouett he



.i!td by (heneuaI SG-- nu W. PricH-.

This page in the original text is blank.



advised young Price to try his skill on a man in
Lexington known as "King Solomon."    No person in
Lexington was better known than this old man.   He
had led a life of drunkenness and idleness and worth-
lessness until everybody  knew  him.  All at once,
however, when the cholera of i 833 broke out in Lex-
ington and every one who could get out of town went,
and those who were left were either dying or burying
the dead, "King Solomon" seemed     at once to be
transformed from absolute worthlessness into supreme
usefulness.  He laid out the dead, dug their graves,
and buried them when there was no one else to per-
form these services.  He became a hero at once, and
the thousand tongues that had been wont to pronounce
his name with scorn now sounded his praise in unmeasured
   "King Solomon" was averse to having his portrait
painted, but, on being urged, consented on condition
that he was to have plenty of grog and cigars while
sitting. The portrait was finished and pronounced well
done by his preceptor and by his fellow - artists, Bush
and Morgan.   So soon as it was known in Lexington
that Price had painted "King Solomon's" picture numer-
ous persons called at the studio to see it.  General
Price had to place it in the office of the Phcenix Hotel,




where the people could see it without overwhelming
him in his studio.
   General Price had now made fame enough with his
brush to secure subjects without soliciting them; they
came to him instead of his going to them.  He soon
had all he could do, and more too.    He painted a
portrait of Joseph Ficklin, the postmaster of Lexington,
which added no little to his reputation. Then followed
a portrait of a strong - featured minister of the gospel
named Creath, which still added to his fame. He was
then employed by Samuel D. McCullough to paint a
picture from a Bible story, to be called "The Good
Samaritan," for the Masonic lodge of Lexington.  It
was finished and pronounced a fine figure-composition
painting. His local reputation as an artist was now well
established, but he wanted something more.  In 1849
he went to New York to improve himself by studying
the great works of the great artists gathered there.
After seeing and studying in New York as long as he
felt he could afford to stay, he returned to Lexington
the same year and reopened his studio with renewed
hopes and brighter promises.  He raised the price of
his portraits to fifty dollars, and the first important
work was painting the portraits of Reverend J. J. Bullock
and his family.  These portraits were satisfactory to
the family and well received by the public.




      Painted by General Samnel W. Price.

This page in the original text is blank.



  In 1851 he went to Louisville and painted the por-
trait of A. L. Shotwell, a well-known citizen.  It was
a fine picture and greatly admired.   It was so well
received that he determined to open a studio in Louis-
ville.  After painting a number of pictures there he
made visits to Nashville and Clarksville, Tennessee, to
fill important orders.  In 1 856 he went to New York
and painted a three-fourths portrait of Millard Fillmore
for the Fillmore and Donaldson Club of Clarksville. In
1857 he went to Hopkinsville and painted a likeness of
Colonel James S. Jackson. All of these paintings were
eminently satisfactory and led to orders for many more.
   In 1859 he returned to Lexington and resumed his
painting there.  Orders soon began to come for por-
traits, and among those he painted was a noble like-
ness of Chief Justice Robertson.  While in the midst
of his prosperity the Civil War came upon him, and
he laid down his brush and took up his sword in behalf
of the Union.
   When the Civil War began General Price was Captain
of a company of infantry in Lexington known as the
"Old Infantry." He was instrumental in inducing most
of the members of this company to enlist in the Federal
cause. Doctor Ethelbert Dudley was authorized to form
a regiment, of which General Price was to be Major.




He failed, however, to complete his regiment in time,
and had to consolidate with another fractional regiment.
In this consolidation a Major had to be provided from
the other fractional regiment, and General Price lost
the place.  In a short time, however, Colonel Dudley
died, and General Price was commissioned Colonel in
his place. His regiment was the Twenty - first Ken-
tucky Infantry, which did its share of service during
the Civil War. General Price commanded it at Stone
River, at Chickamauga, and at all other points where
it had fighting or skirmishing or any thing else to do,
until he received what was deemed a mortal wound in
the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, in 1864. A minnie-
ball struck him in the breast, just above the heart,
and penetrated the cavity, and although he recovered
after being long disabled, it unfitted him for further
duty in the field.
   While in the army he could not paint pictures, and
the three years from x86i to 1864 were a blank upon
his canvas.  Neither could he use the brush while he
was Post Commandant at Lexington parts of the years
1864 and 1865. He was Postmaster at Lexington from
1869 to i876, and during his leisure moments in this
office he resumed his brush. Here he adopted a style
of painting which differed from what he had been doing



                        Preface                       xv

before. He undertook what is known as figure com-
position. A series of paintings came from  his brush
which showed that he was at home in figure compo-
sition, as he had been in portraiture. The following are
well-known examples of his work in this line: "-Caught
Napping," "Not Worth Mending," "Gone Up," "Left
in the Lurch," "Civil Rights,". and "Night After Chick-
amauga."   "Caught Napping" and    "-Gone Up" were
awarded a medal at the Cincinnati Exposition, where
his "King Solomon" and "General Thomas" were also
   His portrait of General Thomas, which is one of the
greatest of his works, was painted from life, and rep-
resents the old hero in his tent at night after the Battle
of Chickamauga. It is a grand picture, and almost speaks
out what the General was thinking about in that dark
hour. His portraits of Generals Rosecrans and Sherman
were painted from one sitting of each of the subjects.
General Sherman much regretted not being able to give
him more time, and so wrote to General Price.
   In i878 General Price moved to Louisville, where he
now resides, and opened a studio with the intention of
devoting his time to portraiture. The first portrait he
painted was that of General Eli H. Murray, a fine
subject, and of whom a fine likeness was made. It was



exhibited in the National Academy of Design, in New
York, where it was pronounced one of the best pictures
in that celebrated collection of the gems of art.
   He painted a number of other portraits in Louis-
ville, and always gave satisfaction. But his success was
destined to be cut short by an unexpected affliction.
In the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain he had received a
wound which was then supposed to be mortal. But he
seemingly recovered from it, with the loss only of some
strength and physical endurance. The minnie-ball, which
had penetrated the cavity of his breast and taken a
part of his clothing with it, did some secret work within
which was to develop serious disaster in the future.
Now, after he thought he was comparatively well, he
began to notice a dimness of his eyes not caused by
age, and which no kind of glasses would remedy. The
impediment of sight increased until one day, when he
was painting the portrait of Mrs. Bamberger, his fading
vision was blotted out forever.  The bright colors on
his canvas were no longer visible, and his brush and
easel were useless instruments.  He was carried to his
home to sit in endless darkness, while forms of beauty
moved unseen before him.     But he uttered no com-
plaints, and bore his heavy affliction with the fortitude
of a Christian and a soldier.



                         Preface                       xvii

   The six biographic sketches which make up the book
now under consideration were dictated by him, and the
authorities used read to him without his seeing a word
of either. When the sketches were finished they were
read to The Filson Club either by his daughter or by
another member of the Club, and they here appear in
this book as thus begun and completed. In thus groping
his way through eternal darkness to rescue his fellow-
artists from oblivion, the blind soldier-artist emphasized
his right to a place among the rescued, and there seems
to be no more fitting way to put him in this well -
deserved position than to insert a biographical sketch
of him in the preface to his work.
                                R. T. DURRErr,
                            President of The Filson Club.

This page in the original text is blank.



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   S Fine Art is the capstone to civilization, it is
      strange that the demand for portraiture, by the
      early settlers of Central Kentucky, should have
been manifest before the pioneer's ax had made much
of an impression on the dense forest, or the block-house
had ceased to be a refuge from the merciless tomahawk
of the red man, and while the bear, panther, and wild-
cat still sought refuge from the unerring bullet of the
pioneer in the dismal forest.
  The desire of the pioneers to be reproduced on a
flat surface, whether from vanity or not, was natural
then as now, and for its gratification they would then
as now make personal sacrifices.  As Daguerre's won-
derful invention of a sun picture was reserved for future
generations, they had to depend upon the skill of the
brush, though crude and inartistic. - It was not until
the genius of Jouett, Bush, and Grimes was recognized
by the early inhabitants of Lexington that they were
made to realize that a portrait, to be " a thing of



beauty and a joy forever," must not only have resem-
blance but artistic execution.
  William West, who came to Lexington in 1788, was
the first painter who ever settled in the vast region
"this side the mountains."   He was the son of the
Rector of Saint Paul's Church, Baltimore, and had
studied under the celebrated Benjamin West in London.
He was of a talented family.    His brother, Edward
West, who had preceded him to Lexington three years
before, was the   wonderful  mechanical  genius  who
invented the steamboat in that city in '793, and his
son, William E. West, is now remembered for the
portrait he painted of Lord Byron at Leghorn. William
painted but few pictures, and they were only of mod -
erate merit. He is best known as the first painter who
came to the West. He died in New York.
  Asa Park, a Virginian, was the second painter who
located in Lexington. He was an intimate friend of
William West, in whose family he lived greatly beloved
for years.   He died in the year 1827, and was buried
by the West family in their lot near the corner of
Hill and Mill streets, opposite the present Letcher
  Though Mr. Park attempted portraits, his best pro-
ductions were fruit and flower pieces.  His pictures,




like West's, owe their value mainly to the fact of his
having been one of the pioneer painters of Lexington.
One of the very few of Park's productions is in the
possession of Mrs. Ranck. It is an oil portrait of her
grandfather, Lewis Ellis.
  'Mr. Beck, erroneously mentioned in Dunlap's Arts
of Design as the first painter who penetrated beyond
the Alleghanies, came to Lexington about the year
i8oo. He belonged at one time to a company of scouts
under General Anthony Wayne. He and his wife con-
ducted a female seminary in Lexington for many years
in which painting was a prominent feature.  Mr. and
Mrs. Beck were both artists of some ability, and painted
many pictures, principally landscapes. W. Mantelle, S.
D. McCullough, John Tilford, Mrs. Thomas Clay, and
many others own portraits by Beck. Mr. Beck died
in 1814. His wife survived until i833-


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  I:, ... r pt  1-itr   i bt bi   ii-Al.

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THE average reader cares but little for genealogy,
      the immediate interest being centered on the sub-
      ject of the sketch rather than on his ancestry.
This article will therefore say but little of the lineage
of the Jouett family.    Owing  to the   meager data
possessed, a connected chain is impossible, but sufficient
will be given at least to satisfy the high-churchman
that a few missing links do not destroy the claim to
  The late Bishop Ottey, of Tennessee, in a discussion
with a lay Presbyterian as to apostolic succession, said:
- In tracing a flock of sheep it is not necessary, in
the course of their wanderings, to find fragments of
wool on each twig to prove they have been through
the wood." While the non-churchman was impressed
with the force of this metaphor, he would not acknowl-
edge to the Bishop that he had completely pulled the
wool over his eyes !
            ' Read before The Filson Club, May i, 1899.


T8he Old Masters of the Bluegrass

   The Jouetts were an old Norman family in Touraine
(the garden of France), and there is now to be found
a town in that vicinity which is called "Saint Bois de
Jouhet. "
   In 1632 Leolon de Jouhet, having married a lady of
Marseilles, went to live near that city.  Some years
later his descendants made their way back to Touraine
and Paris, and filled important offices at the Court.
In i667 we find a Matthew de Jouhet was the first
Master of the Horse.
   On account of their having become Huguenots it
was impossible for them  to remain in France.  They
therefore fled to America, thus losing all their property
which they could not carry with them.
   The vindictive hatred and bigotry of the Jesuits
hunted and persecuted the Huguenots even to the shores
of America and Canada, and those of prominence of
position in their native France were obliged to disguise
themselves in poverty and insignificance in order to
elude the observation and recognition of the emissary
of the King and his baleful advisers, the Jesuits. For
this reason the de Jouhets dropped   the "de" and
became plain Jouhets.
   To be a Huguenot is a title in itself of nobility,
and the French nobility were the most refined and best



Matthew Harris Jouet  

educated of the nobility of Europe; but the Jouhets,
it seems, were the highest among these. Their coat-
of-arms has been in the American branch of the family
for over two hundred years, and it tells its own story.
Three golden fleurs de lis speak of the alliance with
the blood royal of France.  The bent cimeter granted
for distinguished service on the field of battle, and
the currycombs symbolical of the office of the Grand
Master of the Horse, an office which could only be
held by those allied by blood to the Royal House of
France, show that they were at the head of all the
   To bring the Jouett family down to the time of the
subject of this sketch, the writer copies from Captain
Alfred Pirtle's very able paper read before The Filson
Club on Rear Admiral James E. Jouett:
   Daniel Jouet, a Huguenot, landed at Rhode Island,
in the autumn of x686, with fifty other immigrants.
Owing to some difficulty about the title to the lands,
the colony broke up, dispersing to other parts, Daniel
Jouet removing to New York, thence to South Carolina,
and about 1704 returning to New York, but finally
settling in New Jersey.
   Daniel Jouet, a native of the Island of Re, on the
west coast of France, had seven children: Daniel, Peter,



to       The Old Masters of the Bluegrass

Marie (born in England), Ezekiel, John, Elizabeth, and
Anne.   The Jouets of Virginia may come from    this
family, but the records have Dot yet been traced.
   How the second -t" came into use is still unknown.
   The name borne by the subject of this sketch is
mentioned in an old volume of records of Hanover
County, Virginia, which escaped burning when the court-
house was burned in Richmond.
   The county including Louisa was taken off New
Kent about 17i6. The record book began January 4,
1734, and on page io is a copy of a bond given by
Robert Jennings, January 3, 1733, that "he will well
conduct an ordinary, or tavern," and one of his bonds.
men was Matthew Jouet. This is as far back as the
name can be traced in Virginia.
   This Matthew Jouet was the ancestor of the direct
founder of the family in Kentucky, as it is well known.
   The Marquis de La Fayette and Lord Cornwallis are
names better remembered by Americans than those of
any other foreigners connected with the American Rev-
olution. In the spring of 1781 Lord Cornwallis (the
Virginia Legislature then being at Charlottesville) had
driven the Marquis de La Fayette and his little band
of brave soldiers from the low lands of the James River
towards the higher country.


               Matthew Hams _oueff                    1il

   About the tenth of June Cornwallis sent a party
of light troop under the command of the noted Lieu-
tenant Colonel Tarlton, composed of about two hundred
and fifty men, to surprise and capture Charlottesville
and the Governor and the legislature.
   Captain John Jouett, directly descended from the
Matthew Jouet before mentioned, on a fleet horse
galloped from his home on North East Creek, six miles
east of Louisa Court - house, to Charlottesville and
informed Governor Thomas Jefferson and the legislature
of the coming enemy; but so close were they in pursuit
that seven members were captured, and the Governor
had a very narrow escape.
   Scarcely had the war ended and Captain Jouett
sheathed his sword and donned the citizen's dress in
place of the soiled and threadbare clothes of the colonial
uniform, when he received from the General Assembly
of Virginia a three-hundred-dollar sword and a pair of
silver spurs in recognition of his gallant and valuable
services. The people, too, manifested their appreciation
and gratitude by electing him a member of the Virginia
Legislature, and he served two terms after his removal
to the county of Kentucky.
   Intellectual without dogmatism, intelligent without
pedantry, courageous without braggadocio, honest with-


12        The Old Masters of the Bluegrass

out pretense, and aggressive without officiousness, were
qualities which made him a leader in the legislature,
as he had been when a soldier in the bloody strife.
   During his third term he warmly advocated the
measure of authorizing the district of Kentucky (then
part of Virginia's domain) to petition Congress for
admission as a State into the Union, and to him more
than to any other member was due its success.
   About the year 1782 Captain Jouett emigrated to
Mercer County, Kentucky, where he purchased several
thousand acres of land not far from Harrodsburg, calling
it "Old Indian Fields."
   In August, 1784, he married Miss Sallie Robards, a
resident of Mercer County. As the result of this union
seven  sons were born.   Matthew  Harris Jouett, the
subject of this sketch, was the second son.  The family
record places his birth April 22, 1787.
   -i Matt " (familiarly and affectionately called by his
brothers) exhibited at an early age a passion for draw-
ing, and before he could count one hundred or repeat
the Lord's Prayer he could sketch and was the aston-
ishment of the household on account of his dexterity with
the lead pencil and the striking likenesses he could produce.
   Mrs. R. J. Menefee, of Louisville, Kentucky, has a
specimen of his early work.  It is of an Indian chief


Mat/hew Harris 7ouett3

and a companion.    It is treated in Indian ink put on
with a brush he had improvised from a turkey feather.
   If this gift was of inheritance, it must have been
from the long line of French noblemen. Sure it was
not from his parents, whose hard and busy lives in a
new and struggling country had found no time for the
cultivation of the fine arts. The walls of their primitive
house were not adorned with paintings or engravings, and
pictures in the books they possessed were crude and
inartistic, and, therefore, could not have been inspiring
to the young genius.
   Nature, consequently, was his only inspiration and
instructor, and so great was the impetus of his genius
that the productions of his pencil and brush would have
done credit to older art students who had the advan-
tages of instruction.
   Matthew was bright, amiable, and affectionate, and
a great favorite with  his brothers.  His occupation
with his pencil did not prevent him at times engaging
in boyish sports. When of sufficient age to do service
for his father on the farm, he assisted his older
brothers in their work with that faithfulness that char-
acterized  his pursuits in after years.  The average
farmer boy finds his work irksome, and is interested
only to the extent of the play he may derive therefrom.



14        The Old Masters of the Bluegrass

Not so with Matthew, for when directing the horses
on the threshing floor he did not consider only the circus
he was riding for the fun of the thing, but also inter-
ested himself in the result of separating the wheat from
the straw. In hay-making it was not the pleasure only
considered when he hauled the shock