xt7bzk55f794 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7bzk55f794/data/mets.xml Johnson, Lewis Franklin 1922  books b02-000000011 English Cleveland, O., The Baldwin law pub. co., 1922, c1916. : Cleveland Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection.  Famous Kentucky tragedies and trials; a collection of important and interesting tragedies and criminal trials which have taken place in Kentucky, by L. F. Johnson. text Famous Kentucky tragedies and trials; a collection of important and interesting tragedies and criminal trials which have taken place in Kentucky, by L. F. Johnson. 1922 2002 true xt7bzk55f794 section xt7bzk55f794 


Kentucky Tragedies

           and Trials

A collection of important and interesting tragedies
    and criminal trials which have taken
         place in Kentucky


Frankfort, Kentucky Bar

          Author of
"A History of Franklin County, Kentucky"

            CLEVELAND, OHIO

L. F.
  of the



      Copyright 1916
The Baldwin Law Book Co.

    All rights reserved


       Judge 'Patrick U. c5Iajor
a great criminal lawyer, my preceptor and law partner,
     who was born in 1822 and died in 1903,
              this work is dedicated

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Preface and Introduction  .......................
The Rowan-Chambers Duel.......................
The Jackson-Dickinson Duel .....................
The Holman-Waring Duel .......................
The Assassination of Francis Baker by Isaac B.
   Desha, in 1824..............................
The Assassination of Solomon P. Sharp by Jeroboam
   O. Beauchamp ..............................
The Richardson-Waring Tragedy..................
The Wilkinson Trial .............................
Speech of the Hon. S. S. Prentiss .................
Speech of the Hon. Benjamin Hardin .............
pbah wa ri s.o.l nf Mg++U. V w  riL

1."L.L"i s W.". VA -t 'W WNA k 1...................... .
Hon. John J. Crittenden-closing remarks in speech.
The Execution of Sue Mundy  .   ....
Assassination of Judge John M. Elliott .
Judge Geo. M. Curtis-remarks in part .
The Grandson of Gov. John J. Crittenden.
Judge Richard Reid, Cowhided by J. J. Corneilison.
The Tolliver-Martin or Logan Feud.
The Goebel-Sanford Killing.
Swope-Goodloe Tragedy.
The Colson-Scott Tragedy.
The Goebel Assassination   ....
The Hargis-Cockrell Feud and the Death of Judge

James Hargis ...............................    320




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  MEN form their judgment of the true nature of the hu-
man mind from the expressed sentiments and desires of
men; these sentiments and desires are often more forcibly
expressed by actions than by words; the ruling passion of
a man will find expression in some way.
  It matters not how skillful a man may be in producing
false impressions, the actual condition of his mind and the
innermost thoughts of the man are known, to the expert
reader of men.
  We know of no way to judge the future except by the
past. We judge ourselves by what we think we are capable
of doing, but we judge other men by what they have done
and by what they have been and not by what they might
have been.
  Psycology is a great science, it treats of the mind; a study
of the mind is a study of mankind.
  The most opportune time in which to study man, is when
some great crisis in his life causes him to act according to
the natural impulses of his nature.
  The world is a comedy to him who sees only the frivolous
and ludicrous side of life, but it is a tragedy to him who
feels the weight of its cares and responsibilities.
  Tragedies are the most striking events in history. Some
might be termed world tragedies: such as the fall of man
and his expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The flood,-
that great cataclysm which brought death and destruction
to the nations of the earth so that, "All in whose nostrils
was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died."
  After this God made a covenant with man and as a per-
petual token of such covenant, He set His bow in the clouds
and this covenant was between Him and every living crea-
ture of all flesh.
  The greatest of all the tragedies known to the world was


the trial and suffering and crucifixion and death of Him
who died for men.
  For nearly two thousand years this event has been the
subject of constant discussion; the suffering in Gethsemane,
the perspiration of blood, the nails through His hands and
feet, the riven side, the crown of thorns and the death on
the cross, have awakened the sympathies of men and have
brought the world to realize the infinite compassion of a
  Christian people in every country delight to tell, in story
and song, the details of this the greatest of all tragedies.
  The government of the Hebrew people was a theocracy,
it was the only pure type of that form of government known
to men. God walked and talked with men. The Old Tes-
tament is a history of this government: it gives an account
of many tragic events: God's dealing with man and man's
rebellion against God and man's wicked and cruel dealings
with his fellowmen are its constant theme. The history of
no other people is so fraught with human interest, because
the history of no other people has given to the world the
motives and impulses and sins of men.
  Some of the strongest characters in the Old Testament
committed great sins. Moses, the great law-giver and
leader, was the meekest of men; he was the adopted son
of a princess; he was unknown to himself and his people
until he arose in his wrath and slew the Egyptian; after
that he was God's agent in bringing the plagues upon
Egypt, and he walked and communed with God and he
became God's instrument in the deliverance of his people,
and the Lord gave to him two tables of stone upon which
were written, " with the finger of God," the ten command-
ments, and in a fit of anger he threw these priceless tables
down and broke them.
  King David's life was filled with tragic events; the life
of the shepherd boy and his adventures, his duel with Go-

Page 2


liath, his success as a military leader and elevation to the
throne are not more interesting facts than his love affair
with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah; the death of Uriah by
order of the king; the death of their first born, the fruit of
their sin, and Nathan's parable of the ewe lamb which
caused David to be his own judge, and in his anger he said,
" As the Lord liveth the man that has done this thing shall
surely die," and Nathan said to David, " Thou art the
man. "
  There is not a more pathetic incident in all history than
David's lamentation over the death of his handsome and
wayward son Absalom. Though at the head of an army in
open rebellion against his father, when David sent Joab
with an army to subdue him, his command was, " Deal
gently, for my sake, with the young man, even with Absa-
lom." After the battle, when told that Absalom had been
slain, the king was much moved and went up to the cham-
ber over the gate and wept, and as he went, thus he said,
" 0 my son Absalom, niy son, my son Absalom; would God
I had died for thee, 0 Absalom, my son, my son."
  The love affair between Hamor and Dinah and its
tragic ending resulting in the death of Hamor from the
hands of Simeon and Levi; and the love affair of Amnon
and Tamor which was terminated in the death of Amnon by
the command of Absalom; portray the same characteristics
of head and heart, and they disclose the same passions
which dominate and control the actions of men, of like
passions, at the present day.
  " Cain rose up against his brother and slew him." This
incident has been repeated over and over again in the
history of men. Some of the strongest characters spoken
of in the Old Testament were the most frequent violators
of the law. Joab was one of the great generals of the world
but his family was in a feud with that of Abner and Joab
slew Abner, though he knew that he was transgressing the

Page 3


law of God and that he would incur the anger of the king.
Joab also slew Absalom, after he had been directed by the
king to " deal gently with the young man."
  And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand
and smote him in the fifth rib so that he died and thereupon
Solomon, who had succeeded to the throne, commanded
that Joab should die and Joab fled to the sanctuary and
caught hold of the horns of the alter, but even that did not
save him from the wrath of the king.
  Jepthah 's rash vow brought death to his beautiful daugh-
ter and she was offered up as a burnt offering.
  Samson was a victim to the blandishments of a deceitful
  A just retribution was meted out to the wicked Jazebel
and she was thrown from an upstairs window and her body
was eaten by the dogs.
  Hayman was hung upon the gallows which was eighty-
seven and a half feet high and which he had prepared for
his enemy.
  The Moabites and the Amonites were conceived in sin
and born in iniquity and every period of their existence as
a nation or a tribe was marred by the same ignoble and
vicious spirit which marked their infamous beginning.
  Many strong characters of the New Testament illustrate
the idea, that some men have been willing, " To acquit
themselves like men " and give their lives as a sacrifice for
the cause which they thought just; they have demonstrated,
on many occasions, the truth of the statement made by the
poet who said:
           "But whether o03 the scaffold high
           Or in the battle's van
           The fittest place that man can die
           Is where he dies for man."
  B.), the command of King Herod, John the Baptist was
beheaded. Paul, the greatest of all Jews, was also beheaded.

Page 4


Peter was crucified with his head downward. Judas went
out and hanged himself. John was thrown into a kettle of
boiling oil. James was killed by a sword thrust. It is a
tradition that all of the remaining diciples met violent
  These tragic events teach lessons. These men were mar-
tyrs; they suffered persecution for a principle; they taught
men how to die for a just cause.
  Tragic events in the history of our own State ought to
serve a good purpose. Every event detailed in this work is
given as a matter of history. Some allowance may be made
for the ordinary exaggeration of the newspaper reporter
who may have colored his story for the purpose of adding
zest to it, but practically all the dates and a large-part of
the evidence have been taken from court records and the re-
ports of the Court of Appeals.
  A few " skeletons " in the closets of prominent Kentuck-
ians are exhibited to the present generation for the first
time. These disclosures are not made for the purpose of
humiliating any person; they are given as historic facts in
order that this and succeeding generations may upon the
one hand emulate the acts of patriotism and upon the other
be warned by the examples of sin and folly and tragic
deaths of men, known as men of affairs.
  The tragedies and trials of prominent Kentuckians
should be of interest to every citizen of the Commonwealth.
The cases cited are confined to the families of Governors
and other State officials, lawyers, judges and men of affairs,
socially, politically and intellectually.
  Many of them are incidents which have occurred in our
midst. Some of us have participated in them and have been
a part of them and we know by observation, and some by
actual experience, the motives, the impulses and the in-
terests which have caused men to act. We know that a
man in a normal condition often acts differently from what

Page 5


he does when in the extremity of death or when threatened
by some great catastrophe.
  Three straight lines, forming a triangle, give the key to
many of the greatest scientific facts which have been re-
vealed to men; the properties of the triangle give the
sciences of geometry, surveying, architecture, navigation
and mathematical astronomy, and they give a glimpse of
other scientific facts which only the infinite mind can fully
understand. Man in extremity gives an insight into human
nature; into the strongest passions of men: passions which
may be reeking with lust, avarice or sordid interests and
which may often times disclose the human heart fatally
bent upon mischief, but yet, of intense interest to the stu-
dent of human nature because they are intensely human.
  This is not a history of an imaginary people, nor is it
told only to those who listen with credulity to the whispers
of fancy, nor who pursue with eagerness the phantoms of
hope, nor who expect that age will perform the promises
of youth. This work is made up of historic incidents;
actual facts in the lives of real men, many of whom have
acted well their part in the development and government
of a great Commonwealth. Some have acted important
parts in the government of the Nation and some have
played ignoble parts in the great drama of life, but every
act performed shows the intensity of human feelings and
discloses the inspiration of human action.
  These lives teach, great lessons to all who will get close to
the human heart and listen to the warnings which a history
of man's weaknesses and passions and failures discloses.
  FRANKFORT, Ky., November 1915.

Page 6


     The Rowan-Chambers Duel.

  ON February 3, 1801, there was a duel between John
Rowan, afterwards Judge of the Kentucky Court of Ap-
peals, and Doctor James Chambers, son-in-law of Judge
Benjamin Sebastion, who was also a Judge of the Supreme
Court of the State.
  On account of the social and political prominence of the
parties connected with this affair, and because of the high
positions held by Judge Rowan and Judge Geo. M. Bibb,
who was Judge Rowan's second " on the field of honor,"
this incident has become one of the most noted duels which
was ever fought on Kentucky soil.
  Prior to this time, dueling had become a very popular
way of settling personal difficulties; many prominent men
in different sections of the United States became victims of
this unfortunate and vicious code of honor.
  It was only a short time after this tragedy, that ontw of
the Nation's greatest statesmen lost his life in a duel. It
was on Wednesday, July 11, 1804, at Weehawken Heights,
about three miles above Hoboken on the Jersey side of the
Hudson river, that General Alexander Hamilton was killed
by Col. Aaron Burr. Following this killing, a wave of in-
dignation spread over the United States. Several States,
among them was Kentucky, enacted laws prohibiting the
practice; but little or no attempt was made to enforce them,
and it was not until after the adoption of the constitution
of 1849, which prohibited any one from holding any office
of honor or profit in the Commonwealth, who had sent or
accepted a challenge to fight, or who had assisted any one
else in so offending, that the anti-dueling law became ef-
fective. It seems that the Kentuckian's innate love for
office has been strong enough, in recent years, to effectually
eradicate the desire he has to wantonly kill his fellow man.

Page 7


  The personal difficulty which led to the Rowan-Cham-
bers duel occurred at Bardstown on the night of January
29, 1801. Judge Rowan, Doctor Chambers and some other
gentlemen were engaged in a game of cards at McLean's
tavern. Judge Rowan said something which offended Doc-
tor Chambers, and after several words passed between them
they came to blows, but in a short time they were separated.
Doctor Chambers said at the time, that he would challenge
Mr. Rowan. The challenge was sent on January 31, 1801.
  Judge Bibb, who acted as Judge Rowan's second, on that
fatal occasion, wrote a letter to the editor of the Palladium,
in which he gave the details connected with the tragedy.
This letter can be found in a bound volume of the Palla-
dium, now in the custody of the State Librarian, and it is
as follows:

  To the Editor of The Palladium:
    Sir: For the benefit of those who loving truth, have
  been or might be mislead by the many false reports
  which have been industriously circulated respecting a
  dhut 'etween Dr. Chambers, deceased, and Mr. Rowan,
  I request you to publish this letter together with the
  enclosed certificates, etc., referred to herein.
    This publication would not have been made until
  the return of Major Bullock from New Orleans, but for
  the manner in which the subject has been introduced
  into your paper of the 28th of April, (1801).
    For the cause of the quarrel between the Doctor and
  Mr. Rowan, I refer to the certificates Nos. 1  2, as also
  the copy of the Doctor's letter No. 3.
    On the first of February Mr. Rowan and myself re-
  turned from Bullitt County where we had been the pre-
  ceding week. The next morning Mr. Rowan showed
  me a note from Dr. Chambers of the 31st of January,
  requesting Mr. Rowan to make known his time and
  place of meeting, as well as his friend 's name; to
  which he returned an answer the same day, by me, as
  his friend, appointing the next morning, and also nam-
  ing a place.
    In the evening of the 2nd of February, Major Bul-

Page 8


lock and myself met at Wilson's tavern where we had
a conversation, in which Major Bullock expressed a
desire that an accommodation to the satisfaction of
both might be reached. I supposed that could not be
unless the Doctor would withdraw his note of the 31st
of January. We then had some conversation about the
manner of firing. Major Bullock proposed that they
should stand with their backs towards each other, in
that position wait for the word, then face and fire at
pleasure. Nothing of the distance was proposed that
evening, but that and the manner of firing was post-
poned, to be agreed on in the morning. Accordingly,
when the parties alighted from their horses, Major
Bullock and myself were apart from the Doctor and
Mr. Rowan, to agree upon the subject postponed from
the preceding evening.
  Major Bullock again spoke of an endeavor to ac-
commodate the differences. I still thought it could not
be made unless the Doctor 's note should be with-
lrawn, to which the Major would not assent. The dis-
tance was then mentioned. Major Bullock said he
supposed the usual distance; I requested him to men-
tion it; he said ten steps, to which I agreed imme-
diately, but said he might add two steps which he did
not choose to do, the distance remained as agreed upon.
We then agreed that they should, at that distance
stand with their backs, each towards the other and wait
for the word ' fire ' after which they should face and
fire when they pleased. To prevent doubt, it was par-
ticularly mentioned and agreed that each might hold
his pistol as lie pleased, and use in firing one or both
hands. No other propositions than these, as to dis-
tance or flUng were made or signified to me, and these
at such a distance, and in such a voice, that I do not
hesitate to say that they were not heard by the Doctor
or Mr. Rowan.
  The Doctor and Mr. Rowan had ridden out in their
great coats, which they took off before the pistols were
handed to them. As agreed upon they fired, each long
after they had faced; Mr. Rowan first and then the
Doctor. Mr. Rowan rested his pistol on his left hand
-the Doctor his n1 the left arm above the elbow. The
deliberate and long aim of each prompted each of their

Page 9


friends to ask if they were hurt; Doctor Chambers
said first, " No," Mr. Rowan also said, " I am not," to
which the Doctor replied, " I am sorry for it; " Mr.
Rowan said, " Well, try it again," the Doctor said,
" Agreed." As agreed upon from the first they fired
the second round, the Doctor first, the interval be-
tween their fires just distinguishable, and shorter than
before, each resting his pistol as formerly and taking
deliberate aim. The Doctor fell. Major Bullock and
myself ran to his assistance; we searched, but searched
too low for the wound. The Doctor was unable to tell
us, not knowing where. Major Bullock then opened
the Doctor's waist-coat, raised his left arm and found
it. I saw the wound, but little blood had issued. I
went to Mr. Rowan and told him I thought the wound
was mortal; he answered, " I am sorry " and going to
the Doctor he said he supposed there was no further
use for him. Major Bullock replied, " No." Mr.
Rowan was going, but turned to the Doctor, with the
pledge of his, Mr. Rowan's honor, to serve him, ard
offered to send his carriage for the Doctor.
  Major Bullock had bound up the wound and was
supporting him. The Doctor was restless and re-
quested me to extend his left leg and unbound the
joint of the knee, in doing which my head was near
Major Bullock's, which opportunity he took of re-
questing me to go to town and tell Mr. Caldwell to
send for the doctor. I hastened to my horse and on
him was passing to see the doctor, Major Bullock
desired me to hasten. Mr. Caldwell was absent from
the town, I informed Mr. McClean of my business.
The news spread and the whole town was in haste to
see the Doctor. I returned as soon as possible with
Doctor Chapieze. In the interview at Mr. Rowan's
home a few hours after we had parted from the Doctor
Mr. Rowan observed that Major Bullock had taken
whiffs at his words to the Doctor when wounded, for
which he was sorry, and they were spoken without any
intention of giving offence, under the impression that
having been called there to satisfy fhe Doctor, it was
proper to have his leave to depart not judging the
wound would prove so quickly mortal. Major Bullock
told me he thought Mr. Rowan was wrong, I then told

Page IO


the Major of what Mr. Rowan had said, in the inter-
view above, of his answer to my telling him of the
wound mentioned his last words to the Doctor, which
seemed to change the Major's opinion, but he still ex-
pected Mr. Rowan to mention the subject. When I
saw Mr. Rowan next, he had discussed with the Major
and satisfied him completely, of which, had I doubted
Major Bullock's conduct to Mr. Rowan would have
been ample proof. Major Bullock never sent any chal-
lenge to Mr. Rowan by me.
   Whether it be criminal in men to suffer their pre-
 judices and passions to gain ascendency over their
 reason or judgment, I have not leisure to discuss.
 But Mr. Printer; I believe, had the enemies of Mr.
 'Rowan opposed to their prejudices a small exertion
 of reason and dispassionate inquiry about this unfor-
 tunate single combat, the certificates on that subject
 would not have differed from those I herewith trans-
 mit to you marked Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, except that
 some of them would have been rendered unnecessary.
   For myself, I say they fought bravely and honestly.
 The wound was in the left side, so that the arm, if
 suffered to hang at ease would have covered it, and
 here let me refer to a certified copy of the inquisition
 marked No. 10 and also the certificates marked Nos. 11,
 12 and 13. These, it is hoped, Mr. Printer, will wipe
 the stain from the honor of the deceased which the
 report of his having been shot in the back would seem
 to impart and which he so little deserved. And now sir,
 through this medium I beg forgiveness of the real
 friends of the deceased. Should this remind them of
 his brave yet modest and unassuming worth, renew
 their sorrows, let me plead the sacred majesty of truth.
 The respect due the sacred memory of the dead, and
 the importance of his good name to the living. Count-
 ing myself in the number of his friends, it is with
 pleasure I say, we never had a single jar, and with
 consolation I remember, after he was sensible of
 death 's approach, my hands administered drink at
 his request and my ears heard him express it.
                           Your fellow citizen,
                                    GEo. M. BIBB.
   Bardstown, May, 1801.
Page II


  The exhibits filed with Judge Bibb's letter were evi-
dently intended to corroborate his statements. They con-
tained the affidavits of several men to the effect that Judge
Rowan and Doctor Chambers were engaged in a game of
cards and there were several gentlemen in the room at the
time. The first evidence of trouble between them, was
thought to be a harmless exchange of epithets, until blows
  One of the exhibits referred to by Judge Bibb was the
sworn statement of Thomas Hubbard and is as follows:

      I was at McClean's in this town (Bardstown),
 late in the evening, Mr. Rowan came in about sunset
 and called for beer and asked help to drink it. After
 that Mr. Crozier and Doctor Chambers came in. In
 a short time I missed the Doctor and Mr. Crozier. Mr.
 Rowan went up stairs and called me; I went up.
 Messrs. Rowan and Bibb were sitting near the fire;
 Crozier, Hiltoin, McClelland and the Doctor were play-
 ing at whist. Mr. Rowan asked me if I would be one
 of the party, to which I agreed, but a full pack of
 cards could not be made. I went after some cards;
 when I returned, Mr. Rowan and the Doctor had by
 this time engaged in Vigutun, near the fire. I looked
 on, and they disputed their game and required me to
 sit and keep it for them, which I did. They played
 sometimes for money. Mr. Rowan said several times,
 ' Damn you Doctor, give me a card,' or words to that
 effect. The Doctor replied, ' I will Mr. Rowan, as
 soon as I can.' A conversation soon arose as to which
 understood some of the dead languages the best. Mr.
 Rowan observed that the Doctor was not able to dis-
 pute with him on such subjects. The Doctor said he
 thought he was, with him or any man. Mr. Rowan
 then said, ' I'll be d-d if you are,' and the
 Doctor answered, ' I'll be d-d if I am not.' Mr.
 Rowan said, ' Doctor you know you are inferior to me
 on such subjects.' The Doctor said he thought he
 was his superior. Mr. Rowan said, ' You are a d--d
 liar.' They both arose; Mr. Rowan lifted his hand as
 if to strike; the Doctor caught hold of him on the

Page i2


  breast near the neck, either to evade the blow or to
  choke him. At that moment they were separated;
  Mr. Rowan was taken to the other end of the room;
  the Doctor stood still where he was near the fire; they
  continued to quarrel. Mr. Rowan was let go and he
  returned near the Doctor and engaged him; the Doctor
  gave way until he was near the head of the stairs,
  when they were again separated and the Doctor was
  taken down stairs. "
  Doctor Chambers said that he would challenge Mr.
Bowan and if he did not accept he would publish him as a
coward in every paper in the State. Judge Rowan's reply
was in very strong and emphatic terms; the outcome of
which resulted in the challenge and duel. It is set out in
one of the certificates that the duel and the incidents con-
nected with it took place in or near Bardstown, Kentucky.
  The verdict of the Coroner 's inquest was signed by twelve
jurors and was as follows:
    " At an inquest taken and held over the body of
  James Chambers, deceased, at the home of said dece-
  dent on Thursday, the 5th day of February, 1801,
  taken before Joe Lewis, a Justice of the Peace for
  said county, and Christian Bringle, Sheriff of said
  county (the coroner being absent), the jury on their
  oaths do say that they are of the opinion that the
  wound in the body of James Chambers, deceased, was
  by a ball shot out of a pistol or gun, that the ball
  entered the body about four inches below the left arm;
  that the ball went into the hollow of the said deced-
  ent's body, and that it remains in the body, and that
  the wound was the occasion of the death of said
  decedent; that the accident happened on Tuesday the
  3rd instant, in the woods, near Jacob Yoder's plan-
  tation on the Beech-fork, about one mile and three-
  quarters southwardly of Bardstown.
    '' Given under our hands this 6th day of February,
  The following affidavit was also filed as an exhibit with
Judge Bibb's letter:

Page 13


    "On the morning of the 3rd of February last, I
  was at Mr. Rowan's in company with Messrs. Barry
  and Bibb when Major Bullock came there; about an
  hour or so after Doctor Chambers was carried into
  town. Major Bullock breakfasted there and talking
  of the affair, mentioned that it was either the third or
  fourth of the kind in which he had been engaged as
  principal or second, but in all his life had never wit-
  nessed anything more determinedly brave, gen-
  tlemanly and honorable. While we were at Mr.
  Rowan 's the sheriff with a guard came in to the
  meadow; the Major expressed great indignation at the
  idea of a prosecution, and instantly mounted and set
  off for the town, in order, he said, to prevent it getting
  to the Doctor's ears, which he said he knew would hurt
  his feelings extremely and also said he thought he
  could put a stop to it. I have many times since heard
  Major Bullock express himself to the same purpose
  both to myself and others."
                        Signed  "JOHN CROZIER."
    Bardstown, May 7, 1801.
  This duel was like many others which were fought in
Kentucky during its early history. What emphasized it
more than others, was the prominence of all the parties
engaged in it. All of them were young men at that time;
Judge Rowan was twenty-eight years old, Judge Bibb was
twenty-five, and Doctor Chambers about the same age;
Major Bullock was the oldest one of the four and Doctor
Chambers was the most prominent professionally and
socially. He married the daughter of Judge Benjamin
Sebastion of the Kentucky Court of Appeals and he was
regarded as the most promising young physician in the
  Judge John Rowan, the surviving principal was born
in 1773, his father was a Revolutionary soldier who moved
to Kentucky in 1783 and settled at Louisville, Ky., where
Judge Rowan received the chief part of his education, later
however lie attended Doctor Priestly's classical school at
Bardstown, Kentucky. Judge Rowan was admitted to the

Page I4


bar in 1795, and commenced the practice at Elizabethtown,
Kentucky. He was a member of the constitutional conven-
tion of 1799; removed to Frankfort in 1800 to practice in
the Court of Appeals; was appointed Secretary of State
by Governor Greenup in 1804, and was elected to Congress
in 1803. He served several terms in the Kentucky Legisla-
ture from Nelson county and he was the recognized leader
of the New Court or Relief party in Kentucky. He was
commissioned Judge of the Court of Appeals in 1819 and
served one year. He was especially active in the Kentucky
Legislature in 1824 and while serving in the House he was
elected to the United States Senate for six years. Later
he represented the United States in adjustment of some
claims against the Mexican Government. He was one of
the great criminal lawyers of Kentucky. He defended
Isaac B. Desha for assassinating Francis Baker in 1824 and
he defended the Wilkinsons at Harrodsburg on a change of
venue, for killing several men at Louisville in 1838. For
nearly half a century he was regarded as one of the greatest
lawyers in Kentucky. lie was one of the most illustrious
men Kentucky has produced. He died at Louisville, Ken-
tucky, July 13, 1843.
  Judge Geo. M. Bibb was born and educated in Virginia;
he came to Kentucky in 1798 and located at Lexington. He
was appointed one of the judges of the Court of Appeals
in 1808 and was made chief justice the following year. He
resigned from the bench in 1810, but was reappointed by
Governor Desha in 1827. He was elected to the United
States Senate in 1811 and was elected again in 1829 and
Served until 1835. He was Secretary of the Treasury in
the cabinet of President Tyler and he was recognized as
one of the very great men of that day. He died in 1859.
  There have been very few Kentuckians more prominent
in the law or politics than Judge John Rowan or Judge
Geo. M. Bibb.

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     The Jackson-Dickin