xt7qbz61622p https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7qbz61622p/data/mets.xml Ahmann, Ignatius Mary. 1902  books b92-71-27213766 English s.n., : [Carrollton, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Catholics Kentucky. Forget-me-nots of past and present  / by Rev. Ignatius Mary Ahmann. text Forget-me-nots of past and present  / by Rev. Ignatius Mary Ahmann. 1902 2002 true xt7qbz61622p section xt7qbz61622p 

























































RT. REV. CAMILLUS PAUL MAES, I). D.
      Bishop of Covington, Kv.




 

























































RT. WmV (AEkv A.y iARRt,,,,: D. 1).
  Finyst Bitshop ofX Cvingtooi:, 1853,


 
This page in the original text is blank.


 





FORGET-ME-NOTS


          OF


  PAST AND PRESENT.



BY



REV. IGNATIUS MARY AHMANN.


 
This page in the original text is blank.


 
















TO THE



     RIGHT REV. CAMILLUS PAUL MAES, D. D.

             BISHOP OF COVINGTON, KENTUCKY.


In grateful acknowledgment on the part of his people, for his noble
  efforts to consummate the great work begun by his predecessors
     in Kentucky, and as a slight expression of love and grati-
        tude for the grace conferred, by the imposition of
           his hands, in holy ordination to the priest-
              hood, these historical sketches are
                    respectfully dedicated.


                                          BY THE AtTHOR.



St. :Yohn:'s Recloiy, Carro//ton, A),.
       OCTOBER 5, 1902.



(iiih


 
This page in the original text is blank.




 















CONTENTS.



   ILLUSTRATIONS,

   POEMI-Right Rev. Camillus P. Maes,

   PREFACE,

Kentucky Heroes and Heroines,

Poem by Rev. M. Badin,

The Early Catholic Emigrants to Kentucky,

Anecdotes,

Port William, alias Carrollton,  -  -

Sketch of Mary Florence Taney,

State Song-Kentucky,

Poem in Honor of Mary Florence Taney,

First Catholic Settlers,

Lecture of M. J. Spalding, D. D.,

Echoes --A. D. iqoi,-



            PAGE.

    - - --   vii

          -  ix



-   -         x 7
            : I

              7

     - - 9



        -- 36

   - - - 53

          - ;8

-  -    -   59

      6c- 36

    -  - -   5375

 - - -   - 133



(VI


 
This page in the original text is blank.




 

















                       ILLUSTRATIONS.

Portrait of Right Rev. George A. Carrell, I). D., First Bishop of Cov-
         ington, Ky.-Right Rev. Camillus Paul Maes, D. D., Bishop
         of Covington, Ky.-Rev. James L. Gorey, Chancellor of the
         Covington Diocese-Most Rev. Martin John Spalding, D. D.
         -Miss Mary Florence Taney-New St. John's Church, Car-
         rollton, Ky.-Rev. Ignatius Mary Ahmann-Rev. Andrew
         Michel-Rev. Edward Froehlich-Rev. Father Stephany-
         School, Parsonage and Old Church, Carrollton, Ky.-Rev.
         Stephan Schmid-Rev. Paulus M. Kolopp-Rev. Robertus
         Richartz-Mr. Gustave Renschler-Mr. Edward Grobmyer
         -Mr. John F. Hill-Mr. Thomas Disken-Mr. John Siers-
         dorfer-Mr. George Grobmeier- Mr. Casper Feller-Mr.
         Joseph Framme-Mr. Frank Suetholz.



(vii)


 
This page in the original text is blank.

 












R!GHT REVEREND CAMILLUS P. MAES,

            BISHOP OF COVINGTON.

                   GREETING:
Beloved Bishop, on this happy day,
    We greet thee with our hearts aflame
With love and reverence, and pray,
    And honor, and thank thee, in His Holy Name.

Thou who art mete to grace the courtliest scene,
    To give a charm to highest earthly place,
An intellect, sparkling, anaiytic, keen,
    Marks thee a leader, as of princely race.

Yet thou did'st choose to lay Ambition down,
    Renounce the joys that other men hold dear,
To follow Him, who wore a thorny crown,
   And wandered homeless, year by year.

The better part hath been thy loving choice,
   To help the weak,-and shed the tear of pitying love;
To be a father unto all, a friend and guide,
   And call to earth, the bliss above.

Thy life shall reach in gracious deeds,
   Beyond this fleeting world, these fleeting years;
And dwell for aye, a blessing here, a glory there,
   When Christ in love shall staunch all tears.

Long last thy ministry of peace and love,
   Long may thy presence cause mur hearts to burn,
Till full of holy deeds and love,
   Thou mayst late to Heaven return.

                              AI1a,: Flo-'ence Tantiy.



/ix)


 
This page in the original text is blank.


 










                        PREFACE

    Flowers speak a language of their own which is variously
 interpreted, and hence it is, that neither the beauty nor fra-
 grance of any particular flower, may claim exclusively, to have
 won popular favor. Shakespeare says: "That which we call a
 rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." We know not
 whether it was the first awakefing of pure love, when maiden
 Rose touched the flower, which imparted to it its crimson
 glow; or, whether the shadow of the Virgin in prayer, made
 the Lily a symbol of virgina' purity; but true it is that the
 tiny, humble Forget-me-not-reflecting the azure of the sky-
 will always symbolize fidelity to God, and His image-Man.
   In presenting to the dear people of Carrollton, these FORGET-
ME-NOTS, how many hidden treasures are brought to light.
   Facts of interest regarding the founding of the first Church
and the men and women,who so heroically enacted their parts.
   As time rolls on, incidents connected with the Golden Jubi-
lee of St. John's Church, which we to-day celebrate, and which
notable occasion marks the laying of the corner-stone of our
new Church, will become valuable, and it is a duty which we
owe to posterity to perpetuate in enduring form, so far as lies
in our power, the history of the past and present.
   Disinterestedness, self-sacrifice, and fidelity to God, are nec-
essary qualities in the building up of a congregation, and though
Virtue is its own reward, and the hope of its attainment, a strong
incentive to noble action, is it not reasonable to believe, that the
example of the heroic Pioneers, whose deeds are chronicled in
these pages, will give added impetus to the work so auspi-
ciously begun.
                            (xi)


 




PREFACE.



    Little was recorded before i855. I am greatly indebted to
 "Spalding's Sketches of Kentucky," from which, in order to be
 truthful and accurate, and for the convenience of those who
 have not access to voluminous works of history, are taken
 the articles on "Early Catholic Settlers in Kentucky" and
 "Anecdotes." The object is, to give my dear people, a concise
 account of the early doings of our brethren of the one True
 Faith, and to familiarize them with some of the heroic men
 and women of pioneer days.
   I must also express sincere gratitude to the living wit-
nesses who have aided in saving from oblivion many inter-
esting episodes, concerning the building up of St. John's
Congregation.
   No claim for literary excellence is made, still I trust, this
literary bouquet, will be welcomed by Carrollton's citizens,
irrespective of creed, whose immortal souls I have loved, as
father and priest; whose joys and sorrows I have shared for
years; and whose prosperity has been my only delight.
   I shall be more than rewarded for my labors, if the reader,
will with prayer, respond to my whisper, "Forget me-not."
                                      IGNATIUS M. AHMANN.

St. John's Rectory, Carroll/on, Ky.
       October 5, 1902.



Mii




 



















































                       REV. JAMES L. GOREY.
Eloquent Chancellor of the Covington Diocese, who delivered the lecture
      on the day of the laying of the cornerstone, October 5, 1902.


 
This page in the original text is blank.




 









       KENTUCKY HEROES AND HEROINES.


   "Kentucky. the Dark and Bloody Ground," is calculated
to inspire fear; but, from its etymology, we find " Kentake,"
taken from the Indian dialect, signifies " Prairie," or " Meadow
Land," which softens the first harsh impression. Nevertheless,
the first appellation, received on account of the fierce and
bloody struggle between the Christian civilizers and the sav-
age, brings us nearer that which we admire in the history of
all nations-heroes.
   Grand and sublime, they stand out in high relief on the
background of history, moulded by the masterly hand of time,
which draws a transparent veil over their lives, ingeniously
concealing the weaker parts, and with the torch of truth illu-
minating some stronger quality of soul, so that the beautiful
ideal of the hero is emblazoned in glory by deeds of valor,
boldness and disinterestedness! Speaking of heroes, we almost
instinctively, but erroneously, look toward Greece and Rome.
Grand spectacle to behold the filial devotion and love enkin-
dled on hearts' altar of a Greek, as he carries his aged father with
intrepid spirit from the conflagration. When, in the beginning
of the sixth century before Christ, the Etruscan King Porsena
attacked Rome, what bravery does not Horatius Kockles
display! All had fled, the wooden bridge spanning the Tibex
collapsed, but to save the honor of the Roman he still fought
until his wounds forced him to throw himself into the Tiber.
Mucius then conspired against the life of Porsena. During the
night he slips into his royal tent, but stabs his secretary instead
of the oppressor. Being captured, with intrepid spirit he thus
boldly answers the inquiry of the King: '-II am a Roman citizen.
Mucius is tiy name. As an enemy I came to kill my enemy. I
                                                      (1)


 




2             KENTUCKY HEROES AND HEROINES.

have as much courage to receive the death knell as to deal it out
to you. Bravery in acting, bravery in suffering! This is Roman
custom, and many with me seek this honor." Even con-
demned to the stake, he permitted his hand to burn before the
astonished courtiers, and, as a hero, exclaimed: " Behold how
little those value the body who seek great fame!" Much
as we admire, humanly speaking, such deeds, yet, as the sun
reflects its image always in the mirror; these so-called heroes
have basked iil the sunshine of their own fame, and, therefore,
reflected but their selfishness, the very contradiction of true
heroism. Christianity alone has taught this virtue in substi-
tuting for this inordinate self-love the heavenly loadstone of
love of God and neighbour, which rather shuns than seeks
fame, though it may accompany it. As our beloved Kentucky
was principally settled by Christians, here we find this true
type of hero, of which our Catholic missionaries are the
most genuine. The labors of Father Whelan, who had come
to America on one of the ships sent by France to aid the
cause of independence, and who came to Kentucky in 1787,
speaks volumes.
   What indefatigable zeal-was not required to attend to the
wants of a flock harrassed by Indians. Father Whelan visited
the different places inhabited by Catholics, offered up the
Holy Sacrifice in rude log cabins of the country, and laboured
day and night, preaching, catechising, administering the sacra-
ments, and making himself all unto all, in order to gain souls for
Christ. He was assiduous in the discharge of his duties. He
was never known to miss an appointment, no matter how in-
clement the season, or how greatly he had been exhausted by
previous labors. Often, says his biographer, was he known to
swim rivers, even in the dead of winter, in order to reach a dis-
tant station on the appointed day. How thrilling the experi-
ence of Catholic Lancaster's six-days' run after his escape from
the Indians. During this period he lived on four turkey eggs,


 




KENTUCKY HEROES AND HEROINES.



which he found in the hollow of a tree. As his course 'was
along the Ohio River he must have passed the place where
Carrollton is located, for he crossed over to Kentucky about
twenty-five miles this side of the Falls of the Ohio.
   Father Badin, another heroic priest, said his first mass,
1793, on the first Sunday of Advent on Kentucky soil, at Lex-
inigton, in the house of Dennis McCarthy, an Irish Catholic,
who acted as clerk in the commercial house of Colonel Moy-
land, brother to the then Catholic Bishop of Cork. Father
Badin found three hundred families in the State of Kentucky in
1794. This hero had to grind his own corn on a hand mill.
Judge Broadaux used to compliment him for his patriotism in
thus encouraging domestic manufactures. He rode over ioo,-
ooo miles on horseback to visit the sick and dying to bring them
nearer to God. Such love of souls and difficult work finds its
explanation only in his beautiful motto, "Follow Providence."
The battlefield of missionary work soon called for victims.
Among them was Father Anthony Salmon. Father Badin
composed the following epitaph for his heroic co-labourer:
"Here lies Anthony Salmon, a French priest of eminent virtue,
who preferred exile to schismatical wealth, leaving father,
mother, and country. Let piety weep and religion pour forth
her prayers for his repose. When the Captain falls another
must take his place. God called him from the ranks of the
Presbyterian ministry.
   Rev. Mr. Thayer, in 1781, went to Rome to collect facts to
establish the idolatry of the Catholic Church ; but he left the
"Eternal City" converted and became a Catholic missionary
and hero. On his way to Rome he visited Franklin, who was
then Minister at the French Court. Thayer petitioned Frank-
lin to be appointed Chaplain of the army. "Say your own
prayers and save the country the expense of employing a
Chaplain," was the characteristic reply of the philosopher
statesman.



3


 



KENTUCKY HEROES AND HEROINES.



   What shall we say of Flaget, the venerable patriarch of the
West, of Nerinckx, David, Elder, and others The million of
souls who are indebted to those heroic missionaries, next to
God, for the gift of faith, form more beautiful and imperishable
diadems upon their noble brows than all human praise.
Nerinckx, on his famous horse Printer, with this thirst for souls,
and with these words engraven on his heart: "Do not forsake
Providence and Providence will not forsake you," capturing on
his last long ride to the sick the prize of eternal Jerusalem,
presents a more beautiful type of the hero than Godfrey de
Bouillion capturing the earthly city of the far East.
   How erudite these missionaries were may be gleaned from
the fact that the second, Rev. De Rohan, was a Doctor of the
Sorbonne, and from the poem by Father Badin, the third heroic
priest, who composed in Latin.
   Yet, humble as children, they were, with magnanimous
souls, doing all for the honor of God and the salvation of their
fellow men. Even their smiles were sometimes the thermom-
eter of their heroic souls. Let me illustrate this by the humor-
ous experience of Father Fenwick, who by day and night
was in quest of stray sheep, and who endured everything to
attain his end. In i8o6 he was sent for-by an old lady, not a
Catholic, who lived at a distance of four miles. Having no
horse at the time, he was compelled to perform the journey on
foot, in a dark night, and over bad roads. On reaching the
house he found the old lady sitting by the fire, surrounded by
her friends. She stated to him very gravely that. knowing him
to be a very kind-hearted man, she had sent for him in ordt r
to procure twenty-five cents worth of tobacco, of which she then
stood greatly in need ! He handed her the money, stating
that he was not in. the habit of carrying tobacco in his pockets;
and on leaving the house simply requested her, with a smile, to
send to him for the money the next time -she needed tobacco,
and not to put him to the trouble of traveling four miles on
foot. Only an heroic soul could say that with a smile.



4


 




KENTUCKY HEROES AND HEROINES.



   Kentucky history may, in many an instance, be most favor-
ably compared with incidents of the chivalric age. Chateau-
briand, a great admirer of Washington, tells us that after the
reduction of Ptolemais, the Hospitallers retired to the island
of Cyprus, where they remained eighteen years.
   Rhodes, having revolted against Andronicus, Emperor of
the East, invited the Saracens within its walls. Villaret, Grand
Master of the Hospitallers, obtained of Andronicus a grant of
the island in case he could rescue it from the yoke of the Mo-
hammedans. His knights covered themselves with sheepskins,
and, crawling on their hands and knees in the midst of a flock,
stole into the town in a thick fog, gained possession of one
of the gates, dispatched the guards and introduced the rest of
the Christian army into the gates. The counterpart of this we
find in Logan, rescuing his comrade, who, in 1777, had been cap-
tured by the Indians for the purpose of entrapping others who
might venture to his rescue.
   To leave the fort meant almost certain death. Yet when
night came Logan, a true, gallant knight, tied over his body the
loose feather bed his wife had brought from Virginia,.and
getting down on all fours, crept outside the fort, grunting like
one of the hogs which roamed around the inclosure. Suddenly
he seized the wounded man and darted toward the fort before
the surprised and puzzled Indians had time to recover suffic-
iently to take sure aim at him, and in spite of balls and arrows
saved himself and his comrade.
   What a glowing imitation of the Good Samaritan's example,
rescuing the enemy who had fallen among the robbers cheers
our heart, when we read how Captain Samuel Wells finds
his wounded enemy, Colonel John Floyd, pursued by the In-
dians. In an instant he must have remembered the Nazarene's
word: " If you be good only to those that are good to you, you
are no more than heathens; and the other lesson: " Be not over-
come by evil, but overcome evil by good." Wells, with a



5


 




6              KENTUCKY HEROES AND HEROINES.

magnanimous soul, not only forgives, but forgets all, lifting
wounded Floyd on his horse, and, like the Samaritan, ran be-
side him, took care of him, and saved him.
   Heroic Judith, to save Berthulia, entering the enemy's.
camp finds her followers in the courageous women who, for
love of their families in Bryant's Station, supply it with water
at the risk of their own lives, so that a successful attack on the
Indians could be made.
   Thus heroism, with its inspiring power, is not a mere echo
of past ages, but a seed which has beer, cultivated in the
orchard of Christianity, and its fruit is always ripening on the
Tree of Life.




 











                                POEM.
   [Famous poem of Rev. M. Badin, the first Catholic priest olrdained on American soil,
I798, in honor of Col. Joe Hamilton Daviess, a Protestant gentleman, who donated lib-
erally to the flist Catholic Church erected in Lexington, 1810, and who fell a hero for
his country's cause in the Battle of Tippecanoe, November 7, Mih. The Poem was origi-
nally written in Latin. Col. Joe Hamilton Daviess was a warm friend of Father Badin,
who, in this epieedium, pours out his soul in' mingled strains of patriotism and friend-
ship. English translation by Dr. -Mitchell, of New York.]

                                   I.
            A happy autumn, with accustomed cheer,
            Had in profusion decked the faithful year;
            And elms, presaging winter's dreary reign,
            Had spread their drooping foliage round the plain:
            When fame's loud trump the vault of ether rends,
            As thus the true, but mournful, news she sends:

                                   II.
            Pretending peace, the faithless savage bands
            By night in blood imbued their murderous hands,
            With lead and steel and unexpected force,
            Assailed and slew the Leader of the horse:
            Pierced by three wounds, the brave commander fell.
            The routed foes sent forth a hideous yell,
            Till death o'ertook them with relentless frown,
            And flames vindictive triumphed through their town.

                                  III.
           A comet's glare foretold this sad event,
           The quaking Earth confirmed the dire portent;
           E'en Wabash slow her shores and islands laves,
           As thick with gore she rolls her viscid waves.

                                  IV.
           The Dryads deeply sigh, sweet Hymen faints,
           Refusing comforts 'midst embittered plaints:
           The muses silent sit, while friendship weeps,
           On hand and arm the crape of mourning keeps
           And in incessant tears her eyelids steep.
                                                                   '7)


 




POEM.



                      V.
Yet what avails a never-ending woe
The fates obdurate disregard its flow;
But Themis eyes the scene with kinder view,
Decides the meed of praise to merit due,
And thus, with mind from doubt and error free,
In solemn words declares her just decree:

                      IV.
Brave Daviess " bust shall decorate the wall
Where courts and juries meet within my hall;
The civic oak shall round his temples twine,
And victor laurel rival twigs combine;
The legislature pay the debt of grief,
And Clio's pen inscribe the historic leaf;
Cypress the field shall shelter with its shade
And for his noble heart an urn be made;
                     VIl.
A marble tomb shall faithful friendship rear,
To guard his ashes with peculiar care;
Heroic Daviess this our age shall sing,
Heroic Daviess future ages ring;
In eloquence among the foremost found,
In peace and war with deathless glory crowned:

                    VIII.
Life occupies a small and hounded place,
But glory's as unlimited as space.
They who to country give their dying breath,
Shall live immortal and shall conquer death;
Their great examples times to come inflame,
To shed their patriot blood for everlasting fame.



8




 









       THE EARLY CATHOLIC EMIGRANTS

                     TO KENTUCKY.

Glowing reports of the pioneers-Virginia and Maryland in motion towards
   the west-The first Catholic emigrants to Kentucky-Dr.Hart -Wm.
   Coomes-The first physician and the first school --The successive
   Catholic colonies-Dangers on the way- Running the gauntlet-Indian
   attacks-Death of McManus, of Cox, and of Buckman -The sava-
   ges and the Cross -Thrilling Incident of the late war- Mode of pro-
   curing salt- Domestic manners of the early emigrants to Kentucky-
   Furniture, food and apparel - Hospitality-Singular adventurers and
   hair-breadth escape of Wm. Coomes- Incidents in the early history
   of Harrod's Town.

   The reports carried back to Virginia and Maryland, by the
first adventurers who had visited Kentucky, were of so glowing
a character as to stimulate many others to emigrate thither.
The new country was represented as a sort of promised land,
with salubrious climate and fertile soil: and if not flowing with
milk and honey, at least teeming with all kinds of wild game.
This rich country now lay open to the enterprising activity of
the white man ; its fertile lands could be obtained by occupa-
tion, or purchased for a mere trifle; and the emigrants might
subsist, like the Indians, by hunting, until the soil could be
prepared for cultivation.
   To be sure, dangers were to be encountered on the way to
this beautiful region; and these dangers would perhaps in-
crease, after the emigrant should be able to settle down at his
new home. The reports of the first pioneers were interspersed
with tales of horror concerning those who had been killed and
scalped by the Indians, or who had been dragged into captivity
and mercilessly burnt at the stake. But these frightful narra-
                                                         (9)


 




Io      THE EARLY CATHOLIC EMIGRANTS TO KENTUCKY.



tives, however much they grated on the ear, could not quench,
or even check to any great extent, the growing love for adven-
ture. Men and women, young and old, caught the spirit ; and
soon nearly half of Virginia and Maryland was in motion for
the west. In the brief space of seventeen years-between 1775
and 1792-Kentucky, from being a vast unreclaimed wilder-
ness, became a State of the Union !
   The Catholic population of Kentucky emigrated almost
entirely from Maryland; chiefly from St. Mary's, Charles and
Prince George's counties. They were descendants of the good
old colonists of Lord Baltimore. Maryland was, in every re-
spect, the great alma mater of the Catholics of Kentucky. She
supplied them with people from her superabundant popu-
lation ; and she too sent out the first missionaries who broke
to them the bread of life. The first Catholics who are known
to have emigrated to our State, were Wm. Coomes and family,
and Dr. Hart.  They both came out in the spring of 1775,
among the very first white people who removed to Kentucky.
They settled in Harrod's station, at that time the only place
in Kentucky, except Boonesborough and perhaps Logan's
station, where emigrants could enjoy any degree of security
from the attacks of the Indians.
   Dr. Hart was an exemplary Irish Catholic. He was one of
the first physicians, if not the very first of the profession, who
settled in Kentucky.  He lived for many years in Harrod's
Town,where he was engaged in the practice of medicine. After
the great body of the Catholics had located in the vicinity of
Bardstown, he too removed thither, in order to enjoy the
blessings of his religion. He purchased a farm about a mile
from Bardstown, embracing the site of the present burial
ground of St. Joseph's corgregation. It was he who made a
present to the church of this lot of ground, upon which old St.
Joseph's church was erected. Towards the building of this,
one among the oldest Catholic churches of Kentucky, he also


 




THE EARLY CATHOLIC EMIGRANTS TO KENTUCKY.



liberally contributed. He was the first Catholic who (lie(l in
Kentucky, and the first that was buried in the cemetery which
he had bestowed.
   William Coomes was originally from Charles County, Mary-
land, whence he had removed to the south branch of the
Potomac river, in Virginia. He emigrated to Kentucky, with
his family, together with Abraham and Isaac Hite. On their
way through Kentucky to Harrod's station, the party en-
camped for seven weeks at Drilling's Lick, in the neighbor-
bood of the present city of Frankfort. Here Mrs. Coomes,
aided by those of the party who were not engaged in hunting,
employed herself in making salt- for the first time, perhaps,
that this article was manufactured in our State. Some time
after the party had reached Harrod's Town, the men of the
station being all otherwise busily engaged, Mrs. Coomes, at the
urgent request of the citizens, opened a school for the edu-
cation of children. This was, in all probability, the first
school established in Kentucky. Thus the first school teacher,
and probably the first physician of our Commonwealth, were
both Catholics.
   Of the remarkable adventures of Wm. Coomes, we intend
to speak more in detail at the close of the present chapter.
We will here rapidly glance at the chief colonies of
Catholics, who successively removed to the State, and of the
dangers they severally encountered on the way. Our informa-
tion has been carefully gleaned from the oral statements of
many of the old emigrants, who are now fast disappearing
from the stage of life.
   The first Catholic colony w.hich emigrated to Kentucky,
after those already named, was the one which accompanied the
Haydons and Lancasters. They reached the new country
some time in the year I785, and located themselves chiefly on
Pottinger's Creek, at the distance of ten to fifteen miles from
Bardstown. A few of them, however, settled in the more im-



I I


 




THE EARLY CATHOLIC EMIGRANTS TO KENTUCKY.



mediate vicinity of Bardstown. The selection of Pottinger's
Creek as the location of the new Catholic colony was unfor-
tunate. The land was poor, and the situation uninviting. Yet
the nucleus of the new colony having been formed, these dis-
advantages were subsequently disregarded. The new Catholic
emigrants from Maryland continued to flock, to the same
neighborhood. They preferred being near their brethren; and
enjoying with them the advantages of their holy religion, to
all other mere worldly considerations. They could not brook
the idea of straggling off in different directions, where, though
they might better their temporal condition, they and their
children would, in all probability, be deprived of the consola-
tions of religion.
   The Protestant emigrants to our State seem to have been
guided by no such principle; and this may serve to explain to us
their general superior advantages from a worldly point of view.
The all-pervading principle of Catholicity is union; while dis-
union, on the contrary, is the distinctive feature of Protest-
antism. And, while on this subject, we may remark, in general,
that, with two or three exceptions, the Catholic emigrants to
Kentucky selected poor and unproductive land for their settle-
ments. They followed each other like a flock of sheep; nor
is this a disparaging comparison; for our blessed Lord often
adopted it as a favorite illustration of one of the distinctive
qualities of His disciples.
   A much larger colony of Catholics than that just named
emigrated to Kentucky in the spring of the year 1786, with
Captain James Rapier. They settled in the same neighbor-
hoods with those who had preceded them in the previous year.
In the following year, 1787, another colony came out with
Philip Miles and Thomas Hill. Catholic emigrants continued
to pour into Kentucky during the following years. In 1788,
Robert Abell emigrated thither with some of his friends.
   Robert Abell was one of the delegates to the -convention



12


 




THE EARLY CATHOLIC EMIGRANTS TO KENTUCKY.



which framed our State constitution; and he was the only
Catholic in that body. The following incident may not be
here inappropriate. The convention had agreed that each of
the delegates might submit a draught of the new constitution,
and that, in the debate in regard to each provision, those should
be selected from the respective draughts which should be
deemed best by the majority of delegates. Robert Abell had
two room-mates: the late distinguished Felix Grundy, of Nash-
ville; and a lawyer, who had been a Presbyterian preacher.
The last- named, one day called the attention of his two com-
panions to a provision which he had inserted in his draught of
of the constitution, which ran about as follows: "And be it
further provided, that no papist or Roman Catholic shall hold
any office of profit or trust in this Commonwealth." Immed-
iately Felix Grundy seized his pen, and indited the following
clause in his draught: "And be it also provided, that no
broken-down Presbyterian preacher shall be eligible to any
office in this Commonwealth." This clause he read to the
lawyer-preacher, whom he further assured that he would lay it
before the convention, and advocate its adoption, the very
moment the provision excluding Roman Catholics should be
read before that body. The " broken-down" preacher looked
blank, and no more was heard of his famous clause. This in-
cident was related to a son of Robert Abell, by Felix Grundy
himself.
   In the year 1790, a colony came out with Benedict Spalding,
from St. Mary's County, Maryland. This was followed, in the
ensuing year, by other emigrants who accompanied Leonard
Hamilton. The greater portion of these three last named
colonies located themselves on the Rolling Fork of Salt River,
in the present county of Marion. After the cessation of Indian
hostilities, and the treaty of Greenville, in I795, emigration to
the colonies was not attended with so much difficulty or
danger as before, and the number of Catholics who removed



I3


 




THE EARLY CATHOLIC EMIGRANTS TO KENTUCKY.



to Kentucky proportionably increased. But before this period
the hardships and dangers which the emigrant had to en-
counter, both on the way and after he had reached his destin-
ation, are almost incredible at the present day. The new
comers generally descended the Ohio River in flat boats from
Pittsburgh. The Indians lurked in the forests, on both sides of
the river, awaiting the first favorable opportunity to pounce
upon their prey, to seize the boats, and to capture or butcher
the occupants. The boats of Miles and Hill, in 1787, were
fired on by the Indians, about twenty miles above Louisville;
all the horses were killed, and likewise one man by the n