yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


Rosa Barton Tyler

Transcribed and contributed by Robbie Burnett

History of BARRY family, presented to W. V. Barry by his relative Mrs. Rosa Barton Tyler of Holly Springs, Mississippi, whose mother was a sister of Judge V. D. Barry, grandfather of W. V. Barry.


At the request of Mrs. Rosa Clark, my niece, I commence some account of the family from which we are descended.

It is a natural wish to know something of our forefathers, and it will be found in this recital, that all knowledge of our family farther that the families of my grandparents is unknown to me, and I am the only one now left, who can tell even the little I shall attempt to write.

I learned what you find here from the lips of my mother, from the diaries and memorandums kept by my father in his youth and first scenes of life when acting for himself, and from my own memory (which is still unimpaired) of localities, dates and events.

My grandfather, John Barry, and my grandmother, Eleanor Diamond, had both been married and (he) had three children: one daughter, Eleanor; and two sons, David and Michael. She had one daughter, also called Eleanor. After they married, they had three sons: Daniel (my father), Henry, and John; and two daughters, Mary and Betty. I cannot boast of the wealth or high position of my family: I was always led to think them and honest, respectable, and industrious people and from many circumstances, they must have had an anxiety for education.

My mother's family was called "Toland". Her father, Henry Toland; her mother, Elizabeth McAlpine, lived in the county of Antrim, near the southwestern extremity of Bough Nough, ten miles distant from Belfast, a seaport city in the north of Ireland. They raised eleven children; the sons-John, William, Hugh, Roger, Arthur and Henry; the daughers-Elizabeth, Rosanna (my mother), Catherine, Nancy, Alice, and Jennie. All the children remained their native land except Arthur and my mother. Her brother had come over two or three years before she did, to the (to them) far famed land of liberty, "America", and his emigration had much effect in reconciling her to leaving all the rest behind.

The Barry family were Catholic and selected my father, who early showed a capacity to learn and a love of books, as the scholar and future Priest of the family. He was sent to school in Newry, a town of some note in the county of Down, (which I forgot to mention as the place of their residence). He was placed in advanced schools as his progress required until, when he was about 18 years of age, he was thought to be prepared to enter the Jesuit College, that he might be qualified to carry out he anxious desires and hopes of his parents. He had always been fond of reading and books of a controversial character had fallen into his hands. Among them were some that animadverted severely on many of the principal doctrines of Popery, and they succeeded in undermining his faith in "The Virtues of the Confessional", Transubstantiation, and many others, which rendered his entering of the course which had been laid out for him from his childhood an impossibility in his conscientious mind. He candidly told his father his feelings and views, "that he could not go forward to teach what it was impossible for him to believe". Horror stricken at the avowal, that his son, his favorite son, the hope of his age, should be come a heretic, the old man at once told him if he disappointed his hopes in this way, for his present and future welfare, he must hereafter depend on his own exertions for his support as he neither could nor would do anything more for him.

My father first went to live with a relative, a druggist, with a view of studying medicine, his relative being also a practicing physician. He soon became disgusted (as I heard him say) with the deception practiced on the ignorant poor who applied for advice, etc., and left that place, preferring the situation of private tutor in the family of a gentleman by the name of Orr. He now had made a most fortunate selection, the family being intellectual, furnished with an excellent library. His labors not heavy, he had much leisure for improving himself and, by the acquaintances formed here, he gained friends of such standing in society as to be of much benefit to him in after years.

Depending as I do in writing this from memory, many irregularities as to the arrangement will necessarily occur which I hope will meet with due allowance. I should have given the date of my father's birth at first. He was born, August 1st, 1769, near Bannbidge, County of Down, in the north of Ireland. About 1791, he obtained a situation as tutor, but of a high grade, in the house of a gentleman called John Heyland, his residence known as Glen Oak, in the County of Antrium, near the home of my grandfather Toland, where he found his future wife, Rosanna Toland. He had the instruction of daughters, sons, and other relatives here and secured the esteem and warm friendship of the entire family connection. I have seen many evidences of grateful feeling evidenced by presents marked with the names and written by the hands of the donors expressive of kind and grateful acknowledgments.

His library was almost made up with the presents of this kind and, even after his living there till 1797, when he left for America, he found boxes at the seaport, Belfast, forwarded without his knowledge by his friends left behind. The date mentioned above (1797) will show that his dear native land was involved in trouble for some time past. The spirit of the "United Irishman" was aroused; parties formed, and a time had arrived when it was unsafe for men of that party to remain in their native land. My fathers' brother, Henry, who had been a warm partisan in the county of Down, had become a mark at which vengeance was pointed by government spies, and he had gotten off by the aid of friends, come to Antrim, was concealed there some weeks, and my father determined to carry out immediately his intention of going to America. It had been his desire for several years to make his home there ultimately, but he had delayed while his business was lucrative and his country peaceful. That time was over now.

I now go back and bring up my narrative: From my fathers' diary in 1791, I recollect to have read many remarks relative to his acquaintance with my mother; his observations on her conduct, mind and principles, one thing which might not be noticed by any other man almost may serve to give some idea of the nicety of his feeling as regarded females. It seems he had seen and conversed with Rosanna Toland that day; the subject of ages arose and she mentioned her age as one year younger than he had heard it was. He commented on it in a tone of disappointment; he felt his opinion of her very strict regard for truth chilled. But he could not, he would not, think she would descend to so low a deviation from truth, she had not intended to deceive. No! she was superior to anything of that kind. And he was not wrong. No human being ever more strictly adhered to truth or more strongly inculcated its principles in her children.

My parents were married early in November, 1793. My mother still remained at the home of her father, as it was so near "Glen Oak" that it was not necessary to remove and fit up a home. August 1st, 1794, my brother, Valentine Derry was born. He was named for a favorite schoolmate of my father, who many years after came to America and settled on Long Island and established a seminary of some note, of which he was principal. I was next born on July 17, 1796

The increasing troubles of the country, and the prospect of an increasing family, now pointed out to my father the necessity of putting in practice his long cherished project of removal to America. Accordingly, on the 3rd of June, 1797, it was commenced a heart rending farewell between mother and all her family!!. How often in early years have I sat at my mother's knee and shed tears with her over the recital of the trial of that hour! How her father, distressed almost beyond endurance, was unable to leave his bed, drawing her to his breast, kissed her and exclaimed "Oh, Rosa, my child, how much rather would I lay you in your grave!"

The death of his son, Arthur, who had emigrated a few years before and of whom the news of his death had recently reached his family, served to render the old man less hopeful for any more of his children when to the same country. My uncle died suddenly in some town in Pennsylvania, as my mother learned when she arrived in Philadelphia.

We left our native land accompanied by my uncle, Henry Barry, Miss Ann Galt, and two of her nieces, who were coming over under the care of my father to her brother-in-law, a Mr. Simmes, in Fincastle, Botetourt County, Virginia. Miss Galt was a relative of the Heyland family, where my father had taught for several years. I can well remember reading her letters to my father and mother and one to myself in answer to one written by me when not more than six years of age.

Our voyage across the Atlantic, unlike those of the present day, was tedious. We were ten weeks on sea, two weeks becalmed. My mother, worn down by distress and the effects of the sea, took a severe fever and was not expected to live during the greater part of the voyage. She was, however, spared to pass through an eventful life. When we arrived in Philadelphia, early in August, she was barely able to walk, supported by my father's arm, to a boarding house. Here she commenced her new era of life, meeting with wonders innumerable and of every kind. She often amused her little ones telling over her adventures, if such they might be called. A Negro baby, nearly in a state of nudity, carried on the arm of its mother, formed one of her sights. The woman was seeking employment. The curly head, black face and white eyes, characteristic of the race, were as great wonder to her as any of the African or Asiatic wild animals are to our American children.

Our American congress was in session at the time of my father's arrival and as he had been well provided with letter of introduction to gentlemen in the style, became acquainted very soon with many delegates from various parts of the Union. His ________ to find a home in part of ______ where ______and his profession _____ were discouraged most.

Being generally known, he had inducement held out to him many places, but he finally determined to make his way to the new State of Kentucky. His choice once made, his usual energy of character led him to take up at once his course of travel for that point. No railway then offered its speedy conveyance. No; Nothing but the heavy wagon, transporting foods over mountain, valley, and plain, was then available. His earthly all was contained in sundry boxes and a sea chest, which later was the horror of my youth. Being the oldest girl, it was my lot to bring our from its depths all articles which were usually packed away in it and, as it seems to me, that which was wanted was generally at the bottom. It created a dislike for a piece of furniture called a chest which time has never erased.

My mother, brother, and myself had seats in the wagon and my father, on foot, pursued his way westward to find a home. This mode of travel will appear to person of the present day as insupportably tedious and fatiguing; but to the emigrant, everything was new and interesting - even to the gambles of the squirrels on the trees and fences and an occasional sight of a snake (dead or alive) was wont to raise both curiosity and horror in one from the land where no serpent can exist. Thanks be to St. Patrick!!

My uncle, being unmarried, chose to remain behind. He also taught, but wished to be nearer to his old home, ready, if circumstances occurred promising anything hopeful to the Irish cause, to return and spend his all, even life itself.

I will here tell all I know him and then return to the thread of my story. His career was short; he came at the end of one year to Kentucky, where he spent a year, assisting my father in school. His yearnings for home then became so strong he determined to go back and act as the times might require. His return was marked by spies, and his arrest determined on. His fate, if arrested, was certain - the same as that of Emmet. This fate had been in his mind before his emigration and the strong resolve never to submit to it was settled. I do not recollect the name of the town in which he had stopped at an inn where the officers (I was about to say of Justice) of Tyranny were placed on his track by spies and came up stair to his room. He was ready with arms, met his foes promptly, shot five of them and with the sixth and last pistol, put an instant end to his own existence. Better suicide than the gallows had long been his conclusion.

I must relate a few anecdotes of the journey over the mountains. The wagoner was a Dutchman whose father lived on the road. On Saturday, the young man asked my father if he would be willing to stop over the Sabbath to rest at his father's, it costing my father nothing while there. They stopped; not one of the family speaking a word of English, my mother had to make her wants known to my father, and he used the young man as an interpreter. She wished to put her children to bed; she was told they would occupy a house in the yard which was then ready. On entering, she found a room half filled to the ceiling with apples and other fruit with a pleasant odor and four feather beds laid in pairs on the floor with no bed clothes on them. My mother sat down, undressed us, expecting every moment the necessary clothing; none came. She told my father and learned we were to sleep between the beds. Between feather beds in August! Mama said she was so amused at the idea, it was long before she could compose herself to sleep.

They arrived at Pittsburgh, where they got on a flatboat. Here they had to cook for themselves. Heretofore, they had purchased from country people. Cornmeal was here introduced and my mother used to laugh at her efforts to work up the dough, so as to adhere like flour. She tried in vain and then shed tears at the idea of being unable to make bread for her hungry children. A fellow passenger instructed her, and so she got over this difficulty. In November, they arrived in Lexington, where my father left his family, hired a horse, and proceeded to Bardstown, Nelson County Kentucky, to deliver letters of introduction to several gentlemen residents of that place from Philadelphia. Among them was Mr. John Crozier, an Irishman and a lifelong friend he proved to be. He was the father to a Mrs. Wilkerson, a lady mentioned this fall in a letter from Mrs. Clark to me.

In this place, a school was much wanted; the population in and near the town, generally very rough, the children untaught at home, difficult to manage at school, had succeeded in so disgusting their teacher that none could be obtained willing to undertake the task. Not deterred by the picture of the past, my father engaged to teach, and a few weeks later found him installed a teacher of languages and English to the Hoosiers of Bardstown. He brought with him all his European ideas of that day as to governing a school. He had written rules which were read on the entrance of every pupil in the presence of his parent or guardian, and they were signed by the pupil if old enough, or by required and other if too young. The most rigid obedience was enforced - by severe punishment, if necessary. While a spirit of manly pride was aroused if possible, there was no chance for evasion of duty. Many novel passages between parent and teacher arose--threats of personal chastisement (to my father) were often uttered, but none were ever carried into effect and I have often heard in after years, men say that they, when scholars, had often determined that when grown to manhood, they would avenge themselves on my father for his strictness and severity, but that they now felt assured that had he pursued a more lenient course, they would never have been of any worth.

Party spirit ran high in this place, politically and socially. The working classes were not admitted by invitation to the social gatherings of those who lived by law, medicine, merchandise, and teaching. My father, fresh from Europe, was prepared to keep up this separation of classes; even though he had many warm friends among the working classes. Many who stood by him throughout the severest troubles, which we are now approaching, the presuming ones invariably hated him with his friends.

John Rowan, a lawyer; John Crozier, a merchant, Geo. Bibb, Lawyer; and Dr. McClellan were our neighbors and lived on such an intimate footing that visiting, tea drinking and, I am sorry to say, wine drinking, parties were frequent. The exclusive nature of these parties gave rise to the worst feelings of human nature and showed themselves in riotous raids at night, to the houses of the offending persons, when the windows were shattered by brick bats and rocks, their horsetails shaved, their ears cut off, carriages shorn of curtains and otherwise defaced and many threats of personal violence.

I will now enter on a detail of the circumstances which led to the imprisonment and trial of my father, of which you have incidentally heard. You may depend on what I write, though the act for which he was tried, namely, the killing of John Gilpin took place September 3, 1801, when I was five years old. I have a perfect recollection of many, very many, of the occurrences of that very night and they have been imprinted indelibly on my mind in later years by the repetition of the horrors of that time from the lips of my dear mother.

She was a woman of quiet, unobtrusive manners, never exciting angry feeling but, on the contrary, gaining the goodwill of all and many times, my father was saved rough passages for her sake. His feelings were exactly opposite to hers; doing what he felt right under the circumstances, regardless of consequences, thus acting hastily and repenting at leisure. I have also read since I was grown, and account of the whole trial, testimony, etc. in the whole matter. My father got a complete record of it, that his descendants might understand for themselves that he was forced to act as he did.

On the night in question, a party of the friends I have named before were to sup with Mr. Rowan, who lived near town. This my father told my mother when he left home. After dark some time, a rap at our door was heard; mother opened it and found two men standing on the highest step, who inquired for my father. She at once told where he had gone, and they turned away. She felt alarmed as soon as she had time to think, for in one of them she recognized a violent enemy and she foreboded no good from his visit. She called her Negro woman from the kitchen and, wrapping up my father's large pistols, sent her with them to Mr. Rowan's by a private path, she dreading and ambush on the public road. Imagine the feeling of a wife under such circumstances sitting in her lonely room with four sleeping children! The woman returned in a short time with the information that the company, after supper, had gone into town to get admittance to a "Debating Society" of young men, held at a tavern. Such was the fact but, finding the door closed, they retired into a room, where they had not been sitting long before several men intruded, talking loudly and at last insultingly to some of the company. My father was addressed by Mr. Gilpin, who was intoxicated, in angry tones, saying that he (my father) had insulted his captain (the military C.) and the he (Mr. Gilpin) took up the quarrel and intended to avenge it. I have heard my father say that he felt sorry for the young man for he was usually a quiet, sober mechanic who attended to his own business and he felt assured that the fellows who were with him had used him as a tool to effect their own purposes and had intoxicated him for the desired end. After much conversation, my father, talking in a friendly manner to him and telling him his captain was not worth his trouble as he would not avenge himself (my father had horsewhipped him). The young man would not be satisfied, till my father promised to meet him in the morning with weapons and settle the matter. Father said in after years that his respect for Mr. Gilpin led him to do this, thinking that when sober he could be made sensible of his folly.

On application of the owner of the house, the room was vacated by the rowdy crew and the door was closed. They had only retired to make further arrangements and soon returned, provided with missiles for breaking open the door, which the did--brick-bats flying in every direction in the room, striking several gentlemen. My father was struck on the nose between the eyes, giving a scar he carried to the grave. In falling, he drew a pocket pistol and fired at one of the fellows who had called at our house that night, a well-known villain called Russell. His fall prevented the ball from going the course intended, and it struck Mr. Gilpin, inflicting a wound of which he dies in a few hours. All was now riot and confusion; my father was hurt in several places and his friends, as soon as they could get out, procured from a Magistrate a writ of committal to prison, being sensible that in no other way could they preserve my father from the fury of the mob. He was in prison before daylight. A physician had also dressed his wounds, none of the dangerous, though they were very painful, being chiefly cuts and burns from blows about the head.

And now, let us return to mother in her vigil of trouble, for not once had she closed her eyes. A Negro woman came in about twelve or one o'clock and told her there was a great noise uptown, that someone was hurt, but who she did not know. Mother, all alarm, ran to the nearest neighbor (Mr. McCullock), a tailor, and Irishman and a staunch friend of the family, and induced him to go and ascertain the real state of affairs. Very soon she learned the melancholy truth. Her female friends, Mrs. Crozier among the rest, came in and insisted that she should go with her children immediately to Mr. Crozier's house. Well I do remember the candle light flashing in my face on being awakened; my wonder at the presence of the ladies, my mother's distress, our early breakfast at Mr. Crozier's house and our visit to my father in prison as soon as we could get an order for admittance.

No description can give an idea of the suffering of our family during my father's imprisonment; they were those of the mind, arising from what would be heard as the chitchat of the town and constantly repeated. My father had friends indeed, numerous and unflinching, who attended to his family in all that was necessary. My mother dignified, quiet and unwavering course secured her the respectful treatment of my father's worst enemies. The jailer (Jacob Weller) was an enemy and my mother felt a degree of insult at the manner of searching her (a form endured daily) when she visited her husband - mashing her cap in, etc. The jail allowance my father never ate. His meals were regularly sent by brother Valentine who on his return would tell how the little boys on the street would insult him by telling of the expected fate of his father. During the imprisonment of father, it was thought advisable to apply to the legislature of Kentucky for a change of venue, because of the difficulty of getting an unprejudiced jury, every man in Nelson County being friend or enemy. He was allowed bail, ample security being abundantly offered. It was thought best that he should move his family, and a situation was secured by his friends in Springfield, Washington County, for him to teach. Accordingly, in November 1801, the family, accompanied by several friends, went to their new home (15 miles), leaving father to follow the next day. He came up, I can well remember, with a guard; he, however, unconfined, riding at the head. They came to our house where mother had a dinner laid out for them and they then went to Danville, Lincoln County, where the necessary forms were entered into and he returned to his family, opened his school and carried it on until April, 1802, when his trial came on. In the meantime, the whole train of events leading to the melancholy result has been examined into; the testimony well prepared, and at the final trial, the most unequivocal evidence produced of pre concerted plots and plans for his destruction on the night of the fatal catastrophe.

A meeting of the chief bullies of the town, at the house of Sweets, the town butcher, was proven, at which Russell, the man aimed at by my father, and another, whose name I do not recollect, took an oath that my father's life should be taken that night. They were the two who called at our door and their plan was to entice father to the step, so that the candle in the room would show his position on his own threshold. This failed in consequence of his absence the subsequent events were enacted hoping to be able to fulfill their oath. (Man proposes; God disposes!)

The testimony was full and conclusive. The jury retired! "Are we all agreed?", asked one. "No, I am not with you", said a sober old man. "Why, where can you find the least cause of dissent?" "He ought to be hanged", said the juror dissenting. "He should have killed several more of the d----d rascals."

He finally gave up his objection and there was a unanimous and honorable acquittal, and he returned to his family and business. Afterwards, he was often in Bardstown on business and was never molested in any way by his former foes. He had not selected Springfield as a permanent home but remained until May, 1803, in his leisure hours qualifying himself to fill the office of Circuit Clerk, the old system of Quarter Session Courts being abolished. He was appointed Circuit Clerk in Ohio County on Green River and moved to Hartford, the county seat. He here again had a full school, prosecuted the education of his own children and discharged his official duties. This retired situation had many advantages for him.. No convivial temptation; plenty of employment, and increasing family to be concerned for and an increase of years bringing prudence with them all served to amend matters. I will here pause and make some record of the children which now belonged to the family. The third child, Eliza, was born in Bardstown, Kentucky, September 26, 1798; the fourth, Henry, May 4th 1800; the fifth, Nancy, February, 1802.

The reputation of my father as a teacher followed him to his new home; the wild, new "Green River County" as it was called, was settled by plain, hardworking people, with very few Negroes among them, mostly Marylanders of the Methodist Church, when of any. It was not an uncommon thing to see a shouting Methodist presented to the Grand Jury for stealing hogs, perjury, or any other of the offenses cognizant to that body. Assault and Battery was common.

My mother was always cautious and strict with her children, never allowing intimacies to grow up with those of exceptionable training. Though we were thrown with all kinds in school, my father's care in classification prevented it, to a great extent, then; and as we were never allowed to visit alone, we, of course, were accustomed only to our mother's associates, her private instructions leading us early to understand and appreciate the motives for her exclusive course. The course was an unvarying one so long as we lived under parental direction. We learned to employ ourselves at home and seek our pleasure in books, work and home society, occasionally visiting or receiving the visits of such friends as were judged to be useful or proper associates. In this selection, wealth did not decide the question, for we were not allowed to visit the daughters of some of the most wealthy around us. I speak on this subject, of the period when we were verging on womanhood and afterwards. The company which we might meet at our neighbor's houses; the character and conduct of the young men of the various families; and many other considerations decided for us who were to be our associated. I remember well how difficult I found it to give and answer when invited to visit where I knew it would not be allowed. But I have lived in neighborhoods at different times, avoiding objectionable intercourse, and yet so managing that no offense was given. Polite conduct when meeting abroad, and sometimes a call when the objectionable part of the family was known to be absent, would keep off ill feeling. We never lived in any place that we did not secure friends, lifetime friends. I find even now that we have some of that date left.

The time of my father was now (1803) fully employed in his school which drew pupils from adjoining counties. Young men who had not before had opportunity for instruction now crowded to him, and even some who had commenced the study of law, procured his instruction in private lessons. I was soon an assistant to him in many ways. I do not recollect at what age I learned to read or write, but by reference to circumstances, must have been very young. I remember sitting at a table in Bardstown with my mother directing my writing (large joining hand) in 1801, and of being called to bring a book to show my proficiency in reading to a Catholic priest in 1802, who had been absent a long time. In 1804, I was steadily at school, learning reading, writing, spelling with definitions, arithmetic and geography -- went to the schoolroom by sunrise; had tasks to recite and to breakfast; at twelve went to dinner and then with a short intermission, continued till five in the evening. We had quarterly examinations through the year. I attended to little besides my books. My father took me every Saturday morning with him to his office, where I was employed at writing blanks of every form, writs, subpoenas, bonds, deeds, etc., until I acquired such a readiness at the business I did not need a copy.

I was then advanced to the recording of the deeds, making out a complete record of suits; copying off long declaration in the chancery suits relating to lands of which there was much to do, as there was much disputation in land claims by nonresident owners. This exercise was a valuable one to me. Though my course in this life has been a private one, I have often found the knowledge thus gained valuable. Little things often times cause eventful changes in the lives of men and now I come to one which though small indeed at first, gave a change to the whole future of our family.

One evening my father was requested to send out to a fish trap about four miles from town (where a very kind man, Mr. Wallace, had a mill and was in the habit of frequently giving presents of fish) to secure some nice fish and a neighbor, whose husband was absent, had some fish put up for Mr. W. in my father's bag, as she had no messenger to sent for them. When they came, they were sent to her immediately (my father being in bed never saw them) but the "contents on one end", as told by the messenger, was sent. She returned them, saying they were not such as Mr. W. would have sent, that they had been changed by my father. He arose and went to see her, but could get nothing but abuse. He let it alone, thinking to see her husband on his return from court. When he returned, my father met him as he was going to school, and on attempting to explain the matter, was met with curses and abuse for insulting his wife; she having made untrue statements as to what had passed on the first explanation. This thing, little in itself, gave rise to a deadly feud. A duel was so near being the consequence that both parties (my father and the challenger, Mr. Work) had gone to Louisville to cross the Ohio to prove by mortal combat which was the more honorable man. Custom of dark and savage days!!! How could men of sense and intelligence ever be misled by such views of honor? By the intervention of mutual friends, the thing was ended peacefully by Mr. Work giving a written acknowledgment of the impropriety of his course and the avowal that my father was undeserving of censure in the case; thus virtually stamping his wife with falsehood!

Though all seemed peaceful, there was and undercurrent set to work to injure my father vitally, afterwards a fixed determination to deprive him of his office a clerk, several charges were made, but he defeated them all on trial in the court of appeals, except that he was an alien, and had not been naturalized and was therefore unable to hold the office legally.

How this was overlooked when he was put in office, I can't tell. It appears to me that it was a great piece of negligence in the Judge of the court and the lawyers of his acquaintance and he numbered among his friends some of the first lawyers at the Bar of the State.

In this trial, Henry Clay and John Allen (who was murdered among the prisoners at the river Raisin) were his attorneys. The triumph of his enemy gave him more pain than all else. He resigned his office in good order to his successor, and determined to sell his lands and move to a more pleasant place. This was desirable for many reasons. It was now 1806. His oldest child, brother Valentine, was 14 years, myself 12, etc. He determined to move for the present to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and look around for some place where he might find inducements to make a permanent residence. He had old friends all over the northwestern territories, the western states, all parts of the country then opening to settlement. The tide of immigration had set in and many of his friends had followed and were following its course. He opened a school in Hopkinsville with his usual success, but he had never intended to make his home there. He had offers from Kaskaskia; its first governor being one of his earlier friends (Ninian Edwards) also from upper Louisiana, then held, I believe, by the French and these last were of such an encouraging nature that he was much inclined to accept them. But my mother, who did not often object to his wishes, felt such a reluctance to leaving the country where she could find a friend at every turn, to again be surrounded by strangers, that he concluded to settle near his present situation. Accordingly, in October, 1810, he accepted and invitation to conduct the Mt. Pleasant Academy in Montgomery county, Tennessee, twenty five miles from Hopkinsville and seven miles form Clarksville. His engagement was for four years, ending October, 1814. They now had a family of six children. Eleanor, born in Hartford, May 20, 1804, was now six years old.

We now have another repetition of success in teaching; scholars crowded from all parts of the state, even Nashville, the seat of Cumberland College, sent to Mr. Pleasant. My father now taught sister Eliza and me at home, not approving a mixed school for girls of our age. We recited to him at home in the day, and every night in a class with several boys (boarders) and my brother, Valentine attended to a lesson in geography on a larger scale than the usual form and learned to use globes. He sent a class in English Grammar to me every day for instruction. Since my childhood, he had inculcated the idea of preparing me for a teacher, letting me understand that it was the duty of every one to be independent, and he would be unable to give me a fortune. I must study hard to be able to fulfill that object. In may, 1813, he sent us to a female boarding school in Williamson County, Tennessee, where we remained until November. I returned and spent the next summer and fall there, but sister Eliza, being unwilling to, remained at home.

During our absence your mother, Eudora, was added to our family, Oct. 19, 1813. She was the idol of the family, very small but uncommonly active in body and mind. She could walk and talk when seven months old, and at thirteen months, she talked distinctly and would get out of bed alone and walk down a long light of steps to search for her mother, who had left her sleeping. October, 1814, terminated my father's engagement at Mr. Pleasant and he proceeded to settle for life about ten miles distant, in Christian County, Kentucky, in a very pleasant neighborhood, where he obtained a tract of land. He built a large house for the purpose of taking female boarders that he might see fulfilled his long cherished plan of having his daughters engaged in teaching. He had a school room convenient for us and for himself, an Academy was built by trustees, that a male school might also be carried on. January 1, 1815, both schools opened with fair prospects of prosperity; we soon had as many pupils in both institutions as we could attend to. But soon a cloud arose, my father who had been ill but once within my recollection, made in March and imprudent change in his winter clothing, took severe cold, which affected his lungs. He failed rapidly in strength, so that in May he recalled brother Valentine from Judge Haywood's office, near Nashville where he was studying law, to take charge of his school until a favorable change in health would enable him to return to it. Alas! That favorable change never came. Physicians could do nothing, not even give a name to his disease. He lingered, unable to sit up most of the time; not suffering much generally; hopeful of recovery to the last until the 19th of September, when like on in a clam sleep, he left this world of trouble.

I had dismissed my school that I might devote every moment to him. I had prepared all his meals, given all his medicines, made his bed and lifted him in my arms like and infant for several days while he seemed to fluctuate, sometimes giving us hope of his recovery. The last night after laying him on his bed as usual, he said he felt as if he could sleep sweetly. I took my seat beside him, laying my head on the end of his pillow. Then sister Nancy, who was sitting up with me, came with a candle and told me she thought his breathing was unusual. I looked at his face; there was the wan hue of death; a mere pulsation was all I could feel; his eyes and mouth closed in sleep, never moved in death. He was gone!!

The precious father, the beloved father, who had always been my idol. I then felt that no greater trouble could ever assail me. I have lost mother, brothers, sisters, husband, and children, but never have I felt greater distress. It may be that it was the first and my young heart had never given any thought to the loss of friends to the "Fell Destroyer". However that may have been, I then felt the world a blank.

The stern realities of life must, however, be met by us all. During the confinement of my father, he calmly talked of the probability of a fatal end, and had pointed out to my mother a spot in this field where four small Oaks stood and told her he wished to be laid in that square. It was done, and nine years later my mother was laid by his side. Some years, thirty or more after, Sister Nancy was placed beside them. Neat head and foot stones marked with name, age and place of nativity are there, surrounded by a neat and durable wall. And there they will lie until the Trump shall sound and all the dead shall rise.

After death shall come the judgment. So after the death of the lead; the supporter of the family, the serious consideration of how that place was to be supplied was pressed upon our minds. Upon examination into his affairs, it was found that the heavy outlay incurred when building, together with other unsettled matters, would draw very heavily on his property. The sales of land and of her property which he had directed for the purpose of paying his debt, were grossly mismanaged; and my brother, who had to take sole management of all active business (mother's health being very feeble), was guided by the advice of pretended friends. Town property taxed at $3,600 was sold for $1,790, and was bought by the very man who advised the sale. Details are unnecessary; his estate left very little for his children. My brother, who had never shown a provident disposition, married in four months after my father's death, thereby creating a separation of interest, which left his mother nothing to expect from him in the way of support. My mother opened her house for boarders, and I recommenced teaching. Sister Eliza had never liked it and, when not supported by father's advice and direction, could not bring herself to the task. I taught my two young sisters, Nancy and Ellen. My brother, Henry, had always been a close student and had completed his education. Mother placed him in a store with an old friend, where he remained two years. He intended to carry our father's wish and prepare himself for the Bar, but must himself make the means. He opened a school and was successful for two years, at the end of which time he went to and old friend of Father's, Mr. John Rowan, of Bardstown, to study law. Here he gained the respect of everyone, the almost parental regard of Mr. and Mrs. Rowan, and was as a brother to the children of that family. I will here give extracts from letters of Mr. Rowan and others which will serve to show the place filled by Henry Barry in the Hearts of those with Whom he associated after he left his own family; also, some letters and extracts written by himself; also, some from my eldest brother, Valentine, all of which will speak for themselves and the reader of them may draw the evident conclusions. I will commence with the first letter written to my mother after leaving home.

Dear Mother:

I will avail myself of Mr. Brown's return to write to you, tho' in school boys phrase, I have nothing to write you. I arrived here safely, though the last few days of my journey were cold and disagreeable. I do believe that I never felt more awful than while traveling the section of the country from the Lexington Road to Bardstown. The day was snowy 'till about two o'clock, when the snow ceased, but the deepest gloom suffused the sky. You know I am a sort of intellectual chameleon, that assumes the aspect of surrounding objects. You may judge my feelings while traversing a barren, mountainous region, clad with a wide waste of snow; nothing appearing to the eye to charm away desolation. "Tis true, now and then a rude hovel would heave in sight; but this tended only to lead my mind from the melancholy contemplation of wretched nature to more wretched man! I recollect looking around when at the summit of an (almost) Alpine hill, to see if any animated creature inhabited these regions. After many weary examinations, I saw nothing but a solitary owl, at a distance, seated on an impending cliff and echoing to the mournful sighing of the wind. Me thinks, says I, my lad, you are like and old bachelor --isolated from the world-- avoided by the gay, wrapped in his own gloominess and holding converse with desolation. Pursing my route, I came to Mulder's Hill (of tiresome memory), the hill which you made me walk up instead of ride up. I reached Bardstown the next day. I did not find Mr. Rowan's family there, I, of course stayed not long, but steered my course for Louisville. Mr. Brown can tell you all about me. I hope you all continue well and are doing well considering everything. How does Eudora come on? The dear little pet, I hope she is a good girl. I received a letter from V. a few weeks ago. It contained nothing of consequence. Nothing of consequence, did I say? He gave me assurances that he had become an altered man; that for near twelve months, he had drank nothing stronger that coffee! That he was studious and attentive to business. I wish to God it may be so! Indeed I have no reason to doubt it. Poor fellow! He has been buffeted about by life's storm long enough! "Tis time that he should have more prosperous sailing." This reformation I conceive to be an omen of better days. Mrs. Crozier had just stated down the river. She appeared very unwilling to go. Miss Margaret stays behind with her sister, Mrs. Slaughter, till sometime in the summer. Mr. Badin is made a Bishop and will be out shortly to take charge of his diocese. This office he is entitled to. "Twas he who first pitched the tent of Catholic Israel in the western country, and who so fit to be it's patriarch." The Pope at Rome crowned him. How I shall like to see him! I could write more but am fatigued. You must then excuse me. The next time I take up the pen, I will not let you off so easily. My love to all the family and accept it for yourself.

Henry Barry

I will now give some extracts from Mr. Rowan's letters, one written immediately after his arrival, the other soon after his death.

Federal Hill, December 6th, 1820

I think Henry a young man of great promise, and if I live, I will endeavor to be useful to him. To this I am influenced, as well by his own claims as a youth of genius and merit, as by recollections of a melancholy and pleasing sort. I regret to find him low spirited. He proposed this morning to return home, and restore, by exercise, the tone of his nerves, which he thought had been much impaired, and to the restoration of which he seemed to think much exercise necessary. I laughed at the notion, and protested against the project.

His health is not bad; on the contrary, it is good. He had unhappily contracted a melancholic cast which, I have no doubt, will soon be banished. You may be assured he will here receive all that attention relative to his health and comfort which he would have at home and I think you may promise yourself sensation of much and just maternal pride in the future unfolding of Henry's character and genius; indeed, should I live, I anticipate pleasure and pride from the circumstance of having conducted and directed his studies.

With sentiments of the utmost respect, I am dear Madam, Yours
John Rowan

Federal Hill, July 23, 1822

Dear Madam:

I have been disabled by bad health, until this moment from giving you the melancholy information to the death of you most excellent son, Henry. On the last Tuesday in June, I left home for an absence of two weeks. I spent much of the day previous to my departure in conversation with him upon Law and Literary subjects. I was greatly gratified at the rapid progress he had made in his studies and we settled it then that he would be well qualified to commence the practice of Law in the ensuing spring.

Judge of my surprise and horror on finding upon my return on the 9th, that your dear son had been interred the day before, and that every member of my family was in the jaws of death. I was immediately taken down myself, and am now only for the first time able to write. We have had ourselves drawn to this place (from Louisville to Bardstown) and are all mending slowly. Mrs. Rowan's condition is very doubtful. She does not yet know of Henry's death. He was taken suddenly and violently ill on the evening of the 2nd instant. The best medical aid was immediately called, but from the moment he was taken he gave himself up as gone. He was sensible throughout his illness, except that he believed he had been shot in the breast in a dastardly manner by some unknown hand. To this belief he adhered till his death. He viewed his approaching dissolution with the most philosophic composure - was afflicted most at the thought that it would afflict you greatly. He expressed also a strong motive for his wish to live -- that he might have the opportunity of gratifying me, by endeavoring to answer those kind expectations (as he termed them) which I had formed for him. He was interred in the family burying ground of Mr. Cuthebert Bullit, a gentleman of great respectability. He protested against being burying in either of the common burying grounds of Louisville.

I know not how to give you consolation. Your loss is greater than has been sustained by any mother in the western county. There was not at the time of his death his equal in the Western Hemisphere. No young man of his age possessed more learning -- science, legal, historical, belles-lettres, and various information -- than Henry Barry. He was a young man of untainted morals, of sterling integrity, of the highest and nicest sense of honor. In his death, the community sustained a great loss, for he was, unquestionably a young man of the very finest promise. I loved him as a father loves a favorite ,son; my grief is not less agonizing, (so far as I know) than if he had in realty been my son.

I am too unwell to write more. May heaven afford you consolation upon this sad event. I console with you in my soul.

Your afflicted friend,
John Rowan

Having digressed from relation of events in regular chronological order, that I might finish relative to my dear favorite brother is a short way, I will now return to our distressed family. My narrative left us, after the death of our father, endeavoring to support ourselves independently. Brother Valentine, who had been called home to keep up my father's school, in hope of his recovery, remained with us and conducted the school on his own account. He married the following February, 1816, a Miss Martha Adams, to whom he had been attached for two or three years, and which connection my father had prevented while he lived. By thus entangling himself with a family, he having nothing but his education, only twenty-one years of age, he entered life with a burden that clogged him to the end; tied down to one routine from which he could never free himself. I consider a hasty marriage -- the parties being young and unprepared for such an obligation -- almost certain step to the ruin of young men, particularly as they are thereby prevented from taking advantage of the many openings our country affords to one of energy and talent. This I have seen exemplified many cases through my life, and I shudder when I see such a marriage, for well I know the end. He continued eighteen months at my father's and then finding that it would be best for his increasing family, removed to another situation to teach, continuing at the same time his legal studies, with what success some letters of his own (which I copy) will show, as well as the reputation he left behind for legal ability and acquirement. He lived in various parts of Tennessee but never near our family after 1819. He died in Memphis in 1853. I have no knowledge of the whereabouts of his children, of whom two sons and one daughter are living. Mother and I pursued the even tenor of our way, living prudently, avoiding all expense which we could and adding by industry to our income, thus making a comfortable support and rearing the younger children. I never appropriated a dollar of my earnings as teacher to myself individually, and nothing gave me so much pleasure as to make purchases for my sisters and mother with the money I received. I set out on the cash system, paid down for all we bought, and of course, had no debt to fear. My mother had a few Negroes to cultivate a small farm and was able to support the family. In April, 1817, I married William Killebrew and removed about seven miles distant from my mother. In September, 1818, Sister Eliza married Mr. Samuel Orr. Of this marriage I will write nothing more than it was an unfortunate one for her; she died in 1840, leaving eight children. The oldest were daughters, both of whom married before her death. The six sons were reared by her brothers and sisters. Only two are now living. Sister Eliza was buried in Stewart County, Tennessee.

My mother's health grew worse from the time of brother Henry's death, 1822, until the fall of 1823, (the family consisting of sisters Nancy, Ellen and Eudora, being too helpless to risk the sudden charge to which she might be liable.) Mr. Killebrew wished her to break up her place, rent it, and move her family to live with us. In November of that year, she sold off everything she would not need under that arrangement and settled down, as we had hoped, to spend her remnant of days exempt from the cares of a family.

In two days, she was attacked with pain in stomach and bowels; medicine was of no avail and she lingered until December 19th, when she calmly resigned her soul to God who gave it, in the full assurance of a blessed rest beyond the grave. She one night was unable to speak, but made signs to Mr. Killebrew and all of us to come to her. She took him by the hand, then took a hand of each of her three daughters and placed them in his, pointing upward at the same time, and she revived afterward, we asked her if we rightly understood her when she was giving her helpless children to his care, solemnly, in the sight of God. She replied that was what she meant, and she felt perfect faith that he would perform the trust. Most truly did he discharge it; no brother could have done more, and few, very few, do as much for their sisters.

Of course the sisters lived with us -- our home, their home. Sister Nancy had taught before Mother moved, at the house of a friend who collected her female relatives at her house and made up a good school; she was energetic, firm and fearless in the discharge of duty, and succeeded well.

She taught at my house the year of 1824 and then in 1825 upon the urgent solicitation of Judge Humphries and other friends in Charlotte, Dickson County, Tennessee, she went to that place and conducted Public School taking Eudora with her, since they persuaded her that she might enjoy the advantages of a larger school. She was too fond of home and earlier associations to be willing to remain so far off; and the next year taught in Clarksville, Tennessee, only ten miles from home, Eudora still with her. Ellen remained with me, she was of a more retiring disposition than Nancy, not fitted to struggle with the world, but enjoying quiet home life and increasing the happiness of all with whom she had intercourse. She married James S. Killebrew, my brother-in-law, in December 1825, and settled ten miles from me. On the expiration of Sister Nancy's school in Clarksville, she ceased teaching, at any rate, for one year, intending to visit brother Valentine, who now lived in Bolivar, Tennessee. None of us had seen him more that two or three times in several years. She went out, spent several months and returned home wit the intention of preparing to live with him for an indefinite period. Eudora, she claimed to take with her. We did not feel disposed to yield her, but left it to the choice of the child. She refused to leave us; her mother had given her to us, and as she was now growing up, she felt and attachment to her surroundings that she did not wish to give up. Mr. Killebrew had a son (George) who was as kind as a brother to her, ever ready to go with her to visit Sister Ellen or other friends. When she would not leave us, we silently rejoiced at her determination but we were providentially assisted too. Sister Nancy was taken sick and was unable to travel at the appointed time and before the roads could be traveled in that swampy country, she had concluded to settle for life with one whom she had known several years. A mutual attachment had been silently indulged by them both ever since their first acquaintance. He was a brother to Mr. Killebrew's first wife. She married Mr. John T. Johnson, February, 1829, and settled three miles from us. Still Eudora chose her home with me, and I was deeply gratified by it. Twelve years had now elapsed since my marriage. I had industriously endeavored to discharge my duty as a wife and mother, increasing our income by teaching until my family became too large for me to attend to a school properly. In 1831, inducements were offered me to remove from our farm to Clarksville to teach. Many persons who had encouraged me as a teacher were now living there and wished their children to be taught by me. I, accordingly, moved to that place, partly that my own children might have better opportunities than the country afforded, and that we might prepare for removal to some of the new portions of a country which were opening to emigration. Our increasing Negro family pointed out a Southern situation as being more profitable on account of its staple cotton, suiting young hands better than tobacco.

In February, 1831, Brother Valentine came to our house for Eudora to go home with him. He felt anxious that his family should know her, to know her himself, and that she should know him, her only living brother. She went on a visit intended to last one year, but she formed at his house and acquaintance with your father, Roger Barton, which took her from us forever. It is not necessary to continue my narrative further. I have written in a way as fully relative to my parents as I could without forcing myself into a task too voluminous. Our course throughout life would afford matter for volumes, and I do not feel myself competent to the task; neither was that included in the request made of me. It was of my parents and ancestors that I was to write, but I have been lead into almost unconscious digressions. I will, however, copy some more letters and may make some additional statements. I will also copy an obituary notice of my father, which I found the other day among some old papers. The writer was a young lawyer, Benjamin Patton, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.


DIED--On the 19th instant, after a lingering disease of some months continuance, in the meridian of life and usefulness, Daniel Barry, President of the Sparta Academy in this county. He was a son of the Emerald Isle. He had taken a conspicuous part in her politics on the side of Liberty, and when the storm of power and persecutions arose, he fled to the sanctuary of the persecuted man -- to America. With and intellect, vigorous and inexhaustible fount of science and solid learning, he became a profitable instructor of youth and many of the rising professional characters of the day, who were his disciples afford simple testimony of the success with which he reared the tender thought. In politics, Sidney; and in morals, Addison, was his model. In generous, sincere friendship, his heart was warm; and in every situation he was manly and independent. He had left a large and respectable family to mourn their irreparable loss and the Genius of Literature will long weep the ruin of a favorite votary. Enough.

Peace to the mandes departed worthy!
Can thy feeble eulogist recall thee from the tomb?
"Can storied urn or animated bust
Back from the tomb recall the fleeting breath?
Can Honor's voice provoke the silent dust
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?"
Oh! No, 'tis impossible, I will then venerate thee.
Tho' thou art gone, and strive to imitate thy worth,
The best monument to thy memory.

With the copies of two letters from by brother, Valentine, to brother Henry, I will close. I do not feel able to transcribe much of Henry's writings which I have in various forms, A valedictory address to his students when he closed his labors as a teacher, Thoughts on reading authors, etc.

The following letters must speak for themselves as to what drew them forth. The first was written without date, hastily, on meeting a friend who could convey it. It was evidently written as early as 1820.

July 3rd

Dear Henry:

Removed from the ordinary means of communication as I have been for some time, I have found it impossible to forward a line to you. This is my first visit to the regions of civilization and trouble since I settled in the county of Perry. I have not been able to find where you are or what you are doing, though I have heard a vague rumor of your being engaged in the study of medicine. If this be the case, I cannot but think, and thinking this, I cannot but say your choice of a profession is not marked with the usual judicious care that has characterized your conduct. I would not wish however to discourage you, even it I though it was in my power to do so. I know you can and will succeed in any profession you may choose, as far as that profession puts success in your power. But medicine is not calculated to throw that reflected luster so necessary to the most faultless public character, which the Bar emits. A physician may pass through life respected and acquire wealth, but his path to the temple of fame is crossed by obstructions that industry alone can never remove. A medical education should be completed in Philadelphia or some city affording opportunities not found in the West. Limited means can never enable one to finish it thus, and under those circumstances, I think it better to adopt some other profession not requiring the accidental appendage of fortune to ensure, or even entitle one to, success and distinction.

At the bar, I know you could not possibly have failed. Encumbered as I am with a family, which of course, withdraws much of my attention from law, I am, in the course of three months, at the head of the Bar in three counties where I practice and in three older counties where there is much competition, I am ranked among the first. What then might you not have done with a mind not harassed as mine has been? Of this subject enough. If you have made your selections, pursue it steadily; let nothing divert you from it. Situated as I am, I have flattering prospects of soon getting over all my difficulties and doing more than I had ever ventured to hope for. My office is now not lucrative ( I think he was circuit or county clerk) but it brings me something and my practice is good and rapidly increasing. In Perry County, I am looked up to by all parties, for "dictum" is almost Law. Nothing of a _________ is done without consulting me. My best endeavors will be to affix to my present standard the Roman motto, "Exto perptus". It is downright egotism in me to write thus, but this is intended only for you and I know it will give you satisfaction.

Martha and the children are well and she is highly pleased with her exchange of residence. She joins me in thanking our Robinson friends for turning my thoughts to a new country. It is general, but erroneous opinion, that the country where I live, because, new, is savage and dissipated. Nothing can by farther from the fact. I assure you that on any Saturday in Springfield, more dissipation may be seen than I have heard of in Perry County since my residence in it. The people are mostly sober and industrious. Exceptions there are, but these are few. Give m my love to all the family, I snatch the time from my forensic avocations to write this. I have just finished writing two declarations, and have two more to write which must be filed in the morning. It is now eleven o'clock. Farewell.

As ever yours affectionately,
V. D. Barry

P.S. Tomorrow at the request of the Bar and citizens of this place, I deliver and oration on the 4th of July. This, though a distinction is not an enviable one to me, as I have no time to prepare, but I must invoke the mamns of Cicero, and only try what I can do. When you write, direct to Reynoldsburg, Humphries County, Tennessee. I can get it through at any time. I have two young men reading Law with me at this time -- one from the State of Ohio, Chillicothe. Adieu V.D.

One more letter I find from Brother Valentine, in which I find much of the eccentric, a quality with which I have thought he was largely endowed.

Barryville, Perry County, Tennessee
May 22, 1821

Dear Henry:

About the first of this month, I received your packet, which I found in Reynoldsburg. How long it has been there, I know not. The last Circuit and County Courts at that place I was compelled to attend by proxy, and in that way , missed it. I was down about the 3rd of this month at an election for Brigadier General of the newly formed 115h Brigade of this State, or I should not have heard from you before July. I do not know whether you are acquainted with Col. Jarmon. He was elected General, and conferred on me the appointment of Brigade Major, in consequence of the interest I took in promoting his election. I am therefore, second in command, and rank as Major.

I proceed at the Bar with increasing prospects. On my last circuit, I was employed at Charlotte alone, in sixteen new cases. In the two new counties of my circuit, I am generally engaged in every case on the Docket. I am so much pleased to learn the opinion Mr. Rowan has been induced to form of my abilities, and at the loss to know from what data he formed it. I certainly "will be great" and hope for success, though I sometimes almost despond, for reasons you have too often heard to need their repetition. My success at the Bar has excited the jealousy of some who lag behind, though they set out first, and I have found them concealed enemies. This however, I consider a propitious omen. While they strive to injure me, they at the same time admit (tacitly) me as their superior. At the next session of our Legislature, I design becoming a candidate for the office of Solicitor General in this District. I have considerable hopes of success; I have even been solicited by nearly all the Bar in this Circuit to consent to have my name in nomination for Judge.

So much for myself. My family is in good health. We have lately had a daughter, whom we call Martha Ann Eliza, a most beautiful child. William is beginning to spell tolerable well; and Henry does very little else than fight. Both are very wild fellows. I shall send Will to school in a few weeks. I have been in Ky. since I saw you and wrote to your from our old home--Erin.

Had you commenced with me, you would not how have been complaining of bad health, nor would you have made "no progress in Law" - Mr. Rowan is doubtless as well qualified to instruct you as any one can be, and his library is excellent; but into these vales, Hypo never comes. I have two young men here with me who never think of it. They study too closely to admit its approach. You perhaps can do better under the auspices of your present tutor than elsewhere; I therefore cannot complain., But nothing on earth could have given me so much satisfaction as to have had you as a partner of my studies now, and practice at the proper time. You would have had me for a classmate in Law as well as in other studies; for when at home, books fill up my time the greater part of the day, and Martha, the children and Backgammon the remainder. I have sold my gun and have neither powder nor lead. I could not excel as a Nimrod in pursuing deer, etc., so I now hunt nobler game. I can scarcely avoid laughing at that part of your letter in which you speak of "our running the race for fame, "and then in a fit of despondency exclaim "O! How easily may you accomplish it." What prevents you from doing so? You are insured to study, and have not the cares of a family to press upon your mind and frequently excite a train of thought quite at variance with Blackstone and Saunders. Nothing but want of resolution can prevent your succeeding far better than I ever hope for.

You know the chief part of my legal study has been done since I had a family. I never was brought forward by the assistance of a friend. I am just what I am, without the aid of patronage in any shape whatever. It was only a kind of obstinate impudence that brought me thus far, and I am endeavoring to back it more and more with learning. Now you may set out with competent legal knowledge; strong and useful friends to bring you out. Nothing to mind but the single object --Law-- your expense small, and completely within your income. Success is yours, in the pursuit of fame and fortune unless despondence palsies your arm, so as to prevent your reaching out to grasp them.. Your situation is the center of Beau Monde is certainly pleasant, but I much question its utility. The only good that can result to your from it is to acquire confidence in yourself. Your books should be the Monde for you now, and instead of criticisms on Dr. Holly or any other Jackass, you should be criticizing Vattel or Blackstone. It is not so material that you should understand the laws of politeness as that you should understand the laws of England, and I would much rather see you able to draw a good plea or demurer than to rob the Dr. of his Saubruquieny, "The Chesterfield of Kentucky". I, however, do not anticipate any serious efforts from you at worshipping the Graces. Perhaps I set to little value on that object of adoration. Certainly in this country I see none to imitate or laugh at. Nature will render us sufficiently polite for every useful purpose.

To follow you through your letter, Dr. Harney comes next in review. I think from the little I can learn of him from you, that he is a superior man to the other Dr. He certainly has a very bright imagination as a poet, and I would suspect his conversation to be a good deal biased by his poetic turn. He has at all events made you crazy, when you say he surpasses Thompson and falls but little below Milton. His poetry is pretty and would give interest to any subject; but it is not strictly correct, so as to vie with Thompson. He, in the extract you sent me, spoke of the Morning Star, as a grand object. Now every one knows that there is nothing grand about it. How any object can be grand when engaged in a Dance exceed my comprehension. It may be pleasing and excite emotions of the description, soft and tender, but never excite those sensations of awe which arise from Grandeur. I believe Hyperion is a name sometimes used for Phoebes, but my impression is that Phoebes is said to be the son of Hyperion. The Hesperide I do not think sufficiently harmonious for rhyme when not placed at the end of a line. Attributing a "sparkling eve" to night is a novelty, indeed. The Dr. may claim to originality in this if he forfeit his claim to correctness. I cannot discover any sense in the two next lines, "Behind the hills,; but as the with holding the Moon, and muffling the Stars, I cannot comprehend how, or why, it should be done on that account. If she muffled them in the clouds, it would suppose the light gone; if she muffled them in the blaze of reflected light, it would be another original idea, nearly as correct as, and much more ludicrous than the "sparkling eve". Perhaps if I were to see the whole together, I would discover something to excuse the Poet from the charge of having over stepped the modesty of nature. At present I cannot. These remarks, I need not say, are for yourself alone. I know too well the irritability of Poets "et de genonne", to venture to criticize their works even if requested. I expect the work displays considerable genius; but as to equality with Thompson and Milton, I may say with Holoferness in "Love's Labor Lost-Caret", and as to such extravagant praise, I may say to you with Hamlet, "Pray avoid it altogether." I agree with you, in thinking the R.C. religion the best for one reason. The plan of confession is well adapted to keep people out of mischief. A man who knows he is compelled to tell his pastor every evil act he may think of committing and believes he would incur damnation were he to conceal it, is under a more powerful restraint than I can conceive. I believe that it is better calculated to moralize the world than any metaphysical system in existence. I saw your anecdote of Hall and Mr. Bodin. I recognized Mr. B. in it instantly. You lose much by his absence from the country. In him you might see the union of Nimrod and the Graces. Good night; I am sleepy. I cannot tell when this letter will set out on its journey; so I am in no hurry to finish. I have a post office established here, but the mail has not yet come on. I expect it every week and then can send and receive letters gratis; so I may say at present, as Walter Scott does to the Harp of the North, "My pen farewell tonight", but like Juliet, "Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow".

You are continually advising me to leave this part of the country.. You are precipitate in that counsel. What could I do elsewhere? It is to me like Demosthenes' Cave, no one expects that a new country could afford a lawyer capable of contending with the gentry of towns and cities. When, then, I come forth unexpectedly and equal any of their champions, they give me credit for more talent and learning than I really possess. This brings me fees, and there is no kind of applause so desirable as Bank Notes.

I could spend my time more pleasantly in the halls you frequent. I could think life a golden dream to do so; but I much question whether it would add to my usefulness or to my reputation to move ""interstellar" not "at Lunar" but a star of the 5th, 6th or 7th magnitude. Here, I am first. I am the Lunar and I am better pleased with that rank. "The reign is worth ambition."

I could be elected to any office within the gift of the people of the country, and though they are rough from the anvil, I like them most sincerely and they like me. Sooner far, would I live among them than the courtly barbarians, who, like Richard 3rd, can smile and murder while they smile. Therefore, when I think I could live more pleasantly in a more refined society, I mean only so far as regards the pleasure arising from literary association. As to the balance, God know, and I feel that they never enter my head so as to cause me "cast on longing, lingering look behind". I came here a stranger without money, property or friends one year ago. I have now nearly as much property as I ever had; I have many warm friends; I have obtained the confidence of the people as a lawyer; they have confided their interest in my care; I have received promotion as a citizen and would not act correctly by leaving them. You are ignorant and unpolished; none of you can soar with me into the Elysiun of poetic fancy on the wings of Greece or Rome. None of you can dive with me into the mines of philosophy opened by the labors of Cicero, therefore, I leave you to seek in happier times associates in the pursuits; though you deserve that I should remain among you for your kindness to me, when a stranger, yet feeling myself "isolated and having obtained Honors, Reputation and some money among you, I must remove to the continent of Civilization.: Ought I to say with Coriolanus, "I have your alms, adieu". No! Never! Never! I wished you to come out here, because I could have made your residence here a source of solid profit to you in several ways. One by the surrender of my clerkship, which has become worth having to anyone, whose pursuits did not clash with. Mine Do. One of my students is now prepared for it. You have made your choice. May it prove a fortunate one!

The last time I was at Charlotte, I was engaged in a case in which the testimony was pointed against my client. The solicitor, Cave Johnson, made himself very merry with our situation, and indeed, I thought it desperate for a short time. The Jury retired to consider their verdict, without a word being said on either side from the Counsel. While they were out a sudden thought occurred to me relative to a mode of arresting the Judgment of the Court, if the Jury found against us. I took up a book and found the point I wanted. A verdict was given against us; I moved an arrest of judgment. The Court and Bar were surprised. After a lengthy argument of four or five hours, I succeeded, and in half and hour had sixteen new cases engaged. It was said by all lawyers nem. con. to have been a legal chef d'vuvre. My poetic fire has fled; therefore cannot send you the production you desired. And now, farewell. I will write again when the mail comes here, when we can safely enjoy your cacoethes. Study hard and you may expect success equal to you most sanguine expectations and hopes.

Very affectionately,
V. D. Barry

My Dear Mary:

I have copied the following letters, as I was unable to get off my manuscript earlier and some remarks in those of Brother H. would be likely to make you better understand the personal remarks in Brother V's. Could I see you I could explain some of the bitter remarks in brother V's letters, but they would revive unpleasant memories of the past. I feel that I should have nothing to do with what is gone; my care is for the future, the eternal future which will soon be present with me. I have been blessed among all my bereavements, I have never lost one without a hope of future meeting where trouble cannot touch us. Oh! What a blessed hope is that. What would life be without it?

I hoped to send this with by Mr. Watson, but many things conspired to prevent. I have not written a letter since I last wrote to you and troubles crowd on me so fast, I feel little like writing. God Bless you and all yours, dear Mary, though I cannot expect an exemption from trouble in your favor, I pray God to be with you and prepare you for what ever it may be your lot to meet. I fear I shall never see you or Rosa; I wish I could one more hour but is not for me. Farewell. is

Your old aunt,
Mary Jane R. Killebrew

I will here state, the writer of this manuscript lived until January, 1881, and died in her 84th year, having buried every child and many grandchildren, but affectionately cared for by a granddaughter whom she had raised from infancy.

Bardstown, Dec. 30th, 1820

Dear Mother:

I have been here now five or six weeks, during which time I have met with the most unvarying kindness from Mr. And Mrs. Rowan. Never was I more agreeably disappointed than in this man. I had conjectured that he would be morose and distant in his deportment. But the very reverse it the truth. He indeed treats me like a father. To all my complaints he appears to listen with attention and interest and counsels me as to the modes of cure, etc. Nothing is now to prevent me (but want of my health) from occupying at some future day, a conspicuous stand in my country. Mr. R has intimated to me that no aid on his part shall be wanting to the attainment of eminence. But I look forward to the futurity with gloomy foreboding. Yes, bitter to me is the thought that my want of health will blast as fair prospects as ever brightened the morning of youth. Wealth, fame and happiness would be completely in my reach were this demon disease to forsake me. I speak this with confidence, because the assertion would be correct. Whether my health will be better or worse, a few months must certainly determine. I anxiously await the issue. Be it favorable or otherwise, let it come; I hope to meet it like a man.. Mr. R. is now at Louisville. He started a few days ago to purchase a house, whiter he intends moving immediately. I will go along. His condescension is really great. Bardstown is a very dull place. It has lost one of its brightest ornaments for Mr. Crozier is no more. He, Mrs. Crozier and family, were at Mr. Rowan's Christmas Day. He was quite talkative and jovial -- apparently in good health -- yet in two days he was a corpse. His sudden death is supposed to have been caused by a sudden cession from drinking. His family are inconsolable. Their situation is in a pecuniary way distressing. Indeed I know not what the family will do. May God help them "Tis He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb." Dr. Harney is here (Mr. R's son-in-law) and has been for twelve moths sorely afflicted with rheumatism. His talents are of the finest order, disposition friendly, manners plan and unaffected.

I have the greatest opportunity here of improving in mind and manners, mixing with most polished company, since my arrival. Among the rest, Dr. Holly, President of Transylvania University, the Chesterfield of Kentucky; no great thing with all his fame and pretension, his bows and conges. He is a mere shadow without substance, a perpetual strain. There is no originality. He is the creature of education and artificial polish. My love to all the family. If I recover my health, the destinies have in view to make of me a considerable man. But if I recover my health ---there is the rub.

Farewell, dear mother,
H. Barry

Federal Hill, Bardstown
January 25, 1821

Dear Mary Jane:

I received yours of Thursday last, and hasten to reply. I have been here nearly two months , and although my health, (don't smile) has not been the best, still I may say the time has been very agreeably spent. Mr. and Mrs. Rowan have been particularly attentive to me. For this honor, I an indebted to my Father and Mother. I am not arrogant enough to think these attentions arise from anything they can see in me. Tell Ma, that I am her debtor. Oh! The distance which separates us; the very high consideration which all here have fore her; as well as the other circumstances, needless to enumerate, all conspire to make me feel for her, more than ever a particularly ardent affection. All ranks and classes inquire most anxiously about her. of this enough. Tomorrow I intend going not indeed to hear the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, etc., but (let me not shock you) to hear the words of God flow from the lips of a Roman Catholic Bishop. Indeed, I will cordially confess that this religion is more consonant with my feelings than any other, not even Baptism excepted. The magnificent structure, costly, elegant furniture which a person witnesses there, have a wonderful effect on the sensibilities of the heart. I have never before entered a church but I would be almost murdered with ennui ere meeting was over. This is not the case here. If you re tired listening to the sermon, you may regale your visual organs with the contemplation of the handsome appropriate pictures which surround you, the richly vested altar, and all its appendages of silver and gold. Besides, the ceremonies of the day has an agreeable variety. Now the choir, which consists of beautiful young girls, strikes up an anthem and regales your auditorial faculties with the most enchanting music. I like this manner of doing business whilst the mind is occupied with a subject which is rather dry to make the best of it, it is at the same time filled with the most pleasurable sensations. What a glorious way of attaining knowledge. Your mind and your mouth may harmonize together, the one in reflections, the other in laughter. For it is really diverting to hear the poor ignorant laity chanting Latin hymns, one work of which they cannot understand, and this, too with the most perfect frigidity and nonchalance depicted in their countenances. But when we reflect that they are ignorant, we need not wonder that their faces and their mouths tell different tales. You will also be somewhat diverted when you see what demure, sanctified countenances the priests assume at the administration of the Eucharist. I have heard of a encounter that took place between Mr. Hall, a Presbyterian minister, and Mr. Badin, of a singular kind. Mr. Hall was one Sunday riding to church surrounded by several of his followers and described a little fellow jogging along very silently some distance before him, whom he soon recognized to be Mr. Baden. In order to indulge his controversial disposition and show his company what he would do with the priest, he accelerated his pace and soon presented himself side by side, with Mr. B. immediately commencing his interrogations. "How come it, Mr. Badin, hat you priests never marry?" "Vy my dear sir," replied Mr. B., "I am married." "Oh!," says Mr. H., "I have not heard that before.: Yes,: said Mr. B., "I have been one married man to de church dese twenty years." "Oh," said Mr. H., "So have I been married to the church, but I have a woman for a wife also." Very viel, den if dis be de case, one or de oder must one w--e!!" He put spurs to his horse and left the poor Hall a prey to the ridicule and laughter of his company.

I am situated here in the midst of the Beau Monde and have every advantage that the heart can wish for and rest assured I shall profit by these advantages unless disease prevents. To withstand it is out of the course of nature. Should it come, which may Heaven aver, I hope to meet it with the fortitude and dignity of a man. but of this melancholy subject, perhaps too much has been said. I have among other celebrated characters, had the disagreeable pleasure of meeting Dr. Holly, President of Transylvania College. He is not the man described by fame. he is merely artificial. Nothing great. Although styled the Chesterfield of Kentucky, he is deficient in politeness. Never has the superiority of nature over art been more clearly testified than when comparison is drawn between he and Mr. Rowan. Dr. Holly is and incessant talker, and I an afraid his tongue sometimes travels faster that his reason. Tell my friend, Mr. Login, as he respects me not to name teaching. Unless forced by dire necessity, no one, at lest very few, are willing to encounter the plagues that haunt a teacher. So to the Marriage of Miss N. M., it affects me not at all. Peace and happiness to her. Robt. Campbell married Too! Poor fellow! I pity him. I wish he may not pity himself. Tell Nancy not to fear my drinking. I have long since, by hard fighting, learned to subdue my passion. I hope never to disgrace myself or my family by improper conduct. No, save my character Heaven and take all else away. Mr. R. moves to Louisville in two months, and I go with him. Kiss my dear boy, Dan, for me. God bless. Him. Forget not Eudora. Give my respects to Mr. Killebrew; tell him to be a good boy. If E. is still at ma's give my particular to her.

Farewell, dear sister
H. Barry

Letter from V. D. Barry to his sister, Mr. Nancy T. Johnson.

Boliver, Sept. 17, 1837

Dear Nancy:

I wrote some time since to Eliza directing my letter to Clarksville, not knowing what Post office to send it to and requested the P.M. to forward according to Mr. Johnson's directions. I hope it has reached her before this time. My family has encountered the usual vicissitude of sickness during the summer and fall. I have not been well for six or eight weeks, though not confined to bed at any time. I have been traveling from court to court, in an out of my own circuit, all summer and have often felt like sinking under the fatigue. I have been stimulated to exertion by the very warm and universal approbation that has followed my labors, and which I think I may say has placed me first on the list of judges in the District and not second to any in the State. I have made considerable sacrifice of profit and ease to gratify my ambition, to excel in my profession, and the regard of such sacrifice is now being bestowed. I value it far more highly than anything money could purchase. Lawyers are generally unwilling to admit a superiority of legal knowledge in any person, but in my case this admission universally made. I held court at Jackson three weeks ago; during the term a lawyer of that place remarked that before other judges, he argued to communicate information to the court; but before me, he had nothing to do but sit still and learn. He was the best in the District. He finished by saying that I was the most learned Judge who had ever held Court there. That is saying a great deal, when you remember that the Supreme Court sits there. In my own circuit, there is only one sentiment, which is that the lawyers and people would not exchange me for any Judge who had preceded me, including Judge Turley. You know there must be a safety valve to let off steam or the boiler would burst, so I must brag a little for relief and I do not know any person to whom I could so well entrust these effusions of vanity, as yourself, without fear of having them exposed. While holding court or letting me know they were in town. I was truly vexed, but hope to get sight of them on their return.

I feel some disposition to visit Robertson and Montgomery next Jan. if I can get Judge Martin to hold court for me. I would like to visit as a Judge the place I have known as a school boy and as a youth entering upon life. I shall write to Martin on the subject unless I should see him in Nashville, where I expect to be some time in November next. My election will be before the Legislature, and I hope be disposed of in October. I do not design to going there until it is settled.

If elected, I must have it said, that it was the free was unsolicited act of the Legislature; it would afford me no pleasure to electioneer myself into office. I would feel degraded rather than honored by it so obtained. It was offered at first without my seeking it and must be so again or I do not hold it. I shall have an opponent there from the first of the session. He is welcome to all the advantage he can get by being there; if I get less than three-fourths of the votes of that body, I shall not hold the appointment. It my be my pride that prompts me, but such is my determination. I shall not lose one vote from the Western District. There is nothing new here. We have settled down to do without money, substitute scraps of paper and get along nearly as well as ever.

I made myself very popular at Jackson with the ladies by sending a man to jail for four months for whipping his wife and sentencing another to hang for killing his. When I pronounced the sentence, the court was crowded, and every person in it, including lawyer and sheriff, was in tears. I was nearly choked with the effort to command my voice, I never witnessed such an exhibition of deep and solemn feeling in all my life; for some minutes after I concluded there was dead silence, and when I ordered the prisoner removed, there was a general murmuring sound like a smothered sob. My address to the prisoner was published; if I can get a copy, I will send it to you.

I am trying to purchase a place in the country that I may remove from town. I have been offered a place in sight of town in exchange for my town property, but I would prefer being some miles off. If I remain on the bench, I will not remain in town. I must make my own corn and other substantials or I cannot live on my poor salary of $1500. I have seen the day, however, when I would have rejoiced to take that; on consideration of never having a larger income. It is more than our father could make in any one year; and yet, he lived well and raised his family respectable. The secret of his success was our mother understanding economy thoroughly. I have no more idea of that kind of economy than a goose. However, I hope the Legislature will raise the salary to $2000; if they do not, I will be off at the end of the next two years and let some other person suffer a while. After next week, I shall be at home for two whole weeks (quite an event) so you must write to me.

Yours truly,
V. D. Barry

My Respects to Mr. J. and love to the children. I hope you have plenty of milk and butter. Tell Fauntly I have the little red pony yet.


Mrs. Killebrew was born in the county of Antriem, Ireland, July 17th, 1796. Her father, Daniel Barry, having taken an active part in resisting the oppression under which Ireland groaned, deemed it unsafe to remain any longer where there seemed no hope of present success, put into execution the idea of emigrating to the then famed "Land of Liberty", America. Landing in Philadelphia, he decided by the advice of eminent men, to locate in the State of Kentucky, and here commencing a life of energetic and useful labor for himself and others, continuing through a period of eighty years. Mr. Barry; having had the advantages offered the First National Institutions of his Native Land, was a rarely accomplished scholar. The education of his children was directly superintended by himself; thus, the object of this notice has often been mentioned by some of the most eminent men of Mississippi as a woman of vigorous intellect strengthened and polished by the highest degree of culture. The eldest of a large family, she was her father's able assistant in every business transaction, and when deprived by death of his support, not the less ready was she to aid in every womanly duty that altered circumstances cause to devolve upon her. In April 1817, she was married to Wm. Killebrew, who died more than twenty years ago - leaving a large family of children - all self sustaining. The widow advancing in years, bereft of the husband of her youth, naturally felt that her work being done, surrounded by her children, she would quietly await the end. But this was not ordered - was, death, pecuniary disasters followed in succession. One after another she laid her dear ones to rest, until all but one preceded her to the spirit land, leaving tender little ones to be loved and cared for. Never found wanting when there was work to be done for others, she proved equal to the task, and planned, counseled and taught them until two years since. The infirmities of age, coupled with the accumulated trials of long life weighed much, and mind and body at last succumbed. Tenderly cared for by the children she had reared, after a short illness, she calmly resigned her spirit to the God who gave it, and in the full assurance of blessed rest beyond the grave, she fell asleep.

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