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Newspaper Articles

Article about Zachariah Grant, circa 1912, probably from Clarksville (TN) Chronicle:


The graves of three veterans of the war of 1812 are located in Montgomery county. That of Jesse Cooksey is in District No. 5, on what is known as the Trough Spring road, leading out toward Woodford and about ten miles south of Clarksville.

Captain Zachariah Grant was buried at Grant's Chapel Cemetery, two miles west of Port Royal, Tenn., near the scene of his tragic death at the hands of a band of guerrillas during the fall of 1862. Mr. Grant was a large slave owner and ranked among the rich planters of antebellum times, and was supposed to keep large sums of money in his home. At the time of the tragedy he was living alone with his slaves, save for the temporary companionship of a male relative who on that special night was attending church a few miles away. A grandson whom Mr. Grant had raised and who had always lived with him had joined the Confederate army, leaving in his grandfather's care a very fine saddle horse. On hearing an unusual noise at the stable that night the old gentleman went to ascertain the cause and was murdered in his horse lot. The grandson's horse was not molested, and as no money was ever found by Grant's relatives in the old home, it was believed that the noise at the stable was only a ruse to get him out to kill him and rob the house. The grave is marked by a modest monument and along with other members of his family enclosed by a stone wall.

The third grave is that of Captain James Hamlett at Greenwood Cemetery, Clarksville, Tenn. Captain Hamlett lived to be ninety-odd years old and many people are still alive who heard him discuss the battle of New Orleans. He died during the early 90s at the home of his son, James Hamlett Jr., of Clarksville, Tenn. He was a great admirer of General Jackson and named his youngest son for him, and the name Andrew Jackson has descended through the succeeding generation of the Hamlett family. This year celebrates the centenary of our second war with England and it seems timely that the graves of its heroes receive due mention.

Transcription of Article written by Reuel Custer, Madison (IN) Courier, April 15, 1913:

I was born on the old Reuel Custer farm, eight miles north of Madison Indiana, March 7, 1835. My great grandfather, William Custer was born and lived in the Shanandoah Valley, Va. His family consisted of six children three sons and three daughters. His father had 24 sons and from one of them Gen. Custer (it is thaught(sic)) decended(sic).
William Custer was a soldier in the wars against the french and Indians which necessitated his absance (sic) for varying periods of time. It was one of these periods of time that my great grandmother, as she was returning home from a neighbors was captured by a band of roving Indians from the North out on the war path. She was carried by her savage captors into the wilds of Canada. They passed so near her cabin that she could hear the crying of her baby in his cradle. She was held captive for a long time by the Indians and was finally sold to a French doctor, who gave her her freedom after twenty years in captivity.
Soon after gaining her freedom, she with others, began their journey back to their homes in the colonies. My great grandfather, on his return home from the wars, which was nearly a year after she had been captured by the Indians, made every effort to find his missing wife, but with out success for twenty long years. Finaly (sic) after having learned from some fur traders of a number of English-American prisoners, men and women bought and released by the french, he was determined to visit Canada in search of her, hoping at least to find some clue to her whereabouts. He had been gone but a few days when his wife returned home. She found the baby boy whom she had last seen sleeping peacefully in his cradle as she started to her neighbors on a hasty errand, and whose crys (sic) she had heard as she was being carried away by the Indians, now a man twenty years old.
The day after she had returned home my great grandmother again started for the Northern wilds in search of her husband, taking up the trail and following in through forests and across streams unbridged. On the forth day of her quest, in passing throu (sic) a settlement, she happened to notice a funeral on a knoll, some distance from the roadside. She went over to make inquiry of her husband.
To her question, “who are you burying”? the answer was, “a stranger, a William Custer from Va.” It was thus that her search ended after twenty years of anxious waiting. Heart sick and well nigh hopeless, she was at last, alone in a strange land, permitted to look for a moment upon the face of her dead husband, before they buried him away out of her sight. In a nameless grave in that north land still rests the remains of my great grandfather, William Custer, a soldier of Va.
My great grandmother returned to her home in the Shanandoah Valley, Va. where she lived for a while, later removing to Kentucky to the home of her eldest son, my grandfather, Arnold Custer, who had left Va. in the company of Daniel Boone, to explore that dark and bloody ground as it afterward came to be known.
Daniel Boon’s wife and my grandmother were cousins. They were Schulls….
Article, probably Medford, Oregon newspaper, unknown date:

Auletta Merriman Harvey, Daughter of Pioneers, Appears Before
Daughters of American Revolution.
Medford, Or., Feb. 6.-(Special.) She was born in Springfield, Ill., across the street from Abraham Lincoln's home. She crossed the plains in 1852, escaped a stampede of oxen, and the Indian massacre, and remembers both. That's why Mrs. Auletta Merriman Harvey, oldest member of the Merriman family of pioneers, has so many interesting stories to tell. As guest speaker at the pioneer program of the Daughters of the American Revolution here she recently reviewed the trip to the Oregon country, made when she was a girl of 4.
The Merrimans joined the westbound train with 50 other families in '52. Before they reached Independence, Ia., Auletta's mother and baby brother died and were buried beside the trail.
One night as she sat alone on the seat of her father's heavy wagon just after the train had been driven into corral formation, the oxen suddenly broke into a stampede. The little girl's fears were as great, Mrs. Harvey admits, as when she crossed the Platte river and found her Baptist faith of little comfort.
When they reached Oregon, Auletta made her home with her aunt, Mrs. Isaac Constant of Douglas county, for five years. Her father continued south and settled on what is still known as the Merriman claim at Central Point. In 1857 he married a widow, Mrs. Chapman, and 15 brothers and sisters were born in the little cabin to share the few luxuries the early day home had to offer Auletta.
It was while the family visited relatives at Riddle that the Indian massacre occurred. A sister had died, when an Indian appeared at the window of the cabin in war paint and feathers to call: "Go bury little Sarah tonight. Tomorrow Indians kill all white men. When one Indian gets mad, all Indians get mad."
Late at night, in response to his advice they buried "little Sarah" and left immediately for Roseburg, where they remained until Indian troubles were over.
In 1867 Auletta Merriman married John E. Bugar. Three years later he died. After a time she married John E. Harvey and they made their home at Gold Hill, Or. In 1904 death made her a widow again and she moved to Ashland, where she still makes her home, enjoying frequent stays in Medford with her daughter, Mrs. E. M. Wilson, wife of this city's mayor.

From a book called Overland in 1846. Ho! For California and Oregon, Pg. 466 & 467:

William J. Martin to the St Joseph Gazette, Platte City, Missouri, January 5 1846

Mr. Editor;
For the benefit of those who intend to emigrate in the spring, I beg the use of your columns for a few suggestions which they will find useful and important. I give them as briefly as possible, and without regard to style—matter is of more moment to such as wish to embark in this long trip.

First the wagons should be sufficiently strong to carry from 2000 to 2500 lbs—they should be made with falling tongues.
Each wagon to have good double covers.
Each wagon to have at least three good yoke of oxen from 4 to 7 years old—the oxen should be well broken—yokes and bows to be all good and complete.
Two hundred pounds of flour to each person over ten years old—100 pounds to each child over three and under ten.
Fifteen pounds of coffee, and the same of sugar to each person.
100 pounds of bacon to each person over ten years old—50 pounds to all over three and under ten.
50 pounds of salt to each mess.
50 pounds of rice to each mess.
5 pounds of pepper to each mess.
50 pounds of dried fruit, apples and peaches.
Each mess to have a good tent of sufficient size to contain from five to eight persons.
Each man to be armed with a good rifle or heavy shot gun, with 5 pounds of powder and twelve pounds of lead or fifteen pounds of shot to each man.
Emigrants should have all things completed and in readiness to start by the 10th of April at farthest. A great deal depends on starting early in the spring, so as to reach Oregon early in the fall, and have time to erect cabins for the winter, and put in wheat crops in time to be able to raise their own bread stuffs.

I would advise all persons who intend emigrating to Oregon from the Platte purchase or elsewhere, to cross the Missouri river AT ST. JOSEPH, AS THAT IS BY FAR THE BEST ROUTE.

Let me repeat and urge it upon all who intend emigrating in the spring, to have all things ready to start from the west bank of the Missouri by the 10th of April.
Wm. J. Martin