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James Campbell Interview
(Submitted by Susan Fahnstrom)


Dr  John J Dickey Diary, Fleming County, KY.
The following interview was made at Forked Mouth, KY on July 22, 1898.

James Campbell

I was born in Perry County, in Campbell's bend, August 12, 1822. My father was Francis Campbell, he was born on Walkers Creek in North Carolina, a tributary of New River. They could roll a hogshead of tobacco  to Charleston North Carolina in a day.  He was born May 15, 1800, he died Jan 8, 1893. He was well preserved. My grandfather was John Campbell, he was born in North Carolina also, his wife was a Couch.

The Campbells and Couches came from the same part of tht state. In 1806 a large number of families in that region thought of immigratingto Kentucky.  Not willing to take their families into an unknown country, they selected the two men, Austin Couch and Charles Francis, two choice men, unmarried.  They filled their knapsacks, took their flintlock rifles and full of determination to accomplish the mission on which they were sent, they started on foot to explore the new Eldorado. They came though Pound Gap, and striking the headwaters of the Kentucky River, they followed the north fork to Boonesborough, thence to Lexington and returned the same route, reaching home the same season.  They reported a and of plenty. They said there was everything to eat butnothing to wear. It was a land flowing with milk and honey.  The streams  abounded in fish, the woods were full of deer, bear, turkey, buffalo and elk. Filled  with the flaming report , my grandfather and his family, his brother William and his family, started the following spring.

They were large families, they started for Lexington but stopped atCampbell's bend on the north fork of the Kentucky river, n what is now Perry County. They found four acres of land cleared at that point and concluded to make a crop and remain over a year.  My grandfather bought nine horses, his brother ten, they bought their cattle also, some were sick on the way and this was one of the reasons for stopping.When Spring  came again his family or some of them wee sick and it was two years  before they got rid of their chills.  When they had gotten well they felt so well and were charmed with the rich soil and luxriant can brakes and the abundance of game, they lost the desire to go farther.

In North Carolina, they had put manure in the furro to raise corn and then the frost would cut it rare, ripe, a diminutive corn was all they could raise.   The great ears of corn that grew on their rich bottoms was sufficient to meet the expectation awakened  by the glowing descriptions of Messers, Couch and Francis, they put all they had into clothes. 

My great grandmother's father was James, he was born in Ireland, there were two brothers , James  and William James.  I suppose Jesse James is of the same family. She as the daughter of William James, they were rich. The Campbells were Scottish - Irish.  Later Couch and Francis , the explorers  found a path hacked from Carrs Creek to Grapevine .
 

Peter DeWeese settled at the mouth of Grapevine and died from choking.  When they would find a bee tree they would cut down a small chestnut, peel it,  and fill it full of honey  and carry it home. The cane was a evergreen and in winter and summer made good pasture.
In the summer  the peavine was equal  to bluegrass, flax was introduced. Buckskin supplied  the men.  The fifty families of the of New River proposed to make a settlement about Lexington. They came  on later and settled  at different places. The Begleys , Sizemores, Rameys, and my mother Margaret Williams came from that section. The Nobles, Neaces and Fugates came later.

My grandfather was a religious man. He was a freemason when he came here.  His children were: James, John, Mary, Sallie, William, Francis, my father Elijah, Issac, Stephen, Hiram, Samuel and Bitsy ( Betsy) , 12 in all. 

William, his brother, settled at the mouth of Campbells Creek, His children were Charles, William, Elijah, Hanes, Henry, Daniel, Margaretand Amy.


 

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