Diary of Nancy (Riley) Clarke Salt — 1846

NOTE: For Genealogical Purists, this document is NOT from the original. It has been faithfully transcribed by my hand, David S. Riley, February 25th, 2001.   As received by me from Elaine Powell, a researcher of considerable talents ([email protected]), the copies of the document were THIRD-hand transcriptions of the original documents. All corrections made by the heirs of Nancy Riley, including notes, cover letters, and attached articles, have been included.   Should any person have a copy of Nancy’s diary to compare this document to, please do so. Many colloquialisms, original spellings, and grammar have been corrected, but not by my hand. What you see is the document I received, and no corrections should be made to it, in order to preserve what integrity it still possesses. Pour through this testament, it is a labor of love from a long-dead ancestor. You might consider what it means to you, and think of what future generations would think if you attempted what Nancy did.  –DSR

September 4, 1991

Mrs. Mary L. Wood
P. O. Box 497
0uray, Colorado

Dear Mrs. Wood:

Thanks for your materials on the Stephen Wood and Baker families. Presha Riley Wood was a sister to my Garrard Riley and was a daughter of Ninian and Elizabeth Taylor Riley.   Enclosed is a copy of the Diary of Nancy Riley Clark. It is most interesting and, yes, you will find references to your Stephen Wood. Incidentally, the John Arnold mentioned is a son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Wright) Arnold on my wife’s line. She is descended through John’s brother, Thomas _ _ both of whom settled in the Big Twin area of Owen County, Kentucky.

Enjoy the Diary but instead of sending me anything, make another copy for your state genealogical library so that others might make use of it. I understand that the original is in the Clermont Co. (Ohio) Library and it has now been published by the Missouri Genealogical Society.

Best wishes.


Thomas L. Riley

P.O. Also enclosed copy of an excerpt from the 12 July 1808
issue of the Kentucky Gazette, Lexington, KY.


The Long-Lost “Diary” of Nancy (Riley) Clarke

Bethel, Clermont County, Ohio

The following material was originally written by Nancy (Riley) Clarke-Salt (1786-I857), at her home in Clermont County, Ohio, between 1849 and her death.
It was partially quoted by Charles Arthur Hoppin in “The Washington-Wright Connection .   . .”, Tyler’s Quarterly, re2. 4. No. 3 (January 1923), page 153 ff.
Mr. Hoppin consulted two copies of Nancy’s “Diary”–one then in the possession of Miss Vessie Riley of Indiana (granddaughter of Zachariah Riley, younger brother of Nancy.) and the other then in The possession of Mrs. Francis Crane (Mae Sinks, great-granddaughter of Nancy via Nancy’s fifth child, Eleanor Huldah (Clarke) Sinks. Despite years of searching, neither the original nor the two copies could be found by the many Riley cousin genealogists   who have been researching the family during the latter-half of the 1900s. This manuscript is based on a third copy–previously unknown–which was accidentally located in April 1984. It was copied, in long-hand, by a great-grandson of Nancy’s, John Thornton Warth, in 1895 “from the original” which was then in the possession of Nancy’s ninth and youngest child, Minerva Jane (Clarke) Frazier, who resided in Jefferson City, Missouri.
John Thornton Warth, a bachelor, was the only child of Clara (Thornton) Warth.
For years he was an official at State Hospital No. 3, Nevada, in Missouri.   Sometime during the early 1900’s he sent a hand-written copy of his copy to his first cousin,   Walton McMillan, son of Ann Eliza “Lida” (Thornton) McMillan.   Clara and Ann Eliza were the fifth and sixth of eight children born to Dr. Samuel Yardley Thornton Sr. and wife, Frances “Citte” Clarke–with Frances being the second child and eldest daughter
of Nancy Riley. This third copy is in the possession of Rev. McMillan’s only child, Jane (McMillan) Breckner of Clayton, Missouri. Following the recent death of Minerva Jane (Clark) Frazier’s granddaughter in Jefferson City, the original long sought “Diary” was found!   The Diary is actually a family history, covering much of Nancy’s life in Surry County, North Carolina, their move to central Kentucky in the late 1790s, and their move to Clermont County in 1806. She also included information on the family of her mother-in-law, Eleanor (Reader) Clarke, who lived with Houton and Nancy (Riley) Clarke from their marriage in 1806 until Eleanor’s death in 1818. Eleanor and Stephen Clarke had emigrated from Yorkshire, England to Mecklenburg County, Virginia about 1773, with their two older sons, Houton and Joseph.
The “Diary” was written in a theme-type notebook, about nine-inches high by eight-inches wide, with a mottled cover. Nancy began one writing at the front
of the book (called “Volume I” in John Thornton Warth’s copy), then turned the
book over and began another writing from the back of the book (called “Volume II” in Worth’s copy ).
With the “Diary” was a second theme-type book, about the same size but with medium-blue pages. Nancy had written on only the first six-to-ten pages of the second book; but it was more in the true diary category. It began several years prior to her death and had infrequent entries, concerning daily happenings and her health problems. No copy of it is available. Both books are now in the possession of non-Missouri descendants of Minerva Jane (Clarke) Frazier.
Having now seen the original “Diary”, this writer wishes to note that Cousin
John Thornton Worth did some editing when he made his copy in 1895, correcting both spelling and punctuation. The additions or corrections in brackets [ ] in this printed copy, have been included by this writer, who is the great-grand-daughter of William Clarke Thornton, third-born of Frances “Cittie” (Clarke) Thornton. (The nickname “Cittie” was given to Frances Clarke in early childhood by one of her two younger brothers, Reader Wright Clarke or Joseph Marcus Clarke, when the little boy tried to call her “Sister”; and Frances was called “Cittie” throughout her life.)
A special thanks to descendants of Minerva Jane (Clarke) Frazier for use of the sketch of the Clarke home in Clermont County. It is from a page in an autograph book, which seems to have belonged to Sara Ann (Clarke). Hunt, the eighth child of Nancy. The sketch is dated “1846”; and, written faintly below the sketch are six words which seem to be “The spot where we were born.” The Clarke home–later owned by a son-in-law, Randolph M. Sinks–was the first Inn in the Clermont area, circa 1800. During the1920s, it was torn down so that its location could be used as the site for the U. S. Grant Memorial Building in Bethel, Ohio. Due to the length of the “Diary”, sequential portions will be included in the next several issues of Pioneer Times. Accompanying the final segment will be a   family group sheet for Nancy’s parents, Rev. Garrard Riley, Sr. and Frances Wright, as well as a family group sheet for Houton Clarke and Nancy Riley
Again, special thanks to the several distant Clarke cousins who have made the publication of Nancy’s “Diary” material and the sketch of the Clarke home possible!   For the many cousins, across the country, who have been seeking the “Diary” for years, it is a genealogical dream come true!
The “Diary”…
Volume I

The family came from near Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (This notation is in a different handwriting than Warth’s copy. Possibly it was written by Rev. McMillen.)

The contents of this book and the following were made from the originals, written by my Great-grandmother Nancy Riley Clarke Salt. The original, together with a diary kept by her for many years, is in the possession of Mrs. Minerva J. Frazier, daughter, of Jefferson City, Mo.
/s/ John Thornton Warth

This book contains a short history of the families of Garred and Frances
Garrard Riley was born in Montgomery Co, Maryland,   the 20 of May 1766. His
father, Ninian, was born in the same state on March 18”, 1726′. He married Elizabeth Taylor in the same state, some younger than himself, in 1746. [Info given later states that Elizabeth was 75 by March 1800.] They lived 12 miles from Georgetown, Md.
Some years after he had sons and daughters born unto them, Ninian began to think seriously on the subject of religion. His parents were members of the Church of England, but Ninian had heard a Baptist preacher by the name of Jerry Moore preach one night and while he was preaching, some of the company threw rotten eggs over him, but he bore it all meekly and exhorted them to flee the wrath to come, to repent. and believe the gospel. They caught him and put him in prison. He still preached in jail.
Ninian was very fond of reading, had a good education, and now began to search the scriptures to see whether the doctorine that J. Moore preached was true, as he could bear such abuse and not resent it, but prayed for them that had thrown the eggs on him, saying that he rejoiced that he was counted worthy to suffer persecution for the Lord Jesus. Ninian’s mind became interested and, the more he read the scriptures, the more he felt condemned. He tried to keep these feelings and reflections to himself, as there was such persecution against the Baptists.
At length [he went] on a journey over the mountains with packhorses to pack salt for family use, as that was the only way they could obtain it as there were no wagon roads over the mountains in those days, 1750. Ninian now was alone with his horses near the top of the mountain- He was very much exorcised. He knew not what to do to relieve his mind from that awful feeling. He plainly saw that he was a condemned sinner, and nothing but the brittle thread of life kept him out of hell. He saw the justice of good in his condemnation, but he begged for mercy, when all of a sudden, light broke into his mind and filled him with joy and peace and he shouted aloud there by himself. .He viewed the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ so plain, and the atonement God had made through Jesus Christ for sinners so full, and this world and all its glory seemed so small, when compared with the glory he then felt. To use his own words, “He thought he could set his foot against the mountain that he was near, and push it over.” He also thought he could convince any sinner of the reality of religion.
While in his transports of joy, there came along a man. He was glad to see him, as he’d had no doubt that the man would believe him, but to his great surprise the man just laughed at him and said he was crazy. This convinced him that he had no power of his own; that power belonged to God alone. He afterwards became a Baptist and, so zealous was he, that the church gave him license to preach. He was very good in exhortation but never became a great preacher.   He, with his family–then numbering 12, four sons and eight daughters, some of whom were married–moved with him to N. Carolina, Surry Co, and settled on Hunton Creek, waters of the Adkin [Yadkin] river, some time before the Revolutionary War, and suffered many losses and abuses from the Torys, as he was a Whig and true to his country’s cause.
He was a great admirer of nature and in his old age, delighted himself in cultivating in his garden many variters (sic) of flowers. When they were in bloom, he has taken me, his first granddaughter that bore his name, by the hand and would show me his roses and pinks and would say, “See these beautiful flowers. See how they differ one from another. Even so shall the saints differ one from another in glory.” And he would seem to feel happy in the very thought, saying at the same time that these beautiful flowers gave more praise to their maker, much more than man, the noblest of God’s creation.’ Yet he [Man] came far short of giving that honor to their Creator that those lilies did.
He was a farmer. His wife Elizabeth was a very pious woman but lived out of church until 1800. In March she, with 30 others–several were her grandchildren, I one of them–was baptised in Hickman Creek [Ky] by John Price, the pastor of Marble Creek Church. The ice had to be broken, Grandmother then 75 years old [b. 1725]. She lived until she was 86 years old [d. 1811-2]. Ninian lived until he was 88 [d. 1814]. He died in Featt [Fayette] Go, Kentucky, ten miles south of Lexington, where he had lived near 30 years among his children. Ninian Riley Junior was a Black Smith, married Sarah Wright in N. C. He moved with his father to Ky. They had 5 children. The first, Benjamin, married Emma Cotton. He moved to Mo, Clay Co, where he died. He was a Baptist preacher but died a Campbellite.
James Riley, the second son, married Louisiana Lannane in Maryland but moved with his father to Ky. He was a good farmer and owned slaves and owned a large farm in the same boundary with his father and his older brother, Ninian [Jr]. James had born unto them IO children. He and his wife belonged to the same Baptist Church, afterward several of their children.
John Riley, the youngest brother, married Sarah Elsberry in N. C. but moved with his father and brothers to Ky. He settled in Clark Co, near Winchester. He also had a good farm. These three brothers all moved to Missouri and since, Ninian[Jr] and his wife have died, also James and wife. John and wife were living in 1849. He is the father of Zacariah Riley of Troy.
They had six sisters, the two oldest, Sarah and Elizabeth, married two brothers, John and Isaac Johnston, farmers. The third, Nancy, married Isaac Windsor, farmer. The fourth, Mary, married Wm Allnut, farmer· The fifth, Preshus, married Stephen Wood, who taught school all his life. He had a good farm. He and his wife died in Ill. Windsor and wife died in N. C.
John Johnston and wife Sarah died in Georgia. Isaac and wife Elizabeth died in Ky, Fiatt [Fayette] Co. Lucy married Robert Cast. She died suddenly in Featt [Fayette] Co, Ky. She was a very pious Baptist. Every son and daughter of old Ninian Riley was a Baptist, except John and he married a Methodist girl, and the class leader turned her out or set her back for marrying a man that did not belong to church, though he was very moral. It offended her so, she never Joined them or any other church up to 1847.
But to return to Garrard, who was a lad of 17 when he, with his parents moved to N. Carolina [moved 1783]. Soon after they arrived there was a call for volunteers to guard the settlement against the Tory or Refugees, as they were called. John Wright was Captain. They mustered at Captain Wright’s, and when the call was made, Garrard felt his heart beat warm in his country’s cause, and though he was young he, with many more, turned out as a volunteer to be ready at any time when wanted. Their rendevous was at Captain Wright’s.
One time when they were enrolling and   giving orders, the men all in a row, one of the Captain’s daughters, then about 15, looking through the window, espied Garrard, a tall young man, whose blue eves sparkled with youth and beauty. His cheeks were a rosy hue. His brown curly locks and smiling countenance caught her attention more than any of the rest.   She thought he was the most beautiful creature she ever saw, though she kept those thoughts to herself, but tried to find out who he was and where he lived. She soon found his name to be Garrard Riley, son of Ninian Riley, late from Maryland.
But to return to Captain Wright. He led his little band of volunteers out and guarded the settlement. Some time after, one of his neighbors’ wives, Mrs. Luvicy Whitlock, framed[?] herself in a trance and lay three days. She neither ate nor drank anything. When she awoke, she said the Torys would gain the day. [She] persuaded her good husband and some of her neighbors to go and join the Torys, for she saw in her trance the Whigs all killed or made slaves of. Her husband believed her prophesy and went after and joined the Torys. Also, William Cook, a Baptist preacher, started with Whitlock and others. As soon as Captain Wright heard that some of his neighbors were starting to Join the Torys and what his brother Baptist had gone, he caught his horse and rode all night after them. He overtook them at daylight. Nearly 40 miles he rode that dark, damp night. He tried to get them to come back, but they refused. He still advised and persuaded them but all in vain. He took his brother Baptist by the arm and said, “Come, go with me. Disgrace not the cause but man up and be not a coward but a brave soldier.” Cook could not stand that. He turned back with his captain, but Whitlock went on and Joined the Torys and was killed in a few days after. So his wife’s trance proved the loss of her husband. So much for trances.
In the trip Captain Wright took after the Torys, he caught a violent cold, which settled on his lungs, and caused his death 6 or 7 years after, though he lived to see the end of the war and peace proclaimed and the eagle with her 13 arrows and stripes over the fair land of Columbia. This, he desired to see.
He had married Ann Williams in Virginia, Falknar [Fauquier] Co, where they were both raised. [Marriage probably occurred in area of Prince William County, as Fauquier was not organized until 1758. No marriage record has been found.] They had 18 children born unto them, 12 daughters and 6 sons. Several of them were married before they moved to North Carolina. They settled on Deep Creek, waters of the Adkin [Yadkin] River, where they both lived on the same farm until their deaths. Their children moved to different states.

Captain Wright drew near his end, and while on his death bed, he suffered much, but bore it with Christian patience, resigned to the will of God. While dying and gone to all appearances, his wife screamed out in the anguish of her heart [that] she could not give him up. He opened his eyes and said, “My dear, it is you that keeps me here.” His oldest son took his mother out of the room and begged her not to make any more noise. He then closed his eyes in death in his fiftieth [sixtieth] years. [John d. 31 Oct 1789, age 60.] His wife, Ann, then left with 9 children with her–9 were married, some lived near her. Her oldest son, Thomas, was a Baptist, lived near and joined farms with his mother. She had a good farm and two old negroes   she living on the same farm until her death. She raised all the 9 children, some of them very small when their father died. They all married and moved off–some to Ky, some to Mo, and some to Alabama.
Daniel Wright now lives in Alabama, a great farmer. Jonas and family in S. Carolina. John Wright [Jr] died in Florida, left two sons and one daughter. His wife he had left in South Carolina, his daughter with her. He divided his living and gave his wife half and took his two sons and moved to Florida. There he died, leaving his two sons very rich. Thomas Wright represented the county of Surry many years. His mother wrote a letter to one of her daughters in Ohio six or eight months before her death with her own hand. It was well composed and well written.
She died In her ninetieth year [Ann (Williams) Wright d. 1825.] She had belonged to the Baptist Church with her husband many years before his death. She lived about seventy years in the church. The most of her children Joined the Baptist Church.
But to return   to Garrard   The war being over   and all in peace and plenty, Garrard now in his twentieth year, his father gave him 1OO   acres of land. He built a frame house on it and then he thought of a wife.   Frances Wright seemed to be his choice. He made his love known to her. She refused at first, saying she was too young, that her elder sister might suit him better than she, but he still continued his visits. At length she confessed her love to him had been ever since the day he turned out as a volunteer at her father’s, though she had kept the secret of love to herself.
Suffice it to say that they were married in January 1786. Garard was 20 in May following; Frances was 17 in February–the 14th. After they moved in his new house, they had not much to put in it, but, they were young and healthy and willing to work. I forgot to say that Frances spun and wove and bleached her wedding dress, apron and handkerchief, also knit her stockings. In those hard times there were not many store goods and all were striving to make the best homemade. .
Garrard worked very hard to clear and fence his ground for a crop that spring. His wife would help him to pick and burn brush after night. They had good garden and a smart field of corn cleared that same year besides his small orchard. He made the most of the furniture that they needed himself, as he was very handy with tools and Frances would spin and weave their clothing. All seemed to prosper with them and in December following, Frances gave birth to their first-born–a daughter–to the great joy of all, this being the first grandchild of Ninian Riley that bore the name, though he had more than 20 others of his daughters’ children. [This first-born of Garrard Riley and Frances Wright was the author of this “Diary”.]
On the day that Garrard took his wife and daughter over to his father, it [the baby] being 4 weeks old, the man seemed to be overjoyed and said he was over sixty years older than that child and he would show them how supple he was. He Jumped up and hit his feet together three times before he came down. He also ran three steps up the side of the house, so nimble was he then.
In one year and eleven days after the birth of their first daughter, they had a fine son born to them. [This was Ninian Riley, later resident of Owen County, Kentucky.] Garrard seeing his family increasing so fast, he thought his tract of land was very thin and that he had to work very hard to make a living. He sold his small farm and bought a lease on the Adkin [Yadkin] River bottom where the land was rich. He moved there in Welk [Wilkes] Co, 4O miles from their former place. There he raised a very good crop. He did not buy land. He thought if they liked it in one year, that he would buy. But before the year was out, his wife became dissatisfied on account of their neighbors being so very wicked. They would get drunk, swear, and fight even on the sabbath. This kind of wlckedness they had never been used to seeing, as they had been brought up very morrally. His wife became very uneasy and said she would rather live on poor land in a civil neighborhood, than to have good land as they had there and to live among such Wicked people as were there, for if they raised their children there, they would have to associate with them and would partake of their vices.
Garrard took his wife and 2 children to church a few miles off to hear the
Rev. Wm. Petty preach. [One of Frances Wrlght’s older sisters, Lucretia “Lucy”, married William Petty, son of Reverend William Petty.] He was not a very great preacher but one that felt the cause at heart. He had baptized some and he was warm and he spoke with power. His words reached Garrard and it seemed to him that every word was spoken to him. His wife also was very much exercised in her mind. They went home and both determined to try to get religion if it was possible. He tried to shun his wicked neighbors, who looked very shy at him. He continued going to hear preaching or prayer meeting and trying to pray himself, but it seemed all in vain to him as he viewed his ease a very doubtful one, as he thought he was the worst of sinners, his heart so hard and desperately wicked. He thought it was almost blasphemy to attempt to pray. He thought he would put a double watch over his conduct and live up to the law of God in hopes of finding relief. He soon found that he had violated the law and was already condemned and that it was just as if God should cut him off forever, but he pled for mercy every breath he drew. He said he viewed that Jesus had died to redeem the world and that God through Christ can be Just in saving sinners, but “O, I fear he will not [save] so vile a sinner as I. If it is consistent with thy will, oh have mercy on me for I am helpless. 1 give up all to Thee and trust in thy mercy oh God.” As he lay on his face in a grove by himself, praying and. begging for mercy, when all of a sudden, these words came into his mind: “If the son, therefore, make you free, you shall be free indeed.”
His mind was changed in a moment from weeping to rejoicing. He sprang up and shouted aloud and praised God for his mercy toward poor helpless sinners that could do nothing to save themselves from the law that was broken by the fall, but that Jesus had died in their stead and now salvation–Oh, the Joyful sound! It came by Jesus Christ. He viewed the atonement made through Christ so full and free for all who would come to God by him. Yea enough for all, enough forever more. He thought the birds and trees that before seemed mournful now looked lively and were trying to help him praise that God that gave them birth. He went home and told his wife to help him to praise his blessed Redeemer and Savior who had done so much for him, in preserving his life while he was sinning against him, and now had freely forgiven all his sins and transgressions and had made him happy to live or to die. He felt wholly resigned to the will of God to do Just as it pleased him with him. He said he thought he would not see any more trouble. His wife joined him in praising and adoring their Savior, for she had received comfort a few days before him. That night he commenced family prayer, which he kept up regularly through life. They both went to Petty’s church at Wers[?] Creek and gave in their experience and were gladly received and were both led into the Adkln [Yadktn] River and the Rev. Petty baptized Garrard and he stood until he baptized his wife, and then he lead his wife out of the water rejoicing and praising God to the astonishment of all the bystanders.
His mind now began to run back to Surry Co, where he had moved from, among his brothers and sisters, father and mother. He wished to tell them what great things the Lord had done for them both in that wicked place. They thought he would not buy land there but would move back to Surry. He gathered his crop and sold it and moved back and bought a farm of John Anderson and built an overshot grist mill on a small fork of Hunton Creek. He did nearly all the work of the mill himself. It ran well for several years, until there came a great freshet and carried his mill house and dam off. He never rebuilt it again. He lived on that farm seven years. His family now was fast increasing. They had six children, 3 sons and 3 daughters. He worked hard on that poor land and could not make much more than a living. He thought of going to a new country.
In the summer of 1796 he sold his farm and in September he with his family and in company with 10 families in 7 wagons, the most of them were his relations–2 families were his sisters Johnson and Cast. There were 40 children in all–some black. They all left Surry Co, N. Carolina, the same day, bound for Kentucky. They took their milk cows with them. Every family had some, so it made a smart drove, and all the children that were able drove the cows, and at night when we all called a halt and arranged the tents, made fires, milked the cows, cooked supper, drove down stakes, lad boards for their tables [which] they carried with them, then prepared the beds, sleep well, rise early, get breakfast, milk the cows, put the milk in Jugs for dinner, bake bread, cook for dinner, then strike their tents and pack up everything and move off about 10 miles and stop and feed and eat dinner and so on, until one of the company took sick.
The Company all stayed two days. The lady got worse and we had to leave her and her husband at some of their relations, but she died a few days after, so, he was left with one child two years old. He came on the next fall and brought his little Sammie to his grandfather, Stephen Wood. His name was Samuel Arnold, son of John Arnold of Owen County, Kentucky. [5 September 1771, Fauquier Co, VA, Elizabeth Wright, eldest child of John Wright and Ann (Wllllams) Wright, married Samuel Arnold, born 17-7-50 in Spotsylvania Co, VA. Samuel and Elizabeth (Wright) Arnold moved from Fauquier Co, VA to Surry Co, NC with the Wrights, circa 1773. John Arnold of Owen County, KY seems to have been a brother of the Samuel Arnold Who married Elizabeth Wright.]
To return, the company moved on until they got in the “Wilderness”, where
there was some danger of being attacked by Indians, so they would set their tents and wagons all around their fires so if there should be any alarm, they would. all be close together. They all had guns, kept them loaded and ready if needed. The youngest child [Sarah Riley] took the flux on the road and was very bad, so that we thought she would die on the road.
The thought of burying her in the “Wilderness” was a great grief to Mother, but Father would say he had not lost all hopes of her yet. One night we all encamped. Sarah was very bad. They all sat up with her all night, but in the morning she was better. By the side of the road where we encamped, there was a small grave at the root of a beech tree and these words cut in the tree: “Here lys the length and breadth of Elizabeth Roalan.” When Mother saw it, she wept and prayed that if it was the will of God that her child Sarah should die on the road, she might die Just there and be burled by that little lonely grave. The company stayed until noon when they thought it safe to go on as Sarah was much better. She still amended when we got to Rock Castle.
We saw the graves of two Methodist preachers that had been killed not long before by Indians. Rock Castle was thought to be a very dangerous place to encamp, but it was dark when all the wagons got over and up on this side. The place where they encamped was right over the place that was called the “Den of Horse thieves and Counterfitters”, as there was many of such in that day. It was said that Wenon[?] were often seen strolling through the cliffs and woods. It was an awful Looking place. There was hardly room for two wagons to stand and have room to pass around. There was a perpendicular cliff on either side. My mother was very near falling over in passing around our wagon in the dark. Father caught her. There was an alarm that night. About midnight the cattle came running up to the wagons and the horses snorted and the dogs ran in the tents and could not be hissed on. Every man was up and had his gun ready. The women were very much alarmed but nothing appeared in sight. The next morning we were all off in a hurry. The men thought that the cattle and horses smelt Indians but what was the reason they could not make the dogs attack them? Some thought it was bears.
At the end of four weeks, without the loss of one, we found ourselves in Lexington, Kentucky–7 wagons, 10 families, with 40 children all arrived safe. [One had died–Mrs. Samuel Arnold, daughter of Stephen Wood and Preshus (Riley) Wood.]
And now there was a dreadful parting. Some went to Woodford Co. Edward
Riley and family and George Riley settled in Woodford. They were cousins. Stephen Wood, with two families, settled on the Ky. River, bought a good farm. He taught school. Isaac Johnston and his son-in-law, Eye Cast, settled in Fiatt [Fayette] County ten miles from Lexington, but Garrard Riley, my father, went on to Burbon Co, with his family, their six children, three sons and three daughters–myself Nancy their first-born then near ten years old, Ninian first son near 9, John 7, Zacarariah W. was 5 years old, Elizabeth was 3 years old, and Sarah who had been sick nearly all the way but now well was two years.
Father bought a   lease with a Buckeye cabin on it. He moved us all in it. It
was October. We all   felt very happy to have a home, a house to shelter us from the cold, as it was cold   and rainy. He bought his lease from Captain Spoors, 7 miles from Paris on the saters of Towens[?]. Here in this Buckeye cabin, their first Kentucky boy was born, whom they called William.
The next year Father bought land with his brothers, brothers-in-law, and his Father, who had just arrived, and all of them purchased a thousand acres of good land from Governor Greenup, lying in Fiatt [Fayette] Co, 10 miles south from Lexington and 7 miles north of the Ky River. All of the relations now built cabins and moved in. Uncle Isaac Johnson had four hundred acres on the south, father, Uncle Robert Cast had one hundred acres in the middle, also Grandfather fifty adjoining father. Uncle Ning [Ninian Jr.] had two hundred on the west, Uncle James had two hundred on the north, so we all lived happily and peaceably together for ten years, when those that had small tracts of land sold to those that had more. R. Cast sold and moved to Clark Co. E. Cast moved to Todds Fork Ohio in 1800. Father was now well fixed, had built a good hued log house, set out an orchard that was now bearing. His family had increased four more, James Hickman[,?] Willlama W.[,?] Permealey[,?] Martin. His family was getting large though they were all healthy. He never had a doctor’s bill to pay as yet. He and his wife had Joined the church at Marble Creek, John Price pastor, soon after they settled.
Garrard was a very pious man and was gifted in prayer. This duty he never neglected in his family. Evening and morning, if he was well, he would sing and give out his hymn and all us children that could sang with Mother. When done, he would pray for us all so feelingly that it often caused me to weep. He was often called on in the church to close by prayer. And at buryings in the neighborhood, they would prefer him as he was a very good singer, and it was customary to sing in the procession behind the corpse to the grave and after the grave was filled, he would pray for a blessing on the mourners and the bystanders and sometimes he would give a warm exhortation on the uncertainty of life and, if death should come and find us unprepared, oh how awful the thought to die without an interest in Christ. As the tree falls, so it must lie. There is no repentance in the grave, then how necessary is it for [us] to repent of our sins while it is called today, for the night cometh when no man can work–[and] he [Garrard] would dismiss the people.
In the summer of 1799 there was a great excitement of religion among the Presbyterians.   Some 20 miles off they held camp meeting in Burbin Co. Father felt anxious to go and see and hear for himself, as reports said they were very strangely exercised. Some would Jerk, some bark, some fall as though they had been shot. So, father went and stayed three days and tried to find out the cause of that new exercise in religion. Some said it was the work of the Devil; others said it was all delusion. But father said when he came back from Cane Ridge meeting that he saw and heard many things that he could not account for, but some of them looked happy, while they were dancing or walking back and forth, or Jerking and barking.
This exercise soon came to the Walnut Hill Church, Elder Crafford, Pastor. This Presbyterian Church was only a miles off. There was a Sacrament at meeting. Father took Mother and me there to see this new religious exercise. We saw some dance, some walk back and forth until they were out of breath and then fall on someone or in their laps and lay as if they were dead only they would breathe. I have seen some young ladys, very finely dressed, that would jerk all over, their head, hands, and feet so bad that it would take 2 or 3 to hold them. I saw it.   Mrs. Bell that lived near Lexington sat in her pew at Walnut Hill church and bark very fine like a small Fist/Sist[?]. She was a very good kind woman at home but in a few months it disappeared and the most of them that were exercised in that way broke off from the Regular Presbyterians and called themselves New Lites or Marshall Lites as Marshall was their Pastor. Bly and Houston were also among them.   Some of them Joined the Shakers in Ohio afterwards.
We all went home. Father said he could not think it was all a delusion but that there must be some good done there, for he felt some of the influence on his mind and that the singing was ringing in his ears yet. My father had been very much exercised on the subject of religion and since he went to Cane Ridge and had seen the strange exercise, it set him to searching the Scriptures to see whether these things be true as did the athenians. The more he read the more he felt it his duty to warn sinners of their danger, putting off repentence until it was too late. His mind was so much exercised on the call to the ministry and the preaching of the glorious gospel that he became weak and uneasy, not much relish for food and his sleep left him. He prayed to the Lord to show him his duty and help him to perform it, but oh Lord, send someone else that is more fit, for he felt himself so unworthy and not capable of such responsible dutys. His education was not sufficient. He thought that he excused on that ground but the more he tried to excuse himself, the worse he felt. These words would come in his mind: “Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel.” those awful words seemed to press him more heavy than ever. He tried to keep all his thoughts and feelings to himself.
This was Hemp-pulling time. He took his 2 oldest sons, Ninian and John, out with him to pull up hemp. They had not worked long before his mind became so much exercised that he could not hide it from the boys. He thought he would go away from them and try to pray to the Lord to ease his troubled mind, for he felt as if his heart would burst with grief. He went a few rods off in the high hemp and tell on the ground and began to pray to himself but got louder and louder until he alarmed the boys. They ran home and told Mother that Father was hollowing in the hemp patch and they were afraid he was going crazy. Mother and I ran out to see what was the matter, but we saw father coming in.
Before he got in the house, he commenced telling the exercise of his mind. Mother sent, me after Grandfather and Grandmother–they lived near–and after his brother James and wife and his sister, Lucy Cast. They all lived near. They all came in a few minutes and asked what was the matter. Father arose and said, Oh my dear friends , I cannot tell you the half of the trouble I have had for some time past, and today, while trying to work, my mind was so pressed that I thought I must die if I did not get comfort soon. I thought I had been acting like Jona[h]. I had run away from the Lord for some time and he has followed me by his spirit, I believe now, as it would often put these words in my mind, “Go warn sinners. Go preach my Gospel.” I would say in my mind, “Oh no Lord, I cannot. I dare not for I am not capable, not worthy to go. 0 send some other. Oh, Lord, excuse me.” Again, “You must go and warn the People, for if the Judgment comes and you warn not the People, their blood will be required at your home,” In my mind 1 would argue thus, “Oh Lord, how can i go and spend so much time from my family, who needs all by time? I am poor and my family large and increasing. Oh, how can I leave them?” The answer would be, “I will be with you in six trials, yea and in the seventh I will not leave you. My grace is all sufficient for thee.” Many other things he said, I have forgotten.
He then said Oh my friends, what shall I do? I wish you to give me counsel. His father and mother were so overcome by his talk that they gave him great incouragement, but his brother rather discouraged him. He said he was not qualified for the ministry, his education was not such as would make him a profitable preacher, that he would only be a bungler, said he had better keep back a little longer and try the spirit of his calling. His father prayed and they all went home.
But Father’s mind was not relieved by the counsel of his friends. They could not touch his case. That was between him and his God. His friends did not knew how his mind was oppressed, his body became weakened on account of his mind being so much wroate[?] upon, until he could not work and was not sick. Mother and I often talked about him and were very uneasy about him.
0ne day as he lay on the bed in the next. room, Mother and I were at work. We heard some uncommon noise in the room where he was. We ran in to see where the noise came from. We saw father look as if he was choking. mother run to him and he had some of the bed covers stuffed in his mouth to try to hide his feelings. Mother pulled out the clothes and such a shrill loud shout followed. i never shall forget. He said, “Glory to God in the highest, good will toward man. Jesus has died to save sinners.” His mind was now relieved to what it was before. While on the bed, his mind was so full of sorrow that he thought by his own disobedience the Lord had hid His smiles from him, so he had not enjoyed as much of that sweet love and union with his blessed Lord as was common for him. He knew he had shrunk from what he knew to be his duty. While he was thinking over his troubles and how to act for the best and how to get relief, those words came in his mind with great force: “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel.” He said he then gave up all and said, “Oh Lord, here am I. What will thou have me do? Thy will be done not mine, but with thy help I will again make the attempt.” At that moment light broke through that dreadful darkness that had for days weighed him down, as a cart pressed with sheaves. He shouted aloud and said, “I will give glory to God for his many mercies to me.”
Mother sent for his friends again as usual. They all came in. Mother told them that Father had been a little unwell and that she thought she would send for them. Father then said, “friends, I have been disobedient to the heavenly call, as you all have some knowledge of, and on account of my stubborness and backwardness to do what I know to be my duty. My mind has been filled with darkness and I could not fell that calm serenity of soul that I did before my mind became so much exorcised In the great subject of preaching, and this day has been a serious one to me. While my mind was pressed with grief, the family thought I was sick, but oh, it was worse than sickness! I rolled and tossed about for ease when those words rolled on my mind still heavier, “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel”
I then determined to make the trial if the Lord had a work for him [Garrard] to do. He had promised in his word to stand by his servants in all their trials. I then said, “Oh Lord Jesus, whatsoever thou commands me to do, that will I try to do to the utmost of my power, in they name.” And Oh, my friends, as soon as t had resigned my all to the will of God, my heavenly father, to do with me as he saw best–not my will but Thine be done–I cannot describe to you the joy and peace I have felt. Since that moment, my Savior has smiled on me from on high and filled me with love to God and to all mankind and has given me a foretaste of the joys of the upper world, and I feel determined. Let others do as they will. As for me, I will serve the Lord and try, with his help, to walk in wisdom’s ways and whatever the Lord by his spirit presses on my mind, that will I try to do.
Many other things he said, but these will show the exercise of his mind. His father and mother were so overcome and melted down under his relation for his past trouble and his now lively and pleasant countenance, that showed such a change in him that they rejoiced with him and said, “Go on my dear son, and may the Lord bless you and make you useful.” His two brothers and their wives and one sister also joined their father and bid’ him Godspeed. He then sang a hymn and shook hands with them all and all of us children and Mother were all crying fit to break their little hearts to see their Father in such a way.
He then prayed with and for them all, and his dear old parents, who were now in the decline of life and would soon go to receive their reward. His brothers and sisters, he also remembered in his prayer. He closed, and after, they all bid him an affectionate farewell, and all went home. The rest of his relations soon heard of his exercises arid had a night meeting appointed for prayer or exhortation, hoping to hear him speak, as they had heard so, much about his exercise, and that he thought he was called to preach. They thought he would make a poor out at that business.
The night came, The house filled. Father opened meeting in the usual way by singing and prayer. He was very much embarrased at first, knowing that the people were all watching him. He commenced an exhortation and soon got warm in the cause and spoke very boldly and feelingly until he astonished all that heard him. They said they were agreeably disappointed. He sang a song after he was done speaking, and while singing he went around and shook hands with all. He then dismissed them and all seemed very glad they had come out that night,
Garrard was a man that loved Peace and Harmony and could not bear confusion and would always try to avoid offence if possible, but was sound in the doctrines of the gospel. He had to labor very hard on his farm all day and would read at night and at noon while his horses ate or rested. And he always read a chapter and gave out his hymn and all they that could would sing, before prayers every morning and night. He was a very early riser. He often had prayers over before it was daylight in the morning, and at nine o’clock at night, all the work was put away before prayer. This was his regular practice while I lived at home.
In the winter of 1799 there was a great revival of religion commenced among the Baptists, some eight or ten miles off. Garrard heard of it and soon caught the spirit and went to Bryan’s Station. There he heard and saw so much of the good work while he was there that he came home all alive with religion. He would work hard all day, and in the evening take his horse and ride six or eight miles to meeting and back again, sometimes near midnight. The revival soon reached Marble Creek Church, where Garrard and wife belonged, the Rev. John Price, pastor. Price was a very hard Calvinist, was not very entertaining, though he was a very good man.
Other preachers soon caught the flame and visited Marble Creek. Peter Wood from Madison County, John Shackelford from Scott Co, Ky, Ambrose Dudley from Scott, Eider Redden and old Thomas Ammons from Fiatt [Fayette] Co–these were all good preachers, the greatest in their day. Then there were others, George Boon a great revivalist, and Membrose Boren also a very good lively preacher. Some of these preachers did attend nearly every sabbath at Marble Creek Church, where the church would be crowded to overflowing. There was such an excitement that it seemed as if all were affected more or less. Christians were rejoicing, while sinners were crying for mercy. There were often thirty or forty that would come forward to be prayed for by the ministers at one time, crying in the bitterness of their hearts, begging the prayers of all the preachers that the Lord for Christ’s sake to have mercy on them. Garrard would often pray for them and exhort them to look to Jesus, who had bled and died to save sinners and He was able and willing to save the vilest of sinners for the good book says “He that asketh receiveth, and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened, and he that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out”
Garrard continued very lively and would sing and shake hands with all around him and many would press through the crowd and give their hands to him and others, and all seemed to be of one mind and heart. And when many were converted and came and joined the church and would start to the water some distance from the church–Hickman Creek, half a mile off–Garrard would be called on to sing some suitable hymn to the water, as that was the custom in those days.
When they were at the water, EIder Price would pray and go down into the water with one of the candidates and Garrard would lead in to another to the Admlnistration and when the first was baptized, Garrard would lead him or her out and lead in. another, and so on until all were baptized. Some times there would be 20 or 30 baptized at a meeting
Garrard would always sing as he went in and out of the water only while the ceremony was said. When all were baptized, he would lead out the last and with smiling countenance, he would give glory to God in the highest, for that ordinance which so much delighted him. As he Often said, it seemed like following the blessed Jesus who humbled himself and went down into Jordan and was baptized by John in Jordan, and as we cannot go to Jordan, we can go down into other waters in likeness of him.


In March 1800 Garrard’s mother was to be baptized. She was now 75 years old. She had been a member of the Church of England and had never seen it her duty to be baptized before, as she had been sprinkled when an infant. But now she saw such a beauty in the ordinance that she came to the church and gave in her experience, and was joyfully received. Garrard almost shouted aloud to see his dear Mother so happy and to see her received into the church with his dear old father and so many of their children. Then his oldest daughter came forward and gave a relation of hope in Christ. These two scenes were almost too much for him to bear. [Thus Nancy and her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth (Taylor) Riley, were converted on the same day.]
On Sunday they were to be baptized in Hickman Creek, which was then frozen over four inches thick. Garrard, with others, went and broke the ice and cleared the ice out of the way from the shore and cleared the snow off about the shore where they went in. And, when they all got to the creek, the people were crowded around the banks in the snow, though it was a beautiful day overhead.
There were 30 candidates on the shore ready to be baptized. Elder Price called on Garrard to sing. When done, Price prayed. Then he took one man by the hand and walked slowly into the stream, saying that “This is the way we believe our dear Savior went down into Jordan and was baptised of John. In like manner, we wish to follow him down into this frozen creek that has been broken around and seems as if it would be too cold for timid women but their hearts were warm with the love of Christ.” He then baptised him. Garrard led in his mother to the minister and led out the man. He next led in his daughter–then twelve years old–and sang as he went. He led out his mother and so on until the 30 were all baptised, and then they all left rejoicing and, strange it will seem to some that not one that was baptised then took cold, though the snow was four or five inches deep.
After the revival, the church was so large that they thought best to divide it and form another as the members were so scattered. So all that were on the south of the church four miles off, took letters. Among them were Garrard and his wife and daughter and most of his relations and many more and were constituted into a church called Mount Gilead. They had no house but they all had a mind to work and soon commenced to prepare brick and lumber and in one year they had a good house, though not plastered [illegible] comfortable. Here they lived happily. Garrard and his two sons had worked very hard in making the brick for the house, but now it was done. The church called Rev. Ambrose Boren as their pastor.
He was a very warm-hearted preacher and was well-received by all. The church gave Garrard license to preach or exercise his gifts in the bounds of the church. As he felt it his duty or privilege, he accepted the license; and as he had done before, after Boren would preach, he would call on G. to close which he [Garrard] would do by prayer and exhort and sing and shake hands with all who would give him their hand, and sometimes they would all get so happy that they knew not when to break up. In this new church, they all lived happy and peaceably while Garrard lived in it. Some time after Garrard had been set at liberty to preach, he had an invitation to preach in a very wicked neighborhood. Some of the wicked men [had] lived near him in Wilks Co [Wilkes Co, NC], so he set the appointment. to be on Wednesday night at the house of John Petty, about three miles off.
The evening came. Garrard had been reading and studying on the subject as he did not know what would suit their different cases. He saddled his horse and said to his eldest daughter [Nancy] she might ride behind him. She was delighted with the idea of going with her father to hear him preach his first sermon. She was soon ready. They mounted and [were] off in a hurry. On the road G. seemed to be in some trouble. Be felt to shudder[ing] when he thought of appearing before his old wicked neighbors that used to laugh and make fun of him in Welks [Wilkes], when G. Joined the church, though Petty was a son of the Roy. Petty that baptised. Garrard, but now they had moved to Flatt [Fayette] Co, Ky.
He arrived and found the house full Of people. They seemed to be pleased to see him. Many came and spoke to him. They were very anxious to hear what their shame-faced neighbor would say, as they thought he would make a poor sort of a preacher. Garrard felt very much embarrased at first but he soon commenced singing. Until the time arrived, he was not settled on the text he should speak from, but before he was done singing, these words seemed to bear the most on his mind: “Speak thou the words or things that becomes sound doctorine.” These words seemed to suit him at that time very well, as they would allow him to ramble. He did not expect to treat a subject very correctly, .but these words would allow him to bring any parts of the scripture to help him in sound doctorine.
He finished his hymn and with trembling, he. commenced praying. Before he got through his prayer, he felt better, his trembling left him. He sang another hymn and read his text.   He felt very timid at first. He commenced in a low voice but he soon spoke loud enough for all to hear, though there were many standing out of the door. And all seemed very much interested in what he said. He tried to show them what was sound doctorine,–how that God had sent his well-beloved son into our world to suffer and die to save sinners, that Jesus had paid the debt and that we all owed to Justice by the fael [?fall], and that God through Jesus Christ can be Just in saving sinners through ‘the mediation of Christ to all that will come to God by him. “This sound doctorine, and now, my dear friends and neighbors, we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, an6 we are not able to save ourselves; but Jesus has said, ‘Come unto me all ye that labor, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke, it is easy and my burden is light. He that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out. Now dear friends, all these precious promises are for us all. if we only will turn from our sins and believe on the Lord Jesus who has done so much for poor sinners.”
Garrard seemed to speak with such liberty and boldness and seemed to be full of the love of God and wished to see all his neighbors coming to the Lord. He seemed to be in such earnest and got so loud and his words seemed to come with such power that his words reached the hearts of some, and others were astonished at his liberty and ease with which he spoke. The old stared at him, and the young people cried as his words were to them as Nathaniel’s were to David. _______[illegible] he finished with a sweet song as he was a beautiful singer. He dismissed the people but they lingered and did not all leave the house. They wished him to sing some more of his good songs, which he did and shook hands with all, and he left many of them in tears.
On his way home, he reflected on his sermon, which he thought was a poor beginning, and as he thought on it, the worse it seemed to him. he groaned and seemed to be troubled. his daughter, there on the same horse behind him, said, “Father, what is the matter?” He said, “Oh, I made such a poor out tonight. I think I will not try any more.” “Why Father, the people said you did very well–far better than they expected, and I thought you did well. I scringed [cringed] for you at first, but, when you got so loud and the words seemed to come to you so fast, my fear for you was over. I saw from the looks of the people that you were telling them the truth, and I think they felt lt.   So, I think you ought to be encouraged to see so many l, people out at a night meeting and to pay such attention as they did in that wicked place.” He cheered up and began to hum a tune, as was his custom. He told some time after this that he felt so mortified with himself, for his “poor Preach”, as he called it, that he thought he would give it up. But the words of his little daughter–though yet a child–caused the gloom to pass away, and he hoped the Lord would help him to do better next time.
A few weeks after this he took his daughter with him to old General South’s, near the Kentucky river to a night-meeting. A preacher by the name of Riggs preached from these words: “Come see a man that told me everything I did. Is not this the Christ?” This subject he treated with great ability, though he had a small impediment in his speech. His words to Garrard seemed sweeter than honey on the honeycomb. He thought he opened his case so clear that he thought he never would doubt his call to the Ministry again. When Riggs was done, he called on Garrard to close, which he did, with a warm exhortation and prayed for the mourners that came up–about twenty.
The members all got very happy and many poor sinners were crying for mercy. Garrard got so happy and his faith so increased and he seemed to make a sabbath day’s Journey toward the heavenly canon[?]. On his way home he rejoiced that he had gone that night to meeting, though it was very dark and four miles off and the roads very hilly and slippery and his daughter, behind him. Yet he did not regret going, as he had received so much strength and liberty from the Lord.
A few weeks after this, he appointed a meeting at his own house on Wednesday night. He had a brother-in-law that would not go to hear any man preach. He was a farmer and had’ laid up some silver. His wife was a member of the Baptist church and often tried to get him to go to meeting, but he said, “no, they were all hypocrits and were acting the fool, as some of his children did.” They were very much alarmed at their father’s conduct as well as their own case. Garrard called on Isaac Johnson –as that was his name–before the meeting came on and invited him to come to meeting on Wednesday night. Isaac would not promise,
The night came. All the children were going, and his wife insisted on his going to hear Garrard [her brother], as Isaac had never heard him as yet. When he could not make any more excuses, he said [that] if his wife would take his bags of money with her, he would go, as he was fearful the house would be robbed while he was gone. He had no thought his wife would do that, as he had four hundred dollars in silver. But to his astonishment, she said, “yes, I will take it.” She told him to get it, so he did, and she put one bag of two hundred dollars in each pocket and said, “Come on Isaac, I, can go very well,” Now, for his word’s sake, he would not refuse, so on they went. He was in hopes that she would get tired and return before she went far. But,’ if she was tired, she wagged on silently, though she wished her load was at home again, it was so heavy!   When she got there, she was fearful it would Jingle and expose her. Again, she thought she would sacrifice [illegible] to get Isaac to meeting. It was nearly dark when they reached the house, so she went in. Isaac slipped in and sat behind the door and was in hopes he was not seen. He felt ashamed as he had not been to meeting for several years before that time. But he was seen by all, and the neighbors said to each other, “do you see old Isaac7 What has brought him out tonight?” Others said [that] he wanted to hear what Garrard had to say.
The people being gathered, Garrard opened the meeting by singing and prayer and preached a short sermon and then closed by singing and shaking hands with all in the house and exhorting them to fall in love with the blessed Jesus, who had done so much to save them. When he came to Isaac, he said, “Dear brother, I am glad to see you here.” And he exhorted him so affectionately that Isaac could not help weeping to see Garrard so engaged on his behalf, for he had prayed for him so earnestly and thanked the Lord for putting it into his mind to come to hear what the babbler had to say.
He closed and all went home. Garrard was so overjoyed ‘at Isaac’s coming that he was in great hopes that he would reform. Garrard little thought that his sister was weighed down with her two bags of silver that she had in her pockets, to get her husband to go to meeting!
On the way home, Isaac seemed very serious. He was reflecting on the meeting –how he had called them fools and hypocrites and now he saw he was the fool and that he had been deaf to all the invitations of the gospel. But now he saw and felt that there was a reality in religion. He kept all these thoughts to himself for some days. He could not go to prayer meeting or preaching without his wife packing the money.
Sometime after this, he–with his family–went to Marble Creek Church to hear the Rev. Peter Woods preach. The sermon so affected him and allarmed him that he knew not what to do. He went home and sent for Garrard to pray for him. He did and tried to show him the way of escape in and through the merits of Jesus Christ, which was the only way whereby we can be saved. But he neither ate or slept for three days and nights, when he thought he heard the voice of some one at a distance call his name, “0 Isaac, 0 Isaac, 0 Isaac.” The third time, he looked around but could see no one. In an instant light broke into his mind and he viewed the plan of redemption, through Jesus Christ, so plain and the atonement, that he had made so full and though he was one of the vilest of sinners, yet God for Christ’s sake, had forgiven all his sins. He rejoiced and was happy and all his family rejoiced with him.
He Joined the church among the most of his family and many of other relations. This caused Garrard to rejoice to hear him tell the workings of the spirit on his heart and the bright evidence he gave of his bring renewed by grace. Sometime after this, Garrard set an appointment up to old John Stevens, eight miles off. i went with him. It was to be at night. We got there before night. The family were all very glad to see us, as we had lived neighbors in N. Carolina and they wished to hear Father preach. he commenced singing until the people gathered.
They flocked in before dark until the house was full. Father opened meeting by singing and prayer and preached a very lively short sermon. He closed by singing and shaking hands with all that seemed willing to give him their hand. He got very lively and the people seemed to be very much engaged and wished him to leave another appointment, but he could not at that time, as his crop needed him as he had to work very hard through the day and often preach at night. After the meeting was dismissed and the people nearly gone, there was a very affecting scene took place. A young man by the name of John Shotwell had Joined the church a few months before and was promised in marriage to Mary Stevens; but his father, Gasper Shotwell, was going to Ohio to buy land to settle all his children and now he had come to bid them all adeiu. They all seemed to feel much affected to bid him farewell, as the thought of his going to Ohio in those times, 1802, was as much dreaded as now [1850s] it would be to go to war with the British, in 1812. He was only going 80 or 90 miles off to Clermont Co, Ohio.
In the winter of 1803, Father had a very severe spell of pleurisy that brought him very low. Until that time, we had never had a doctor called. But now, Mother wished to send for one. There was none nearer than Lexington–ten miles–but Father said to send for Elder Price–he knew a good deal about sickness and if he thought it best to send for a doctor, then they might. So, Mother sent for Price. He came. Father was very flighty and told Price that there was a crooked stick in his stomach and if he could get it out, he would get well. “Oh,” said Price, “We can soon get it out,” so. he gave him some Ipocack. In a short time, he vomited and again, three times. He asked Price what had become of the crooked stick had he plucked it up? He did not feel it any more. So, he got better and did not send for any other doctor.
Before Father got able to sit up, Mother was confined, and I had a hard time to wait on both–Father in one bed and Mother in the other in   the same room–but our friends were very good and stayed with us several days and nights. They both got well, but Father was not able to work much until spring. [Was this confinement of Frances (Wright) Riley for the birth of another child?]
As soon as he was able to preach, he appointed a night meeting at Uncle James Riley’s and took for his text these words, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He treated his subject with considerable ability and had such liberty of speech, that it seemed as if words rolled into ‘his mind faster than he could speak them. And he was so filled with the love of God and love to his bretheren and expressed such a pity for poor sinners and beggin them to come to Jesus on the terms of the gospel.
His oldest brother was there. He had opposed Garrard in preaching on account of his education. After this sermon, he gave up saying, “The Lord is with him or he could not speak as he does, for he seems not to be at any loss for words. I fear that I have done wrong in opposing him.”‘ But now he gave his hearty consent, and bid him God speed, and they all rejoiced together. This was Uncle Ninian. Uncle James, Aunt Betsy Johnson, Aunt Lucy Gast,’ and Grandfather and Grandmother and many more of his relations: were there and neighbors. All were pleased with the preaching and seemed much affected to see the three brothers all so loving as they were singing and shaking hands.
That spring he had to rent some land for corn, as he had not enough at home–so he rented a field one and one-half miles off, and the two oldest boys tended it. Some time in July, there came up a storm of wind and rain and hail, and the boys saw the cloud coming up but they thought they could get home, so they left in haste. But it came on so hard, the trees were falling all around them and frightened the horse, so that they let him go, and they ran from one tree. to another until they reached a house where they stayed until the storm was over.
The horse came running up to the gate in the midst of the storm nearly scared to death. Father and Mother were sure that the boys were killed. The storm was so heavy and the hail so large that it was likely to break the west door, so Father had to hold it with his shoulder. Just now we missed the two little girls, Betsy and Sara. They had been playing in the crib [corn crib] and the storm came up so sudden that they did not come out. The wind tore the roof of the crib off and the hail fell so fast and hit them on the head so hard [that] they screamed as loud as they could. But the storm made such a roaring and the trees falling that we in the house could ‘not hear them. They got the bushel basket over both their heads and crouched down nearly scared to death. Oh, the trouble!   Mother was almost out of her wits. Father would try to comfort her and said he was awfully afraid they were hurt but thought the boys might reach Cast’s house–as they did—but what had become of the two girls?
At last the storm abated and we heard the cries of the children. Father rushed out as soon as he could and found the girls in the crib with all the roof gone and they with’ the basket over their’ heads–the only covering from that dreadful storm{ He brought them in the house. They were not much hurt, but their backs were full of hail. As the stooped under the basket, the hail fell in their frocks [which] opened when they stooped.
Well, the next thing, Father Jumped on the horse that had come and rode back as fast as he could. But the trees had fallen all in the road, so he could not go in it much. And the horse would scare and jump when they would come to a fallen tree, so that Father thought the boys were killed under some of them, and he looked all around but did not see them. Then he went to the field where they had been at work and found them not. He returned home, and in a few minutes
the two boys came in, as pale as death. They had run so fast to escape that they were nearly sick. They related all they did to get home with the horse, but the trees fell so fast [that] they just let Dick [the horse] go and ran through to Wm. Cast’s. Well, the story of the two little girls was told and all rejoiced together for the lost were found, and the dead–as they feared–were alive.
In the fall of 1805, Father took a Journey into Ohio to look at the country.
He went to Chillicothe and all through the 5cioto valley. He like the country very well but saw so many pale faces that had Just done shaking with the ague that he thought it would not do for him to risk his large family in such a place though the land was beautiful. he came back without buying that time. He went again in November and bought land in Clermont Co, ten miles north from the Ohio River. He bought two hundred acres of Gr. Littel, who lived in Williamsburg.
The land Father bought lay on the head waters of Indian Creek, four miles from Bethel, or as the first settlers called it, Dunham Town, as Obed Dunham laid it out and named it Bethel at first on the plat. Father came home well pleased with his land. He gave two dollars per acre. It was very level and not a stick cut off and very thick timber. He knew it would take hand knockes to clear out a farm, but he was strong handed–had five boys, three able to do nearly men’s work, and the little ones could pick brush. He also had five girls, myself the oldest of all, then 19. Next ninian 18, John 16, Zacartah 15, Elizabeth 14, Sarah 12, William 11, James 9, Willjam W as was 7, Amelia was three years old. Now here were ten healthy children and all could work at something, and Mother and Father enjoyed good health.
Well, Father and the oldest boys went back to Ohio to build a house–were gone two weeks and returned, all very well pleased with. the land and the society of the. people, though. the neighbors were not very near together and the most of the people were Methodists. Some that were grown had never heard a Baptist preach until they heard Father. They seemed to like him very well at first. The neighbors were very good and kind to them and helped them to build the house and boarded them and their horses all the time and did not charge anything. So they got the house up and floored with puncheon on the lower floor and plank on the upper floor. The house was large, had two rooms above and below–18 ft by 16. So they came back and told how they had built the house in two weeks from the stump and had built one cat and clay chimney that would do very well until he could build stone.
Father had sold his 50 acres of land to his brother James, so he made a sale and sold what he could not move and was to move the first of February before the roads got bad, as there were no pike roads there then.
So now the friends and relations all came and paid us a visit before we moved, so that we were sometimes crowded and were so busy fixing and crying. When we bid them farewell, Father felt bad, but he would sing some good hymns and try to cheer them and Mother up; but the thought of leaving his old Father and Mother whom he loved so dearly, was a great trial. He told them he would come back to see them every year if he lived and could as long as they lived, which promise he tried to fulfill, as it was not more than 1OO miles off, thought that distance seemed so far because it was over that dreadful Ohio River.
Well, the long-looked for day that we were to start from Featt [Fayette] County, Ky, to Clermont,County, Ohio, the neighbors and all our relations came to see us and help us to start. Some went with us several miles. There were so many had gathered and so many crying when we parted, that it looked like a burial.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are happy to let our readers know that the descendants of Minerva Jane (Clark) Frazier have donated the two books written by Nancy (Riley) Clarke in the mid-18O0’s to the Clermont County Genealogical Society, based at the Batavia Public Library in Batavia, Clermont County, Ohio.   CCGS intends to us all available methods of preservation for Nancy’s books, so that the manuscripts will never again be lost. In the near future, Xerox copies of the original manuscript will be available for descendants to study at the CCGS headquarters in Batavia, Ohio.
All researching descendants of Nancy (Riley} Clarke are deeply indebted to Minerva Frazier’s current-day heirs, for making Nancy’s “Diary” available on   a permanent basis. On behalf of all the distant-cousins who have researched the family for so long, we say a heartfelt “Thank You l!!”The “Diary” continued – Part IV:Well, we got started at 10:O0 A.M. and went 20 miles the first day The second day we went 30 miles, camped in Burbon County at Eviotts Inn we had lived one year. The third day we passed through Cynthia Ann Harrison County, 12 miles from Main Licking River, crossed at Claysville, went to the North Fork of Licking, 5 miles, and it was high and no ferryboat. So we encamped in an old wasted house and stayed until the river fell. The Saturday, the river had fallen, so we all crossed and went 16 miles.   The roads were very muddy and we had to go very slow. We stopped that night at old Mr. Witley’s, 4 miles from the Ohio River. We left early–had a hard time to get down the river hill. We got to the river and we children were afraid to get in the flat boat, it seemed so shallow we thought it   would sink.   But we all got over safely and were glad to see our feet safely on the Ohio shore that Father had told us so much about the tall timber and scrubby beach.   This we found all true.
We left the river after paying the ferry bill–2 dollars. We had a hard time to get up the Bulskin Hill. After we reached the top, we went on   very well.   Got to Wm. Feis, now Felicity, at 2 o’clock, then to Wm. Winters. Then we left the road and went a byroad to old Mr. Conray’s [Connery’s]. It was dark when we arrived.   They received us all very willingly. Father had preached there several times while
he was over building his house. He [Mr. Connery] and his wife were Baptists.   They had a large family, 3 girls nearly grown, one son Abram 19 years old.   The were from Jersey.
On Monday we left Mr. Conrey’s and reached our own house to the joy of all.   Mother was much fatigued with the journey of 5 days through the mud and hills, but now she hoped she could take her rest. Father and the boys cleared out the yard and fenced it up, and the next thing was to clear out an orchard and plant out his scions that he had brought with his from Ky.
They were the Millens Apple, so they commenced on Monday morning and cut it smack smooth. Every tree was felled and I, with all the little children, picked up the brush as the boys would cut it off. We piled it and burnt it.   When Saturday came, they had an acre done and all the brush nearly burnt. The next week they cleared another and the next another. And then he made a rolling and all the neighbors came and helped, so they got it all up in heaps, so that we children could burn the most of the logs and brush. He set out his apple scions and staked them before the fence was made. This was the 15th of March when he got his trees set.   He and the three boys soon made rails and fenced the orchard in. Well, then they cleared 5 acres for corn. They only cut the small timber out. It was late in May before he got the corn planted.
In April Mother had a fine daughter. We called its name Mary Wright.   All things went on very well, but Father had no time to preach, only Sundays, and nights   He preached In the neighbors’ houses as there was no Baptist meeting house near. He often preached at old Mr. Conrey’s. In the summer he preached in the barn and   in the woods, but there was no regular church. He often   preached at old John Saps, where Marcus Punkizer now lives, and at Stephen Frazeys and Silas Huntingtons and at Abner Huntlngtons and at old James Pursleys.
Father hunted up the scattered Baptists and found only 5 besides hlmself, wife, and daughter, so he got them all to agree on a day and to send for help to consecrate a regular church. The days were the first Saturday and Sunday in May 1806, at the house of Henry Cappys, now owned by John Taylor, In 1852. The preachers were Moses Frazer [and] the Rev. Hutchlns of Bethel.
The day came and all attended. On Saturday the house was crowded with people, as this was something new to have Baptists meeting and many had never seen a church constituted and were very attentive to all the ceremonies.   Well, the time arrived, the Rev. Mr. Frazer opened the meeting by singing and prayer and then Father told the object of the meeting. He then handed the paper with all the names that had agreed to be bound together in a church. So Frazer called the names—first   Johnathan Conrey Sarah Conery, Essathe Huntington, Garrard Riley, Frances Riley Nancy Riley, Issacar Huntington, John Flack, Mrs. Pursley. They all answered and agreed to be united and named the church Indian Creek Church. They   then went on in the usual form. When done, they gave every member their right hand of fellowship and prayed for a blessing to rest on them. Though [only] eight in number, the preachers prayed that their number might increase and soon, and closed for Saturday.
On Sunday   they had preaching in the woods near Flack’s house. the next church meeting July 3, 1806, the church called Father to be their Pastor and wished him to be ordained and sent for El. Moses Wilham[?] and the Rev. Moses Frazee to ordain. him. On the day appointed to be, the 11 of the present month, the men gathered and built a stand in Flack’s sugar camp, near to where John Salt’s barn now stands. The day come and the people came flocking in like a camp meeting. The preachers came–The Rev. Mr. Withum came wearing   a cocked hat and short pants a little below his knees–his hat turned up flat behind and the sharp point before. His singular appearance, though it was common in old times, and he had not changed with fashion. The Rev. Mr. Frazer was a plain man but dressed in the common style. At 11.o’clock the Rev. Mr. Withum, with his cocked hat on, opened the meeting on the stand and then preached an excellent sermon, and Frazer closed that part and spoke of the business they had to attend to. They came down from the stand end called far the candidate. When Father came forward, they both in turn questioned him on his Christian experience and his call to the ministry, and being satisfied, they laid their hands on his head and told him his duty and-prayed for him and gave him the Bible and bid him to take that for his guide and gave him the right hand of fellowship and presented him with his paper or credentials, written and signed as follows:”To all the people whom this presents shall come: The subscribers
being convened at the place appointed by the Baptist Church in the County
of Clermont and State of Ohio on the 11th. day of July 1806 at the instance of the said Church for the purpose of setting apart by solemn ordination the bearer hereof to the sacred office of the ministry and being by sufficient testimonials fully certified of his moral character rea1 piety and sound Knowledge on divine things as well as ministerial gifts and abilities We did therefore on the said day in the presence of the said Church and a full assembly met solemnly ordain and set apart to the said sacred office of the ministry by imposition of hands, prayers, and other rituals among us in that case in use. The bearer our worthy and beloved brother Garrard Riley whom we recommend as such to favor and respect.
/s/Moses Frazer
/s/Moses Withum

This is a true copy from the original.
Written by Nancy C. Salt, Feb. 10, 1852.

[After the death of her husband, Houton Clarke, in 1835, Nancy married a second time, in 1846, to John Salt. John was the father-in-law of Nancy’s; eldest son, Smith Garrard Clarke. who died 1851, Clermont County.]

NOTE: The above “Volume I” portion of the manuscript covers 96 hand-written pages. The following portion of the manuscript, “Volume II”, covers 38 hand-written pages. It seems to continue from a time shortly after the above portion stops. The designations of “Volume I” and “Volume,’II” are in John Thornton Warth’s copy which he did from the original in 1895. Having now seen the original, by Nancy, no volume designations were to be found.
Volume II

of copy of work of Nancy Riley Clarke Salt
John Thorton Warth
1806 – Some time in that summer the first that Father baptized was old John Fisher. He gathered a smart church. His son John and Abram Conrey, his 2 daughters, Sarah, and Nancy Huntington, and Abner and Silas Huntington and their wives, and many more until there was near fifty in all.
In December I married Mouton Clarke and moved to Bethel, five miles off, and here I have to drop Father’s life, though I attended his church regularly until he moved back to Kentucky in 1812. There he was called to attend three churches. James Abram and David Smith preached for the Indian Church. They were both young in this ministry, came in under Father’s preaching, but found fault with Father as he would sing and shake hands with all at the close of the meeting. They called him an Armencam[?]. They were very strong Calvinists, so after Father left, James Abram died and D. Smith had the care of the church. He soon preached the church to death.
John Riley had the care of it, but he moved away. I took my letter and Joined the Bethel Church. the Rev. Moses Edwards, late from Garzrys[?] was pastor. He was a good, sound, old-fashioned preacher–always had a full house on Sunday. About 1820 he died-of erlasephes[?] in his left leg. Soon after his death, the Rev. Aaron Sargent, with a large-family, moved from Pulaski Co, Ky, and settled in Bethel and was called by the church to act as their pastor, which place he filled more than twenty years, until he became frail and gave up the care of the church in 1852.
The church then called the Rev. Spolden, who had the care two years. His time is not yet out. Feb. 1856.

A Short Sketch of the Life of Nancy Clarke

I was born in North Carolina, Surry County, on the waters of the Adkin [Yadkin], December 7, 1786. In my tenth year I, with my parents, left Surry for Ky, with several of our relations. Isaac Johnson had two wagons and two familys—his family, large and his son-in-law, Ezekiel Cast. Isaac’s wife was Father’s sister, Elizabeth Robert Cast married Father’s youngest sister, Lucy. He and father Joined teams, and we came in one wagon. Aunt Lucy had two sons, Arron and James. Father had six children–I the oldest, Ninian, John, Zachariah, Elizabeth, and Sarah, who was sick with the flux all the way. Stephen Wood, with a large family, had two wagons. We had come about forty miles when all the wagons called a halt. Uncle Wood’s oldest. daughter, Anna, was married to John Arnel[Arnold]. She had been sick with the flux, but she did not wish to be left behind, so they took her, but, two or three days Journey brought her so low, that we all stoped to see her die. The company stayed two days and saw she could not travel; so they took her to a house, where the family agreed to take good care of her and her little Sammie; and John, her husband, stayed with her. This was a sorrowful parting. She did not live long after we left her there. Her husband came out to Ky. the next fail- and brought his little son, Sammie, now three years old. He came with Grandfather, Uncles Ninian, James, and John with their families.
Well, to return to our company–Edward Riley, a cousin, came with us, and
George Riley. They had two wagons. In all, there were eight wagons and ten or twelve families. There were forty children in all–some black ones. There were twelve or fifteen milk cows that gave milk, so we had plenty of milk for all in the morning what would be left, they put in Jugs for noon. We children that were large enough, drove the cows before the wagons, and we would let the cows graze until the wagons would overtake us. Those were happy days for us children! We could climb the mountains with ease, where the wagons were half a day getting up, as they would often have to double teams to get up. Well, we got along safely to Rock Castle, where we had to carry water half a mile. We camped on the top of Rock Castle, where the road was so narrow that there was hardly room for our encampment.
About midnight, there was an alarm. The cows, running and bawling, came to
the tents. The men all got their guns and hissed the dogs, but they would not leave the tents. The men thought they were either robbers or Indians.
When day came, there was nothing to be seen. What it was, they never knew. They thought it might be a bear that frightened the cows and the reason the dogs would not go out. But nothing was missing. Well, we had passed the graves of two preachers that had been killed by the Indians not long before, as their graves looked fresh. There was a log pen built over them.
My little sister Sarah was very sick nearly all the way. Now she grew worse.
We expected her to die. We camped one night where there was a small grave, and on a beach tree at its head were cut these words, “1796. Here lies the body of Elizabeth Rollin.” Here my mother wept over this little grave and wished and prayed that Sarah might die that night and be buried by that little girl. She could freely give her up, if she could be buried there. But, in the morning, Sarah was better and mended every day, so when we arrived in Ky, she was able to run about.
Well, we all arrived in Lexington the last of the fourth week from the time we left Surry Co in N.C. Now there was to be a separation. Ned Riley went to Woodford County. Stephen Wood went back to the Kentucky River, where he bought and settled near the river in Jessamine Co. Isaac Johnson went back ten miles south of Lexington and bought four hundred acres of land and settled himself and his son-in-law, Ezekiel Cast, and Robert Cast went with them. Father went on to Bourbon [Co], stopped at Kussell’s Big Spring and camped 2 days while Father was out hunting a house. He obtained a “Buckeye cabin” of old Captain Spoor until spring. Father came. We children had been exploring the large cave. Well, we left and went to our cabin and rested well.
January 5, 1797 Mother presented Father with a fine Kentucky boy, named him William. He died when he was 23 with bleeding of the lungs. In the spring Father learned how to tap sugar trees and to make it. He left it for Mother and us children to make the sugar, and he went back to Featt [Fayette] Co, 10 miles south of Lexington among his relations, and bought fifty acres of land of Governor Greenup and built a large cabin and fixed it and came home, and the last of March we moved back to Featt[Fayette] in our own new house in the woods.
Grandfather Riley had moved with Uncles Ninian, James, and John. Ninian had
two hundred acres, James two hundred, John went to Clark Co and settled four miles from Winchester. Grandfather was nearest to us, Uncle Ninian nearly one mile, Uncle James ½ mile, Uncle Johnson 3/4 mile, Uncle Bob Cast right between. Aunt Lucy died
suddenly while in the act of changing her spool of thread on the fliers. So, we had our relations for neighbors, and we all lived happily and enjoyed ourselves.
In 18OO there was a great revival of religion in many places in Ky. My father [was] very much exorcised and thought he was called to preach. He would take me with him to meeting three and four miles to a night-meeting, as he would have to work hard all day. I was then in my 14th year. I now began to reflect on my own case, Seeing Father so desirous that I should be brought to see my need of religion, though I often
thought seriously on that subject and often tried to pray for light on that dark subject; and knowing that Father took so much pains in taking me with him and talking to me on the way, and praying for all us children morning and evening in the family. When I would think on these things, it would cause me to weep bitterly.
On Christmas 1799, there was a Baptist meeting at old Captain Cart’s, one mile off. Father, Mother and we older children went. There was a strong preacher by the name of Peter Woods. He arose and looked all around and addressed himself to the crowded house of a]] ages and sizes of people. He took his test, “And in that day, he will separate the goats from the sheep, and the sheep he will put on his right-hand, and the goats on his left-hand.” These words seemed to sink my very heart in me, as I thought I would be turned off on the left-hand with the goats or wicked. I felt awful and could not help weeping. After he was done preaching, he said if there was anyone that felt like they would wish him or any of the preachers to pray for and with them, they would try to hold their case up before the Lord and Savior. As soon as the invitation was given, I with 20 or 30 went up and knelt down. Woods and others prayed powerfully. I felt awful. Meeting closed. I, with Father and Mother, returned home with a heavy heart. Father talked to me, but I could not speak one word. I continued so for sometime, praying and striving to do better. I read the Bible, but it seemed all dark. I could not understand how a sinner could be saved or know his sins were pardoned, though I heard many tell how happy they felt. I tried all my doing[?] powers, but all in vain until some time in February 18OO.
Father took me behind him on old Libe, our riding mare, and we went four miles to a night-meeting at old General South’s to hear a strong preacher by the name of Riggs. His text was, “Come see a man that has told me all I have ever done. Is not this the Christ?” These words sounded new to me, though i had read them many times. Yet, I never saw such beauty in them before. They seemed to contain so much love and mercy, Joy and knowledge, that I thought he was the very Christ and the very savior I so much needed, and the preacher held Jesus Christ upon the pole of the gospel so beautifully, that before the sermon was over, I felt so light and a calm came over me that I had never before felt; but I did not know what was the real cause. My heart that was so burdened with trouble, now was light and calm. Father was very much pleased with the sermon. We returned home. Father talked all the way home, but I said very little, as I began to fear and doubt.
A few days later I was spinning on the little wheel. I was thinking on my case and became so absent on the subject that I knew not what I was doing until my wheel made such a noise that it startled me. The wheel was going as fast as I could turn it, and I had spun the spool full and knew it not until then. In my musing, I saw my Savior on the cross, hoisted up between the heavens and the earth, and he looked on me with a smile that banished all my fears and filled me with a love to him and all his children, yea and sinner’s, too. t had seen his Justice in cutting me off from all his mercy so plain only a few hours before, and now to feel such Joy and love. I knew not how to be thankful enough. My heart was softened and my eyes were dimmed with tears, and I shouted within me, “Glory and the Lamb forever, for his mercy to me, a vile sinner has made me so happy.” I told Father and Mother what great things Jesus had done for me, and they rejoiced with me, and they told it to their friends and it soon spread.
A few nights after this, there was a night-meeting at Uncle James Riley’s, and nearly all our relations were there. There was a great revival going on, and Father was all alive. After he was done preaching, he said there were some there that had met with a change since the last meeting. Father then asked me if I was willing to relate my exercise of mind, which I did. Though much embarrased at first, I soon recovered.
My old Grandfather and Grandmother were there. It seemed to affect them both very much. Grandfather Jumped up and began to talk and told his experience and seemed to get very happy. Grandmother was a very pious woman but belonged to the Church of England, but now she was willing to Join the Baptist Church and go with her husband and children. This caused all her children that were there to rejoice, her three sons, Ninian and James and Garrard, my father, to take their mother by the hand and sing and rejoice also. And two of her daughters were there and Joined in the singing. We had a great meeting that night. Nearly all that were present were relations.
The next church meeting, we all went and a great many Joined the church. My Grandmother also offered herself, told her exercise. She was received with shouts and many tears to see one of her age coming forward and telling the work of grace on her heart. It was a melting time. I also went forward and told how I had been exorcised and how I thought the Lord had pardoned my sins, and had made me to rejoice and praise his holy name, for his great mercy to me. I viewed my blessed Jesus up between the heaven and earth and I though he looked on me with a smile. That smile banished all my fears.
I was received on Sunday, being the first Sunday in March 1800. There was
snow on the ground and the creek was frozen over. We all opened at church and after a sermon by the pastor, the Rev. John Price, at Marble Creek [Church], we all appeared on the frozen banks of Hickman Creek. Father and others went down and with poles beat the ice and pushed it out of the way, and the Rev. Price and Father led Grandmother down to the clear water, and Price baptized her. Then Father helped to lead her out and led me in, and when he dipped me under the water, I thought it was the pleasantest place I was ever in. I was not cold but was warm and happy. I felt I had discharged my duty that I owed to my dear Jesus, who I believed was baptized in Jordan, and I wished to obey him. There were thirty baptized in all. The preacher stood in the stream and Father and some others led the candidates in and out of the water until he was done. He came out, made a short prayer and dismissed the people that lined each bank of the stream to witness the solemn scene. Grandmother said it was the happiest day she had ever spent in her life. She felt she had discharged a duty that she owed to her Savior, and until now, she had neglected. She was 75 years old when she was baptized. She lived happily until her death, which was in her 88th year. Grandfather also lived to be 88 years old.

[In “Volume I”, page 2 of this typescript, Nancy gave slightly different ages-at-death for Ninian Riley Sr. and wife, Elizabeth (Taylor) Riley. The long-time Riley family researchers’ best data indicates that Elizabeth died about 1812 and Ninian Sr. died about 1814. Both are supposedly buried in the Walnut Hill Cemetery, south of Lexington, Kentucky, with no stones in existence. Although Ninian Sr. took the Oath of Allegiance during the early years of the Revolutionary War, while the family still lived in Montgomery County, Maryland, there seems to be no Revolutionary War marker in the Walnut Hill Cemetery for him. BSM.]

I lived happily for six years. Then Father moved to Ohio and settled in the woods and cleaned out part of the farm that Abram Salt now owns. He had come over
in the winter and built a good cabin. We Sot there in Feb. 1806. His first work was to clear out a piece–3 acres–for an orchard, as he had brought his trees with’ him from Ky. This he, with all this three grown boys and two little boys and two little girls with myself to pack brush. He cleared one acre every week, and in three weeks, he had his plot for the orchard done and then he planted the orchard. This is nearly all cut down now or dead. After this he with the boys, cleared five acres eighteen inches under and got it planted the first of June, and it brought a common crop that fall.
That fall, on Dec. 7, 1806 I married Houton Clarke of Bethel and moved to Bethel where we lived comfortably and happy. We kept a public house more than forty years, as he, with his mother, was keeping when we were married. We had nine children born–two died in infancy and we raised seven. The first a son [Smith Garrard] born in 1807; the second a daughter, Frances City, born in 1810 [Frances’ Bible says 1809]; the third a son, Reader Wright, born in 1812; the fourth a son, Joseph Marcus, born in 1814; the fifth a daughter, Eleanor Hulda. born in 1816; then the two that died [Nancy Caroline, d. 25 Aug 1821, age 2 yrs; Ninian H., d. 29 Jul 1820, age 2 days]; then Sarah Anne, born in 1821; the last, Minerva Sane, born in 1824 [tombstone says 1825]. Their father died in 1835. Then all the children were grown and two were married· Only the two youngest I was left
[with] in comfortable circumstances.
I lived a widow fourteen years and all my children married but one. I then   ,
married John Salt, May 20, 1846. [This is correct marriage date–Clermont Marriage   ”
Book 4, page 49. Clermont cemetery records list Houton Clark’s death as 25 Sep 1834.] We moved to his farm on Indian Creek, five miles southwest of Bethel. I Joined the Baptist Church soon after I went to Bethel and have lived in it until now—1856
Nancy (Riley) Clarke Salt died 14 June 1857 aged 70 yr 6 mo 7 da. /
SOURCE: Craig’s Cemetery Inscriptions, Vol. IV, p. 46.]

Indian Hill. Clermont Co, Ohio.
Feb. 14, 1849.

This book contains the genealogy of Houton Clarke and ancestors and also Nancy Riley’s ancestors, which I have commenced copying from old books that I have had many years and have noted down many things that I obtained from my Grandfather Ninian Riley, also my father Garrard Riley, also my mother Frances Riley–she lived and died with me in Bethel after Father’s death. I obtained the dates of the Clarke and Reader families from my mother-in-law, Ellen [Eleanor, on tombstone] Clarke’s Bible, brought from England, which fell to me as she died in my house where she had lived many years after my marriage to her son, Houton Clarke, in Bethel. I, Nancy Riley, was married to Bouton Clarke, Dec. 7, 1806 at Indian Farm, Ohio.

Old England, Yorkshire
Robert Reader, Houton Clarke’s grandfather, was born in 1672, was a church man. Mary, his wife, was born in 1670. They had three sons and four daughters born unto them–Robert, the first, lived with his father until he was thirty years-old and acted as clerk for his father,-as he was a great farmer. He got married and left, / his father much displeased. Robert wished to go to America and wished his father to give him his portion, which his father refused to do. He went to the bank where his father’s deposits were and drew one hundred pounds and left England. When his father found it out, he said, “Ahl Bob is a cunning dog.” His father lived to be105 years old. [Robert Reader Sr. died 1777.]
Joseph Reader[the second son] was a farmer, a pious Methodist. Thomas, the youngest, a butcher, left home.   Dollie and Nannie, the two oldest, lived to be old maids. They were milliners and kept a shop in a town, the name I forgot. Dollie died suddenly in bed. Nannie was left alone. She fell in love with a youth under age. He also was keen to marry her, but he was too young. The law was against him unless the lady would take him behind her on horseback and ride to the priest’s, and he was bound by law to marry then. This, she did, and was married and did well.
Sarah Reader married John Smith. They moved to America and to Lexington, Ky.
No. I am wrong. John Smith of Lexington was a son of Sarah and John Smith Sr. They
never came to America. John Smith Jr. married Amelia Sheley on Elkhorn, seven miles
from Lexington. They moved in town and carried on the Begin Factory and got rich. ~
They had three daughters. Mary Ann married Marsline Smith, her cousin, and lived
in Lexington. John Smith died with the Colrey [cholera?].
Eleanor Keader, the youngest child, married Stephen Clarke, son of John Clarke
of Yorkshire, and Mary, his mother, was 50 years old when Stephen was born in 1738.
Stephen and Eleanor were married in 1764. They lived in Yorkshire until they had
three sons. The first died an infant; the second was Houton; the third was Joseph.
Stephen was a tailor. They thought of coming to America, but Eleanor’s mother re-
fused to give them money to help them. They were dissatisfied and left Yorkshire ^~77
and moved to Hull to take shipping but could not obtain a passage, as some of the ‘
ports were blockaded     And they stayed there one year.   Stephen followed his trade ‘\~

and did well. They obtained passage and left old England, had a long voyage of /
three months. They landed at Halifax [Bios of RWC and JMC state that their grand-
parents landed at Henrico, VA, 3 Nov 1773–no sources given.], then moved to Meck-
lenburg, Va, with their two little sons, Bouton, four years old, and Joseph, two.
[A Robert Reader and family were in Mecklenburg County before Stephen and Eleanor
arrived there.]
They had two more sons born in Va, Nathan who died of dropsy in his fourteenth year, and Abner, the youngest. They suffered much in the Revolution and Tory wars. Stephen went to the office and took the oath of naturalization in Mecklenburg Co, Va, where he lived until his death. twill of Stephen Clarke, dated 17 Dec 1512, proved 15 Feb 1813~ Mecklenburg Will Book 7, pages 341-2; Inventory, la Aug 1813; Account of Estate, 17 Aug 1818, Will Book 8, page 456.]
Joseph married Jane Mollen [Sallie Mullins, Marriage Bond, 9 Feb 1795] in Va. They had two daughters, Jane and Lilly. Joseph was killed by a tree fallin on him in 1805. [Appraisal of Joseph Clarke’s Estate, 12 July 1802, Mecklenburg Will Book 1/ 4, pp. 402-3.] [Estate papers of Stephen Clarke refer in one part to Joseph’s daughters as “Jane and Lilly” and in another as “Jane and Sally”.]
Bouton Clarke, now 21, and Abner, 12 years old, took their mother and what they could carry on pack horses and left Va, in company with many more, for Ky. The Indians, being bad, and the roads difficult to go in wagons at that time, 1787. They settled in Madison Co, Ky, then to Bracken Co, where they bought land four miles south of Augusta. They all lived together and cleared out a farm and were doing well. I forgot to say their house burned in Madison Co, and they lost all they brought from Va. Houton kept school the most of his time, and after he got his mother and Abner fixed comfortably, he came to Ohio, Clermont Co, Bethel. He took up a school and boarded with old Obed Denham, “the proprietor of the town of Bethel”, then almost in the woods.
[If Eleanor did accompany her sons, Houton and Abner, to Kentucky in 1787, then Eleanor and Stephen parted company fifteen years prior to his death–which may explain why he left his widow only one dollar in his Will.]
In 1794 he bought a house and lot and moved his mother from Ky, as Abner was married to Rachel Howard, daughter of old John }toward of Bracken Co, Ky. Houton and his mother lived together twelve years and accumulated considerable property. At that early time, there were many travelers starting for new countries and, there being n6 house of entertainment [hotel], they were often crowded with such. Bouton thought he would quit his school and attend to other business, He furnished his house and barn with plenty. His custom[ers] increased so that he had to build or buy a larger house. He choose the latter and bought a large hued log house on the corner of Main and Plain streets. He furnished it and hoisted a sign of boots and shoes, as he could get no other at that time. Their custom[ers] increased and they did well.
He was appointed tax-gatherer and afterward he was elected Justice of the
Peace. This office he filled only one time, as he refused.
In 1806 Houton Clarke, now being over 40 years old, was married to Nancy Riley
on Indian Farm, four miles southwest from Bethel, by the Rev. Levi Rodgrs, on Sun-
day at 11 o’clock A.M., Dec 7 on her birthday, she being 20 years old on Dec 7, 1806.
Nancy Kiley, wife of Houton Clarke, was born in N. Carolina,· Surry Co, near
Hunting Creek, fifteen miles from the Adkin [Yadkin] River. She was over nine years old when her Father and Mother with her moved to Ky, in Sept 1796, settled in
Faett [Fayette] Co, ten miles from Lexington. She was sent to school at five years old to John Penell at Flatrock, Surry Co, N,C. At six years old, she was still at school. Penell, our teacher, was a Methodist preacher and in those days, those that wished went to him to be married. These were fine times for the scholars to see.
At one time, there was a couple of Moravians came. The lady was tall and slender, the man very low and thick. When all was ready, they stood up and the man was much below the bride. When he was told to salute this his bride, there happened to be a small block near. He stepped’ one foot on it and she bent a little, and he kissed her. This was fine fun for all the school. They were dismissed and school commenced at another time. At Christmas it was the fashion to turn out the master, so we all took our dinner with us and left at daylight to bar the door. Well, we were all in and the large boys were watching. They gave us all our orders that if we were Whigs, we would stand up, but if any sat down, they were Torys, so ,the most of the children stood up. I stood up until I was so tired that I would lean against the wall. The teacher came and was very angry. He tried to get in but the big boys would keep him out. He went in the woods and cut several long hickory switches and came and said if we would not let him in, he would whip us all. But the boys would not without he would give them a holiday and make up the time. This he refused to do and put his switch in at the vlcllng[?][ie:food?][victualling?] window and tried to hit all these, frightening the little ones. So he left them put out some, but I stayed until they compermised.
In the winter of 1795 I was sent to school 11/2 miles off to our Uncle, Stephen Wood, on Hunting Creek, I went with some own cousins and I had charge of my oldest brother, then five years old. By this time I was writing and studying in Thomas Dilworth’s Spelling Book. As that was all the books we had, we read it three times through and then we took the New Testament, read it three times through, and then we went in the Bible and then we commenced writing. Now this is the way I was taught in those hard times as the Tory war had been very severe in Surry Co.
I must mention one more time we had at this school. Our teacher was a very pious Baptist Clerk of the Church. He had prayers in the morning and, at noon, he made the scholars stand up and repeat after him grace. Then we ate our dinners. There was a holiday coming on, it was Shrove Tuesday or pancake day, and the teacher proposed that all the ‘scholars should bring something to make a pancake dinner. This pleased all and on the morning he came with frying pans, some buckets full of batter, some butter, some honey, some eggs and some meat. So we all had a delightful time. The teacher helped to fry and toss the cakes, and all the big boys tried to see who could toss the best. The girls fixed the table and when they had fried enough to begin, the teacher made them all sit down, he at the head of the table. He asked the blessing and all had to repeat after him. Then to eating. Never did vitles eat better, and after dinner, we had the rest of the day to play. This was much better than shutting the master out and having so many angry. This was the last school I ever went to, as we were going to move to Ky in the fall of 1796. When I left school, I stood at the head of my class. I have a very good memory and retained what I had learned, but never having the privilege of going to school anymore, I had to make the best of what I had attained. My Grandfather Riley taught me some. He lived near and I was often there. He gave me the first idea of flowers and their use to man. He had a fine garden and many beautiful native flowers. He also gave me the first idea of writing down passing events, of self and others, and I soon commenced and kept many pieces which I lost for want of a blank book.

This is a copy from the original which belongs to Mrs. M. J.
Frazier, the youngest child of Nancy Riley Clark I am the grandchild of her [Nancy’ s ] daughter, Frances City Clarke, who married Dr. Samuel Yardley Thornton, and my mother’s name is Clara Thornton. She is married to Samuel Vance Warth.
/s/John Thornton Warth
Nevada, Missouri     ..
August 29, 1895.


Several small pieces of paper, with notations on them, were found in Nancy’s “Diary”. Two pertained to the tombstone of her father [Rev. Garrard Riley Sr.] and one pertained to the tombstone of her oldest brother, Ninian Riley, who was one year younger than Nancy. Copies of the three notes are included here due to the long debate over the year of Garrard’s death–1830 vs. 1832. He is buried in Bloomfield (near Vienna), Johnson Co, Illinois; but his Estate was probated in Edgar County about 1832. Johnson Co is in the southern tip of Illinois, one county’s-width from the Ohio River, while Edgar Co is on the Illinois-Indiana state line, about midway on that north-south boundary.

“June the 6   I am at the head of my Dear Father Grave in Ill Edgar County the headstone is A plane White Marbel Stone Name and the day of his death Dec 26, 1830 age 64 years old     Now Adue to my dear Father’s Grave
Nancy C Salt
June the 6 1853.”

*Ninian Riley’s daughter Frances married Barnard Van Deren, and his son Samuel married Martha Van Deren, Owen Co, KY.
“This is the Likness of my Father’s Head Stone that stands in the Baptis Grave yard in Blume field Ill Edger county as I found it Munday June the 6 1853 it is 5 feet hy very plain and smoth and white and ‘only these words on it below
Garrard Riley
A Baptis minister
of the Gospel who
Died Dec the 26 1830 Aged 64 years. This is all that was on the slab.”
Memory of Ninian Riley
who Departed this Life
March 15 1843
In the 56 year of his age.
The verce below is as follow:
Blessed are the Dead that lie in the Lord.

Oen County Ky 4 miles from New Liberty near the yard of Barns Vanderen his son-in-law lys the Remains of my oldest brother I stud in the yard and with my Pensyl I wroate of his tomb stone the above and mark the shape of the head Stone my visit was on the 21 day of oct 1850. Nancy C. Salt”



I have NO more information on this diary.