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Transcription of 1812 letter from James Ware II  To his son James Ware III

Transcribed by Judy C. Ware  
Judy C. Ware March 2009

On the outside of the folded letter:

Lexington, Kentucky
Nov. 13, 1812

Mr. James Ware
Frederick County
Battletown, Virginia


A revised (more readable) version of the letter can be found following this original copy.

David’s Fork
November 4th 1812

Dear James,

     I got here abt 2 weeks and had a good time in wriding; the roads better than I ever see them before.  When I got to Chillicothe at Dr. Scott’s, I staid 4 days by reason for weighting  Betty Scott.  My horse was well pleased at the stay.  He has now moved mile out of town up the river all in view, has purchased 25 acres and as hansom a place as I want ever see good buildings and with fine lots of bluegrass and clover.   He has more practice than any doctor that I ever new, he was going night and day.  Before I started was sent for to Lanchester; 30 odd miles, will make a fortune in 5 or 6 years, at this date dont drink now,  has 2 young men in his shop that help him much now.  I see Gen’l Harrison at the town, came for some accommodations for the troops, he said Dan’l Scott was veary ill, had taken a swelling his legs & was afraid it would become dropsy, prevailed him to come home but he would not agree to it.  Don’t expect he will ever return.  I allmost hate to goe to Frankfort to see poor Kitty. 

     George Ware is married at last to Mrs. Ferguson’s daughter a close neighbor.  He has gave him 3 Negros  Hock - - - for he is an able fellow for the money- - - more in the business.  He was married the day I started from Frederick.  There is the finest crops but hemp low 3 dol.  George has $1,000.00 for Mary and their children 200 is due yet which he owes to C. Ware, he took up his bond.  He has not got that money from Caroline but was wrote some time ago that if he would come he will let him have a veary likely Negro.  I wanted to start him off direct, but he is not gone yet.

     Thompson is veary slow lived in his old cabin which I had as leave live in a barn if could have fire.  George has got another fine colt out of his old mare by a horse they call Peacemaker.  She is now with fold by Noxly; pedegree enough. 

     Tell little James I will have a colt ready for him next spring.

                                     My respects to Harriet and yours etc.,

                                                       James Ware

 

 

 

                                                                                                 David’s Fork
November 4, 1812

Dear James,

     I got here about 2 weeks ago and had a good time in riding; the roads better than I have ever seen them before.  When I got to Chillicothe at Dr. Scott’s, I stayed four days by reason of waiting for Betty Scott.  My horse was well pleased at the stay.  He (Dr. Scott) has now moved mile out of town, up the river - all in view.  He has purchased 25 acres and as handsome a place as I want ever to see – good buildings and with fine lots of bluegrass and clover.  He has more practice than any doctor that I ever knew; he was going night and day.  Before I started, he was sent for to Lanchester; 30 odd miles.  He will make a fortune in 5 or 6 years.  At this date he doesn’t drink now & has 2 young men in his shop that help him much now.

     I saw General (William Henry) Harrison at the town; he came for some accommodations for the troops.  He said Daniel Scott was very ill; had taken a swelling in his legs and was afraid it would become dropsy.  He prevailed him to come home, but he would not agree to it.  I don’t expect he will ever return.  I almost hate to go to Frankfort to see poor Kitty. (your sister) 

     George Ware (your youngest brother) is married at last to Mrs. Ferguson’s daughter; a close neighbor.  He has given him 3 Negros.  Hock - - - for he is an able fellow for the money- - - more in the business.  He was married the day I started from Frederick.  There are the finest crops, but hemp is low at 3 dollars.  George has $1,000.00 for Mary and their children.  Two hundred is due yet which he owes to C. Ware since he took up his bond.  He has not gotten that money from Caroline but was written some time ago that if he would come he would let him have a very likely Negro.  I wanted to start him off directly, but he is not gone yet.

     Thompson (your brother) is very slow lived in his old cabin which I had as leave live in a barn if could have fire.  George has got another fine colt out of his old mare by a horse they call Peacemaker.  She is now with foul by Noxly; pedigree enough. 

     Tell little James (my grandson) that I will have a colt ready for him next spring.

                                     My respects to Harriet (your wife) and yours etc.,

                                                       James Ware

It is of interest to note that this letter was sent to James Ware III in Battletown, Virginia – the original name for Berryville.  The name Battletown was bestowed around the eighteenth century, and it wasn’t until the early 1830’s that the town increasingly became known as Berryville.

There are three men by the name of James referred to in this letter.  The author is James Ware II and he is writing to his son, James Ware III.  The young James mentioned at the end of the letter is the son of James Ware III and his 2nd wife Harriet Taylor.  When James’s first wife (Elizabeth Alexander Ware) died, he remarried in 1808.  James Ware IV was born in 1809.  He was 3 years old at the time of this letter, but he would die at the young age of 18 on board the ship named “Herald” bound for Charleston, South Carolina.   This information is recorded in the Ware Family Bible.

David’s Fork is located around the Fayette County and Lexington area of Kentucky – the place where the Ware & Webb families settled in 1791. Excerpts below taken from The Biography of James Ware II written by Judith C. Ware, March 2006

“Before relocating back to Virginia though, James III helped his father and all his siblings make the move to Kentucky.   “He accompanied them some days on the journey and then headed back to Virginia. (ref. #2)  This move from Virginia to Kentucky was a “long and dangerous trip made in wagons and by horseback with all their Negroes and what possessions that could be carried.  They feared the Indians, but were most fortunate in not meeting any. (ref. #2 & 3)

“It is not clear how long the journey took, but it is recorded in many places that they arrived on the sixteenth of June 1791.  (ref. #334)  Thompson had already settled near Paris, Kentucky.  James II and Caty homesteaded in Fayette County around Lexington on land “that James II subsequently lived and died on.”  It was written later that “Charles lived near Versailles, George in the homestead, Lucy Webb the adjoining farm, Polly Webb near Paris, and Catherine Scott in Frankfort. (ref. #299) 

In The Early Churches of Kentucky, there was mention of David's Fork (1786), and in reference to George Ware (brother of James), Cornelia Ware Anker wrote in her letter that “This branch of the family were members of the Baptist church.” 

Today (2009) there is a David’s Fork Baptist Church located in Lexington, Kentucky near Winchester Road.

 The “poor Kitty” mentioned in the letter was the sister of James Ware III (Catherine Todd Ware Scott).   In a letter Josiah Ware later wrote to Rutherford B. Hayes, he mentioned:  “Aunt Catherine Scott settled in Frankfort.”  She was also called Kitty.  At the time of this letter, her husband (John Mitchell Scott) was serving as a Colonel in the Kentucky Militia in the War of 1812.  He died within a month.

George Ware was the youngest son of James Ware II and the youngest brother of James Ware III.  He married Nancy Ferguson in Kentucky and they eventually had 10 children.

There were several Scotts and doctors in the family at this time, but I’m assuming the Dr. Scott mentioned in the letter was Dr. Joseph Scott.  Here are my reasons why –

Winny Webb (niece of James Ware II) married a Matthew Thompson Scott but he was not a doctor – he was a banker.  Another one of his nieces (Betsy Frances Webb) also married Dr. Matthew Thompson Scott when her sister Winny died, but again, he was a banker - not a doctor. Dr. John Mitchell Scott was the husband of Catherine (Kitty) Ware (sister of James II) but he died in 1812 and many records speak of him being in Frankfort Kentucky – I find none that mention Chillicothe though.  Although he was a doctor, he seems best known for his military service.  The main reason why I don’t think this is the doctor mentioned in the letter is because at the very time it was written (1812) he was off serving with the Kentucky militia.  He could not have been home during this visit from James.  His younger brother, however, was Joseph Scott.

Dr. Joseph Scott was practicing medicine in Chillicothe. In fact, he was “enrolled at an early date among the Chillicothe doctors and was an able physician and a man of considerable financial ability.   Some land he bought is now known as Scott’s addition to Chillicothe.”  In another piece of research done by William BaBach, it states, “Joseph Scott was a physician in Chillicothe, Ohio.  He moved to Lexington, Kentucky about 1828.”  He was first married to Martha Finley, but after her death he married Lucy Webb (niece of James Ware III). In his obituary in the Frankfort newspaper of 1843, it was stated “He has been long and most favorably known in this state and in Ohio as one of our ablest and most successful physicians.  Diseases, often of the most malignant character, were made to yield, with the blessing of God, under his superior skill, and even death, in some instances, where he apparently commenced his work, was staid and the tide of life and health restored.”  Dr. Joseph Scott did, indeed, have quite a reputation – as James mentioned in his letter.

Also, in a letter written in 1819 by the granddaughter of James Ware II (Catherine Webb Conn), she wrote “. . . my third son is named Joseph Scott after Dr. Scott formerly of Chillicothe.”

Thompson Ware was the oldest son of James Ware II and the older brother of James Ware III. Josiah Ware later wrote that Thompson Ware went to Kentucky as an Indian fighter when Cincinnati was just two or three cabins and some stumps.” Thompson Ware married Sally Conn and had twelve children. 

General William Henry Harrison established his military reputation on the 7th of November 1811 when he obtained a victory over the Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe.  He later went on to become President of the United States.   

 

RESOURCES:

Letter from Josiah Ware to Rutherford B. Hayes dated July 16, 1876.   Lots of information on past family history (i.e. his father and grandfather) Transcribed by Judy Ware and on file at the Rutherford B. Hayes Library in Ohio.

The Biography of Dr. James Ware II  by: Judith Cumbea Ware, copyright March 2006, Dayton, Ohio

Original letter of Cornelia Ware Anker (1945) – (daughter of Sigismund S. Ware) Owned by James & Judy Ware

Bulletin for David’s Fork Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky 2009

Letter from Charles Ware (son of James Ware II) to his niece Sarah (Sally) Elizabeth Taliaferro Ware Stribling   written in 1831.  It contains valuable family history. 

Ware Family Bible dating back to the 1700’s.  Owned by James & Judy Ware

Wikipedia 2009

Protestant and Herald Obituary as reprinted in the Frankfort Commonwealth of June 20, 1843.

Ancestry of Sarah Finley Scott (1806-1883) by William A. LaBach, LABACH Project Version 1555, Lexington, Kentucky, July 26, 2001

Letter written from Catharine Webb Conn to her cousin, Sally Ware – dated May 1819.  She was the granddaughter of James Ware II and the niece of James Ware III.

The Medical Profession in Ross County, Ohio History, Chapter XII, www.heritagepursuit. 

 


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