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A Sketch of the History of the TAYLOR FAMILY

Posted by: Shirley Norton (ID *****3439)
In Reply to: Re: Margaret Jane Curlett b. 1742, VA by Olive Herman

Written by H.D. Taylor and read by Dr. Pendleton at the Taylor re-union at Beaver Dam, KY. Sept. 9, 1875.

This memorial was over six pages long and was mostly about Harrison Taylor and his descendants. There was a part about Harrison Taylor's wife, Jane Curlett:

Extracted and edited by Roy Richard Thomas July 2007

Harrison Taylor married Miss Jane Curlett and settled far back into the woods of Fredrick Co. Where Harrison built a mill.

This old sire's wife and partner through life was as unlike him, except in honest integrity and unbounded benevolence as it was possible for two minds to be, yet this disimilarity seemed to strengthen the bonds of mutual affection, and rendered their love and esteem ever-lasting and sincere. Demonstrative,possessed of powerful will, strong sense, abounding in wit and ancecdote, and almost infallible in memory, she was ever remarkable for her great social quallities. Her mother had lived to the extraordinary age of ninty year old, and the tenacious memories of these two women is a remarkable illustration of how the unwritten history of a nation can be preserved from generation to generation, for there are some still living who in their childhood, used to hear old Mrs Taylor relate incidents of English history, as far back as the days of Cromwell, which were afterwards corroborated in reading the written history of that country. Yet that was all traditional lore.

But her kind-hearted benevolence was the leading feature of her character. That it was not always bestowed in vain, the following story will illustrate:

At the mill daily assembled men and boys from far and near, awaiting their turns. It was her custom to daily march down the hill to the mill, with loaf and knife in hand and cut and distribute bread to each of the hungry urchins, among these was a poor, ragged orphan boy, who never escaped her eye and was frequently taken to the house and fed to his heart's content, and many a garment belonging to her boys went to clothe his almost naked body. Stackhouse was his name, but the community would not allow him the whole of the thing inherited from his parents, and called him Stack for short.

He grew up under a sense of oppression and wrong and it was natural that he should wish to retaliate his wrongs upon society. Shrewd, daring and active he was soon slected by old hardened vilains and became an expert accomplice in horse stealing and from his knowledge of the country could skulk and hide in the spurs of North Indian Mountain and steal any horse he wished and transfer him to a regular band of thieves that was supposed to extend to the South Carolina and Georgia.

The people of Fredrick and Governor ordered military authorities to call out a suffcient force to scour the country and take Stack and his accomplices, dead or alive. Richard and Thomas Taylor were among those detailed for that purpose. They took their range for exploration and seperated to meet at a designated point.

Thomas had not gone far before he discovered smoke and approaching it cautiously saw Stack busily engaged drying or jerking the choice parts of a mutton he had stolen the night before. At this critical moment Thomas tread upon a stick which broke and gave the alarm; a race ensued in which little was lost or gained. It was rather a far fire with certain aim, and to fire without effect was placing himself at the mercy of his adversary for guns in those days would not fire a second time without reloading. Stack, however, was approaching a precipitous hill-side, which if once gained, would hide him from sight. Thomas raised his gun while running determined to fire at the first open range, but again so unfortunate as to get his foot entangled in a vine so as to cause him to stumble and fall.

On rising up his intended victim had entirely disappeared, and not with standing the most diligent search no trace of him could be found. He was bannished for a time from his old haunts, but would frequently return, until finally caught tried and convicted.

While in prison, Thomas visited him and on alluding their race, inquired how he had made his escape. "I was" said he, "in a few feet of the entrance of my den when you fell, and immediately dodged into it. Its entrance was so concealed that no mortal, perhaps, but myself has ever discovered it. Several times when you were hunting around you were in range of my rifle. It was once aimed at you and my finger on the trigger, but I thought of your mother and dropped it from my grasp. Ah, had I been raised by such a mother I would never have been the wretched outcast that I am." And tears treackled down the bronze cheeks of the poor degraded outcast.

Old Mrs Taylor, beliving in that text which says that "Man shall not live by bread alone" did not confine her benevolence to the hungry mill boys but was ever ready to relieve sick and suffering, no matter what their condition in life. Poor dying mothers would often bequeath their children to her care, and in this way her house became almost an orphan asylum during the ravages of the revolutionary war. It is said that at times she would have as high as thirty odd children dependent on her for food and raimnet.

She too was the principal surgeon and physician of the then backwoods settlement. With her lancet ready in her pocket she was always ready to replace dislocated limbs, set broken bones, lance or bleed as required, with the steady nerve of a hospital surgeon, although the wail of a feeble infant or any tale of suffering or sorrow would at all times bring tears to her eyes.

As long as health and strength permitted their house was the resort of the sick and afflicted who needed aid, of the gay and witty who wished to measure lances with the unpolished, backwoods, off-hand wit, humor and sarcasm of the old lady, even the most sober and sage-like were fond of her society. The late eccentric James Axley, who preached her funeral delighted in her company and was heard to say that she had more native good sense and natural eloquence than any woman he ever knew.'"

Owner/SourceRoy Richard Thomas
DateJul 2007
Linked toMargaret Jane Curlett; Harrison Taylor

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