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Biography of Hon. Robert P. Henry

The son of a Revolutionary soldier and the representative of a distinguished family was Robert P. Henry. He was born in 1788 in Scott County, Ky., where his father, Gen. William Henry, had settled among the first in that region. He graduated in Transylvania University at Lexington, and studied law with Henry Clay. In 1809 he was admitted to the bar, and the same year was appointed Commonwealth’s Attorney for the district. He served in the war of 1812 as aid to his father, with the rank of Major. In 1811 he married Miss Gabriella F. Pitts, of Georgetown, Ky., and some years after the close of the war of 1812 he removed to Christian County, where he continued to reside to the end of his life. Soon after he came to Hopkinsville he was appointed Commonwealth’s Attorney, a position he filled with ability. He was elected to Congress from this district in 1823, and re-elected in 1825. As a member of the Committee on “Roads and Canals ” was instrumental in obtaining the first appropriation ever granted for the improvement of the Mississippi River. While in Congress he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeals, an honor he declined. He died suddenly before the close of his second congressional term, and before he had hardly reached the prime of life. As a lawyer, Mr. Henry was positive in his positions when taken. He rapidly gained a practice, which steadily increased until he entered the political field. He was a good pleader, and his address to a jury was always clear, logical and often eloquent. His mental...

Slave Narrative of James Southall

Person Interviewed: James Southall Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Clarksville, Tennessee Age: 82 I was born in Clarksville, Tenn. My father was Wesley and my mother was Hagar Southall. Our owner was Dr. John Southall, an old man. Father always belonged to him but he bought my mother when she was a young girl and raised her. She never knew anything ’bout her people but my father’s mother lived with us in de quarter’s at Master Southall’s. Master John never sold any of his slaves. We was known as “Free niggers.” Master said he didn’t believe it was right to own human beings just because dey was black, and he freed all his slaves long before de war. He give ‘en all freedom papers and told dem dat dey was as free as he was and could go anywhere dey wanted. Dey didn’t have no where to go so we all stayed on wid him. It was nice though to know we could go where we pleased ‘thout having to get a pass and could come back when we pleased even if we didn’t take advantage of it. He told his slaves dat dey could stay on at his farm but dey would have to work and make a living for deyselves and families. Old Master managed de farm and bought all de food and clothes for us all. Everybody had to work, but dey had a good time. We had good clothes, plenty of food and good cabins. We had what was known as Georgia bedsteads. Dey was wooden bedsteads wid holes bored in de side...

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