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John Renta Baker's Sons (Interview Excerpts from Dicky Diary)
Posted by: Jim Drew-Whitaker (ID *****8375) Date: December 23, 2009 at 08:16:29
In Reply to: Re: Andrew Baker (1765-1842) of NC, TN & Laurel Co., KY by Jim W. Drew-Whitaker of 21601


This is the interview given by David Columbus ROBERTSON's son
Allen E. ROBERTSON, 1898 Clay Co. Kty. ..........

My fathers name was David ROBERTSON; he died in Clay County KY 18 Or 20 of June 1872 or 73 age 103 and from Feb to June. HIS father was Samuel ROBERTSON. He was born in the
Highlands of Scotland. His wife, Elizabeth HARRIS and his brother William came over with him. I do not know when they came nor whether either was married when they came, though I think, they were. My grandfather left Moraviantown and settled two miles southeast of Richmond, KY where the water works now are, in 1777. I have heard my father say it was two years after BOONE went into the Fort at Boonesborough. Col. ESTILL settled near him about
the same time, I think the same year. My grandfather lived and died near there, a mile near Richmond, adjoining Judge GOODOE's then called the John RIGG Farm. My father David Columbus Robertson was the eldest. He was born at or near the mouth of Dan River, VA, at a little town called Moraviantown. He had a brother, John, who went to Jackson County, Missouri. William, James and Alex settled in Indiana. James in Shelby County. The others in Morgan County at Martinsville. Sally married a GORDON and went to Mississippi. Esther married George BAKER and went with others to Indiana. Mary married a METCALF and went to Indiana. Jessamine went to Indiana unmarried. Martha married William MOBLEY and died in Madison County, KY. My father married Alie ALLEN. Daughter In 1839 he moved from Otter Creek to Clay County and located on Goose Creek opposite the mouth of Beech Creek. He said he came to this part of the State to hunt, in an early day, when little Goose Creek was the line between the whites and the Indians before a treaty was made between them. He hunted with John BAKER Sr., father of "Julius" Bob and "Durkham" John, George BAKER who married Esther ROBERTSON, my aunt, and was a Methodist preacher; and James called "Claybank" #2283 a great fighter, "ClayBank" was the father of Billy BAKER Sr. was called "RENTA" and has a brother, Bowling BAKER and a brother George BAKER (brother Bolling proved by George’s rev. pension). George was the father of John BAKER called "Cana" the rhymer, who made rhymes on Col Felix GILBERT and "Dry" John BAKER when John ran for the Senate and was elected and when FELIX ran for Representative and was defeated by Elhanon MURPHY. BOWLING Jr. son of BOWLING Sr. was bound to Daugh WHITE to learn salt making and killed Morgan DEZAM with a single barrel pistol with two balls in it. He fled the country and never returned. Georges descendant disappeared. The BAKERS came from North Carolina to Madison County and lived in Forts there. Another of the hunters of the Blue Grass was William MORRIS called 'Cuddy' who settled in the forks of Goose Creek and Red Bird. These Renta BAKER and his Three sons, George, John and "Julius" Bob.
MORRIS, Jack HARRIS, #2284 Elisha HARRISON with my father David ROBERTSON made the 8 hunters who visited these regions. Beng LANGFORD and a man named LYONS first made salt for commerce. I have seen 40 boat loads of salt, 2,500 bushels tied up at my father's place at the mouth of Beech Creek from 1837 to 1844. There were 18 furnaces in blast above Manchester, besides Francis CLARK's two furnaces, one coal and the other wood. Francis CLARK got his 1000 acres at the mouth of Bull Skin by a "Head Right" from VA. I think it was patented in his father's name. Salt was worth 75 cents. The Goose Creek furnaces made about 90 bushels a day and the Bull Skin about 60 bushels and they would average 200 days a year. My mother was an ALLEN. She was a daughter of Adoniram ALLEN. He was nicknamed "Tediuoooooooooous" because he was so
particular. The two creeks called "Teges" were named for him; he was born in New Hampshire near #2285 the Vermont line. He was a Captain in Col. CLEVELAND's regiment at the battle of King's Mtn
where three Colonels commanded alternately. He settled in Augusta, GA. He was a mechanic.
He was first a ship builder. At Augusta he put up iron works for some parties there. He also did some work of that kind in Sparta GA. He emigrated to KY but stopped in NC fut stayed there
only a year to put up a mill, perhaps. (James and The. GARRARD, James and Daugh WHITE) were commissioners who expended $20,000 in South Fork and Goose Creek and Red Bird. This was about 1856-7. Eighteen years ago Judge HYDEN got an appropriation of, $6, 000 which General GARRARD and myself expended in the narrows or from the mouth of Crain Creek to
Turkey Gap, a distance of five miles by land. Most of it was put in Chute. The "Basin" is 27 feet deep. We put blasts in the bottom of the narrows. There have been perhaps 100 salt boats sunk in
the "Basin" but no one was ever lost there till 1871.
Several have been drowned since. Pilots used to charge $5.00 for taking boats through the narrows. There were 300 guards at the jail at one time when Dr BAKER was in prison here. I was a guard from June to October. I was one of the eight inside guards. I was always present when any of Dr BAKER's friends came in to see him. I was a late comer into the county and all parties had confidence in me. While the 300 county guards were on duty; the State sent 300
guards; so that there were 600 at one time. Judge ROBERTSON and Judge KAINKADE, both of Lexington were retained for the defense. Joseph MOORE of Mt Vernon was Commonwealth's Attorney, Dr. CALDWELL's father assisted in the prosecution. Dr BAKER was a monomaniac on the subject of his wife. He would talk with perfect coherency in any other subject, but the moment his wife was mentioned he was wild, looked wild, talked incoherent, Daniel BATES made a will #2287 after Dr BAKER shot him, willing $10, 000 for the prosecution of Dr BAKER. He died inside of 24 hours after he was shot. He was sitting in his chair, asleep, at the salt furnace, when BAKER shot him. Milt RICE, afterwards Congressman from the 9th Dist, located at Barbourville, I think it was, to practice law. His brother located at Irvine and married a Miss SMITH. They were
Irishmen who located first in NY then came to KY. Rice had not gotten any practice when a suit came up. Commonwealth against "Boston" Bob BAKER... a misdemeanor. He had no counsel
and the Judge appointed Rice to defend him. Silas WOODSON, afterwards Gov of MO and John M. ELLIOTT, afterwards Judge of the Court of Appeals were prosecuting. They made BAKER out terribly guilty. Hi CORNETT was also before the Court for the same offense; the difficulty had been between them. In the latter case they changed sides. Now CORNETT was an angel.
RICE said that in NY they did not practice law by telling anecdotes but as it was so common in KY he would indulge. He said he was reminded of WOODSON's position in this case of a church trial. END

Samuels death is recorded in the Lexington Reporter 8/28 as:
Samuel Robertson of Madison Co, Kty died in August 1826.

Contributed by Margaret Robertson (

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