Jefferson's Nephews: A Frontier Tragedy

By Boynton Merrill Jr. | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 3
THE INTERVIEW WITH
MATILDA

THE following newspaper article was reprinted November 19, 1954, in The Crittenden Press, published in Marion, Kentucky. It was first published in The Crittenden Press on December 22, 1880. The author has not been able to locate the copy of The Cumberland Wavethat contains Matilda's version of the Lewis tragedy.

Matilda was mistaken in one point: Charles, who died in 1806, did not emigrate to Kentucky. When the slaves belonging to Randolph's estate were sold in January 1815, Matilda was bought by Aaron Threlkeld.

History of Crittenden County
This Story is the 16th in a series of
The History of Crittenden County
Published through the courtesy of
The Marion Woman's Club.
A Niece of Thos. Jefferson
(A Copy from The Crittenden Press
of December 22, 1880)

In the quiet little village of Marion, where the eyes of the people
have never fallen upon a President from father Washington down
to Jas. A. Garfield and where the vistage of the lineage of either of
the illustrious has never been knowingly looked upon, the dis-
covery of a descendant of the “Sage of Monticello” might awaken a
riffle of astonishment.

Yet within the walls of a poorly chinked, ill constructed log cabin
in the suburbs of our out-of-the-way village may be found an
ancient woman through whose veins the blood of Thos. Jefferson is
slowly ebbing. “Aunt” Matilda Threlkeld is verging upon the age of
four scores. And old Tim has pressed his blighting fingers upon
her, until the aged woman can no more leave the miserable hovel,
she calls home. According to her own statement she was born in Al-
bermarle County, Virginia, and is a daughter of Charles Lewis
whose mother was a sister of Thos. Jefferson. The brothers, Ran-
dolph, Charles and Lilburn, emigranted to this State when “Aunt”

-351-

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Jefferson's Nephews: A Frontier Tragedy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vi
  • Constructing Jefferson's Nephews ix
  • Preface xxv
  • Preface to First Edition xxix
  • Acknowledgments xxx
  • 1: Colonial Days 3
  • 2: The Fight for Freedom 12
  • 3: A Colonel in the Militia 20
  • 4: Prosperity 29
  • 5: The Virginia Planter 38
  • 6: The Shipwreck of the Fortunes 44
  • 7: Craven Peyton, Thomas Jefferson, and the Hendersons 55
  • 8: Jefferson and the Lewises 71
  • 9: The Plan to Emigrate 84
  • 10: The Trip to Kentucky 97
  • 11: The Land and Towns 111
  • 12: Houses and Crops 123
  • 13: The Smithland Neighbors 134
  • 14: Issues in West Kentucky, 1808 143
  • 15: The County Court 151
  • 16: The Year of Trouble, 1809 163
  • 17: Lilburne Enters Public Life 175
  • 18: The Church in West Kentucky 189
  • 19: The Presbyterian Lewises 203
  • 20: Insecurity 215
  • 21: Community Affairs, 1810 226
  • 22: Slavery in Livingston 234
  • 23: Tremors in the Dynasty 240
  • 24: Annus Mirabilis 248
  • 25: The Murder 256
  • 26: After the Murder 266
  • 27: The First Grand Jury 274
  • 28: The True Bill 285
  • 29: The Graveyard 293
  • 30: The Orphans 303
  • 31: During the War 312
  • 32: The Aftereffects 322
  • 33: The Epilogue 329
  • Appendix 1 - Notes on Lewis Genealogy 339
  • Appendix 2 - The Colle Sale 348
  • Appendix 3 - The Interview with Matilda 351
  • Appendix 4 - Medical Notes 353
  • Appendix 5 - Lilburne Lewis's Estate 359
  • Index 441
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