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Rachel Bailey Brown
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Birth: 1779
Death: Nov. 18, 1850

The Lafayette Daily Journal, November 26, 1850.

DIED--On the evening of the 18th of November, MRS. RACHEL BROWN in the seventy-second year of her age passed away. The deceased was among the very earliest settlers of the Wabash country, being among the first passengers that landed between the two Miamis, having for their object the permanent settling of this country. The landing was made, as appears from a record I find in the old Family Bible on the 18th day of November 1787, a short distance below the mouth of the little Miami, on the north bank of the Ohio, at a point afterwards called Columbus [should be Columbia, which is now a part of Cincinnati]. There were several families in the company and amongst the rest a Baptist minister by the name of GOFORTH. On stopping they came upon the bank and through their minister offered up to their Heavenly Father their praise and thanksgiving for his kind care over them during their perilous journey and implored his protection and blessing on this hazardous adventure. After the religious duties were performed, according to the old lady's story, her father GEORGE GROOMBRIGHT BAILEY, being the oldest man in the company, took an axe and cut down the first sapling supposed to be between the Miamis with reference to permanent settlement. They then proceeded to clear some ground and erect block houses for their protection against the treacherous savages by whom they were surrounded. However, in a few days they were all taken prisoners. But finally being well accustomed to the usage of the Indians in those days of trial, they succeeded in making a treaty with them for one year, during which time they were permitted to live peaceably, though after the time expired they were much annoyed and troubled, having several of their men killed and considerable property stolen. Among those killed was a brother THOMAS BAILEY, a brother-in-law ABEL COOK, and DAVID JENNINGS, grandfather to the present DR. JENNINGS of Lafayette. Her oldest brother, Capt. JAMES FRANCIS BAILEY, was killed in St. Clair's defeat, and her other brothers made many narrow escapes, being amongst the foremost in the Indian wars carried on under HARMER, ST. CLAIR, and WAYNE.

She was married to her late husband in April 1796 and I believe soon after the whole family removed up to the Great Miami and settled where Middletown now stands. Here they continued to reside until about 1817 when some of the brothers began to look to the west and made up their minds to emigrate to the Wabash country. The old father and mother still living and not tired of the backwoods life, although opposed by some of their children yet remaining behind, determined to go along. Accordingly they prepared boats and in them descended the Miami and the Ohio and hence up the Wabash. Unfortunately, however, the old man died on the way and was buried on the banks of the Wabash, somewhere, I believe, near Vincennes. The remainder of the party proceeded up the river and settled somewhere near Fort Harrison.

MRS. BROWN removed with her husband to Lafayette in 1831, where she continued to live until her death, so there passed amongst us probably the last of that little band, that over sixty-three years ago were the first to break the stillness of that awful solitude that has reigned for ages over the unbroken wilderness of the North Western Territory. She lived in times that were truly desirable to live in. What has not been accomplished in those sixty-three years. Then the emigrant after building his own conveyance launched it upon the river and waited patiently for the currents to carry him to his place of destination. Then the dispatches were carried by daring men who slung their knapsacks of provisions on their backs, and with rifle in hand made their way on foot through a howling wilderness. How different did she see it before she died? Instead of the vast wilderness that cast an awful gloom over the cabins of the settlers, she was everywhere greeted by cultivated fields and comfortable dwellings. Instead of the scanty fare procured by the hunter from the woods, every family seemed bountifully supplied with food and many of the luxuries of life. Instead of the pirogue upon the river, she now traveled in the fast running and splendid steamboats that fill our rivers. Instead of the express depending on the speed of tired and weary foot passenger, today it is sent with lightening speed. She was permitted to live through these many years ever since that lonely band dared to strike the first blow between the two Miamis. It struck me that little narrative would be acceptable to members of her family and friends of the deceased and such is respectfully tendered by J.G.S.
Lafayette, Indiana, November 25, 1850

Note: Rachel Bailey Brown was the aunt of William Digby, founder of Lafayette. She was a sister of William's mother Catherine. Rachel Bailey was married to Robert Brown and their known children were: Susannah m. John Taylor; James; Margaret m. a Carnahan; Rachel Bailey m. James Carnahan; Cynthia Anna m. Phineas Kellogg; Mary Ann m. John Taylor. Rachel and Robert Brown are buried in Greenbush Cemetery in Lafayette, Indiana.
Submitted by Adina Dyer, a descendant of Mary Bailey Mills, a sister of Rachel and Catherine Bailey.
[Contributed Adina Dyer] 
Family links: 
  Robert Brown (1759 - 1841)*
*Calculated relationship
Note: aged 71, wife of Robert Brown
Greenbush Cemetery
Tippecanoe County
Indiana, USA
Plot: Section 2
Created by: L. A. (Terry)
Record added: May 05, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19234024
Rachel <i>Bailey</i> Brown
Added by: L. A. (Terry)
Rachel <i>Bailey</i> Brown
Cemetery Photo
Added by: David R. Cheesman, Sen.
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- History Hunter
 Added: Jul. 3, 2014

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