I was born and and raised in Bluefield, Mercer County, West Virginia.
The desire, usually possessed by civilized men, is to learn the history and character of their ancestors, who they were, and whence they came, excites regret that this history is the more often involved in obscurity; no one has thought it necessary to keep a correct record of the family.
Tradition alone, depended upon to supply the place of recorded facts, is often so obscured by the efflux of time and other causes, that it cannot always be relied upon as a safe guide to truth. Yet when tradition and known facts are closely coupled together, the former is greatly strengthened and becomes much more reliable.
Our ancestors who came across the mountains from the East and settled upon the Western waters were not, as a rule, college bred people; in fact, most of them had had few advantages along this line. They came bringing with them all their world's goods of which they were possessed, consisting usually of a horse or two, a cow, rifle gun, a dog, and such an amount of household furniture as could be carried on horses.
Already the time is here when the names of many of our ancestors who felled the forests, stood on the frontier, risked their lives, and endured untold hardships, have been forgotten. Their names should, as far as possible, be rescued from the obliteration of time and their illustrious deeds recorded upon the pages of history, lest they be forgotten or left to be preserved only in the indistinct memorials of tradition.
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