April 28, 2020

Pages 13-16
Whole Number 3


The following account of the BOONES, BRYANS and SPARKS, was written by Dr. J.D. Bryan whose great-grandfather Bryan's sister, Rebecca, was the wife of Daniel Boone. Dr. Bryan read this article before the Kentucky Historical Society some years before its publication. It was first printed in the Register of The Kentucky Historical Society, September 1905, Volume 3, Number 9, pages 81-92. Dr. Bryan was described as a careful historian and the Society pointed out that he had made a careful and exhaustive search for data concerning his own people. Subsequent to the first publication, the article was reprinted in The Kentucky Historical Society Magazine, July 1930, Volume 28, Number 84, pages 244-260. In the reprinting, JONAS Sparks is erroneously called JAMES Sparks --a mistake which has set several Sparks family genealogists on a false trail. Jonas Sparks did not remain in Kentucky, but soon took his family back to Rowan Co., North Carolina. Some of the Bryans also returned to North Carolina. In 1786, in Rowan Co., North Carolina (and not in Kentucky, as Dr. Bryan states), Henry Bryan, a brother of Dr. Bryan's paternal grandfather, married Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Jonas. They later settled in Missouri.

Esther Sparks, another daughter of Jonas, married 1787 in Rowan County, N.C. to Jesse Caton, and they, too, settled in Missouri. Elizabeth Caton, daughter of Jesse and Esther (Sparks) Caton, married John Boone Callaway, son of Flanders and Jemima (Boone) Callaway, and grandson of Daniel Boone. John Boone Callaway resided in St.Charles, Co., Missouri, where he had a mill and distillery on Femme Osage Creek. He was a Justice of the Peace and Judge of the County Court; died in 1825.

John Boone Callaway had four children by his wife, Elizabeth Caton:

1. Emaline, married Hayden Boone (grandson of George, brother of Daniel Boone);

2. Verlinia, married John Bryan, son of Henry;

3. James, of Mexico City, Missouri, "engaged in banking business", married Mary McKinney, daughter of Alexander and Nancy (Bryan) McKinney;

4. Octavia, married Schuyler Rice of England. Jesse Caton, Jr., son of Jesse and Esther (Sparks) Caton, married Missouri Lamme, a niece of John Boone Callaway, she being a daughter of William T. and Frances Lamme, a granddaughter of Flanders and Jemima (Boone) Callaway, and thus a great-granddaughter of Daniel and Rebecca (Bryan) Boone. (See Spraker's The Boone Family, for further details.)

Since the genealogy of the Boone and Bryan families has been so widely publicized, that portion of Dr. Bryan's article has been omitted at this time. Here fellow pertinent excerpts from Dr. Bryan's article:

"Squire Boone, Daniel's father, and his family left Exeter (now Berks Co., Pennsylvania) on the first day of May, 1750,and moved to North Carolina. Squire Boone settled on the Yadkin River at Alleman's Ford, also since called Boone's Ford. This was in the same community where Morgan Bryan then lived.....

"Morgan Bryan, father of James, William and Morgan, Jr., had sold his interests in Virginia, and in the fall of 1748 he had moved his family to North Carolina and settled in the forks of the Yadkin river, which was then Anson Co., but in 1753 Rowan Co. was set off from Anson, thus they were in Rowan Co. Thus we see that Morgan Bryan had been living on the Yadkin River when Squire Boone came from Pennsylvania. and settled on the Yadkin River and became a near neighbor to him. Here Daniel Boone and Rebecca Bryan became acquainted and in 1755 were married. William Bryan (son of Morgan and uncle of Rebecca) also married Mary Boone (sister of Daniel) the same year.

"On September 25, 1773, Daniel Boone, Squire Boone (brothers), James, Morgan, Jr., and William Bryan (brothers), and Jonas Sparks, all with large families of children, many of said children approaching maturity, started from North Carolina to settle on the Kentucky river.

"'Kaintuckee' is a Shawnee word and signified 'at the head of the river'; in never meant 'dark and bloody ground', as is generally stated. These men with their sons, old enough to be efficient with the rifle, formed quite a respectable force, as they could certainly muster some twenty rifles. They proceeded without incident worthy of note until they reached Powell's Valley where they were joined by five other families and 'forty well-armed men'.

"Their daily order of march was for the armed men to take the lead, then came the women and children on horseback, then the cattle and young stock driven by the older boys and young men, who thus brought up the rear, and acted as a rear guard. In this order they took their daily march, and proceeded without incident worthy of note until October 10th, when they were crossing Powell's river for the last time, as they approached 'Cumberland Gap'. While moving, the cavalcade would stretch out on the road for a mile or so. The armed men had forded the river and were halted and formed in line to protect the company, expecting attack, if at all, from the front. While the main force were thus on guard, other men were helping the women and children to ford the river. The time consumed in fording the river had brought the rear guard up to within half a mile or less of the river. While some of the women and children were still in the midst of the stream the entire company was startled by a sudden and heavy firing in the rear. Some of the armed men hastily mounted and rushed back across the river, and as they got fairly on the bank, mat [sic.] one of the young men, wounded, dashing up, who reported that they had been fired on from ambush. The men soon came upon the Indians, and after a sharp fight drove them off, to find the other six young men dead. All had received fatal wounds at the first fire, showing the Indians had lain in the thicket at the roadside, and, as the company was too strong for them, they had allowed the cavalcade to pass by, but when the seven young men came up, it was too tempting for Indian enmity to resist. They evidently each picked his man, took deliberate aim, and but one, sent their bullets but too true, killing outright the six and wounding the seventh.

"Daniel Boone's oldest son, James, was among the slain. Fearing a general attack the company at once went into camp and remained under arms the rest of that day and night. This caused them, after burying the dead, to retreat to the settlements on the Clinch river, Virginia, forty miles back the road they had come.

"Here they erected cabins for their protection and comfort and went into winter quarters to await the following spring to renew their journey. The next spring an Indian War broke out known as Dunmore's War. Boone was commissioned Captain in the Virginia militia and placed in command of three contiguous forts, part of a system of forts from the Potomac to the south line. The emigrants remained in their cabins on the Clinch River during the war, which was concluded by the Battle of Point Pleasant, October 1774, after which the militia was disbanded. Boone returned to the camp on the Clinch River. An impetus was now given to the settlement of Kentucky because of the bounty lands given the soldiers by Virginia.

"Among many others, Colonel Richard Henderson organized a company with the purpose of purchasing the rights of the Cherokee Indians (whatever that right might be) to all land bounded by the Ohio, Kentucky, and Cumberland rivers. (Kentucky River was originally called the Louisiana River.) Because of his influence with the Indians, Captain Boone was engaged and went with Colonel Henderson to attend a treaty with the Cherokees at Fort Wautauga, situated on a branch of the Holston River, March 17,1775, where the right of the Cherokees to the above stated lands was purchased by this company. Then it was important to take possession of this territory. Captain Boone was engaged to do this. He raised a company of well-armed men (no doubt his own people formed a good part of it) and proceeded to the Kentucky River. They proceeded with such dispatch as to begin April 1st the erection of the 'Stockade Fort' which, in honor of Boone, was called 'Boone's Borough', on the Kentucky River at the mouth of Otter Creek. The fort was completed the 14th of the following June. As soon as the fort was completed, Boone started for the Clinch settlement for his family leaving a small guard in the fort. The old company, William, James and Morgan Bryan, Squire Boone and Jonas Sparks and families -- and now that the danger was trifling, other families joined the caravan -- in September or October, just two years from their first start, crossed Powell's river and this time proceeded to the Kentucky river without incident.

"While the Boones proceeded at once to Boone's Borough, the Bryans only stopped there while they could erect a fort for their protection. They proceeded further north on the Elkhorn, where they erected a stockade fort, which they called Bryan's Station, which was built that fall and winter. Colonel Richard Callaway and Colonel Benjamin Logan, old friends of the Bryans and Boones in North Carolina, came with their families early that next spring (1776) and each erected a station or fort, as they were called both ways. These settlements were four hundred miles beyond the frontiers of Virginia and North Carolina. The Revolution had begun by the battles of Lexington and Concord. A company of hunters were camped on the present site of Lexington, Kentucky; hearing of the battle of Lexington they called their place 'Camp Lexington'. Thus came the name and in due time, the town of Lexington.

" .... Again, on the first trip (1773) after the attack by the Indians on their approach to Cumberland Gap where James Boone, oldest son of Daniel Boone was killed, the entire company retreated to the settlements on Clinch river, Virginia, where they stayed two years; then in 1775 started from Clinch river, Virginia, and went to Kentucky. Hence some claim their ancestry came from Virginia, while others claim it came from North Carolina -- all from the same company, the discrepancy arising from want of the proper knowledge of the circumstances and facts. At the time of the attack here mentioned the company was fording Powell's river. Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Jonas Sparks (one of the five families from North Carolina), then about nine years old, was riding a gentle horse and carrying a baby brother before her. She was in the midst of the river when the Indians fired on the rear guard. My great-uncle, Henry Bryan, at a later day married Elizabeth Sparks in Kentucky and afterwards came to Missouri, where they lived until their death. She lived to be nearly one hundred years old. I have seen her and heard her talk often. She finally died at my oldest sister's house after I was grown. Among these old people we get our traditions. I have often been at the grave where Daniel Boone and wife were first buried in Missouri. It was right near where I lived when I was a boy.

--- J. D. Bryan."