James Campbell
Dr. John J. Dickey Diary, Fleming County, Ky.  Recorded in the 1870's and
beyond.  Reprinted in Kentucky Explorer, Volume 11, No 4 - September, 1996,
pp. 79-80.  By permission. Perry County.

(The following interview was made at Forked Mouth, Ky., on July 22, 1898.)

  I was born in Perry County, in Campbell's Bend, August 12, 1822.  My
father was Francis Campbell.  He was born on Walker's Creek in North
Carolina, a tributary of New River.  They could roll a hogshead of tobacco
to Charleston, North Carolina, in a day.  He was born May 15, 1800; he died
January 8, 1893.  He was well preserved.  My grandfather was John Campbell.
 He was born in North Carolina also.  His wife was a Couch.  The Campbells
and Couches came from the same part of the state.
   In 1806 a large number of families in that region thought of immigrating
to Kentucky.  Not willing to take their families into an unknown country,
they selected the two men, viz. - Austin Couch and Charles Francis, two
choice men unmarried.  They filled their knapsacks, took their flintlock
rifles and full of determination to accomplish the mission on which they
were sent, they started on foot to explore the new Eldorado.  They came
through Pound Gap and striking the headwaters of the Kentucky River they
followed the North Fork to Boonesborough, thence to Lexington and returned
the same route, reaching home the same season.  They reported a land of
plenty.  They said there was everything to eat but nothing to wear.  It was
a land flowing with "milk and honey."  The streams abounded in fish, the
woods were full of deer, bear, turkey, buffalo and elk.  Filled with the
flaming report, my grandfather and his family, his brother William and his
family, started the following spring.  They were large families.  They
started for Lexington but stopped at Campbell's Bend on the North Fork of
the Kentucky River, in what is now Perry County. They found four acres of
land cleared at that point and concluded to make a crop and remain over a
year.  My grandfather brought nine horses, his brother ten.  They brought
their cattle also.  Some were sick on the way, and this was one of the
reasons for stopping.
   When spring came again his family or some of them were still sick, and it
was two years before they got rid of the chills.  When they had gotten well
they felt so well and were so charmed with the rich soil and luxuriant
cane-brakes, and the abundance of game, that they lost the desire to go
   In North Carolina, they had put manure in the furrow to raise corn, and
then the frost would cut it rare; ripe, a diminutive corn was all they
could raise.  The great ears of corn that grew on their rich bottoms was
sufficient to meet the expectation awakened by the glowing descriptions of
Messers. Couch and Francis.  They put all they had into clothes.
   My great grandmother's father was James.  He was born in Ireland.  There
were two brothers, James and William James.  I suppose Jesse James is of
the same family.  She was the daughter of William James; they were rich.
The Campbells are Scotch-Irish.  Later Couch and Francis, the explorers,
came to this region.  Austin Couch married a sister of Judge James
Eversole, of Clay County.  These explorers found a path hacked from Carr's
Fork to Grapevine.
   Peter DeWeese settled at the mouth of Grapevine and died from choking.
When they would find a bee tree they would cut down a small chestnut, peel
it, and fill it full of honey and carry it home.  The horses and cattle
lived on the range.  The cane was an evergreen and in winter and summer
made good pasture.  In the sumer the peavine was equal to bluegrass.  Flax
was introduced. Buckskin supplied the men.  The fifty families of new River
proposed to make a settlement about Lexington.  They came on later and
settled at different places. The Begleys, Sizemore, Rameys, and my mother,
Margaret Williams, came from that section.  The Nobles, Neaces, and Fugates
came later.  My grandfather was a religious man.  He was a Freemason when
he came here.  His children were James, John, Mary, Sallie, William,
Francis, my father; Elijah, Isaac, Stephen, Hiram, Samuel, and Bitsy
(Betsy), 12 in all.  William, his brother, settled at the mouth of
Campbell's Creek.  His children were:  Charles, William, Elijah, Hanes,
Henry, Daniel, Margaret, and Amy.

Campbell Couch Francis James Eversole DeWeese Begley Sizemore Ramey
Williams Noble Neace Fugate

NC Boonesborough-Madison-KY Ireland Lexington-Fayette-KY Clay-KY