1 April –
1784 – Clarksville, IN. Deadline to submit a claim for part of the Illinois Grant.
1813 – Philadelphia, PA. John Croghan graduates University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. [EL, p. 232-3]
2 April –
1805 – Fort Mandan. William Clark writes to William Croghan: We shall leave this place in two days on our journey. Country and River above this is but little Known. Our information is altogether from Indians collected at different times and entitled to some credit. My return will not be so soon as I expected, I fear not sooner than about June or July 1806…
[P.S.] I send my sister Croghan some seed of several Kinds of Grapes. [Potts, p. 79]
3 April –
4 April –
1788 – Louisville, KY. Jefferson County Minute Order Book 2, pp. 77 and 81 records Major William Croghan empowered to lay out a courthouse on the public square and to contract for its construction. The stone courthouse will be described as “built with some Taste.” [Potts, p. 65, p 196 note 12]
1799 – Jane Edwards marries James Strother [Renau, p. 31]
1804 – John Edwards marries Nancy Geiger [Renau, p. 31]
1833 – Pittsburgh, PA. William Croghan Jr. writes to C.W. Thruston: I hope Hancock has done as he promised, pulled down on 1 April, the old stable. [Potts, p. 101]
1838 – Louisville, KY. Locust Grove. Lucy Clark Croghan dies. She is buried in the family graveyard between her husband and her daughter-in-law Mary Carson O’Hara Croghan who shares the grave of nine-month-old granddaughter Mary O’Hara Croghan. The family now rests in Cave Hill Cemetery. [Potts, p. 105]
5 April –
6 April –
7 April –
1802 – William Croghan writes to James Madison: Sir…The bearer Mr. Denis Fitzhugh will wait on You with the Decrees and take charge of the Deeds both Colonel Taylor & Myself. [Renau, p. 71]
1805 – Missouri River. The permanent members of the Corps of Discovery start up river into country unknown to whites. [EL, p. 509-10]
1883 – Louisville, KY. James Harrison writes to Lyman C. Draper that he had seen George Rogers Clark’s old cabin about 1834, or 1835. He recollects: a two-story hewn log house, two rooms below and two above. Stair steps between the rooms, a small kitchen at the north end of the house, small stable, corn crib, &c, all covered with shingles made of oak wood, about two acres of land inclosed by a worm rail fence stakes, satered, a pass way ran about 30 or 40 ft west of the house and there was a road from Jeffersonville to Clarksville which ran along the fence and immediately north of it. (See 14 November 1868; 24 April 1883.) [Potts, p. 84]
8 April –
1772 – General Thomas Gage, British commander in North America, issues a proclamation. It will be delivered to Captain Hugh Lord, commander at Kaskaskia, IL, who will take it to Vincennes, IN. Because “a great number of persons have established themselves, particularly on the river Ouabache, where they lead a wandering life, without government, and without laws, interrupting the free course of trade, destroying the game, and causing infinite disturbance in the country, which occasions a considerable injury to the affairs of the King, as well as to those of the Indians [the King George III] is pleased to order…all who have established themselves on the lands upon the Ouabache…to quit those countries instantly and without delay, and to retire, at their choice, into some one of the colonies of His Majesty, where they will be received and treated as the other subjects of His Majesty.” In other words, the residents of Vincennes were being thrown out of house and home – just like the American Indians. [Cayton; p. 63-4]
Less than 20 years before, the British had forcibly removed all inhabitants of Acadia. Ten years hence, George Rogers Clark will arrive stating that the United States now owns the place, and the people of Vincennes assume that their luck has finally run out. They will be scattered to the winds.
1777 – Williamsburg, VA. William Craig Galt born. He will be trained as a physician by his father, who studied in Edinburgh, Scotland, the most renowned medical college of the time. In 1802 he and his wife move to Louisville, where he will assist in the medical care of George Rogers Clark (1809). The first hotel to bear his name will be built on land purchased from him. (See 22 October 1853.) [EL, p. 326]
9 April –
1790 – Louisville, KY. William Croghan purchases the land where he will build Locust Grove. [EL, p. 233]
1800 – Louisville, KY. Elizabeth Croghan born. [Potts, p. 67]
10 April –
1790 – Louisville, Ky. William Croghan purchases 387-acre parallelogram tract, opposite Six Mile Island, from surveyor Hancock Lee of Fauquier County, VA. [Potts, p. 64]
1825 – Louisville, KY. Dr. John Croghan writes to his brother-in-law Thomas Sidney Jesup: Inform Ann that I will have her piano and paintings forwarded to Washington in a few days and my Mother remarks that she will embrace the same opportunity to send a few hams…General Jackson [in the midst of a grand procession through the country as he fumes over losing the 1824 presidential election] & family spent a few days in Louisville…We gave him a public dinner and showed him other attractions. He dined at Locust Grove and made frequent mention of Ann & Eliza. With all due deference, I think the General has received the full measure of applause for the services he has rendered the Country. [Potts, p. 96; p. 98]
11 April –
1803 – Paris, France. Easter Sunday. Napoleon Bonaparte orders his ministers to open negotiations with Robert Livingston, for the United States to purchase the Louisiana Territory. [Potts, p. 77]
1861 – Charleston, SC. The Confederate forces demand the surrender of Fort Sumter from Major Robert Anderson. He has held the fort without fresh supplies for four months, but now there is a report of a supply ship on the way. [EL, p. 37]
12 April –
1790 – Louisville, KY. The Kentucky Gazette carries the following advertisement, placed by William Croghan: To Be Sold…Also a lot in Louisville the best stand and situation for business in the whole town, with the following improvements: A two story log house thirty by sixteen feet well roofed, and with an excellent ground cellar under the whole house, and another house one and an half story high, twenty-four by sixteen with a compleat store for goods at one end and a counting room or bed-chamber at the other, extremely well finished, being cieled all round with good plank well groved and tongued; it has a compleat loft, and an excellent stone chimney. The property may have been hisown, or he may have been acting as agent for the owner. [Potts, p. 64]
1833 – Paris, France. John Croghan writes to Thomas Sidney Jesup: Mr. Cooper, the novelist [James Fenimore Cooper], resides here. He has been very polite and I am attached to him for the fact of hs being so thorough an American. [Potts, p. 102]
1861 – Charleston, SC. The Confederate forces begin bombardment of Fort Sumter, commanded by Major Robert Anderson. The Civil War has begun. [EL, p. 37]
13 April –
1805 – Aaron Burr requests his daughter, Theodosia Alston, to forward his mail to John Brown in Frankfort, KY. A bit later, at Pittsburgh, PA, he requests James Wilkinson to meet him in Louisville, KY. [Potts, p. 81]
1813 – Louisville, KY. Major William Croghan’s deed to Six Mile Island is finally recorded in Jefferson County Deed Book 10, p. 80. (See 18 Mar 1798; 6 Aug 1799) [Potts, p. 69]
14 April –
1767 – Philadelphia, PA. Benjamin Franklin to (Uncle) George Croghan: “You have doubtless render’d great service to Government by your negotiations among Indians. I take every opportunity of mentioning it, and I hope you may in time obtain suitable reward.” [Potts, p. 16]
1861 – Charleston, SC. After thirty-four hours of almost continuous bombardment, supplies and ammunition nearly exhausted, Major Robert Anderson surrenders Fort Sumter. [EP, p. 37]
1790 – Louisville, KY. John Croghan born.
15 April –
1765 – Pittsburgh, PA. Susanna Croghan (“Suky”) and Agustin Prevost marry. [Potts, p. 186, note 67]
16 April –
1755 – VA. (Uncle) George Croghan arrives at Fort Cumberland, far short of finishing the Braddock’s Road. Sir John St. Clair: “In nine day’s time, instead of marching to the Ohio, [I will] bring my soldiers to Cumberland County, ill the cattle, carry away the horses, burn the houses and later, if defeated by the French, pass through the province with drawn sword, treating the inhabitants as traitors should be treated.” He will, in fact, march to “Braddock’s Defeat.”[Renau, p. 9]
17 April –
1754 – Pittsburgh, PA. Ensign Edward Ward, half-brother of George Croghan, must surrender the unfinished fort at the forks of the Ohio (present-day Pittsburgh) to a French force believed to number 1,000 men. After several skirmishes, the French and Indian War has begun. The French complete the fort which they christen Fort Duquesne. [Potts, p. 10]
1834 – Louisville, KY. In March, John Croghan had written to Thomas Sidney Jesup that he intended to cultivate grapes, “the indigenous especially, and I am in hopes in three or four years I will be able to give you a good glass of native wine.” Today he writes: I am doing pretty well on the farm. I think I will make quite a good farmer. [Potts, p. 103]
1838 – New Orleans, LA. George Croghan writes to John Croghan: I have been out today for the first time unless to church, since the receipt of the distressing news of the death of best of Mothers. I feel more than you all her loss, for I have in addition to our common griefs, the agonning reflection that I observe of all her children have by my repeated misconduct caused her anguish & distress. She is gone & I can not offer her this [illegible[ assurance that my ways are changed; but in affectionate rememberance of her every prayer & wish I will henceforth strive to act as I know she would desire were she on earth. [Potts, p. 105]
18 April –
19 April –
1780 – near the mouth of the Ohio River. George Rogers Clark begins construction of Fort Jefferson. [KE, p. 195-6]
1889 – Louisville, KY. Rueben T. Durrett writes to Lyman C. Draper: No two will tell the same story. As an illustration of this, if you will inquire of as accurate, honest and intelligent a man as James Harrison about the amputation of the General’s leg, he will tell you the operation was performed by Dr. Ferguson at Clarks cabin in Clarsville; and then if you go to Dr. Richard Ferguson, a son of the operating surgeon, equally intelligent, honest & accurate, he will tell you the leg was amputated at his father’s office in Louisville. If then, such conflicting statements come from such men, both of whom remember Genl. Clark, what are we to expect from inquiries in the broader field occupied by those who speak from hearsay & tradition only?
I have always understood, that the paralysis of Genl. Clark was an affliction subsequent to the amputation of his limb. The old story is that while under the influence of liquor, he fell in the fire at his cottage in Clarksville, and became so burned that his leg had to be taken off; and that Dr. Ferguson performed the operation; but whether the Amputation was at Clarksville or in Louisville, you will never arrive at a conclusion without conflicting testimony. My belief is that after the accident at Clarksville, the General was conveyed to his Sister’s, Mrs. Croghan’s at Locust Grove, and that the operation was there performed. [Potts, p. 88] Durrett had a massive collection of Louisville frontier information and memorabilia in his home library. He was recognized as the authority on Falls of Ohio pioneer history. He founded the Filson Club, now the Filson Historical Society. When such an arbiter gets a story so tangled up, no wonder it would be more than 100 years before it could be sorted out. (See 20 September 1900; 25 March 1809.)
1979 – near Easton, MD. Rogers Clark Ballard Morton dies. He is buried in Old Wye Cemetery, Wye Mills, Maryland. (See 19 September 1914.) [EL, p. 629]
20 April –
21 April –
1879 – Louisville, KY. A sales slip for an expensive stove with oven from Bridgeford & Co. indicates that the Paul family is no longer using the detached kitchen at Locust Grove. [Potts, p. 116]
22 April –
1899 – Memphis, TN. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. commits suicide in the Gaston Hotel. He is buried in Louisville, KY’s, Cave Hill Cemetery. [EL, p. 198-99]
23 April –
1790 – Louisville, KY. John Croghan born. [KE, p. 242]
24 April –
1809 – Louisville, KY. George Rogers Clark Sullivan, the only witness to record his memories at the time, writes to John O’Fallon: Your Uncle George is with us in high spirits and the wound healed up. I have stayed with him every night since he has been in town that is 5 weeks. I never [k]new a man in my life to stand it so well as he did. … The day it was taken off he sent for the drummer and fifer to come and play. [Captain George Rogers Clark] Floyd then too k the hint and had all the men placed round the house with two drums and two fifers and played for about two hours and his leg was taken off in the mean time. In the evening they returned and played for about an hour and then ten at night four elegant violins two drums and two fifes marched around the house for about an hour playing elegant marches. …
He continues that: The elephant arrived here yesterday evening. [Potts, p. 88]
1883 – Clarksville, IN. Asked by Lyman C. Draper about the orientation of George Rogers Clark’s cabin, James Harrison responds that it: stood lengthwise running north & south, front facing an avenue from the road leading from Clarksville to Jeffersonville towards the river. (See 14 November 1868; 7 April 1883.) Did the witnesses use different terms to describe the same thing? How much was the house altered through the years? It is presently impossible to recreate with certainty. [Potts, p. 84]
1846 – Washington City. Ann Croghan Jesup dies unexpectedly. She had spent Christmas at Locust Grove. [Potts, p. 107] She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
25 April –
26 April –
1791 – Louisville, KY. William Croghan opens a land office. [KE, p. 243]
1785 – Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (now Haiti). John James Audubon born. He will make numerous sketches and paintings of the birds at the Falls of the Ohio, consulting with George Rogers Clark about the local natural history. [EL, p. 53]
27 April –
1807 – John Croghan writes to William Croghan Sr: Give my respects to Mama and Family, and likewise to Uncle George Clark whenever you happen to see him; he is an Uncle for whom on account of his noble, independent, and patriotic spirit, on account of the services he has rendered his Country, and the distinguished manner in which he has behaved in the field of Wars I am very partial to. He possessed truly a magnanimous Mind! [Potts, p. 87]
1826 – Louisville, KY. Locust Grove. Mary Elizabeth Croghan born to William Jr. and Mary O’Hara Croghan. She will be the only surviving child.
1756 – Chesterfield County, VA. John Fowler born. He will be a prominent jurist in early Kentucky, will be a member of the Kentucky Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge; and in 1788, with Richard Clough Anderson and Green Clay, will establish the Lexington Freemason Lodge No. 1. [KE, p. 350]
1807 – Danville, KY. Dr. Priestley’s seminary. John Croghan writes to his father William: In your last letter to me I observe that you intend taking my Brother & myself from this Seminary as soon as our year will expire with Mr. Priestley (the termination of which will be the first of June) and then to send us to some of the Eastern Colleges. It is my wish to go to some University for the farther refinement of my mental improvements, and if it were left to my choice I should prefer that of Cambridge, which on account of it Learned professors, Library, and Apparatus is in higher repute than any University in the United States…The studies which I am at present engaged are Geography, Homer (a Greek author) Terence, and Arithmetic occasionally, and Rhetoric. I have completed the study of Euclid, and Trigonometry. I have nothing more to relate to you at present without entering on the borders of politics. [Potts, p. 67] Your editor wishes that he had entered the minefield of politics!
28 April –
1809 – Louisville, KY. Loquacious Jonathan Clark records in his diary: Clear at Louisville – There saw an elephant. [Potts, p. 88]
1846 – Louisville, KY. John Croghan writes to Thomas Sidney Jesup: I am distressed byond measure at the unexpected & melancholy event. My only sister is gone, gone to a happier & better world. My grief is that of a sincerely attached brother. Most deeply do I sympathize with you, dear Genl. And my distressed nieces & nephews. [Potts, p. 107] Editor’s note: Communication is much improved for this generation. Ann Croghan Jesup had just died 24 April 1846.
1828 – Pittsburgh, PA. William, four-year-old son of William Jr. and Mary O’Hara Croghan, dies of whooping cough. [Potts, p. 100]
29 April –
1779 – Vincennes, IN. George Rogers Clark writes to Patrick Henry: “Our alliance with France has entirely devoted this people to our interest. I have sent several copies of the articles to Detroit, and do not doubt but they will produce the desired effect.”
30 April –
1755 – PA. Governor Morris orders (Uncle) George Croghan to muster Indians for General Braddock. Croghan hopes this action will help to alleviate his personal debt.
1766 – Pittsburgh, PA. William Franklin writes to his father Benjamin: A few of us, from [George Croghan’s] Encouragement, have form’d a Company to Purchase of the French settled at the Illinois…but I thought it would be of little Avail to buy Lands in that Country unless a Colony was established there. I have drawn up some proposals for that Purpose… A company of men of wealth…2000 white Protestant settlers [to Illinois for a grant of one million acres, and the first governor should be] a person experienced in the management of Indian affairs, and who has given proofs of his influence with the savages [i.e.: George Croghan].
William Franklin’s Illinois plan named George III as owner of the 1,200,000-acre Illinois Colony.
George Croghan warned New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians: one half of England is Now Land Mad & Every body there has thire Eys fixt on this Cuntry.
He also wrote to Londoners promoting an Illinois Colony to control western fur trade, provide food for all of Louisiana, provide military presence in the west, and keep watch on the French and Spanish. [Potts, p. 15]