1 February –
1834 – Louisville, KY. William Croghan Jr. agrees to assign Locust Grove to George Hancock. [Potts, p. 203, note 84]
1847 – Louisville, KY. St. George and Cornelia Adelaide Ridgely Croghan have the nearly 300 acres in timber at Locust Grove surveyed, and sell it to grocery partners Abraham Blankenbaker and Jesse Christler. These two partners split the property and both erected houses which still stand. [Potts, p. 109]
2 February –
1794 – Spanish double-agent James Wilkinson adroitly disengages himself from the Spanish Conspiracy and the French Allegiance by informing Anthony Wayne: You have doubtless seen the audacious proposition of Gl Clark added to which, I am informed that a Coll McGommery from Cumberland, has taken Part with 200 Men on the Ohio below, & seizes every Boat bound to N. Orleans with Provision. I have also authentic Intelliijence that this Seditious flame, has Spread itself as far as Kaskaskias, & that the People of that place & St. Vincennes, are preparing to join Clark. [Potts, p. 73]
3 February –
1773 – Samuel Wharton writes to (Uncle) George Croghan, concerning the proposed political entity of Vandalia: “I propose this house only as a temporary one, until we fix on a convenient spot for our capitol…Keep up your spirits my friend. You will soon be, not only a rich, but a publick, respectable man” [Potts, p. 18]
1810 – Louisville, KY. Jonathan Clark writes to George Rogers Clark that Harry Innes has been unable to fulfill John Gwathmey’s appeal for a pension from the Virginia legislature for the general. [Potts, p. 89; p. 200, note 5]
4 February –
1779 – near St. Louis, MO. John Rogers, cousin of George Rogers Clark, sets out for Vincennes, IN, in the Willing, the first armed boat on the Ohio River. Clark had retrofitted “a large Mississippi Boat” as a row-galley, carrying 46 men, two four-pounders, a nine-pounder, and four swivels. [An x-pounder fires a projectile of that weight; a swivel gun is a small-bore canon, mounted on a swivel.] The boat could not reach Vincennes in time, as the rivers were swollen out of their banks and almost impossible to navigate.
1823 – Pittsburgh, PA. The Pittsburgh Mercuryreports: Married, on Tuesday evening last by the Rev’d. Francis Herron, William Croghan, Esquire of Louisville, to Miss Mary Carson, youngest daughter of the late general James O’Hara of this city. [Potts, p. 100]
1856 – Jefferson County, KY. Stephen Bishop, wife Charlotte and son Thomas; Hannah Brown; Alfred and wife, Hannah, and children Ellen, Wesley, Charles and Charlotte; Gabriel, Jake, Peter, Sara and sons Jake and James; Stephen, Gibson, Cynthia, Humphrey, Sarah and daughters Malinda and Maria; Sylvia, Rachel, Mary and David are emancipated. These are the enslaved persons belonging to John Croghan, deceased. His will provided for their emancipation seven years after his death. [Potts, p. 205, note 5]
5 February –
1779 – George Rogers Clark and about 170 militia men cross the Kaskaskia River, to retake Vincennes, IN.
6 February –
7 February –
1800 – Louisville, KY. Pendleton Strother born. [Renau, p. 33]
1839 – Washington City. Ann Croghan Jesup writes to her husband Thomas Sidney Jesup, blaming Serena Croghan for George Croghan’s drinking, gambling, thieving and general dissolution: He never talks of all her unkind treatments to him, my mother has shed tears while telling me of it, you will hear so much of his bad conduct that it will be enough to make you cast him off entirely, but my Dear husband he is my brother, one whom I was once proud to call brother and although now disgraced by his habits, still have a sisters affection for him…is it not strange that he will be here for three or four months and at our house as many or more and never gets intoxicated? [Potts, p. 103]
8 February –
1794 – Kentucky. The Kentucky Gazette reprints the Centinel of the North-Western Territory report: George R. Clark, Esq., Major General in the armies of France, and Commander in Chief of the French Revolutionary Legions on the Mississippi river.
For raising volunteers for the reduction of the Spanish posts on the Mississippi, for opening the trade of the said river, & giving freedom to all its inhabitants, &c. All persons serving the expedition, to be entitled to one thousand acres of Land, those that engage for one year, will be entitled to two thousand acres, if they served two years or during the present war with France, they will have three thousand acres of any unappropriated Land that may be conquered…All lawful Plunder to be equally divided agreeable to the custom of War. (See 8 February 1794.) [Potts, p. 73]
9 February –
1784 – Virginia. William Croghan and George Rogers Clark commissioned principal surveyors of Kentucky land for Virginia militia veterans. [KE, p. 243]
1809 – Clarksville, IN. George Rogers Clark, alone in his home, suffers a stroke and falls, his right leg just next to the fireplace. He is not found until the following morning.
10 February –
1763 – Paris, France. Ending the French and Indian War/Seven Years’ War, Great Britain, France and Spain carve up the “pie” of the North American continent. None of them consult the American Indians – who actually own the place, by virtue of several thousand years’ occupancy.
11 February –
12 February –
1818 – Louisville, KY. Evening. An express is sent to Colonel Richard Clough Anderson, at his farm. He goes to Robert Tompkins, his neighbor and relative, and schoolmaster currently teaching William B. Gwathmey. All three repair to Locust Grove, where George Rogers Clark is dying. They will remain until after the burial. [Potts, p. 92]
1834 – Louisville, KY. C.W. Thruston writes to William Croghan Jr.: I understand that the Dr. has purchased of Mr. Hancock the place on which he lives by allowing him for his improvements $3,500 and paying him what he has agreed to pay for it. I am pleased to find it still remains in the family. [Potts, p. 103]
13 February –
1715 – Pennsylvania. William Trent born. He “resided in the neighborhood of Col George Croghan, his brother-in-law, and with whom he had largely engaged in trade.” [conversation between John Bannister Gibson and Lyman Draper, 24 April 1849] Trenton, NJ, is named for him. [Potts, p. 184, note 4]
1796 – Louisville, KY. Charles Croghan born. He will die in infancy. [Potts, p. 67]
1818 – Louisville, KY, Locust Grove. George Rogers Clark dies. Richard Clough Anderson and Robert Tompkins report to their respective families that the gallant gentleman’s last words were, waving his hand, “Come on my brave boys! St. Vin…” He is buried in the family graveyard; later moved to Cave Hill Cemetery.
David Poignaud, present at the funeral, said that Judge John Rowan’s remarks “at the coffin Head of the Genl. Were made in a conversational tone… There were only some 6 or 8 in the room. The relations & household were on the other side of the passage from the room where the services were conducted.
George Washington Clark, also present remembered that “it was a very stormy, snowy day, funeral services at the house.”
On 7 March 1818, the Vincennes Western Sun: The Rev. Mr. Banks officiated in his professional capacity by offering up an appropriate prayer to the throne of grace &c. and was succeeded by the Hon. J.Rowan, in a pathetic and impressive eulogy on the character of the ever memorable hero. The peal of artillery announced the commencement of the procession which was to escort the remains of this renowned warrior to his last abode. Minute guns were fired during the ceremony and until the mound of earth was raised upon that form which was once the shield of his country and the terror of her foes.
A line from Rowan’s eulogy was remembered by all, but has not been found in Rowan’s hand, or in some firsthand accounts of the funeral. “The mighty oak of the forest has fallen, and now the scrub oaks may sprout all around.”
Several early published accounts report that there is no stone to mark the great man’s rest. [Potts, p. 92-3]
1979 – Louisville, KY. Samuel W. Thomas interviews Robert Lee Waters: When the barn was used, our stock was in that little stable as they called it down by the fruit house. We found a picture that showed the fruit house and it also shows where they made the brick for the house. And old Judy, the white horse is standing out there. The little stable was out past where the caretaker’s cabin is now. It was out there where there is a lot of rock. It faced Blankenbaker’s Lane. The fruit house or granary was on an angle and faced the orchard. It was northwest of the little stable, just over the fence where the Sams are. That is where they stored grain, or when they were growing grapes, that is where they brought them. It set up on pillars. It was a two-story building with sheds on each side of it. That was where some of the machinery was kept. The cow barn was behind the caretaker’s cabin. The long corncrib near the cow barn was torn down in 1912. The old silo was there, too. [Potts, p. 123]
14 February –
1796 – Louisville, KY, Locust Grove. Charles Croghan born. [Renau, p. 64]
15 February –
1842 – New York, NY. The Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer comments on Mary Croghan’s elopement with Edward W.H. Schenley: It is not our custom to notice matters of notoriety, but in the present instance, we are induced to depart from the rule… The young lady in question is a Miss Croghan, a niece of Col. Croghan, and heiress to a large fortune, bequeathed to her by her grand-father, the late General O’Hara, of Pittsburgh. The gentleman is Capt. Wyndham Schinley, formerly of the British army and now a member of the mixed commission in Surnam, related, we are assured, to many distinguished English families. [Potts, p. 107]
William Croghan Jr. had left his only surviving child, Mary Elizabeth, with her aunt, Elizabeth O’Hara Denny and her husband Harmar Denny. Early in 1837, eleven-year-old Miss Croghan entered Mrs. Macleod’s fashionable Brighton School, on Staten Island. O’Fallon, Butler, Jesup and Denny cousins surrounded her. Nevertheless, in January 1842, Mary eloped with Mrs. Macleod’s brother-in-law, Edward Wynham Harrrington Schenley. Mary was not yet 16; Schenley was 43 – and eloped with two previous wives.
Mrs. Macleod and her school were ruined. Upon hearing the news, William Croghan Jr. fainted, perhaps having suffered a slight stroke. He demanded that the United States Navy stop the ship carrying the fugitives. He was unsuccessful in this bid; but the Pennsylvania legislature passed a law conferring the vast estates of the late James O’Hara on Croghan, leaving Mary Croghan Schenley penniless.
The marriage, however, was a happy one, lasting until Schenley’s death some 37 years and seven children later. William Croghan relented, bought the newlyweds a home in London, but asked them to live with him in Pittsburgh. They resided in England, but visited the United States frequently.
16 February –
1801 – Thomas Jefferson writes to Robert R. Livingston naming him minister plenipotentiary to France. News of the transfer of Louisiana back to France hits the American frontier 21 March 1801, and the port of New Orleans is once more closed. It is October before Livingston and his party sail for France aboard the USS Boston. [Potts, p. 77]
17 February –
1792 – Louisville, KY. William Sullivan sells to Colonel Richard Taylor 175 acres of land belonging to Shelby Brooks. [Renau, p. 49]
1793 – Paris, France. Thomas Paine writes to James O’Fallon and to George Rogers Clark advising them that Clark’s proposal to invade Spanish Louisiana is under serious consideration by the government of the French Republic. [Potts, p. 71]
1826 – Louisville, KY. John Croghan, still fretting that Mary Bullitt has married General Henry Atkinson, instead of him, writes to Thomas Sidney Jesup: If I can meet with a woman of good sense I would have no objection to marry, provided it suited my convenience.” [Potts, p. 103] Little wonder he remained a bachelor, despite numerous opportunities to wed.
18 February –
1818 – Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada. Quixotic, alcoholic, abused and abusing, Simon Girty dies. [KE, p. 374-5]
19 February –
1884 – Louisville, KY. A cyclone rolls up the Ohio River and knocks out the west gable of Locust Grove. [Potts, p. 117]
20 February –
1782 – Big Bone Lick, KY. George Rogers Clark to Thomas Jefferson, along with some observations: I Received your favr. By Colo. Boon. … Got a Thigh & Jaw Bone, Grinder and Tusk. The Animal had no foreteeth that I could ever discover and [was] by no means Carnivorous as many suppose. You may be assur’d that I shall inbrace the first opportunity to get them and have them Convey’d to some part of the Frontier Convenient to you.” (See 3 October 1789; 10 September 1807.) [Potts, p. 42]
21 February –
1791 – Jefferson County, KY. Frances Eleanor Clark and James O’Fallon receive a marriage license. James O’Fallon also signs a pre-nuptial agreement guaranteeing Frances 5,000 pounds sterling in the event of his death. [Potts, p. 196, note 4]
1812 – Richmond, VA. Legislator Charles Fenton Mercer, has championed the cause of George Rogers Clark. He writes: My object was to secure to him, the half pay of a Colonel for the residue of his life; and to replace the sword which had been given to him by this state many years ago and which (under an impression that Virginia had treated him with injustice) he had proudly broken and thrown away. (See 24 February 1812.) [Potts, p. 89]
22 February –
1797 – Mulberry Hill farm, Louisville, KY. William Clark writes to his brother Edmund Clark about nephew John Gwathmey, then in residence at Locust Grove: he is the darling there and they think here [Mulberry Hill] the earth does not produce his equal. [Potts, p. 200, note 105]
1810 – Williamsburg, VA. College of William and Mary. George Croghan writes to his brother, William Jr, a student at Transylvania College, Lexington, KY. “I can write no more at present, for I must prepare for a great ball the students is to give tonight.” [Potts, p. 67]
23 February –
1755 – Williamsburg, VA. General Edward Braddock arrives and meets with Governor Dinwiddie. He has been sent to prevent an Indian-French alliance, which could be disastrous to the Duke of Cumberland’s land schemes. [Renau, p. 8]
1779 – Vincennes, IN. George Rogers Clark reaches Fort Sackville. He sends a letter to the residents: remain in your houses and “enjoy the liberty I bring you” or “those (if any there be) that are friends to the King, will instantly repair to the fort and join the hair Buyer Genl and fight like Men.”
1809 – Clarksville, IN. Dr. Richard Ferguson first treats George Rogers Clark’s burned right leg. [Renau, p. 118]
1828 – New York, NY. George Croghan writes to Thomas Sidney Jesup: I have twice seen J.J. Astor of late and finding from his conversation that money was unusually scarce in this city, I did not ask of him a loan. [Potts, p. 103]
24 February –
1779 – Vincennes, IN. Clark sends a message to Hamilton ordering his immediate surrender “to save yourself from the Impending Storm that now Threatens you.” Hamilton replies that “he and his Garrison are not disposed to be awed into any action Unworthy of British subjects.” After heavy firing on both sides, Hamilton asks for a three-day truce, which Clark refuses. Clark does agree to meet a messenger at the church. The messenger presents Hamilton’s articles of capitulation. Clark relies with his terms: “I expect you shall immediately surrender yourself with your Garrison prisoners at discretion. If any of the stores be destroyed or any letters or papers burned, you may expect no mercy, for by Heavens you shall be treated as a murtherer.”
A party of pro-British Indians come up. Clark “Orded the Prisoners to be Tomahawked in the face of the Garrison.” He thus demonstrated the British impotence to both the American Indians and to the British themselves. [Cayton; p. 71-3]
1812 – Richmond, VA. Charles Fenton Mercer writes to James Monroe: I succeededin getting through both branches of the Assembly in one day a bill for the relief of General George Rogers Clark. I had the house in tears with me for many minutes…in bringing in a bill giving the largest pension that has ever been granted by the Commonwealth. (See 21 February 1812.) Clark was to receive $400 annually. A sword was also to be forged by the State Manufactory of Arms to accompany the pension. [Potts, p. 89]
25 February –
1779 – Vincennes, IN. George Rogers Clark accepts Henry Hamilton’s unconditional surrender. [KE, p. 19Deaths –
1879 – Louisville, KY. Steamboat captain James Paul dies at Locust Grove, which he purchased from George Croghan, Westchester County, NY, in late December 1878. He was only 48 years old and was said to leave a large fortune. [Potts, p. 115]
26 February –
27 February –
1807 – Louisville, KY. William Clark’s resignation as first lieutenant in artillery accepted. He had been promised a captain’s commission in infantry, instead receiving a second lieutenancy in artillery. In February, 1806, President Thomas Jefferson had proposed Clark for a lieutenant colonel’s commission in the army, but the Senate denied this. Instead, he was commissioned a brigadier general of the Louisiana Territory militia and was appointed Indian agent of the territory. [EL, p. 199-200]
1817 – New York, NY. George Croghan writes: I have left the army. I am shortly to be married and I have resolved on establishing myself as a farmer in the neighborhood of Louisille and there to enjoy ‘time cum dignity’ (as the landowners have it). The young lady to whom I am engaged is the niece to Edward Livingston of New Orleans and the …daughter of J.R. Livingston of this city.” He had met his intended in 1816 on a visit to New York, and described her as “the fairest flower of the Hudson.” [Potts, p. 97]
28 February –
29 February –