Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ambrose Coffee - 1809 Land Dispute Deposition

From the History and genealogies of the families of Miller, Woods, Harris, Wallace, Maupin, Oldham, Kavanaugh, and Brown.

(I, page 22 1 Ambrose Coffee, at the same time and place, before the same Commissioners, in the same case.)

I first became acquainted with this Muddy Creek that we are now at in the year 1777, and with Deban's Run in March, 1779. Old Mr. Duree, Peter Duree, Henry Duree, Peter Cossart came out in company with myself from Boonesborough. We came up the East Fork of Otter Creek to where the trace forked. Said old Mr. Duree, we will take the right hand fork, and we followed that trace or buffalo road it was, and blazed until we fell upon the Run that we are now at. So soon as we could come to this Run, old Mr. Duree, says he, there is Deban's Run, and says he, I gave it its name. His two sons, Peter Cossart that was with him, and myself, the other three said the same, and said they called it Deban's Run.

In the spring of 1781, deponent and John Banta and Albert Bones came out a hunting from Boonesborough to Banta's cabins and killed some buffalos and returned to Boonesborough. These people, Durees and Cossart, were not all killed by the Indians in the year 17 80, but I think Peter Duree and John Bullock and John Bullock's wife — a daughter of old man Duree — were killed in the year 17 82, as well as I remember; but I kept no memorandum of it.

Old Mr. Duree, I don't know when he died, but Henry Duree and Daniel Duree were killed at the While Oak Spring in an early period. Cassart was killed at Boonesborough on an early date.

Thirty-three years ago I came to Kentucky, in the year 1776, and landed at the town called Lee's Town, on the Kentucky; from thence Major Crittenden & Co. went near the head of Willis Lee's Run, waters of Elkhorn, and now known by Crittenden's Camp. There we cleared a piece of ground and planted corn in the same year, 1776, and in the fall of 1776 Major Crittenden & Co. went up the Ohio and I went to Harrodsburg, and there I continued part of that fall and the greater part of the winter; and report came that Colonel Boone was taken, from the Lower Blue Licks to Logan's Station, and to Harrodsburg the report came; and one Richard May raised a company to go to the Lower Blue Licks to see what was done. I was one of the company with Richard May.

Some time in February, 1777, we arrived at Boonesborough, and there I continued till 1785 or 1786, and moved then out of Boonesborough into Bush's Settlement; stayed there a year or two; from that there were two of the Martin's built a mill on Lower Howard's Creek and there I attended that mill going upon two years, and then Colonel Solder bought her, and after he bought her I attended her near two years, and from that I moved up to the head of Spencer Creek, near old Nicholas Anderson's, and from that to Slate Creek, where I now live, near Myer's Mill. I knew no fields in 1781.

I knowed Banta's Improvement. It was up here above the mouth of Deban's Run on the bank of Muddy Creek, and the Improvement where Peter Duree, John Bullock and John Bullock's wife were killed, on the branches of Muddy Creek.

Ques. by Green Clay. When you came over the high seas were you sold in America as a servant? Who did you serve your time with? and who is there in this country that knew you in your servitude?

Ans. Yes, I was sold as a servant. I served my time with John Huff, and I don't know that there is any person in this country that knew me in my servitude. (It was proved that he was sold for passage fare over the sea.)

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