1819: Joel Lambert to William Withers

Gravestone of

Gravestone of Joel Lambert

This letter was written by Joel Lambert (1796-1878), the son of Joel & Martha (Bennett) Lambert. “His parents removed to Kentucky during his early childhood, and settled permanently in Henderson County. He received a limited education, but the best afforded at that early day in Kentucky. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and served six months in the New Orleans campaign, under General Jackson. After the restoration of peace, he returned home, and for several years clerked in a dry goods store where he acquired a reputation for sterling worth and honesty, and was trusted with what was called “interchanging” – transferring money from merchants between different points in the country. This business carried him largely through the unsettled portions of the State to Frankfort, Lexington, Russellville and other centers of trade, and was a position of great responsibility and danger. Mr. Lambert was never appointed Sheriff of the county because he was never a magistrate, and, under the old constitution, the senior magistrate was always entitled to the office of Sheriff, and was with one exception, so appointed. It was also custom of Magistrates appointed to the sheriffalty to farm out the office, that is to say, sell it to the highest and best bidder. Under this arrangement Mr. Lambert served from 1818 to 1832, either as principal or deputy, with great credit to himself and general satisfaction to the county. During his term of office it fell to his lot to officiate at several hangings, and to escort several criminals overland on horseback to the penitentiary of the State.”

Robert Bleakley (1767-1851) was native of Ireland. He fled his homeland during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 to avoid arrest and settled in Hardin County, Kentucky. He married Doras Withers (1785-1868), the daughter of William W. Withers (1746-1821) and Hannah Rosser (1747-1825).

Stampless Letter

Stampless Letter

Addressed to William Withers, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Henderson, Kentucky
June 1st 1819


Image 20If there has been such ____ as you have described, I have never seen it. If you will inclose me a ___ for Col. Harrison,¹ I can execute it. He lives in my bounds. General Philip Barbour ² formerly lived also in them but he is long since dead.

Yours, — Joel Lambert, D. S. [Deputy Sheriff]

[In another hand]

This is the only answer that has come to hand to your letter. We are all well.

Yours &c., — Robert Bleakeley
5th June 1819


¹ The identity of Col. Harrison has not yet been confirmed though we learn he was a resident of Henderson County, Kentucky in 1819.

Maj. Gen. Samuel

Maj. Gen. Samuel Hopkins, Jr.

² Brig. Gen. Phillip Edwin Barbour (1770-1818) married Elizabeth Branch Hopkins (1788-1853), the daughter of Major General Samuel Hopkins, Jr. (1753-1819) and Elizabeth Branch Bugg (1756-1831).


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