John W. Stevens Letter, Jan. 2, 1879

  Jan 2, 1879  Dear Sir:  I will now say something of my life in my young days.  My mother was a White before marriage, and lived in Fayette county, near Bryans station, when married, so I claim to be at least half white.  I have stated that I was borne in 1796, near where Alexandria now is.  I was raised on a farm and put to work when young, as it was the custom of the settlers of that day.  As there was an abundance of poplar timber here and there, there began to be some demand for lumber in Cincinnati.  We young men commenced using the whip saw, sawing the poplar timber into lumber suitable for building purposes.  This lumber was hauled five miles to the Ohio River, oftentimes on a log sled, and then rafted to Cincinnati.  This lumbering was kept up for a number of years as it was the only way young men had to make a little money.  This was my work when not on the farm.  I write this to show the young men of this day what their fathers and grandfathers had to pass through to get such clothing as young people wore that day.  I also write this to show young men and women of this generation what their ancestors had to pass through to pave the way for this advanced stage of civilization, and to secure them comforts and luxuries they now enjoy.  (to  be continued)  John Stevens


From the Newport Local, January 2, 1879