Jesse James Rule Family History

Raymond Thomas Rule

Jesse James Rule Family History

Compiled by Lori Oschefski 2007-2011

This book is dedicated to the memory
of Beulah G. Francis Rule June 9 1913 - December 29 2010

Beulah Rule was born on June 9 1913, the daughter of Edward Rule and his wife Mae Dellinger. Beulah was raised in Kansas and would eventually move into the San Francisco area. She was the second born of five siblings including: Blanch, Elva, Earnest and Dolores. Over her life Beulah would marry several times however, she would not have any children. Beulah was a strong and independent woman. She was a compassionate person, kind hearted and caring. Beulah lived a full 97 years. At the time of her death she was still independently living and her mind was very sharp. I met Beulah about 18 months ago during a family geological project. I had the honor of sharing many phone conversations with Beulah as she helped me put the family history together. Beulah had a great sense of humor and a great pride in her independence. She could stand her own ground. She was honest, open and not afraid to speak her mind. Her demeanor was tempered with her compassion for others. She was a wonderfully caring human being. As a young girl she had taken on responsibility for helping to care for her siblings after her parents marriage had dissolved. The children were then raised by their father Edward. Beulah loved her father dearly and often spoke about him. He is remembered as a wonderful loving man. In the few months before her death Beulah was concerned about her brother Ernie and had wanted to travel to visit him in Alaska. Sadly Ernie passed away just a few weeks before Beulah and she was very upset with the news of his passing. Ancestry and genealogy was very important to Beulah. She was very grateful to have learned things about her own ancestry before she died. Though family research she was able to reconnect with family members and had enjoyed many visits, in person and phone calls, with them over this past couple of years. Lorie Gagnier and her sister Elaine visited her many times. Peg Dellinger Haynes from Kansas, Alva O’Conner from Hawaii and myself, Lori Oschefski from Canada kept in close phone contact with her. She was over the moon with her newly found family and had told us many times that "God has sent you all to me". On her final birthday, June 9 2010 all her family was called upon to send cards and make this a birthday to remember. They responded with enthusiasm and Beulah received many cards, photos and even a music CD which was recorded for her by her cousin Cliff Rule in Alberta, Canada. She received visits with family who lived closer. When speaking to her on her birthday she was just glowing with all the attention. She told me that she was so happy and that she felt "just like a princess". Beulah was able to provide a lot of information for this project, giving me key pieces of the family history which allowed me to put it together and find our family members. It is only fitting and right that the dedication of this book should be in her memory. She knew of this books making, somehow I think she would be proud to be remembered this way.

“You can’t ever change who you are, where you came from or what your relatives have left as a legacy. So ya just gotta do the best you can with what you’ve been dealt and to hell with anyone who can’t understand”

Raymond Thomas Rule

The Rule family has its roots richly embedded in American History. This introduction is meant to place their family history within the context of the historical events taking place during the time periods covered in this book. British colonization of America was still relatively new when the Rules first immigrated to America in 1739. European inhabitation of America had only dated back about three hundred years at that point. Prior to the European colonization of America the only inhabitants were the indigenous American Indians. Over the centuries the Indians had developed skills and techniques in farming,hunting and trapping that had ensured their survival. It was imperative for the survival and expansion of the colonies to adopt the skills that had served their Native Indians neighbors well. The Indians and the colonists developed a dependence on each other because of the lucrative fur trade. The Indians would supply the colonist with the furs from trapping in trade for supplies they needed. The colonist in turn would sell the furs to Europe for hats and other clothing. The colonies expanded and the two worlds existed peacefully for a time. Unfortunately, conflict ensued because the two worlds had very different value systems. The Europeans saw the Indian’s as primitives, illiterate, uncivilized lawless and godless people. They did not understand the Native Culture. The conflict between the two worlds would last centuries. The Indians would fight fiercely to protect their assets and communities. The fierceness in which the Indians fought coupled with the fact the North American Indians did not believe in the “Christian God” that the Europeans did caused the Indians to be views as “godless savages”. These conflicts, called the Indian Wars, would last until the 1918 battle “Battle of Bear Valley”. Colonization of America was difficult and early attempts at settlement failed. The early English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia was initially not successful. One hundred and four settlers arrived to settle there in May of 1607. These initial settlers were unprepared for the harsh realities of the New World and shortly after arrival they were under fire from the Indians. By 1608 only 38 survived. By 1609 the surviving settlers abandoned the colony. Their flight back to England was intercepted by Lord De La Ware who managed to persuade the settlers to return to Jamestown. The colony would struggle for decades under hardships. In 1619 twenty captive Africans were sold into slavery to the Jamestown colony thus beginning the two hundred and forty year history of Slavery in the British North America. In 1620 the ship Mayflower brought a group of English separatists to America. They would land at what is now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts. On board were one hundred and two passengers of which about half were religious Puritan separatists seeking a life where they could practice their religion freely. These passengers would become know as the “Pilgrims”. The first passenger to set foot on Plymouth Rock was John Alden. John Alden was the eighth great grandfather of Jesse Rule though his great great grandaughter Abagail Alden’s marriage to Ebenezer Byram. Their grandaughter Phebe Byram would marry Thomas Rule. Phebe and Thomas were Jesse’s great great grandparents. John Alden was the seventh signer of forty one men of the “Mayflower Compact”. This was a written agreement between the new settlers with fair and equal laws for their general good and survival. The Pilgrims knew that the New World’s earlier settlers failed due to a lack of government. This agreement coupled with the Indians who taught the Pilgrims how to fish, grow corn, and farm the land, ensured this colony’s survival. Plymouth would become America’s oldest continuously inhabited British settlement in the modern United States. In the fall of 1621 the Pilgrims held a feast to give thanks to God and the Native American Indians for helping them survive their first brutal winter. This feast is credited with being the first “Thanksgiving” and provided enough food to feed 53 pilgrims and 90 Indians. Between 1607 and 1733 thirteen British Colonies were established in America, founded along what is now the east coast of the United States. Virginia was founded in 1607, Massachusetts in 1620, New Hampshire in 1623, Maryland in 1634, Connecticut in 1635, Rhode Island in 1636, Delaware in 1638, North Carolina in 1653, South Carolina in 1663, New Jersey in 1664, New York in 1664, Pennsylvania in 1681 and Georgia founded in 1732. These thirteen colonies would eventually become the first original United States of America. Pennsylvania was founded by William Pen, a pacifist Quaker, with a land grant owed to his deceased father. He was looking to create a colony that allowed for freedom of religion due to his desire to protect himself and fellow Quakers from persecution. Freedom of worship and religion was granted to all settlers. By 1700 Pennsylvania was the third biggest and richest colony in the New World. Samuel Rule, Jesse’s third great grandfather and the first known member of this Rule line to come to America, immigrated into Pennsylvania in about 1739. Samuel, his wife and their family lived in Pennsylvania until 1789 when the family would move to Bourbon County, Kentucky. The thirteen colonies would reluctantly remain under the rule of Great Britain. Britain would introduce a series of laws in an attempt to increase control over the colonies. The British government tired introducing taxes in Britain without much success. The citizens revolted and they had no choice but to repeal the tax. They then looked to the untaxed British colonies by first imposing the “Sugar Tax”. This was a tax applied to non-British goods coming into the colonies. Revenue was not as good as expected and since there was very little upset in the colonies with the tax, the Crown tried again with a stamp tax. This tax, applied to all kinds of documents, newspapers and such, affected everyone.

The colonies were furious. Benjamin Franklin was sent to London, England to argue the tax with the agreement that internal taxes would not be accepted but external taxes, like customs, would be. The Crown had no choice but to repeal the stamp tax, but citing the agreement with Benjamin Franklin were soon taxing other items coming into the colonies. The colonies responded by boycotting those items and once again the Crown had to repeal the tax. They did so but with the exception of the tax on tea. The American colonies were big tea drinkers and this tax was the trigger for the revolution “The Boston Tea Party” of 1773. On December 16, 1773, after officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, a group of colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party would be one of the major trigger points for the outbreak of war. The American colonies dissatisfaction with the new laws and the taxation attempts of Britain resulted with the break out of the American Revolutionary War, also known as the American War of Independence (1775-1783). This war began as a conflict between Britain and the colonies and concluded in a global war between several European countries. Jesse’s second great grandfather, Thomas Rule served as a soldier for America during this war. The colonies were unprepared for war and quickly formed their first Continental congress which directed the war. In 1775 they appointed George Washington as their commander in chief of their army. George Washington would later serve as the first President of the United States. Most of the American Indians, seeing this as an opportunity to stop the colonies expansion in to their land sided with Britain in the war. Frontier warfare in this war was particularly brutal because of this division within the county. The result of the war in America was the downfall of British rule in the colonies and the rise of the revolutionaries own independent nation, The United States of America. The British made peace with the Indians in 1783 with the “Treaty of Paris” but they continued to take their land. This lead to the “Northwest Indian War” in 1785. The period of time following the Revolutionary War to the Civil War of 1861 is called the Antebellum Age. It was time of great changes in the United States, marked by the industrial revolution, increased slavery in the south and America’s expansion westward into the county. Although the former colonies were now fully independent, the new nation was plagued with problems in governance, commerce, and internal social concerns. The end of war changed life in the colonies dramatically and it would take many years to assess and rectify the problems that followed independence. Because the United States was no longer part of the complex British mercantile system, key exports were lost. This included rice, indigo and tobacco. In Southern states, the loss of once profitable commodities forced planters to convert to cotton production, made even more lucrative through the invention of the cotton gin in 1793. The war had also produced enormous national debt with millions owed to the French and Dutch governments. Finally, individual states maintained heavy debt loads while individuals that had invested in war bonds despaired of seeing those sums redeemed. The newly independent county looked to taxation to help pay these debts. Opposition to raising existing taxes made the government look else where to introduce a new tax. The vast majority of citizens of the States were farmers and some if not all of these farmers distilled their own whiskey or bourbon. In 1791 the government imposed a ten cent per gallon tax on the domestically produced whiskey. Initially President Washington was not sure how the settlers in the backwoods would react to the tax. They were among the poorest families in the nation, most just scraping by on their farms of one hundred acres or less. The backwoodsmen distilled most of the excess grain from their crops into whiskey which they used in barter to get tool, clothes and other necessities. Barter was the basis of the backwoods economy, few settlers saw much cash money. Demanding that they somehow must come up with a dime to pay the tax collector for every gallon of whiskey was likely to infuriate them. In 1791 President Washington met with local officials from Pennsylvania and Virginia, eager to please him, they assured him that once the necessity of this tax was explained to the people of their states they would pay it without complaint. They were wrong. This tax was vehemently opposed by farmers especially those in Pennsylvania where one quarter of the nations stills were located. The whiskey tax threatened farmers with economic hardship and they simply did not have the currency to pay the tax collectors. The frontiersmen reacted violently, ambushing tax collectors in the forest The problems simmered for a few years before escalating in what is known as the “Whiskey Rebellion” of 1794. The civil protests had become an armed rebellion. President George Washington recruited a militia force and he personally led the army of over twelve thousand troops into Western Pennsylvania. This force easily put down the Whiskey Rebellion because the farmers, faced with such a large force and notable commander, quickly dispersed. This insurrection also marked the first time that the new government used military force to gain authority over the nations citizens. The suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion also had the unintended consequence of encouraging small whiskey producers in Kentucky and Tennessee, which remained outside the sphere of federal control for many more years to come. In 1796 Jesse’s second great grandfather Thomas Rule, a resident of Bourbon County, Kentucky, was sued in Federal Court for not paying his taxes on his whiskey. The hated whiskey tax was repealed in 1803, having been largely unenforceable outside of Western Pennsylvania, and even there never having been collected with much success. Religious freedom in the colonies was the foundation of their existence. The colonies became a patchwork of religious diverse communities. People all over the world wanted the religious freedom found in American and began to immigrate to the States causing the population in America to grow very rapidly. Religion would inevitably become a dominant part of American politics. Events such as the Salem Witchcraft Trials of the 1690’s in Massachusetts and the Great Awakening of the 1730’s (a period of heightened religious activity in the colonies) brought national attention to the American Colonies and increased the influence of religion in the colonies.

By the 1800’s a second period of religious awaking called “The Second Religious Revival” has started sweeping the country. This movement was characterized by the formation of Camp Meetings which were a phenomenon of American frontier Christianity. Thousands of people had moved into the previously trackless frontier and there was a lack of organized churches and even fewer ministers. The “Camp Meeting” was a innovative response to this situation. Word of mouth would tell that there was to be a religious service at a certain location. Many would have to travel days to attend obliging them to camp out on the grounds. Pioneers in thinly populated areas looked to the camp meeting as a refuge from the lonely life on the frontier. The sheer exhilaration of participating in a religious revival with hundreds and perhaps thousands of people inspired the dancing, shouting and singing associated with these events. In the early 19th century a group of Shakers were attracted to Kentucky by this revivalist movement. The Shakers were originally

located and constructed in England in 1747, by a woman named Ann Lee. Shaker groups believe that everybody could find God within him or herself, rather than through clergy or rituals. Lives should be dedicated to pursuing perfection and continuously confessing their sins and attempting a cessation of sinning. Shakers also enforced the strict commitment of celibacy.
In 1801 Cane Ridge, Bourbon County, Kentucky was the site of a large Camp Meeting drawing thousands of people. The Shakers took part in this Camp Meeting and soon recruited members who were influenced by their preaching. In December of 1806 the first forty four converts of legal age signed signed a covenant agreeing to mutual support and the common ownership of property. They began living together on the one hundred and forty acre farm of Elisha Thomas. The community, called Pleasant Hill, quickly grew and the property swelled to over four thousand acres of land. In 1789 Jesse Rule’s second great grandparents Thomas Rule and Phebe Byram had moved to Bourbon County. Thomas owned substantial land there and served as the Sheriff of Bourbon County from 1815 to 1817. In 1817, Thomas and Phebe suddenly changed their lives by joining this Shaker sect. They would bring to the community eight of their twelve children and turn over to the sect their vast land holding and property. Thomas, Phebe and many of their children would live out their lives at Pleasant Hill. Thomas would become a well respected and prominent member of this sect. The children they brought into this community would remain unmarried and therefore would never bear children. Most of this generation of Rule’s are found buried in the Shaker Cemetery in Pleasant Hill, their graves unmarked. Thomas and Phebe’s son John Rule, Jesse’s great grandfather, had married Theodocia Collins eleven years before his parents conversion. Their son Thomas R Rule, Jesse’s grandfather was born in 1809. Thus our Rule line survived the Shakers harsh commitment of celibacy and aggressive recruitment activities. John Rule passed away at an early age leaving his widow “Dicy” as she was called, to raise their children. Between 1830 and 1832 Dicy and her oldest son Thomas R Rule moved the family into Clay County, Missouri where several of them including Thomas would marry and raise families. In 1832 Thomas R Rule would marry Clarissa Martha Pence there. The Pence family were neighbors to one of the most famous families from this area, the family of Reverend Robert James. Rev James’s two sons would become the notorious outlaws Frank and Jesse James. The Shakers sect in general declined after the onset of the Civil War had cut off their supply of converts and economic changes ruined the market for Shaker goods. The Civil War, also known as the “War Between the States” began in 1861 and quickly became the largest armed conflict in American history. In 1793 with Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin, cotton became a very profitable product. The number of plantations willing to grow cotton also increased the need for cheap labor, in the form of slaves. The southern economy became dependent upon cotton production and therefore on slavery. The northern economy was based more on industry then agriculture. The Northern society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. The South continued to hold on to an antiquated social order. Since the Revolutionary War there had been conflict between federal control of the states and the States individual rights. The States had won their independence from Britain but despite the need to do so, they were not ready to unite with each other. In 1877 the US Constitution was born with its initial plan for unity. Many felt that the new constitution denied the states the right to act independently and when the states felt they were no longer respected, eleven states withdrew from the Union. Increasingly, the northerners became more polarized against slavery. Sympathies began to grow for abolitionists and against slavery and slave holders. Conflict increased when deciding whether new States would be admitted as Salve States or Free States. In 1803 the United States government purchased a large parcel of land of over eight hundred thousand square miles, thus doubling the size of America. This purchase was known as the “Louisiana Purchase”. Conflict arose when deciding if these new states would be Slave States or Free States. In this new property was the state of Missouri. Missouri was an agricultural state and therefore felt they needed their slaves. The Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820 prohibiting slavery in the new States with the exception of Missouri. The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska act allowed the new settlers in these territories to decide if they were to be Slave States or Free States. The real issue occurred in Kansas where proslavery Missourians began to pour into the state to try and force it to be a slave state. They were called “Border Ruffians.”One of the most publicized events that occurred in Kansas was when on May 21, 1856 Border Ruffians ransacked Lawrence, Kansas which was known to be a staunch free-state area. Even though things were already coming to a head, when Lincoln was elected in 1860 South Carolina issued its “Declaration of the Causes of Secession.” They believed that Lincoln was anti-slavery and in favor of Northern interests. Before Lincoln was even president, seven states had seceded from the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Shortly after the inauguration of President Lincoln the American Civil War began.

William Quantrill was a Confederate guerrilla leader during the American Civil War. Guerrilla warfare was marked by vicious neighbor-against-neighbor fighting as grudges got settled. Often residents of one part of a single county took up arms against their counterparts in the rest of the vicinity. Bushwhacking, murder, assault, and terrorism were characteristics of this kind of fighting. Quantrill led a bushwhacker unit along the Missouri-Kansas border during the Civil War. On the 21st of August 1863 Quantrill led his group known as the Quantrill Raiders into Lawerence Kansas. Lawerence was targeted because of it towns long support of abolition and for attacking and destroying farms and plantations in Missouri’s pro-slavery counties. This attack known as the “Lawerence Massacre” left behind between 185 and 200 dead men and boys, one in four building burnt to the ground and most banks looted. The attack lasted four hours. Shortly before this raid Alexander Franklin James, an older brother to the infamous Jesse James, had joined the Quantrill Raiders. In late 1863 following the steps of his childhood friend and neighbor Bud Pence joined Frank in the Quantrill Raiders. Bud was first cousin to Jesse Rule’s grandmother, Clarissa Martha Pence and lived on the Pence family farm in Clay County. Six months later after Federal troops raided the Pence farm in Clay younger brother Donnie joined his brother. In 1864 sixteen year old Jesse James would join his brother Frank. Jesse, Frank, Bud and Donnie Pence would remain life long friends. The James family, Pence family and the Rule’s were all slave owing families as shown in the slave ownership schedules for this time period. The American Civil War is considered to be the bloodiest war ever. At least six hundred thousand men perished in this war. These casualties exceed the nation's loss in all its other wars, from the Revolution through Vietnam. The Civil War officially ended slavery and after years of reconstruction the individual states would end up joined together in a stronger union. The Civil War would also see the Rule family divided. On the 25th of August 1863 in retaliation of the massacre in Lawerence the Union Army issued General Order No 11 evicting thousands of Missourians in four counties from their homes near the Kansas border south of the Missouri River. The Union Army believed the guerrillas drew their support from the rural population of these counties. Following the eviction, virtually everything in these counties was systematically burned to the ground. These counties were Bates, Cass, Vernon and Jackson County. Jackson County was home to Jesse Rule’s grandfather Thomas R Rule and his family. Jesse Rule’s grandmother Clarissa had died in 1854 shortly after the birth of her eighth child who also died. Thomas had just six months before the evacuation order lost his second wife Elizabeth Grey following the birth of their fourth child, who also died. Following the eviction order Thomas would head to Clay County. He married for a third and final time there in 1865 to Margaret Baker. Shortly following this marriage they moved to Colorado. Thomas and Clarissa’s sons, sixteen year old James Thomas Rule and his older brother John fled to Kansas. James Thomas settled in Aubry, Johnson, Kansas and married Eudora Hampton, the daughter of one of his neighbors. Their second child born in 1875, bestowed with the name of the famous outlaw, would be Jesse James Rule.

The city seal of Lawrence commemorates Quantrill's attack with its depiction of a Phoenix rising from the ashes of the burnt city.

The First Generations Samuel Rule & Sarah Robinson
Jesse’s Third Great Grandparents

The First Generations
It is believed that the first generations of Rule’s came from Ireland immigrating into western Pennsylvania in about 1739. Samuel Rule, Jesse’s third great grandfather, was born in about 1739 in Ireland. The book “Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky” contains a biography written by George Robinson Rule, a great grandson of Samuel which states “"Samuel Rule who emigrated from Ireland, settled in western Pennsylvania, and married Sarah Robinson there before moving to Kentucky.” A story handed down through the generations maintains Samuel was born on the sea voyage from Ireland to America. The belief that Samuel and Sarah married in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is further substantiated in the Shaker records at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky in which their oldest child, Thomas Rule - Jesse’s second great grandfather, states he was born on the 16th of October 1761 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They would reside in Lancaster County until around 1778 when 17 year old Thomas enlisted into military service in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The 1783 tax returns for Huntington township, Westmoreland County list Samuel Rule with 225 acres, three horses, three cattle and seven sheep. Samuel and Sarah would have ten children, their first being Thomas. After Thomas came John, James, Andrew, Samuel, Matthew, Elizabeth, William, Sarah and Mary. Thomas married Phebe Byram - Jesse’s second great grandmother and daughter of Edward Byram and Phoebe Ann Coe in 1783 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Their first son, John Rule - Jesse’s great grandfather, was born there in about 1784. A second son, Edward Byram Rule was born there in November of 1785. Found in the Pennsylvania Archives under "Warranties of Land, County of Westmoreland 1773 to 1892" is a warrant for a survey dated 21 May 1785 for Samuel Rule. A warrant is a certificate authorizing a survey of a track of land, initiates title of a property and provides the basis for legal settlement but does not convey all rights to the property. The recipient of a patent is called the patentee. Located at the Westmoreland County Map Office at Greensburg, Pennsylvania is a photocopy of a plat (a map drawn to scale showing the divisions of a piece of land) of "Rules Choice", 201 3/4 acres, dated 16 Feb 1787 and noted to be from page 327 of Rolls Patent Book 8. “Rules Choice” was located in South Huntington Township. Series 3, Volume 22, page 416 of the Pennsylvania Archives includes tax returns for Huntington township of Westmoreland County for the year 1783. Samuel Rule is listed with 225 acres, three horses, three cattle and seven sheep. There are tax lists as well for Huntington Township for Samuel in 1786. It appears that Andrew, James and John sons of Samuel and Sarah, all unmarried in 1787, journeyed to Bourbon County, Virginia that year with the hope of settling in the area and eventually bringing their parents and siblings to a new home. The family came to to the Kentucky Territory while it was still part of Virginia. Kentucky was formally admitted as the 15th state on the 1st of June 1792. Andrew, James and John’s names first appear on the Bourbon, Kentucky tax listings in 1787. It is reasoned that Thomas stayed behind with his young family and to help his parents. Samuel and Sarah’s six remaining children would have been between the ages of one year and fourteen. Samuel and Sarah would have owned a considerable amount of land at this time and would have likely needed Thomas help to maintain the properties. Bourbon County was an area rich in timber, cane, pasture grass, fertile soil, and limestone and had many creeks and springs. Early Bourbon settlers claimed choice farmland and built homes, mills, taverns, warehouses, businesses, churches, and a courthouse on the hill near the area where Houston and Stoner creeks meet. This area was once called Hopewell and was renamed Paris in 1790. It became an economic centre as the population grew. Mainstays of the agrarian economy were corn, whiskey, hemp, tobacco, sheep, and horses. The unique Bourbon whiskey, aged in charred barrels, led to the proliferation of distilleries and taverns in the years before the civil war. Andrew, James and John do not show in the 1788 Bourbon tax rolls and could indicate that the brothers may have returned to Pennsylvania during that year to bring the remaining family members to Kentucky. Samuel and Thomas appear on the tax listings there in 1789. Samuel’s name appears on this following petition dated the 27th of October 1790 which is found in Petition No. 2277, Archive Dept., Virginia State Library: “To the Honourable and general Assembly at the Town of Richmond in the State of Virginia. The petition of Sundry of the Inhabitants of the County of Bourbon Humbly prays your Honours to Grant your Petitioners and Inspection for Tobacco on Stoner at the Town of Hopewell and your Petitioners in are in Duty your Humble Servts.” Samuel died somewhere between the 27th of October 1790 and 1791 when his name is replaced on the tax rolls by his widow Sarah, listed as the head of the household. Thomas, residing in Bourbon county, appears in the Westmoreland County court records selling the “Rules Choice” to Daniel Mathies Jr of Westmoreland County. The deed showing this transfer is found in the Pennsylvania archives, dated the 21st of September 1801. Thomas was paid 403 pounds, ten shillings for the property. Samuel’s widow Sarah remained in Bourbon county until her death on the 14th of March 1804. Her eldest son Thomas was appointed administrator of her estate and received the house and plantation where he was living in Bourbon county. The Kentucky Will Book B, page 242 records the will of Sarah Rule, signed the 13th of March 1804 and probated in July of 1804.

May 21, 1785 Warrant for a survey for Samuel Rule for 201 ¾ acres of land known as “Rules Choice”

June 15th 1785 Survey Samuel Rules property known as Rules Choice

Each survey page in a Copied Survey Book has a front and back. The front displays the shape of the tract, its measurements, the names of the owner and surrounding owners at the time, and a short paragraph of narrative information. The page number is shown as a stamped numeral in the upper right hand corner. The back of the page has no page number. It re-iterates basic information about the survey, and also shows the date that the survey was returned to the Land Office. Normally, the patent on the land was issued shortly after this return date.

Will of Sarah Rule - Bourbon County, KY Will Book B, page 242, 13 March 1804 In the name of God Amen: I Sarah Rule of the County of Bourbon and State of Kentucky widow woman being in a sick and low state of body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God for all his mercys, calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that is appointed for all mankind once to die, do make and ordain this my last that it is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul to the hands of Almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the Earth to be buryed in a decent Christian burel at the discretion of my Executor, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God, and as tuching of such earthly Estate whereas has pleased God to bless me with in this life, I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form. First I order my funeral charges and all my just debts to be paid, and I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Rule the house and plantation where he now lives, together with four beds, and the furniture thereunto belonging, during his and his wifes lives and after their death be Equly divided between his children, and further it is my will and desire that he my said son Thomas Rule may sell of dispose of the same as he may think proper or best for the use of himself children. I also give and bequeth unto my said son Thomas Rule all my right and interest in the estate of my son Andrew Rules estate (deceased) bouth real and parsonal to be disposed of in the same manner and way as above, and one half of my crop of Flax now on hand, and I give and bequeth unto my son John Rule the house and plantation where he now lives, together with an the household furniture and stock of every kind thereunto belonging during his and his wifes naterel lives, and after there deth to be Equly decided between there children, and further it is my desire that my said son John Rule may sell of dispose of the same in any way or manner he may think propper or best for the use of himself of children and I give and bequeth unto my Daughter Meary Rule the two beds and furniter thereunto belonging known by the name of myne and hir beds, and hir riding ?? and one half of my crop of Flax on hand together with ... spoon ... ?? ... of the stock now in ... possession ?? was left hir by hir Father in his last will and testament to be ... ?? . to hir by my Executor when she shall be of lawful ... ?? . - ., and I give and bequeth unto my Daughter ??ards and Sarah Rule one bed and fumitures and all my wering apperl to be divided beween them as my Executor may think proper, save my hat which I give to my son Thomas and the rest of my Estate it is my will and desire that it be Equly divided among my six sons and three Daughters; and I ?? make and ordain my son Thomas Rule to be the sole Executor of thismy last will and Testament hereby revoking all . . ?? . . heretofore made; In testimony hereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 13th day of March 1804. Sign sealed in presents of us mark Jonathan Dazey Joseph Whorton her Sarah (X) Rule William Kennett WNN

Thomas Rule & Phebe Byram
Jesse’s Second Great Grandparents

Thomas Rule, Jesse’s second great grandfather was born in Lancaster Co, in southeastern Pennsylvania on the 16th of October 1761. The family settled into Pennsylvania in the mid 1770’s. The area was then the frontier being opened by those seeking land and independence. Samuel has been documented in the tax lists of Huntington Township of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, in 1783 but they were there before then as Thomas served in the Westmoreland militia in 1778 at the age of 17. Westmoreland is located just east of modern Pittsburgh. Thomas was a soldier of the American cause during the Revolutionary War, serving several short tours of duty with Westmoreland County units of the Pennsylvania militia. According to his own recorded account, the 17 year old Thomas served three months in 1778, guarding stores and ammunitions at a place called “Manunces Mill”. In the spring of 1779, he took part in the pursuit of some Indians who were harassing the western settlers. In late summer of that year, he was part of a patrol on the Alleghany River above Pittsburgh at places he called “Key’s Community”, “Hill’s Station” and “Turtle Creek”. In the spring of 1780, and for short tours in 1781, he again served, apparently on guard duty, in and around Pittsburgh and on patrols against the Indians. Thomas was Lieutenant Colonel and Commander of the 47th Regiment of the Cornstalk Militia of Bourbon county Kentucky in October 1804. Brothers, Andrew, Matthew and Samuel were also officers. Thomas was also listed as a Private from September to October 1812 in the roll of Captain Hambleton's Company of Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia in the War of 1812. His his son Edward. And his brothers Matthew and James also served. For more then a century before the Revolutionary War, British colonies in North America provided pensions for disabled soldiers and sailors. Pension legislation in the United States evolved as the government tried to determined the best system to reward soldiers and their families for military service. The first pension legislation for the American colonies was enacted on the 26th of August 1776. This pension provided for those who were disabled in the service of the United States that were incapable of earning a living.

The statement found on the jacket of Thomas’s pension folder:
Thomas Rule of Mercer County in the State of Kentucky who was private commanded by Captain Stuart of the Regiment commanded by Col Monney in the North Carolina line for one year, inscribed on the roll of Kentucky at the rate of 40 dollars ? Cents per annum to commence on the 4th day of March 1831. Certificate of pension issued this 2nd day of December 1833. Arrears to the 4th of Sept 100.00. Semiannual allowance ending 4 March 20.00. Revolutionary Claim, Act June 7, 1832. Recorded by Dan Boyd, Clerk

The pension legislation of 7th of June 1832 was the last and most liberal of the service pension acts benefiting Revolutionary War veterans. This act provided that every officer or enlisted man who had served at least two years in the Continental Line or State troops, volunteers or militia, was eligible for a pension of full pay for life. Veterans who had served less than two years, but not less than six months, were eligible for pensions of less than full pay. This act did not require the applicant to demonstrate need. Its also provided that if the pensioner died money due could be collected by his widow or by his children.

Through the evolving pension legislation Thomas finally became eligible for a pension in 1832. His information is found in the Revolutionary War Pension File S31346. . The “S” in Thomas’s file number indicated that he was a “survivor” and also would usually indicate that the file contains a post 1800 approved application of a veteran for an invalid or service pension. On the 13th of November 1833 Thomas, now living in Mercer, Kentucky, applied for his pension. He was granted a soldier’s pension in recognition of his service. Payment records show he collected this pension until his death in 1846. Pension files were folded and placed in numbered paper jackets. They were arranged in three series: approved survivors pensions, approved widow’s pensions and rejected applications. In order to withdraw a specific claim, index books were arranged according to the first two letters of the sir name. In 1910-1912 these files were flattened out, stored in linen lined envelopes and arraigned alphabetically by sir name of the veteran. This was done to eliminate the usage of the index books and to protect the records from damage from frequent folding and unfolding. A fire on the 8th of November 1800 apparently destroyed all of the Revolutionary Pension applications and related papers before that date.

Pension application statement of Thomas Rule dated 1883 Describing his service during the Revolutionary War

Thomas’s pension application statement from November of 1833
State of Kentucky Mercer County On this 13th day of November AD 1833 personally appears before me a justice of the peace and one of the ___of Mercer County Court, Thomas Rule aged seventy two years who being first duly sworn according to the law ____on his oath makes his following decoration in order to obtain the benefits of the Act of Congress passed June 7 1832. That he entered the service of the ____ and in the following named officers and served ______. First: That he entered Captain John Stuart’s Company of Pennsylvania militia from Westmoreland County in said state as a substitute for one Isaac Miller who had been drafted for a tour of 3 months and marched to a place called Manunces Mill where the magazine and store house was kept and where we were stationed for 3 months and was discharged by Lt Col Mounce who had the command at that place. Second: Again in the year 1779 in the spring of this year, he entered Captain Coe’s Company militia from the same county and state as a volunteer for 3 months tour and marched in pursuit of the Indians. They had burned the block house at Michael Dougless where we remained but a short time and fled on in pursuit of the Indians and succeeded in gathering up the cattle belonging to the frontier people who had fled at the approach of the savages. We returned, having served our tour faithfully and was discharged by Col Hayes in Westmoreland County. Third: Again in the same year in July of August, we cannot recollect which he entered Captain Hugh Mitchell’s Company of Volunteers from the same county and state of a tour of 3 months and marched up the Allegheny River between Pittsburgh and Keys Community to Hills Station where we remained some time, from thence we marched to a camp about 12 miles above Pittsburgh on Turtle Creek, where we remained sometime. From thence we marched back to Westmoreland Co and was honourably discharged by Col Christopher Hays having served our tour faithfully. Fourth: Again in the Spring of this year 1780, he entered Captain Thomas Jones’s Company of volunteers from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and was detached to guard the wagons of ammunition. We guarded them to Petersburg and back again. We remained some considerable time at Pittsburgh. Says he served several short tours against the Indians in the same year and also in 1781 during which we were acting as scouts and spies. He is fully convinced that the short tour he served would be three months fully. Further states that he knows he served on other tours of three months at Pittsburgh but he cannot ___ the officer in command as General Irvine who was in Pittsburgh. He further states that I’ve served faithfully the tours set forth in his foregoing deposition and that _________of the same having long since lost his discharge, and knows of no person living in the county by whom _____, he further states that is is with good ______that he can attend the County _____in being old and infirm which is the reason that he ___this declaration before a Justice of the Peace for he would willingly appear before any court in the commonwealth to his _____ in Revolutionary War as stated in his forgoing declaration. He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency at any state .

Sworn before Isaac Pearson


Thomas Rule

Record of Pension Payment Schedule Kentucky Act of 7th June 1833

The Byram Family Connection
Thomas married Phebe Byram - Jesse’s second great grandmother in Westmoreland Pennsylvania in 1783. Phebe was the daughter of Edward Byram and Phoebe Ann Coe, Jesse’s third great grandparents. Phoebe Coe was the daughter of Benjamin Coe and Rachel Prudden, Jesse’s fourth great grandparents. Phebe’s brother Moses Coe’s direct descendents include Barbara Bush, wife of the 41st President of the United States, President George H. W. Bush and mother of the 43rd President, George W. Bush. Jesse James Rule therefore was the fifth cousin of Barbara and the fifth cousin once removed of President George W. Bush. Benjamin Coe helped organize the Presbyterian church in Morristown, New Jersey. Benjamin and Rachel were devout Presbyterians all their lives. Together they would have 14 children. On the 12th of September 1777 he was transferred by the church to the Redstone Presbytery in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. The Coes were all singers and many stories of their singing talents been handed down through the generations. Benjamin Coe could always be counted on to lead the singing at the meetings at the Redstone Presbytery. It is noted in the book “History of the Fulton Family” by R.E.F. Linn that "At a meeting, which Miss Coe (daughter of Benjamin) attended, the whole congregation quit singing and she found herself singing alone, all were listening to her lovely voice.” Jesse was known for his talented singing voice and his musical abilities as told to the author of this book by Beulah Rule, daughter of his brother Edward. During 1778 to 1783, Benjamin served as a private in Washington County, Pennsylvania militia in Moses Coe’s, his son’s Company, Rangers. After the Revolution Benjamin crossed the Allegheny River into the wilderness of the "Indian Country", and built a blockhouse on the river about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh at the present town of Springdale which was then called "Coe's Station" in honour of Benjamin, the area’s first settler. The blockhouse was erected to protect the white settlers from the Indians. Benjamin and his wife Rachel would live out their lives here.

The First US Federal Census of 1790
Showing Benjamin Coe as located in the "Depreciation Tract" Alleghany Co, Pennsylvania, as head of household with 5 males over 16, 4 males under 16 and 4 females. (this enumeration includes the families of his 2 sons Ebenezer Coe and Benjamin Coe who do not appear anywhere themselves as heads of families in that census.) Benjamin was then 80 years of age and no further record of him has been found.

Edward Byram, Phebe’s father and Jesse’s third great grandfather was born 1742 in Bridgewater and died in 1824 in Greenfield, Ohio. He married Phobe Coe ( born in 1743 Daughter of Benjamin Coe and Rachel Prudden) in 1762 at Morristown, NJ. He moved to Pennsylvania and on the 7th of April 1779 he and his eight year old daughter Abigail (Abby), were taken prisoner by a band of Seneca Indians. The captives suffered from cold, fatigue and hunger while in camp and on marches from place to place. They were taken to Canada and imprisoned for twenty one months at Fort Niagara. At first were in the the power of Joseph Brant, a Mohawk leader and British military office during the Revolutionary War. Joseph Brant was undoubtly the most well-known North American Indian of his generation. In America he is best remembered for his war time atrocities and in Canada for his efforts to regain land for the Mohawk people. He owned a great deal of land in Ontario and died in 1807 at his home at the head of Lake Ontario which is now the city of Burlington, Ontario. The city of Brantford, Ontario was named after Joseph Brant and is located on part of his property as well. Edward and Abby were eventually turned over to British Colonel John Butler, a loyalist or "Tory," whose headquarters was also at Ft. Niagara. Under Colonel Butler, life was difficult for the captives and they were treated unkindly. Edward was a prisoner and Abby lived in Colonel Butler's house as a servant and almost a slave to his family. In the spring of 1781 Edward was offered a conditional release for himself and Abby, that they would be freed if he take charge of other released prisoners moving them back into the States. They were released in Quebec after being shipped to Chambly some 200 miles up the St. Lawrence from Quebec, and then to Crown Point. Edward, Abby and the other released prisoners walked from Crown Point to Morristown, NJ., their old old home, through wild and rugged country. They arrived in Morristown late in August or early in September, 1781. Edward arrived in PennsylGrave of Abby Byram vania on the 5th of October 1781, two weeks before the surrender of Indian Captive Cornwallis at Yorktown, the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. Abby remained with her relatives in Morristown, NJ for a few years and then returned to Pennsylvania. She later married Joseph Collins and would live on the very farm where she was taken captive. Abby and Joseph were both members and Joseph an elder in the Presbyterian church. The book “Abby Byram and Her Father the Indian Captives” was written about their captivity in 1898 by Rev. John H. McElroy, D. D. It was reprinted in 1974. Edward Byram was the son of Ebenezer Byram and his wife Abigail Alden - Jesse’s fourth great grandparents. They were married on the 22nd of November 1738 in Bridgewater, Plymouth, Massachusetts. Abigail’s parents were Ebenezer Alden and his wife Anna Keith - Jesse’s fifth great grandparents. They were married in 1717 in Massachusetts. Ebenezer’s parents were Isaac Alden and his wife Mehitable Allen - Jesse’s sixth great grandparents. They were married the 2nd of December 1685. Issac’s parents were Joseph Alden and his wife Mary Simmons - Jesse’s seventh great grandparents. They were married in 1658. Joseph’s parents were John Alden and wife Priscilla Mullins - Jesse’s eighth great grandparents. John Alden was born in 1599 in Southampton, England. He was a ship carpenter by trade and was hired to do repair work on a ship that was usually docked in Southampton, the Mayflower. When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, John was aboard. He is said to have been the first passenger of the Mayflower to set foot on Plymouth Rock in the November of 1690. John was also one of the founders of the Plymouth Colony, a colonial venture in North America. The first settlement was at New Plymouth and is the modern town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. He was also the seventh signer of the Mayflower Compact, the first governing document of the new colony. The Mayflower Compact was written by a consensus of the new settlers and was drawn up with fair and equal laws for the general good of the settlement and the pilgrims own survival. Earlier attempts of settlement had failed because of lack of government. The pilgrims earlier celebrations giving thanks and praise for their good fortunes is said to have been the first celebrations of Thanksgiving. Also aboard the Mayflower was seventeen year old Priscilla Mullins. She was traveling with her parents William and Alice Mullins - Jesse’s ninth great grandparents, and her brother Joseph. William, Alice and Joseph all died the first winter in Plymouth. John and Priscilla were married in 1623 and said to have been the third couple married in the Plymouth Colony. The would have 10 or 11 children. John Alden was the last survivor of the signers of the Mayflower Compact and the second last survivor of the Mayflower’s passengers when he died on the 12th of September 1687. He was living in Duxbury, Ma when he died. John has the most descendents today of all the pilgrim families. Notable descendents include Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and vice president Dan Quayle.

The Graves of Ebenezer and Abigail Byram Buried in the Hilltop Cemetery Mendham Morris County

The home of John Alden in Duxbury Ma built in about 1653

The Family of Thomas and Phebe
After Thomas and Phebe married they lived in Huntington Township, Westmoreland for a while. Here their first two children would be born, John Rule - Jesse’s great grandfather, born in 1784 and Edward Byram Rule born in 1785. In 1789 the family moved to Bourbon County, Kentucky Territory, Virginia with Thomas’s parents Samuel and Sarah, to join his brother’s Andrew, James and John that had already relocated there. Thomas and Phebe’s daughter Jane was the first to be born in Bourbon County. She was born in 1789. Following her came Sally in 1791, Thomas Jefferson in 1793, Mary Polly in 1795, Anna in 1797, Lovisy in 1800, Lewis in 1803, Mariah in 1805, Ann in 1808 and America in 1811. How the second Ann fits into the family is unclear, she may have been adopted or a ward through guardianship. It would be unusual that a couple would name two children the same. The Bourbon County land of Thomas and Phebe was on Brushy Fork near Hinkston Creek. Thomas was a miller and mill owner. Thomas and Phebe lived on this land for about 20 years. A notable resident of Brushy Fork, Hinkston was Daniel Boone. Daniel Boone was an American pioneer and hunter, one of the first folk heroes of the United States. He is most famous for his exploration and settlement of the state of Kentucky. In 1795 Daniel Boone and his wife moved onto unimproved land between Brushy Fork and Hinkston Creek. The land was owned by their son Daniel M Boone. Daniel Boone left Brushy Fork in 1798 settling by the mouth of Little Sandy River near the southern bank of the Ohio River. Jesse, Daniel’s son remained on the Boone farm in Brushy Fork until it was sold to Philip Goe. In 1799 Daniel Boone left Kentucky and moved to Missouri where he would spent the rest of his life. Current geological survey maps show Big Brushy creek flowing into Hinkston creek a short distance up the Hinkston from Millersburg. Hinkston creek is the present boundary between Bourbon and Nicholas counties. Big Brushy creek enters Hinkston from the north and is now in Nicholas county. Approximately two miles above the mouth of Big Brushy creek is a small tributary named Brushy Fork. Nicholas county was formed in December 1799. Prior to that, Big Brushy creek would have been in Bourbon county. In 1817, a strip of land was given back to Bourbon county and the Brushy Creek area is near or within the exchanged land. Although Bourbon was sub-divided several times as new counties were formed over the years, Thomas appears owning the same land in the records and affairs of Bourbon County until 1817. In 1801 Thomas sold his father’s land in Pennsylvania to Daniel Mathies. His mother Sarah died in 1804 and in her will Thomas was granted "the house and plantation where he now lives. Records of early Kentucky have been made scarce largely due to two disasters, the first occurring during the war of 1812 when the British burned the Capital in Washington, among the many historic documents lost were the first two censuses of Kentucky. The earliest one was compiled when Kentucky was still part of Virginia. The second disaster was a fire in Bourbon County on the 8th of May 1872 which destroyed many records. Genealogists doing research in Kentucky have had to rely heavily on the early tax records and land records to trace their ancestors. Thomas shows several times in these records:

Brushy Fork is located about 6 miles east of Millerburg. Brushy Fork, once part of Bourborn is not part of Niclolas County

June 14th, 1800 - Bourbon County Deed Book E, page 458 records Thomas Rule of Bourbon County indebted to Andrew Rule of Bourbon County in the amount of 330 pounds, and mortgaged to Andrew Rule his interest in land purchased by himself (Thomas) and John Rule of Laban Shipp. Witnessed by William Kennett, Press Kennett and Samuel Rule.

March 15th & 16th 1805 - Bourbon County Deed Book 8, pages 209 through 216 records a series of deeds from Colby and Sally Shipp for what appearsd to bve adjoining tracts of land on Brushy Fork of Hinkson Creek. Thomas purchased one of these tracts. 5-7-1806 - Bourbon County Survey Book 1798-1817, Survey for Ejectment - Thomas Rule vs Jesse Henderson, 95 acres lying on Brushy Fork of Hinkston on division between Colby Shipp and Samuel Haws, points of Survey shown to Zachariah Eastin, Surveyor of Bourbon Co and John Rule Sr & Jr. 1812 - Bourbon County Deed Book 1, page 177 records a mortgage of 89 acres by Thomas Rule to James Sandusky in consideration of his loan of $220. This mortgage mentions the site of Rule's old mill and the mill irons of both sawmill and gristmill on Brushy Fork of Hinkston. October 24, 1814 Bourbon County Court Record - Book B-419 Thomas Rule from Edward Byram, letter of attorney appointing him as lawful attorney to demand and recover money owed to Byram Sr of Highland County, Ohio by John Jones on a note of real estate. March 1815 to August 1817 - Listed in Bourbon County records as sheriff of Bourbon County. October 14, 1817 - Nicholas County, Kentucky Deed Book E, page 133, records Laban Shipp of Bourbon County gave deed to Thomas Rule of Nicholas County for land on Brushy Fork. This deed say Thomas Rule paid for the land on the 1st of July, 1792. May 1818 - Bourbon county, Kentucky Deed Book E, page 283, purchased by Jesse from Thomas and Phebe Rule a parcel of 11 acres of land. August 12, 1819 - Bourbon County Court Records - Book 0-300: From trustees of Millersburg to Thomas Rule of Mercer County, Kentucky, lot 1 and 59 in Millersburg. The next transaction on page 301 of the same record transfers this land to Thomas West.

1810 Bourbon County Census

In 1791, at about the same time Kentucky became a state, the United State government had imposed a tax on whiskey in order to pay off its national debt incurred from the Revolutionary War. Whiskey production had become a major export from the Pennsylvania area and had become a vital part of the economy. Farmers had excess grains because it was too difficult and costly to transport the grain over the mountainous roads to the eastern markets. Many frontier farmers started converting their grain to whiskey which could be profitably transported to the eastern markets thus increasing the grains value and marketability. Many farmers were dependent upon the sale of this whiskey and the tax left them with no means to pay the tax at the still before it was sold in the east. Resistance to the whiskey tax stretched from Western Pennsylvania, through the western frontiers of Virginia, Kentucky, and the Carolinas, with most farmers believing that a government which played little part in their frontier life had no right to "steal" money that they themselves had earned. The whiskey tax was difficult to collect because farmers would threaten the tax collectors and run them out of town. By the summer of 1794, tensions reached a fevered pitch all along the western frontier as the settlers' primary marketable commodity was threatened by the federal taxation measures. Finally, in Pennsylvania the civil protests became an armed rebellion. This insurrection is known as the Whiskey Rebellion. President Washington ordered 13,000 militia troops to Pennsylvania to quash the rebellion. By the time the federal force arrived, the rebellion had collapsed and most of the rebels had fled. The Whiskey Rebellion officially ended on the night of the 13th of November 1794. Kentuckians were terribly excited about the rebellion and rather expected the same thing to happen there. Some hid their stills and did not report them. Others complied and paid their taxes. The complete records of the early distillers in Kentucky were destroyed in a flood in basement of the Revenue building at Louisville. What was salvaged was a list of one hundred and seventy seven Kentuckians who were sued in Federal Court for not paying their taxes on their whiskey. On that list, twenty three were from Bourbon County and included Thomas Rule, sued in 1796 and his brother James, sued in 1794. As well as being a land owner and miller in Bourbon, Thomas Rule had also gained some prominence in the civic affairs of the county. He served as a justice of the county court for a time, appearing in deeds as early as 1799. In 1804 he served as a Lieutenant Colonel and Commander of the 47th Regiment of Kentucky’s Cornstalk Militia. Thomas was also listed as a Private from September through October 1812 in the roll of Captain Hambleton's Company of Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia in the War of 1812 as was his son Edward. Matthew and James, brothers of Thomas, also served. (supporting document shown on previous page) He also served as the sheriff of Bourbon County from 1815 to 1817. In their fifties, Thomas and Phebe, suddenly and completely, changed their lives by converting to the Shaker religious sect. Page 88 of The Biographical Register of the Shaker Society, Pleasant Hill, Mercer County, Kentucky describes Thomas Rule as follows: He "believed" 24 May 1817. His residence was Bourbon county Kentucky and he moved to Pleasant Hill 04 Dec 1817 and deceased in the Junior Order 28 Dec 1846. This register also records that Phebe joined the Shaker community on 24 May 1817, took up residence at Pleasant Hill 04 Dec 1817, removed from the Junior Order 03 Dec 1838 and deceased 02 Jan 1841. Thomas and Phebe spent the remainder of their lives in the communal life of this eccentric and industrious religious group.

Note written and signed by Thomas Rule on the 19th of March 1824 donating his belongings to the Shaker Community as listed on a 5 page inventory which was attached to this note.
I Thomas Rule do hereby assign and give up to Samuel Du for the use of the United Society called Shakers at Pleasant Hill the whole and every s–– of property contained in the —– inventory for Rec as the agent of the said society as —–- my hand and seal this 19th day of March 1824. Thomas Rule Seal.

The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, better known as “Shakers” was one of several unusual new sects that arose in the religious revival that swept the United States in the early nineteenth century. The society began as a branch of the Quaker sect, from which they brought plain dress, simple speech (such as the use of “thee” and “thou”), pacifism and anti-slavery activities. The Shakers practiced a simple, healthy, celibate and communal lifestyle. They believed in separation from non-believers, equality but separation of the sexes and religious mysticism. In their worship services Shakers were famous for their energetic singing and for the characteristic dance in which they celebrated their joy in “shaking off” the world and its sins. The practice of celibacy doomed this social experiment from the start. Families joined together in the earlier years but many of their children left when they became older. The Shakers relied on the conversion of others for membership. As well, they took in orphans, widows with children and often they took in children who’s parents could no longer look after them. During the civil war years they would often buy a black person and set them free, often offering them a place to live as well.

Shaker Village Meeting House
built in 1820

The daily life in the Shaker communities was one of extreme dedication to the productive labour. They not only worked hard, but sought to bring simplicity and perfection to their efforts. As a result, the Shakers developed labour-saving devices and techniques, agrarian innovations and superb craftsmanship. They originated the flat broom, the clothes pin and the rotary saw among other inventions. They supported their communities by selling simple but sturdy furniture, household implements, garden and flower seeds (originating the sale of seeds in paper packets) and medicinal herbs to the outside world. Pleasant Hill had a village water system some sixty years before such things were available in nearby towns. At its height, the Shaker sect had about six thousand believers living in communes in the northeastern States and the Ohio valley. Pleasant Hill was the second largest of these communes. Pleasant Hill had a peak population of three hundred and forty nine in 1827. It was established in 1805 just above the Kentucky River, about seven miles east of Harrodsburg. There the self-sustaining society built plain, strong workshops and barns and dwelling houses. The community owned more than four thousand acres of land, all boarded by carefully built stone fences. They were often despised by neighbouring communities because of their successful economy, but none the less always conducted themselves with great dignity and honour. Pleasant Hill and the Shaker sect in general declined precipitously after the Civil War as social changes cut off the supply of converts and economic changes ruined the markets for Shaker Goods. Pleasant Hill ceased to be self-sustaining in the 1880’s and the last of its aged believers died in 1923. Today much of Pleasant Hill, locally known as “Old Shakertown” has been preserved and restored. It functions as a conference centre and museum.

Original Record of Pedlenton County, Kentucky County Clerk’s Order Book D, Page 225 September 1821
Eliza Rule infant orphan of John Rule deceased, over the age of 14 years, this day came into court and with the assent of the court, chose Thomas Rule for her guardian: Whereupon the said Thomas Rule together with Edward B. Rule and William Mountjoy, his securities, entered into and acknowledge his bond in the penalty of Four hundred Dollars, conditioned as the law directs.

Thomas and Phebe Rule lived at Pleasant Hill during its most robust and optimistic period. The congregation was growing, the great buildings were going up and markets were expanding. The Shaker life was not an easy one, productive but by contemporary as well as modern standards it was certainly a strange one. Eight of Thomas and Phebe’s twelve children accompanied them to Pleasant Hill. Two of these later left the community and married. The others remained in the Shaker Commune all their lives, the last, America Rule, dying at Pleasant Hill in 1876. In September of 1821, their grandaughter Eliza Rule, after the death of her father John Rule (Jesse’s great grandfather), in court, chose Thomas Rule as her guardian. Eliza would have been 12 when her father died in 1819. In the Shaker records she is listed as having arrived at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky in 1818 and left there in 1827.

Phebe Byram Rule died at Pleasant Hill on the 2nd of January 1841. Thomas Rule died there on the 28th of December 1846. Thomas was 85. He had spent almost 30 years in the Shaker commune. Noted in the Zachariah Burnett journal from the Shaker records are details of Thomas’s death: Dec 1846 Monday the 28th. 52,66, & 54. Cloudy with signs of rain. Thomas Rule died 6 minutes before 5 pm. He was born on the 12th of Oct. 1761, which makes him in his 86th since October last. He had served in the American Revolution and at an early period he emigrated to Bourbon Cty Ky was actively engaged in the Indian wars, he was engaged also in the British was of 12, 13, & 14, and bore a Colonels Commission and in the later end of 1817, he came to P Hill, where he has a name that is not to be forgotten. Tuesday the 29th. Most of the day sun shine and very windy, clouded up at sunset and sprinkled rain. Mer 56, 70, 60. Thomas Rule was Buried at 5 oclock PM. Elder George being absent Samuel Hosser Preached his funeral. Thomas and Phebe are presumably buried at the old community cemetery, where, with typical Shaker simplicity, nearly all the graves are either unmarked or marked only with small stones bearing the initials of the deceased. Their six children that died in Pleasant Hill are also believed to be buried there: America B. Rule died there the 24th of April 1876, Ann died the 13th of February 1825, Anna died the 13th of December 1836, Jane died the 16th of February 1841, Lovicy died the 4th of March 1847 and Sally died the 5th of April 1846.

The Cemetery in Shaker Village

Pages 64 & 88 of the Biographical Register of Pleasant Hill Book C
This register contains only the members who have signed the Covenant or have deceased before they were of age. Signing the Covenant implied that the person was twenty one years of age, they agreed to live in the communistic life style, common ownership of property and to live in strict celibacy.

Raccoon John Smith

Raccoon John Smith is regarded to be frontier Kentucky’s most famous frontier preacher. By 1820 he had become a living legend in Kentucky. John identified himself initially as being from the well known raccoon county in Cumberland County and thereafter was called "Raccoon" John Smith. He was an elder (ordained minister) in the United Baptist Church and his flamboyant preaching style captivated peoples attention. He would travel from area to area and always drew large crowds when preaching. He was a preacher for all the people. While others identified themselves by denominational titles, Raccoon John carried only one label: Christian. Wherever he traveled, people came to him for guidance and blessing. He was well received in the largest of cities and the very smallest of rural areas.

Letter Written by John Thomas Rule 1898 Grandson of Thomas & Phebe
The following is a transcription of a letter written by John Thomas Rule in 1898 to Rev. John M. McElroy. John Thomas was the grandson of Thomas and Phebe, son of Edward Byram Rule). This letter was discovered among John Thomas’s grandaughter’s belongings by her son-in-law Timothy P. Hart who holds the original. Rev. John M. McElroy was the author of the book “Abby Byram and Her Father the Indian Captives” which was mentioned earlier in this section. It is thought that this letter was written in request for information for the book. Louisiana, Mo. June 4, 1898 Rev John M Mc Elroy Ottuma, Iowa Yours of May 9th was sent to my sister-in-law Mrs. Margaret J. Rule and forwarded to me with request that I answer - will do so in part and have one of her sons put in an account of her branch of the family, with such additional information as they are in possession of. My name is John Thomas Rule (both Christian names quite common in the Rule family) - I was born near Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky in 1819 - My father was Edward Byram Rule - my mother’s maiden name was Mary Easton - they were married near where I was born in 1815 - His father was Thomas Rule and his mother’s maiden name was Phebe Byram. I have always heard told that my grandfather was of Irish descent - and the Byram family came from England among the Plymouth Rock settlers - my father had a written record or memoranda of the Byram’s that was said to be more than 200 years old. I remember reading it some 65 or 70 years ago when I first leaned to read writing. It was written in a plain round hand but was badly faded and defaced- Have often wished I had kept a copy - but it was before I learned there greatness to such old worn records. Will say before going further that we spell our name “Rule”. The Christian names are evidence that you inquire about our people but “Rulle” is not the right orthography. Have always heard that Grandfather Rule and his good wife were early settlers in Kentucky - don’t think I ever heard that Grandmother had a sister Abby or that said Abby and her father were Indian captives. It may be that my failing to hear of so important an event was owing to local causes - My father died in 1827, when I was eight years old and the next year mother moved from Kentucky to Missouri and afterwards lived among her own relatives, and it so happened that I have seen but very few of the Rule family (none of the older stock) and if I ever have laid my eyes on any of the Byram I have forgotten it. Think you are mistaken about grandmother dying young - when father died (as above noted in 1827) - grandfather came about 75 miles to see us and consol mother - I am confident that he spoke of grandmother being alive and sprightly and in good health for one of her age - After we came to Missouri I feel almost certain that we heard, through one of her neighbours that grandmother was alive as late as 1835 - We did have an old record that my father was born in 1785 - and I think he was second or third child - that would make his mother say 20 at the event - and above reports make her alive in 1835. She must have been more than 70 when she died. I have always heard that grandfather was older than his wife, and was alive after she died - and putting the two together I thought he lived to be a very old man - but can’t give dates Grandfather and grandmother joined the “Shakers” after they raised a family and lived and died Shakers. Uncle John Rule died the night I was born (of course I heard that) Oct. 16, 1819. He had married Miss Dicy Collins - they had several children - don’t know how many - She afterwards moved to Missouri and lived to be quite old - but can’t say how long Her oldest son Thomas Rule was living some 20 years ago near Trinidad Colorado - had a large tract of land - was reputed to be wealthy - and a Calvinist hard shell Baptist preacher - I don’t know anything about his brother & sisters. Father’s oldest sister ( I think her name was Nancy) married Abram Miller in Kentucky and moved at an early day to Callaway county Missouri about 75 years ago - They raised a large family about a dozen children I think - They are scatted to the winds, but mostly to the West - I sometimes can hardly realize that it is so, but it is the truth - Uncle Abram Miller raised a large family of children - in less than 100 miles of here and I have never seen the first one of them. Believe I am ready to say something about the branch of the family to which I immediately belong to - My parents had five children - 4 boys and 1 girl - The oldest boy (Achilles Easton) was born in 1816 - and died when about four years old - Father outlived him some seven years. I was next oldest and it so happens in the Providence of God that I have outlived my two younger brothers and still younger sister - They have passed over the dark river to the great beyond and I still linger on this shore - Except to soon follow and earnestly hope to be ready to settle the great account. In religion I am a member of the Christian Church (commonly miscalled Cambellites) in Politics I am a Democrat - with a capital D died in the wool and believe in the free coinage of silver.

My next brother William Griffin Rule was born in 1822 and died in 1895 - His widow is still living Aged 76 - Her maiden name was Miss Sarah Atkisson. They were married in 1846 - Two sons living - both respectable families. He and I agreed very well in politics and religion. His second son died in 1895 aged about 40 leaving a widow and three children - He followed faming and later medicine and was tolerab le skillful at both. My sister Ellen was born the same week father died in 1827 - married Mr. George W Hodge in 1847 - He died in 1853 leaving her a widow with two children -a son and a daughter - the latter died in 1855 - and the son (Edward Byram Hodges) growed to manhood - married, had three sons - moved to California, and died there in 1884. My sister was the most unfortunate of the family - after she had been a widow 4 or 5 years she lost her mind - was in a lunatic asylum between 2 and 3 years - she was restored - returned home- and enjoyed fairly good health until she took sick and died in 1890. Think I have heard that father had a brother Jefferson and a brother Louis and a sister Ann, but I can’t tell anything about what became of them - I never saw them. (Note: It was once thought that there was originally more of this letter that had been lost. It is a later opinion that this is the entire letter written by John Thomas Rule.)

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