No John – Nathaniel Pryor in the July 25th 1825 Louisville News


In a recent post I said “…it’s time to dig out the July 1825 edition of the Louisville Morning Post to find out which John Pryor that Elizabeth Pryor Harper found had been killed by Indians.” (April 2, 2013: Identity of John Pryor – Revolutionary War Bounty Land in Kentucky). I’m questioning the veracity of the history of John Pryor of Louisville as stated by Ms. Harper. The quote as it appears online…

JOHN PRYOR Military warrant 4,000 acres warrant 126 service 3 years Captain Continental Line Virginia 2-13-1783. Supposed to have been killed by Indians before 1825 – from July 25 1825 edition of Louisville “Morning Post” he was dead by that time. [read online]

I don’t like leaving any stone unturned. I contacted the Library of Congress and got a copy of the July 25, 1825 edition of the Louisville Morning Post. You’ll be happy to know that the newspaper hasn’t turned to dust more than 180 years later. Indeed there is a reference to the Pryors of Louisville, but nothing of John Pryor nor of an Indian attack. The actual notice is above, my transciption follows…

Jefferson Circuit Set June Term, 1825
Daniel Wilson, complainant, against John B Gilly, executor of James Pryor, dec’d. Nathaniel Pryor and Robert McClelland and others defts.—in chancery.
This day came the complainant by his counsel and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court, that the defendants Nathaniel Pryor and Robert McClelland are non-residents of this commonwealth and they have not having appeared and answered the said complainant’s bills; It is therefore ordered that they appear here on or before the first day of the next October term of this court, and answer the said complainant’s bill, otherwise the same will be taken for confessed as to and against them and the matters and things therein contained, decreed accordingly. And it further ordered, that a copy of this order, be published two months successively, in some public authorized newspaper of this state.
A copy — Test.
Robert Tyler, d. e j. e e.
June 23

OK, so it’s not about John Pryor or a death by the hands of Native American. It refers to a suit I haven’t seen before. After reading the Virginia Chancery Court cases I’m drooling over the thought of Kentucky Chancery records!

This little notice helps to tie together members of Nathaniel Pryor’s family. James Pryor’s will names Nathe Pryor, and his nephew James B. Gilly.  Robert McClelland who married Nancy Pryor in Jefferson Co., KY in 1792 has been suspected to be a brother in law an sister of James and Nathaniel Pryor. This appears to be true.

I think most Nathaniel Pryor researchers know that he had moved Westward after the Lewis and Clark expedition. This notice indicates that not only was Nathaniel living outside of Jefferson County, but so were other family members.