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DAVID BARROW AND HIS LULBEGRUD SCHOOL, 1801 1
By Asa C. Barrow
Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, Alabama Polytechnic Institute,
Auburn, Alabama

      Among the pioneer preachers, teachers, and abolitionists in Kentucky was Reverend David Barrow, a native of Virginia and a Revolutionary soldier. In what is now Montgomery County he began, in January, 1801, a school "on a Corner of Majr. S. Paine's Land on a Branch of Lulbegrud" Creek. On November 17, 1800, he issued a written announcement or "An Article" that he would teach a school, and on the same date set forth, also in his own handwriting, the "Rules" that would govern his school. Photostat copies of the originals are in the archives of The Filson Club. The two documents are here printed, in full, as written:

      AN ARTICLE. Novr. 17th 1800. To all whom it may concern. David Barrow of Montgomery Co[unt]y and State of Kentucky, proposes teaching an english School the following Year, in a House to be erected on a Corner of Majr J. Paine's Land on a Branch of Lulbegrud. To begin the first of January next, reserving to himself a co[u]rt Day in each Month, five Days at what is called Easter, Whitesuntide and Christmas, and ten Days at Harvest, which reduces the Number of School Days to 224, the Year, but in every Case he shall have the Liberty of teaching on the aforementioned Days and Times if he choses, and have his Vacations at any Season of the year he thinks best; except the ten Days at Harvest, and shall make up no lost Time on Saturdays. He engages to give due Attendance, use the utmost impartiallity [sic], have special regard to the Morals and Behaviour of the Pupils, and to the best of his Skill & Judgment forward them in the Arts of spelling, reading, writing &c. For an in Consideration of which, he shall receive from the Subscribers, for each Scholar entered the Sum of 40/One Fourth to be paid in Cash, the Remainder in Property, Corn at 7/6, Pork at 18/, Wheat 4/6, Sugar


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at 1/, Six hundred Linen at 3/, Dressed Flax at 7/, Dressed Hemp 1/3 and other Property as may be agreed on, to be paid and delivered at the sd. Barrow's House on or before the last Day of December 1801. And if thro' Sickness or by any other Means the sd. Barrow should fail in the Course of the year to regularly to attend the sd. School 224 Days, a Proportionable Deduction shall be made in the Sum to be paid for each Scholar. And to prevent and settle any vexatious Disputes that may arise among the Employers, concerning the sd. Barrow's Conduct & Management in the sd. School, they shall nominate & appoint from among themselves three of the most Discreet & fit Persons in their Judgment as Trustees, to whom all such Matters and Things as respect the sd. Barrow's Conduct & Management in sd. School shall be referred and their Determination in such Case shall be final.

RULES FOR SCHOOL. Rules to be observed and strictly attended to in the Lulbegrud Reading School.

      1st. The Teachers & Scholars to appear at the school House each Morning if possible, by half an Hour by Sun; with Hands and Face cleanly washed, and Hair neatly combed.

      2nd. Fires to be raised by the Maile Scholars in Rotation, according to Arrangement, the House to be cleanly swept twice a Day, by the Females in the same Manner.

      3rd. The Scholars are to be particularly careful not to dirty or tear their Books & Cloaths.

      4th. The Pupils are to be kind and civil to each other, and by no Means, to call one another out of their proper Names.

      5th. In school Time, each one is to keep his or her Seat, without necessary Reasons or Orders require the contrary, two are not to be absent at one Time, without Leave obtained or Orders given; nor even one, without he or she bears the Token of Absence.

      6th. Each one is to mind his or her Business during Book-Time; and there is to be no Fleering, Laughing, Hunching, Whispering, or making Mouths to provoke others during the Hours of Exercise.

      7th. If any Scholar is at a Loss, and wants Instruction in any Word, or Part of his or her Lesson, they shall apply to the Master.


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8th. When the Scholars, whether in or out of School, have an Occasion to speak to or of the Master, it shall be with the Title of Mr. Barrow, and in like Manner to or of all married Persons and grown unmarried ones. Master & Miss, with only their g[i]ven Names, and when in Conversation with all such, the Terms Sir & Madam are to be used.

      9th. The Hours for Pray or Diversion, are from half after eleven, till one in the Winter, and so in Proportion as the Days lengenthen.

      10th. Diversions at Play-Time are, Run[n]ing, Jumping, Prison-base, Cat, and such others as the Master from Time to Time shall admit, but Wrestling, Climbing, and such as endanger Cloaths or Limbs will not be admitted.

      11th. Quareling, Swearing, or Cursing, Lieing, using Obsene Conversation, giving one another the Lie, and Fighting will demerit the severest Kind of Punishment.

      12th. The Girls are to exercize inosent Diversion to themselves.

      13th. The Punishments for Transgressors are three, Viz, The Laugh-Block, Imprisonment & the Rod.

      14th. If after all necessary Means have been made use of, and there should be any Scholar that cannot be broken of Quarreling, Swearing, Cursing &c, he shall with advise of a Majority of the Trustees be expelled [from] the School.

      15th. Additions to be made to the Rules, as Occation requires.

      16th. No Scholar to be admitted, or allowed to continue in the School who has the Itch.

      17th. The Scholars are not at Playtime or coming to or going from School unnecessarily to be Hollowing, Shouting, Nieing, or making fearful Outcries.

      18th. The Scholars are not to pilage one anothers School-Baskets, snatch Food from each other Hands or take from each other or any one else, any Thing which is not their own.

      19th. If it appears necessary, a Monitor will be appointed from Time to Time to give Information of Disorder that may be committed out of School.


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[At the bottom of the preceding sheet of "Rules" is the following credit memorandum, the figures evidently representing the number of pounds paid--the first eleven apparently were paid in books:]

J. Treadway...pd 2—Books J. MeGuire ....pd 2--do E. Johnson ....pd 1—Books E. Roberts ....pd 2--do W. Paine ......pd 2--do J. Coump .....1 Wm. Wear ....pd 2 Wm. Caik .....pd 2 M. Wilkin ....pd 1 F. Tredway ....pd 1--do J. Treadway...--1--not paid A. Griffin ......pd 2--do R. Griffin......pd 2---do W. Norton .....pd 1--do I. Strange .....pd 2--do H. Hardwiek... 2—do

      DAVID BARROW, pioneer Baptist minister of Kentucky, was born in Brunswick County, Virginia, October 30, 1753, a son of William and Amy Lee Barrow. He was baptized by Zachariah Thompson into Fountains Creek Church, Virginia. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry in his nineteenth year, and in the same year married Sarah, daughter of Hichea Gilliam a farmer of Sussex County and a native of Scotland. For three years after his ordination, he preached extensively in Virginia and North Carolina. In 1774 he became pastor of Isle of Wight Church. There were several churches in that vicinity and contiguous parts of North Carolina that affiliated with a denomination called General Baptists. Barrow joined with John Tanner in persuading these churches to adopt the "orthodox plan," and by this means the Kehukee Association was formed.

      In 1776 Barrow entered the Revolutionary War. A contemporary historian said that "David Barrow performed good service for his country, winning great honor for himself." When his term of service expired, he resumed ministerial work, and while so engaged was often subjected to severe persecution. At one of his meetings he was seized by a gang of ruffians who dragged him into a pond of muddy water yelling: "As you are so fond of dipping, you shall have enough of it." He was plunged under the water and held down until almost drowned, and when raised was asked if he believed in ducking. This was repeated the third time when Barrow said "I believe you are going to drown me." Within a few weeks several of his persecutors met death in a very distracted manner, and one was heard to say "I wish I had gone to hell before I joined this Company."


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While fighting to preserve his own and his country's liberty, Barrow came to the conclusion that liberty was the natural right of the black man as well as the white man and that the enslavement of either was against God's law. He emancipated his slaves and preached this doctrine from the pulpit. He published and circulated an English translation of Clarkson's "Essay on Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species" which was originally written in Latin. In 1808 he published a pamphlet against slavery which was extensively circulated.

      In the meantime, Barrow had moved with his family to Kentucky, arriving in Montgomery County June 24, 1798. Soon thereafter he became pastor of the Mr. Sterling Church. He also was called to and accepted same work for Goshen, in Clark County, and Lulbegrud Church, in Montgomery County. The two documents printed on the preceding pages pertain to his school at Lulbegrud.

      Barrow's ability and zeal soon attracted the attention of brethren throughout the State. He was one of a committee appointed by the Elkhorn Association to deal with Governor James Garrard and with Reverend Augustine Eastin who had embraced Unitarianism and also with Cowper's Run Church and other churches in the care of Eastin, to convince them of their error. In 1803 he published a pamphlet on The Trinity which doubtless did a great deal in this State to arrest the spread of the Unitarian doctrine. He was also successfully employed in negotiating terms of union between the Regular and Separate Baptists.

      Barrow's advocacy of emancipation in Kentucky aroused intense opposition. In 1805 the North District Association received five charges against him presented by messengers from the Bracken Association and growing out of his advocacy of emancipation. After hearing him in his own defense the Association decided that his explanations were satisfactory and the charges were dismissed. The next year the charges were renewed before the North District Association by members of the Association and he was expelled and a committee appointed to deal with Barrow in the Mr. Sterling Church. This action was rescinded the following year, but the expulsion of Barrow resulted in the withdrawal of ministers and churches from nearly every association in Kentucky and in the formation of Emancipation Baptist


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Churches, which were organized in September, 1807, at New Hope Meeting House, Woodford County, into an Association under the name Baptized Licking-Locust Association, Friends of Humanity, A number of the members of these churches and others acting independently of the churches organized the Kentucky Abolition Society and elected Barrow its president for a number of years. In 1808 he published a fifty-page pamphlet entitled Involuntary, Absolute, Hereditary Slavery Examined. When Thomas Lincoln, the president's father, left Kentucky he carried with him a church-letter from a church that was a member of Baptized Licking-Locust Association, Friends of Humanity.

      Although Barrow and his associates were greatly in the minority, he continued to advocate his views on religion and emancipation until his death, November 14, 1819. He was buried at hisold home about a hag-mile from Lulbegrud Church.2
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1 Lulbegrud is derived from "Lorbrulgrud," the capital of "Brobdinag," the land giants described by Dean Swift in Gulliver's Travels. The creek was named for the lick lying beside the stream. The old lick, now known as Oil Springs, was named Lulbegrud by Alexander Ncely, a young hunter who accompanied Squire Boone on his first trip to Kentucky in 1769 and brought with him a copy of Gulliver's Travels which he read to Squire and Daniel Boone at their camp fire at night - the giant size of the buffaloes he killed at the lick suggesting the pertenancy of the name. See "Eskippakithiki" by Lucien Beckner, in The Filson Club History Quarterly October, 1932, page 375-377. See also Smith's Kentucky and Roosevelt's Winning of the West.

2 Asa C. Barrow of Winchester, Kentucky, and Auburn, Alabama, is a son of David Barrow, grandson of Gilliam Barrow and a great grandson of the pioneer David Barrow of Lulbegrud. A five-page biographical sketch of pioneer Barrow appears in J. H. Spencer's History of Kentucky Baptists, Vol. II, published in 1885.

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[From The Filson Club History Quarterly, 1933, Volume 7, pp. 88-93; via Internet. Spelling unchanged except where [ ] are used. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]



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