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the exigencies of the period, its most noteworthy expression in the homestead of brick. No finer specimen survives than that built in 1796, on a plan furnished by Thomas Jefferson to John Brown, who had been his law student, remained always his honored friend, and became one of the founders of the commonwealth. It is a rich landmark, this old manor-place on the bank of the Kentucky River in Frankfort. The great hall with its pillared archway is wide enough for dancing the Virginia reel. The suites of high, spacious rooms; the carefully carved woodwork of the window-casings and the doors; the tall, quaint mantel-frames; the deep fireplaces with their shining fire-dogs and fenders of brass, brought laboriously enough on pack-mules from Philadelphia; the brass locks and keys; the portraits on the walls—all these bespeak the early implantation in Kentucky of a taste for sumptuous life and entertainment. The house is like a far-descending echo of colonial Old Virginia.
More famous in its day,— for it is already beneath the sod,—and built not of wood, nor of stone, nor of brick, but in part of all, was “ Chaumière,” the home of David Meade during the closing years of the last, and the early years of the present, century. The owner, a Virginian who had been much in England, brought back with him notions of the baronial style of country-seat, and in Jessamine County, some ten miles from Lexington, built him a home that lingers in the mind like some picture of the imagination. It was a villa-like place, a cluster of rustic cottages, with a great park laid out in the style of Old World landscapegardening. There were artificial rivers spanned by arching bridges, and lakes with islands crowned by Grecian temples. There were terraces and retired alcoves, and winding ways
cut through sweet, flowering thickets, withal a certain taste for the antique in native history, an Eden of forest green and shadows numbera certain pride in family associations and tra- less. A fortune was spent on the grounds ; ditions. On all the thinned and open landscape, a retinue of servants was employed in nurturnothing stands out with a more pathetic air of ing their beauty. The dining-room, wainscoted nakedness than one of these stone houses, long with walnut and relieved by deep window-seats, since abandoned and fallen into ruin. Under was richer still with the family service of silver the Kentucky sky houses crumble and die with- and glass; on the walls of other rooms hung out seeming to grow old, without an aged family portraits by Thomas Hudson and Sir toning down of colors, without the tender me- Joshua Reynolds. Two days in the week were morials of mosses and lichens, and of the whole appointed for formalreceptions. There Jackson race of clinging things. So, not until they are and Monroe and Taylor were entertained; there quite overthrown does nature reclaim them, or Aaron Burr was held for a time under arrest; draw once more to her bosom the walls and there the refined and courtly stateliness of the chimneys within whose faithful bulwarks, and by old school showed itself becomingly in silver whose cavernous, glowing recesses, our great- buckles and knee-breeches, lifted high the huge grandmothers and great-grandfathers danced wassail-bowl, and rode abroad in a yellow and made love, married, suffered, and fell asleep. chariot with outriders in blue cloth and sil
Neither to the house of logs, therefore, nor ver buttons. to that of stone must we look for the earliest Near Lexington may be found a further noembodiment of positive taste in domestic archi- table example of early architecture in the Todd tecture. This found its first, and, considering homestead, the oldest house in the region, built
by the brother of John Todd, who was gov- sudden, fierce flaring up of sympathy with the emor of Kentucky Territory, including Illinois. French Revolution; hence the deep reëchoing It is a strong, spacious brick structure reared through the Kentucky settlement of the waron a high foundation of stone, with a large, cry of Jacobin emissaries. But scarcely had the square hall and great square rooms in suites, wave of primitive conquest flowed over the land, connected by double doors. To the last cen- and wealth followed in its peaceful wake, before tury also belongs the low, irregular pile that be- life fell apart into the extremes of social caste. came the Wickliffe, and later the Preston, house The memories of former position, the influences in Lexington—a striking example of the taste of old domestic habitudes, were powerful still. then prevalent for plain, or even commonplace, Rudely strained, not snapped asunder, were exteriors, if combined with interiors that touched the connective tissues of civilization; so that, the imagination with the suggestion of some before a generation passed, Kentucky society thing stately and noble and courtly.
gave full proof of the continuity of its develTake these, chosen here and there, as a few opment from phases of traditional State-existypes of homes erected in the last century. The tence. The region of the James River, so rich point is not that such places existed, but that in antique homesteads, began to renew itself
they should have been found in Kentucky at in the region of the blue-grass. On a new and such a time. For society had begun as the larger canvas began to be painted the picture purest of all democracies. Only a little while of shaded lawns, wide portals, broad staircases, ago the people had been shut up within a great halls, drawing-rooms, and dining-rooms, stockade. Stress of peril and hardship had wainscoting, carved woodwork, and waxed leveled the elements of population to more than hard-wood floors. In came a few yellow charia democracy: it had knit them together as one ots, morocco-lined and drawn by four horses. In endangered human brotherhood. Hence the came the powder, the wigs, and the queues, the
ruffled shirts, the knee-breeches, the glittering English mansion is to be found in “Locust buckles, the high-heeled slippers, and the frosty Grove," a massive and enduring structure,brocades. Over the Alleghanies, in slow-moving not in the blue-grass region, it is true, but sevwagons, came the massive mahogany furni- eral miles from Louisville,— built in 1800 for ture, the sunny brasswork, the tall silver candle- Colonel Croghan, brother-in-law of General sticks, the nervous-looking, thin-legged little George Rogers Clark; and still another remains pianos. In came old manners and old speech in “Spring Hill,” in Woodford County, the and old prides: the very Past gathered together home of Nathaniel Hart, who had been a boy in its household gods and made an exodus into the the fort at Boonesborough. Until recently a Future.
further representative, though remodeled'in Without due regard to these essential facts later times, survived in the Thompson place the social system of the State must ever re- at “Shawnee Springs,” in Mercer County. main poorly understood. Hitherto they have Consider briefly the import of such country been but little considered. To the popular homes as these —“ Traveler's Rest," “ Chauimagination the most familiar type of early mière," "Spring Hill," and "Shawnee Springs," Kentuckian is that of the fighter, the hunter, and the writer deprecates all odium for restrictthe rude, heroic pioneer and his no less heroic ing his mention to them, or for choosing them wife; people who left all things behind them as types rather than others. Built remotely here and set their faces westward, prepared to be and there, away from the villages or before new creatures if such they could become. But villages were formed, in a country not yet on the dim historic background are the stiff traversed by limestone highways or even by figures of another type, people who were equally lanes, they, and such as they, were the beabent on being old-fashioned creatures if such con-lights, many-windowed and kind, of Kenthey could remain. Thus, during the final years tucky entertainment. “Traveler's Rest” was of the last century and the first quarter of the on the great line of immigration from Abpresent one, Kentucky life was all richly over- ingdon through Cumberland Gap. Its rooflaid with ancestral models. Closely studied, tree was a boon of universal shelter, its very the elements of population by the close of this name a perpetual invitation to all the weary. period were separable into a landed gentry, a Long after the country became thickly peopled, robust yeomanry, a white tenantry, and a black it, and such places as it, remained the rallyingpeasantry. It was only by degrees, -by the dy- points of social festivity in their several couning out of the fine old types of men and women, ties, or drew their guests from remoter regions. by longer absence from the old environment They brought in the era of hospitalities, which and closer contact with the new,—that society by and by spread through the towns and over lost its inherited and acquired its native charac- the land. If one is ever to study this trait as teristics, or became less Virginian and more it flowered to perfection in Kentucky life, then Kentuckian. Gradually, also, the white tenantry one must hope to see it, not wholly, but at its waned and the black peasantry waxed. The best, in the society of some fifty years ago. aristocratic spirit, in becoming more Kentuck- Then trained horses were kept in the stables, ian, unbent somewhat its pride, and the demo- trained servants were kept in the halls. The cratic, in becoming more Kentuckian, took on dinners were perennial, as boundless as the a pride of its own; so that when social life courtesies; the animosities were for the time culminated with the first half-century, there had dissolved by all the amenities; guests came unbeen produced allover the blue-grass region, by invited, unannounced; tables were regularly the intermingling of the two, that widely diffused set for surprises. “Put a plate,” said an old and peculiar type which may be described as Kentuckian of the time with a large family an aristocratic democracy, or a democratic connection —"always put a plate for the last aristocracy, according to one's choosing of a one of them down to the youngest grandchild." phrase. The beginnings of Kentucky life rep- It is narrated as a fact in a Kentucky home, resented not simply a slow development from and certainly it never happened in any other, the rudest pioneer conditions, but also a direct — that a visitor once arrived, as he said, for a and immediate implantation of the best of long- sojourn of several days, but remained twenty established social forms. And in no wise did the years; at the end of which time it pleased Provlatter embody itself more persuasively and last- idence to terminate his visit. What a Kentuckingly than in the building of costly homes. ian would have thought of being asked to come
on the thirteenth of the month and to leave on
the twentieth, it is difficult to imagine. The HOMES OF THE MIDDLE PERIOD.
wedding-presents of brides were not only jewWith the opening of the present century, els and silver and gold, but a round of balls. this taste went on developing. A specimen
1 Ashland, the Clay homestead, has already been of early architecture in the style of the old written of by another in this magazine.
The people were laughed at for their too im- tocrat, if revenge was desired, could always be petuous civilities. In whatever quarter of the taken at the polls. Study the history of great globe they should happen to meet for the hour political contests in the State, and see whether a pleasing stranger, they would say in parting, they are not lessons in the victory and defeat “ And when you come to Kentucky, be certain of social types. Herein lies a difficulty: you to come to my house."
touch any point of Kentucky life, and instantly Yet it is needful to discriminate, in speaking about it cluster antagonisms and contradictions. of Kentucky hospitality. Universally gracious The false is true; the true is false. Society was toward the stranger and quick to receive him aristocratic; it was democratic: it was neither; it for his individual worth, within the State hos- was both. There was intense family pride, and pitality ran in circles, and the people turned a no family pride. The ancestral sentiment was
weak,and it wasstrong. To-day you will discover the increasing vogue of an heraldica Kentuckiensis, and today an absolute disregard of a distinguished past. One tells but partial truths.
Of domestic architecture in a brief and general way something has been said. The prevailing influ
DRAWN BY W. L. MACLEAN.
THE CROCHAN PLACE, “LOCUST GROVE."
piercing eye on one another's social positions.ence was Virginian, but in Lexington and İfin no other material aspect did they embody elsewhere may be observed evidences of the history of descent so sturdily as in the build- French ideas in the glass-work and designs of ing of homes, in no mental trait of home life did doors and windows, in rooms grouped around they reflect this more clearly than in the sense a central hall with arching niches and alcoves; of family pride. Hardly a little town but had for models made their way from New Orleans its classes that never mingled; scarce a rural as well as from the East. Out in the country, neighborhood but insisted on the sanctity of however, at such places as those already menits salt-cellar and the gloss of its mahogany. tioned, a purely English taste was shown for The spirit of caste was somewhat Persian in its woodland parks with deer and, what was more gravity. Now the Alleghanies were its back- peculiarly Kentuckian, elk and buffalo. This ground, and the heroic beginnings of Kentucky taste, once so conspicuous, has never become life supplied its warrant; now it overleaped the extinct
, and certainly the landscape is recepAlleghanies, and allied itself to the memories of tive enough to all such stately purposes. At deeds and names in older States. But, mark “Spring Hill" and elsewhere, to-day, one may you, if some professed to look down, none pro- stroll through woods that have kept a touch fessed to look up. Deference to an upper class, of their native wildness, and lack only the resif deference existed, was secret and resentful, toration of timid, bounding forms to become not open and servile; and revenge on the aris- primeval. There was the English love of lawns,
too, with a low matted green turf and wide- older States to sojourn and to work; artists were spreading shade-trees above,- elm and maple, invited or summoned from abroad. Painting locust and poplar,—the English fondness for a was taught in Lexington in 1800. Well for mansion half hidden with evergreens and creep- Jouett, perhaps, that he lived when he did; ers and shrubbery, to be approached by a leafy better for Hart, perhaps, that he was not born avenue, a secluded gateway, and a graveled later: they might have run for Congress. One drive; for highways hardly admit to the heart is prone to recur time and again to this period, of rural life in Kentucky, and wayside homes, when theideals of Kentucky life were still waverto be dusted and gazed at by every passer-by, ing or unformed, and when there was the greatwould little accord with the spirit of the people. est receptivity to foreign impress. Thinking of This feeling of family seclusion and complete social life as it was developed, say in and around ness also portrayed itself very tenderly in the Lexington,- of artists coming and going, of custom of family graveyards, which were in the statesmen, the lecturers, the lawyers, of the time to be replaced by the democratic ceme- dignity and the energy of character, of the intery; and no one has ever lingered around tellectual dinners,—one is inclined to liken the those quiet spots of aged and drooping cedars, local civilization to a truncated cone, to a thing fast-fading violets, and perennial myrtle, with that should have towered to a symmetric apex, out being made to feel that they grew out of but somehow has never risen very high above the better heart and fostered the finer senses. a sturdy base.
On the whole, however, the best proof of So we turn to speak broadly of home life after culture among the first generations of Ken- it became more typically Kentuckian, and after tuckians is to be seen in the private collections architecture began to reflect with greater uniof portraits, among which one wanders now formity the character of the people. And here with a sort of stricken feeling that the higher one can find material comfort, if not esthetic life of Kentucky in this regard never went be- delight; for it is the whole picture of human yond its early promise. Look into the meager life in the blue-grass region that pleases. Ride history of native art, and you will discover that east and west, or north and south, along highnearly all the best work belongs to this early way or byway, and the picture is the same. time. It was possible even then that a Ken- One almost asks for relief from the monotony tuckian could give up law and turn to painting. of a merely well-to-do existence, almost sighs Almost in the wilderness Jouett created rich, for the extremes of squalor and splendor, that luminous, startling canvases. Artists came from nowhere may be seen, and that would seem so