Bullitt County History

Cuthbert Harrison 5000 Acre Tract

In October 1814, Cuthbert and Anna Harrison sold six acres of land to Wilford Lee. In the deed, Cuthbert and Anna were said to be "of the county of Bullitt." The six acres were said to be "in the county of Bullitt on the Rolling Fork of Salt River opposite Frakes Ferry."

We think it is possible that these six acres were part of a 5000 acre tract granted to Cuthbert Harrison in 1785. Below is a transcription of this grant.


"Patrick Henry Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting. Know that by virtue and in consideration of five land office Treasury Warrants numbered 4151, 4152, 4153, 4154, and 4165, and issued the twentieth day of March one thousand, seven hundred and eighty, there is granted by the said Commonwealth unto Cuthbert Harrison, assignee of Leven Powell, a certain tract or parcel of land containing five thousand acres by survey bearing the date the twenty-eighth day of February, one thousand, seven hundred and eighty-three, lying and being in the County of Jefferson on the Rolling Fork of Salt River and bounded as followeth to wit: Beginning at the upper end of the first narrows below the mouth of Fox Creek at a sycamore and beech on the bank of the river, running thence North fifty-two degrees East five hundred and twenty poles to a white oak and hickory corner on the side of a very steep hill, South thirty degrees East thirteen hundred and sixteen poles to a corner two beech trees and a small sugar tree on the bank of Fox Creek, on the north side, thence South thirty-eight degrees West six hundred and thirty poles to a corner three beech trees on the lower side of a gut on the bank of the river, thence down the river with its meanders fourteen hundred and seventy poles to the beginning. With it appurtenances to have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land with its appurtenances to the said Cuthbert Harrison and his heirs forever. In witness whereof the said Patrick Henry Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia hath hereunto set his hand and caused the lesser seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed at Richmond on the second day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, and of the Commonwealth the Tenth. (signed) P. Henry"

The drawing to the top-right is taken from the survey of this tract drawn by Samuel Smyth and George May who plotted it in 1783. An immediate issue has to do with the orientation of the drawing. As was often the case on early surveys, it is not oriented with the top to the north as we are accustomed to viewing modern maps. The second drawing is drawn to a rough scale with the line directions oriented properly. Thus the lower-right corner of the Smyth-May drawing is roughly equal to the upper-left of the second drawing.

The first plotted line, "North fifty-two degrees East five hundred and twenty poles" is determined by beginning at north and moving 52 degrees to the east 520 poles (1 pole equals 16.5 feet). This is often written on surveys as N 52 E 520 as shown in the second drawing. The second line drawn, "South thirty degrees East thirteen hundred and sixteen poles," is determined by beginning at South (180 degrees) and backing up 30 degrees to the East which gives a degree reading of 150 degrees. The last line shown on the second drawing, "South thirty-eight degrees West six hundred and thirty poles," is determined by beginning at South and adding 38 degrees which equals 218 degrees.

The last critical bit of information is given when the grant indicates that the tract boundary is complete by moving down the river to the beginning. Down the river is taken to mean downstream. With this information we know that the tract was on the northern side of Rolling Fork River.

While Jefferson County, in 1783, extended down as far as the Green River, it does seem reasonable to believe that this 5000 acre tract lay along that part of the Rolling Fork River that would become a boundary of Bullitt County in 1797. If we accept this theory, then we may well conclude that Wilford Lee bought a small part of that tract in 1814.

The one bit of information that we have not been able to ascertain is the reference to Fox Creek. The only modern-day Fox Creek in Kentucky that we have located is in Fleming County, east of Lexington. This creek flows into the Licking River. It is possible that this was an early name for Crooked Creek, but this is only speculation.


If you, the reader, have an interest in any particular part of our county history, and wish to contribute to this effort, use the form on our Contact Us page to send us your comments about this, or any Bullitt County History page. We welcome your comments and suggestions. If you feel that we have misspoken at any point, please feel free to point this out to us.

The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 13 Jul 2015 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/cuthbert_harrison_5000tract.html