Letter from Abraham Hardin — who taught John Randolph Logan the “art and science” of surveying — to Lyman C. Draper, author of “Kings Mountain and Its Heroes”

Abraham Hardin (1789-1881) taught John Randolph Logan the “art and science” of surveying. Surveying was an advanced skill that few had at the time; therefore, it could be a lucrative occupation, though a hard one, especially in the early years of settlement and over rough, forested, and marshy ground. Abraham Hardin’s early mentoring of John R. Logan in surveying meant that Logan could later have the means to enter into government service, politics, church leadership, and education. For this reason, Hardin’s autobiographical sketch (below) is of interest.

Hardin was the deacon of Antioch Baptist Church for sixty years. A coffin-maker, Hardin made his and his wife’s coffins himself.

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Transcript: You seem to have some wish to know the place of my nativity and of my Early Life. In answer I would say to you that I was born in Rutherford County NC now Cleaveland County NC on the 22 day of June, 1789, of poor parentage when and where there was no schools so I was deprived of Letters and when I arrive to manhood I had to Labour in the Farm or Shop all day and Read and Study at night with out help except God’s blessings of good health and a retentive memory, and of a determined will. I had to work about five years to purchase a little tract of land & in 1811 I settled down in York County S.C. where I have resided for sixty years past and Served this county to the best of my ability as follows: Served the Church as Deacon & Superintendent of Sunday School for Sixty years, in the same time served the State & County as Civil Magistrate forty-two years, and Eight of that time as Representative  of The County in the State Legislature, also served as Surveyor of Lands Forty years, performed 100s of marriages and adjusting Litigation without Lawsuits, and making Coffins and thus I have Served the Last Two or Three generations according to their day and yet they Call and I am now awaiting the call come home but until I receive that Call I must still serve on.

I would tell you more of the favours conferred on me of sight & hearing and how to preserve the Eye and prevent the sight from receeding [sic] but I have spoken of self so much above that I beg to be excused. I know of nothing more to promote your work as Historian but if any thing does occur worth Notice I will forward it to you. I received your Books at Two different Times for which manafestations [sic] of Kindness I feel greatfull [sic] and wish you success in all your undertakings and I remain yours Truly          Abraham Hardin

Transcribed by Betty Logan

 

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