The previous posting ended its chronicle of Joshua Wilson and Mary Rice’s lives on 13 January 1812 as they relinquished to John Postlethwaite the inn they had leased from him in Lexington, Kentucky, and had managed for eight years. The posting states that at this point, the Wilsons moved from Lexington to Louisville, Kentucky. Robert C. Jobson thinks that they had actually moved to Louisville by 1811, prior to the 13 January 1812 relinquishment of their lease on Postlethwaite’s inn. In his 1983 Filson Club History Quarterly article chronicling the life of Joshua and Mary’s grandson John Clark Bayless, Jobson says that Joshua Wilson first appeared on the scene in Louisville in 1811 as a “wealthy entrepreneur.” According to Jobson, the Wilsons’ soon-to-be son-in-law Abijah Bayless arrived in Louisville the same year when he began a dry-goods mercantile business there.
Or, Subtitled: “At the head of the table, laid out with great neatness, plenty and variety, sat our well-dressed hostess, who did the honors with ease and propriety“
This is the first of a two-part series that will document the life of George Rice and Elizabeth Brooks’s daughter Mary Rice and her husband Joshua Wilson. This posting focuses on the couple’s years in Virginia and then in Bardstown and Lexington, Kentucky. The next posting will focus on the final period of their lives in Louisville, Kentucky, and Corydon, Indiana. Several of the children of George and Elizabeth Brooks Rice shared an interest in inn- and tavern-keeping. As we saw in a previous posting, soon after they arrived in Kentucky from Virginia, Mary Rice Wilson’s sister Ruth and husband Micajah Roach purchased an inn in Bardstown from Joshua and Mary Wilson. And in a later posting, we’ll see that Mary and Ruth’s brother George also had a tavern in Winchester, Virginia. I call these establishments inns-cum-taverns because they were akin to the public houses of the British Isles in which locals could eat and drink, and also in which travelers could find lodging.