Jemima Johnson Chapter
Mary Ann White Hayes, Regent
Ann Barkley Westmeyer, Vice Regent
Martha Feeback Taylor, Chaplain
Norma K. Gilvin, Recording Secretary
_______, Corresponding Secretary
Elaine Deutsch, Treasurer
Rogers Roseberry Barde, Registrar
Betty Brooks Willmott, Historian
Lalie Dick, Librarian
Updated January 12, 2019
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HISTORY OF THE CHAPTER
Jemima Johnson Chapter of Paris, Kentucky, was named for Jemima Suggett Johnson of Bryan Station fame, a woman who merits a high place among the world's famous women.
Born Jemima Suggett in Orange County, Virginia, June 29, 1753, she later married Colonel Robert Johnson, also a Virginian, and they came to Kentucky with their four children in 1780. They first settled at Beargrass, near Louisville, where their son, Richard was born. Later they moved to Bryan Station. In 1782, Colonel Johnson was elected a member of the General Assembly of Virginia and went to Richmond leaving his family at Bryan Station. When the memorable attack was made on the fort, Mrs. Johnson and the little children were without the protection of the husband and father.
When British Officer Major John Caldwell, accompanied by a band of about six hundred Indians, reached the fort on August 15, 1782, he immediately surrounded the fort. The plan of attack was interpreted by the pioneers and since water was needed at the fort it was suggested that the women go to the nearby spring for it, as it was believed the Indians would not interfere with them and for sake of capturing a few women, risk the loss of the whole fort, which they expected to take by remaining concealed until the proper time. The women were, therefore, brought together and the situation explained to them. Tradition has handed down the name of Jemima Johnson as the heroine who first spoke approval for the plan and led the way to the spring. Under her leadership, the nine women and fifteen little girls calmly took their buckets, some carrying three-one in each hand and one on the head and made way to the spring. After filling the buckets at the spring, they returned in safety to the fort. The garrison was correct in its surmise, not a gun was fired at them. We all know the rest—how the attack was made and resisted, and how the enemy was defeated. It is one of the most memorable events in Kenttucky pioneer history.
The next year after the seige at Bryan Station in 1783, Colonel Johnson moved his family to Great Crossing, in Scott County. Here six more children-making eleven in all were born to the Colonel and his wife.
Jemima Johnson passed the remainder of her life at Great Crossing; she died on the 23rd of February 1814, aged sixty-one.