I am researching "my Thomason's" and ran across the submission below. It was posted on the RootsWeb Message Boards by Carol Stiles and is a biography of William Lane Draper, as told to Ms. Stiles (who, by the title, I'm assuming, was William Lane Draper's great-great granddaughter), by William Lane Draper's son, Resire Dero Draper. I believe (without proof), that the Elizabeth Thomason Draper mentioned here is a sister to my great-great grandfather, James B. Thomason. Because of the Thomason connection and the mention of Joseph N. Corlee in this bio., I thought it might prove interesting to you.
William Lane Draper, G.G. Grandfather
Author: Carol Stiles
Surnames: Draper, Thomason, Lane, Payne, Olds
(There were quite a few typos in the original. I cleaned up those that did not effect the content.)
William Lane Draper, named in honor of his mother, Nancy land (sic), was born in Sumner Co., TN, near Bledsoe Creek, later moved to Goose Creek in Macon Co., organized from Smith and Sumner Counties in 1842. His son, R.D. (Resire Dero) Draper, made insubstance, the following statements to the writer, March 24, 1916, in Fairfield, Wayne Co., IL:
"James Draper, brother of W.L. went away from home in Tennessee to Missouri and wrote home from some small town but was not afterwards heard from. William Lane was small at the time of his brother's leaving and remembered it by James picking him up and setting him on the edge of the house roof, threatening to let him fall off, greatly frightening his little brother. James was tall and slender.
His father, Joshua, was a blacksmith. (In those days, a blacksmith, because of his skill in making and repairing implements of wood and iron, was given a higher rank in the social scale than that of present day.) While yet a small boy, William Lane assisted his father in the shop by pumping the bellows; but in order to do so, he had to stand on a wooden block to reach the handle. His schooling was very limited but he learned to read and write. Though he was industrious as a lad, he early caught the spirit of adventure. The new state of Illinois had been admitted into the Union only seven years before his birth. Immigration had set in from states south of Ohio. Turner Thomason, later his brother-in-law, and Joseph N. Corlee had walked to this new country and liked it so well, they decided to remain, and so were among the early settlers of southern Wayne County. Some years later, and before he was married, William and one William Payne, came to Illinois on horseback, the latter riding a blind horse which one day stumbled and fell, throwing Payne over his head. William never forgot his favorable impression of the country.
Somehow, as his romance later developed with Elizabeth Thomason, strong opposition flared up against the match. Her brother, George, the chief objector, threatened the life of the prospective groom. On the morning set for the wedding, William went to the Thomason home and found George on the front porch moulding bullets. 'What in the hell do ye think yere going to do?', he said. 'I don't know what in the hell I will do!', said George. 'And, I don't give a ______ what you do!', William snapped back, with fire in his eyes. The wedding, however, came off on time without further fuss. Adam Thomason, father of the bride, had died some years before and her mother apparently made no objections to their marriage.
With growing threat of conflict between North and South, over slavery, William had no desire to fight to uphold that institution; nor, on the other hand, to take up arms in behalf of the Negro. Moreover, to get a substantial foothold in the Cumberland foothills, for a man with such a growing family, was anything but promising. Their scanty household furniture piled in the ox wagon and topped out with several children, the parents set out for Illinois in the autumn of 1852. After some days, the slow oxen pace brought the family to northern Kentucky where they began to meet more and more people returning from Illinois to Tennessee. Mothers were sick and emaciated, disheartened and poverty-stricken; their children pot-bellied victims of third-day chills, better known as 'ague'. "Betsy", as William called his wife, grew thoroughly embittered at these sights and woeful tales. Finally, in desperation, she shouted: 'William, we're not takin' our children into no sich (sic) place! We're goin' back to Tennessee!' And, back they went to the Goose Creek cabin from which they had come.
Six weary years passed by but William's old urge for moving to Illinois did not fade. Mother was again persuaded to go, and for more and better reasons. William's brother Isaac lived there and his wife was her cousin, Lucy; her youngest brother (probably Turner), had been there several years and liked the country; and plans were under way that her oldest brother, John Tomason (sic), and family would also go along. Nature was kind that year, too, in giving them a good tobacco crop and others in proportion. Also to join the pilgrimage was Uncle John Olds and a man named Haley, who would bump along with them in his comic-looking carry all.
So again, one early October morning in 1858, the William Lane Drapers piled their children and their scanty plunder into the ox wagon, and bidding final goodbye to their Macon County friends and relatives, were again northward bound for Illinois. Grandfather (William) had one little sorrel blaze-faced horse named 'Brigham'. Part of the time Grandmother (Elizabeth) rode him carrying me (Resire Dero). Their children had regularly increased in number since their first attempted journey.
(The sentences above have been copied here just as they appeared in the bio but I don't understand them as written. Resire Dero was William and Elizabeth's son, not grandson.)
The trip was rather uneventful. The older boys walked part of the time, finding no trouble to keep up with the puffing cattle as the bows creaked against their tired and unwilling shoulders. Family meals of the simplest food lent pleasing diversion. After days of travel, perhaps by way of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, they came to the beautiful Ohio. Beyond lay the magic hills and prairies of Illinois. They crossed at Ford's Ferry, which years before had been notorious for crime and criminals. The weary, if not frightened, oxen, in see-sawing to get the wagon aboard the ferry, got one wheel overboard, giving Elizabeth quite a fright but, after all, a minor incident and soon remedied.
Across the Ohio, past Cave-in-Rock, and over Pott's Hill, the stolid oxen plodded on past the old salt wells of Equality and northwest to McLeansboro, leaving it to the right. A few miles farther on, Uncle John Thomason said to William, 'We're leaving you hear and going on to Franklin County up through Moore's Prairie'. The Drapers turned northeast across Oxier Creek and east through Brush Prairie to Frog Island, where Turner Thomason and Isaac Draper lived. Houses scarce and winter coming in a few weeks, the Drapers found an old log cabin (about a mile northeast of the present Olive Branch church), on land afterwards owned by brother George. There, on Christmas Eve night, their youngest child, Thomas Franklin Draper, was born."
Hope you find something here you can use.
Have a Great Day,