Shortly after his arrival in Kentucky, John Hardin volunteered under General
George Rogers Clark for the campaign against the Wabash Indians and was
appointed quartermaster of the force. The Wabash campaign was not very
fruitful, many men deserting, supplies not sufficient, etc. There were other ex-
peditions against the Indians in which he took part. In 1789, he was named
County Lieutenant, with the rank of colonel, which placed him in command of
the militia of the county.
In May, 1792, General James Wilkinson, commanding the American troops
at Fort Washington (site of present Cincinnati, Ohio) urged Colonel Hardin to
undertake a mission to the Indians in Ohio to attempt to negotiate a peace
treaty. He carried a flag of truce to indicate his peaceful intent, but was treach-
erously murdered. Before his death was known he had been appointed a Justice
of the Quarter Session (Court) in Washington County and Brigadier of the First
Brigade of Kentucky Militia.
A county in Ohio was formed and named in 1820 in honor of Colonel Hardin
and some years later a town was laid out in Shelby County (Ohio) covering the
very spot where the gallant man met death. In Kentucky in 1792, the year of his
death, the new county formed from Nelson was given the name Hardin.
The Hardin family has given its name to numerous personages of note in Ken-
tucky's history. Sarah Hardin, sister of Colonel John Hardin, married her cousin,
Benjamin Hardin, in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania circa 1780. They
became parents of a son, Benjamin, born in 1784, and brought by his parents in
1787 to the neighborhood of Springfield, Ky. in Washington County, where a
number of the Hardins had settled the previous year. Young Benjamin Hardin
was to become one of the outstanding attorneys of his time and was much on
the courthouse scene in Elizabethtown, where he lived for several years. He
moved to Bardstown and spent the remainder of his years there, except for his
years in Washington, serving in Congress. He and his wife, Elizabeth Barbour,
were parents of Lucinda Barbour Hardin, who married Governor John L. Helm.
Colonel Hardin's sister, Lydia, married Charles Wickliffe. They were parents
of nine children, among them Governor Charles Anderson Wickliffe, who was
born June 8, 1788 in a log cabin on Sulphur Run, a branch of Cartwright Creek,
six miles from Springfield. As a young man he studied law in Richmond under
his cousin, Martin D. Hardin, known later as General Martin D. Hardin. The bar
of Bardstown, when he settled there to begin his professional career, was the
ablest, excepting perhaps Lexington, west of the Allegheny Mountains. He was
elected numerous times to the State Legislature and served in Congress from
1823 to 1833.
In 1836, Charles Wickliffe was elected Lieutenant governor on the ticket with
James Clark as governor. With the death of Clark, he became governor of Ken-
tucky October 5, 1839, serving until September, 1840. He ran for the governor's
office in 1863, as a Democrat, losing badly to Colonel Thomas E. Bramlette, the
Union candidate. He was Postmaster-General in the cabinet of President Tyler.
He escaped an assassination attempt by an insane man in August, 1843.
General Martin D Hardin, son of Colonel John Hardin and Jane Davis Hardin,
is said by some historians to have been the most capable of the children born
to them. He was about six years old when the family emigrated from George's
Creek, Pennsylvania to a point on Pleasant Run, a branch of the Beech Fork,
about three miles from Springfield, Ky. He studied law with Colonel George
Nicholas and practiced at Richmond and Frankfort. He served in the War of 1812
as a major in the Rifle Regiment of Colonel John Allen, and acquitted himself
gallantly. He was Secretary of State under Governor Isaac Shelby from 1812 to
1816 and was appointed by Governor Gabriel Slaughter to fill out a vacancy in
the U. S. Senate in 1816-1817. He was only forty-three years old when he died
at Frankfort October 8, 1823. He was the father of Colonel John J. Hardin, an
ex-member of Congress from Illinois, who was killed at the Battle of Buena Vista,
February 23, 1847, in the War with Mexico.