Partner Robert Craddock

Queer Places:
Fairview Cemetery Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky, USA

Peter Tardiveau (died May 28, 1817) is buried together with Captain Robert Craddock. His own tombstone simply reads: "Peter Tardiveau. Comrade in arms and friend of Robert Craddock." The will stated: "No relatives living that I know of. To good friend Captain Robert Craddock who has afforded me shelter against poverty -- I might say beggarly these last eight years. Dated January 4, 1817. No witnesses." Samuel J. McDowell, George G. Minor, John W. Cook and Herbert P. Gaines swore this to be Peter Tardiveau's handwriting. Henry West. Apbraham Sharp, Tarleton Drake were appointed to appraise estate if any. It consistes of 25 books, manuscript of his watch, trunk, chest, and a few other items.

Jacob Yoder of Pennsylvania, and later Spencer County, Kentucky, has been credited with performing the first flatboat trip down the Ohio and Mississippi to sell agricultural produce at New Orleans in May, 1782. This may he true, but there exists fuller evidence for the trip of the Tardiveau brothers. At the encouragement of Benjamin Franklin and perhaps Jonathan Williams, Barthelemi and Pierre Tardiveau moved from France to Philadelphia in 1777 to establish a mercantile firm in partnership with Jean Holker, the first French Consul to the United States. In 1781 Tardiveau and Holker furnished supplies in the Ohio Valley for George Rogers Clark and the Virginia regiments, and in 1782 the firm sent a fleet of boats laden with flour and other merchandise from Fort Pitt to New Orleans; but they lost their investment when "pirates," a band of Loyalists and Indians led by James Colbert, seized the boats before they reached New Orleans,

During the war Captain Craddock developed a life time friendship with Peter (Pierre) Tardiveau, a volunteer from Bordeaux, France. At the end of the war the two men moved to Kentucky after acquiring several land warrents for their services during the war, and by purchasing others from veterans that didn't want to settle in the wilderness. Craddock held grants for land in the Kentucky counties of Mercer, Hardin, Ohio, Todd, Logan, and Warren, as well as large tracts in Tennessee. Settling first in Mercer County in 1786, Craddock and Tardiveau were among the influential men of Danville who organized the "Political Club", an active forum of lively debate on current Kentucky issues from 1786-1790.

Pierre Tardiveau served as an interpreter for Citizen Genet's agents in the west and in 1795 was tried at Bayou Pierre for having participated in a plot to incite an uprising among Louisiana's French inhabitants to regain control of their former colony. By the end of the century, Tardiveau had exhausted the private fortune that he had made in the mercantile business.

Peter Tardiveau joined his friend in Warren County in 1798, after losing his fortune due to bad investments and resided at the "Hermitage" until his death in 1817. Craddock and Tardiveau wanted to pass the fruits of an education on to their slaves and their children. A log schoolhouse was erected for the benefit of teaching the blacks and also many of the lessfortunate white children of the area. This school was probably one of the first free schools established in Kentucky. A log hall was also built to allow the slaves to indulge their fondness for entertainment in dancing to the fiddle.

One fall day several years later, the two men were walking through a moss-covered area shaded by large trees. They pledged to each other that this would be their final resting place. On 28 May 1817, Peter Tardiveau died and was buried on the chosen spot. A small slab of stone was placed at the site as requested, with only "P. Tardiveau" inscribed on it. Robert Craddock died in April of 1837. As he lay dying he requested that Billy Brown and Hayden Neighbors, who were musicians, to march around his house playing the fife and drum in a soldierly manner. Captain Craddock was laid to rest beside his comrade in-arms, dressed in his Virginia military uniform. A plain slab of native stone was also placed at the site with only "R. Craddock" inscribed on it.

Several years after the death of Craddock, the Warren County Fiscal Court ordered that his remains and those of Tardiveau be reinterred in the Fairview Cemetery with full military honors. In 1922 a large monument was placed at his grave by local school children in loving memory of his contributions toward their education. On the monument is a bronze plaque that reads: "Erected by the children of Warren County in memory of Robert Craddock, Revolutionary Soldier, Pioneer, Philanthropist, and founder of the Craddock Fund for the education of poor children". Located at the foot of each plot stands a small marker that reads, Robert Craddock, died 1837, and at the other,"Peter Tardiveau, comrade-in-arms , and friend of Robert Craddock".

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