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Title: Stories of Old Kentucky
Author: Purcell, Martha Grassham
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Stories of Old Kentucky" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

by The Kentuckiana Digital Library)





  [Illustration: KENTUCKY











To be easily assimilated, our mental food, like our physical food,
should be carefully chosen and attractively served.

The history of the "Dark and Bloody Ground" teems with adventure and
patriotism. Its pages are filled with the great achievements, the heroic
deeds, and the inspiring examples of the explorers, the settlers, and
the founders of our state. In the belief that a knowledge of their
struggles and conquests is food that is both instructive and inspiring,
and with a knowledge that a text on history does not always attract, the
author sets before the youth of Kentucky these stories of some of her
great men.

This book is intended as both a supplementary reader and a text, for,
though in story form, the chapters are arranged chronologically, and
every fact recorded has been verified.

Thanks are due to the many friends who have granted access to papers of
historical value, to many others who have assisted in making this book a
reality, and especially to my husband, Dr. Clyde Edison Purcell, for his
valuable suggestions, careful criticisms, and untiring coöperation.

                                              MARTHA GRASSHAM PURCELL.



    WHEN THE OCEAN COVERED KENTUCKY                    9

    THE ABORIGINES OF KENTUCKY                        10

    SOME PREHISTORIC REMAINS                          16

    THE DISCOVERY OF KENTUCKY                         18

    INDIAN CLAIMS IN KENTUCKY                         22

    SCOUWA                                            23

    THE GRAVEYARD OF THE MAMMOTHS                     27

    THE DRUID OF KENTUCKY                             28

    A PIONEER NOBLEMAN                                33

    EARLY KENTUCKY CUSTOMS                            37

    BOONE'S ILLUSTRIOUS PEER                          41

    BOONE'S TRACE                                     49

    BOONE IN CAPTIVITY                                52

    BOONESBOROUGH'S BRAVE DEFENSE                     56

    THE LOST BABY                                     61

    THE FIRST ROMANCE IN KENTUCKY                     64

    A WEDDING IN THE WILDERNESS                       67

    PIONEER CHILDREN                                  70

    HOW THE PIONEERS MADE CHANGE                      72

    A WOMAN'S WILL                                    73

    WHEN THE WOMEN BROUGHT THE WATER                  76

    THE RESULT OF ONE RASH ACT                        83

    TWO KENTUCKY HEROES                               86

    THE BATTLE OF THE BOARDS                          89

    THE FAITHFUL SLAVE AND HIS REWARD                 91

    THE DOUBLE SHOT                                   94

    A MAN OF STRATEGY AND SAGACITY                    96

    THE KIND-HEARTED INDIAN                          100

    SAVED BY THE HUG OF A BEAR                       101


    A FAMOUS MARCH                                   110

    THE FIRST CHRISTMAS PARTY                        113

    FORT JEFFERSON                                   115

    "THE HARD WINTER"                                118

    WILDCAT MCKINNEY                                 119

    HOW KENTUCKY WAS FORMED                          122

    KENTUCKY IN THE REVOLUTION                       123

    KENTUCKY'S PIONEER HISTORIAN                     125

    SPANISH CONSPIRACY                               128

    A KENTUCKY INVENTOR                              135

    OTHER KENTUCKY INVENTIONS                        138

    THE MAN WHO KNEW ABOUT BIRDS                     140

    A HERO OF HONOR                                  143

    THE "PRIDE OF THE PENNYRILE"                     150

    LUCY JEFFERSON LEWIS                             153

    NATURAL CURIOSITIES IN KENTUCKY                  155


    HOW REELFOOT LAKE WAS FORMED                     161

    KENTUCKY VALOR IN 1812-1815                      163

    A TRIUMVIRATE OF ELOQUENCE                       166

    KENTUCKIANS IN TEXAS AND MEXICO                  167

    CLAY, THE GREAT COMMONER                         169


    WHY SOME CITIES WERE SO NAMED                    175

    KENTUCKY IN THE FIELD OF SCIENCE                 179

    "BESSEMER STEEL" IN KENTUCKY                     182

    KENTUCKY ARTISTS                                 184

    KENTUCKY IN THE FIELD OF LETTERS                 187

    KENTUCKIANS IN HISTORY                           190


AUDUBON, LUCY: "Life and Journals of John James Audubon." Putnam.

COLLINS, R.H.: "History of Kentucky." Collins & Co.

EGGLESTON, E.: "Stories of American Life and Adventure." "Stories of
Great Americans for Little Americans." American Book Co.

HULBERT, A.B.: "Boone's Wilderness Road." Arthur H. Clark Co.

JOHNSON, E.P.: "History of Kentucky and Kentuckians." Lewis Publishing

KINKEAD, E.S.: "History of Kentucky." American Book Co.

MARSHALL, H.: "History of Kentucky." Frankfort.

OTIS, JAMES: "Hannah of Kentucky." American Book Co.

PRICE, S.W.: "Old Masters of the Blue Grass." Morton & Co.

SHALER, N.S.: "Kentucky." Houghton Mifflin Co.

SMITH, H.I.: "Prehistoric Ethnology of a Kentucky Site." Amer. Museum of
Nat. Hist.

SMITH, Z.F.: "History of Kentucky." Courier-Journal Co.

STOCKTON, F.R.: "Stories of New Jersey." American Book Co.

THOMPSON, E.P.: "A Young People's History of Kentucky." A.R. Fleming
Publishing Co.

TOWNSEND, J.W.: "Kentuckians in History and Literature." Neale
Publishing Co. "Kentucky in American Letters." Torch Press.

YOUNG, B.H.: "Prehistoric Men of Kentucky." Filson Club.



Facts are stranger than fiction; and when we read the great volume of
Nature, we find it more intensely interesting, instructive, and exciting
than any "tale" told by our master minds.

It is difficult enough for the youth of to-day to realize there was ever
a time when Kentucky did not have a place on the map and in the march of
events. Still more difficult is it for them to realize that there was a
time when the ocean covered our state. Geological annals show that the
surface of Kentucky was once the bed of the sea. This primitive ocean is
supposed to have covered a large part of North America to the depth of
several thousand feet. As we read the record in the soil and as we study
the strata, we find evidence of a gradual retreat of the briny waters
without proofs of any very violent or sudden disruptions of the ocean.
The creation or appearance of sea animals, fishes, polyps, and the
formation of limestone, sandstone, slate, grit, and pebble, are parts of
the story here recorded.

The retreat of the briny waters continued and continued for ages, until
finally the Cumberland or Wasioto Mountains emerged, followed by the
Black, Laurel, Pine, Long, and Galico Mountains; other lower elevations
then rose until only an inland sea, surrounded by sandy hills, remained.
Then the grasses, reeds, and mosses left their impress; land animals,
insects, birds, and reptiles appeared; vegetation increased, and trees
and shrubs grew.

Still the waters receded; marshes, muddy swamps, licks, small lakes,
ponds, clay and marl deposits were left; sinks and caves were formed;
and land plants and animals increased.

As the waters still slowly but surely receded, creeks, rivers, and
valleys received their present shape, the ocean reached its actual
level, and the American continent assumed its shape. The huge
animals--the big bears, buffaloes, jaguars, elephants, and
mastodons--roamed over what is now Kentucky, and left their impress at
Big Bone Lick, Drennon's Lick, and other points where the savage, the
settler, and the man of science have successively meditated and marveled
over their prehistoric remains.


When but a little girl one of my greatest delights was to sit at the
feet of my maternal grandfather and listen to the tales of the olden
times. Grandfathers and grandmothers always love to tell stories, and
boys and girls love to hear them. Our grandparents were not the only
ones that enjoyed telling stories of the great past; Indians also
related many things to their children of what had happened in the long
ago. But as the red men had no books in which to record these
happenings, some of their stories may be of real incidents and a great
deal may be purely imaginary, for we know the Indian was always very

[Illustration: The Indians loved to tell stories to their children.]

There is a story told by the Lenni-Lenape Indians, who lived in eastern
United States, that their ancestors in the very earliest times were
mere animals living underground. One of them accidentally found a hole
by which he came to the surface of the ground, and soon the whole tribe
followed. These Indians believed that they gradually became human
beings; so in remembrance of their ancestors, they chose such names as
"Black Bear," "Black Hawk," "Red Horse," and "Sitting Bull." Some of the
tribes believing in this tradition would not eat any underground animals
like the rabbit, ground hog, and ground squirrel, for fear they would be
eating their kinsmen.

Another very interesting tradition told by these Lenni-Lenape, or
Delawares, is that these ancestors came from west of the Mississippi and
that when they tried to cross this stream the right of passage was
disputed by a powerful force called the Alligewi, from whose name we get
the word Allegheny. Being determined to cross this mighty stream and
move eastward, the Lenni-Lenape joined with the Mengwe (Iroquois) in a
war upon the Alligewi, overcame them, and almost exterminating them,
drove the remnant of their tribe entirely from the country.

General G.R. Clark, Colonel McKee, and Colonel James Moore at different
times and places were told by Indians, among them the noted chiefs
"Cornstalk" and "Tobacco," that before the red men came to
Kentucky--named from Ken-tuck-ee, meaning in Indian language, "the river
of Blood"--a white race, superior in many arts and crafts unknown to
the red men, the builders of the many forts, and the inhabitants of the
vast burying grounds, had been besieged by the early Indians in a great
battle near the Falls of the Ohio. The remnant was driven into a small
island below these rapids, where the entire race was "cut to pieces."

In confirmation of this, there was found on Sandy Island, a vast burying
ground and "a multitude of human bones was discovered." This traditional
testimony has been in many instances confirmed by unmistakable traces of
a terrible conflict throughout the Ohio Valley. The story of these
bloody battles, handed down for generations, very probably caused the
Indians to name this place the "Dark and Bloody Ground." Believing it to
be filled with ghosts of its primitive people, it is no small wonder
that this race, full of imagination and superstition, should use it so
little as a permanent home.

But who was this primitive race? Whence did they come and what did they
accomplish? The works they built have lived after them, and from these
silent memorials the people have been called Mound Builders. Beyond the
bounds of memory, into the land of mystery we go when we strive to learn
of them. They have left their imprint in the valleys of the Licking, the
Kentucky, the Ohio, and the Cumberland. Their many mounds vary in size,
shape, structure, location, contents, and use. Some cover only a small
area, while others have a diameter of over one hundred feet and one
covers fifteen acres. They display a considerable knowledge of geometry,
engineering, and military skill.

Because some have supposed these ancient people to have been sun
worshipers, the "high places" for ceremonial worship are called temple
mounds. The fact that these are more numerous in Kentucky than
elsewhere, may have given rise to the expressions "sacred soil" or
"God's country." Within or near these inclosures are mounds containing
altars of stone or burned clay, known as altar mounds; the burial
places, called mounds of sepulture, are isolated and contain human
remains which shed more light on the character and achievements of this
prehistoric race than any others. The military mounds, or works of
defense, are usually near a waterway, often on a precipitous height, in
a commanding position, and with an extension ditch or moat; the skill,
the foresight, and the complete system shown by these would prove that
there were fierce foes to be resisted and a vast population to be

It is possible that all agricultural work was done with "digging
sticks." Fishing and hunting were accomplished by arrows, knives, and
spears, chipped from stone or rubbed out of antlers, by fishhooks of
bone, and by nets. There were also "animal calls" made from small mammal
bones, and the hollow bones of the birds. The knives were probably
chipped stone points, clamshells, or bear teeth; there were also awls
of bones, strainers of pottery, hammerstones, whetstones, chisels of
bone, and needles from bones of small animals. Modeling, impressing,
twisting, knitting, painting, and sculpture were carried on; personal
ornaments, rattles, whistles, and pipes were made. Moccasins, beads of
pottery, bone, shell, teeth, and copper, and pottery of various sizes,
shapes, and decoration were and sometimes are still found all along the
streams of the state.

[Illustration: Relics of the Mound Builders.]

We know that they were an agricultural class because in some mounds were
found remains of Indian corn and beans, also hickory nuts, butternuts,
walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and pawpaw seeds.

While in some instances the graves were more or less surrounded by
limestone slabs, in other places the dead were laid on skins or on the
bare ground, and covered with skins and soil heaped above. As this soil
had to be carried in baskets or skins, these immense mounds stand as
mute memorials of their love for one another.


There are many curious natural formations in Kentucky; yet the many
artificial mounds also have added interest to the topography, and it is
sometimes difficult to distinguish where nature ends and art begins.

The noted scientist, C.S. Rafinesque, claimed to have discovered one
hundred and forty-eight ancient sites and over five hundred monuments in
this state.

The greater number of the mounds were small cone-like structures from
five to ten or sometimes forty feet in height; in several counties those
of pyramid shape were found, and other counties contained unusual

In Bourbon were found several sites, forty-six monuments, a circus of
fourteen hundred and fifty feet, and a town whose stretch of walls
measured four thousand six hundred and seventy-five feet.

Hickman County had a teocalli, or temple, ten feet high, thirty feet
wide, and four hundred and fifty feet long.

Livingston with several sites and monuments had also an octagon whose
walls measured twenty-eight hundred and fifty-two feet in length.

In McCracken was found a teocalli fourteen feet high and twelve hundred
feet long.

Rockcastle had a stone grave three feet high, five feet wide, and two
hundred feet long.

Warren claimed a ditched town, octagonal in shape, measuring in
perimeter one thousand three hundred and eighty-five feet.

In Trigg was found a walled town with a circumference of seven thousand
five hundred feet.

A mound more than twenty feet high with a diameter of over one hundred
feet was located in Montgomery.

In Estill was located one fifteen feet high, one hundred and ninety-two
feet in diameter, and surrounded by a moat ten feet deep and thirty-five
feet wide.

A horseshoe-shaped fort of about ten acres in area was found in
Caldwell. Its curve was bordered by a perpendicular bluff of sixty feet,
and the two points of the shoe were connected by a stone wall ten feet
high and six hundred feet long, with a gateway eight feet wide.

In Hickman, O'Bryan's fort; in Madison, a stone fort containing four or
five hundred acres; and in Greenup, an effigy mound representing a bear,
"leaning forward, measuring fifty-three feet from the top of the back to
the end of the fore leg and one hundred five and one half feet from the
tip of the nose to the rear of the hind foot," with those already
mentioned, give a faint idea of the variety of mounds in shape, size,
and structure. Yet these are only a few of the many ancient remains in
Kentucky of the Mound Builders who have left their imprint throughout
our great central valley and whose wide range has left in the same mound
"the mica of the Alleghenies, the obsidian of Mexico, the copper of the
Great Lakes, and shells from the Gulf of the Southland."

Since the location of these remains the plowshare has leveled many
mounds, but several can yet be traced.


Do you ever feel, when reading of the deeds of the early European
navigators, who braved the perils of the trackless deep only to find on
this shore a tangled "forest primeval," that our own beloved Kentucky is
in every way far removed historically from them?

Since it is so interesting and edifying to find ourselves related to
some noted personage, let us see if we can connect the "Dark and Bloody
Ground" with the discoveries that opened up a new world.

We must go back many, many years, yes, even to the Middle Ages, if we
would see how and why we are at least a small link in the great chain of
events that gradually gave to the western world one of its proudest
commonwealths. Some one has said, "Westward the course of empire takes
its way," but for centuries the people of Europe concerned themselves
not with what lay to the west of them but with the people and problems
of the East. This is easy to understand when we learn that the copper,
lead, tin, and manufactures of Europe were carried by traders, partly by
sea and partly by land, to Constantinople or to Egypt, where they were
exchanged for the luxuries that Asia had sent by vessels or camels.
India and the Spice Islands sent cloves, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, mace,
nutmeg, camphor, musk, aloes, and sandalwood, also diamonds and pearls.
Cathay (China) sent silks, while Cipango, the island of mystery, in the
great ocean east of Cathay that no one had seen, was believed to be the
richest of all.

[Illustration: A caravan crossing the desert.]

In 1453, while this exchange was at its height, the Turks conquered
Constantinople, seized the caravan routes, and ruined the trade. Gold
and pearls, ivory and diamonds, spices and silks, could no longer be
secured unless a waterway could be found to the East.

Prince Henry the Navigator, a Portuguese, though many of his captains
thought that in the torrid zone the ocean was boiling and that flames
filled the air, succeeded in reaching almost to the equator before his
death in 1460. In 1487, Diaz continued the work to the Cape of Good
Hope. Christopher Columbus, believing the earth a sphere, thought that
by sailing due westward only two thousand five hundred miles he would
reach China and India. So in August, 1492, after seeking aid in vain
from Portugal, England, and his own country, he braved the "Sea of
Darkness" in a Spanish ship. Though some Portuguese sailors had said,
"You might as well expect to find land in the sky as in that waste of
waters," in October of the same year he made the discovery that gave to
the world a new continent.

Then the spirit of adventure and aggrandizement dominated the Spanish
race. Ponce de León, Fernando Cortez, Pizarro, and Fernando de Soto
continued the work until June, 1543. Luis de Moscoso, the successor of
de Soto, with a remnant of his once proud force, now reduced to about
three hundred men, in boats descended the Mississippi River to its
mouth; from the boats they were the first white men to behold the land
that is now Kentucky.

England, so far, had been very quiet and conservative about discovering,
exploring, or settling. Finally, English fishermen came to Newfoundland.
Sir John Hawkins traded negroes for hides and pearls, and Sir Francis
Drake ravaged the Caribbean coast and in 1577-1580 sailed around the
world. Soon Sir Humphrey Gilbert attempted colonization, which was
taken up by his half brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, who sent two ships
under Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe, who discovered the coast of
North Carolina. Upon their return, Queen Elizabeth named it Virginia.
Kentucky was included in the charter of this first colony, which was
settled at Jamestown, 1607.

The first Englishman to view what is now Kentucky was Colonel Wood, who
in 1654, for commerce and not conquest, explored the northern boundary
of Kentucky as far as the Mississippi River, then called the Meschacebe.
Captain Bolt (or Batt) of Virginia in 1670 came from that state into
what is now Kentucky. In 1673 Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, in
company with Luis Joliet and five other Frenchmen in two canoes passed
down the Mississippi along the western border of Kentucky and spent
several days at the mouth of the Ohio, where Cairo, then called
Ouabouskigou, now stands. Again in February, 1682, Robert de la Salle
and his lieutenant, Henri de Tonti, in company with several other
Frenchmen, descended the Illinois River, and passed down the
Mississippi, or Colbert, to its mouth, claiming the country on both
sides for the French king, Louis the Great, in whose honor they called
this vast tract Louisiana.

It was as a prisoner among the Indians in 1730 that the first white
native American, John Sailing of Virginia, was taken to Kentucky. In
1750 a party of Virginians, among them Dr. Thomas Walker, came by way
of Powell's Valley through a gap in Laurel Mountain, into central
Kentucky. He named both the mountain and the river (formerly the
Shawnee) for England's "Bloody Duke" of Cumberland who defeated the
Scottish forces at Culloden. Some say that near where they entered what
is now the state of Kentucky these men built a rude cabin.

But it was left for John Finley and party, 1767, to learn and love this
wonderland of fertile soil, towering forests, luxuriant vegetation, and
boundless supply of game. When he returned to North Carolina with such
glowing accounts of this wilderness beyond the mountains, many were
ready to leave the comforts of civilization for the dangers and
privations of this land of promise.


Though the Indians at the time of the coming of the white men used
Kentucky mainly as a hunting ground instead of a home, various tribes
laid claim to it by prior possession.

In 1768, at Fort Stanwix--now Rome, New York--the English government
purchased the title to all the lands lying between the Ohio and
Tennessee rivers from the tribes of Indians called the Six Nations. This
tract included the present state of Kentucky.

Shortly after the battle of Point Pleasant, 1774, the Shawnees entered
into a treaty with Governor Dunmore of Virginia whereby they gave up all
title to the lands south of the Ohio River.

At the Sycamore Shoals, of the Watauga River, 1775, Colonel Richard
Henderson, acting for the Transylvania Company, purchased the title of
the Cherokees to this "hunting ground" for ten thousand pounds sterling.
This purchase was afterwards declared null and void by the states of
Virginia and North Carolina.

Through the commissioners Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson, the general
government in 1818 purchased from the Chickasaws, for an annuity of
twenty thousand dollars to be paid for fifteen years, all their land
lying in Tennessee and Kentucky between the Mississippi and Tennessee
rivers. The part in Kentucky has since been called "Jackson's Purchase."

Thus we see that Indian claims to Kentucky were relinquished only upon
payment of money or blood.


There lived in Pennsylvania in the early part of the eighteenth century
a young man by the name of James Smith. A short while before General
Braddock was defeated by the French and Indians, Smith was taken
prisoner by a band of Indians, and carried to the French fort where the
city of Pittsburgh now stands. Here he was made to run the gantlet; and
so well did the Indians, ranged on either side, use their clubs and
sticks and stones, that Smith was badly beaten and made ill for a long

[Illustration: Scouwa was adorned by the Indians.]

The Indians then carried him to their home in Ohio, where an old chief
pulled out the prisoner's hairs one by one; only a scalp lock was left
which was ornamented with feathers and silver brooches. His ears and
nose were pierced and hung with silver rings, his face, head, and body
were painted, and he was adorned with a breechcloth, chains of beads, a
belt of wampum, and silver armlets.

An old chief then made a speech to the other Indians, while he held
Smith by the hand. The prisoner was then accompanied to the river by
three young squaws who attempted to "duck" him. Fearful of being
drowned, Smith resisted until one of the women in broken English cried,
"No hurt you, no hurt you."

After "scrubbing all the white blood out of him," they dressed him in a
ruffled shirt, leggins, and moccasins, presented him with a pipe,
tobacco, pouch, flint, steel, and tomahawk and told him he had been
adopted in place of a brave young chief who had fallen.

The Indians called Smith "Scouwa." They finally gave him a gun to use
and trusted him fully, but because he once lost his way in the woods,
his gun was taken from him and for a long while he was permitted to use
only a bow and arrow.

Smith had some exciting experiences while living the life of an Indian.
At one time, during a snowstorm, he took refuge all night in a hollow
tree, and when he tried to move the block by which he had closed up the
opening in the side of the tree, he found the snow was piled so deep
against it he could not move it. He was badly frightened, but by pushing
with all his strength he finally succeeded in getting out.

At another time Smith, an old chief, and a little boy were alone in
their hut in midwinter and all came near starving, but Smith walked
many, many miles, hunting game, and thus saved the lives of all three.

In 1759 the Indians that had adopted Smith journeyed to Canada; and as
Canada then belonged to the French, and as the French and Indians were
fighting the English, who then owned Pennsylvania, Smith slipped away.
Joining the prisoners that were to be sent back to Pennsylvania in
exchange for some French the English held, he soon rejoined his family.
He was a leader of the "Black Boys," served as lieutenant in General
Henry Bouquet's expedition, and witnessed the Indian cruelties to the
unfortunate British captives.

In July, 1766, he learned that the king's agent, Sir William Johnson,
had purchased from the Indians all the land west of the Appalachian
Mountains, and between the Ohio and Cherokee (Tennessee) rivers. Having
heard the red men tell of this rich land, Colonel James Smith,
accompanied by Joshua Horton, Uriah Stone, William Baker, and a mulatto
slave of Horton's named Jamie, passed through Cumberland Gap, explored
the country south of the Kentucky River, and, striking the Cumberland,
passed down its entire length to its junction with the Ohio. They were
the first white men to explore southern and southwestern Kentucky,
although not the first to visit it, for in 1730 John Salling of Virginia
was brought a prisoner by the Cherokee Indians to the Tennessee. After
reaching the mouth of the Cumberland, the others separated from Colonel
Smith and the mulatto boy. These two were for a long time alone in the
wilderness. When they again reached civilization they wore nothing that
had been woven; and when they told of their experiences, people could
hardly believe that any one could make that journey and live to return.

A short distance below the mouth of the Cumberland the town of "Old
Smithland" was named in honor of this first white man to explore that
region, and later the town was built just at the junction of the
Cumberland and Ohio and is now the capital of Livingston County.

Smith spent the latter part of his life in Bourbon County, where he was
as useful in state councils as he had been in Indian conflicts.


There are many places within the present bounds of Kentucky where
animals used to go to lick the ground, in order to secure the salt
therein, and these places were therefore called "licks." The most noted
of these is in Boone County, and is called Big Bone Lick from the many
gigantic bones that have been found there.

In 1773, while leading a surveying party, a man by the name of James
Douglas, of Virginia, camped for several days at this point. There he
found a surface of ten acres entirely without trees or vegetable life of
any kind, while scattered around were many bones both of the mastodon
and the arctic elephant. The size of these gigantic, prehistoric animals
may be conjectured from the descriptions given of the remains.

Tusks were found from seven to eleven feet long, the latter being at the
larger end six or seven inches in diameter. Thigh bones, five feet in
length; teeth weighing ten pounds with crowns seven by five inches;
skulls, thought to be of young animals, measuring two feet between the
eyes; ribs from three to four inches broad and so long that James
Douglas and his party used them for tent poles, are some of the wonders
that have given the name to this historic place. Scientists have decided
from these remains that these ponderous animals belonged to the elephant
family. Though possessing remarkable strength, they were so unwieldy
that prehistoric man encountered little danger in combating them. It is
the supposition that the early inhabitants who occupied this continent
when these marvelous animals roamed the woods, must have planned to
exterminate them on their periodic visits to the lick. By what means
this was accomplished we can only conjecture, but that there was a
wholesale slaughter is evident, for at no other place have so many
mammoth remains been found.


Daniel Boone was born in the almost unbroken forests of Pennsylvania, on
February 11, 1735. Without his energy, caution, and daring, Kentucky
would not have been settled so soon. In both his native state and in
North Carolina, he received in his boyhood the training that was to fit
him for the great work that was to be his.

Truly "coming events cast their shadows before," for when barely large
enough to shoulder the old family flintlock he found unbounded delight
in roaming the woods and returning laden with his spoils, which at one
time was the skin of an immense panther that he shot just as it was
about to spring upon him.

[Illustration: "They found Boone in camp."]

While yet in his early teens he gave his family great alarm by being
absent for two days and nights. A rescuing party was sent out, and they
soon saw smoke rising in the distance; proceeding, they found Boone in
camp, his floor carpeted with the skins of animals he had slain, while
the delicious odor of roasted meat filled the air.

Boone was in every way a typical backwoodsman. His education was limited
to an imperfect knowledge of the "three R's," gained in the rude school
cabin of round logs, puncheon seats, and dirt floor. Ever the solitude
of the sylvan forests was far more enjoyable to him than the refinements
of civilization.

In 1755 he was married to Rebecca Bryan, who with him shared much of the
danger and hardships of frontier life.

In 1769, yielding to the siren song sung by John Finley of the far-famed
cane land with its fertile soil, towering mountains, limpid streams, and
rich meadowlands where the spoils of the chase were venison, bear, and
buffalo, Boone left his family and friends on the Yadkin in North
Carolina and came with Finley and four others to explore this marvelous
land of "Kentuckee."

Reaching the Red River, five miles from its junction with the Kentucky,
these pioneers pitched their camp and from June until December reveled
in the delights of hunting and exploring in this Eden of the wilderness;
but one day, near Christmas, Boone and a companion named Stewart, while
out hunting, were captured by the Indians and for six days and nights
were marched and guarded. At length, believing their captives were
contented, the savages relaxed their watchfulness, yielded to sleep, and
Boone and Stewart escaped. Upon their return to camp they found it
plundered and their companions gone. What became of them Boone never

Soon after, Boone and Stewart were surprised by meeting Squire Boone, a
brother of Daniel, and another man from North Carolina. A few days later
Stewart was shot and scalped; the man who came with Squire Boone tired
of the perils and returned home. The two brothers were left alone in the
vast wilderness, hundreds of miles from any settlement and with no
weapon but the trusty rifle and tomahawk to protect them from the
cunning savage, the ravenous wolf, and the crafty panther. When their
ammunition began to run low, Squire Boone retraced his steps to Carolina
for a fresh supply, while Daniel remained alone until July, when his
brother returned. Together they roamed at will, tracing the streams,
hunting game, and enjoying this romantic woodland.

Having been absent from his family for three years, simply for the joys
of the frontier, and having lived upon the meat of wild animals, the
fruits and roots of the forest without either bread or salt, Boone
returned in 1771 to the Yadkin and so thrilled all with his glowing
description of this land of promise that, when two years later he
started with his family to this forest, five other families and forty
men accompanied them. The women riding, the children driving the cattle
and hogs, with bedding and baggage strapped on pack horses, the men with
trusty rifles forming both advance and rear guards, this little
cavalcade started forth to conquer the wilderness. All went well for a
while, but, when near the Cumberland Mountains, they were attacked by
Indians, and six men were killed, among them Boone's oldest son.
Yielding to the others, Boone returned with the party to the Clinch
River in southwestern Virginia, where they remained until 1774.

[Illustration: "Boone's little cavalcade started forth to conquer the

For twenty years Boone was a notable figure in this untried forest,
prudent, calm, honest, courageous, cunning; a stranger to fear, a
devotee to duty, an honored leader, he has so left his impress upon our
state that the record of this period of his life is Kentucky history.


During the eighteenth century, many men, singly or in companies, enjoyed
the beauties of the forest scenes of Kentucky. Always they carried back
to the centers of civilization the most glowing accounts of hill and
dale and stream, of the abundance of game and fish, of the fertility of
the soil, and of the glorious monarchs of the forest. These hardy
woodsmen had the inherent love of Nature in her wildest, most gorgeous
aspects. They were pioneers, hunters, and trappers. To some these terms
convey only the thought of rough, unsophisticated men with none of the
benevolent qualities of head or heart, with no magnanimity of spirit
for a friend and nothing but the most intense hatred for a foe. But the
lives of some of these frontiersmen furnish incidents from which we
might well take lesson.

One of these, James Harrod, though unable to write his name, has so
indelibly impressed it upon the annals of the early times that as long
as history is read he will be famous. In May, 1774, Captain Harrod with
about thirty men descended the Monongahela and the Ohio in canoes to the
mouth of the Kentucky River. Penetrating the forest, they built the
first log cabin ever erected in Kentucky, at the place where Harrodsburg
now stands. Here a town was laid off and called Harrodstown. After four
or five cabins had been built depredations of the Indians caused them to
be deserted until the following spring, when Harrod with many of his
former comrades and several others returned. This place was subsequently
called Oldtown and later Harrodsburg, fittingly commemorating the grand
pioneer who built not only the first cabin but the first town in our

James Harrod was by nature endowed with all the qualities of a great
leader; he is described as tall and commanding, energetic and fearless,
honest and generous, ignorant yet intelligent. Inured to difficulties
and dangers, familiar with the forest, skillful with his rifle, he was a
success as a hunter, but a terror to his foes. He was a real leader of
the pioneers. In the words of Marshall, "He always had a party, not
because he wanted a party, but because the party wanted him."
Unremitting in the care of his companions, unrelenting in his attacks on
the "red rascals," untiring in services to his neighbors and friends, he
was truly a nobleman, with a lofty yet gentle spirit. "If news came of
an Indian massacre, he snatched his gun and ran at the head of the
party; if he knew of a family left destitute, he shouldered his rifle
and ranged the forest till he found the game to supply their needs; if
he heard of a horse being lost he stopped not till he drove him to his
owner's gate." Thus he was known by his contemporaries. Yet he seemed
not to be ambitious. Only as a delegate from Harrodstown and as a
colonel of the militia is he found in civil affairs. But the magnanimity
of his spirit shone forth at all times.

There is one incident related of him that proves him as chivalrous as
any knight of old. He was at one time so closely pursued by some Indians
that he plunged into a swollen stream and, holding his rifle above the
water with one hand and swimming with the other, reached the farther
shore in safety. Two of the redskins, bolder than the others, followed.
When the foremost was about midstream a shot from Harrod's rifle caused
him to disappear with a cry of pain beneath the rushing torrent; the
other gave up the chase.

[Illustration: "With arms extended, Harrod stepped in view."]

Several hours afterward, when Harrod had reached a point a few miles
below where he had crossed the stream, he was astonished to see a
warrior slowly and painfully draw himself upon a pile of driftwood and
attempt to apply a rude bandage to his shoulder down which the blood was
flowing. Harrod at once knew that this was the same Indian who had hotly
pursued him and that the wound was from his own rifle shot. Most men at
such a time would have relentlessly shot their adversary. Such a thought
never entered the mind of James Harrod. He at once resolved to assist
his disabled foe. Cautiously he stole to one of the trees on the bank a
few yards from where the Indian sat, and, laying aside rifle, tomahawk,
and knife, he stepped suddenly in view, with arms extended to show he
was unarmed and meant no harm. The startled Indian was about to plunge
again into the water, when a second glance assured him no immediate harm
was meant, for not only was the white man unarmed but his kindly
countenance convinced the Indian no wrong was intended. Yet so strange
was such a proceeding to the savage, that while he permitted his former
enemy to approach, yet he watched him as would a wounded wild animal,
ready at any moment to seek refuge in the rushing waters.

Harrod, finding the Indian weak from loss of blood, gently assisted him
to the shore, tore off a bandage from his own clothing, dressed the
wound, and taking him upon his back, carried him several miles to a
cave, where he nursed him until he was able to rejoin his tribe.


When the bands of hardy pioneers pushed into the wilderness and prepared
a way into Kentucky they brought with them only the trusty rifle, the
ax, the tomahawk, and the "long knife" for protecting themselves from
the wily savages and securing food from the game that roamed the woods.

When their families came, a few more articles were brought along; but
their outfits were necessarily meager. When they stopped to prepare
their food, a flat stone was used for cooking the "journey cake," while
bark served for dishes.

As soon as the destination was reached, a log cabin of rough unhewn
timbers was built, containing a long pen of split logs placed in a row,
which, filled with fresh boughs, was a welcome resting place for those
who were wearied from traveling. Later the feathers of wild pigeons,
ducks, and geese were made into feather beds.

Usually several people settled at the same place and built a fort of
cabins, stockades, and blockhouses, arranged in a hollow square. The
blockhouses were two stories high, the upper story projecting over the
lower one for eighteen or more inches. The places of entrance to the
fort were closed by large folding gates of thick slabs, and the entire
outer wall made bullet proof, all without a single nail or piece of
iron. Some of the cabins had puncheon floors while others had only the
bare earth.

There were very few metal utensils; tin cups, iron forks, and spoons
were very rare. Nearly all their tools were fashioned of wood, by their
own hands.

There were no mills, but each family had a hominy block or wooden bowl
with pestle, in which the Indian corn was pounded, or a rough homemade
grater on which it was grated. Their brooms were made of hickory
saplings split at one end into fine splinters for several inches; these
were bound together at the top with a green withe, while the other end
of the pole served as a handle.

[Illustration: Making brooms.]

Their lye was all made at home by pouring water several times through a
hopper of ashes until it became a reddish-brown; bear's grease was added
to this and the mixture boiled until it became a soft mass called soap.
We of to-day would dislike very much to use it in bathing.

Their salt was precious, for eight hundred gallons of salt water boiled
down made only one bushel; if that amount was bought, it cost twenty

In the spring they bored holes in the maple trees, from which flowed a
sap or sweet water that when boiled down made maple sirup and maple

In those days of danger the men built the cabins, garrisoned the forts,
hunted the game, felled the trees, mauled the rails, grubbed the roots
and bushes, and tilled the soil.

[Illustration: Pioneers building a log palisade.]

The women did the household duties, brought the water, gathered the wild
nettles, and from the silky fibers in the leaves spun and wove the flax
from which they made their clothing. They tanned the deerskins by means
of hardwood ashes and from them made moccasins and shoepacks, for there
was no place to buy shoes; they made for the men the historical hunting
shirt of deerskin, linsey-woolsey, or coarse, home-woven linen. This
garment served various purposes; the bosom was so designed as to form a
wallet in which to carry bread, jerk, parched corn, or tow for cleaning
guns. This shirt was held together by a belt which was tied behind; in
the front of this belt they carried their bullet bags and mittens, while
on one side hung the scalping knife in its leather sheath, and on the
other, the tomahawk. Breeches, leggins, and moccasins of deerskin and
hats or caps of fur, often adorned with the animal's tail, completed the
costume of the men. The women wore dresses of linsey-woolsey and coarse

So the rude pioneer home, with its lack of conveniences and space and
its few rude, imperfect tools, was the factory where were prepared not
only the clothing and food, but also the furniture and the medicine.


Among the hardy backwoodsmen, fearless hunters, and brave fighters,
there looms no nobler figure than that of Simon Kenton, born of humble,
Scotch-Irish parents in Virginia, April 13, 1755. At sixteen he was a
stalwart youth with scarcely any education, with a kind heart but
unrestrained emotions. Having fallen very much in love with a beautiful
girl of his neighborhood, and having lost her to a successful rival, he
went as an uninvited guest to the wedding festivities, where he made
himself so disagreeable that the infuriated groom and his brothers gave
him a severe beating.

Shortly after this, meeting his former rival, William Veach, Kenton
provoked a fight and was so much the physical superior that soon his
adversary fell bruised, bleeding, and unconscious; kind-hearted Kenton,
feeling that he had been cruel in his treatment, lifted up the head of
his insensible victim, spoke to him, but receiving no reply, thought him
dead. Much alarmed, he left the seemingly lifeless body and fled to the
woods. Feeling himself a murderer and a fugitive from justice, he warily
made his way to Cheat River, where he changed his name to Simon Butler,
and worked long enough to secure a gun and ammunition.

In order to lose himself and forget his trouble in the western
wilderness, he joined a party to Fort Pitt, where he hunted for the
garrison and forts, and met Simon Girty, who afterwards saved his life.
Two others, George Yeager and John Strader, came with him that autumn on
his first visit to Kentucky, lured on by the glowing accounts of the
"cane land" that Yeager had heard of from the Indians. They came down
the Ohio to the mouth of the Kentucky, but soon returned to the Big
Kanawha, where they camped, hunted, and trapped until March, 1773.
Yeager was killed by the Indians, and Kenton and Strader fled to the
woods barefooted and almost naked, with no food and no weapons. For six
days they wandered weary, footsore, and hungry, until finally in despair
they lay down to die. Gathering hope anew, they pressed on and near the
Ohio met some hunters who gladly gave them food and clothing.

Going with them, Kenton worked for another rifle and in the summer of
the same year went down the Ohio with a party in search of Captain
Bullitt. They failed to find him and the party returned through the
wilds of Kentucky to Virginia with Kenton as guide.

During the winter of 1773-1774, Kenton hunted on the Big Sandy, but
volunteered and soon saw active service as a scout and spy in the armies
of Lord Dunmore and General Lewis in the Miami Indian War. He received
an honorable discharge in the autumn, and the next spring, yielding to
the longing for the "cane land," he came down the Ohio and one night
reached Cabin Creek a few miles above Maysville. The next day, when he
beheld the far-famed land, he was entranced, and soon encamped near the
present site of Washington, in Mason County, where he and his companion
cleared an acre of ground and planted it with corn which they had bought
from a French trader.

They found this place a veritable "hunter's paradise" where the hills
were covered with herds of deer, elk, and buffalo.

One day meeting two men, Hendricks and Fitzpatrick, who were without
food or guns, Kenton invited them to join his station. Hendricks
accepted, but his companion, desiring to return to Virginia, was
accompanied by Kenton and Williams to the Ohio. They left Hendricks
alone at the camp. On returning they found the camp in disorder and
Hendricks gone; the next day his charred remains told the story of his
sufferings at the hands of the savages.

Though Kenton left this place the following autumn, he returned nine
years later and, building a blockhouse here, established Kenton's

Simon Kenton was ever alert, ever ready to respond to the call for help,
ever ready to encounter danger, and ever ready to give his services to
the settlers whether at Harrodstown or Hinkson's, whether in aid of
Boone or Clark.

At one time Kenton was one of six spies who, two at a time, each week
ranged up and down the Ohio and around the deserted stations, watching
for Indian signs; for the red savage had become infuriated because the
"long knife"[1] had taken possession of his beloved "Kaintuckee," and
the Indian invasions were frequent and bloody.

[Illustration: "Boone was borne on Kenton's shoulders into the fort."]

One morning as Kenton with two companions was standing in the gate at
Boonesborough ready for a hunt, the Indians fired on some men in the
field, who fled to the fort. One man, however, was overtaken,
tomahawked, and scalped within seventy yards of the gate. Kenton shot
the savage dead and in the battle which ensued killed two other Indians,
one of whom was about to tomahawk Colonel Boone, who had been crippled.
The unerring rifle of Kenton stayed his savage hand, and Boone was borne
on Kenton's shoulders into the fort. When the gate was barred and all
was secure, the usually reserved Boone said, "Well, Simon, you have
behaved yourself like a man to-day; indeed you are a fine fellow."

Kenton accompanied General George Rogers Clark in his expedition against
Kaskaskia in 1778, then proceeded to Vincennes, where, by a three days'
secret observation, he secured an accurate description of the place
which he sent to General Clark.

Kenton returned to Harrodstown, aided Boone in defending the stations,
and in September, 1778, was taken a prisoner, a few miles below
Maysville, by the Indians, who beat him until their arms were too tired
to indulge in this amusing pastime any longer. They then placed him upon
the ground on his back, drew his feet apart, lashed each to a strong
sapling, laid a pole across his breast, tied his hands to each end, and
lashed his arms to it with thongs which were tied around his body; then
they tied another thong around his neck and fastened it to a stake
driven in the ground. Thus he was forced to pass the night. The next
morning he was painted black and carried toward Chillicothe, where they
said they would burn him at the stake.

As a diversion they one day tied him securely on an unbroken horse,
which they turned loose to run through the woods at will. Through
undergrowth, among trees and patches of briers, the horse capered,
pranced, plunged, and ran, trying in vain to discharge his load until
finally he stopped from sheer exhaustion. Kenton was destitute of
clothing, bruised, bleeding, and almost lifeless. Arriving at the
village, they tied their distinguished prisoner to the stake, where he
was left for twenty-four hours, expecting every moment that the torch
would be applied. After enduring this agony he was forced to run the
gantlet, where six hundred Indians were ranged on either side with
switches, clubs, and sticks, and each gave him a blow as he passed.
Kenton had been told if he reached the council house he would be set
free. When he had almost reached the door of deliverance he was knocked
insensible. Again he was made a prisoner, was taken from town to town,
eight times was compelled to run the gantlet, three times tied to the
stake, and once almost killed by a powerful blow with an ax.

Once Simon Girty, the notorious renegade, remembering their former
friendship, saved him from the flames; again Logan, the Mingo chief,
interposed, stayed the fury of the savages, and persuaded a Canadian
trader named Drury to buy him from his captors. Drury took him to
Detroit, and delivered him to the British commander, where he received
humane treatment until 1779. Then a Mrs. Harvey, the wife of an Indian
trader, while a crowd of Indians were drunk, took three of their guns
and hid them in a patch of peas in her garden. At midnight Kenton,
following her directions, secured them, and with two other Kentucky
prisoners hastened to a hollow tree some distance from the town, where
ammunition, food, and clothing had been placed by the same
benefactress. The three fugitives after thirty-three days of incredible
suffering reached Louisville.

Later, with General George Rogers Clark in command, Kenton, the great
scout and spy, piloted the Kentuckians, when in 1780 they carried the
war into the Indian's own country.

During all these dangers there had ever been the horrible feeling that
he was a fugitive and a murderer; but meeting by chance some one from
his boyhood home, Simon Kenton learned that his former rival, William
Veach, was still alive. He resumed his rightful name, hastened home,
made friends with Veach, and started with his father and family again to
this great paradise of the West.

[Illustration: Simon Kenton]

Kenton, so great in all the qualifications of the pioneer, was not
schooled in the arts of civilization. His ignorance, coupled with his
great confidence in men, which amounted almost to credulity, caused him
to lose most of his valuable lands; but at last the legislature of
Kentucky made some reparation to the old, heroic soldier whose deeds and
daring will ever furnish ennobling themes for song and story.


[1] The name given the white men by the Indians on account of the long
knives they carried in their belts.


Though Kentucky was not the home, but merely the hunting grounds, of
most of the Indians, yet there were varied and conflicting claims.

While the Six Nations sold their title to this vast area to the British,
and the Shawnees at last relinquished their rights, still the Cherokees
pressed their claim until Henderson's company, composed of nine men of
education and ability from North Carolina, purchased from them, in 1775,
at the Watauga River, about seventeen million acres of land for ten
thousand pounds ($50,000). This company hoped to found a colony and sell
land to immigrants. They named this region Transylvania--"beyond the

Later, this purchase was declared by both Virginia and North Carolina to
be null and void, and the plan was abandoned. Before this, however,
Daniel Boone had been sent to open up a trace or road from the Holston
River to the mouth of Otter Creek on the Kentucky River, where later
Boonesborough was built and the first legislature in Kentucky was held.

This road was to be for the travel of men and pack horses, the pioneer's
train. Hastening forward with his brother, Squire Boone, Colonel Richard
Calloway, and several others--thirty in all--Daniel Boone began to
"blaze the way" in the wilderness for the countless thousands who were
to come after them.

Beginning at Watauga, the trace led to the Cumberland Gap, where it
joined the "Warrior's Path," which it followed for about fifty miles
northward; from this place it followed a buffalo trace to the northwest
until it reached the Kentucky River.

Blazing the trees with their hatchets, cutting their way through dead
brush, removing undergrowth, chopping through cane and reed, the party
proceeded on their perilous journey. Within about fifteen miles of their
destination, while asleep in camp, they were attacked by the Indians.
Later they were again fired upon by the savages, when two of the white
men were killed and three wounded. Here, five miles south of Richmond,
from necessity was erected the first fort in Kentucky. This stockade
fort was called Fort Twetty, as here Captain Twetty died and was buried.

Pushing on, Boone and his companions reached the site selected, and soon
constructed a stockade fort of two cabins, connected by palisades. This
formed the nucleus of the fort, which was completed in about two months
and which was named Boonesborough.

The trace or road opened by Boone has had various names; it has been
called "Boone's Trace" or "Boone's Trail," "the Virginia Road," "the
Road to Caintuck," "the Kentucky Road," and "the Wilderness Road." This
last name was given from the great wilderness of laurel thickets between
the Cumberland Gap and the settlements in Kentucky, a length of two
hundred miles without a single habitation.

Along this difficult highway a narrow and often zigzag path in the
forest, six hundred miles in length, came the countless men, women, and
children from Virginia who were to found this great commonwealth of
Kentucky, a worthy daughter of a most worthy mother.

When the legislature of Kentucky in 1795 passed an act for enlarging to
the width of thirty feet that part of Boone's Trace between Crab Orchard
and Cumberland Gap, and advertised for bids on it, the old pioneer, who
had been the "Pathfinder" of the West in this new Eldorado, sent to
Governor Isaac Shelby the following characteristic letter:

                                                _feburey the 11th 1796,_


    _after my Best Respts to your Excelancy and famyly I wish to inform
    you that I have sum intention of undertaking this New Rode that is
    to be cut through the Wilderness and I think My self intiteled to
    the ofer of the Bisness as I first Marked out that Rode in March
    1775 and Never Re'd anything for my trubel and Sepose I am No
    statesman I am a Woodsman and think My self as capable of Marking
    and Cutting that Rode as any other man Sir if you think with Me
    I would thank you to Wright Mee a Line By the Post the first
    opportuneaty and he Will Lodge it at Mr. John Miler son hinkston
    fork as I wish to know where and when it is to be laat (let) So
    that I may atend at the time_

                              _I am Deer Sir your very omble sarvent_
                                                          _Daniel Boone_

  _To his Excelancy governor Shelby._

The grim old veteran did not secure the contract, but his name is
inseparably linked with this thoroughfare, the opening of which was of
inestimable value to the infant empire beyond the mountains.


On New Year's Day, 1778, Daniel Boone with thirty companions left
Boonesborough for the Blue Licks, to make a year's supply of salt for
the garrisons.

A few weeks later, while hunting several miles from the camp, he was
overtaken by a party of one hundred Indians and attempted to escape. The
fleet warriors, needing a white captive to give them information about
Boonesborough, instead of shooting Boone as he ran, gave chase and
captured the hardy backwoodsman.

Now all the cunning of Boone was sorely needed. He wished to prevent if
possible the capture of the salt makers and to postpone the march of the
savages on the garrison. How the wily old hunter managed we do not know.
But he finally secured the promise of the Indians that if the party at
Blue Licks would surrender, they would be well treated as prisoners and
their lives spared. Arriving at Blue Licks, Boone made signs to the
white men to surrender without resistance; this they did, and the
promise made by the Indians to Boone was sacredly kept.

Three of the white men managed to escape; when the Indians had gone,
they returned, hid the kettles, and carried home the salt, as well as
the news of the captivity of Boone and his companions.

The prisoners were marched through severe weather to the principal
Shawnee town, old Chillicothe, on the Little Miami River in Ohio. In
March, Boone and ten others were carried to Detroit, where the British
commander, Governor Hamilton, offered the Indians £100 sterling for
Boone, intending to send him home on parole. But Boone had so won the
hearts of his dusky captors that they would not patiently listen to any
plan that would take him from among them. The great hunter had to feign
contentment and not wound the feelings or excite the suspicion of his

Leaving the other prisoners at Detroit, the savages returned to their
capital with Boone, whom they soon adopted into one of the principal
families. Although they plucked out his hairs, one by one, except the
scalp lock of about three inches on the crown; although he was taken
into the river and given a scrubbing, "to take out all his white blood";
although he was harangued by the chief about the great honor shown him;
and although he was frightfully painted and bedecked in
feathers,--through it all he appeared content and thus still more
endeared himself to the Indians.

[Illustration: "Boone was frightfully painted and bedecked in

After this the Indians would challenge him to shooting matches, in which
he was cautious not to excel them too often, for fear of arousing their
envy or jealousy, but would beat them often enough to excite their

Boone was very careful to show respect and loyalty to the leading chief,
to favor him often with the spoils of the hunt, and thus lead all to
believe that he was happy to have cast his lot among them.

This apparent contentment was only another evidence of what a silent
stoic Boone could be, for his every thought was with his family and
friends; but to serve them as well as to save himself, he must pretend
pleasure in his lot.

Returning one day in June from where a party of the Indians had carried
him to make salt for them, the old hunter found a party, of nearly five
hundred warriors ready to march on his beloved Boonesborough. Now Boone
felt that his captivity served a good purpose, for he determined at all
hazards to escape and warn the garrison.

The Indians had so relaxed their vigilance over him that he was able to
effect this resolve. Rising at the usual hour on June 16, he went out
ostensibly to hunt, but so great was his anxiety that he made no attempt
to kill anything to eat, but hastened on over the perilous trip of one
hundred and sixty miles and reached home in four days. During this time
he ate only one meal, the food he had hidden in his blanket. He was
joyfully received like one risen from the dead, though his family,
thinking him killed, had returned to North Carolina.

The fort was in a defenseless condition, but the return of their old
leader, the news he brought, and the confidence he inspired, soon put
all in readiness to receive the enemy.


Finding their captive gone, the Indians delayed their march on
Boonesborough, until, impatient to fight the foe, Colonel Boone with
nineteen others, among whom was Simon Kenton, started in August to
attack the Indians at Paintcreektown, in Ohio. When within about four
miles of the place, Kenton, who was in advance, was surprised and
startled by hearing loud laughter from a canebrake just before him. He
had scarcely secreted himself when two Indians, seated on a pony, one
facing the animal's head, the other his tail, dashed by his place of
concealment. Kenton fired, both savages fell, one killed, the other
severely wounded. As Kenton was taking the latter's scalp he was
suddenly surrounded by about thirty Indians, who were at once dispersed
by the arrival of Boone and his party.

Boone, dispatching spies, at once learned that the Indian town was
deserted; so he lost no time in retracing his steps to Boonesborough,
which he reached one day in advance of the Indian army, led by Captain
Duquesne, a Canadian Frenchman. The invading army, four hundred strong,
appeared flying the British colors. The savage warriors, painted in
hideous colors, paraded in two lines, giving the most bloodcurdling
yells and brandishing their guns. It was enough to try the stoutest

Soon a large negro stepped in front of the line and in English called
for "Captain Boone," but there was no reply. Again he said he wanted to
speak to Captain Boone, and if he would come out, he would not be hurt.

The men in the fort objected to their leader's going, but Boone, armed
with a pipe and a flag, went out alone, leaving instructions that if he
was made prisoner his men should shut the fort and defend it to the

In about one hour he returned, telling his companions that the Indians
had promised that if he would surrender the fort he and his companions
would not be hurt. To pacify the Indians he had seemed to assent to this
plan, promising to return the next day, and inform them of the result of
his conference with his companions.

When the little band of less than fifty fighting men met in council and
learned that they could make a manly defense with small chance of
success, and if defeated they would become victims of savage barbarity,
or they could surrender at once, become prisoners, and be stripped of
their effects, the deliberation was short, the answer prompt, and voiced
by each:

"We are determined to defend our fort as long as a man of us lives."

The next day Boone again met the assaulters and asked for another day in
which to secure the assent of the remainder in the fort, to surrender.

The time thus gained was improved by making every preparation possible;
they collected the cattle and horses, fastened the gate with bars, and
in every way made ready for the conflict.

The next morning, from one of the bastions of the fort, Colonel Boone
made known to the commander of his adversaries the determination of the
garrison, at the same time thanking them for the time in which to
prepare his defense.

Disappointment was plainly evident in the countenance of Duquesne; he
did not at once give up hope of a capitulation, but decided if possible
to entrap Boone. He declared that in his order from Governor Hamilton he
was told simply to take the white people as prisoners of war, neither to
rob nor destroy them. If nine of the principal men would come out and
treat with them, there would be no violence; they would only return with
the prisoners or, if they would swear allegiance and accept the
protection of the British king, they would be set free.

Boone felt this was one more chance to save his men from slaughter. The
conference was called about sixty yards from the gate of the fort; the
articles were read, agreed upon, and signed. Then the commander said
that among the Indians it was customary on such occasions to show their
sincerity by two Indians shaking each white man by the hand. Boone
agreed to this. At once two Indians approached each of the nine white
men and as they took his hand attempted to seize and make him prisoner.
The white men with great strength sprang away, and fled to the fort amid
a shower of bullets from Indians in ambush, who came rushing up with the
most terrifying yells. All reached the fort in safety with the exception
of one wounded man.

[Illustration: "The fight now began in earnest."]

The fight now began in earnest, and lasted nine days. The enemy tried
various ways to overcome the garrison. At one time they secreted a part
of their force under the bank of the Kentucky, attacked the fort on the
opposite side, and finally pretended to retreat; this ruse failing, they
began to undermine the houses by excavating under the river bank and
digging toward the fort. This was discovered by the muddy water caused
by the great quantity of the loose earth they were compelled to throw
into the river. Boone at once began to dig a trench within the fort, and
as the loose dirt was taken up it was thrown over the fort wall. Finding
their plan was discovered, the Indians abandoned it, but that night
attempted to fire the fort by pitching torches of cane and hickory bark
upon it. A rain had fallen a few hours before and the wet logs did not
burn easily, and the flames were soon extinguished by the whites. Next
day finding that they could not conquer by "force or fraud" and that
their stock of provisions was almost exhausted, they paraded and
withdrew after thirty-seven had been killed in sight of the fort and
many others wounded. In the fort there were only four wounded.

After the savages had gone the white men picked up one hundred and
twenty-five pounds of leaden bullets which had fallen near the fort
walls, besides the vast number that had lodged in the walls and


If your baby brother or sister should be lost, even though our country
is thickly peopled and we have a perfect network of telephones and
telegraphs across it, think how alarmed you would feel! Yet think how
much more anxious a mother would be if her baby were lost in a
wilderness where wolves, wildcats, and panthers roamed hungry and

This really happened to a baby boy named Bennie Craig. His father,
Benjamin Craig, who presented his commission as a magistrate at the
first county court held in Gallatin County, 1799, left Virginia in 1781
with his wife and three children. In those early days people traveled on
foot or horseback, carrying with them what household necessities they
could by means of pack horses.

The men and larger boys generally walked ahead, to be sure no Indians
lurked in ambush; the smaller boys and girls drove the cows and sheep,
and watched to keep them from wandering off through the woods; while the
women rode horseback, having tied on the backs of the horses all the
absolutely necessary household utensils.

In this party the usual plan of travel prevailed. Mrs. Craig and baby
Bennie were on one horse, followed by another loaded with meal, bacon,
salt, and skillets and tools; another one of these pack horses had,
strapped across its back, some hickory withes holding on each side a
basket made of the boughs of the same tree. These baskets carried what
bedding and clothing were needed for the new homes. In one of these
baskets was placed also a little boy of six, in the other a little girl
of four. Sometimes the mother permitted baby Bennie to ride in the
basket with his little sister. All three children found many things of
interest as they rode along in this strange, new land.

One morning Mrs. Craig laid baby Bennie, who was asleep, on a bed of
leaves amid the boughs of a fallen tree, while she helped pack the
things to start. As Mr. Craig was anxious to overtake some travelers who
were ahead of him, because in numbers there was greater safety, he
hurried Mrs. Craig on her horse; when she called for the baby, the
little sister begged that it be allowed to ride again with her. The
mother consented, rode on, and the father began to load the other horse;
he safely tucked the little boy and girl away in the baskets, but in the
excitement of overtaking the other travelers both father and children
forgot baby Bennie.

About an hour later Mrs. Craig, looking back, saw only two children and
cried out, "Where is the baby?" All were frantic with fear when they
realized that the baby had been left behind.

Mr. Craig hastily stripped the pack from one of the horses, sprang up on
its back with gun in hand, and with all possible speed hurried back. For
nearly two hours the rest waited and watched, wept and prayed. Finally
the sound of the horse's hoofs was heard and Mr. Craig came at full
gallop, shouting, "Here he is, safe and sound! The little rascal hadn't
waked up."

[Illustration: "Here he is, safe and sound!"]


Difficulties, suffering, and danger beset the early pioneers. Yet none
of these prevented love, love-making, and marriage. The earliest romance
was that of Samuel Henderson and Betsey Calloway, at Boonesborough, in
1776. There came near being no wedding, for late in the afternoon of
Sunday, July 14, when the midsummer sun caused each one to hunt a cooler
place, Elizabeth and Frances Calloway and Jemima Boone, the oldest
daughter of Daniel Boone, started out for a boat ride on the river. They
were drifting along in their canoe, unconsciously near the opposite
shore, when they were suddenly surprised and terrified at the appearance
of five Indians who waded into the water and dragged their canoe ashore.

The three girls screamed with fright, but Betsey Calloway showed herself
a true pioneer by gashing the head of one of her assailants with her
paddle. Before dragging them from the boat the Indians forced Frances
Calloway and Jemima Boone to put on Indian moccasins, but Elizabeth, or
Betsey, again showed her courage by refusing to do so. We can well
imagine the horror when the people at the fort realized that the girls
were in the hands of the savages. Both Boone and Calloway were absent,
but soon returned and lost no time in starting for rescue and revenge.
Two parties set out: one on foot with Colonel Boone and the three lovers
of the three girls, Samuel Henderson, John Holder, and Flanders
Calloway, respectively; another on horseback.

As soon as they reached the north side of the river, Boone drew them up
in line, placing the middle man at the trail, and pressed forward in
pursuit. His daring was equaled only by his discretion, for should the
pursuers be seen by the Indians, it was highly probable the three
maidens would suffer death by the tomahawk. Betsey Calloway came near
suffering thus when the savages discovered her breaking off twigs by
which she could be trailed. Though the upraised tomahawk with a threat
to use it caused her to desist from this, she slyly tore off bits of her
linsey-woolsey dress, and occasionally pressed the heel of her shoepack
into the soft earth, thus leaving a trail.

By these signs, in the reading of which Colonel Boone was almost as wary
as the Indians, the rescuing party hardly lost sight of the direction
taken, although the captors compelled the girls to walk apart through
the thick cane and wade up and down the streams of water, in an effort
to hide their trail. On Tuesday morning, when about forty miles from
Boonesborough, the whites came upon the captors just as they had kindled
a fire to cook some buffalo meat. The two parties saw each other about
the same time, but as their weapons were piled at the foot of a tree,
and the whites fired at once and rushed upon them, the Indians hastily
fled without knife, tomahawk, or even moccasins. The three girls were

[Illustration: "The whites fired and rushed upon them."]

Betsey Calloway, a brunette much tanned by exposure, was mistaken by one
of the rescuing party for an Indian, as she sat with the two wearied
maidens asleep with their heads in her lap. Just as he was about to
dash out her brains with the butt of his gun his arm was arrested by one
who recognized her, and a most horrible tragedy was averted. Amid
rejoicing they returned to the fort.

On the seventh of the next month Squire Boone, a Baptist minister,
performed the first marriage ceremony in Kentucky, when Betsey Calloway
became the wife of Samuel Henderson. The other two couples soon followed
their example.


The boys and girls in the early days of Kentucky usually married very
young; and a wedding was an event so important that every one in the
entire community felt a personal interest in the affair. The ceremony
was usually performed just before noon.

On the morning of the appointed day the groom and his attendants met at
the home of his father and proceeded to the home of the bride. The
gentlemen wore only clothes that were homemade; linsey shirts, leather
breeches and leggins, moccasins or shoepacks, and caps of mink or
raccoon skin with the tail hanging down the back completed their

The ladies were beautiful in linsey-woolsey, coarse shoes, or moccasins
embroidered with beads and quills, and buckskin gloves. Just after the
ceremony there was a feast of venison and bear, beef and pork, turkeys
and geese, potatoes and cabbage, cornmeal mush with milk and maple
sugar, ash cake and dodgers.

[Illustration: "As soon as dinner was over, the dancing began."]

As soon as dinner was over the dancing began and lasted not only through
the afternoon but through the night until dawn. The square dance, the
reel, and the jig were the figures that gave most joy to their flying

Either the next day, or very soon thereafter, the neighbors helped the
newly married couple "settle." A party of choppers felled and trimmed
the trees, others hauled them to the site, while others made the
clapboards for the roof, and puncheons for floor and door. If any
windows were made, they were covered with oiled doeskin and had thick
shutters. No one had windows filled with glass in those days.[2]

The neighbors helped not only to raise and cover the house, but to make
the furniture also. A table was made from a slab of wood with four legs
driven into auger holes; some three-legged stools were made of like
material. Sticks driven into auger holes in the wall supported clapboard
shelves where various articles were kept. A few pegs were likewise
driven in the wall where the wearing apparel of both men and women was
hung. A pair of buck horns or two small forks fastened to the logs held
the ever trusty rifle and shot pouch.

Nor did they stop here. Through a fork placed with its lower end in a
hole in the floor and its upper end fastened to a joist, they placed
poles with their ends through cracks in the walls. Over these,
clapboards were laid. When the whole had been covered with skins of bear
and deer, this made a most comfortable bed.

At these house raisings, log rollings, and harvest homes there was much
merriment coupled with the hard labor. Any man who failed to perform his
part of the work was dubbed "Lazy Lawrence" and was denied similar help
when he needed it.


[2] There is a story of a little boy who, upon seeing a house with glass
windows for the first time, rushed home crying, "O Ma, there is a house
down town with specs on!"


The boys and girls of to-day with all the comforts and luxuries
surrounding them often pity the pioneer children and wonder how they
spent their time. However, they doubtless were as happy and ambitious as
we are. The boys early learned to chop, to grub bushes up by the roots,
maul rails, trap turkeys, tree coons, and shoot a rifle. When severe
weather kept them in the fort, there were not only the duties of making
brooms and brushes but also the wrestling, leaping, and shooting matches
where each strove to excel the other. How proud was the youth when he
could "bark a squirrel," that is, shoot off the bark so near the
squirrel that the force killed it, without inflicting a wound.

The girls also had their work and play. They watched the cattle to keep
them from straying too far away, they hunted flat rocks on which to bake
"journey cakes," they helped to pound hominy, bring water, gather wild
nettles, and assisted in soap making, sugaring, sewing, candle molding,
and wool carding. There were likewise near-by excursions for hickory
nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, grapes, pawpaws, honey locusts, hackberries,
huckleberries, blackberries, dewberries, and raspberries.

But you say, "All this sounds like fun. Boy Scouts and Camp-Fire Girls
do many of these things and count them sport. The boys and girls of the
early days in Kentucky must have had one long holiday with no thought
of school or school work." There you are mistaken, for scarcely had the
first women and children come to Harrodstown when Mrs. William Coomes
taught in the fort, in 1776, the first school in Kentucky. In 1777, John
May taught at McAfee's Station, and two years later Joseph Doniphan was
teaching at Boonesborough.

[Illustration: "There were excursions for nuts and berries."]

So these boys and girls of those far-away days, although they had no
well-warmed, well-lighted, well-ventilated schoolhouses; although their
teachers were not always so scholarly and cultured as one could wish;
although often in the earliest days they had no attractive textbooks,
and their only means of learning to read, write, and calculate was from
copies set by their teachers; although instead of paper they used smooth
boards on which to write, with the juice of the oak balls for ink;
although when they could read there were no absorbing storybooks,--yet
they made progress and perhaps studied as hard as some children of


We of to-day, with half dollars, quarter dollars, dimes, nickels, and
pennies, often find it difficult to "make change." Still more difficult
was it for the early settlers to do so.

As the Indians used wampum and the early settlers of Virginia, tobacco,
so the pioneers of Kentucky used the skins of wild animals as their
first currency. While immigrants continued to come to this region,
Spanish silver dollars came gradually into circulation. Still there was
no small change.

As "Necessity is the mother of invention," our forefathers actually made
change by cutting the dollar into four equal parts, each worth
twenty-five cents. These were again divided, each part worth twelve and
one half cents, called bits. People sometimes became careless in the
work of making change and often cut the dollar into five "quarters" or
into ten "eighths." On account of the wedge shape of these pieces of cut
money, they were called "sharp shins."

If change was needed for a smaller sum than twelve and one half cents,
merchants gave pins, needles, writing paper, and such things.

This cut silver gradually found its way back to the mint for recoinage,
usually to the loss of the last owner. As late as 1806, a business house
in Philadelphia received over one hundred pounds of cut silver, brought
on by a Kentucky merchant, which was sent on a dray to the United States
Mint for recoinage.


"Where there is a will, there is a way" is an oft-quoted proverb, and
the first white woman of whom we have any record of entering Kentucky
proved it true. In 1756 Mrs. Mary Draper Inglis, her two small sons, and
a sister-in-law, Mrs. Draper, were taken from their homes in Virginia by
the Shawnee Indians and carried some distance down the Kanawha, where
they halted a few days to make salt, thence to the Indian village at the
mouth of the Scioto, which is the site now of Portsmouth, Ohio. Mrs.
Inglis won her way into the favor of the savages by making shirts of
material that French traders had brought from Detroit. She was soon held
in such high esteem by her captors that she was not subjected to the
peril of running the gantlet, though a greater grief was put upon
her,--that of being separated from her two sons at the division of the

After spending a few weeks at the mouth of the Scioto, a number of the
savages proceeded to Big Bone Lick, over a hundred miles away. With them
they took Mrs. Inglis and an old Dutch lady who had been in captivity
for a long while. Not being daunted by fear or distance from home, these
pioneer women planned and effected an escape. On the pretext of
gathering grapes they started from camp one afternoon with only a
blanket, knife, and tomahawk.

With eager feet they reached the Ohio, and followed its windings, until
after five days' journeying they found themselves opposite the mouth of
the Scioto. Fortune favored them, for a horse was grazing there and also
some corn was close at hand. Although near Indian villages, they loaded
the horse with corn and pressed on to the mouth of the Big Sandy, but
were compelled to go farther up that stream to effect a crossing. After
going some distance, the women crossed on driftwood, but the horse,
falling among the logs, was finally abandoned, and with only a scanty
store of corn they pursued their dangerous journey.

[Illustration: They crossed the river on driftwood.]

Had it not been for walnuts, grapes, and pawpaws, hunger would have
stayed their steps. Even with these the Dutch woman was not long
satisfied and, driven to desperation, she threatened and attempted the
life of Mrs. Inglis. But the latter succeeded in escaping from her
frantic companion and, finding a canoe, took a broad splinter for a
paddle and reached the Ohio shore. When morning dawned and the Dutch
woman saw Mrs. Inglis on the other bank, she pleaded with her to return
to her rescue. But fearing a repetition of her late fury, Mrs. Inglis
turned a deaf ear to entreaties and hastened, as fast as her exhausted
condition permitted, towards home. At last, after more than forty days
of dire suffering and destitution, she reached a cabin where careful
attention soon restored her to health and from there she was taken to a
near-by fort and restored to her husband. A party went in search of the
Dutch woman and brought her safely to the settlement. One of the little
sons died soon after being separated from his mother, while thirteen
years elapsed before the father found and rescued the other.


The women of Kentucky have never been known to falter whatever demand
duty might make upon them; yet at no period in the history of our
commonwealth has there been any more severe test of the courage of her
daughters than occurred on the morning of August 15, 1782, at a point
about five miles northeast of Lexington on the present road from that
city to Maysville.

This post had been settled in 1779 by four brothers from North Carolina,
named Bryan, hence the name "Bryan's Station." About forty cabins had
been "placed in parallel lines and connected by strong palisades." This
fort and the station at Lexington had been selected as special places on
which to visit the wrath and retaliation for massacre of some Indians
upon the Sandusky; and as the savages and their renegade allies had been
successful, they were easily incited to a general attack and inspired
with the idea of regaining their hunting grounds and driving the
paleface across the Alleghenies.

Simon Girty, the notorious renegade, was at the height of his glory
when, in response to requests of runners sent to various tribes, there
began at Chillicothe, August 1, 1782, a gathering of Cherokees,
Shawnees, Miamis, Wyandots, and Potawatamis.

Ere the march began, the party numbered nearly six hundred warriors.
With great secrecy and rapidity they descended the Little Miami, crossed
the Ohio, and reached central Kentucky. In the hope of drawing away the
fighting forces from the stations warned, Girty sent a party of
Wyandots, who harassed Hoy's Station, and captured two boys. Captain
Holder, gathering what men he could, pushed forward in pursuit, but was
defeated August 12, at Upper Blue Licks. When runners spread the news to
the various forts, the call to rally to Holder's assistance was as
quickly responded to as if it had been imperative.

Girty knew of the common custom of rallying to the needs of neighboring
settlements, so he expected to find a defenseless fort at Bryan's
Station when he and his band of savages reached there on the night of
the 14th. Instead, all within seemed awake and alert; lights were
shining and fires burning brightly. Girty at once suspected that his
coming had been heralded. The truth was that it was the preparation for
the morrow's march that caused such activity; not one suspected that
such a horde of murderous savages was so near. So when at the early dawn
the men started from their fort, they were much surprised at a heavy
fire from ambuscade, but they were so near the gates that they soon
retreated within and prepared for a stormy siege. Couriers carried the
news of the attack to Lexington, Todd's, St. Asaph's, and Boonesborough.
While awaiting reinforcements from these stations, the sixty
backwoodsmen prepared to protect themselves and their families.

Knowing the siege would be severe and perhaps long, they began to
consider seriously the question of securing water; for, by an oversight,
the men who built the fort placed it at some distance from the spring
which supplied their wants. As cunning as the Indians, and equally as
strategic, were the men opposed to them. Instinctively they felt that
the savages were ambushed near the spring expecting the men to come for
a supply of water, when it would be the work of only a very few moments
to fire upon them, and through the gateway gain admittance to the fort.

After talking over the matter the men within the fort called together
all the women, disclosed their suspicions concerning the location of a
part of the enemy, but told them they felt no violence would be offered
women and urged them to go in a body to bring water. The women hesitated
and said that they were not bullet-proof and that savages scalped alike
the male and the female. In reply the men said that the women usually
carried the water, and that if the men should go, the Indians would know
that their ambuscade had been discovered and would at once rush upon the
whites and gain admittance to the fort; but if the women went as usual,
the savages would think their hiding secure and would longer delay the
attack. The women knew that water they must have, if the garrison
withstood the inevitable siege; they also knew that the views of the men
were correct and that the request for them to bring the water arose from
no desire on the part of their husbands and brothers, sons and fathers,
to shirk duty or shift danger.

So when the Spartan-like mothers agreed to the plan, the younger women
followed their example, and everyone, matron and maid, with pail in hand
or piggin on head, marched down to the spring, while they "feared each
bush" an Indian. Though vainly striving to appear calm, when returning

    "The way seemed long before them,
    And their hearts outran their footsteps";

so the nearer the gate they came, the quicker was their walk until it
finally ended in a very brisk run and very few entered the fort with
full vessels. Tradition says that as the last entered so hastily and
spilled the water so freely the Indians broke into a laugh. But the
women had "been tried and not found wanting"; they had proved themselves
to be true helpmates of those sturdy men who were striving to gain a
home in the western wilds.

[Illustration: "The walk finally ended in a very brisk run."]

Erelong the arrangements for defense were completed and thirteen men
marched out to form a decoy party on the Lexington road; their orders
were to fire rapidly, make all possible noise, but not to pursue the
savages too far. They obeyed orders well and as soon as the guns sounded
in the distance, five hundred warriors, led by Girty, rushed from the
ambush near the spring, expecting to force their way over defenseless
walls. The greater part of the sixty men had resolved themselves into a
reception committee, expecting just such a call. So, when "their deadly
balls whistled free," wild cries of terror came from Girty's ranks and
"in two minutes not an Indian was to be seen," while the thirteen
reëntered through the opposite gateway, very jubilant over the success
of their little ruse.

The attack was renewed, but nothing of marked importance occurred unless
it was the supreme coöperation that went on within the fort. Every
breech was repaired, every gate and loophole manned; men, women, and
even children were busily engaged in firing at the foe, molding bullets,
or quenching the flames that the burning arrows from the bows of the
savages had lighted. At two in the afternoon, just at a time when the
firing had ceased, about fifty men, from various stations, one third on
horse, the rest afoot, came in reply to the request sent out that

As the Indians knew that runners had been dispatched for reënforcements,
they had planned to receive them. On one side of the road "stood the
forest primeval," while on the other side was a vast field of one
hundred acres of luxuriant corn, ten feet high, whose long green banners
formed a dense thicket. Here on each side lay warriors within range of
the road over which they knew the men would come. As soon as the
horsemen appeared, shots from the guns of the savages rang out; but
quickly spurring their horses, the recruiting party escaped within the
fort through such a cloud of dust that not one was wounded.

Had the foot soldiers been more cautious, they too might have fared
better; but hearing the firing on their friends, they rushed forward
into the presence of the great crowd of savages, who, having emptied
their guns, began to advance with tomahawk; but in many instances they
were held at bay by the muzzle of the frontiersman's gun. Thus for an
hour, the savages pursued the flying soldiers, who when too hard pressed
turned and aimed, but did not fire until absolutely forced to do so, as
they could have no time to reload.

In a skirmish, a ball from a rifle brought Girty to the ground, but when
the warriors gathered around him, they found that it was only the force
that had caused him to fall, as the ball had struck a thick piece of
leather in his shot pouch. Despairing of success, Girty crawled to the
protection of a huge stump, hailed the fort, and attempted
negotiations. He spoke in commendatory terms of their courage, but
assured them that to pursue such policy further was madness, as in
addition to his six hundred warriors he would soon have reënforcements
with cannons, when their weak walls would no longer protect them. He
urged an immediate surrender, pledged his honor to protect them as
prisoners of war, and inquired if they knew him, Simon Girty.

Some were rather anxious at the news of artillery, but a young man named
Aaron Reynolds inspired the weaker ones with courage when he derisively
told the speaker to bring on his reënforcements; that they too were
expecting reënforcements and if Girty and his savage allies remained
much longer, their scalps would grace his cabin. He said Girty was "very
well known," that he himself owned a cur, so worthless that he called
him "Simon Girty."

Offended at such language, Girty rejoined his chiefs. The night passed
without interruption, but daylight showed camp fires burning, meat
roasting, and not an Indian in sight. They had evidently departed just
before dawn.


After the retreat of the savages from Bryan's Station it did not take
long for the Kentucky riflemen to gather and go in pursuit. In the
afternoon of the same day the savages had retreated from the fort, one
hundred and eighty-two men from the various stations assembled. Fearing
that the Indians would escape across the river, they started at once to
overtake them, without waiting for the arrival of Colonel Logan, who was
coming with three hundred more men.

Colonel John Todd was put in command, while many commissioned officers
took their places in the ranks. On they pressed, until on the second
day, as they reached the Lower Blue Licks, they saw the Indians
leisurely ascending the farther bank.

The pioneers halted and held a conference in which all officers took
part. The veteran Boone was asked for his opinion which all valued. He
counseled either waiting for Colonel Logan's reënforcements or so
dividing their numbers that part could cross above and fall in the rear
of the enemy, while others could fight from the front.

Some preferred the first plan, others wished to adopt the second. In the
midst of the consultation the rash, undisciplined nature of Colonel Hugh
McGary, daring but with no deference to authority, oblivious to peril
but not prudent, caused him to exchange some hot words with Todd and
Boone; then giving a war whoop, he rushed madly into the stream, holding
his hat above his head, and shouting, "All who are not cowards follow

[Illustration: "Giving a war whoop, he rushed madly into the stream."]

The effect was electric. Horse and foot rushed headlong, each trying to
be foremost. No order was given, none observed. In their unreasonable
enthusiasm they heeded no command. In vain the officers tried to check
them, then finally followed. Reaching the farther bank, by great
difficulty a halt was secured and spies sent ahead to examine a ravine
where Boone feared an ambush; as they returned and reported no sign of
the enemy, the pioneers moved forward in three divisions. By the time
they came to this ravine Girty's Indians had so placed themselves that
from their murderous fire many fell. Still the pioneers maintained their
ground, until at last all hope lay in retreat. On the bank of the river
there was soon a seething mass of horsemen, foot soldiers, and Indians.
Sixty of Kentucky's bravest fell, and sorrow filled every home.

Colonel Logan and his soldiers came next day and buried their dead,
among whom were many of the leaders in both public and private life as
well as a son of the aged Boone.

There is a tradition that when the Indians saw four more of their own
among the slain than of the whites, they barbarously put to death four
of the seven pioneers they had taken and subjected the others many times
to the most cruel and inhuman treatment.

Through this rash act of McGary nearly one tenth of all the fighting men
in Kentucky fell. Distress and discouragement were general; and the
greatest disaster that had yet befallen the country had been brought


In the latter part of the year 1779, David Rogers was making his way
from New Orleans to Pittsburgh with two boats full of military stores.
On nearing the four-mile bar above the present site of Cincinnati, he
discovered a great number of Indians emerging from the mouth of the
Little Miami. Hastily landing, his men cautiously crept through the
underbrush, expecting to take the Indians unawares, when they were
suddenly surprised by a large force of savages, who with rifle and
tomahawk made such a terrible onslaught that more than half of the
whites met an almost instantaneous death.

The crew, in a panic, rushed forward to their boats only to find one in
the possession of the enemy and the other too far from shore to reach
its friendly shelter. With a courage born of despair they rushed through
the enemy's lines, and some escaped in the darkness to Harrodstown,
while others were so severely wounded that they barely existed until
they were rescued by their friends.

Among these was Robert Benham, who, after being shot through the hips,
managed to crawl to a large fallen tree and hide among its foliage.
There he quietly lay until the battle was ended, and the Indians had
returned and gathered the spoils from the dead whites. Thinking the
coast clear once more and suffering pangs of hunger, Benham could not
resist shooting a raccoon that came within his range, trusting to
providence to reach it after it fell. Scarcely had the sound of his gun
died away when he heard some one speak. He instantly reloaded and sat
quietly, expecting an Indian every moment.

Finally some one said, "Whoever you are, answer me."

He then, realizing that it was no savage, readily answered; and soon one
of his former comrades, John Watson, appeared with both arms broken.

Never was there a happier combination. From that time the arms of
Benham and the legs of Watson each did duty for both. Benham could
easily load his gun and kill the game, while Watson could readily kick
it within reach of his companion, who could dress and cook it. Thus they
subsisted until the game in their vicinity grew scarce; then the man
with the sound legs would walk around a drove of wild turkeys until he
got them within range of Benham's gun, who was such a splendid marksman
that he never failed to kill two or three of the number.

Their greatest difficulty was in securing water; but as in all things,
"where there is a will there is a way," so even this difficulty was
obviated. Benham would place his hat rim between the teeth of Watson,
who would wade into the river up to his chin, duck his head, and thus
fill the hat with water which he securely delivered to the man without
legs, who could use it as needed. Benham was thus enabled to cook, dress
his own and his comrade's wounds, and feed the latter also.

For several weeks they lived thus, until they grew stronger and traveled
to the Licking River. After a great deal of difficulty in making
themselves known to some passing boats, they were rescued, and taken to
the Falls of the Ohio, where both recovered. Benham afterwards
participated in several expeditions, and, after peace, returned to the
scenes of his sufferings, bought land there, and passed his remaining
days peacefully where he had so nearly met death.


From time immemorial women have been accused of possessing an unusual
amount of curiosity, but an incident of the early days, in what is now
Mercer County, will prove that some men also belong to the curious

In 1783, the same year that saw the treaty of peace between Great
Britain and the thirteen colonies go into effect, Kentucky, still a part
of Virginia, was a dense forest, infested by roving bands of Indians who
plundered and murdered the pioneers; hence caution was still the
watchword of the white inhabitants. During this year, three men in the
early dawn left Harrod's Station to hunt for some horses that had
strayed off while grazing. For some time, over many miles, through dense
cane and tangled pea vine, they pursued the trail, until, as a refuge
from the darkness and a cold, drenching rain, the pioneers took shelter
in an old, deserted log cabin, in the midst of a canebrake.

Having seen signs of Indians during the day and knowing that the red men
also knew of the cabin, they decided to endure the cold, rather than
light a fire. Finally they concluded a still further precaution would be
to take refuge in the "loft" of the cabin for fear the savage foes might
also take shelter therein and dispute the right of possession.

They at once climbed up into the loft, the floor of which was
clapboards, lying loose upon some round poles. Here, with their trusty
rifles, they lay quietly for a short time, when to their terror six
armed savages entered the cabin. Placing their guns and tomahawks in a
corner, they built a fire and began a scene of hilarity characteristic
of their tribe.

[Illustration: "The Indians built a fire."]

One of the men was anxious to know the number of the Indians. So, though
he was lying on his back, and was the middle man, he determined to turn
over and peep at the crowd below. The other two white men determined he
should keep still; so they held him, but as he quietly struggled, a pole
broke and with a terrible crash, clapboards, men, and guns fell upon the
frightened savages, who with yells of terror fled into the forest and
never returned. Though almost as much terrified as the Indians, the
white men quietly enjoyed the fire till morning, when they returned to
the station with their trophies of what they laughingly called "The
Battle of the Boards."


If we search the annals of both ancient and modern times we can find no
record that shows greater fidelity from slave to master than was
exhibited by a negro to one of Kentucky's most noted pioneers.

In 1782, March 19, people living in the vicinity of Boonesborough
discovered some empty rafts floating down the river. They at once knew
that Indians had used them to cross the stream so as to attack the
unprotected settlements. News was sent to the various stations warning
the settlers. Colonel Logan dispatched fifteen men to Estill's Station,
where they were joined by twenty-five from that fort. Under the command
of Captain James Estill, they started to pursue and punish the invaders.

Early in the morning of the 20th, Miss Jennie Gass, with a slave, Monk,
as protector, went just outside the fort at Estill's Station to milk the
cows. Her mother, seeing the savages approaching, called loudly for her
to run, but the warning came too late. Ere her daughter could reach the
gate, her mother saw her tomahawked and scalped.

Monk was captured and asked about the force of the fort. Like the
half-witted boy who was questioned by the Tories, Monk exaggerated the
situation, saying there were forty men in the fort then molding bullets
in anticipation of an attack. The truth is that aside from the women and
children, there were only four men, who were too disabled to march. The
savages accordingly thought it best to retreat.

No sooner had they withdrawn from the vicinity of the fort than two boys
were dispatched to find Captain Estill's band and tell them of the
tragedy. In a few hours the messengers found the men, and so uneasy were
some of the party for their families that five returned to help protect
the fort, while the other thirty-five began to search for the trail of
the Indians. A part of the horses became so jaded that ten more dropped
from the ranks, while the remaining twenty-five pushed forward with a
grim determination to find the savages.

About an hour before sunset they discovered some Indians preparing a
meal from a buffalo. When Captain Estill fired his gun, the Indians
fled, and had it not been that their leader was wounded, the retreat
would have been permanent and the battle of Little Mountain would never
have been fought. With almost superhuman strength the chieftain dragged
himself to a place of safety and with a defiance that meant death he
commanded his warriors who were too loyal to retreat without their
wounded leader. There, in a space not more than two hundred yards in
diameter, was fought one of the world's fiercest battles.

On the one hand there were twenty-five Wyandot warriors who defied
death. On the other side there were twenty-five pioneers, aroused to
vengeance by the cruelties the red men had visited upon them. Well did
they obey the command of Estill, "Every man to his man, and every man to
his tree." At one time in the fiercest of the fight, the rallying tones
of confidence rang out above the crack of the rifles as Monk, who was
still held prisoner by the savages, shouted, "Don't give way, Massa Jim,
you can whip the redskins."

For nearly two hours the combat lasted, neither side advancing nor
retreating. But when Captain Estill sent Lieutenant William Miller with
six men to gain the rear of the enemy, that seven ingloriously fled and
then the savages began to gain on the whites. Finally Captain Estill and
a brawny Indian clutched in mortal combat. For a time their strength
seemed equal, but Estill's broken arm giving way, the savage instantly
plunged a knife into his breast and a moment later, pierced by a bullet
from Joseph Proctor's unerring gun, fell dead across his victim's body.

There the battle ended, the pioneers taking their wounded comrades and
leaving the dead upon the field. Proctor carried one, a Mr. Irvine, a
great distance of forty miles upon his back, while the faithful Monk
carried another. A few days later a party of whites visited the scene
and buried their dead. The Indians had carefully removed their slain but
left the whites unmolested. Wallace Estill, Monk's young master, gave
him his freedom and cared for him the remainder of his life. He lived to
a ripe old age and was the father of thirty children.

The little city of Mount Sterling is near the battleground where such
heroism was displayed by both savage and civilian.


Daniel Boone, the famous hunter, fighter, and pioneer, regarded himself
as a special agent intended by providence to convert forests into fields
and to carry civilization to the wilderness. When we remember his many
exciting adventures and marvelous successes, we are inclined almost to
believe that he was a child of destiny.

[Illustration: "He took aim at the foremost."]

One of the most singular experiences in his warfare on the savages
occurred about 1780, when about two miles south of Owingsville. Boone
was making one of his solitary journeys from Boonesborough to the Upper
Blue Licks. As he came near a deserted station about twelve miles east
of the present site of Mount Sterling, he perceived fresh signs of
Indians; so he continued his journey cautiously until he came to a clear
spring near the bank of Slate Creek. Here, as he was quenching his
thirst, a ball whistled by and broke the bark from the beech that shaded
the spring. Boone lost no time in reaching the creek, swimming to the
opposite bank, and concealing himself in a convenient canebrake. He then
cautiously parted the cane until he had gone about one hundred yards,
when he observed two Indians coming warily towards the creek. He had
slain so many savages that he was not satisfied with the thought of
killing one of his adversaries, but determined that one shot should kill
both. He therefore took aim at the foremost and as the other came in
range he fired; and as one fell dead, the other, dropping his gun, fled
with frantic yells of pain, for the ball had passed through the body of
one and struck the other's shoulder.

Boone then very calmly crossed the creek, selected one of the guns left
by the savages, threw the other in the creek, where it was found
afterwards, and proceeded on his way to the Blue Licks.


His father having died when he was only fourteen, Benjamin Logan found
himself, according to the laws of Virginia, at the head of a family, and
in possession of his father's estate. With his mother's consent he sold
the land and divided the proceeds among his brothers and sisters. Since
he wished to see his mother comfortably settled, he united funds with
that of a brother and bought a small home, which was secured to her
during her life.

Bidding his mother farewell, he soon made for himself a home on the
Holston River. Here he remained a few years and after having served with
both Colonel Bouquet and Colonel Dunmore in the expeditions against the
Indians, resolved to try the western wilds of Kentucky. With two or
three slaves, he came, traversed a great part of the wilderness with
Boone and Henderson, and pitched his camp and built his fort in Lincoln
County near the present city of Stanford. Bringing out his family the
next year, he deemed it prudent to place them in the more securely
fortified Harrodstown. But early in 1777 feeling more assurance of
safety, he removed all his household to his new home.

Early in the morning of May 20, while some of the men were guarding the
women as they were outside milking, Indians fired on them from a near-by
canebrake. All fled toward the fort, but one of the white men fell dead,
another was mortally wounded, and a third, Burr Harrison, was severely
crippled. There were now only twelve fighting men to defend the fort,
while the enemy numbered one hundred. Harrison ran staggering towards
the fort, when he fell and lay all day within range of the rifles of the
Indians, and in sight of his agonized wife; her pleas for help and cries
of distress, as from her own place of safety she saw her husband wounded
and helpless, touched the sympathy and tried the heroism of all.

[Illustration: "Amid a shower of arrows they entered the gate."]

All hesitated until twilight came, and it grew so dark the Indians could
not distinguish objects moving around the stockade. As there were a
great many large hogs in the vicinity, Logan covered himself with a
small feather bed, made from the feathers of the numerous wild pigeons,
turkeys, and geese, and leaving the gate crept hither and thither, on
all fours, grunting and acting as if in search of something to eat.
Finally he reached Harrison, apparently by accident. He suddenly seized
him in his arms, sprang to his feet, and darted toward the fort before
the surprised Indians sufficiently recovered to take sure aim. Amid a
shower of bullets and arrows he and Harrison entered the gate in safety.

Enraged at the deception practiced upon them, the Indians vigorously
assaulted the fort, while the inmates as vigorously defended it. Under
Logan's lead they resolved to fight to the last, but the powder and ball
began to run low. What should be done? These men, made of "sterner
stuff," faced another danger. If the siege was continued, they must
perish or procure ammunition.

Again the heroism of Logan shone forth. Assuring his wife and friends of
a safe and speedy return, he, with two trusty companions, under the
cover of the night, left the fort. They crept through the Indian lines,
avoided the regular route through Cumberland Gap, rapidly traversed
mountains and valleys, crossed rivers, pushed through brush and cane,
reached the Holston, procured "powder and ball," and on the tenth night
Logan reëntered the fort, having traveled more than three hundred miles.
His companions soon arrived with the ammunition, reënforcements were
brought, and the Indians retired.


[Illustration: "Mr. Rowan turned the butt of his gun."]

About 1784, a party of pioneers left the Falls of the Ohio with the
intention of descending the river. Reaching Yellow Banks, the boat
stopped for a while. One of the party, a Mr. Rowan, taking a loaded gun,
but no ammunition, wandered some distance from the shore and upon his
return was astonished to find the boat gone. The crew had cause to
believe a party of Indians was near, so hastened away without waiting
for their comrade. The nearest settlement was at Vincennes, one hundred
miles distant. So thither Mr. Rowan bent his steps until after three
weary days of exposure and exhaustion he abandoned all hope and lay
down to die. It was not long, however, before, hearing the report of a
gun, he again took courage, rose, and made his way in the direction of
the sound. When he came in sight, an Indian raised his gun to fire, but,
seeing Mr. Rowan turn the butt of his gun, knew he meant to be friendly;
so with a politeness that would have done honor to a civilian the savage
promptly turned the butt of his also.

Learning the destitute condition of Rowan, the Indian hospitably took
him to his wigwam, cared for him until his strength was restored, and
then conducted him to Vincennes. Anxious to reward such unusual
kindness, Rowan tried to prevail on the savage to accept a gift of $300;
of this the Indian nobly refused every penny, but in order to please his
recent guest finally accepted a new blanket, saying, "When I wrap myself
in it, I will think of you."


Though the records of pioneer life teem with startling encounters with
wild animals, there really occurred a very unusual incident, when the
life of a young man, named Downing, was saved by the hug of a bear.

In those early days, the people of that part of the country that is now
Kentucky had to content themselves with very rough cabins and forts for
their families, and with no outbuildings or inclosures whatever for
their stock.

Instead of well-kept stables and excellent pastures, the stockade
protected the cows, sheep, and horses at night, and the near-by forest
was their home and grazing ground during the day. Although as close
watch as possible was kept over these animals, they sometimes strayed so
far away that it was necessary to bring them back or the Indians would
take them for their own.

In the year 1786, in what is now Bath County, a horse had strayed off,
and a young man named Yates requested another occupant of the fort, a
mere lad named Downing, to go with him in search of the animal.

They traversed the woods in every direction all day, but in vain. About
sundown, when nearly seven miles from the fort, in a wild valley,
Downing became very anxious concerning sounds that seemed to follow his
footsteps regardless of the direction he took. He repeatedly said that
he heard sticks breaking and that he believed Indians were following

Yates, who was older, more experienced, and more inured to the perils of
frontier life, laughed heartily at the fears of his companion, often
inquired at what price he rated his scalp, and jokingly offered to
insure it at a sixpence.

Oblivious to all danger, enjoying the discomfort of his companion, and
wishing to display his daring, Yates began a rollicking tune as he
boldly passed along; but young Downing, feeling "the better part of
valor is discretion," and being sure from the ominous sounds that they
were being followed, decided to discover if possible the hidden foe. He
gradually slackened his pace, until his companion was about twenty or
thirty yards in advance; then just after descending a small hill,
Downing quickly stepped from the path and secreted himself behind some
bushes. He was horrified a few moments later to see two Indians
cautiously put aside the canebrake and peer in the direction taken by
his companion.

Downing, fearful lest the savages knew his own hiding place, decided to
fire upon them at once; but his hand was so unsteady from the
excitement, that his gun went off before he took aim. Terror-stricken he
fled in the direction taken by his friend, whom he soon met, returning
to learn the cause of the firing. There was no need to inquire, for in
full view the two savages were rapidly pursuing them.

True Kentucky chivalry was soon evident, for though he could easily have
saved himself, Yates would not outrun his young companion, but kept by
his side.

It so happened that a path diverged from the one taken by the whites,
but rejoined it at a distant point. Knowing the country well, the
Indians took this divergent path, expecting to intercept the pioneers at
the point of reunion. Passing this point in safety, the white men soon
came to a deep gully. Mr. Yates easily cleared it, but his companion,
being very much exhausted, fell against the farther bank and rolled at
full length to the bottom. He gave himself up for lost. Over went the
two Indians like deer, so intent upon catching the foremost man they
apparently did not notice Downing.

[Illustration: "The bear growled and hugged him close."]

For a while fear kept him still, but finally thinking the Indians were
far away, the young man walked to the shallow part of the ditch. Just as
he reached a place so shallow that he was no longer concealed, to his
astonishment and dismay he beheld one of the savages returning,
apparently in search of him.

Having neglected to reload his gun, and seeing the Indian advancing upon
him, he threw it away and again trusted to flight. The white man ran and
the Indian ran. It was a race for life, but as they ascended the long
ridge, so steadily did the Indian gain upon him that when Downing ran
along one side of a big fallen poplar, the Indian passed along the
other, evidently expecting to seize him at the upturned root. However,
just there lay a huge mother bear and her cubs. So rapidly was the
Indian running that by the time he had discovered Mrs. Bruin, she had
discovered him; and though his salutation was an exclamation of horror
and a plunge of his great knife, the bear only growled and hugged him

So happy was Downing over this timely meeting of his two enemies, that
he joyfully fled to the fort, where he found his companion resting from
his exciting race. Those in the fort soon received a vivid account of
how Downing's life, providentially, had been saved by the hug of a bear.


There was born in Virginia, on November 19, 1752, a light-haired,
blue-eyed baby boy who was destined to become the founder of our
commonwealth, the father of Kentucky, and the captor of England's
important outposts.

Leaving his home one spring morning in 1775, and stopping at the bend of
the road to wave farewell to his mother, sister, and brother, George
Rogers Clark, a young soldier-surveyor of twenty-two who had seen active
service in Dunmore's war, started out for the wilds of Kentucky.

More than six feet in height, dignified, affable, manly, brave,
determined, yet gentle, he at once commanded not only the attention, but
respect, friendship, and leadership of all. Whether or not he came with
an official commission, his military bearing, his superior intelligence,
and his indomitable spirit caused him by common consent to be placed at
the head of the irregular militia of this section.

George Rogers Clark returned to Virginia in the autumn, but in the
memorable year of '76 came again to Kentucky to make it his permanent

He opposed the plans of the Transylvania Company, urged the settlers to
try to effect a more certain connection with Virginia, and went over
mountains, through mud, and amid difficulties and dangers, as a
representative to the Virginia legislature, which had adjourned before
he reached the capital.

Not to be deterred, he visited Governor Patrick Henry, who was at home
sick, and impressed upon him the necessity of protecting the settlements
in Kentucky. He then went before the executive council of the state and
asked for 500 pounds of gunpowder to be used in defense of the stations.
The council agreed to lend this to the colonists as friends, but said
they could not give it to them as fellow citizens. At this Clark refused
to accept the gunpowder and intimated intentions of appealing for
assistance elsewhere, saying that, "A country that is not worth
defending is not worth having." This reply caused the recall of Clark to
the presence of the council, and the gunpowder was conveyed to
Pittsburgh and delivered to Clark for the colonists.

At the next session of the legislature, through the splendid services of
this same useful citizen, the territory which later became our
commonwealth was erected into Kentucky County, of Virginia.

From this time on Clark was, by common consent, the moving master spirit
in all the daring plans of his adopted state. With a seeing eye and an
unsurpassed judgment he concluded that the Indian invasions were
inspired by the British and that to stop this terrible warfare the
colonists should strike at the fountain head. Accordingly he laid and
perfected his plans for attacking the posts of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and
Saint Vincents (now Vincennes). Virginia voted to defray the expenses
and gave Clark two sets of instructions, one public, ordering him to
proceed to the defense of Kentucky, the other private, ordering an
attack on Kaskaskia.

Descending the Ohio on flatboats or pirogues, he landed, May, 1778,
three companies of troops and several families on Corn Island, near the
Falls of the Ohio. He drilled his raw recruits, reënforced with
volunteers from the country, and a few weeks later, amid a total eclipse
of the sun, set out with his frail fleet of four companies of one
hundred and thirty-five fighting men.

[Illustration: "On the night of July 4, they captured Kaskaskia."]

Landing on Owen's Island near the mouth of the Tennessee River, and
striking across the country from Fort Massacre, or Massac, he began that
wonderful march which won him undying fame.

Meeting a party of hunters recently from Kaskaskia, Clark secured from
them important intelligence and an offer to guide his forces where by a
sudden surprise they believed the place could be easily captured. On the
night of July 4, he took the town of two hundred and fifty inhabitants
without the loss of one drop of blood.

Most of the people were of French descent and had been taught by the
British that the Kentuckians waged savage warfare. They were therefore
terror-stricken until General Clark assured them that their own king,
whose rule over them had been exchanged for that of the British by the
treaty of Paris, 1763, had joined hands with America to stop the cruel
war of the British and Indians. The French colonists were then
overjoyed, said their French king had come to life, and offered to
accompany the division that was to march to Cahokia.

On July 6, that post was also surprised and taken; the inhabitants were
dreadfully alarmed at the sight of the "big knife," but were soon
reassured by their relatives and friends from Kaskaskia.

Not satisfied with these brilliant successes, General Clark felt that he
must also capture Vincennes, but M. Gibault, the village priest of both
that place and Kaskaskia, volunteered to inform the people of Vincennes
that the king of France had become an ally of the American colonists.
Soon the American flag floated over that fort and from the Lakes to the
Mississippi the powerful arm of the British was broken, and the many
Indian invasions of Kentucky were discontinued.


News came to General Clark in January of 1779, that the British under
Governor Hamilton from Detroit had recaptured Vincennes and were waiting
only till spring to advance with hundreds of Indian allies on Kaskaskia,
obliterate the Kentuckians, and break the power of Virginia west of the
Alleghenies. Learning at the same time that Hamilton had only about
eighty regular soldiers with three cannons and some swivels, Clark
decided not to wait to be attacked, but to take the aggressive. He at
once sent forty-five men on a boat to proceed to a point near the mouth
of the White River with instructions, to allow nothing to pass, and to
wait further orders.

Nine days after the important information reached him, General Clark
with one hundred and seventy men started across flooded prairies,
swollen streams, and inundated valleys. There is no more daring march
recorded. Trudging through rain and mud, fording small streams, wading
most of the time in deep water ofttimes to the armpits, they traveled
without tents, depending on parched corn and the securing of game for
food; at last they went for days with no nourishment whatever.

[Illustration: Clark and his men crossing a swollen stream.]

It took all the ingenuity of General Clark to keep up the courage of the
soldiers. Sometimes he would plunge into the deep water singing a
favorite song, when all would join in, fall in line, and sing as they
waded. At another time, seeing the discouragement and despair in their
faces, he blackened his face with gunpowder, gave an Indian-like war
whoop, and plunged into the stream; again all followed. At another place
a little drummer boy was placed on the shoulders of a tall man and told
to beat as if for his life. The enthusiasm of the boy and his stirring
music quickly renewed the courage of the soldiers. A division was placed
in the rear with orders to shoot any who "dropped out," and the march
was continued through the freezing waters.

Near Vincennes, they captured a Frenchman who had been duck shooting,
and sent a letter by him to the French inhabitants saying that the fort
would be stormed that night and they could choose between remaining
quietly in their homes and receiving the friendly protection of the
assaulters, or of going into the British fort and of abiding results.

All was then commotion and people rushed out from their houses to learn
the news. By a stratagem of Clark's his men were so marching in a circle
behind an elevation that as they passed and repassed, flying many
"colors," each man was counted dozens of times, and the inhabitants of
the place thought there was an attacking force of many hundreds of
people at their gates.

For two days and nights, Clark's men besieged the fort. Their ammunition
ran alarmingly low, yet Clark, Napoleon-like, was very demanding. At
last the "Stars and Stripes" floated again over Vincennes, and thus was
secured to our nation that vast tract out of which have been carved
Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, while the value to the
colonists in Kentucky could not be easily estimated.


When General George Rogers Clark had conquered the British and Indians
in their stronghold in the Illinois country, he felt it safe for the few
families he had left on Corn Island, near the Falls of the Ohio, to
remove to the mainland, and so ordered that a fort be built there.

Rows of log cabins joined together around a hollow square constituted
this structure; at one corner there was a cabin, double the size of the
others, that was to serve as a storeroom. In this building took place
the first Christmas dinner and dance in Kentucky, as far as any record

The men ranged the forest and brought home rabbits, turkeys, deer,
bears, and buffaloes. The women baked corn pone, hoecake and johnnycake,
boiled and fried hominy, and prepared milk, butter, and cheese.

Forks were driven into the earthen floor of the storehouse. On rough,
unhewn, uncovered boards laid above poles stretched between the forks,
the feast was served. Wooden platters held the meats, wooden plates the
bread, and wooden bowls the hominy. The centerpiece that decorated the
table and proved the great dish of the banquet was an opossum baked
whole, hanging by its tail on a stick of wood, which was suspended over
the center.

The fiddler of the fort, an old negro named Cato, as well as every man,
woman, and child, had been downcast for some time because the fiddle
had only one string left. Patient Cato had tried horsehair and deer
sinews, but no music could thus be made. Fortunately on Christmas eve a
small boat landed near the fort and on it was a Frenchman with a violin.

[Illustration: "The Frenchman retired in a rage."]

It did not take old Cato long to inquire if the musician had any extra
strings he would sell; learning that he had, Cato joyfully exchanged
raccoon skins for the coveted strings, and gave the stranger an extra
skin to tell nothing about the trade. Cato was intending to give the
settlers a great surprise. Alas for his dreams! The traders from the
boat being invited to the feast, the Frenchman happened to speak of an
accident to his fiddle; whereupon he was besieged with requests to get
his instrument and play, so they could dance. He reluctantly yielded,
the table was cleared away, the older people and children ranged
themselves around the walls, and the younger men and women impatiently
waited on the smooth, dirt floor, until the music began.

The Frenchman tried in vain to teach the fashionable dances of his
homeland to the backwoods boys and girls. At last, becoming discouraged
and disgusted, he retired in a rage. Then the old darkey approached him
and politely asked if he might play while his honor rested. He was told
to "play on."

Soon to the music of old Cato's fiddle, the boys and girls were making
merry by dancing the Virginia reel. Not till the midnight hour did
either the dancers or fiddler weary or pause.


Thomas Jefferson, the Sage of Monticello, the originator of many plans
for the defense and perpetuation of our country, deserves a place of
honor in the records of Kentucky, for the interest shown in this, the
then remote part of Virginia.

In a message in 1778, Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia suggested that
a post be established and fortified on the Mississippi; but it was
Governor Jefferson of the same state who later expressly said that the
plan must be executed.

Spain and France for years were zealous in their efforts to check the
extension of the infant republic, control the great Mississippi, and
make of Kentucky a Spanish province. Her geographical position and great
river frontage caused them to realize her wonderful resources. So, to
fortify the claim of the United States to the Mississippi as its western
boundary, Thomas Jefferson, Governor of Virginia, engaged Dr. Thomas
Walker with an able corps of surveyors to ascertain the point on the
Mississippi River intersected by the southern limit of Virginia. He
then, in 1780, instructed General George Rogers Clark to establish a
fort and garrison near that point and afterwards to extend a line of
forts to the north, both to offer protection and to establish
possession. So in the summer of 1780, General Clark with 200 soldiers
erected and manned with cannons a fort at a point about five miles below
where Cairo now is and near Wickliffe, Kentucky. Adverse criticisms fell
from many because of this division and depletion of forces, but as in
all other enterprises with which he was connected, Jefferson built not
for the present alone but for the future as well.

By an oversight Clark and his soldiers failed to follow Jefferson's
instructions to secure from the Chickasaw Indians, who owned the land
west of the Tennessee River, the consent to the erection of the fort.
They thereby aroused a spark of resentment that erelong became such a
flame that the Indians began harassing and killing the families outside
the fort. By threat of death, they forced one captive to describe the
true state of the fort, in which, to their surprise, they learned there
were only about thirty men and two thirds of these were sick with
malaria. Soon the Indians marched, one thousand two hundred strong,
under the command of a Scotchman named Colbert; but for five days these
weakened frontiersmen with little water and less food, except green
pumpkins, held the fort.

Finally Captains Clark and Colbert met under a flag of truce, but failed
to agree to terms. The fort even refused a demand to surrender, though
told that the assistance they expected would not reach them. As night
fell the Indians made a desperate assault, but the firing from one of
the blockhouses so depleted and demoralized their ranks that they
retreated. Reënforcements arrived soon after and the siege was

Though Fort Jefferson from its isolated position was finally forsaken,
yet "its evacuation was a signal for peace," and the Indians here no
longer molested the white settlers.


From November to March, 1779-1780, the settlers of Kentucky suffered
untold anguish from the severity of the weather and the scarcity of
food. More pioneers had come into the wilderness the preceding summer
and so increased the population that the products of garden, field, and
forest were soon exhausted.

Deep, unmelting snow covered the land; many families coming by river
were caught in the masses of ice, compelled to abandon their primitive
boats, and encamp on the frozen shore; while the traveler by land found
trails blocked with snow, creeks frozen solid, and the forest desolate.
Horses, cattle, and many wild animals froze or died from want of
nourishment, while so great was the extremity that the settlers were
forced to eat the flesh of the animals that had thus fallen, and for
months had to go without bread. In this severe cold, through the deep
snow and over the solid ice, there could be little traveling. To secure
supplies from elsewhere was impossible; and even when spring began to
bring some relief, one bushel of corn brought, in the continental
currency, from fifty to one hundred and seventy-five dollars. Complete
relief could not come until the seedtime and the harvest home were over.

The Pilgrims were not more grateful on their first Thanksgiving Day than
were the Kentucky frontiersmen when plenty again abounded.


Though the pioneers of Kentucky endured many murderous attacks from the
Indians, there were other dangers which were not trifling. One of the
most exciting of these incidents was the experience of a man named John
McKinney, who was employed at an early day by the people of Lexington,
as their first teacher.

At that time Kentucky had no newspaper, and items of interest from the
states beyond the mountains were eagerly greeted by all. In May, 1783, a
traveler passing through the embryo city of what is now the capital of
our famed blue-grass section, brought with him a newspaper containing
the Articles of Peace with Great Britain. All were anxious to read them.
The fact that the Articles had not yet been ratified did not lessen the
interest of the citizens. A copy of any paper was a treat, and such news
as the Articles meant great hope for the struggling settlers. As the
gentleman would resume his journey the following day and take with him
the much-prized paper, some of the citizens appealed to McKinney to copy
the Articles of Peace.

At that time Lexington was only a cluster of about thirty cabins, and
one which stood just outside the fort, near the present site of the
courthouse, was used as a schoolroom.

Thither, the next morning, the teacher went to copy the precious news of
peace. While busily writing, he heard a noise and glancing up saw a
very unusual and unwelcome guest. A ferocious wildcat with bristles
erect, tail curled, and eyes flashing, had paused on the threshold and
was peering around the room. At first she did not see McKinney, but by
some involuntary movement he attracted her attention, and she soon
exhibited other than friendly emotions.

[Illustration: "The wildcat was not to be frowned down."]

Having been accustomed to subdue the backwoods boys and girls by the
awfulness of his frown, the teacher tried the same tactics now; but the
cat was not to be frowned down. As the teacher reached for a rule she,
with the ferocity of a lion, sprang upon him, fastened her claws in his
side, and began tearing his clothes, mangling his flesh, and inflicting
such serious wounds that the blood flowed copiously.

Knowing he could not long withstand her power and despairing of aught
else to do, he threw his weight upon her and pressed her against the
sharp corner of the table. Soon her weird cries were mingled with his
calls of distress, and erelong the citizens knew something unusual was
happening in the little schoolhouse. The women were first to answer the
cry of alarm. Reaching the door, they paused to discover the cause of
the commotion and seeing Mr. McKinney bending over the table, writhing
and groaning, they at first glance thought that he had a severe attack
of cramp, but quickly seeing the cat, one lady exclaimed, "Why, Mr.
McKinney, what is the matter?"

He very gravely replied, "Madam, I have caught a cat."

By this time the cat was lifeless; but her teeth were so deeply imbedded
in his side that the neighbors, many of whom had gathered by this time,
had great difficulty in disengaging her.

The shock, the wound, and the loss of blood made McKinney very sick and
weak, and for several days he was confined to his bed while the boys
and girls enjoyed a holiday.

He lived to a ripe old age and was often heard to say he would rather
fight two Indians than one wildcat.


When "the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the
world," Kentucky was that portion of the "Old Dominion" that was
destined to be the happy homes of so many men, valorous in the field and
eloquent in the forum. The state to be, whose toast and boast has ever
been her noble sons and fair daughters, was still called Fincastle
County, Virginia.

The last day of 1776, the year that saw the sons of the colonies rise in
the majesty of their manhood and declare they would no longer submit to
the rule of King George, the Virginia legislature divided Fincastle
County into three counties, and called one of them Kentucky. This so
remained until May, 1780, when Kentucky County was divided into
Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln. Then the name of Kentucky was abandoned
until in 1783, when an act of the Virginia legislature united the three
counties into Kentucky District. On March 3, 1783, the first court
convened at Harrodstown; but no house there being large enough, a
church, six miles distant, was the home of the first judicial

An act of this court caused a log jail and courthouse to be built where
Danville now stands. Immigrants continued to come to this "Eden of the
West" and the three original counties were divided and subdivided until
June 1, 1792, when Kentucky became the fifteenth star in the
constellation. There were then nine counties with a total population of
100,000; from this embryo has come a commonwealth of one hundred and
twenty counties, with an area of four thousand square miles, rich in
minerals and timber, factories and fields.

From the mountains of the east and the blue grass of the central part,
even to the "Pennyrile" of the far west, each son of the "Dark and
Bloody Ground" loves the land settled by Boone, Kenton, and Clark.


The youth of our state may feel that because Kentucky was not one of the
original Thirteen Colonies to make the heroic struggle for freedom, that
she played no part in establishing and extending our national

During this period, remote as was this part of Virginia from the centers
of civilization, every road blazed, every settlement made, every victory
over the red savage, had a far-reaching effect, not alone for the state
in embryo, but for the national government.

Had not the pioneers of Kentucky, with the heroism of the Romans of old,
subdued the savages, stopped their depredations, and secured to the
mother state of Virginia that vast tract out of which have been carved
Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, the power of England,
to-day, might cut our continent in two.

Kentuckians waited not for opportunity but made it.

At the battle of Point Pleasant, in October, 1774, where the noted
"Cornstalk" met defeat, there were with General Andrew Lewis men whose
name and fame furnish much of Kentucky history. There were Harrod, the
Shelbys, the Boones, and other intrepid leaders who afterwards brought
out from chaos our infant commonwealth.

The effect of this battle was more than local. It gave peace to the
frontiersmen at the time the colonies were beginning the crucial contest
with England and for a while prevented that barbaric warfare waged by
the British and Indians united. So severe was the slaughter, it is said,
that blood was found on each tree behind which the Indians and pioneers
were posted.

In 1780 one of our pioneers who afterwards became our first governor,
Colonel Isaac Shelby, was again in Kentucky locating lands that some
time before he had marked out and improved, when he heard of the
surrender of Charleston. A man with a soul so fired with patriotism
could not be contented not to answer his country's call. He hurried
home, secured volunteers, and did signal service in both North and South
Carolina, and in Georgia. In a measure he overcame the defeat of Gates
at Camden; by his momentous move, though not in supreme command,
Colonel Shelby will ever be known as the hero of Kings Mountain, where
the enemy surrendered after Ferguson with seventy-five officers and men
had been killed.

This was at the darkest hour of the Revolution and has been called "the
first link in the great chain of events in the South that established
the independence of the United States." These conquests by Shelby in the
South, coupled with those of Clark at Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes,
were as important in both immediate and future results as any that
illumine the pages of the Revolution.


To view Kentucky in its primeval beauty and rugged grandeur; to talk
face to face with Boone, Harrod, Todd, Cowan, and Kennedy, those hardy
hunters who blazed the way and changed the uncertain trail to a broad
thoroughfare through the western wilds; to experience the difficulties
and encounter the dangers of those dreadful days--were experiences for
one who would essay to write a history of the country, the times, and
the people. Yet such were the advantages enjoyed by Kentucky's earliest
historian, John Filson.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1747, given a common school and academic
education, lured either by the spirit of adventure, the locating of
lands, or the enthusiastic reports of the far-famed "second paradise"
with its "happy climate and plentiful soil," Filson reached Lexington in
1782. Here he succeeded "Wildcat McKinney" as the second teacher in this
"Athens of the West."

While engaged in teaching, Filson was securing information that was to
give to the world, not only the first history of Kentucky, but the first
authentic account of that vast, transmontane wilderness about which so
many exciting experiences had been recounted.

It has been said, "he could ask more questions and answer fewer than any
one of his time."

Active, observant, accurate, he gave, in his "Discovery, Settlement, and
Present State of Kentucky," in 1784, a work of much merit. It contained
the first map ever drawn of this state, showing the three original
counties of Jefferson, Fayette, and Lincoln.

As this was before any printing presses had been set up in Kentucky or
at any other point in the West, Filson carried his map to Philadelphia
and his manuscript to Wilmington, Delaware.

This little book of one hundred and eighteen pages was deemed of such
consequence that one year after its appearance, it was translated into
French and published by M. Parraud at Paris. Three editions were printed
in England by Gilbert Imlay, Kentucky's first novelist, who incorporated
it in his "Topographical Description of the Western Territory."

Not only was Filson a historian, biographer, and teacher, but he was
also a practical, skillful surveyor.

He led a restless, strenuous life. Soon after his first visit to
Kentucky he was back on his native heath, again in the state of his
adoption, next in the Illinois country gathering data for a history of
that section, the manuscripts of which are now the property of the
Wisconsin Historical Society.

[Illustration: John Filson.]

In 1788 Filson was associated with Mathias Denman and Robert
Patterson, the founder of Lexington, in the purchase of a tract of
eight hundred acres opposite the mouth of the Licking River, where
they planned a town, now the city of Cincinnati, but named by Filson,
Losantiville,--the "city opposite the mouth of the Licking."

As the party deferred surveying and staking off lots for a while,
Filson's restless spirit again urged him on; and, after surveying the
Great Miami with a party, he ventured still farther alone and was never
seen again. His friends supposed he was killed by the Indians; but
there is no record of the time, place, or manner of his death, and
nothing to mark his grave. His name has been aptly given to that body of
earnest, eminent workers of Louisville, the Filson Club, who have done
so much to collect and preserve the many interesting facts about
Kentucky's early days.


Kentucky, the land of soldiers and statesmen, has erected in the hearts
of her patriotic sons a monument, ever enduring, to Clark, Logan,
Bowman, Scott, Shelby, Hardin, and scores of others whose work and
courage won for us this fair domain. It can be truly said of each:

    "An empire is his sepulcher,
    His epitaph is fame."

Though these brave men had conquered the wild beasts and barbarous red
men, there were still other forces to meet. When this far-away West,
between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi River, began to prosper,
homes were built, forests became fields, and products sought a market.
As railroads were undreamed of, nature's method of transportation was
their only outlet. To be able to load a flatboat with corn and other
Kentucky crops, and float down the Ohio and the "Father of Waters" to
New Orleans, would have made that city a great haven for the western
pioneers. But Spain owned the mouth, and though Great Britain had ceded
us free navigation of the river, Spain in the early nineties refused the
free navigation and the right to deposit at New Orleans. Subsequent
events will disclose how long this privilege was withheld.

We have elsewhere told how out of Fincastle County, Virginia, 1776, the
county of Kentucky was erected, while in 1780 it was divided into the
counties of Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln, and in 1783 they were
united into a Kentucky District. But so far removed was this district
from the capital of the commonwealth, so insurmountable were the natural
barriers at that time, so inadequate was the mother state to protect the
pioneers, that they began seriously to consider a separation and the
erection of another member of the general government. Yet so great was
their love for Virginia, it was only with the most delicate suggestion
they began. Convention after convention met and adjourned with nothing
more accomplished than a postponement of the desire nearest their

Vainly the people who had subdued this wilderness petitioned. Futile
were the efforts of the national Congress or of the commonwealth of
Virginia to grant their prayers. We can scarcely censure General James
Wilkinson for wishing to cut the "Gordian knot of difficulty" by
immediate separation and the erection of an independent government. At
the same time the subtle music of the siren's song fell upon the ears of
those who had won their homes through privations.

In June, 1785, Don Gardoqui was sent by the Spanish government to treat
with the American government on any subject of dispute. The Honorable
John Jay was commissioned to meet him, but the far-seeing members of
Congress fortunately put the following check upon Mr. Jay: "That he
enter into no treaty, compact, nor convention whatever with the said
representative of Spain, which did not stipulate the right of the United
States to the navigation of the Mississippi and boundaries as
established by their treaty with Great Britain."

In a few months, Jay urged upon Congress a commercial treaty, which
would, he claimed, redound to the benefit of the United States; the
consideration on her part was "she should forbear the use of the
navigation of the Mississippi for twenty-five or thirty years." Jay,
that had stood "like a stone wall" at Madrid and Paris, was now willing
to barter away the privileges of the nation for a mere sectional gain.
Happily, only seven of the requisite nine states voted favorably, and
the chimerical plot failed. The facilities for knowing the actions of
Congress were not nearly so great then as now; so when a communication
was made, 1787, from Pittsburgh by "A Committee of Correspondence for
Western Pennsylvania" to Kentucky pioneers, viz.: "That John Jay, the
American Secretary for Foreign Affairs, had made a proposition to Don
Gardoqui, the Spanish minister to the United States, to cede the
navigation of the Mississippi to Spain for twenty-five or thirty years,
in consideration of some commercial advantages to be granted to the
United States; but such as the western country could derive no profit
from," the effect may be easily imagined.

The people sent out a circular letter and prepared to hold a convention
to oppose such oppression; but learning that the project had failed,
after merely meeting and discussing the subject, they adjourned without
any action upon it.

In June, 1787, General James Wilkinson secured the privilege from
General Miro, Commandante, of shipping a vast quantity of tobacco to New
Orleans annually and of depositing it in the government's warehouse.
More than ever he now urged the importance to Kentuckians of the free
navigation of this great river, and the right to deposit at New Orleans.
Meanwhile, the Honorable John Brown of Danville had been chosen to
represent the Kentucky District in Congress. Again the frontiersmen were
doomed to disappointment when news came that the government had
postponed the admittance of Kentucky, indeed, would refer the question
to the new government.

As Don Gardoqui had failed in his scheme with John Jay, he now very
opportunely sought Representative Brown; with what effect may be read in
this part of a letter from Mr. Brown to Samuel McDowell, president of
the various Kentucky conventions: "In a conversation I had with Mr.
Gardoqui, the Spanish minister, relative to the navigation of the
Mississippi, he stated that, if the people of Kentucky would erect
themselves into an independent state and appoint a proper person to
negotiate with him, he had authority for that purpose, and would enter
into an arrangement with them for the exportation of their produce to
New Orleans on terms of mutual advantage." In a letter to Judge Muter,
Mr. Brown sets forth the same, and in addition says: "This privilege can
never be extended to them while part of the United States, by reason of
commercial treaties existing between that court and other powers of

In 1788, at Danville, sat the seventh convention earnestly endeavoring
to be loyal to both the people and the parent state. In this assembly
General Wilkinson said: "There is one way and but one way, that I know
for obviating these difficulties, and that is so fortified by
constitutions and guarded by laws, that it is dangerous of access and
hopeless of attainment, under present circumstances." He dilated on the
population, production, and prosperity of the country and its
inalienable rights to the Mississippi. With natural adroitness, he
caused the Honorable John Brown to tell the convention, "That provided,
we are unanimous, everything we could wish for is within our reach."
Wilkinson also read a message he had addressed to the "Intendant of
Louisiana" wherein he urged that should Spain persist in her refusal of
the navigation of the Mississippi and cause a resort to arms, Great
Britain would join the western people in securing it, and thus all
Spanish-America would be endangered. Whatever individual profit
Wilkinson derived from his connection with the Spanish authorities may
be forgotten when we realize that he and the court party he represented
would forever have fought any act to lose to Kentucky the navigation of
the Mississippi.

June 1, 1792, Kentucky became the fifteenth state, and at last some of
her trials were over. Still the British retained their forts and the
Indians continued their depredations. At this time, the Revolution was
shaking France from center to circumference. Remembering the aid of the
French allies in our war for liberty and hating England with an
implacable hatred, many of our people, especially the Kentuckians, were
prepared to rally around the French flag.

Democratic clubs, modeled after the Jacobean clubs of France, sprang up;
and the one at Lexington was so urgent as to pass the following

"That the right of the people on the waters of the Mississippi to the
navigation thereof was undoubted, and it ought to be peremptorily
demanded of Spain by the United States."

In November, 1793, the persons sent to Kentucky by Genêt to arrange an
expedition against the Spaniards at the mouth of the Mississippi, found
a field ripe for harvest. They raised a company of two thousand men and
induced General George R. Clark, at the head of the expedition, to
accept the position of "Major general in the armies of France and
commander in chief of the revolutionary legions on the Mississippi." He
then proceeded to call for volunteers to reduce the Spanish forts on
the Mississippi, and open it for free navigation. Flattering offers were
made to all who would engage. Governor Shelby of Kentucky felt it was
beyond his jurisdiction to attempt to restrain these forces. So, early
in 1794, President Washington warned the people of the unlawfulness of
such an undertaking, and the dangers of such an expedition. General
Wayne was ordered to Fort Massac, to prevent the descent of armed men.
Soon after, Genêt was recalled, and his acts disavowed, and Washington's
"friendship for all, but entangling alliances with none" was the policy
of the hour.

In the summer of 1795, Governor Carondelet of Louisiana sent a messenger
to Judge Benjamin Sebastian of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky,
requesting him to send agents to New Madrid to negotiate with Colonel
Gayoso on the subject of the Mississippi and regulation of commerce
between the local authorities at New Orleans and the people of Kentucky.
In the latter part of the year, Judge Sebastian went to New Madrid,
thence to New Orleans, where he secured the promise of the navigation of
the Mississippi and New Orleans as a place of deposit, with duty payable
only on imports. Fortunately for posterity, news came that in October,
1795, a treaty was consummated with Spain which acknowledged the United
States as extending southward to 31°, and westward to the middle of the
Mississippi. It granted us the free navigation of that stream and the
right of deposit at New Orleans for a period of three years, and a
promise to continue these privileges longer.

Whether or not the proposals of Don Gardoqui and Baron Carondelet were
merely a commercial consideration on the part of Spain, yet dastardly in
the extreme were the futile attempts she made in 1797 to have Kentucky
withdraw from the Union, seize Fort Massac, and become an independent

Money and arms galore were promised those infamous enough to enter into
this conspiracy to extend the northern boundary of Spain's possessions
east of the Mississippi to the Yazoo. Again Spanish conspiracy received
a blow.


Though the stalwart pioneers, dressed in their primitive suits of
deerskin or homespun, pushed farther and farther into Kentucky, stopping
not for privation or peril, danger or disaster, climbing cliffs, fording
streams, fighting savages, yet they were not all merely unlettered
backwoodsmen hunters and fighters. Though the education of nearly all
was more or less limited, a number of these early courageous Kentuckians
have made unusual contributions to the useful sciences. If not the
birthplace, Kentucky was the home and the burial place of a trio who can
claim priority in the invention of the steamboat.

In 1778 there came to Kentucky from Connecticut a man of vigorous
intellect and remarkable powers of perseverance, John Fitch. He had
formerly been a silversmith, clock maker, and lieutenant in the
Revolutionary forces from New Jersey. Though made captive by the Indians
and held prisoner for a year, yet in 1780, as he gazed upon the
beautiful Ohio, he had the first conception of overcoming currents by a
new mode of navigation. Retiring to his surveyor's camp he pondered,
and, remembering the work of Watt with steam, concluded that boats could
be propelled by the same power.

[Illustration: Fitch's steamboat.]

The story of his struggles, in petitions and disappointments, reminds
one of Columbus, as he so long in vain sought aid to make his first
voyage to America. In 1787, 1788, and 1789, Fitch built several boats,
that made from four to seven and one half miles per hour between
Philadelphia and Burlington. He petitioned the legislatures of a number
of states as well as England, France, and Spain, and obtained not
money, but the exclusive privileges of navigating certain streams by
boats propelled by fire or steam. He became discouraged and finally
despaired; he died at Bardstown, 1798, where his remains rest.

A pathetic circumstance connected with his invention is related. He
wrote three volumes of manuscript, sealed them, and placed them in the
Philadelphia Library to be opened thirty years after his death. When
opened, they touchingly related his disappointments, brilliantly
foretold the perfection of his plans, and sorrowfully and bitterly said,
"The day will come when some more powerful man will get fame and riches
from my invention; but nobody will believe that poor John Fitch can do
anything worthy of attention."

By a coincidence two others, who chose Kentucky as their home, James
Rumsey and Edward West, also were pioneers in this work. Both Fitch and
Rumsey in 1784 exhibited their plans to General Washington. While Rumsey
made his project public first, by means of a model, Fitch successfully
plied a boat on the Delaware in 1785 and Rumsey on the Potomac the
following year. Fitch claimed that he told Rumsey of his own plans to
effect navigation by steam. In 1794, in the presence of hundreds of
citizens, a miniature boat invented by Edward West, who had removed from
Virginia to Lexington in 1785, proudly moved through the waters of the
town branch of the Elkhorn, which had been dammed up near the center of
the city.

In 1802 Mr. West secured a patent not only for his steamboat invention,
but for a gun lock and a nail cutting and heading machine, the first
invention of the kind in the world, reputed to cut five thousand three
hundred and twenty pounds of nails in twelve hours. The patent of it
sold for $10,000 and its operation enabled Lexington to export nails of
her own manufacture to Louisville, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh.

So, while it remained for Robert Fulton in 1807 to gain honor from his
invention, yet when in 1813 he brought suit to establish his claims as
the inventor of steam navigation, he was defeated by a pamphlet of John
Fitch's, which proved conclusively there were inventions that antedated
the _Clermont_.


In 1792, the year that Kentucky became a state, there came to Lexington
a man named Nathan Burrows, who was a pioneer, not only as a settler,
but as an inventor of the manufacture of hemp and a machine for cleaning
it. He failed to reap any real benefit from this, but later manufactured
a mustard that took a premium at the World's Fair in England in 1851.

Another resident of Lexington, John Jones, in 1803 invented a machine
for sawing stone, and a speeder spindle.

It remained for a Kentuckian, Dr. Joseph Buchanan, while a student of
medicine at Lexington in 1805, to originate the conception of the music
of light to be accomplished by means of harmonific colors, luminously
displayed, and to invent an instrument that produced its music from
glasses of different chemical composition.

Lexington, then the Athens of the West, was for many years the home of a
native Kentuckian, a Mr. Barlow, whose fertile mind made him the most
celebrated of this group of interesting inventors. Having built a
steamboat at Augusta, after his removal to Lexington, he invented in
1826-1827 a steam locomotive for a railroad with a car attached for two
passengers, with power to ascend an elevation of eighty feet to a mile.
An oval track was constructed for it in a room. It was opened to the
public for exhibition and several took rides at fifty cents a ticket on
the first "railroad train" ever run successfully in western America.
This was sold to a Mr. Samuel Robb, who exhibited the novelty at various
cities including Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans; at the
latter place it was burned while on exhibition. In 1837 Mr. Barlow built
another locomotive and likewise sold it to a person who traveled and
exhibited it.

The versatile mind of Mr. Barlow also produced a nail and tack machine,
which was at once purchased and put into use by some capitalists. His
rifled cannon, invented in 1840, patented later, caused Congress to
appropriate three thousand dollars for an experimental gun, which, when
finished and tested, was of greater accuracy and range than was even
expected, and which is believed to have suggested most of the rifled
guns since patented in both America and Europe.

The crowning invention of this great genius was his wonderfully complex
production, a planetarium, that perfectly imitated the motions of the
solar system, the first and only instrument of the kind in the world.
This was so perfected as to produce the minute relative revolutions of
the planets. The first instrument was sold to Girard College,
Philadelphia. A number of small ones were later made for colleges and
institutions, and one large one for the Military Academy at West Point,
one for the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and one for New Orleans.

Some of these brought two thousand dollars each. One was exhibited at
the World's Fair Exhibition, Paris, France, 1867, as Kentucky's
contribution, and received the highest premium awarded any illustrative


Kentucky is noted for her great hunters, Indian fighters, orators, and
statesmen. But there also lived in this state for awhile--some of the
time at Louisville, part of the time at Henderson--a man who knew more
about birds than any one had ever learned before.

This was John James Audubon. He was born in Louisiana near New Orleans,
and lived several years in France, where he enjoyed every luxury. In
after life, when he spent many years traveling through the forest,
hunting, and studying the birds,--their homes and their habits,--he
often went for days and days with very primitive food. He said his first
recollections were of his home in the South, where he would lie among
the flowers and listen to the songs of the mocking birds. While yet a
boy he gathered birds' nests, birds' eggs, curious stones, and moss. He
would kill and stuff the birds; but these failed to satisfy him, as
their plumage was not bright like that of the live birds. So he began to
make _pictures_ of the birds instead. This was done many, many times
before he was satisfied, for he wanted lifelike pictures of his
feathered friends.

He married a young lady in Pennsylvania, and brought her down the Ohio
in a flat-bottomed float called an ark,--a rather tiresome method for a
wedding trip.

He entered into business in Louisville with bright prospects, but
hunting and studying birds had more fascination for Audubon than trade.
Finally, competition becoming too strong, he and his partner shipped
their goods to Henderson or Hendersonville; but business not being good,
and the roving instinct strong, the stay was brief, and Audubon made
another change.

A few years later he returned to Henderson when he, with several
partners, attempted to operate a steam mill; but the place was not
suitable, every one concerned lost his money, and Audubon departed with
only his sick wife, gun, drawings, and dog. Still he never despaired.

Audubon spent most of his time in Kentucky, rambling in the wilds, and
persons in both Louisville and Henderson have often spoken of seeing him
come in with his great quota of game. He said Kentucky was a "sort of
promised land for all sorts of wandering adventurers."

[Illustration: John James Audubon.]

While Audubon enjoyed, to the fullest, studying his favorite subject,
birds, yet there were many difficulties to encounter and many
deprivations to undergo. He had to travel many thousand miles, sometimes
using the breasts of wild turkeys for bread and bear's grease for
butter, sometimes living on only fruits and roots, sometimes having to
quit this enchanting work for a while and turn dancing master or artist
to procure funds.

After Audubon had traveled, studied, written, and made many hundred
drawings, rats got into his box and cut up all his papers; for a while
he was almost heartbroken and could scarcely eat or sleep. Finally, with
true courage, he said, "I will make more drawings and make them better
than any the rats cut up." So he persevered and, with the aid of his
wife, who encouraged and inspired him in his great work, and gladly gave
of her salary as a teacher to defray expenses, he at last went to Europe
to arrange for its publication.

He was made a member of the Royal Society at Edinburgh, concerning which
he wrote his faithful wife, "So, poor Audubon, if not rich, thou wilt be
honored at least and held in high esteem among men." In another letter
he said, "I have run the gantlet of Europe and may be proud of two
things,--I am considered the first ornithological painter and the first
practical naturalist of America." His "Birds of America" contains
pictures of one thousand sixty-five birds, natural size. His work has
been called the "most magnificent monument that has been erected to
ornithology," and all over our land Audubon Societies have been formed
to protect our friends in feathers.


It takes neither the excitement of war nor the curious conditions of the
far Orient to prove a man a hero of the highest type. Martial music, the
roar of the cannon, the thud of the musket, and the flash of the saber
have inspired many men to deeds of valor. We find incontrovertible
evidence of this in every battle's record. These are accepted as facts
with no fancy interwoven. But when we read of how Damon offered to stay
in the place of his friend, Pythias, condemned to death, with the
knowledge that if Pythias did not return by the hour appointed for the
execution, he, himself, would be called upon to make the sacrifice; how
he prayed that his friend would fail to come, but how that friend, by
every conceivable plan, purposely came in time to accept his fate,--we
sometimes wonder if any friendship could withstand such a test or any
person's pledge be held in such exalted estimation.

In the early days of Kentucky, when the shrill whistle of the locomotive
had not yet reverberated among the hills, when the red schoolhouse was
not found in every locality, nor the moonlight schools had wiped out
illiteracy among the mountaineers, there dwelt in Lewis County a man by
the name of Larkin Liles. He was the hardy son of a hardy race, who
hunted and trapped, lived and loved; and while he knew not a letter of
the alphabet, had never attended school a day in his life, nor heard the
golden rule, yet his rugged honesty and high sense of honor can never be
surpassed. The "benevolent qualities of head and heart by a primeval
decree are not dependent on education, for although it enlightens and
enlarges the mind of man, it does not always ennoble it." So this man,
versed in naught but the backwoodsman's lore, gave the world a lesson in

On one occasion, when at Vanceburg in the above-named county, and while
under the influence of whiskey, he became involved in a rough-and-tumble
fight with very serious results. For this offense he was tried, found
guilty, and sentenced to serve one year in the penitentiary. It so
happened that the sheriff of Lewis County at this time was a personal
friend of "Jay-bird" Liles, and knew the soul of honor hidden by this
rough exterior.

After leaving the courtroom, the prisoner, in a voice husky with
emotion, said, "Uncle Buck,"--everyone called the sheriff of Lewis
County by this title,--"Uncle Buck, won't you let me go home and get in
my winter's wood and fix to have my corn crap gathered, to fatten my
hogs, to keep the young-uns on? Then I's come over to Clarksburg and go
with ye to the penitentiary."

Sheriff Parker asked, "How long will it take ye, Jay-bird?"

"About two weeks," he replied.

Then the magnanimity of the man shone forth,--some might say overcame
the discretion of the officer,--when the sheriff replied, "Go ahead and
do it." But so well did he know the pride with which "Jay-bird" Liles
kept a promise, that he was as confident of his return at the promised
time, as was Damon that Pythias would return.

The wood was cut, an arrangement was made concerning the crop, the
good-by kiss was given to his weeping wife and helpless babes, and,
feeling he was going on such a distant trip that he would never again
return, Larkin Liles, just two weeks to the day and hour from the time
of the above conversation, walked into the sheriff's office ready to be
taken to Frankfort.

When he told "Uncle Buck" that he was ready to start, the sheriff shook
his hand and told him to spend the night with him, and on the morrow
they would take the boat for Maysville, and from there go by stage to
Lexington, and on to Frankfort. Again "Jay-bird's" voice trembled as he
thought of the disgrace of being publicly taken by the sheriff to the
penitentiary; and again he made a most singular request. "Say, Uncle
Buck, I'd rather not do it. You go that way; but let me take my gun and
walk through the mountains to Frankfort, won't ye? I'd rather do that,
and maybe I might kill some game on the road. I'll meet you on any spot,
on any day you appoint."

What do you suppose the sheriff replied? Looking him straight in the eye
he answered, "All right, Jay-bird, suit yourself. Frankfort lies right
in yon direction; you can't miss it. When you reach Frankfort, go
straight to the governor's office and tell him what you are there for,
if I don't get there first."

Then this rugged mountaineer, this unlettered, unpolished son of the
hills, with honor as his watchword, dressed in the primitive style of
the time and place, with his trusty rifle, started over the hills,
through vales, and across streams to meet the sheriff at Frankfort, one
hundred and fifty miles away, where he would hear the lock snap as it
closed the door that would shut him in from freedom and friends.

Early one June morning, two days later, before the people of Frankfort
were abroad, a tall, gaunt, determined-looking backwoodsman, in buckskin
clothes and a coonskin cap, looking as if he belonged to the days of
Daniel Boone, made his way to the governor's mansion and quietly seated
himself on a stone. As Governor Clark started from the mansion after
breakfast, he was astonished to see this man of the mountains, who
quickly inquired, "Say, Mister, be you the governor?"

"Yes, my man, I am the governor. What can I do for you?"

"Well, Governor, my name is Larkin Liles, and I come up here from Lewis
County to get into the penitentiary for one year. Hed you saw anything
of Buck Parker?"

Utterly astounded, Governor Clark asked, "Who is Buck Parker?"

"Why, Buck Parker is the high sheriff of Lewis County, Kaintucky. I
thought everybody knowed that. We all call him 'Uncle Buck' Parker. He
was to come by stage and meet me here. I walked through."

While Governor Clark was eying him and trying to realize that such
unheard-of proceedings had actually happened, "Jay-bird" said anxiously,
"Say, Governor, the sheriff ain't here yit, and I don't want to lose no
time. Can't you let me into the penitentiary and tell Buck Parker whar
he can find me when he comes?"

[Illustration: "Well, Governor, my name is Larkin Liles."]

More astonished than ever, Governor Clark said, "Have you had your
breakfast, Mr. Liles?"

With a shake of the head, "Jay-bird" said that he had traveled all night
and upon reaching the city had come straight to the governor. The
governor at once took him in, gave him his breakfast, and told him to go
over to the capitol, until he could learn more about the case.

Ten hours later, the sheriff came by stage and soon found "Jay-bird" at
the governor's office. When the sheriff introduced himself to Governor
Clark, the governor immediately asked if it was a fact that this man,
condemned to a year of confinement and hard work in the penitentiary,
had trudged on foot alone all the way from Lewis County. When told it
was just as "Jay-bird" had said, the governor, in amazement, asked, "Is
the man crazy? Couldn't he have escaped?"

"Easily, and all the sheriffs, constables, and rewards could never have
caught him. No, 'Jay-bird' is not simple; he is only honest." The
governor was so interested he asked for all the details.

Then "Uncle Buck" told of the fight, the trial, and the conviction, of
how "Jay-bird" had kept his word when permitted to go to say good-by to
his loved ones, of his long life of honesty and hospitality, and of how
he had begged to come alone on foot to Frankfort, rather than as a
common, convicted felon.

With a heart heaving with emotion and eyes dim with tears, the executive
hastily affixed his name and the seal of the commonwealth to a small
piece of paper, and, handing it to Larkin Liles, said in a husky voice,
"Mr. Liles, go home to your family and kiss the little ones for me. You
shall never enter the penitentiary while Clark is governor of Kentucky."


It is eminently proper that the metropolis of "Jackson's Purchase"
should bear a name of Indian origin. Although the greater part of
Kentucky, with its fertile meadowlands, towering forests, and tangled
cane-brakes, was only the hunting ground of the red men, yet all that
territory in Kentucky and Tennessee lying between the Tennessee and
Mississippi rivers was the home of the Chickasaw Indians. This large
tribe had their main town at Chickasaw Bluffs, where Memphis now stands,
with a number of other settlements scattered throughout this seven
million acres of fertile lands.

As Kentucky was once a part of Virginia, and as the "Old Dominion" was a
British colony, this section was once claimed by Great Britain. After
the Revolutionary War, Virginia, relying on the former policy of the
mother country, that,

    "They should take who have the power,
     And they should keep who can,"

allowed George Rogers Clark, in recognition of his services in the
Northwest Territory, to enter several thousand acres of land, including
the present site of the capital of McCracken County.

At that time there were no white settlements in this section; but as
early as the year 1806 or 1807 there was a flatboat landing and woodyard
at the mouth of the Tennessee River, kept by a genial Irishman named Pat
Dugan. The first name given the place, and the one by which it was known
for many years, was Pekin.

On October 19, 1818, through Governor Isaac Shelby and General Andrew
Jackson, commissioners, the United States bought from the Chickasaw
Indians their tract referred to above, which in the present state of
Kentucky includes the counties of Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton,
Graves, Hickman, Marshall, and McCracken.

For many years the hero of Kaskasia, Cahokia, and Vincennes had been
infirm and poor. We all remember the touching scene when the Virginia
commission presented him a sword in recognition of his great services to
the United States; the old soldier listened in gloomy silence for a
while and, finally, thrusting the sword into the ground and breaking it,
he exclaimed, "When Virginia needed a sword I found one. Now I want
bread!" By the treaty just mentioned the title of George Rogers Clark
was made clear, but as he had died a few months previous to this his
tract passed to his brother, General William Clark, of St. Louis, who
had accompanied Meriwether Lewis on the noted Lewis and Clark

A few years after, General William Clark came to the little town of
Pekin accompanied by an Indian chief who had become a friend of his
while on his Western trip.

In Jefferson's "Notes on Virginia," he speaks of a tribe of Indians
called "Paducahs." In the "Handbook of American Indians" we find that
the "Paducahs" belonged to the warlike Comanches, this being the name
given them by the Spaniards. There is in Texas a small town of about one
thousand five hundred inhabitants, named Paducah from this tribe of

Paducah, Kentucky, is named, not from the tribe, but from an individual
Indian. In his diary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, General William
Clark speaks more than once of the kindness shown his party by a
scattered branch of the Paducahs, and of how their chief became his
friend. Dr. Catlin tells, in speaking of the tribes of the West, of a
chief of the Mandans, Indians that often intermarried with the
Comanches, named "Paducheyeh," meaning "tall or upstanding chestnut
tree." Whether or not he was the one who became the friend of General
Clark we do not know, but when the Comanches came southward, their old
chief, called Paducah, went to St. Louis, and then came with General
Clark on a visit to the town of Pekin, where he died with fever, and was
buried near Third Street just beyond Tennessee.

A log cabin was placed around his grave, and pioneer residents have told
of a party of Indians coming from beyond the Mississippi and holding
ceremonies over Paducah's grave. These were Comanches, or to use their
tribal name, Paducahs.

Whether the individual name of the old chief who had befriended General
Clark was one of the many varied spellings of Paducah, or whether
General Clark called him by his tribal name instead, we know not. Yet
there was a real chief in recognition of whose kindness the "Pride of
the Pennyrile" was named Paducah.


[3] For some of the facts in this chapter, the author is indebted to Mr.
Irvin S. Cobb.


As travelers on the waters of "La Belle Rivière" pass between the
historic town of Smithland and the unpretentious hamlet of Birdsville,
few are aware that they are within a mile or two of the grave of a
younger sister of the writer of our Magna Charta.

Though Lucy Jefferson Lewis was the sister of the man to whom we owe our
American decimal coinage system, our statute for religious freedom, our
Declaration of Independence, the University of Virginia, and the
Democratic party; though she was the wife of Dr. Charles L. Lewis,
brother of the noted Meriwether Lewis; and though she was blessed with
wealth, culture, love, and family; yet to-day she sleeps in an unmarked
grave in Livingston County.

Filled with enthusiasm for the then far West, the Lewis family, in 1808,
ten years after Livingston County was formed, moved to Kentucky,
purchased a tract of land about three miles from Smithland, and on a
lonely, rocky hill overlooking the beautiful Ohio, raised their
rooftree, and with their Virginia slaves, began a home in the

Some say that Dr. Lewis came with his wife, children, and servants;
others, that he did not come until eight or nine months after the family
arrived. Be that as it may, all agree that he was unsociable and moody,
and that he soon tired of his primitive abode and left, they supposed,
for his former Virginia home. All alone with her children and servants
in the Western wilds, is it any marvel that Lucy Jefferson Lewis should
sigh for the happy home of her youth?

On a lonely, rocky promontory, where she could gaze far up the river,
she would sit day after day, straining her eyes to see if there might be
a "broadhorn" coming with news from her dearly beloved Virginia. If one
was spied, a servant was at once sent out in a small boat to bring to
her the long-wished-for papers. But this rare Virginia flower did not
long survive transplantation, and in 1811 she was buried near her new
home, with only a rough stone from the hillside to mark her last resting

Only a few short months afterward, there was enacted by two of her sons,
Lilburn and Isham, a most revolting tragedy. Then Lilburn died and it
is said Isham, under an assumed name, entered the volunteer army and
fell at the battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815.

The other son and three daughters left on file, in the county clerk's
office at Smithland, a writing dated August 29, 1814, conferring upon
Thomas Jefferson the power of attorney to recover certain lands for them
in Albemarle County, Virginia. They subsequently married, moved into
other states, and nothing is left to mark the homestead but a pile of
rocks. Three sunken places, overgrown with the wild wood, show the last
resting place of Lucy Jefferson Lewis, her son Lilburn, and his wife,
while the cold autumnal winds, sighing through the treetops, chant a sad
requiem above the lonely, deserted spot.


Kentucky, rich in minerals, fertile soil, varied forests, and
diversified products, is also a land where Nature has been lavish with
her curiosities.

Some of the most important natural curiosities are the following: In
Boone County there is Split Hill, where a deep zigzag path of great
extent has been formed; in Breckinridge County there is Sinking Creek, a
stream so large and powerful that it drives machinery the entire year;
at a point about six miles from its source it disappears and shows no
trace for more than five miles, when it reappears and flows into the
Ohio. As early as 1847, a Mr. Huston utilized, for a mill erected on
this stream, a natural dam of rock, eight feet in height and forty feet
in width.

In Carter County there are also two smaller streams that flow for some
distance underground. In the same county, in early days, there was an
artesian well that threw up a jet, about the size of a barrel, to a
height of four feet.

Christian County contains also some sinking streams, forks of Little
River, beside Pilot Rock, which rests upon elevated ground, has a
comparatively level summit, covers about one half acre of ground, and is
about two hundred feet high. This county also contains a natural bridge,
which crosses a deep ravine with an artistic arch of sixty feet, and is
thirty feet in height.

Picturesque falls, ninety feet high, are found in Clinton County, while
"Rock House," forty feet high and about sixty feet square, is located in

In Edmonson County, besides the wonderful Mammoth Cave, there is "Dismal
Rock," almost perpendicular and one hundred and sixty-three feet high.

In Grant County, for many years an object of great curiosity, was an
immense poplar tree, nine feet in diameter; it is said a man on
horseback, after it lay prostrate, could barely touch the top of the
trunk with the tips of his fingers.

A natural fortification, a circular tableland, from fifty to one hundred
and twenty-five feet high, impossible of ascent except in one place, is
an object of great interest in Hancock County.

In Jessamine County, amid awful grandeur and gloom, the Devil's Pulpit
is found, with a total elevation of three hundred feet.

In Lincoln County the Knobs, some with a base one hundred and fifty
yards in diameter, two hundred feet high, and entirely destitute of
vegetation, attract great attention.

Mantel Rock, or Natural Bridge, in Livingston County, in picturesqueness
rivals the far-famed Natural Bridge of Virginia. This rock, resting
against the hillside, is eight and three fourths feet thick and twenty
feet wide; its arch spans two hundred and twenty feet. One of the
paintings that attracted most attention in the Kentucky building at the
St. Louis World's Fair was the artistic reproduction of this picturesque
place by Mrs. Georgia McGrew Edwards.

In Lyon County, near Eddyville, 1848, several men explored a cavern for
half a mile, where a large stream of water, an underground river, was
found to be flowing.

About three miles from Benton, in Marshall County, on a high hill, there
is a lake about sixty yards in diameter, whose depth is unknown; its
waters neither rise nor fall, but stand about fifty feet above the bed
of the creek below.

In Meade County, between Salt River and Sinking Creek, are several knobs
and groves that the pioneers used as points of observation from which to
detect the movements of the Indian parties just after they crossed to
the south side of the Ohio River.

Bardstown, in Nelson County, is built on an elevation under which is a
natural tunnel, several feet in diameter, of circular form, reaching
from the eastern to the western extremity of the eminence.

Owen County has several objects of interest, among them being Point of
Rocks, about seventy-five feet high, overhanging Deep Hole, whose depth
has never been ascertained.

In Rockcastle County, Bee Cliff rears its summit three hundred and
fifty-five feet above the river; there are also a number of saltpeter
caves where large quantities of saltpeter were manufactured during the
War of 1812. The largest, called Great Saltpeter Cave, with its many
rooms, some of which cover an area of several acres, with its
subterranean river and weird grandeur, is a rival in all respects but
size to the noted Mammoth Cave of Edmonson County. The Fall Cliffs, at
some points three hundred feet in height, are unsurpassed in grandeur.

Among the places of interest in Union County there is, standing upon
level bottom land, a rock two feet thick, twenty feet wide, and fifty
feet high which, on account of its spur resembling the horn of an anvil,
is called Anvil Rock. In the same county a large flat rock, deeply
indented with impressions of the human foot of various sizes as well as
the distinct footprints of the dog is found.

In Warren County, Wolf Sink, one hundred and fifty feet wide by three
hundred feet long and in depth varying from twenty feet on the south
side to one hundred and fifty feet on the north side, is an interesting

The Cumberland River in its passage through Whitley County has a
perpendicular fall of more than sixty feet, forming Cumberland Falls, a
picturesque cascade, the roar of which can be heard sometimes for more
than twelve miles both above and below the cataract. Behind the sheet of
falling water one can pass nearly across the river bed.


In Edmonson County, near Green River, was discovered in 1809, by a Mr.
Hutchins, while in pursuit of a wounded bear, that matchless
subterranean palace,--the Mammoth Cave.

It consists, not of one chamber, but of many magnificent rooms, winding
avenues, towering domes, bottomless pits, picturesque cataracts, mystic
rivers, gloomy seas, and crystal lakes, on five different levels.
Geologists agree that this immense cavern was carved out of the
limestone ages ago, by both the mechanical and chemical action of the
water. Viewing the huge columns that have been formed by depositing the
almost infinitesimal amount of lime dissolved from the rock, one stands
in awe at the thought of the great span of time required for this
marvelous work.

[Illustration: A view in the Mammoth Cave.]

Here no ray of sunshine lights up the darkness; here no sound breaks the
silence; here no seasons come and go; here no living creature--save the
torpid bat, the sluggish lizard, the silent cricket, the shy rabbit-like
rat, and eyeless fish--exists.

Among the many picturesque spots in this cave are the Bridal Altar,
formed of several pillars grouped into arches; the Old Arm Chair, in
which Jenny Lind once sat and sang; the Giant's Coffin, a massive stone,
forty feet long, twenty feet wide, and nine feet thick, that fell, ages
ago, from above; Audubon Avenue; the Bat Chamber, where thousands of
bats spend the winter clinging to the ceiling, in most places smooth
and white as if made by a master hand; the Devil's Arm Chair, a large
stalagmite in which is a comfortable seat; Napoleon's Breast Works;
Lover's Leap, and Gatewood's Dining Table; Fat Man's Misery, River Hall,
and Bacon Chamber, the last looking like a part of a pork-packing house;
the Dead Sea, the Corkscrew, the Holy Sepulcher, Martha Washington's
Statue, Shelby's Dome; the rivers Lethe, Echo, and Styx; and last the
Star Chamber, sixty feet wide, seventy feet high, and four hundred feet
long. Here the guide leaves you in absolute darkness for a while, until
from his vantage ground he so illuminates the high ceiling that when you
look upward, the heavens seem studded with stars; a comet with its
blazing tail appears, clouds cross over, midnight with its utter
darkness comes, and finally day begins to dawn.


About two o'clock in the morning of December 16, 1811, the inhabitants
of southwestern Kentucky, especially those in Fulton County, were
aroused and alarmed by a most destructive earthquake shock that shook
the Mississippi Valley throughout. It extended all along the Ohio beyond
Pittsburgh, passed the Alleghenies, and died on the far-away coast of
the Atlantic Ocean.

The first sign of the catastrophe was distant, rumbling sounds,
succeeded by continued discharges as of unnumbered pieces of artillery.
Then the earth rocked, chasms yawned, columns of coal, sand, and water
shot up, while electric flashes, shooting through the otherwise
impenetrable darkness, added horror to the scene. Twenty-seven distinct
shocks were experienced before dawn. Then shock followed shock, the land
was overshadowed by a dense, black cloud of vapor to which the light
imparted a purplish tinge, but no sunbeam penetrated the pall that
overhung all.

Lakes appeared where hills had been; elevations of land were found
instead of lakes; the land in many places, miles in extent, was sunk
below the level of the surrounding country. The current of the
Mississippi was driven upstream for several hours, on account of an
elevation in its bed; the waters boiled up in huge swells and violently
tossed the boats thereon; sandbars gave way; huge trees crashed and
disappeared in the maddening billows; the shores opened in wide
fissures, closed, and threw huge jets of water, sand, and mud high above
the treetops. The water of the river was changed to a reddish hue, thick
with mud thrown up from its bottom, while the trembling surface was
covered with huge masses of foam.

From this temporary barrier, made by the upheaval of the bottom and the
sinking of the sandbars and banks, the river rose five or six feet in a
few minutes; then the booming waters with redoubled fury rushed forward
with resistless power and carried everything before them. Boats, with
horror-struck crews, shot down the declivity "like arrows from the bow,"
and were overwhelmed or wrecked on snags, that had been thrown up from
the bottom of the river, or were carried down in the vortexes. These
shocks continued every day until December 21, and occasionally until
February of the succeeding year.

It was during this extensive and exciting convulsion that Reelfoot Lake,
in Fulton County, made its first appearance. This great and singular
body of water was formed by sand, blown out of a chasm opened by the
earthquake, damming the waters of a creek, which spread over the
territory and formed a lake twenty feet deep, from three fourths to two
and a half miles wide, and seventeen miles long. For many years the tops
of immense trees could be seen in the water by boatmen as they hunted
the waterfowls or cast line for the fish with which it abounds.


The young republic of the United States tried to follow the warning of
Washington, "Friendship to all, entangling alliances with none."
Although France had aided us in our struggle for independence, we
remained neutral when war was carried on between her and England.
Although it was said of our President, that he "could not be kicked into
a fight," yet, when our commerce was well-nigh destroyed, our sailors
taken from our vessels and forced to serve in the British navy, and our
vessels fired upon by England's, we followed the policy of two of our
most gifted Southern sons, Clay and Calhoun, and on June 18, 1812, again
declared war against Great Britain.

When the call came for volunteers to aid the regular army, although
Kentucky's quota was only five thousand five hundred men, from mountains
and glens, from field and farm, from bench and bar, from every walk of
life, came her best blood, seven thousand strong, volunteering their
services to their country's cause.

When one thousand five hundred men were required to join General Hull in
his expedition against the savages, in the Northwest, two thousand
answered the call, only to learn, after crossing the Ohio, that Hull had
cowardly surrendered his army and the whole of Michigan territory to the
British, although his army numbered nearly double the enemy.

For several months, at various times and places, the Kentucky troops did
special and efficient service. In January of the succeeding year,
Colonel Lewis with from seven hundred to one thousand Kentuckians,
marched against a combined force of British and Indians at Frenchtown on
the river Raisin, and drove them from the village. Three days later,
General Winchester was told that a large force of the enemy was on its
way to attack the victors. As the night was bitter cold, the precaution
of stationing pickets was neglected, and early the next morning, two
thousand British and Indians under General Proctor suddenly attacked the
camp. The Kentucky riflemen fought stubbornly for hours. Their
ammunition ran low, but still they fought. Even when summoned to
surrender they, Spartanlike, preferred death. But, being promised that
their wounded would be safely guarded and humanely treated, they laid
down their arms. History records how this promise on the part of Proctor
was not kept, how the drunken Indians burned and tomahawked the helpless
men and officers, until long afterward the rallying cry of the
Kentuckians was, "Remember the river Raisin--Raisin and Revenge."

At Fort Stephenson, one hundred and sixty men under Colonel Croghan of
Kentucky repulsed Proctor with nearly four thousand. When the idolized
General Isaac Shelby went at the head of the Kentuckians, all felt that
he would lead them to victory.

It is said that when Commodore Perry wrote, "We have met the enemy and
they are ours," after his memorable victory on Lake Erie, that one
hundred sharpshooters from Kentucky had aided in the capture.

At the battle of the Thames nearly all the American troops were
Kentuckians, and that gallant soldier, Colonel Richard M. Johnson, did
noble service in the killing of the noted Tecumseh. When Jackson,
barricaded behind cotton bales at New Orleans, defeated Pakenham with
his veteran forces, more than one fifth of the American soldiers were
Kentucky riflemen.


Kentuckians, past and present, have ever been distinguished for their
brilliant, persuasive oratory on the stump, at the bar, or in the forum.

Three of the most eloquent men our state claimed in the nineteenth
century were Clay, Marshall, and Menefee.

[Illustration: Thomas F. Marshall.]

Wherever Thomas F. Marshall, a native of Kentucky, lifted up his voice,
he entranced all with his profound logic, flight of fancy, stinging
satire, and beauty of language. Had his powers of self-control been as
great as his genius, learning, and eloquence, no position in the dizzy
heights would have been beyond his reach. But his brilliancy, his worth,
and his work were all obscured by that dreadful blight, intemperance.
Mr. Marshall's tribute to another orator and statesman, Richard H.
Menefee, is pronounced by all to be one of the most graceful and
eloquent passages in our literature.

Born in obscurity, rising rapidly by his own energy and eloquence, at
twenty-three Menefee was the commonwealth's attorney. At the bar his
success was phenomenal. In the state legislature and in the United
States Congress, where he served one term each, he, from the first, was
recognized as a student and a statesman surpassed by none. His strength
of character, his courage of conviction, his surpassing eloquence,
brought praise from all. When at the height of fame, when men eagerly
sought his counsel, and throngs hung upon his words, consumption closed
his brief but brilliant life in his thirty-second year.

[Illustration: Richard H. Menefee.]


Among the volunteers that flocked to the support of Texas when she threw
off the yoke of oppression there were many hundred Kentuckians. However,
our state was not aggressive about the annexation of the new republic,
which all saw might lead to war with Mexico.

After the annexation, General Zachary Taylor, an adopted Kentuckian, was
sent with troops to protect Texas, and soon war began. When Kentucky
called for thirty companies, one hundred and five were organized.

At Monterey some of our bravest fell, among them being Major Philip N.
Barbour. General William O. Butler was among the number severely
wounded. In honor of their bravery on this battlefield, the Kentucky
legislature passed complimentary resolutions on the Louisville Legion,
and presented swords to General Taylor, General Butler, and the widow of
Major Barbour.

At the bloody battle of Buena Vista, where General Taylor had nearly
five thousand men, one fifth of the troops were from Kentucky. The
Mexicans had a force more than five times the number of the Americans,
still the victory was ours. As the killed and wounded were eighteen per
cent of the enlistment, Kentucky paid dearly for the glory won.

Among the fallen were Colonel William R. McKee, Lieutenant Colonel Henry
Clay, oldest son of the great statesman Henry Clay, and Adjutant Vaughn.

When many, who had given their lives for the cause, were reinterred at
Frankfort and a fitting monument was erected, on it was inscribed this
quotation from the immortal elegy, "The Bivouac of the Dead," by our
soldier-poet, Theodore O'Hara:

    "The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
      The soldier's last tattoo!
    No more on life's parade shall meet
      That brave and fallen few;
    On Fame's eternal camping ground
      Their silent tents are spread,
    And Glory guards, with solemn round,
      The bivouac of the dead."


In Hanover County, Virginia, April 12, 1777, was born Henry Clay, the
"Millboy of the Slashes," who in after years became the idol of our
state, and one of the most notable figures in the entire Union.

Left fatherless at the age of five years, his teaching and training
devolved upon his mother. So well did she perform her part that much of
her illustrious son's greatness may rightfully be ascribed to maternal

At the early age of twenty-one Henry Clay became a member of the bar at
Lexington, and it was not long before his genius, his eloquence, and his
versatile powers made for him a name that will ever endure.

[Illustration: The "Millboy of the Slashes."]

He served the state of his adoption in the lower house of the state
legislature for several terms. Part of that time he was speaker of the
house, in which position the zeal, energy, dignity, and decision
characteristic of him distinguished his every act. Later he was elected
representative to the lower house of the United States Congress, was
re-elected several times, and during the entire time was Speaker of the
House, having received the very high and unusual compliment of being
thus chosen on the first day he appeared as a member of that body.

He served as a valuable member of the commission which met at Ghent,
Belgium, to arrange the treaty of peace between this country and Great
Britain in 1814.

[Illustration: Henry Clay's Home, "Ashland."]

He served with marked success in the United States Senate; his great
genius, his high patriotism, his boundless energy, and fiery eloquence
so swayed the people that more than once civil war for a time was
averted, sections were reconciled, and he won the title of the "Great

Convinced of his duty, Henry Clay was conscientious in discharging it,
and when he thus lost the highest office in the gift of the nation he
uttered the memorable words, "I would rather be right than be

He did not need this office to confer honor on him; he would have
conferred honor on the office.

His fame was world-wide. His service as a statesman, his power as an
orator, his courage as an antagonist, his cogency of reasoning, his
untiring efforts as a peacemaker, spread from ocean to ocean and even
beyond the seas. When he was laid to rest at his beloved Ashland, high
potentates, distinguished persons, and the great common people alike
bowed their heads.


From Kentucky cabin homes came the two men who were destined to be the
political leaders in the greatest conflict that ever shook our

In 1808, Jefferson Davis, who became the President and idol of the
Confederacy, first saw the light in that part of Christian County that
was afterwards erected into Todd.

In 1809, Abraham Lincoln, the war President of the United States, was
born in that part of Hardin County that afterwards became Larue.

The gifted Kentuckian, Henry Clay, had by his pacific measures postponed
war, but it was not to be averted. When it came, our governor, Beriah
Magoffin, attempted neutrality, and refused to raise troops for either
army. From many homes, however, went soldiers to each side; friend was
arrayed against friend, brother against brother, and father against son.
The hour of patriotism, danger, and privation had come. When the first
gun in the war was fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, a native
Kentuckian, Major Robert Anderson of the United States army, commanded
the garrison.

On our soil both Confederate and Federal forces were raised. Various
towns were occupied and fortified by soldiers, at some places under the
Stars and Bars, at other places under the Stars and Stripes.

The boys that wore the gray entered Kentucky and fortified themselves at
Columbus and Hickman under Major General Leonidas Polk, and at
Cumberland Gap under General Zollicoffer. The boys in blue, acting under
orders from Brigadier General U.S. Grant, invaded the state at Paducah.

General Albert Sidney Johnston of Kentucky took command of the
Confederate "Central Army of Kentucky," and under his orders General
Simon B. Buckner fortified Bowling Green.

At Wildcat Mountain, near London, a bloody conflict took place, General
Zollicoffer leading the Confederates, and Colonel T.T. Garrard and
General Schoepff the Federals. The Confederates, being outnumbered,
withdrew, after a loss to each side.

At Sacramento, Colonel Forrest defeated a company of Federals two days
after Christmas, 1861.

Early the next year General Zollicoffer and General George B.
Crittenden encountered General Thomas at Mill Springs; reënforcements
came to the Federals, the gallant Zollicoffer fell, and the Confederates
were forced to retreat.

At Big Hill, in Rockcastle County, the Federals were defeated; at
Richmond the Confederates were again victorious, while at Munfordville
they were repulsed.

At Augusta a bloody battle between Colonel Basil Duke's men and the home
guards under Dr. Joshua T. Bradford resulted in another victory for the

In the severe battle of Perryville, where 25,000 Federals, under General
A. McCook, met 16,000 Confederates under General William J. Hardee, the
Federal loss was more than four thousand and the Confederate, one
thousand less. This was one of the most desperately contested battles of
the war.

[Illustration: Gen. John H. Morgan.]

That daring Confederate cavalryman, General John H. Morgan, the "Francis
Marion" of the Confederacy, captured Glasgow, Elizabethtown, and the
blockhouses at Muldraugh's Hill, where he tore up the railroad track.
Colonel Cluke defeated the Federals at Mount Sterling, destroyed
railway trains, and captured supplies.

At Bardstown, Maysville, Tompkinsville, Cynthiana, and Paducah, the two
sides met in deadly conflict. At the latter place the daring Confederate
cavalryman, General Nathan Bedford Forrest, entered with his troops.
Here also General A.P. Thompson, while gallantly leading his troops in a
charge on Fort Anderson, fell pierced by a cannon ball.

At Murfreesboro, Missionary Ridge, Chickamauga, Vicksburg, Donelson,
Shiloh, Baton Rouge, Stone River, indeed, on almost every battlefield,
Kentucky courage was tested and never found wanting.

At the close of the crucial conflict more than thirty thousand of the
flower of our Kentucky manhood had fallen, and thousands more were

More than forty thousand Kentuckians followed the fortunes of the
Confederacy. Among them were: General Albert Sidney Johnston; Lieutenant
Generals Simon B. Buckner and John B. Hood; Major Generals John C.
Breckinridge, William Preston, and George B. Crittenden; Brigadier
Generals John Hunt Morgan, Humphrey Marshall, Ben Hardin Helm, Basil W.
Duke, Roger W. Hanson, Lloyd Tilghman, John S. Williams, George B.
Hodge, Thomas H. Taylor, Henry B. Lyon, Adam R. Johnson, and Richard S.

More than one hundred thousand of the white men of our state and eleven
thousand negroes enlisted in the Federal cause. Among the former were
numbered: Major Generals Thomas L. Crittenden, Cassius M. Clay, Don
Carlos Buell, William Nelson, Lovell H. Rousseau, and Thomas J. Wood;
Brigadier and Brevet Major Generals Robert Anderson, Richard W. Johnson,
Stephen G. Burbridge, W.T. Ward, Walter C. Whittaker, John T. Croxton,
and Eli Long; Brigadier Generals James M. Shackelford, James S. Jackson,
Green Clay Smith, Speed S. Fry, Jerry T. Boyle, Edward H. Hobson, T.T.
Garrard, L.P. Watkins, and W.P. Sanders.

Of the Kentuckians engaged we can truly say no braver men were found on
either side; no better citizens have helped to develop our state since
the conflict closed. Now only a few veterans are left on either side.
Most of them are

    "Under the sod and the dew
      Waiting the judgment day;"

so let all unite in

    "Love and tears for the blue
      Tears and love for the gray."


When a baby is christened we at once wonder why it was so named,
especially if the name be a new or odd one. When we hear a new name for
an invention we begin to look up the etymology of the word to see why it
is so called. So it is with places, for there is a reason for their
names being what they are. Take the beautiful capital of the blue-grass
section of our state, and we find an interesting romance concerning its
origin. In the year 1775, when

    "The first oath of Freedom's gun
    Came on the blast from Lexington,"

a party of hunters, while in camp on one of the branches of the Elkhorn,
learned that the first battle between the British and Americans had
taken place. To commemorate the important event they called the place of
their encampment Lexington. William McConnell, Francis McConnell, Alex
McClelland, John McClelland, David Perry, and Charles Lecompt came down
the Ohio in a large canoe as far as the mouth of the Kentucky, thence up
that stream to the Elkhorn region, where they explored and made some
improvements, between April and June of 1775.

Another party--Joseph Lindsay, William Lindsay, Patrick Jordan, Garret
Jordan, and John Vance--explored the country and made some improvements
in the vicinity of the present site of Lexington, and Joseph Lindsay,
here, at the spring, built an "improver's cabin" and raised the first
corn and beans in that country.

Lexington was not permanently settled until a few years later, by
Colonel Robert Patterson and others.

In the summer of 1773 two parties from Virginia came down the Ohio River
to explore the rich lands of Kentucky. One of these made the first
survey and settlement at what is now the metropolis of our state. In
August, Captain Thomas Bullitt laid off a town at this site, which was
occasionally visited by different persons. No permanent settlement was
made until in the spring of 1778, when General George Rogers Clark
brought a few families and left them on an island near the Kentucky
shore, which was called Corn Island from the circumstance that the
settlers raised their first Indian corn there. In the fall of the same
year, after Clark had captured the British posts that had served as the
fountain head for the Indian incursions, the settlers felt more secure
and removed from the island to the mainland. In 1780 the legislature of
Virginia passed an act to establish the town of Louisville at the Falls
of the Ohio, naming it in honor of Louis XVI of France, whose troops
were at that time aiding the Americans in their fight for liberty.

In 1780, on the Kentucky River, where our capital now stands, a party,
among whom was Stephen Frank, on their way from Bryan's Station to the
fort at Lexington to secure salt, encamped and were attacked by the
Indians. Two were wounded, and Frank instantly killed. In memory of
Frank the place was ever after called Frankfort.

Covington was named in honor of General Leonard Covington, who
distinguished himself at Fort Recovery, 1749. The name of Colonel
Richard Henderson, the head of the Transylvania Company, is perpetuated
in Henderson, or, as it was formerly known, Hendersonville. Bowling
Green, denoting a plat for bowling, probably came from the name found
in Yorkshire, England.

Hopkinsville perpetuates the name of the Revolutionary hero, General
Samuel Hopkins. Owensboro was named in honor of Colonel Abraham Owen,
who fell at Tippecanoe. Ashland gained its name from the vast amount of
ash timber in that region. Maysville bears the name of its founder, John
May. Georgetown and Washington both took their names from our first

The first part of Mount Sterling was named from the many mounds in the
vicinity, the latter from a city in Scotland. Richmond was named for a
city in Virginia, and Shelbyville for our first governor. Smithland was
named for Captain James Smith, the first white man to explore that
region. Catlettsburg and Danville were called respectively from their
founders, Horatio Catlett and Walker Daniel. Lebanon, with its abundance
of cedar trees, was named for the mountain in Palestine, where such
trees abound.

Paris, from the city in France, Versailles, from the royal palace in
that city, and Glasgow, from a city in Scotland, bear transatlantic
names. Eminence from its elevated position, and Eddyville from the
eddies in the Cumberland River near there, bear names descriptive of the
places. Kuttawa, or Cuttawa, the red man's first name for the Kentucky
River, is the only town in the state, besides Paducah, bearing an Indian
name. Carrollton, from Charles Carroll, Franklin, from the great
philosopher, Ludlow, from Israel Ludlow, and Princeton, from William
Prince, its first settler, perpetuate names noted in history, science,
and frontier days.

Cynthiana, for Cynthia and Anna, daughters of the proprietor, and
Elizabethtown, for the wife of Colonel John Hardin, are the only towns
in the state named for women.

Morganfield, for General Daniel Morgan, Nicholasville, for Colonel
George Nichols, and Greenville, for General Nathanael Greene,
commemorate, respectively, three Revolutionary officers. Bardstown,
Campbellsville, Flemingsburg, and Hawesville perpetuate the names of
their founders, David Baird, Adam Campbell, John Fleming, and Richard
Hawes, respectively. Berea is from the ancient city in Macedonia,
Columbus from the great navigator, and Lancaster from a town in
Pennsylvania; Adairville and Morehead from two former governors,
Governor John Adair and Governor James Morehead. Captain Paschal
Hickman, Honorable John L. Murray, Colonel T.D. Owings, and the
Wickliffes are remembered respectively by the towns of Hickman, Murray,
Owingsville, and Wickliffe.


Whether we consider the valuable additions to scientific literature,
note the practical, useful inventions, or record the actual activities
in various scientific lines, many Kentuckians will be found on the
eminent roll.

A Louisville woman, Ellen C. Semple, has given us "American History and
its Geographic Conditions." James N. Baskett, while a novelist, has also
contributed some scientific papers that have won him fame in many lands.
John Uri Lloyd,--both novelist and scientist,--though a native of New
York, was reared in Kentucky. He is a noted chemist and has written much
along his line.

Elsewhere, we have spoken of Kentucky inventors, and also given a sketch
of the great ornithologist, John James Audubon. We are indebted for
facts about prehistoric Kentucky to "Ancient History or Annals of
Kentucky" published as an introduction to Marshall's "History of
Kentucky," by the eccentric naturalist, C.S. Rafinesque. Though born in
Constantinople, he spent seven years as professor of the natural
sciences, and of the French, Spanish, and Italian languages in
Transylvania University in Lexington. It was Rafinesque who, amid all
the privations of pioneer traveling, explored Kentucky in the early part
of the nineteenth century, from Greenup on the east to McCracken County
on the west. He covered nearly the entire area of the blue grass, and
also included in his itinerary the remote counties, Adair, Clay, Harlan,
Perry, Pulaski, and Rockcastle, and located one hundred and forty-eight
sites and five hundred and five ancient remains or monuments of the
Mound Builders.

Audubon tells of his first meeting with this great antiquarian, whose
dress, if not fashionable, was at least remarkable. He wore, says
Audubon, "a long, loose coat of yellow nankeen which hung loosely about
him like a sack, much the worse for the many rubs it had got in its time
and stained all over with the juice of plants. A waistcoat of the same,
with enormous pockets, reached over a pair of tight pantaloons, the
lower part of which was buttoned down to the ankles." In this attire,
with a bundle of dried plants on his back, Rafinesque accidentally
approached Audubon and asked where the noted naturalist lived. Upon
learning it was the great Audubon to whom he was speaking, Rafinesque
handed him a letter of introduction in which the writer recommended an
"odd fish" which might not have been described in any published
treatise. Audubon at once asked to be shown the "odd fish," but soon
realized that Rafinesque answered to that name. It was during this
visit, that, in his excitement to secure a new species of bat,
Rafinesque demolished Audubon's favorite violin. His versatility, his
energy, and his achievements stamp him as one of the most remarkable of
men in many lines of thought and activity.

[Illustration: Rafinesque, the Naturalist.]

In the field of medical science, also, Kentucky in both past and
present has been noted. In 1806, Doctor Brashear of Bardstown
successfully performed an amputation at the hip joint, the first
operation of the kind in the United States. In 1809, Doctor Ephraim
McDowell of Danville performed one which was the first of its kind in
the world, and of which Doctor Gross in his "Lives of Eminent American
Physicians and Surgeons of the Nineteenth Century" says, "Had McDowell
lived in France, he would have been elected a member of the Royal
Academy of Surgery, received from the king the cross of the Legion of
Honor, and obtained from the government a magnificent reward as an
acknowledgment of the services rendered his country, his profession, and
his fellow creatures."


One most important invention or discovery of the nineteenth century was
made by William Kelly, who came from Pittsburgh and located near
Eddyville, in Lyon County, in 1846. Here he operated both the Union and
the Suwanee furnaces, mostly by slave labor, until he conceived the plan
of using Chinese workers, which he secured through a New York tea house.
As these Celestials, with their pigtails, were the first in this
section, they created a great deal of curiosity. Mr. Kelly, having a
special knowledge of chemistry and metallurgy, investigated and
experimented in the manufacture of iron, and concluded that the crude
metal could be converted into steel without fuel; that by placing the
fluid metal in a suitable furnace and forcing powerful blasts of air
through the molten mass, he could produce the desired result.

His veteran forgemen could not conceive of metal being "boiled" by
simply blowing air through it, for it had been their experience that air
blown over its surface chilled it. They knew nothing of the affinity of
oxygen with carbon for producing heat; they had always consumed
quantities of charcoal to secure this greater heat; they had buried bars
of wrought iron in charcoal in a furnace, where, the air being shut off,
the charcoal was slowly burned for two or more weeks. Then the product
was taken out and melted, forming "cast steel." So they were completely
surprised when forcing the currents of air through the mass of iron
intensified it to incandescence and refined the metal.

The experiment was made in 1851 and used by Mr. Kelly advantageously for
many years. Being almost isolated in practically a wilderness, thirty
miles from even the nearest country press, the inventor failed to
advertise and take proper advantage of his invention. In 1855, however,
many of the steamboats plying the Ohio River were using boiler plates
made from iron prepared by "Kelly's air-boiling process." The next year
Henry Bessemer, an iron manufacturer of England, took out a patent for
this pneumatic process, to which his name has been given; but, although
Mr. Kelly was delayed in securing his patent by his attorney, when the
claim was heard by the commissioner of the Patent Office in this
country, it was decided that Mr. Kelly was the inventor and his patent
was at once granted. For many years Mr. Kelly received a royalty on his
interest in the inventions. In time the patents of Kelly, Bessemer, and
Mushet were combined. Prior to this discovery, steel cost five times as
much as iron; now steel rails, wearing four times as long as iron, cost
only a few dollars more per ton. Thus we see the incalculable importance
of another Kentucky invention, for now steel is made directly from pig
iron in about thirty minutes, instead of as formerly in almost as many


While Kentucky's sons and daughters have enriched the field of science
by inventions and discoveries, they have not neglected the fine arts.

Among the painters, Matthew H. Jouett of Mercer County from early
childhood displayed a talent by drawing sketches with a lead pencil. He
became a pupil of Gilbert Stuart, who always called him "Kentucky."
Jouett, on the occasion of La Fayette's visit, painted the noted
general, and from that sketch painted the life-sized one that hangs in
the State House. His pictures were on exhibition at the World's Fair at
Chicago and compared favorably with those of the best foreign painters.
It is said that Thomas S. Noble, another native of Kentucky who has won
fame with his brush, exclaimed after viewing Jouett's portraits,
"Rembrandt is next to God and Jouett is next to Rembrandt." The
Honorable Charles Summers, who had made a study of foreign artists, on
seeing one of Jouett's portraits, examined it closely and exclaimed,
"What a glorious Van Dyck!" Richard Jouett Menefee made a catalogue a
few years ago of three hundred and thirty-four paintings by his

[Illustration: Matthew H. Jouett.]

In Frankfort was born another boy, Joseph H. Bush, whose talents at an
early age caused him to use his mother's hearth and a piece of charcoal
to sketch a profile of his father. Among his noted works are portraits
of General Zachary Taylor, Benjamin W. Dudley, and Governor John Adair.

John Grimes, who lived many years in this state, is noted for a
portrait, "The Country Lad," and "Suicide," a composition. Oliver Frazer
first saw the light in Fayette County. He studied under Jouett and
Thomas Sully, and later at Paris, Florence, Berlin, and Ludlow, where he
and P.R. Healy, fellow students, became fast friends.

Though he was born in Pennsylvania, so much of the work of Louis Morgan
was done in Kentucky that we class him with her artists. His "Simon
Kenton" was the most prominent picture at an exhibition in the Academy
of Fine Arts at Philadelphia.

As a boy, Samuel W. Price also exhibited artistic talent; among his
portraits being "Old King Solomon" and one of Chief Justice George
Robertson. Among his works in composition are "Caught Napping" and "Gone
Up." There are also W.C. Allen, Mrs. Eliza Brown, Aaron H. Corwine, Paul
Sawyier, Nevill Cain, and others who have done creditable work.

The poet-sculptor, Joel T. Hart, when only five years old modeled
figures of animals in clay, molded a button out of pewter, and carved in
wood. His first work of note was a bust from life of General Cassius M.
Clay; among other noted men of whom he made busts were General Andrew
Jackson, the Honorable John H. Crittenden, Robert Wickliffe, and the
Reverend Alexander Campbell. His statue of Henry Clay now stands on the
capitol grounds at Richmond. Louisville and New Orleans each ordered a
statue of Clay. After that came Hart's masterpiece, "Woman Triumphant,"
which stood for years at Lexington, Kentucky.

The Kentucky legislature appropriated twelve hundred dollars for
removing the remains of Joel T. Hart from Florence, Italy, and
reinterring them at Frankfort.

Although born in California, Mrs. Mary Anderson de Navarro, an artist in
another line, spent her girlhood in Louisville, so Kentuckians have ever
claimed her as "Our Mary." Her brilliant stage career is known to all.


Kentucky, rich in themes for song and story, has attracted the attention
of some of the master minds of literature. Sir Walter Scott in "Marmion"
sings of

    "Kentucky's wood-encumbered brake."

George Gordon (Lord Byron) in "Don Juan" names

    "The General Boone, backwoodsman of Kentucky,"

while Alfred Tennyson tells of

    "Kentucky's chambers of eternal gloom."

Her own sons and daughters, native and adopted, have also sung her
glories, and in many other themes have made a great contribution to
American Literature. Gilbert Imlay was our first novelist. Since him it
is impossible to name all who have brought honor to their state by their
works, but among the writers of prose are the noted novelists James Lane
Allen and John Fox, Jr. Gertrude Atherton's writings include "The Bell
in the Fog," "Rulers of Kings" and "Rezanov." Alice Hegan Rice has
delighted many with "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch" and "Lovey Mary."
Ingram Crockett's "A Year Book of Kentucky Woods and Fields" and "A
Brother of Christ" give him a place in this group. Edwin C. Listey's
"Love Story of Abner Stone" and "The Race of the Swift" are honors to
their creator.

Abbie Carter Goodloe's "At the Foot of the Rockies" has been favorably
compared with some of Kipling's works. Frank Waller Allen in "Back to
Arcady" has given a pastoral romance. Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews has
distinguished herself in "A Kidnapped Colony" and "The Perfect Tribute."

[Illustration: James Lane Allen.]

Young and old delight in the "Little Colonel Stories" by Mrs. Annie
Fellows Johnston, "Emmy Lou" by Mrs. George Madden Martin, and Eva A.
Madden's "Two Royal Foes." John Bacon gave us "The Pursuit of Phyllis";
Nancy Huston Banks, "Oldfield"; Eleanor T. Kinkead, "The Invisible
Bond"; and Mrs. H.D. Pittman, "The Belle of the Blue-grass Country."
Hallie Erminie Rives-Wheeler has given "Hearts Courageous" and "Tales
from Dickens."

John Uri Lloyd has described mountain life in "Redhead" and "Stringtown
on the Pike," while his "Etidorhpa" shows a master mind.

James Tandy Ellis has delighted all with his dialect stories in "Sprigs
o' Mint." Mrs. Fannie Caldwell Macauley (Frances Little) has written
"The Lady of the Decoration," while "Aunt Jane of Kentucky" by Mrs.
Eliza Calvert Obenchain (Eliza Calvert Hall) has attracted universal

John Wilson Townsend in "Kentuckians in History and Literature" and
"Kentucky in American Letters" has done a great work for an appreciative

William C. Watts' "Chronicles of a Kentucky Settlement" is a great pen
picture of early times; and Irvin S. Cobb's "Back Home" and "Cobb's
Anatomy" have won him undying fame as a story teller and humorist.

In other lines of prose we find John Bradford's "Notes on Kentucky,"
histories of the state by Marshall, Lewis and R.H. Collins, Z.F. Smith,
Elizabeth Kinkead, and Ed Porter Thompson; also the works of Humphrey
Marshall, Mann Butler, Thomas Corwin, Fornatus Cosby, Samuel D. Gross,
Henry Watterson, Bennett H. Young, and others.

Since our first poet, Thomas Johnson, there have been many who have won
credit in verse.

Theodore O'Hara's immortal elegy, "The Bivouac of the Dead" is known to
all. John Wilson Townsend has called Madison Cawein the successor of
Sidney Lanier; Edmund Gosse calls him the "hermit thrush," while others
have named him the "Kentucky Keats." Cale Young Rice has won fame in
dramatic verse. Thomas H. Chivers, a native of Georgia, spent some time
in Kentucky. He accused Poe of stealing some of his words in "The Raven"
from him.

Robert Burns Wilson, the poet-painter, has published several volumes of
the highest merit. Bishop John L. Spalding, William O. Butler, Fornatus
Cosby, Jr., George D. Prentice, Sarah T. Bolton, Mary E. Betts, Henry T.
Stanton, Sarah N. Piatt, and a host of others have written verse that
will compare favorably with that of many writers more renowned.

[Illustration: Madison Cawein.]


Whether we write of the hardy pioneer facing danger and privation, of
the volunteer soldier freely offering up his life on the altar of his
country, of the great general leading his men to victory, of the
mature-minded statesman helping to guide the ship of state, or of the
brilliant orator swaying thousands by his eloquence, we find Kentuckians
in every rôle. Likewise we find the skillful surgeon severing the
diseased part from that aglow with health, the learned lawyer tactfully
pleading his client's cause, the able heads of our government
discharging well their duty, the learned judge of our highest court
presiding with wisdom and justice, and the consul to foreign countries
shedding luster upon the post he holds. Again we note the scholarly
heads of universities training the youth of the land, the sound business
man striving for a better city, the patriot answering in any form his
country's call, the great naturalist finding the many secrets of mother
Nature, the historian cautiously collecting data and describing
important incidents, and the sweet singer bringing cheer into every
place. Further we find the humorist bringing smiles to every face, the
consecrated minister leading thousands to a new life, the inventor
bringing comfort and ease, and the artist skillfully using his brush or
chisel to imitate Nature. Indeed, the roll call of eminent Kentuckians
will show that they have played such important parts in both military
and civil affairs that one or more, and often many, Kentuckians have
filled each of these posts with credit to themselves and glory to their

None have been found braver, none more brilliant, and none more beloved,
whether serving in their native or their adopted state.

More than eighty have represented us in foreign countries; more than
fifty have been governors in other states; more than thirty have been
United States senators from other states; and more than eighty have
been representatives in Congress from other states.

Scanning the pages of our national history, you will find the names of
Henry Clay, Zachary Taylor, Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln, John C.
Breckinridge, Linn Boyd, John G. Carlisle, Adlai Stevenson, Thomas
Corwin, Isaac Shelby, John M. Harlan, Ninian Edwards, Roger Q. Mills,
and hundreds of others of the native or adopted sons of our
commonwealth. Without their worth and works many chapters could not have
been written, many policies could not have been perfected, and many
victories could not have been won.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Stories of Old Kentucky" ***

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