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Ella Barnwell A Historical Romance of Border Life   By:

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A Historical Romance of Border Life




Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1853, BY J.A. & U.P. JAMES, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the District of Ohio.


In putting to press a new and revised edition of the following story, the author would state, that his original design was to combine fact and fiction, in such a way, as, while making his story move forward to a proper denouement , to give the reader a correct picture of the dress, customs, and social and war like habits of the early pioneers of the west; and also embody a series of historical events which took place on the frontiers during that revolutionary struggle by which we gained our glorious independence. For this purpose, Kentucky, in her infancy, was selected as the scene of action; and most of the existing records of her early settlements were read with care, each compared with the others, and only the best authenticated accounts presented to the reader. So much in fact did the author labor to make the present story historical, that there is scarcely a scene or character in its pages that had not its counterpart in reality.

He would only add, that, for important reasons, the original title has been changed to that which now heads its title page. "What's in a name?" queried the great bard. Had he lived in our day, and been a novelist instead of a poet, he would either not have asked the question, or answered it very differently than he did.




That portion of territory known throughout Christendom as Kentucky, was, at an early period, the theatre of some of the wildest, most hardily contested, and bloody scenes ever placed on record. In fact its very name, derived from the Indian word Kan tuck kee, which was applied to it long before its discovery by the whites, is peculiarly significant in meaning being no less than "the dark and bloody ground." History makes no mention of its being inhabited prior to its settlement by the present race; but rather serves to aid us to the inference, that from time immemorial it was used as a "neutral ground," whereon the different savage tribes were wont to meet in deadly strife; and hence the portentious name by which it was known among them. But notwithstanding its ominous title, Kentucky, when first beheld by the white hunter, presented all the attractions he would have envied in Paradise itself. The climate was congenial to his feelings the country was devoid of savages while its thick tangles of green cane abounding with deer, elk, bears, buffaloes, panthers, wolves and wild cats, and its more open woods with pheasant, turkey and partridge made it the full realization of his hopes his longings. What more could he ask? And when he again stood among his friends, beyond the Alleghanies, is it to be wondered at that his excited feelings, aided by distance, should lead him to describe it as the El Dorado of the world? Such indeed he did describe it; and to such glowing descriptions, Kentucky was doubtless partially indebted for her settlement so much in advance of the surrounding territory.

As it is not our purpose, in the present instance, to enter into a history of the country, further than is necessary to the development of our story, the reader will pardon us for omitting that account of its early settlement which can readily be gleaned from numerous works already familiar to the reading public. It may not be amiss, however, to remark here, what almost every reader knows, that first and foremost in the dangerous struggles of pioneer life, was the celebrated Daniel Boone; whose name, in the west, and particularly in Kentucky, is a household word; and whose fame, as a fearless hunter, has extended not only throughout this continent, but over Europe... Continue reading book >>

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