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The story of Kentucky   By:

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The Story of Kentucky

By R. S. Eubank, A. B.


Copyright 1913, by F. A. Owen Publishing Co.


Geography and First White Visitor The Virginians and Daniel Boone Beginnings of Settlements How the Pioneers Lived and Fought George Rogers Clark and the Revolution Later Days of Famous Pioneers After the Revolution Progress Early Schools and the First Seminary State Government and Foreign Intrigue Indian Wars and War of 1812 Internal Improvements Kentucky and Slavery The Civil War and Later


Geography and First White Visitor

Lying west of the Allegheny Mountains and extending westward for some three hundred miles, bounded, for the most part, on the north by the Ohio River and extending to the Mississippi, lies the State of Kentucky. In its eastern portion, constituting nearly one third of its area, the surface is broken, and so high as to be termed mountainous. A large area occupying the central third, and in the early day mostly a prairie land, is now known as the famous Blue Grass section. The western third of the State is practically level, being but a few feet above the sea, and cypress swamps are not infrequent. This section is commonly termed "The Pennyrile."

In the middle of the eighteenth century, Kentucky was a portion of that unexplored western realm belonging by grant to the State of Virginia, and designated as a part of Fincastle County. The eastern portion in the early day abounded in wild game common to the Appalachian forests. The undulating grass lands in the central part of the State provided ample grazing for the herds of buffalo and deer that were found there at the time of the coming of man. The skeletons that have been exhumed indicate that it was the feeding ground of the giant mastodon before the discovery of America.

About two hundred years after Columbus discovered America, a young man twenty two years of age came to Canada from the Old World. On his arrival he learned from the settlers and Indians the possibility of a passage to the South Sea, which they then thought the Gulf of Mexico to be. Desirous of making this journey, and lured by the possibility of reaching the Pacific by water, he secured the assistance of Indians and some white hunters as guides and set out upon an expedition of exploration into the country concerning which he had heard such fascinating stories.

Crossing the St. Lawrence and traveling southward, he came to what is now called Allegheny River. Securing birchbark canoes, he and his party descended the Allegheny to its junction with the Monongahela, then turning southwestward on the beautiful stream formed by these two small rivers and now known as the Ohio, he explored the country along the banks of the river to what was called by him the Rapids of the Ohio. Thus, LaSalle was the first to gaze upon the country from the mouth of the Big Sandy to the present site of Louisville, and to make a record of such discoveries.

The Virginians and Daniel Boone

Near the middle of the eighteenth century, or about 1750, a party of Virginia hunters, growing weary of the monotony of home life and desiring to find better hunting grounds, penetrated the Appalachian Mountains by way of Powell's Valley and through Cumberland Gap, into the eastern portion of what is now Kentucky, and hence were the first white men to approach the land from the eastern side. In 1767, John Finley and Daniel Boone, hearing of the fine hunting in this section, came to Kentucky from North Carolina and built a cabin on Red River, near where Estill, Powell, and Clark counties are now joined... Continue reading book >>

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