LI-KY-Frontier

A Look Inside – Kentucky: The Pioneer State of the West

What is now the Commonwealth of Kentucky was inhabited by varying cultures of Native Americans from at least 1000 BC to about 1650 AD, particularly along the waterways and in areas of game where Bison.

By the time that European and colonial explorers and settlers began entering Kentucky in greater number in the mid-18th century, there were no major Native American settlements in the region. The Iroquois had controlled much of the Ohio River valley for hunting from their bases in what is now New York.

After the American Revolution, the counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known as Kentucky County. Eventually, the residents of Kentucky County petitioned for a separation from Virginia. In 1790, Kentucky’s delegates accepted Virginia’s terms of separation, and a state constitution was drafted at the final convention in April 1792. On June 1, 1792, Kentucky became the fifteenth state to be admitted to the union.

This volume appears in our Kentucky County Histories collection. It was written by Thomas Crittenden Cherry and was published by D.C. Heath and Company in 1935.

KENTUCKY: The Pioneer State of the West

Preface

Human conduct has been much the same since time began. The behavior of a group of people in any age or country may, in a great measure, interpret that of all large groups. The history of any state of our nation will be found similar in many ways to that of any other state, and to that of the social and political movements of our country as a whole. For this reason the history of Kentucky should be studied in connection with the history of the United States.

The history of Kentucky in many ways is unique. Cut off from the nearest settlements of the East by hundreds of miles of wild forest-covered mountains, this inland wilderness became the scene of a most bloody and heroic struggle. Beginning at the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, the first settlers received the full force of the savage attacks of British and Indian foes. In spite of these, this heroic band of pioneers succeeded in founding their homes and becoming a powerful guard at the back door of the colonies of the East. Chiefly through their efforts the Northwest Territory was wrested from the British and Indians, and by the treaty of 1783 became a part of the territory of the United States. This westward thrust, delivered in the nick of time, likewise led to the successful conquest of the vast land domain reaching to the Pacific Ocean.

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.
To the Teacher: It is impossible to compress the heroic story of the Pioneer State of the West into a limited narrative without omitting many important details that would give added life and interest to the story. For this reason, many references are given to further sources of information that will make interesting supplementary reading.

Wherever possible, strong representative leaders have been made the center of historic movements. Likewise the author has endeavored to connect the principal movements in the history of the State in a narrative form instead of following a strict chronological order.

The text has been divided into lesson chapters representing, as nearly as possible, units of special historic values. Only a few relatively important questions have been appended to each chapter. They will serve to suggest many others to the thoughtful teacher.

The author acknowledges with gratitude the valuable aid rendered him by many friends, fellow teachers, and capable critics who have contributed their sympathy and help in the preparation of this work. Special mention is due Messrs. Ballard Thruston and Otto Rothert, members of the Filson Club, the Honorable George Colvin, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Miss Ella Jeffries of the Western Kentucky Teachers College, Professor A. W. Mell and the Honorable M. M. Logan for their thoughtful and helpful criticisms of the manuscript. Whatever the merit, the author has prepared this volume as a work of love, and with the hope that it will prove a worthy service to the youth of our great Commonwealth.

Contents

  • INTRODUCTION: IRVIN S. COBB

Prehistoric Era

  • I KENTUCKY BEFORE THE WHITE MAN CAME
  • II MOUND BUILDERS
  • III THE INDIANS OF NORTH AMERICA

Period of Exploration and Settlement

  • IV EARLY EXPLORERS
  • V VANGUARD OF THE PIONEERS
  • VI THE PIONEER AND HIS INDIAN FOE
  • VII ATTEMPTED SETTLEMENT OF KENTUCKY
  • VIII FIRST SETTLEMENT OF KENTUCKY
  • IX THE FAILURE OF THE TRANSYLVANIA COMPANY
  • X PROGRESS IN THE SETTLEMENT OF KENTUCKY
  • XI EARLY ROADS
  • XII PERILOUS DAYS
  • XIII CLARK PLANS AN EXPEDITION AGAINST BRITISH AND INDIANS
  • XIV CLARK’S EXPEDITION
  • XV HARDSHIPS AND DANGERS OF EARLY YEARS
  • XVI DESTRUCTION OF INDIAN TOWNS
  • XVII ATTACK ON BRYAN’S STATION
  • XVIII ORIGIN OF PIONEER PEOPLE
  • XIX SEPARATION FROM VIRGINIA, STRUGGLE FOR STATEHOOD
  • XX KENTUCKY ENTERS THE UNION
  • XXI SIDE LIGHTS ON KENTUCKY’S STRUGGLE FOR STATEHOOD
  • XXII A REVIEW OF TEN YEARS
  • XXIII LATER BORDER TROUBLES

Period of Commonwealth

  • XXIV SETTING UP THE STATE GOVERNMENT
  • XXV THE BIG SANDY VALLEY AND OTHER SETTLEMENTS
  • XXVI A POLITICAL CRISIS
  • XXVII CHARACTER, MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF EARLY KENTUCKIANS
  • XXVIII POLITICAL BEGINNINGS
  • XXIX POLITICAL MOVEMENTS AND WESTWARD EXPANSION
  • XXX BURR’S CONSPIRACY. BATTLE OF TIPPECANOE
  • XXXI KENTUCKY IN WAR OF 1812
  • XXXII CLOSE OF WAR OF 1812
  • XXXIII FINANCIAL STRUGGLES
  • XXXIV THE OLD COURT AND NEW COURT PARTIES
  • XXXV HAPPENINGS OF THIRTY YEARS
  • XXXVI STATE AFFAIRS AND THE MEXICAN WAR
  • XXXVII PERIOD OF UNREST
  • XXXVIII KENTUCKY’S LOYALTY TO THE UNION
  • XXXIX KENTUCKY’S NEUTRALITY
  • XL THE CIVIL WAR
  • XLI THE SECOND INVASION OF KENTUCKY. MORGAN’S CAVALRY
  • XLII CLOSE OF THE WAR. PEACE AND RECONSTRUCTION
  • XLIII POLITICAL AFFAIRS
  • XLIV CIVIL AFFAIRS
  • XLV EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS AND RESOURCES OF KENTUCKY
  • XLVI WAR, WASTE AND PROGRESS
  • XLVII POLITICS, PROBLEMS AND POPULATION
  • XLVIII AN ADDED DECADE
  • XLIX THEN AND NOW
  • XL THE CONSTITUTION OF KENTUCKY

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