Tag Archives: American County Histories
The First White Men in the Shenandoah Valley

The First White Men in the Shenandoah Valley

On a summer’s day in the year 1716, Governor Alexander Spotswood, with a party of twenty or thirty horsemen, set cut from Williamsburg, the capital of the Virginia colony, to ascertain for himself what sort of country lay west and north of the great “Blue Mountains.” There was good reason to believe that several Indian tribes of uncertain friendship might be found there; and who else or what else nobody seemed quite certain, save the ignorant and superstitious, who declared that there were monsters and mysteries numerous and dreadful enough.

The Governor may have had predominantly in mind objects much more commonplace and practical than the simple clearing up of superstitions and mysteries. Doubtless the elements of romance and danger afforded a considerable stimulus toward a jaunt; but he must have been seriously in earnest about something, to undertake an expedition of nearly two hundred miles up country, past the very frontiers and into the wilderness.

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.
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WestTN

A Look Inside: Old Times in West Tennessee

Old Times in West Tennessee is a new addition to our American County Histories: Tennessee collection.  Its full text is now online and fully searchable.

Preface

THIS book is prefaced by its title page, requiring but little to be said as to the design of the writer, or his motives for writing it.

It is hardly necessary for the author to put in a disclaimer that he assumes to be neither a historiographer nor a biographer, much less an annalist; semi-historic, irregular and defective, if you will, is the only title he claims for it.

Whether it be accorded or not, it is none the less true that “every man has his own style, as he has his ‘own nose;’ and it is neither polite nor Christian to rally a man about his nose, however singular it may be — a fact pregnant with homely sense, and commends itself to the exercise of charity on the part of the critical reader.

Dedication

Dedication

Conceived when gout most troubled, and born of necessity, it was written when afflicted with physical pain, amply recompensed, however, in the pleasurable interest it gave in reviving the scenes and recollections of his boyhood days. Should the reader derive a tithe of the interest in reading that was afforded in writing, the author will be doubly recompensed.

An apology is due the theme it purports to treat, and is beseechingly asked for the author, for having written it hurriedly and without sufficient data. He had written to many of the immediate successors of the first and early settlers in the Big Hatchie country for something of the early lives and connecting incidents of their brave fathers and people, in subduing the wilds of West Tennessee; but, for some cause or other, except in a few instances, he received no response; possibly they feared to trust such a priceless heritage to the pen of unknown authorship.

It is to be regretted, as their names and heroism in hewing down the forest and opening up the way to thrift and refined civilized enjoyment would have contributed greatly to the interest of the history of Old Times in West Tennessee.

The author, not wishing to “play showman to his own machinery,” submits the following pages to tho reader for what they are worth, with a prayer that he be gentle and deal lightly, and, if merit there be, encourage him to a wider field, yet lying fallow in its virgin fireshness.

THE AUTHOR

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.
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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.
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School History of South Carolina

A Look Inside: School History of South Carolina

As part of our expansion of our American County Histories Collection, we have new volumes coming online every month. On May 1, 2017, the 1864 title School History of South Carolina by John Abney Chapman became available.

This volume is an excellent example of how South Carolina’s state history was taught to students living in the state at the end of the 19th century. Of particular interest to Civil War buffs will be Chapter XL: The War Of Secession. The book’s author had to convey the history to the children and grandchildren of the Confederate soldiers who experienced it first hand.

INTRODUCTION

This book is written for the young, therefore the style is easy and animated. Short stories are occasionally introduced for the purpose of fixing upon the mind of the youthful student the truths of the history which the stories are intended to illustrate.

It has been revised and edited, and the questions have been prepared by practical teachers, so as to adapt it for use in the schoolroom.

It also has a full index, so as to make it useful as a book of handy reference.

South Carolina has a history of which none of her children need be ashamed, and it is the patriotic duty of each citizen to see that every effort is made to keep alive in the minds of each rising generation that reverence for the heroic deeds of our ancestors which inspires youth to emulate examples of bravery, daring and self-sacrifice.

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.
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OG-Walks in DC

Walks About Washington (1915)

Francis E. Leupp’s Walks About Washington is a new title in the Washington D.C. segment of our American County Histories collection.  The full text has recently come online.

Forward

This is not a history. It is not a guidebook. It is not an encyclopedia. It is nothing more ambitious than the title would indicate: a stroll about Washington with my arm through my reader’s, and a bit of friendly chat by the way. Mr. Hornby, sketchbook in hand, will accompany us, to give permanence to our impressions here and there.

Walks About Washington

Walks About Washington

First, we will take a general look at the city and recall some of the more interesting incidents connected with its century and a quarter of growth. Next, we will walk at our leisure through its public places and [try to people them in imagination with the figures which once were so much in evidence there.

For the stories woven into our talk, I make no further claim than that they have come to me from a variety of sources—personal observation, dinner-table gossip, old letters and diaries, and local tradition. A few, which seemed rather too vague in detail, I have tried to verify.

My ardor for research, however, was dampened by the discovery of from two to a dozen versions of every occurrence, so that I have been driven to accepting those which appeared most probable or most picturesque, falling back upon the plea of the Last Minstrel:

“I cannot tell how the truth may be;
I say the tale as ’twas said to me.”

And now, let us be off!

F. E. L.

WASHINGTON, D.C.,
August 1, 1915.

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.
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